Posts Tagged ‘Assessment’
In the lab today we graded ourselves for the 30% participation. I gave myself a Distinction because when grading myself in a situation like that, while I might want the HD grade, I can’t bring myself to grade it to myself. So, why did I give myself a D? Well, for the first 8 weeks of semester I was very much on top of things. I attended all the lectures, did all the readings in advance and posted blog entries as often as possible. I deserve an HD for that. But, from week 8 to 12 I petered out. I posted less on the blog, I attended fewer lectures and only caught up on some of them via audio recordings. I spent more time working on the major project than keeping my evidence of participation up. So I figured I should lower my score to a D.
But thinking back on it now, I was on top of things for more than half of the semester. So maybe that does deserve an HD. Too late now I guess.
I haven’t been updating much as I’ve been very busy with doing the major assessment, work and my international guest all at once. For the first few weeks the project was looking not-so-great, but we’ve really pulled everything together this last week and we’re on schedule according to the Gantt chart. We’ve got 60 videos all up that we’re going to plug into Korsakow in class this afternoon. I’ve got half of them already but I need to SNUify the rest. Eric has made the bulk of them, as per our Project Management notes. Vanessa has made the backgrounds so the interface should be good.
I’ve also made a start on the essay. I created a Google Doc to share our notes. I’ve written 1000 words of draft ideas so far. Vanessa will take that and build upon it, as essay-writing is a large part of her contribution (per her request).
So all that’s left of the K-Film itself should be the final stages of putting it all together before exporting. This time I want to publish it on the web well before the due date to make sure it’s all good. Everything else is much simpler to hand in.
Today my group formulated our project outline. I put everything necessary together on a Google document, viewable here (if you have an RMIT account).
Our proposition is looking to be, “How are our experiences defined by different stages of life?” with a working title of “Experience.”
I made two videos from the exercise in last week’s lab, but only one is worth sharing. It was around the word ‘Identity’ and is about the game MATCH that young kids/early teens (mostly girls) play to determine their future life. I think it’s a good example of capturing a stage of life without having people in it in that stage currently.
Today’s lab is all about brainstorming for our major K-films. Number one problem: I am the only member of my group in the lab. OK, what do I do?
So, last week, I joined my group after the other two members had already decided they wanted to use the prompt “Life is…” and that they wanted to vaguely show a progression, like have videos of babies and kids and so on. I took these ideas and formulated them into a plan for a narrative-ish structure. Daniel, in the assessment review session this morning, talked about his first K-film and his attempt to make it narrative-ish by using POCs in a progression, a series of numbers. I have attempted the same sort of thing but the POCs will be a bit different.
Seth played devil’s advocate just now to try to understand my concept. I explained that I was trying to structure the major work with the limitations I was given by my group. There will be four themes — baby, child, teen and adult — and each of those themes will have a varying number of videos with half as many POCs. So, for example, there will be 8 ‘baby’ videos with 4 POCs. ‘Child’ has 12 videos, 6 POCs. There are two POCs between ‘baby’ and ‘child’ that will be the same, so that they can cross over. ‘Teen’ has 18 videos, 9 POCs. There are three POCs between ‘child’ and ‘teen’ that will be the same, so that they can cross over. But ‘teen’ and ‘baby’ have no common POCs so can never directly cross over. ‘Adult’ has 22 videos with 11 POCs. There are four POCs between ‘teen’ and ‘adult’ that are the same, so they can cross over. But ‘adult’ and ‘child’ and ‘adult’ and ‘baby’ have no common POCs so can never directly cross over. In this way, the K-film is vaguely filtering from ‘baby’ to ‘adult’ but with a few back and forths.
Does this make sense?
The reason that I want to stick with this idea and make all of the videos relate to either ‘baby,’ ‘child,’ ‘teen,’ or ‘adult’ is because it can only go one of two ways: a) we will succeed in making a narrative-ish structured K-film, or b) we will not. And since our chosen essay prompt is, “A K-film is not very good at making stories with clear direction, what Barthes would describe as ‘work,’ but is ideal for making videos that make visible Barthes’ idea of ‘text,’” we will easily be able to write an essay either agreeing with this statement or refuting it.
So there will be 60 videos about what “Life is…” and hopefully they will relate to experiences had by babies, children, teens and adults — people in various stages of life. I don’t believe we need to literally show babies in our videos. There are other ways of conveying these ideas than just filming a baby or a child straight up. And if we can make videos that convey these ideas of life stages and the experiences that are unique to them or that crossover with other life stages, we can hopefully put them together into a holistic K-film. And if we fail, we can talk about why that happened.
My K-Film, titled Change.
This essay is a written description of the Korsakow film I created for the course Integrated Media 1. The outline for this assessment was to create a ‘self-portrait’ K-Film. I will explain here what effect I was trying to achieve with the text used in my K-Film as well as how I conceived the structure of my work. I argue that it is successful because its theme is coherent and consistent. I will finally sum up what I believe is the most important thing I learnt while doing this task.
