DH6004 Collaborative Group Project

DH6004  Reflection on Group Collaboration  –  Digital Artefact

Alison de Paor – Student Number :116105679

Link to Website – http://alidepaor.com/

Link to Digital Artefact – http://alidepaor.com/research/dh6004-collaborative-group-project/ or click on the image below:



Our group project for this module was ‘Digital Artefact’.  The first discussion we had to have was ‘what is a digital artefact?’  The official explanation is ‘anything stored digitally be it a picture, a file, an image, or piece of audio’.  What angle were we going to look at? How could we enhance the subject and present an artefact that captured the essence of digitality?

The group element was another issue to factor into the equation. We had five collaborators and it was a juggling act to include everyone’s opinions and ideas.  You have to be aware that it is a difficult challenge to take on but when it works the benefits are great.  Once you navigate the group you can come up with a finished product that has a brilliant blending of several talents and ideas that you would not usually have access to.  The project is definitely all the richer for it.

We decided to try and find an image and to somehow put our spin on it and ‘digitise’ it in some way.  We scoured the campus and took several pictures of sculptures and statues that were at our disposal.  We finally decided to use the picture of a sculpture of a bird (Raven) on the ground floor of the Food Science building, the sculpture we pass every day!

Are we creating a digital artefact by merely capturing the image?  What contribution are we making to the artistic experience?  Are we making the image more physically available by providing a representation or is it ‘taking away’ from the image/experience because that is not the medium in which the artist had envisioned the piece to be viewed?  We also had to realise when was art no longer art?  When is someone’s ‘version’ of an art piece so far removed from the original that it no longer represents the sculpture?

People go to exhibitions of different art mediums and are often disappointed because they feel let down or that they expected something more awe inspiring or more of an emotional response to the exhibition.  Yes, we have all been let down by the size of the Mona Lisa but personally I have never been so physically struck by the likes of the Da Vinci Sketches and Notebooks, so awe inspiring to think that was the seed and beginning of so many famous works of art, it was fascinating.

There can be no true representation more real than being there in person and getting that visceral effect of being in front of something that was imagined and produced by someone physically.  But that is only where the story begins because there is a digital explosion in media and people can be anywhere thanks to the emergence of ‘Virtual Reality’.  It is progressing at such a rate that we could be pretty much anywhere and experiencing anything, the possibilities are endless.

In Jay Boulter and Richard Grusin’s book ‘Remediation’ virtual reality is ‘immersive’ …’a technology of mediation whose purpose is to disappear’….yet this disappearing act is made difficult by the apparatus that VR requires’.  They believe that ‘Utopia can never be achieved’ and ‘each new technology comments on the shortcomings of its predecessor’.  Renaissance painters used effects to hide the reality of the paints and in more modern times of today paintings are being taken over by photography, photography being taken over by film and ‘virtual reality being the ultimate conclusion’…for now.

As a group we contributed our ‘versions’ of pictures of this sculpture.  We agreed on a picture of the Raven and we played with different software to change the effect of the piece.  I used Lunapix and found it quite simple to use.  It had a good range of effects and different distortion effects also.  It was interesting to see how many different images one photo could create, really interesting.

The sculpture was made by Andrew Boyle in 1993 and it is made from aluminium and wood.  Some of the photos produced have ‘remediated’ the effect.  It was really interesting to be a part of this project, it has made me more aware of how I look at things and how other people see things and even though you all might be looking at the same thing we all ‘see’ differently and things connect with us on different levels, levels that are personal to us.

I see it as every time you experience a piece of art you are seeing it from your own perspective and it connects with you personally because noone will have the same perspective as you therefore there is always a piece that is especially for your viewing and enjoyment.



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