A major contribution to the studies conducted in BCM325 ‘Future Cultures’ is the analysis of film, relating to the depiction of current and future digital cultures. Live tweeting is a technique used to connect and integrate opinions when reflecting on films. Live tweeting stipulates issues raised within cyberculture as well as strengthening an individual’s online presence/persona within the subject.
Tweeting provides imperative resources for future research (Norman, S 2016), offering an opportunity to reach beyond those in the room (Ekins, S Perlstein, EO 2014) and engage in discussion/feedback with previous tutorials and other followers.
Week one in BCM325 focused on Cyberculture, highlighting the role of computers and networks in all aspects of contemporary, cultural, and social life. This seminar focused on the 1995 anime classic ‘Ghost in the Shell’. The film presents a philosophical theme of self-identity in a technologically advanced world (Wikipedia, 2018). To familiarise my twitter followers with the film I initiated my live tweeting with the tweet ‘Diving into the film world of anime #bcm325’. The tweet ‘INTERESTING!!! Ghost in the Shell was originally published as a Japanese manga story in ‘Young Magazine’ in 1989! #bcm325’, educates fellow students on background history about the film.
I concluded my live tweeting with the tweet ‘Ghost in the Shell explores if it ‘is your body or mind that makes you who you are?’ #bcm325’ . I supposed concluding with this tweet provided an informative summary of the main theme highlighted throughout the film; one’s ability to adapt to another self-identity.
Being the first week of live tweeting I did not engage in many conversations from others within the tutorial as I focused on producing the 10 tweet prerequisite.
Week two focused on Cybernetics, analysing the question ‘Who has the authority between the relationship of you and your computer?’ and ‘Who or what acts as a gatekeeper?’. In week two we watched ‘Westworld’ produced in 1972, an adult amusement park predominately populated by robots providing customers a way to live out their fantasies (K. Rose). I commenced by tweeting ‘“nothing can go wrong” in a world full of androids #bcm325’, I believed this quote contradicted the plot in the film; being an android malfunction.
The tweet ‘Westworld is a “Disneyland for Adults” writer/director Michael Crichton #bcm325’ provides understanding of the intention the director had on the setting of the film.
In week two I utilised google search more frequently within my live tweets as a majority of other students were tweeting interesting facts about the film. This lead me to develop a deepened understanding of the film and therefore I continued using this strategy in the weeks followed.
Lastly, I tweeted ‘the footsteps to music coordination makes everything so much more climactic #bcm325’, I believe this cinematic technique is quite engaging and adds to the melodramatic sense of the final scene in the film.
The concept of Cyberpunks was explored in week 3. The film ‘Johnny Mnemonic’ was watched, focussing on Johnny who contracts a data package being carried inside of his head. The tweet posted by @miaiorfiano18 https://twitter.com/miaiorfino18/status/974113617388781568 was quite interesting, as she linked an informational article explaining the plot of the film and how technological growth has impacted it. After liking this post it encouraged me to do further research about the film’s past, directing me to understand the classification of the film; ‘Cyberpunk action thriller’. This led me to write the tweet ‘Cyberpunk action thriller or comedy hmmmmm #bcm325’ as I believed the film was quite comedic in most areas. This was also my first tweet which stipulated conversation as @ceren__t commented linking conversation from within the film to my tweet.
Week four focussed on the theme of Cyberculture. Cyberculture captivates the representation of reality through the means of technology-infused reality and the history of virtual reality. ‘The Matrix’ is a 1999 film capturing the futuristic reality of computer hacker Neo who joins rebel warriors to attempt to overthrow the Matrix (Gittes, J). The tweet posted by @CL_Moore, ‘Ever had the feeling that something isn’t right with society, that you are living in a dream, never able to fully awaken. Neo has. #BCM325 #TheMatrix’ highlights Neo’s exact feelings as he is confronted with the reality of the artificial reality of The Matrix. My favourite tweet I posted about The Matrix was ‘Definitely similarities between Neo and Stellarc #bcm325’, this tweet stemmed from the seminar prior to watching the film as @CL_Moore recapped my knowledge of the irrational work of Stellarc.
