Would you turn off life support?

Shenae's Paige

Pixel hearts.png

When we consider our relationship with technology, it is us that holds the ability to have emotional attachments and feelings. We see technology as a tool. But how would we feel if technology had feelings?

You could say technology is a slave to us: it has no say, no feelings, no emotions, and does as we want at our perusal. But what if it could react to us? Say, when we yell at our devices for not working, when we lose something, how would it make us feel if we thought our technologies react to us?

I would be interested in creating a study of human reactions to artificially-created emotional relationships between human and technology. If robots could react to us, would we start treating them as valuable life? What if we did whatever it takes to keep our devices alive? For example, you have a phone, you’ve had it for years, it starts mucking up…

View original post 91 more words

Australia’s Next Top ASMRtist: A Look into the Production and Consumption of ASMR Media

Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response; a series of words that, when presented in isolation, are unlikely to instil any meaning in the readers’ mind. If you were to use this vaguely medical-sounding term in casual conversation I can only imagine the listener tilting their head like a puppy; a vacant look of curiosity expressed at 30 degrees. But what ‘Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response’ (ASMR) actually describes is a feeling that is (anecdotally) much more likely to be familiar. It’s a physiological response yet to be described by medical science. Yet, thanks to the long tail effect and the logic of networked communities, ASMR has grown from casual discussions in online threads into a large, growing community of ASMR-triggering media consumers and producers (Hudson 2015). The ASMR subreddit has become one of the largest resources on the subject, with over 110 500 subscribers at time of writing. But what the hell is it?

“Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) is a previously unstudied sensory phenomenon, in which individuals experience a tingling, static-like sensation across the scalp, back of the neck and at times further areas in response to specific triggering audio and visual stimuli. This sensation is widely reported to be accompanied by feelings of relaxation and well-being.” (Barratt and Davis 2015)

ASMR is a euphoric, tingling sensation in the scalp that is triggered in certain individuals when they are presented with certain audio and visual stimuli in intimate spaces. In the first of very few scientific studies into the phenomenon, Barratt and Davis (2015) identify the most common ASMR triggers as ‘whispering’, ‘personal attention’, ‘crisp sounds’, and ‘slow movements’. Based on these triggers – which had already been largely discovered anecdotally in the community – a large community of ASMRtists have emerged on platforms such as YouTube, producing video media designed to trigger ASMR experiences (Hudson 2015). These videos broadly tend to either be role plays of intimate, first person experiences where the ASMRtist is paying close personal attention to you (haircuts, medical examinations, etc), or they are slow, quiet videos of the ASRMtist acting upon an object in some way (eg. an unboxing video). In the video that made me realize I experienced ASMR, the performer ‘ASMR Angel’ spends 25 minutes wrapping Christmas presents.

However, within these two very broad types of video, a great many different genres and flavours of ASMR triggering videos have emerged. These include Sci-Fi ‘Memory Erasure Roleplays’, ASMRotica and even ASMR Let’s Play videos. Within the past year there have been a number of ASMR VR experiences, the first of which was a co-production between several ASMRtists called ‘The K3YS’. The intimate space creation core to ASMR videos makes immersive VR technologies a natural and logical platform for the future of the media – which already utilizes binaural technologies to create 3D soundscapes that give a sense of intimate space (Hudson 2015).

The project I am proposing is to explore the triggers, techniques and technologies that create the best experiences for ASMR users and try and create a new piece ASMR media from scratch. The plan is to recruit the help of classmates and other interested people to find out which of them experiences the phenomenon and who is capable of triggering it in others. I am also interested in examining and explaining the role of gender and sexuality at play in these videos (many of which appear to be performed by conventionally attractive young women) and testing possible links between ASRM and synaesthesia, misophonia, and ‘flow state’ (Barratt and Davis 2015). It would also be worth looking at a comparison between the intensity of the euphoric ASMR experience across different technologies (eg. binaural and VR).

Can we launch a new, undiscovered ASMRtist talent?

I am excited to find out.

Cyberpunks Not Dead

ermahblurg

dystopia-cyberpunk_00353178.jpg

My favorite movies are Sci-Fi, but more specifically Cyberpunk is my favorite sub-genre of Sci-Fi. Movies like Blade Runner with brooding, gun toting, out cast protagonists and not so far off futures saturated with super advanced mundane technologies, urban decay, power balances and oppression.

