Category Archives: Specialist Project

Creating a Photoshop Animation

Creating a Photoshop Animation for a Vignette, (Vignette (literature), short, impressionistic scenes that focus on one moment or give a particular insight into a character, idea, or setting.) in this case am attempting to create impressionistic scene of an idea, the idea being behind these sequences was to stylise the computing world as being plain and kind of two-dimensional, and give a greater contrast between the world of computers and the outside word which i aim to show a bright and colourful.

and give a greater contrast between the world of computers and the outside word which I aim to show as bright and colourful. Using digital media as a communication tool to experience the world but the reality is limited.

My animations show a linier experience we have when interacting through a computer screen. I have simple and stark black and white it’s limitations in it’s experiences.

The man presses the buttons using a phone and a tablet repeated over and over again. This is to illustrate the mendacity of social media sites and the internet.

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Making of Videos.

Animations so far.

Putting the pieces together.

Final Video.



Vignette Video’s

in version 2.0 i altered the saturations levels on some of the footage I wanted moments where the ipad and phone where in shot to seem stale dull and the outside to be open rich and real.

A short video shot using the GoPro Hero, this is a short vignette designed to illustrate the importance of having unwired time.

Music:- Destiny’s Child – Say My Name (Cyril Hahn Remix)

Video 3 –

Music:- Fall Walk Run – Do or Die

Vignette Idea 2

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear, nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life……
– Henry David Thoreau, Walden

I have decided that perhaps my vignette will be of a train journey, and I will capture myself on this journey of self discovery and take in all the views and watch the world pass by very much as we do everyday we watch the world go by on our phones, laptops and tablets. Is there not a sense of sensory deprivation we can’t hold hands if were busy texting or updating what we are doing, rather than just doing.

The other idea I had was to go into the woods and camp overnight and film a short of someone living in the woods and show everything off the trees, the dirt, the bugs the building of a fire ect…

I will play a voice over of the above poem, over the top of both short films.

Making a Vignette (Ideas)

So i now have a title for my vignette “discover life outside the screen”  I want it to advertise the life outside try and get people up and outside.

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Does anyone have any thoughts so far?

Vignette (literature), short, impressionistic scenes that focus on one moment or give a particular insight into a character, idea, or setting.

I am also looking at Montage filmmaking.

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– Life is out there not in a screen let me out life is should take you by surprise, (show images of people shouting surprise and happy birthday and people bumping into each other) things we lose during the post-digital age some types a word on the iPad.

– Life should stimulate all your senses touch (show a type writer being used people holding hands, hugging on a bench or a sofa, a image of a feather, hands rubbing grass, holding sand, hand writing a letter, using a pay phone)

– Hear the sound of music (a pop song plays from a tape deck, a piano being played a baby crying the opening of a vinyl the needle going down)

– Smell the smell (of freshly cooked bread, of a bacon sandwich, flowers, candles)

– See you see a all many of things just walking to see things first hand, stop frame of a walk to and from the shop to get milk.

in the post-digital age a image of an iPod just being switch on and the play button being pressed.

The sending of an e-mail

Sending tweet, a text, a Facebook message, a image of someone using a pay phone taken on a phone and published on Instagram.

Shopping online.

People sat around a table not talking all silent all on there phones.

(Perhaps Blown up image and ask the public if there can see if they is anything wrong with this image and perhaps how often they find themselves doing the same thing)

Do we lose nothing?

Does life not feel that little bit stale?

Are we just on lookers, looking though the looking glass

Work book (Research Notes)

Here  are some of the photo’s taken from my work book research notes on all my work so far for this unit so far.

I decided to use a note book to take my notes because it helps me to remember plus I had this idea about putting pen to paper the idea of changing something in the physical world, writing has been held in the society for many many years and I didn’t want to just copy and paste items.

The Online response!!

The Online response

I recently hosted my question on and I got quite a few responses, from different people, and this was one of them.