Week five introduced me to the television series ‘Black Mirror’. Concepts examined consisted of Androids and Cyborgs, linking to Invocators, Avocation, and Vocation. The episode of Black Mirror is analysed by @KrisChristou in the tweet stating ‘’the way we cope when our lives are increasingly immortalized through our use of the internet and social media, it isn’t just a meditation on grief in the digital age, but also on the intangibles of humanness that make up the people we love
https://www.inverse.com/article/22535-black-mirror-be-right-back-best-episode-netflix #bcm325’. This tweet links to an article highlighting the themes surrounding the strong emotional connection between humans and technology that are captured in the episode. During the seminar @CL_Moore emphasised the concept of performance through technology exploiting societies prerequisite to have an attractive identity/persona through social media. My tweet ‘cyborg ash is all a ‘performance’ #bcm325’ highlights a cyborgs capability to act as a prop to accentuate sentimental memories.
The film ‘Robot and Frank’ was viewed in week six, @CL_Moore’s tweet ‘Today in #BCM325 (Week Six) we are live tweeting the movie #RobotandFrank (2012), a science-fiction comedy drama written by Christopher Ford and directed by Jake Schreier’ underlines the foundation of the movie through the implementation of a link to the film’s trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4y8YAMPFhk. I tweeted ‘I think Madison is jealous of Robot and Franks new companionship #bcm325’ as I believed this was a major theme explored in the film. This idea captivates a cyborgs ability to replace humans and emotionally connect with humans. Similarly, weeks five viewing of Black Mirror re-counts a cyborgs capability to attach physically, and mentally, to humans.
Black Mirror was explored again in week seven as the seminar focussed on Data and Drones. This powerful episode highlighted the governments implementation of privacy and spying within society. I initiated my live tweeting by stating ‘Tweets today brought to you by Charlie Brooker creator of the British Science Fiction Series ‘Black Mirror’ #bcm325’, to inform my followers of the viewing and the creator of the series. The tweet by @ross_paddy simply summarises the intentions behind the series of Black Mirror ‘I love how Black Mirror can seamlessly blend the mundane of humanity with the extreme technological advancements #bcm325’. @ross_paddy’s tweet acknowledges the fundamental themes explored within the work of Brooker.
The episode evokes the loss of privacy within society which is simplified in my tweet ‘”Pull the Plug” of the internet… it’s harder than it looks #bcm325’, focussing on the control of the ADI (Autonomous Drone Insects) and the difficulty to turn away from technology on a large scale. This tweet attracted views; being retweeted twice as it was a summary of the themes from within the film.
In week eight we viewed ‘Blade Runner’, a film capturing artificial humanoids named ‘Replicants’ who are hunted down by a ‘Blade Runner’ as they escaped to Earth. The film by Ridley Scott was firstly misunderstood by audiences as @edwina_jones570 links an article explaining this misconception in her tweet “Blade Runner scored a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes, completely different to when it was first released and misunderstood by its audience #BCM325, https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/blade_runner/”. I engaged in this tweet by liking and commenting on it.
I retweeted a tweet by @ceren__t explaining the misleading difference between killing replicants and humans. I believe this is an appropriate realisation of a theme displayed throughout BCM325; ‘Do androids have emotions to?’.
Finally, I retweeted a post made by @teledaddyy as she makes an interesting point regarding the aesthetics of the landscape in Blade Runner. I retweeted her tweet with the caption “Its a common theme in most of the movies we have viewed in BCM325 of the location being a drowsy night or a misty area. This just adds to the negative association they are applying to the future of technology e.g.artificial humanoids (Replicants)
This was my most successful tweet throughout the semester and received retweets and further comments made by my peers. The engagement all related to the drastic change in the location of a film when in present or futuristic times.
Overall my first experience of Live Tweeting has been quite enjoyable and I now feel much more comfortable engaging with my peers using Twitter. This form of communication has strengthened my knowledge on the film’s we have viewed and has acted as a beneficial strategy to analyse a film through the assistance of other’s opinions.
Ekins, S Perlstein, EO 2014, Ten Simple Rules of Live Tweeting at Scientific Conferences, PLoS Comput Biol, 10(8), viewed 17 April, <https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003789>
Gittes, J, The Matrix: Plot, IMDb, viewed 19 April, <https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0133093/plotsummary?ref_=tt_stry_pl>
Norman, S 2016, 15 Ways To Use Twitter In Education (For Students And Teachers Alike), eLearningindustry, weblog post, 5 June, viewed 17 April, <https://elearningindustry.com/15-ways-twitter-in-education-students-teachers>
Rose, K, Westworld (1973), IMDb, viewed 17 April, <https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070909/>
Wikipedia, 2018, Ghost in the Shell (1995 film), last updated 10 April, viewed 17 April, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghost_in_the_Shell_(1995_film)>