Lately I have noticed that there aren’t a lot of new movies like this, unless they are reboots of pre-existing movies. This got me thinking about why this may be the case. Is it simply because the trend is over? Just like fashion trends, movies have always come in waves, that are hot one minute and then gone the next; the current trend being Super Hero Action Blockbusters.

I can’t help but think. however, that it could be more to do with the idea that Cyberpunk as a genre formed as a result of mans fear of technology. Cyberpunk is always set in a near future…

View original post 233 more words

Hacktivism: An online Protest

B. Jones

As technology grows so does society and they tend to move and grow with each other. Technology can induce a social change or a problem within our culture will influence a solution. With this, concerns in society can be protested against online in a similar but quieter way.

Activism in essence is the want for a change whether that change is needed politically or needed socially. Hacktivism is no different, since we are connected to each other more than ever the prospect of demonstration against a form of injustice is now just as more likely to happen at any time and people from any where on the globe can get involved. David Gunkel states that hacktivism can be described as such.

[Hacktivism] draws on the creative use of computer technology for the purposes of facilitating online protests, performing civil disobedience in cyberspace and disrupting the flow of information by…

View original post 154 more words

FPV – An Introduction

T H I N K Sam

Cyberculture can be referred to as the “response to the ubiquitous presence and use of computers and networks for aspects of contemporary social life” for example entertainment.  I like to link ‘computers’ to a broader extension of what is thought of, in a PC or laptop, but to a motherboard of controls to arduino to smart robotics. This leads into my fascination with drones. Over the last year I’ve built an expertise looking into Drones In Agriculture as well as Production, Consumption and Representation of Drones in China which allowed me to then extend the interest into FPV Drone Racing. In an attempt to break down what FPV drone enthusiasts actually do, I’m going to, from a complete beginners perspective, attempt to educate and isolate various elements so that eventually a league or club can be formed under my knowledge. 

FPV or First Person View racing can firstly be catergorised into…

View original post 149 more words

Robot vs. Man (?)

Shenae's Paige

robopocalypse

So I’ve had this book for a while, and I’ve been wanting to read it, but, I try to finish books before I start new books (it never works that way). So, I decided to pack it my bags for New Zealand over the summer (camper vanning allows a lot of down time for reading). Great book, and also great that I didn’t realise it would become so handy!

Chris Moore talked about technology, our affiliation with it and how reliant we are of it where it ironically malfunctions and acts, in a way, unreliable. This reminded of the book I read over the summer: Robopocalypse- Daniel H. Wilson

To summarise this book, it is about a scientist who created a sentient A.I. called “Archos R-14” (note the 14- there were 13 tests made prior that were destroyed when deemed unsuccessful). Archos is self-aware and highly intelligent (it knows EVERYTHING!)…

View original post 316 more words

#DIGC335: Subject Outline Recap

elysium design utopia

First week of uni is out of the way and I’m feeling thoroughly disorganised. As such, I thought whipping up a quick image to print out and stick on my wall would be appropriate. The image includes all of the assessments for this subject, which, if done properly, should lead me to pass.  The visual layout for subject outlines, though consistent, can often be hard to decipher, so this is my quick recap of what I took from the subject outline .(SHOULD BE USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH IT; I DID NOT INCLUDE EVERYTHING, JUST THE PARTS I THOUGHT WERE MOST IMPORTANT TO ME, AND HOW I APPROACH ASSIGNMENTS, SO KEEP THAT IN MIND.)

Subject Overview- digc335-05.png

View original post

wanted: student curation of the stack

As part of this subject, students are required to research a topic or concept from the stack and blog their research, to be formally presented in the weekly seminars. Students have the option of submitting a research report or digital artifact which mediates their analysis in a critical and detailed fashion using technologies and platforms including podcast, online video, annotated image gallery or Twitter feed for example.

One student is invited to take on the curation of the stack, which will be developed further and expanded significantly over the course of the subject as a digital artifact. The curator/s will be tasked with organising and adding to the stack, filling in links and adding topics and examples. The student will present on their research and method of organising and developing the stack during the session, which will be submitted as that students’s digital artifact, with a critical reflection of 500 words explaining and documenting their approach.

living in a networked age

 

“Today’s world is full of distributed agencies and virtual potentials, rippling deconstructions and flash-point emergences, all eluding easy categorization or comprehension, at least by means of yesterday’s models. The future is not what it used to be: it is much more unpredictable, dangerous, sly and interesting.” Christopher Vitale, 2013. Networkologies: A Philosophy of Networks for a Hyperconnected Age — A Manifesto. Zero Books, UK.