Oct 28 2012: To the extent these gadgets reduce risk in lives they are a good thing, but I begin to wonder about some of the side effects.
GPS: Does this reduce our ability to read maps and figure out the best way to get from point A to point B? I wonder if AAA has received any ‘stranded motorist’ calls from people lost or too paralyzed to drive because a GPS battery died.
Air Conditioning: Has our choice to live in environmentally controlled living spaces reduced our ability to resist diseases and tolerate time spent outdoors?
Cars: How many people even think of walking short distances rather than driving or riding?
Television: How much time do we waste watching TV? Is our ability to read and imagine complex scenarios and thoughts diminished by having it spoon fed to us? What is the long-term mental effects of ‘over-saturation’ of information? Losing satellite or cable is considered a 911 emergency in many households. Does this contribute to family dysfunction?
Computers: How many people are done for the day when the network is down? feel personally threatened by changes to Microsoft products? Live on computer social networks or blogs?
Cell phones: How many people think it is acceptable to be involved in a face-to-face conversation and have it interrupted by a cell phone? How many people feel uncomfortable without their cell phones? How many feel no risk when using a cell phone while driving?

The list goes on.

Although some risk is reduced, I think these devices are not really taking risk or uncertainty out of life as much as they are transferring the risk to other areas were the risks are more obscure or latent. Some of the effects associated with these devices might be long-term social or mental behavior changes that have irreversible consequences later in life. I always use “How would nature solve the problem?” as a measuring stick. To the extent these devices reduce our ability to live peacefully in nature, I think they add long-term uncertainty and create dependencies.






Putting social, back into the social networking sites.

I started out on this unit with a couple of questions, Are gadgets eradicating the uncertainty in life and does happiness depend on taking chances? As I read previously a very interesting article in “New Scientist”

I wanted to do a research project that would inform not only my investigative study but also my extended major project, so I started by reading a lot of books a and articles on the post-digital age and our post-digital life styles, looking at psychology and philosophy of happiness and the post-digital age, I wanted to look into what effects it may have on our lives as individuals so that is what I set out doing. Really focusing on the content and thought about what context I wanted to but the research into, this slowly developed as my research went on i read more into more about decline in context and how we distracted by it to give me more of a narrowed subject to research.

I started by building a vending machine had it programmed using “Arduino”, The idea was to test people reaction when you take away there control as the vending machine dispensed sweets not at all or uncontrollably and see how people would react, I didn’t see how it would fit in with question, because I felt it needed to more interactive be more contextual.

I then came up with the idea the second was a simple push button that would open up two options, one a video response designed to scare the view and one dispense a prize it was a test if will react emotionally stronger when something bad happens or something good happens and to get people to take a chance and give up control that perhaps gadgets give us too much of, a good idea I thought but I wanted something simple, basic this is when the social media boards came out social media has become such a big thing in our daily lives and perhaps has for some become a addiction with 1 in 9 young people checking there “Facebook” 20x a day, this was something I wanted to make people aware of and getting them interacting as they would with many of the social media sites but rather than doing this online I wanted to get them have conversions and interacting around the board giving people more context around the conversions rather than just looking at and typing on a device. Which gladly people did some people even to photos of the board, which I thought, was quite interesting. I learnt a lot from this unit about research methods, also that content and the context in which be put them in is important and is perhaps being slightly lost or blurred because of the way we use devices, interacting in the physically world so something I was adamant in getting people to do. I also wanted to see what people would put by just being given one fact a bunch of logo’s painted and printed post-it notes and some pens

An people seemed to engage with it really well people engaged in the socially having physical conversations.

The piece is all about context, context helps give meaning sight, smells and touch these are contexts which we are perhaps losing in the post-digital age, take music for example you may own a 7-inch vinyl and it even may have it’s original cover, creased, faded and worn perhaps like one of mine it my have a slight coffee stain from when my brother knocked a cup over. They all carry reminders etched onto the music itself in the form scratches and groves unrecorded by the bands.

Now damaged vinyl is extremely annoying, and it’s tendency to scratch was a good reason to embrace CD’s and digital MP3 but when music goes digital we lose it’s context. For example 2004 when Apple iPods hit the mainstream apple advertisement showed blacked-out silhouette figures dancing to sounds from their iPod’s nothing else existed in the world of the iPod apart from music.

This is perhaps what is happening with social media it has never had the contextual benefits that a face-to-face conversation has such as body language, tone of voice ECT, an this was what I was aiming to show people by having people interact as they would on many of the sites but giving them the advantage of a very contextual environment. In which to share there views, images and thoughts.

