The Weird Side of Youtube: Deconstruction of the Abstract

Video Link:



Research Summary

The initial goal of my digital artefact was to explore the multitude of strange and abstract channels that make up the majority of the “weird side of Youtube”. This included mainly strange video series that seemed to follow narrative-like structure in their uploads and had an online community built around them. My curiosity stemmed from what these videos had in common and what garnered such a large cult following for each. As I explored a large number of channels, my scope narrowed and I began focusing on a select few instead to focus my attention more on the ‘how’ rather than the ‘what’. How do these four channels I selected, ‘Salad Fingers’, ‘Don’t Hug Me, I’m Scared’, ‘ThatPoppy’ and ‘Siivagunner’ garner a dedicated audience through seemingly meaningless content. They were all unique, but there were definitely links in the structure of these videos that could provide answers. From there I looked into the psychology behind curiosity, and why people would continue to watch videos such as these, since I saw in a lot of the comments left on the videos that people were asking each other questions and posing their own theories on what could possibly be gleamed from the videos. This trend continued in the respective sub-reddits for each of the channels and I could understand from this that the communities are formed around a collective goal of deciphering the creator’s messages. This unified goal brought multiple people together and is what established the fanbases in the first place.

After this discovery, I looked more into the thematic techniques that link all the channels. This is when I substituted one of the channels I was analysing, ‘Siivagunner’, for ‘Filthy Frank’. The reason for this change was my want for a comedic-based absurdist channel to analyse in contrast to the darker toned channels I was working with.  ‘Siivagunner’ was an excellent choice as its community was the most involved out of the other channels, but as it is an audio based channel, it would’ve been extremely difficult to link thematic similarities to of the channel to the more visual-based mediums of the others.  After this switch it became easier to find the similarities and differences that make these videos stand out online. I divided the research into multiple sections – Narrative structure, Audio, Visuals and Character – as these four categories allowed for a more in depth analysis as I found multiple books detailing the relationship of each respectively to film. I also looked into the works of H.P Lovecraft; a pioneer of the creepy and surreal in fiction.  This provided more context on many of the darker themes portrayed in the channels and set the precedent of what I should look for when analysing the creepiness of the videos. Ultimately, my research travelled on multiple tangents that deviated from my original plan of creating a separate case study for each channel then simply comparing them for my final project, and so I merely combined them all into the same video in the hopes that having the examples presented side-by-side during the comparison assisted in forming a more structured argument that links them altogether thoroughly. Despite this alteration in my presentation, I feel satisfied with the results I obtained and hope to incorporate the techniques I discovered through my deconstruction of postmodern surreal fiction and its potential fanbase into my own work in the future.



Why I Did What I Did! The Making Of A Digital Artifact

Welcome to the Machine

My aim with the production of this digital project was to create an informative, engaging and visually appealing artifact. Ideas exploded onto an already heavily populated canvas filled with time travel tropes created from a lifetime of scifi consumption. Detaching myself from these deeply embedded notions and working towards a new understanding of what it means to be a time traveller in the digital age became my new mission. My endeavours began by trying to understand the concept of time and how it acts as a framework by which we construct the activities of our daily lives. Time, most commonly referred to as the forth dimension, is one of the reference points (used) to ‘specify completely the location or dynamism of an object in space‘. Once the connection to this slippery slope of mathematical constructs is recognised as being crucial to our understanding of this topic I could move…

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DIGC335 Cyberculture Research Report

Dear Chris

Would you mind adding my new site to the Cybercultures blog so that I can upload my Cybercultures Research Report.  I created a new WordPress website with blog just for the occasion.  My final assignment is currently to be found at the following link and I am keen to share it with the Cybercultures Blog.  I have also uploaded my final assignment at Moodle.

Many thanks for all your help and inspiration this semester.


Contextual Essay – Animals in Cyberculture – Attack of the CyberPod

My Digital Artefact: Attack of the CyberPod

I chose animals in cyberculture as my topic because a lot of information that was presented to me was about humans and how technology has been impacting human life. When watching Ghost in the Shell there was only one real scene that showed an animal – an ordinary dog looking straight at us. My curiosity was peaked about why in so many movies about technology are a lot of the animals just plain and regular animals. If people can change so much with technology why can’t technology change animals in significant ways.

