Digital Literacy

The Message is the Medium

Posted in Uncategorized by Geoffrey Morris on November 26, 2008

Seems like so much is about showing what you can do with the medium of the internet.  I kinda like these vids, which are not just about using the net, but also a critical response to the aesthetics that comprise it.

Can you think of any other examples of using the medium of the net to comment critically on its structure/visual presence/psychic landscape?

Oh yeah, and also, this.


Wyld Stallyns Rule!!!!!!

Posted in Uncategorized by Geoffrey Morris on November 24, 2008

Last week we talked about how technology can fracture your attention.  But what about your sense of self?  Humans have always tried to cram more personae into a single body, through the use of masks, costumes, role-playing, and story telling.  Now, with homepages, personalizations galore, and profiles ad-nauseum, it can be hard to know exactly who you are…

Bill and Ted were slackers, rockstars, and eventually planetary saviors.  Will your rockband’s path to stardom be most triumphant, or merely another bogus journey?

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Tab Sprawl

Posted in Uncategorized by Geoffrey Morris on November 24, 2008

sprawlI often find myself with about a dozen tabs open.  Sometimes some music will start playing and I can’t find the source of it…uber frustrating.  I call this phenomenon tabsprawl.  Today’s blog topic:

Technology mediates information.  This can create focus, but more often, it seems to fragment attention.  What are some positive and negative effects of this fragmentation?  Do they reach beyond our interactions with computers?  What are some examples?

Check the blogroll for thoughts and feelings.

Fame Us.

Posted in Uncategorized by Geoffrey Morris on November 24, 2008


We’re gearing up for our final project – Internet Killed the Video Star!  We’re forming bands, complete with personae, genre signifiers, posters, myspace, and other ephemera.  To prepare ourselves for celebrity, today’s blog topic was:

Warhol told us we’d each get 15 minutes of fame, but that was before the Internet.  Now how much do we get?  Have you been famous?  Do you even want to be?

As always, check the blogroll for responses…

Behold! The Exquisite Corpses.

Posted in Uncategorized by Geoffrey Morris on November 24, 2008


“The Exquisite Corpse” originally refers to a word game played by the Surrealists (you know, Man Ray, Miro, etc.)  in which a poem begun by one is continued by another, without knowing what came before.  It is also a drawing game played under similar restraints – the first artist draws the head, folds the paper over to hide his drawing, then passes the page to be continued by the next artist.  The process continues with the torso and legs, and when complete, the exquisite corpse is revealed, to the delight of all.

The Mechanical Turk.

Posted in In Class, online participation by Geoffrey Morris on November 24, 2008


Continuing our journey through antiquity, we hit upon the story of the mechanical turk, a chess playing automaton peddled around the courts of Napoleon and other illustrious figures.  Oh yeah, and it turns out that it wasn’t really a robot, just an elaborate simulacrum hiding a chess-playing midget.

Amazon’s Mechanical Turk website is another example of artificial artificial intelligence.  You submit a task broken into manageable chunks and offer to pay a small amount for each chunk.  Check out the students’ projects on their homepages.

The Nightengale.

Posted in Uncategorized by Geoffrey Morris on November 24, 2008


Oops, looks like I’ve been asleep at the wheel.  Here are a slew of posts from the last few classes…

We read Hans Christian Andersen’s The Nightingale  and discussed notions of life v. nonlife, art v. artifice, and the virality of culture.  Pretty profound insight into technology for someone born in 1805.

Genes -> Memes -> Temes

Posted in Uncategorized by Geoffrey Morris on October 23, 2008

So we’re gearing up to make some creatures in Flash.  This touches obliquely on the theme of artificial life, a topic we discussed earlier in reference to the Game of Life.  In preperation for class, please view this talk discussing the relationship between genes (biological informational replicants) memes (semantic informational replicants) and temes (technological informational replicants).  Also read Hans Christian Andersen’s Nightengale.  Post a response to these memes (temes?) on your blog.

Flashmobs everywhere!

Posted in Uncategorized by Geoffrey Morris on October 23, 2008

We talked about flashmobs, spontanious crowds united with minimal organization through the use of networked technology.  This technique has been adopted by protesters, artists, and advertisers

Here’s a flashmob that took place recently in Dolores Park, SF:

Gotta make them pape[r prototype]s

Posted in Uncategorized by Geoffrey Morris on October 23, 2008

As the mashup-a-thon continues, we explore some techniques for interaction design development.  Students proposed, outlined, and prototyped applications using 2D paper mockups, then taped a user test.  Here’s one: