Transmedia storytelling is the telling of different stories over multiple platforms that all make up and add to one main story. I made a (really bad) Youtube video explaining what transmedia is by using the example of the Resident Evil series. It began as a survivalist horror video game about zombies and mutants and is now a collection of (pretty bad) Hollywood movies, spin-off books, prequel stories, sequel stories and alternate timelines which are explored through a range of different platforms, including comic books and radio shows. Resident Evil encompasses many of the factors of transmedia as described by Henry Jenkins.
“The very idea of the mashup implies the existence of prior content to be remixed and remade…” (Bruns, 2010)
As soon as we started talking about Rip/Burn/Remix culture, and when reading about mash-up culture, I knew exactly where I wanted to go for my post. One of my favourite artists is Girl Talk, otherwise known as Gregg Michael Gillis, a DJ who is known for his mash-ups, made by sampling UNAUTHORIZED songs (Week 3 Copyright lecture, anyone?). He gets away with it by claiming fair use. When you listen to his music, its like playing “spot that song”. He remixes largely hip-hop anthems and rap with 80’s hits and classics. He started out, just like most bedroom produces, with a computer in a room and some old fashioned technology know-how! In the lecture, is was mentioned that the idea of remix was to respond and to challenge the dominant culture. Gillis has stated that his music has “some level of social commentary because the track[s] was kind of poking fun at the original song a little bit” (Gillis, 2008)
Take a look at the number of songs he samples on his album “All Day” while having a listen to a track from the album and seeing how many songs you recognize.
Bruns, Axel (2010) Distributed Creativity: Filesharing and Produsage http://snurb.info/files/2010/Distributed%20Creativity%20-%20Filesharing%20and%20Produsage.pdf
Whelan, Andrew, Week 6 Lecture Rip/Mix/Burn: Music Sampling and the Rise of Remix Culture 14/04/15
Start researching the moral panic surrounding young people and “sexting” and five hours later, you’re going to have tab upon tab upon tab of information open on your computer, a million things to say but a blank page in front of you, and the fact that three hours ago you promised to call you mum back “in ten minutes” will have long exited your brain.
Cohen describes a “moral panic” as “A condition, episode, person or group of persons emerges to become defined as a threat to societal values and interests; its nature is presented in a stylised and stereotypical fashion by the mass media” (Cohen, 2002). I find that two things in this definition strike out as the most interesting – something becoming a “threat to societal values” and that this threat is “stylised” by the mass media. Firstly, what are these societal values? Secondly, the mass media is where the majority of people get their information and are told what to be concerned about. So the fact that the media is exaggerating on issues is a bit worrying.
Young people are often the victims of “moral panic”. Nina Funnell sums this up perfectly in the introduction to her educational video “The Teen Sexting Panic” by saying that “through century upon century, societies have located much of their moral panic and hysteria around a victimised view of youth. Whether it’s generational or technological change, the shock of the new has often been seen as deeply threatening to the moral fabric of the vulnerable, naïve individual.” (Funnell, 2015) Youths are viewed as innocence that is being corrupted by external and preventable forces. Seriously, turn on A Current Affair on any given week and you’re almost guaranteed to hear about “THE NEW THREAT THAT IS GOING TO GET YOUR CHILDREN!!!”
“Sexting” is the act of sending sexual messages and pictures to another person through phones or the internet. Apps like “Snapchat” have made it very easy to send sexually photos and videos to people, “privately”. The media has taken “sexting” and just ran wild with it. In some ways, the moral panic surrounding sexting is totally justified. Young people are being sexual (what a shock) and the introduction of technology has opened up a range of new ways to be sexual. Young people who are not of legal age are sending and receiving naked photos of one another, and sometimes these photos are spread and it is, technically, the distribution of child pornography. New laws have come into place to counteract this technicality, for example, in Victoria a new law called the Crimes Amendment (Sexual Offences and Other Matters) Bill 2014 has been passed, and under this law “if you create an intimate image, and send it to someone, it is against the law for them to intentionally send it to a third party, without your consent.” (Law Reform Committee, 2014) This new law protects minors and ensures that they are not prosecuted for the distribution of child pornography if sexting with peers.