Take this story for example –

I made a mixtape for my girlfriend, but music wasn’t a life-or-death issue for her. She would listen to it in the car, or with friends at parties. That didn’t bother me; our relationship was staked on more important things. Around this time, both of us had become fascinated by a book called Codex Seraphinianus. Explaining the book here would take too long, but suffice it to say that it was beautiful, mysterious, and at the time, completely-out-of-print and selling only in rare-book circles for thousands of dollars. Improbably, her college library had a copy. We took it out; pored over it; cherished it. Eventually, the book was recalled. Honeymoon over.
A few months later, she met someone at a party. They got to talking. “Have you ever heard of this book called Codex Seraphinianus?” he asked. The coincidence was uncovered: He was the recaller. “The weirdest thing,” he said, “was that when I took the book out of the library, I found this amazing Pavement mix stuck in the pages.” My mix: Pavement Ist Rad. “So that’s where it was!” she said. She was a space-case; I always liked that about her.
I imagined this guy finding Pavement Ist Rad like a hidden treasure. I imagined him confused, curious; I imagined him coming home and putting it on. I imagined how excited he was to feel like he was living in a world where you could still discover things so accidentally. In these daydreams, I almost never imagined the actual music, because it wasn’t the music that drew us together, it was the object: that blank CD with my handwriting on it.
We became friends, the three of us. Close friends. Does it seem too fitting that eventually the two of them started dating? Maybe. It happened though. At the time it was pretty painful, though it doesn’t seem so bad in retrospect. The relationship had run its course. Soon, CDs would be meaningless. For the moment, though, they still seemed capable of being as singular and precious as the tapes I’d made in high school. We didn’t know that then; we were transitioning too. — Mike Powell (

A nice story I thought involving just a simple CD and chance and this can’t happen with a MP3.

And this was the idea behind this piece to give social networks more context by placing them into the physical world.

“The new communications technology is extremely good at connecting together people – with each other, ideas places. So good that distraction, as we have seen, is a major social consequence. Nonetheless the ability to connect is also it’s principle benefit. It has long been an axiom of the media industry that “content is king”.”

(Distraction – Being human in the digital age by Mark Curtis, page 162)

“We are distracted by technology, and what it can do, as a subject all of it’s own. So much so that in the world of marketing,those people most likely to be distracted first have a collective name all of their own – “early adopters”. Many companies target them with innovation strategies. They are the people thought to be most likely to buy a new piece of kit when they see or hear about it. Such exposure to novelty is made more probable by the new device that appear in every newspaper and many magazines now, devoted to the exploration of distraction technologies. Technology is offering us ever more choices, especially in communication. We now have to learn how to make and manage those choices. That negotiation is with us already.”

(Distraction – Being human in the digital age by Mark Curtis, page 192)

This was also what I wanted to look at also in terms of the technology and the addiction we perhaps have to new pieces of kit, and if you look at Moore’s Law a computing term, which originated around 1970; the simplified version of this law states that processor speeds, or overall processing power for computers will double every two years, an these early adopters are first in line take for example Apple had more than 2m iPhone 5s ordered in the first 24 hours the handset was on sale although some customers would have to wait until October to get their hands on the phone.

Presentation Audio for Specialist Project














Research so far

Are gadgets eradicating the uncertainty in life and does happiness depend on taking chances?

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear, nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life……
– Henry David Thoreau, Walden


I thought i would start this essay with a beautiful poem from Thoreau which tells us to ‘live deep’ and to make the most of unfolding possibilities of our times. An in this essay I want to show you, convince you that taking chances are important and diving head first into the realms of the unknown and that today’s society with smart phone’s and other devices we are slowly eradicating the uncertainty of everyday life and it is hard to develop a balance between a real life and our digital lives, if we are interested in living with technology in the best possible way, and when I consider the routine of my own digital experience on an average day I send and receive a few text messages an send and receive a few e-mails and delete more than a few check my Facebook more than few times, send the odd tweet, I log between 2-12 hours a day at the screen on average reading, writing and interacting online. It makes you think sometimes where has my day gone I can only sometimes recall bits and pieces of what I have been doing online, and how uncertainty in life has perhaps dwindled as “Thoreau” tells us “live deep” and perhaps this uncertainty we are taking out of our lives is an important ingredient in happiness it is a spontaneous moment and perhaps can not be found in being efficient but it is important to starve forward towards our dreams. An if we are interested in living with technology in the best possible way. For example texting embodies an easily overlooked truth. Marketing campaign from the likes of “E E” (Everything Everywhere) which are now trying to sell us upgrades for our digital lives with the new 4G system’s they have started rolling out around the UK.

