Work on my digital artefact is in full force.
As mentioned in my first post, I am working on a three-part YouTube series, evaluating the predictions Hollywood films have made about the future of artificial intelligence and their validity as of 2017. With the series I aim to give a glimpse at how certain films have addressed artificial intelligence as an extension of cyberculture, and how these perceptions have shifted over time.
In terms of my artefact, the first episode – Do Humans Dream of Electric Cowboys? – has already been filmed and edited. The second episode is in late drafting and pre-production and the third is in early scripting. Over the next two weeks I aim to film and edit the remaining two, so that they can be uploaded in a collective series.
This however, has not been at the forefront of my research at this stage of the artefact. I have been looking into the nature of editing, uploading and curating online audiences on YouTube. Although I am somewhat familiar with all three of these through past experience with the platform, I have looked into each of these aspects carefully as I prepare to make my content public.
The editing of my videos has been a primary element of my research, inspired by the time constraints on each video. With each episode having a runtime of around five minutes, I have looked to channels like; Every Frame a Painting, Watchmojo and Folding Ideas which all follow similar tenants:
. Limited length
. Concise and informative narration
. Collage of visual imagery, including cutaways to exterior content.
Preferring this style over most other editing formats on YouTube, I have tried applying this to each of my videos with varying success. While I feel I am still maturing into this style of editing, I feel I have been relatively successful with emulating it in my first video. Through experimenting further with iMovie, I believe I will be able to achieve a comparable style by the conclusion of the artefact.
Similarly, uploading content online has also taken precedence in my research. With this artefact having an abundance of copyrighted content, I have had to revisit YouTube’s uploading policies and restrictions to avoid the possibility of the videos being taken down.
With YouTube becoming an increasingly authoritarian and technocratic platform, this has led to looking at alternatives for hosting my content, such as Vimeo, Dailymotion and Vid.Me, which have aimed to gain traction through a more user-orientated platform with relaxed restrictions on uploading copyrighted content. While I don’t intend to monetise the videos I upload, I am still largely subject to the same agreement as other YouTube users if I opt to use it.
Having said this, I aim to keep using YouTube at this stage of the artefact, as it is not only the platform I am most familiar with, but guarantees little of the technical and audience engagement issues that plague the other sites. YouTube is also generally recognised as the easiest to use of the “several sites where viewers can access Web-based videos” in which “YouTube is the most successful and widely used site.” (Weaver 2012).
In this sense, my artefact has also become an exploration of audience curation. While audience participation was vital for my previous channel, this channel aims to be more of a general education tool, aiming to attract viewers to the content over time rather than immediately.
In a 2009 study which hypothesised that “hardware and software capabilities of interactive media has facilitated an increase in the use of technology in learning environments” the results found that “YouTube project design and development process experience connected with increased student perceptions of learning” (Fralinger, Owens 2009 pp. 6 & 25).
Almost a decade later I feel like YouTube is the ideal platform for me to upload and curate content, with ever-increasing numbers of users and audiences looking for niche topics to educate themselves on. Although the series may suffer from its brevity in the short term, I believe that long after the artefact is published it will eventually gain retrospective traction as an educational series. In this sense its overall social utility may only truly be achieved long after the artefact is complete.
References (UOW Harvard)
1. Fralinger, B & Owens, R 2009, ‘YouTube as a learning tool’, Journal of College, Teaching & Learning, vol. 6, no. 8, pp. 6-25, http://www.trincoll.edu/Academics/centers/teaching/Documents/Week%202%20–%20You%20Tube%20as%20a%20Learning%20Tool.pdf
2. Ali, A & Senan N 2014, ‘A review on violence video classification using convolutiona; neural networks’, Computer Science Information and Technology, vol. 1, pp. 5, https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ashikin_Ali/publication/312031821_A_Review_on_Violence_Video_Classification_Using_Convolutional_Neural_Networks/links/58dbead8458515152b2fca8c/A-Review-on-Violence-Video-Classification-Using-Convolutional-Neural-Networks.pdf