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It is undoubtedly true that media brings us together, it sets the agenda and the topics we discuss, it controls in every dimension the way we publish and interact with humans and non-humans. Distribution refers to any type of sharing, arranging, organising, disseminating and so on. Similarly, aggregation can refer to any method that involves bringing together distributed material. In the New Economy, money and every other valuable have been undermined through the importance of information. Distribution of this information, directs information into different channels and vast places particularly for the reasons of a person’s specific desire or intent. It is the media and the need to express oneself that continually the construction and processes of distribution and aggregation, continuously drawing new relationships in ways that have never occurred in history.

Abstractions are things that bring us together. Looking at the word abstract, the average person would think of something weird, something they possible cannot define. Abstractions are ideas, thoughts, and creations; it “may be discovered or produced, may be material or immaterial” (McKenzie 2004). McKenzie discusses that to abstract is to construct a plane upon which otherwise different and unrelated matters may be brought into many possible relations. McKenzie also alludes that Abstractions do not explain anything, they must be explained. The author demonstrates a key functionality of distribution and aggregation and unexpectedly he recreates his own abstraction, which develops the process of distribution and aggregation.

Abstraction is any form of information portrayed in a different way, specifically resembling self-expression. To create information is also to distribute information. Different publics actively seek interaction with certain materials. An example of this is occurring right now. I am a media student, thus I am actively seeking material on media studies. It is the aggregation of this information that connects us or what McKenzie alludes to as the need for an explanation. Furthermore, every publication has a specific audience. This is untied in McKenzie’s work confronting the network of hackers and an identity that must be developed and continued for they are true creators of information.

The benefits and disadvantages of evolving processes of distribution and aggregation is a topic that has been continuously argued. The evolving process of media today has influenced aggregation and distribution in what I view as an outstanding benefit to humanity.

David Gauntlet (2010) argues inventions such as Web 2.0 are development that betters society as it lets us create and distribute our very own content. Thus in my opinion they have the ability to create their own abstractions. This process develops the interactional relationship within the social body and non-human publics. Furthermore there has been a significant shift in the media landscape. People 20 years ago would tune into the five o’clock news and all receive the same message, distributed equally among different yet united audiences. The invention of web 2.0 has allowed people to actively seek the information relevant to them, it also frequency, accessibility and mobility where people can easily connect to an archive of information. Today people Thus one can argue that new media networks are evolving to enforce a more democratic world where engagement and information govern. Furthermore, it can be argued Internet has rebalanced the power between people. New online archives enforce newer systematic ways of learning. With the occurrence of free flow information, abstractions will increase, as we are no longer bounded by the singular and hierarchical messages of traditional media platforms.

Although I personally agree with David Gauntlet and his opinion there are also the consequences of a world where information networks govern interaction (Guilaud 2010).  Attention is limited. The aggregation of information will not always occur. Attention is the underlying factor, simply because of its vast limitation.. A persona cannot expect a billion views on a Youtube video.  What I like to call the War of Attention will be a continuing conflict in the future where not just traditional and modern media platforms will compete with each other for attention but where content will compete with its competitors. Thus attention will continue to be scarce however, will continue to develop as a major power in the flow of the world. New media networks appear to many to be leading us into a period where democracy is reinforced by web 2.0 however, Danah Boyd deems “switching from an economy of distribution to one of attention is disruptive, but that does not inherently mean it is democratizing as one so often hears” (Guillaud Hubert).

Gauntlett, David (2010), Making is Connecting, <http://www.makingisconnecting.org/&gt;.

Guillaud, Hubert (2010) (on Danah Boyd) ‘What is implied by living in a world of flow?’, Truthout, January 6, <http://www.truthout.org/what-implied-living-a-world-flow56203>

Wark, McKenzie 2004. ‘Abstraction’ in A Hacker Manifesto, Cambridge, MA; Harvard University Press: Paragraphs 001-023

Visualisation

Information governs the new economy. It keeps us socially connected with our peers, influencing how we interact with our everyday life and the information culture we share with others, allowing us to be mentally and socially active constructive to our personal identity. But how does the way we perceive information govern our identity?

In particular, my group and I decided to measure the amount of gold medals Australian athletes had received relative to the amount of athletes that participated under the Australian flag in the Olympic game, the overall rank of Australia on the medal tally, and the percentage of gold medals received by Australia relative to the total medals received by Australia.

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Thus we made a trend of increasing gold medals Australia has received visible. Furthermore, we aimed at demonstrating the positive influence of the AIS from 1984 onwards and its impact on Australian performance at the Olympic games since 1984.