This new law aside, there is a massive disconnect between the older generations and the younger generations. In the past, people didn’t need to worry about text messaging, the internet and their private conversations and file sharing being leaked. Watch the media’s representation of sexting and illicit photo sharing and it gives off the impression that the young people engaging in this are innocent and are being corrupted as well as being totally oblivious to the dangers of it all (all of this links back into the moral panic that children are being sexualised too young). But I would argue that young people are sexually experimental by nature (puberty, anyone?) and just like the generations before, are exploring this sexuality. There is just new technology so there is a new way of expressing, exploring and learning about it. I agree that the moral panic surrounding sexting isn’t completely misguided and there does need to be education surrounding the potential dangers, I equally agree that the media has as the media does, and it has sensationalised it and exaggerated the panic. Times are a’changin’.
– Kassi Klower
Cohen, S., 2002. Folk Devils and Moral Panics. 3rd ed. New York: Routledge.
Funnell, N., 2015. Wheeler Centre. [Online]
Available at: http://apo.org.au/node/27267
[Accessed 16 April 2015].
Hasinhof, A, A., June 2013. Sexting as media production: Rethinking social media and sexuality. New Media & Society , Volume 15, pp. 449-465.
Law Reform Committee (2013) Inquiry into Sexting, Victorian Parliament, Parliamentary Paper No. 230
Marker, B. S., 2011. Sexting as Moral Panic: An Exploratory Study into the Media’s Construction of Sexting. Paper 12 ed. Online Theses and Dissertations: s.n.
There are more pathways to University than starting a degree straight out of the HSC. For some, getting out into the world and gaining some real life experience and skills to help make an informed decision about what they want to study is a more logical path. This is the route that 23 year old Thomas Duff has taken.
Vox Pop 1: Transgender.
At the time of filming this Vox-Pop, the Sydney Mardi Gras had just finished, which is always a good time to bring up sensitive issues surrounding sexuality, particularly the more “taboo” or even more “unaccepted” sexuality issue of transgender. Bruce Jenner, step-father of the Kardashian sisters, recently came out as transgender and has been all over tabloid magazines and programs because of it. So we went to the students of UOW to ask: “What is your opinion on Transgender?” We wanted to know what they thought, if they accepted it or if they thought it wasn’t a real thing.
Vox Pop 2 : Ban the Burqa?
Australians, as a whole, are very country-proud people. The notions of mate-ship, being there for the little guy and helping a fellow Aussie out in a time of need are all qualities that we associate with ourselves. We also claim to be “multi-cultural”. However, with all the recent news about ISIS, Muslims and should-we-or-should-we-not ban the burqa (a garment that some women wear that cover their whole bodies except for their eyes), are we really as accepting as we think we are? We asked a bunch of UOW students what they thought of the whole “Ban the Burqa” debate, as well as why they thought women wore the burqa, and whether what someone else is wearing has an impact on them personally.
Both of these Vox-Pops were thought of, filmed and edited by myself and another student, Amy Livermore.
Libraries are amazing places. People respect the library in a way that does not carry over to other designated “quiet places”. The quiet carriage on a train is no more quiet than any other carriage, people chat to one another in lectures and have entire conversations in movie theatres. But if you enter the University of Wollongong’s library – silence. If you walk down the corridors of knowledge, books stacked higher than you on both sides, you could lose track of time. If you sit on the floor to retrieve a bottom shelf book and look up, you get a very real sense of just how much information you are surrounded by. You also might think “wow, if all these books fell down right now, I’d probably die”, which is a very literal interpretation of the phrase all of us students will use at some point during our degree “I feel like all my work is crashing down on me”.
Groups of students lining up outside lecture theatres or classrooms is a common sight across the University. But there is a very obvious difference in the way students line up during the day – standing, loud chatter, late arrivals – and how they line up at 5:30pm, after being at Uni all day, after a five hour break between classes. That difference is in the height. They sit down. The chatter is quieter. Everyone is there before the teacher because they have nothing else to do this late, and nowhere else to be. It is interesting because no one is complaining, and we all enjoy the class, but you get the overwhelming feeling that “home would be a pretty awesome place to be if I didn’t have to be here right now…”