8:15-9:30 p.m. music/microphone from Hypnotist performance
10:00 p.m. Snapchat
10:08 p.m. Music on laptop
10:15 p.m. Snapchat
10:18 p.m. Snapchat
11:40 p.m- 1:00 a.m. WiiU/Television use
1:50 a.m. phone call, 5 minutes
2:00 a.m. Netflix on laptop (which was connected to TV)
3:00 a.m. Snapchat
3:05 a.m. Tumblr app
3:10 a.m. Instagram app check
3:30 a.m- 10:00 am, phone call/skype
10:00 a.m. Alarm on phone
In this experiment, I opted to purely investigate how often I utilized and was exposed to technology that altered my environment in some way, ultimately affecting me in a directly personal manner. Of course, our current lifestyle has been overtaken by technology use. Daily life as we know it would not be possible without constant access to modern technology. I opted to exclude certain technologies, such as one card access to buildings and credit card usage because I wanted to focus on technology that I own and technologies that altered my present environment. This led to a documentation (predominately) of activities on my phone and computer, which enabled me to communicate with others and complete mandatory (as well as recreational) tasks.
Looking back at the data, I noticed certain patterns in my behavior, especially so when it came to phone usage. It appeared that whenever I wished to check the time, I'd become absorbed in some other application on my phone that was neither relevant nor necessary. I'd jump from one app to the next, and before I knew it I'd spent many minutes on my phone, often times in a social environment. I experimented with seeing how long I could go without checking my phone, but this was nearly impossible after a while, from all the text messages I had received throughout the day. For the sake of a more compact and concise blog, I elected to remove texts messages sent from the overall list. From my message history, however, in this time period I sent about 47 to 50 texts.
If anything, this exercise helped me realize exactly how dependent I (and many others out there) am on technology to get through the day. Most of this technology used wasn't even necessary for schoolwork, it was hugely about keeping in contact with my friends and family. I believe that being in college has forced me to use technology more, especially because here I am separated from my family. As a result, my social media usage has increased especially over my time in college. This in turn has aided in developing a habit of compulsively checking my phone, even when I know no one has replied to my attempts of contact. And I'm fairly positive I'm not the only one who does this. This experiment has been very eye-opening for me, as I have become more acutely aware of how frequently I use personal technology. This awareness has helped me to parry back needless compulsive checking of personal devices, and has garnered an overall appreciation for the age of easy access that we are privileged to live in.
Charles Cohen, born in 1968 and currently a resident of New York, has interacted with the abstraction of the figure with the help of digital media. After graduating with an MFA in Photography from RISD, Cohen went on to be represented in galleries across the country for his transformation of the visually mundane into the abstract. I became particularly intrigued by Cohen's "Buff" Series, which focuses on removing human figures from pornographic images. These images, usually set in vibrant, vivid environments, are centered around completely erased human forms, which provides for an unusual visual effect amid stark contrast. Upon seeing the image, a viewer can more or less discern the scenario, but is forced to move around the forms and make sense of the emptiness that has achieved some sort of presence. In some images (such as the second one presented below), it is nearly impossible to distinguish the two figures; these figures, upon many moments of staring, begin to lose their identity as humans and move into a more organic existence (sometimes developing more of a dependency on rhythm or line). Do these works lose the voyeuristic gaze that many pornographic images take on? Does it feel like the absence of figures somehow implies the absence of true romantic or legitimate sentiment between these individuals? Can we even call these figures individual when their entire identity has been erased from the image? Cohen brings all of these thoughts into question through the creation of these images.
Being an artist who is attracted to depictions of the human form, Cohen's body of work was a very interesting study. I truly enjoyed the stark contrast depicted in all of his works, as they worked as a sort of unifying whole despite the various subject matter. The subject matter itself is worth noting. Pornographic images are (more often than not) viewed in private and are considered to be embarrassing if some are found in one's possession. Cohen's choice to make these very private matters public, to start a serious forum of discussion about them, is a daring one. Just as Cohen brings this (sometimes considered to be) lewd industry to light, he cuts out the one thing that makes the industry boom. If anything, I would love to see this topic and style explored in the context of intimate situations as well, where the images may not necessarily be pornographic but more emotionally centered.
*(Biographical information on Cohen obtained from http://rhizome.org/discuss/view/23105/)
I discovered Cohen in Christains Paul's "Digital Art" reading.