“With one-third of the world’s population is online, an increase of 528 percent over the past 10 years*. While Internet penetration rates vary by geographic region; North America (79%), Australia/Oceania (68%), Europe (61%), Latin America (40%), Middle East (36%), Asia (26%) and Africa (14%), they continue to climb steadily especially in the developing countries of the world.
Connected devices, such as computers, mobile phones and tablets have become a way of life for many, but shoppers are digitally engaged to varying degrees depending on the products they buy. While e-commerce activity for some consumer-packaged goods (CPG) products especially perishable categories where freshness counts may not be as transformative as other non-CPG industries such as books, music and travel, online grocery purchasing power is growing. In this report, Nielsen analyses how shoppers use online connected devices (computers, mobile phones and tablets) to aid or even complete their household grocery shopping.

Digital’s influence on grocery shopping is on the rise

Online shopping intentions for food and beverage categories increased 44% in two years
6-in-10 global respondents used the Internet for grocery shopping research
Nearly half (49%)of respondents purchased a product online
Globally, 46% used social media to help make purchase decisions
37% purchased from online-only stores most frequently

But what types of online activities do consumers engage in most? How much time is spent on these activities? What are future spending intentions, which websites are preferred, and what payment methods are favoured? New findings from a Nielsen online survey of respondents from 56 countries around the world provide insight into digital influences on grocery shopping behaviour. This report offers considerations for marketers and guiding principles to help build successful online strategies.”

Text Messaging and The Smart Phone

It first started with text messaging and now with the smart phone. Those thousands of Incoming text messages and all those digital updates, have very little sympathy for any divisions of time and space we might wish to impose our days.
For example what would you do if your boss decides that you’re on call 24/7 whether you like it or not? You may just do it for a while and it could but strain on your relationships like in the film where Robin Williams character Peter Banning relationships between his children and wife Moria become strained because his phone/work is being put first “Hook” (1991)

“Moira throws Peter’s cell phone out the window early on; Nana buries it. At the end, Peter retrieves it but subsequently throws it away himself.” (

Several religious and secular movements and even some health specialists including those not specialising in mental health have advocated periods of isolation from communication networks, with reasons including realignment with some higher power, stress relief or reducing dependency. Of course, the concession is often made that such sessions should be scheduled to avoid clashing with the rest of one’s affairs and those that might need to make contact should be informed that one will be unreachable.

We must recognise that what matters above all is not the individual devices such as the smart phone we use, but what we use them for. The best quote I can find to explain this theory comes from the book “The Happiness Purpose” by Edward De Bono (p97,98)
“The laissez-faire attitude to happiness is too wasteful, too negligent and too selfish. Very few people ever have the chance to enjoy except for brief moments the spontaneous happiness of the roadside wild flowers, and in any case that is not being abandoned. Today flowers by the wayside will only be pre-served if we make deliberate effort to preserve them.”

Now with new apps coming onto the market known has serendipity generators designed to buck this ultra-efficient, ultra optimised trend by trying to but more whimsy, so more spark into life that we have perhaps lost.
These new apps would seem to have some resemblance to a French cultural phenomenon know as flânerie, a movement dissatisfied with the urgency and alienation of the modern-day city. Parisian flâneurs hoped to encourage a kind of aimlessly enjoyable wandering in city life.
“Since the Second World War The Flaneur has changed format and is now available online. The original ancient editors would never have predicted this – although Leonardo is thought to have designed a rudimentary internet in red chalk on the back of the Mona Lisa. Unfortunately owing to the delicate nature of the painting the Louvre will not allow this to be investigated. It is further rumoured that he stuck a page from The Flaneur onto the back of the Mona Lisa in order to help bind the wooden ground together. If this is true it would be another exciting moment in the history of The Flaneur. We wait for the Louvre to agree to examine the Mona Lisa, but in truth the likelihood of them ever agreeing is small. Until then we have to imagine that there is a page of the greatest arts and culture journal ever sharing the frame of the greatest art-tourist-attraction in the world.”
(By flaneur on 30th May 2012, 3:07pm

