Da Vinci’s work was just FanArt

 

Fandom and subculture go hand in hand in a sense. A Subculture is a group of people with a common interest. They are a smaller group in a larger culture. Fandom consists of a group of people who are fans or have an interest in a particular topic, genre or hobby.

When I hear fandom, I think primarily of Tv, Books and Movies. We use the term to sum up a group of people, “Harry Potter Fandom! JK Rowling releases a new book”. While theses groups are targets for marketing strategies, they are more of a community.

Almost every interest in the media at the moment has a following, a fandom. When the ABC show Scandal began, it had a cult following. In the show, those who work for the crisis management firm call themselves ‘Gladiators in Suits’. Not long after the first episode aired, did fans of the show identify themselves as Gladiators. Soon, Gladiators would live tweet the new episodes every week. The fandom grew and the shows creators and stars began using the term ‘Gladiators’ to identify the fanbase. This is an example of an organic Fandom. The creators of the show did not give the fans this term to identify with, it grew naturally. The network ABC has since used it in its advertising campaigns.

This sense of community has in turn created more content by collecting more fans. Every Thursday, ‘Gladiators’ live tweet the new episodes. ‘Gladiators’ can meet up and find others who watch Scandal. ‘Gladiators’ can share their theories, opinions and predictions on various social medias. The Scandal Fandom grows which has boosted the shows popularity and there for, more episodes are produced.

While I use the Tv show Scandal as an example, it is evident in other Tv Fandoms. Pretty Little Liars have their ‘PLLArmy’ who have a massive community on Tumblr and Twitter. Glee had its Gleeks, Doctor Who fans identify as Whovian.

Fandoms spread across all aspects of popular culture. Individual singers and actors have their fans who identify themselves; Justin Biebers “Beliebers” , Benedict Cumberbatches “Cumberbitches”. This is no different than BeatleMania in the 60s, it is naming your obsession so you find your peers.

In class we discussed “Crazy about One Direction” a documentary about the One Direction Fandom. An insight into the fans of popular boy band One Direction. Some could and have villinised or judged these fans. Calling them ‘insane’ or ‘pathetic’ however I see them as no different to Scandals Gladiators or Pretty Little Liars PLL Army. One Direction are up on a stage (literally) to be adored. They are a lifestyle. To marry one would mean you wouldn’t have to worry about money or school. To be one you be rich and adored by all. It is a fantasy. Let the fans live their fantasy. Just as the PLLArmy feel they are involved in solving the mysteries the characters have to solve. It is escapism and sometimes a welcomed escape. Towards the end of the documentary we start to see that some of the fans have tough home lives. They are responsible for younger siblings, they are bullied, have no friends. It is very easy to sympathies with these fans when you understand why they need an escape. By fixating on a boy band, however intense they may get, is their outlet. Their sense of community, of belonging.

Fandoms and their subject have a symbiotic relationship.

Fandoms produce content of their own. By being an active member of a fandom, you engage with the subject and build upon it. Fan art and fan fiction are works inspired by the subject of the fandoms. While they have sexual connotations, the majority of fan work is a simply the fans interpretation of the content. This could be seen as a manifestation of the fans own desires and creativity. Some could say Da Vinci’s work is simply fan art, inspired by the bible.

Once again, it is a shared experience within the fandom. Admiration and appreciation for your work could only be valuable from your peers. That is to say, like minded people understand your creativity and opinions.

Just as the many subcultures before, and the many to come, Fandoms give a sense of identity and belonging.

Music

As part of my role, I will create the soundtrack for Charlottes animations. While I had jokingly suggested we hire an orchestra to perform in the winter garden while we record. We actually have a full orchestra available to us on a computer with a dance mat like keyboard. Ain’t technology grand?

Richie has provided us with Kontact and a keyboard that can create and overlap sounds to create a authentic soundtrack. I will work with Richie to understand this technology and develop sounds to give emphasis to the animations.

 

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Procrastination and Chill?

