Digital Portrait Project – Part One [Practical Media]

Our first week’s task requires the making of a ‘Digital Portrait’, centred on personal identities, and how technology transforms that identity in the digital landscape. The question posed to us as a starting point was, ‘What is the relationship between the media you use and your own sense of self’? This in itself poses a question. What is my own sense of self? What am I? Well, I’m a comic book fan, I love films, and I’m a Masters student in Digital Media. I’m a researcher at heart, an Illustrator and podcaster. To a lesser extent, I am a gamer, though I spend more time looking through the history of games and working at conventions rather than playing them, a musician, a martial artist and, biologically speaking, I am a woman. With at least a surface Idea of what I am, I have to now review how each of these aspects relate to my digital self, and how that relates to my physical being.

A lot of my interests and subjects that I use to classify myself, are influenced by the World Wide Web. While most of them were cultivated in the physical world, with books, comics, VHS cassettes, DVD’s and cartridges littering my library (A physical collection of shelves that has stayed with me and feels to reflect myself, as a library should for any owner), the advent of the internet allowed for these passions and defining qualities to be shared with a much wider audience and be expanded upon with the freedom and infinite spread of knowledge the web allows. According to McLuhan’s theories of ‘The Extension of Man’, the infinite supply of information the web provides, is an extension of our own central nerve system. [McLuhan. 1964] The expansion of our own interests in real life through the internet, does provide a way for us to expand our thinking to an almost infinite space and share our thoughts.

Some interests, such as occasionally gaming and at times the temporary escape of films, books and comics, can allow the individual to live the life of another vicariously through the medium. Rather than extending one’s self, the individual can reinvent or inhabit another, while still expanding that experience through the global net.

The infinite nature for these expansions could be explored using an infinite canvas lay out. More research and planning required..

  • McLuhan, M. (1964) Understanding Media. The Extensions of Man. Routledge Classics. Oxon.
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A Study in Sherlock -UHArts Film Season

12745715_10153227532386650_8874645238768832369_nBetween March 3rd and March 24th, the University of Hertfordshire will be screening four classic Sherlock Holmes films. Hosted and organised by Danny Graydon (http://www.dannygraydon.com/) as part of the UHArts department, the season brings key moments in the career of Holmes to the attention of both students and the general public in an exhilarating and easy to attend manner.

The season highlights corner stone works such as The Hound of the Baskervilles, the delightful celebration of Holmes in The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, a modern take of his long standing adversary in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, and a reflected look of the aged detective in the wonderful Mr. Holmes. Each film provides an insight into the character and the attributes that have captured our attention and made him a lynch pin in popular culture. The first two events also bring with them spectacular guest speakers, including renowned Sherlock Holmes expert, David Stuart Davies (http://www.davidstuartdavies.co.uk/) and the incredible writer, Ian Edginton (https://twitter.com/ianedginton).

Each film will be screened on the College lane campus, in the FMM building, B01.

Films and dates:

March 3rd – The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959). dir. Terence Fisher.

Starring Peter Cushing, Andre Morell, and Christopher Lee. This Hammer Horror classic, sees a nobleman, threatened by a family curse of his newly inherited estate, employs the help of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in an attempt to solve the case and save his life.

– Opening speech by David Stuart Davies.

March 10th – The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970). dir. Billy Wilder.

Starring Robert Stephens, Christopher Lee and Colin Blakely. A bored Sherlock eagerly takes the case of Gabrielle Valladon, after an attempt on her life. A search for her missing husband becomes a quest for Loch Ness and the legendary creature.

– Opening speech by Ian Edginton

March 17th – Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011). dir. Guy Ritchie.

Starring Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, and Jared Harris. In a modern take on the lives of Holmes and Dr. Watson, the pair take on their arch-nemesis, Professor Moriarty, along with the help of by Holmes’ older brother Mycroft and a gypsy named Simza.

March 24th – Mr. Holmes (2015). dir. Bill Condon.

Starring Ian McKellen, Laura Linney and Hiroyuki Sanada. The film portrays an aged Holmes, struggling with dementia and reminiscing on his final case. Showing both Holmes at his strongest and his darkest hours, while imparting his slowly decaying wisdom to a young fan and son of his housekeeper.

Tickets are £4 and are available both on the door and through the University website. http://www.herts.ac.uk/about-us/arts-and-galleries/whats-on/film