The inspiration for this visualization came from the perception that Australia had performed significantly bad at the London Olympics in 2012. The visualization thus aims at also making visible that at the London Olympics Australia did not perform as badly as the Australian public had thought. Thus the visualization is directed towards the general Australian public, primarily because to some degree interest is shown on Australia’s performance in the Olympics.

The general perception on the trend is that Australia did poor to average in the London Olympics 2012. This was revealed to us through a number of sports articles during the London Olympics as well as a survey we had created and distributed amongst the public and our friends on Facebook. Some headlines include: “have we failed our athletes or have they failed us”, “Australian athletes have not been up to it”, “Australia left wishing its Olympic athletes cried tears of gold”, “the verdict: its been a right bang-up job”, and “Australia’s lost Olympic edge”.

Forming the visualization, we aimed at making a positive perception of a real life event, well known around the world. To do this data was portrayed in an authoritative way, where the graph represents an upward motion. Thus when viewed properly the visualization highlights the AIS has potentially had a negative impact on the Australian participation in the Olympic Games, this was highlight as out of 100 athletes the number of gold medals decreased from 4-2. This goes against what has been made visible in the visualization.

Thus the visualization makes something else slightly visible, that is; how authoritative data can manipulate the truth, ones perception and enforce conformity to a general idea.

In the Real World

Content is subjective. Content is simply some form of expression that mimics the thoughts and processes desired by its creator. Writing my blog is subjective, but today writing or speaking is no longer our primary method of transmitting a message to another individual. Music is another one of these contents and forms of expressions and it is clear by listening to music it can change your emotion in a heartbeat. Humans are known for mimicking the content they are exposed to. When we watch a sad movie continually using motivated signs, many will cry and when we watch an action film we are at the ends of our seat waiting to bust the bad guy. Vjing is something similar, it is the creation and manipulation of imagery of some form presented within the real time towards the social body.

 

Initially, visualisation was published in image form, just like how the data itself was presented. The visualisation was static, and if there were changes in the data, it had to be recreated. However, the development of Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) including animation allows the visualisation to be presented in a more dynamic way. By using animation, an additional dimension is added to the visualisation, which is time. Initially, time was represented as a timeline or an axis in a chart, such as this article that discusses top income shares in the US. With animation, changes in data can be viewed immediately, which also leads to another discovery of patterns. Last blog’s YouTube video about flight pattern is a great example of how the data changes throughout a period of time. By using animation, we can see which direction the planes are moving and when the traffic becomes busy. By using animation, we are also able to compare data in an interesting way, like this video about wealth distribution in the United States.

Visualisations first occurred in art and image forms. Visualisation was static and as information developed, changed and progressed, visualisations had to be recreated. Development of new technologies like Computer Generate Imagery are allowing information to be portrayed in a more connecting, real and engaging way. CGI effectively incorporates another key dimension that communicates life to a viewer. It is time. As newer dimensions are continually being added to the creation of visualisations it will be interesting to see what will come in the future and to see how information will be portrayed even more aesthetically appealing.

Last year famously the appearance of a dead man on a stage motivated uproar from a concert and the media of the world. The appearance of the famous Tupac Shakur at Coachella 2012 did this in ways that no one had previously imagined, performing multiple hits in front of a hundred thousand people. Visualization is data represented more aesthetically appealing. This week my visualization will be due and I will represent a piece of data possibly utilizing six different dimensions to convey a piece of data more aesthetically appealing. In every year since 1996 Tupac Shakur has been dead. The data, information about his life, his range of poetic, life guiding, touching and also violent songs encoding his controversial death have placed his life story and interesting personality on the Internet. This complicated next level VJing method goes beyond the nominal VJ or DJ mixtures, it complexly encodes data in not just a way that is aesthetically appealing to women (with his top off) but in a way that makes data real, in a real time that converses not just knowledge but experience, memory, authority and what some may deem as fake life, real fake life or what i think of as an augmented reality.

Visualisations have been made to represent data more aesthetically more appealing yet what if this data could be made real where people don’t just witness information or acknowledge the existence of information, it goes beyond the norms of everyday life and changes your life in to something you have never seen before and it becomes real? Before you read on stop for one minute and think about the experiences you have had in your life, any memories that possibly come first. Think about reliving this once again in the real world, would it really be real? All information has a source. The source of my knowledge of Football came from playing 16 years of the game yet viewing a game or a video of when I was younger playing soccer can make me remember but it cannot make me relive the situation. This is my opinion on the aesthetically influencing information that we have already lived through, but what about what we haven’t witnessed and what we don’t know. Are these pieces of information being conveyed through visualization methods, which effectively make them real in the lives of many or is this just the simple mistrust of the human body towards visualization?