Week 4 Summary

I tossed around ideas for my visual artifact for most of the week.  I went from playing with PowerPoint, and Xtranormal, to doing a photo mash-up.  The technology wasn’t the issue, but the focus of the artifact was.  I couldn’t decide what to do.  I got hung up on the idea of a haunted classroom, and students as ghosts, but I couldn’t work out how to create the visual for it.  Should I try to take images of students and make them look ghostly, or should I find students with blank stares and leave it to the viewer to infer.  How literal should I be?

I decided to re-read my blog postings, and search for inspiration.  I kept coming back to the questions I asked in my Week 2 Summary:  “Why is it a recurring theme in science fiction that android’s want to be more human, or the perfect human?”  I decided to do a play on that, and I Googled (is that a word now? If so, it hasn’t made it into the spell check yet) androids and variations of the theme of wanting to be human, and came up with lots of possibilities.

I wish I could remember which combination of parameters in a Google search originally led me to the following image…

It was easy enough to find again for this post using Wizard of Oz as the keywords and searching through images, but I remember finding it while searching android as a keyword.  Serves me right for not taking better notes. :(

In any case, it was this image that my twisted brain turned into a relationship between androids and wanting to find fulfillment, and completion in their search for humanness, and the Wizard of Oz.  It just seemed fitting to replace the characters on the yellow brick road with some familiar robots.

There were a lot to choose from, but I discounted the Robin Williams character in Bicentennial Man, the Sonny character in i, Robot, and the various Blade Runner characters.  I tried somehow to bring in Darth Vader, but then wondered how I would differentiate between cyborgs and androids, so I decided against using him.

In the end, I chose the child robot from A.I., David, who would represent the Dorothy character, with the little robot dog as TOTO.  (I honestly didn’t think much about the dog at the time,  I just wanted a little dog, and I wanted it to be mechanical.  Looking back now, if an android were to have pet, would it choose a robot dog?)  I chose the David character because like Dorothy who sought to return to the love of her family and friends, he just wanted to be loved.

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DATA I envisioned as the Scarecrow since the Scarecrow seeks a brain, but is already unknowingly the “wisest man in Oz.”  DATA seeks to become human, but as is inferred in many episodes, is perhaps the most human of them all.

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Johnny 5 is the most robotic looking character I chose, and I used him to represent the Tin Man.  Johnny 5 gains sentience through an accident and spends the film learning about life and shying away from his destructive military programming.  I felt it was an interesting correlation to gaining respect for life and finding a heart.

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Finally, Marvin from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy seemed perfect as the Cowardly Lion.  Both characters are so over the top and dramatic that they just seemed to fit.

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I found the images through Google and used Microsoft Paint and Word to bring them together.  I suppose that I could have used Photoshop to make it more polished, but the result I achieved through Word suited my needs, so I went with it.

I loved reading the comments, and I think in many ways my view of the piece that I created has now changed after reading the viewpoints of others.  I can see what they see, and am surprised by what others have found or inferred that was beyond my original intent.  It makes me wonder how I am perceiving other people’s works, and how my perception differs from the intent of the author.  Do any of us ever really see the original author’s point, when we look at things with our own life goggles…

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One Response to Week 4 Summary

  1. Grace Elliott says:

    Ah! so that’s the thinking behind your artefact. Well, I did zone into the Wizard of Oz connection but hadn’t figured out your characters. And now I have the answer to my question re what software you used.

    I like your image of looking at the author’s viewpoint from that of our own. Not surprising we differ though as we each have a different start-out point of experiences and perspectives; that will inevitably lead us to different interpretations. But even in shared experiences interpretation can be so different. I’ve found that my brother’s recollection of a childhood incident is completely different to mine. It’s fascinating, isn’t it, how we ‘see’ things differently.