Procrastination is one of the greatest problems in my life, but I just never get around to solving it.

Tim Urban stands on the Ted stage and perfectly explains what the mind of a procrastinator looks like. It’s a constant struggle between the Rational Decision Maker, The Instant Gratification Monkey and The Panic Monster.

A comical characterisation of Procrastination yet it resonated with myself and others in the class. We listen to the monkey, fear the monster and leave the decision maker in a constant state of anxiety.

Last semester in college I had a design assignment. I was given the brief in September, it was due in December. December swings around the corner and I have very little of my assignment done. The lecturer hands the class an early Christmas Present, the deadline has been pushed until January 17th. A FULL MONTH. Block capitals are necessary to stress the fact that I had a full month to work on this assignment and this assignment alone. No other classes, no other distractions. It is also important to note that this was worth 50% of my grade. So of course I would spend the majority of my Christmas break creating the best design project of my college career.

January 16th came along. I woke at 9am and by 9pm I had the assignment complete.

Now if it took me 12 hours to complete this massive assignment, which I did get great marks for, imagine what I could have created if I didn’t put it off so long.

Procrastination is a terrible inflection. It trumps time management and organisational planning and even logical thought. So what can I do to stop it?

Nothing…

Because those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Every year I say I will change. I am determined to work hard and not be distracted by funny cat videos or scrolling aimlessly through Instagram. And every year I fail. So if I can stop Procrastinating, why punish myself?  We tend to paint technology as the villain. ‘I can’t focus with my phone constantly staring at me, begging for attention’ Or ‘The internet is temptation’ This can be somewhat true. I myself have checked Facebook 4 times, sent 2 snapchats, responded to a text and looked up music on Apple Music, since starting this blog post. However it is unfair to blame the internet and technology for our own shortcomings.

A psychologist Piers Steel, did research back in 2007 about Procrastination and College Students. His report claims that between 80 to 90% of college students procrastinate from their college work. Steel also reports that roughly 26% of the population are chronic procrastinators.

[http://www.apa.org/gradpsych/2010/01/procrastination.aspx]

2007. A time pre-smartphone. The internet was still a toddler verse the adult we deal with today. So if we have always procrastinated, will we continue to do so in the future?

Tim Urban doesn’t claim to have the solution, which I found refreshing. Urban doesn’t scold you for loosing focus while working, instead he sympathises. The TED Talk itself was written in a deadline looming panic. Do we need a deadline? A carrot at the end of a stick?

I know I do. In my previous post about my Personal development plan, I talk about how I want to be a writer, yet I never write. Because no one is telling me to write. I don’t have a publisher who needs a book in 8 weeks. Maybe its our structured school system that creates a mindset of having deadlines to work towards. Without a delivery date, we would procrastinate until the end of time.

I think if the work gets done, and it is of satisfactory quality then procrastinate all you like, or at least until your Netflix subscription runs out.

Interactive Pen

Under the advisement of Marcos, I contacted Peter Morris to obtain an interactive pen.

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The group gave Marcos a €30 deposits and now we have the pen to use in our free time to plan the interactivity.

Myself and Jordan went to a lab to calibrate the whiteboard and test the program.

Thats me testing our Interactive Pen.13112540_10209410500006568_1285172844_o.jpg

The SWF file Jordan has created works perfectly with the pen and we will now brainstorm ways to optimise its use.

Personal Development Plan

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So heres the thing, my life is a series of happy of accidents. And so while I love making plans, I rarely follow through with them. Yet I keep making plans. I strive to move forward in life everyday. But where to next?

One goal I want to achieve at some point in my life is to write a book. Now if you’re anything like me, right now you’re rolling your eyes and sighing in exhaustion. Another person who feels they ‘must’ write a book. I cringe at the thoughts of becoming one of those wasters sitting in a coffee shop with their notebook and laptop. No they are not procrastinating by staring into space, they are conjuring up tales far too complex for a mere mortal like you cannot understand. Spare me!  No, that faith shall not befall me.

