Visual artefact

I was actually enjoying working on this task before my frustrations with technology set in.  The theme I initially chose was Good and Bad and even had a piece of music I thought would slot in nicely (Biffy Clyro’s ‘God and Satan’ ).   I’ll never know though because I’ve had to abandon this idea.

I received this message from Youtube, “Sorry for the interruption. We have been receiving a large volume of requests from your network. To continue with your YouTube experience, please enter the verification code below.”  Which I did but because of my IP address I’d be taken to an Arabic page.  I tried using Google Translate to find the ‘English’ link but wasn’t successful.  For anyone interested ‘English’ in Arabic is:


After numerous attempts I gave up!  I then set to work using Tumblr but ran into difficulties there too.  This from my browser; “Safari can’t open the page “” because the server where this page is located isn’t responding.”  It was either that or, “The connection has timed out.”

My new theme is “Interconnectedness”.  I think it only fair to explain a few of my images.  The pic of the ‘tree of life’ and the ‘wheel of existence’ mandala are from my travels and are included as metaphors.   The Cyborg is from Donna Haraway, “A Cyborg Manifesto:…

I would love to be able to spend more time on this but it just isn’t possible.  The link to my visual artefact is here:


About Grace Elliott

Working at present as an Education Advisor for Abu Dhabi Education Council.
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5 Responses to Visual artefact

  1. I like the way you incorporated the Bhavacakra as a metaphor. I think it creates an extra number of interpretation layers: the co-existence of ‘bads’ and ‘goods’ when considering technology, their various effects and consequences (well depicted in the images in your tumblr tapestry) and the difference (dystopia vs utopia) being rendered transient and impermanent. Would the bright light at the top symbolise liberation as the moon in the mandala?

    Also, the mandala was originally created to help ‘ordinary people’ learn more about Buddhist philosophy. In a similar vein, our visual artefacts could be helpful in communicating various messages to a wider audience, couldn’t they?

    Studying the Buddhist wheel of life, I think it could be an interesting exercise to use the mandala as a basis for creating another visual artefact, a cyber-mandala, what do you think?

  2. Grace Elliott says:

    Thanks Ania – I knew you’d get it. I was having such trouble downloading pics so I had to re-think what images to use and as I had the mandala on my computer I felt I could use it. The bright light is the universe, but I also thought it looked similar to the image of a network, symbolising creation, existence and connection.
    I love your idea of a cyber-madala.

  3. The bright light indeed looks like networks, connectivity, the beginning and the end – could that be the liberation, the remedy for the dystopic maladies?

  4. Jeremy Keith Knox says:

    I like the idea of the mandala as a kind of map, or representation, of the universe, and this gets me thinking about a kind of visual representation of the digital territory. It seems like this is what a lot of the visual artefacts are about, mapping the confusions and disorders of technology, and/or the enlightened and progressive. There is also something about symbolic meaning here, in the glyphs and emblems that signify specific things to those with knowledge of Buddhist teachings. Much like stain glass windows in the West, I am reminded of historical forms of literacy which question the dominance of printed ‘text’.

    I was also interested in how you structured the images here, and its seemed to reflect a kind of hierarchy, and in a way the cartographic dimension of the mandala. The larger images at the top seem to represent the more ethereal, while the lower seem to depict more earth-bound practices?

  5. Grace Elliott says:

    Hi Jeremy,

    This exercise certainly got me thinking about my dependency on words. Like I’ve said before, words are easier for me but I have to be taught to read images.

    My initial intention was to have a central pic (the universe) with the others branching off but it turned out not to be an option so hierarchical it became. I was indeed trying to connect otherworldliness with what is happening now, express how creative we can be but also how controlling. Due to ‘technical difficulties beyond my control’ I had difficulty downloading pics and that messed up my planned order. It was an interesting task and fun to do, technology frustrations aside.

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