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

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 sci-fi 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 was recognised as being crucial to our understanding of this topic I could move on to establishing the affiliation between time and how we interact with it digitally and how this establishes us as digital time lords.

An important part was played in my journey of discovery by the work of James Gleick, Time Travel: A History. Gleick has created a time travel time line which places the beginings of the notion of time travel firmly with HG Wells. Wells was the first to write about a machine that could travel through time in his classic story The Time Machine. The publication of his work, coincided with technological advancements that were the result of rapid industrialisation which in turn acted as a catalyst for a paradigm shift in the way we we viewed the production of objects. Production moved away from the hand crafted and hurtled towards the machine made. Innovators in all fields of Sciences and Arts began to think outside the square and were inspired by new possibilities presented by machine made technology. Science Fiction writing flourished and we saw the development of an almost symbiotic relationship with science. Gleick’s work along with that of Castells, gave me a framework for my digital artefact which would be a digitally inspired time line concentrating my focus on the influence of social media and its manipulation for the purposes of time travel.

A fascinating yet distracting and frustrating part of my digital artifact which takes the form of a vlog was my fixation with creating an avatar or character which would act as the narrator for my video. This was an extremely exasperating experience which could have been avoided by just acknowledging the difficulties surrounding its development and ascertaining its value to the project overall. I should have recognised that the importance of talking characters was tied to a stubborn pursuance on my behalf to get something working that had failed in a previous project. The time that was spent following long corridors of techno dissolutions would have been better spent creating a higher quality video production.

I was satisfied with the outcome of the Digital Timelords project however, I would have liked to have spent more time (pardon the pun) developing and fine tuning its focus. As I approached the completion of the project, I encountered a real dystopian bummer in the form of a file corruption which delayed my submission and prevented any further improvement to the work. Such is the life of a modern day ‘cyber-culturalist’.

Live long and prosper!

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