Early research led me to milk production in cows and how much influence technology has had on milk production. I had no idea that milk production and the reproduction of cows was so heavily linked in maintaining the purpose of cows. Continued analysis found me at a halt where every animal I looked up, technology only influenced the purpose of the animal in relation to how people use the animal. In the case of cows the purpose is milk and technology was used to make sure that farmers got the highest quality and quantity of milk that can be produced. Technology that did impact cows was only for the benefit of the cow to make the most milk as consequences of technology impacted on the natural lifespan of the cow.

I found that as technology has been used on animals for the purpose of human intention there is a loss on the natural behaviour of the animals being used. Technology gives and takes the lives of so many animals and justifies that while the treatment of these animals is unethical it is summarized as being more ethical to do these things on animals than on humans because the purpose of doing theses things is so humans get the benefit. While I experience personal disgust from reading how baby male calves are handled and the treatment they go through to only be killed I can see that there is validation when people want to fight for animal rights. Though the personal feeling is separate from the purpose that I researched these animals are for and many other aspects of animals in technology that are questionable.

There are technologies much like 3D printing that allow animals to get back pieces of themselves to live a normal life – like a beak or a flipper. While these creations allow for an animal to be nearly back to new these creations are a step in what can be possible in the future. My first though when talking about the progression of the human mind into a computer was that you would not have a dogs mind placed into a computer so where would happen to the animals and where would I get to see a dog in this world of technology?

My Digital Artefact is a game called Attack of the CyberPod. I see it as a future consequence of people continually using animals as test subjects. One of these days scientists will hook up an Octopus to a computer to see it if can control what is on screen. What happens instead is that the Octopus is more intelligent than first thought and combines itself with the computer to create an Octopus Cyborg that utilizes all the information of the present time to grow, to become wise and to become the Queen.

Digital Identities: Digital Artifact & Contextual Essay

Madeleine Burkitt

For my DIGC335 digital artefact, I chose to explore digital identities. My artifact, a ten-minute podcast, discusses a series of key questions related to the topic area, narrated by me. I feel that I’ve been able to create an artefact that satisfactorily fulfilled my aims in regard to both research and presentation for an audience.

My podcast can be accessed below:

Reflections on research:

My research began as an exploration of personal behaviour and ethics in digital spaces. I was interested in how our behaviours and choices online impacted ourselves and others, and felt that a how-to type guide to navigating digital spaces ethically would be useful to a number of audiences. Whilst I came across some relevant and encouraging research (namely by Ess (2013) in Digital Media Ethics), I had difficulty refining the scope of this broad topic area into something that was both manageable and appropriate. I felt…

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Digital Artefact; Simple // Complex Machines


A Rube Goldberg machine is a contraption, invention, device, or apparatus that is deliberately over-engineered to perform a simple task in a complicated fashion, generally consisting of chain reactions. This work aims to explore this idea of simple/complex machines, in hopes to educate, create a community, entertain and showcase my knowledge about these wacky mechanisms. There are so many elements that can be explored, discovered and documented throughout the process of creating a Rube Goldberg Machine, so this space intends to focus on this concept in diverse ways.

Follow this link to follow my current exploration of the Rube Goldberg Machine through emerging technology and the underlying notion of Cybernetics: 

Digital Artefact: Learning to Code with Arduino

A Blog in the Life of Melissa

Over the last few weeks I have explored STEM learning and code and have created a digital artefact reflecting on my experiences. I wanted my artefact to be empowering for myself and others. I wanted to tackle coding, a specialised work that requires some skill with programming and HTML experience, and prove that with the right support, anyone can do it.

I think that I have achieved my goal, and hope that my experience with coding and the Arduino hardware will influence someone else to try and challenge themselves to get creative. Check out my documented experiences below.

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The digital artifact is a video analysis of the parallels the Metal Gear series has with real life. The whole theme stems from the question “Does Science Fiction inspire reality or is it the other way around?”. After doing some research myself, the answer is both. Science fiction can inspire new ideas to be replicated in real life. While on the other hand, ideas based on real life ideas can be put to practice within the universe of Science Fiction.

The original idea was to go with the limits of our technology while using Metal Gear Rising as the basis for this theme. Unfortunately, the idea didn’t go very far. This was due to not being able to make a solid enough video on the topic. There were some ideas to go with it, but ultimately it wouldn’t have been a meaty video.

Originally the video would focus on Metal…

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