Ever since I can remember I created stories. Stories about my favourite characters in tv/movies/books. Stories of a hero that bared a resemblance to myself. Recently I even found stories I wrote as a child. I won’t share them online as the handwriting is as atrocious as the spelling. Also the plot makes no sense. It was Halloween night and a killer was on the loose in my town. But the killer was a ghost? Ghosts can’t stab people 8 year old Kevin! Moving on…

So I am going to write a book. I am determined. But there are obstacles. I’m terrible at writing.

When I get into a zone, I can write page after page without even noticing the time. Everything I have written so far I love rereading and editing. But Its finding the motivation to actually write. I have a terrible habit of just creating worlds with characters, plot lines, conflicts, dialogue…and then watching Netflix. So when I say I am terrible at writing I mean the actual physical act itself.

I think of myself as a writer. I just need to focus on becoming a published writer.

So as part of my personal development plan I will do a SWOT analysis

Strengths

  1. My quality of writing has been high in the past.
  2. I am an endless well of ideas
  3. I enjoy writing (thats important)

Weaknesses

  1. I’m lazy
  2. I always say I will write, but I never do
  3. I don’t read as much as I should
  4. Easily distracted

Opportunities

  1. I’m young, I have time to write without worrying about responsibilities
  2. My college course is creative
  3. Irish writers have a good reputation in the literary community

Threats

  1. Not a weekly wage
  2. Hit or miss career
  3. May never be published.

to be continued…

How to be optimistically pessimistic…

Life. Its weirdly wonderful and yet somewhat meaningless. I could spiral into an existential crisis and ponder why I’m alive, why I’m here. Why we exist, how do we exist…blah blah blah. Lets skip the whole “You are nothing but a speck of dust in the grander scheme of things” and move this post in a more positive direction.

I see life in a very positive light. We exist and live. Live…that word is most important. I eat chocolate, watch tv shows, go out with friends, listen to music and dance like an electrocuted bee. I live, however I am not ignorant.

The world is not a nice place. Every week, people die. People attack groups, judgement and discrimination are common practices. So why should I eat chocolate and go out with my friends? Why should my life be significantly happier than others.

I don’t have the answer. I don’t think anyone does. I could be involved in an accident tomorrow, or the victim of a crime next month. For all we know, the human race can be wiped out before Christmas. So live while you can!

Recently we watch a talk about Negative Visualisation. To visualised your life in a negative way to give you a greater appreciation for your current state. I believe this is the reason for my world view as explained above.

My problem with this video is how Leo talks about Negative Visualisation. Yes I get the concept as I have just explained. Basically stop being so self involved. Look at your life and count your blessings. Leo tries to take it a step further. He seems to believe that if you don’t have friends/family/pets/arms/legs/sight or hearing, you should still be thankful for your breath. Let me tell you if all I had was my breath I wouldn’t be too happy about living. He goes to extremes to demonstrate why stoicism is a positive tool to use in your life. I respect that. But being a paraplegic who is deaf dumb and blind isn’t the best life to lead. Many may find that dismissive or rude, but I can tell you no one wants to live that life.

For years I have visualised various negative scenarios. What would i do if my parents died? What would I say to a person about to shoot me? How would I deal with an illness like cancer? This may sound like a bizarre notion that I could be so gloomy. But in fact it has help me appreciate my life. My imagination is one of my greatest gifts. However it does tend to go to dark places, like those mentioned above. I would spend an hour creating a life where I have an illness. I imagine telling my friends. I imagine how I would adjust to life while being treated. I imagine my death.

Now before you put me on suicide watch, know this, I’m happy! I don’t want these things to happen to me. I just love a good story. I use these negative thoughts in my fictitious writings. But they actually have a positive effect on my psyche.

I’m not sick! My parents are alive and well. No one has tried to shoot me. I am alive.

My life is great and I love it. More so because if I think of how it could have gone. How badly my life could be if my situation was different. Well, thinking of what could have gone wrong makes you love what has gone right.