The theme in which I have structured my Korsakow film around is ‘Change’ and coping with that change. I did not set out with this theme in mind; rather I found it in the sketch videos themselves. When we were set 30-second videos to create each week, I made do with what was available to me. Instead of creating monuments, I used my point-and-shoot digital camera and mostly filmed around my home. When viewing my videos later to brainstorm, I realised that the strongest message coming out of them was that they were the result of being in a new environment.
My new environment was Yarraville. I moved into a new house at the end of last year. Even my own bedroom featured new furniture and gave me an opportunity to express myself as I am now and start with a fresh canvas. When I created the weekly video sketches, I unconsciously created a running theme of things that were familiar to me and things that were unfamiliar to me. The contrast was clear in my eyes when I looked at all 15 videos as a whole. With this view, I went back and linked up the videos that I could see already had connections. The text flowed from there.
I elected to keep my K-Film simple. I chose 640 x 360 resolution so as to offer a glimpse, not an overbearing screen size. This is to embrace the nature of the video sketches themselves; ready-to-hand, made for sharing. They are small, short. I have kept the background black, the text white and small within the Verdana font family. The reason for this is to keep it easily readable, sanserif and adaptable for the web. I kept the descriptions short. I wanted the videos to tell the message and the text to just add the extra hint in determining the connections. All of the text relates to the theme of ‘change’ and often alludes to what is familiar and what is unfamiliar, or what is old and what is new. For example, in the video ‘Square,’ which was filmed around my home, the text reads, ‘Exploring my new surroundings with a purpose.’ This is straightforward. For the ‘Red’ video, however, the text reads, ‘I did not know the knife was blunt,’ which is a little more subtle.
Some of the videos do not fit so easily into ‘Old’ and ‘New.’ The middle keyword that links these two together is ‘Changing.’ The video about ‘Me’ and the video about ‘Outside’ are two examples of this. For ‘Me,’ I wrote, ‘I know who I used to be,’ to illustrate how you only know your own past, not your future. Change is uncertain and can be frightening. Sometimes what is in the past can be more comforting and you can look at your memories perhaps more fondly than you should. The text for ‘Outside’ reads, ‘Maybe things aren’t always how you remember them,’ which deals with this idea. This is an expansion on the theme of ‘Change.’ It is about looking back on the events that have led me to be who I am now, learning what was the catalyst for that change.
I think that my work is successful in creating connections. If not always completely clear in its connection to the video, the text deals with the same theme throughout and is relatively coherent in that regard. Perhaps my shortcomings are linking text to video; text to text may be simple, but what I see in the visual may not be what the average viewer can discern. This is something I have struggled with in the past. What makes this project different is that I didn’t create the flow from the beginning and instead had to use what was at my disposal already. I think, in some ways, this made my piece more effective, as it flowed more naturally.
Using a program like Korsakow has been an interesting experience as it has allowed me to adapt to a new way of thinking and creating. The format of a K-Film is unique and encourages the artist to find connections in things, rather than make them. I think this is a very valuable exercise and allows for growth in that kind of viewing. It’s almost like the analytical melding with the creative all at once. It’s a wonderful fusion of tacit and explicit knowledge, where tacit knowledge is creating the Small Narrative Units within Korsakow while explicit knowledge is choosing the appropriate Points of Contact.
My K-Film is titled ‘Change’ to help the viewer understand what I was trying to say and the effect I was trying to achieve. I conceived the structure of my work to be coherent and consistent, which I believe makes it a successful piece. In doing this task, I learnt that connections can be found and not just made. In the end, however, it doesn’t really matter what the artist was trying to say. It’s up to the viewer to decide what the art is about.
I already made my list of ways to learn and improve in this course, so right now I’m going to expand a little on some new ideas.
In the class today, I said that I find it easy to create videos and blog posts — I mean, it’s like homework — but it’s hard to actually make things of quality. Quality is a pretty loose term though which I might explore a bit later. But for my purposes right now I define quality as something that I can actually take pride in for myself, something that I know myself has purpose or meaning. To learn to do this, or improve on it, I need to be open to new ideas and concepts, collaboration, critique and commentary.
Another thing that I think will have me get the most out of a course like this is to create a holistic experience. The way that Adrian has created this course is very non-linear, very non-traditional and interactive. He has left it up to us to put the pieces together — to filter information until we find something of value. To engage on this level, I plan to utilise the tools available, and my own tools, to make it more holistic for my purposes.
For example, I said today in class that I already use bloglovin’ to keep track of Wordpress and Blogspot blogs I’m interested in and I already added Integrated Media Won to this service. But I am also going to create my own dropmark account to filter the links, documents, whatever, that I want for my learning experience. I will also add #COMM2251 to my Twitter feed, a service I actually don’t use right now. Whatever other tools I decide to use, I’ll add here.
But right now, it’s time to discuss the reading in this tutorial!