Following the goals I set for myself and the feedback I received from the first part of my live-tweeting reflection, I focussed on the following for the rest of my live-tweeting sessions:
- use different types of media in tweets to boost visibility and engagement eg. images, polls, gifs, links
- encourage engagement by asking follow up questions in tweets
- include subject content in some of my tweets to help frame my understanding of the screenings, achieving this by preparing for screenings with background research using the following schedule:
Blade Runner 2049
I noticed that Bell’s three futures theory could be flexibly applied to a lot of the screenings and lecture topics. Blade Runner 2049 featured incredible landscape visuals representing a dystopian future. In order to contrast this, I tweeted an image of Mitchel Joachim’s proposed green city (2014). I then asked my peers if this could have become the “preferred future” if sustainable technology was implemented in the Blade Runner universe.
I’m assuming due to the appealing image and interesting question I posed, Lorena engaged with my tweet, proving that a use of follow up questions and mixed media helps with engagement. I then asked another question to start a conversation about how possible this future is.
I also started using the quote tweet feature a lot more to ensure cohesion on the timeline, enabling me to add images and extend upon past tweets. I found the comparison between how we used to consume media through VHS to current day 15 second Tiktoks.
My highest engagement tweet of the screening was a funny behind the scenes still I found on Reddit. It’s funny that I didn’t consider searching Reddit for film facts sooner as the community on the subreddits are very invested and enthusiastic about film.
Another tweet that got a few likes was my reflection of James proposal of using holographs to re-live concerts. As an avid concert / festival goer myself, I extended upon this to question a holographs function in an even closer future.
Before every screening, I actually read (or attempt) to read the plot on Wikipedia. This has led me to believe the reason I may not enjoy sci-fi films as much as other genres is my inability to follow a plot easily.
For someone who can’t follow a plot to save my life, this tweet was relatable.
Back with the Simpsons references. Of course, no surprise that it features one of the most iconic special effects scenes in film history.
The Matrix was probably the film I struggled the most with to relate to lecture material. However, I was able to draw comparisons to the lecture material on Gregory Bateson. He observed the obsession of control over information, and how this obsession over control and power becomes much more destructive with advancing technology, as demonstrated in The Matrix (Parks 2019).
Alita: Battle Angel
I begun to notice when I was tweeting stand alone lecture theory it wasn’t getting any engagement. To help fix this, I aimed to interact with peers more by applying lecture content into my interactions rather than standalone tweets as I would gain more engagement.
I was proud of this tweet as it not only considered the film, but our reactions to it as an audience. I have been critical of how the class was so eager to define the binaries of human and non-human for a few weeks now, and Haraway’s paper helped me articulate why I felt that way (1985).
I extended upon this thought of Haraway dismantling binary systems, applying it to current social conditions by asking a fascinating question that’s been on my mind for a while.
I couldn’t help myself but tweet one of my favourite Simpsons references of another iconic cyborg movie, The Terminator.
My highest engaged tweet brought nostalgic value as I expressed my surprise of finding out Rodriguez also directed the iconic The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl, after googling images of the slight similarities of robot design.
I fulfilled my aim to use lecture content to interact with peers. After reading the theory by McLuhan, I maintained the argument that we are already cyborgs (1994).
I also took this opportunity to extend on Michaela’s observation of how Alita challenged traditional representation of cyborgs in film, praising the films departure of masculine association with new media technology (Moore 2020).
Ready Player One
Drawing from the lecture material, I used the concept of the virtual world of OASIS to draw comparisons to how we “escape” reality in real life, reaching out to my peers to discuss this with me (Moore 2020).
I tried putting extra effort into using the quote tweet feature to create engaging conversations with my peers – usually stimulating it through posing a question. This method seemed more successful for this screening, perhaps due to my better understanding of this weeks topic and film.
I wished that people interacted with this tweet, but I assume that due to the lack of images, emojis or features such as polls it may have been buried in the twitter feed. However, the question is vital when trying to understand if virtual reality is real or not. The same way Donna Haraway challenged the binaries of human and non-humans, this filmed allowed me to view virtual reality through the theory of Gilles Deleuze, who proposed that instances that occur in VR are still “real” but sit on the opposite end of the spectrum of “actual” (Pearson 2005). The introduction of spectrums and rejection of binaries has allowed me to become more open minded about the technology discussed in this subject.
Robot & Frank
Being the final screening, I found it fitting that this was probably one of my strongest live-tweeting sessions.
This was probably due to a combination of the film plot being easier to understand, a higher engagement with the lecture material and pre-screening research and preparation.
I found it interesting how the more familiar and less dystopian setting of this film shifted our opinions of AI compared to our attitudes in other screenings. I wanted to challenge this shift in my tweets, so I referred to predictions made by futurists in order to engage my peers in some future thinking. Harari’s three critical concerns was a perfect way to get my peers thinking about the frightening aspects of a future with AI (2015).
This shift in attitude became clear in other peer’s polls, with everyone expressing less fear of AI’s presence in our everyday life compared to films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey and Westworld where humans lose control over the robots they created.
To demonstrate the positive prediction Makridakis had of AI, I used real examples of robots being used in nursing homes as companions and workers on mundane tasks (1995).
However, I also saw Misha’s tweet as a great opportunity to quote a ‘pessimist’ in the lecture, anticipating that the development of AI is detrimental to society (McFarland 2014).
Overall, I really enjoyed the live-tweeting sessions. This subject does a fantastic job of creating a highly engaging class, it barely felt like it was being delivered remotely as I felt constantly connected and challenged by my lecturer, tutor and peers. It will be missed!
Haraway, D 1985 ‘Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature’ A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century https://www.sas.upenn.edu/~cavitch/pdf-library/Haraway_Cyborg.pdf
Harari, Y.N 2015 Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, Harper
Joachim, M 2014 ‘TED: Mitchel Joachim – Terreform ONE [Open Network Ecology]. Environmental cities’ in TED, video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQXTvJFnscg
Makridakis, S 1995 ‘The forthcoming information revolution: Its impact on society and firms’ Futures Vol. 27 Issue 8 pp.799-821 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/001632879500046Y
McFarland, M 2014 ‘Elon Musk: ‘With artificial intelligence we are summoning the demon.’ in The Washington Post, October 25th https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/innovations/wp/2014/10/24/elon-musk-with-artificial-intelligence-we-are-summoning-the-demon/
McLuhan, M 1994 Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, Penguin https://www.penguin.com.au/books/understanding-media-9780262631594
Moore, C 2020 ‘Cyberculture – Cyberspace’ BCM325: Future Cultures, lecture, Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYkOCLH-uWs
Moore, C 2020 ‘Cyberculture – Cyborg’ BCM325: Future Cultures, lecture, Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SK7ve1Jw068
Parks, T 2019 ‘Impossible Choices: Learning from his family, his animals and his work with tribal people, Gregory Bateson saw the creative potential of paradox’ in aeon, July 15th, https://aeon.co/essays/gregory-bateson-changed-the-way-we-think-about-changing-ourselves
Pearson, K 2005 ‘The Reality of the Virtual: Bergson and Deleuze’ MLN, Vol. 120 No.5, pp.1112-1127 http://www.jstor.org/stable/3840700