For example When the internet was in it’s infancy in the 1990’s it was mainly populated by people sharing things they liked with people they didn’t know, it was a way to engage with people we perhaps wouldn’t normally meet, it was a new and amazing way to communicate, in other ways it was a pretty good serendipity engine.
Mark Shepard, an artist who designs apps such as “Serendipitor”. Says in “New Scientist” magazine (published 25 August 2012)
“Then something changed coming out of 20th century and into the 21st century the rhetoric changed for one of optimisation, by making things more and more efficient seems to have dominated the way we think and interact with our technology, What it should do for us it’s this idea of machines as humble servants that make our lives easier. And it was this shift came the rise of recommender systems, algorithms that use your purchases, likes, social interactions for example on Facebook and browsing history to work out what future purchases you might be interested in, and now we see a small rise in serendipity apps in which some are a direct spoof of these recommender systems.”
“Getlostbot” is a good example of this which looks at your check-ins with “FourSquare” and sees when you get into a routine for example going to the same pub on a Sunday afternoon or the same place for dinner what “Getlostbot” will do is it will text you a challenge to try a new place of similar orientation but instead of telling you the place it will just give you directions to the location. Sounds like a good idea gets you to try new things and see new things however “These always send you to the safer options at the expense of the more interesting places”. Says Ben Kirman,
Also “Getlostbot” is perhaps slightly flawed as in one particular case I heard about which was that one person who went to church every sunday and checked-in there using “FourSquare” got sent a destination and thought he would follow it and it had sent them to a Mosque. (

All smartphones now have GPS to guide you to almost every destination so it’s easier to get from A to B without getting lost. When you’re looking at the possibility of a bad outcome like getting hopelessly lost nothing will make you more unhappy than uncertainty. Now getting lost or even being unhappy with a purchase these are not life-threatening, but our reluctance to deal with uncertainty maybe easier to understand in the context of it’s effect in far more serious situations.
For example, a study of people who were waiting to discover the results of a genetic test for Huntingdon’s Disease. Those that found out their results were either positive or negative, experienced a boost in well-being. However the story was different for those people whose’s tests were inconclusive. This group felt a greater amount of distress over the next year than the people who found out they would spend their lives with a life-threatening and debilitating disease.
Other studies like this have shown that when something unexpected happens, we respond more emotionally to it.

“Sad events can certainly be overwhelming, and lead to crying. The idea is that something major and unexpected happens and this causes a build up of stress hormones in the body and the person doesn’t know how to handle it. Interestingly tears are used to secrete excess stress hormones.
Unexpectedly good events can also be overwhelming – but in a different way. They can be very stimulating. If something unexpectedly good occurs, stress hormones can build up because of that excess stimulation. Again, crying serves to remove those excess stress hormones.
After people cry, they typically feel more relaxed, because the stress hormones have been released.” (

The response is the same whether it be amplifying a modestly unpleasant event or a more serious one, we seem to spend longer thinking about it, trying to find an explanation, a reason, however we adapt to it and integrate it into the mundane, so with this taking the uncertainty out of life seems like a good idea and and good strategy for happiness.

However “We are the online generation we are more connected in a sense too connected almost addicted sometimes” Professor Cary Cooper from Lancaster University stated in ITV1 “Tonight” broadcast on the 18th October 19:30 and surveys from the same programme seeming to back up this view, “Out of 2000 people questioned 65% said the spent up to 5 hours a day online and young people this is seen to effect particularly with 1 in 9 seeming to have an addiction to social media sites such as “Facebook” checking them up to 20 times a day.
Which I think is quite worrying we are spending more and more time online and not looking around going out for walks and finding new places and happiness realises on actually living in the world not online.

The best quote I have found by “William Morris, The Aims of Art – The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life” now these are good sentiments we can’t gain from the details smells and textures give us in the online world and we are more certain to know what we are going to get online rather than in the real world.