- Images owned, photographed/created by Blake Foggo.
This week I managed to identify where I’m going with this project. Looking and examining at twitch I’ve identified within Twitch there are a great deal of anomalies that occur, some of these ‘quirks’ that occur on webcam and off the webcam where the interaction between audience and performer becomes obscure from what you might see in reality.
While the actual finished aesthetic of my finished work hasn’t yet been realized I think what I need to do now is experiment a lot with different aesthetics. The actual format for the work however is likely a single screen work.
One element I am considering is the opportunity of using my recent rekindled interest in pixel art to put to use it in this work.
Whether or not I try to incorporate this into my work I haven’t yet decided but I will hopefully be able to experiement further with the medium to add more depth to my work aesthetically.
I have also written my artist statement:
Which Twitch, Is Which?
HD Digital Video
Which Twitch, Is Which? is an exploration of the anomalies within internet culture, specifically those emerging from popular live-streaming platform Twitch. The exploration uncovers and expresses absurdities and attempts to draw a deep contrast in how the users of Twitch do not detect these as absurdities but instead perceive them as cultural norms like thanking someone serving you or shaking hands after a sporting match. By drawing attention to these unique online behaviours Which Twitch, Is Which? attempts to unveil these webcam obscurities to the public space.
Blake Foggo, is a multimedia and mash-up artist with an interest in internet culture and archival footage. A common theme to his work is obscure cultural differences between reality and internet culture.
Within my digital Artefact I explored Korean Dramas specifically those available for western consumption on Netflix, I had very little to no actual exposure to K-Dramas in the past and even had somewhat of distaste for endeavouring to experience them. This was because I felt that the actual content of K-Dramas couldn’t possibly be appropriate for what I generally watch which is usually action content. I think the real issue here comes from the assumption that K-Drama implies that the medium can only be romantic drama and be unable to move beyond that yet I saw a great deal of K-Dramas with rom-com elements and even action and fantasy genres that I would never even consider to associate with them. The field site I chose to study this cultural medium was Netflix as there are a great deal of them on Netflix as their internationally is a widespread interest in Korean culture, with their at one point being what experts describe as the ‘Korean wave’ or hallyu where Korean cultural exports is suddenly spreading around the globe. (Bacon 2016)
My method for recording my data from my field site was through recording myself watching K-Dramas in what could be described as a reaction video, then I would pause the show whenever I felt that I had made an interesting epiphany or insight into the show, and vocalize it in my recording.
Some of these epiphanies I maintained and kept as part of my Digital artefact as I felt they were very interesting on their own and were accessible to my intended audience.
A couple of interesting things to note are how huge the recent market for Korean Dramas is expanding particularly in the West with The Korea Herald citing that in its online survey in for the US they surveyed 4,753 which is double the number of respondents in the last survey conducted in 2014. (Yonhap, 2018)
The survey doesn’t exactly display just how large the amount of consumers of Korean Dramas is in the US, but it does show relatively reliable insight into how the fans of Korean Dramas are separated by age with 16-20 year olds dominating the percentage of those surveyed being 38.5% of their sample.
They also interesting asked the respondents about their ethnic background and interestingly though 25.5% of the respondents were Asian in second place were Hispanics 25.1% and third were 24% who were White. (Yonhap, 2018)
This exposes to me, insight into the fact that Western culture does not seem to abstain from participating in cultures outside their own, and race can clearly be seen to have little influence in whether you would or would not like Korean cultural exports like K-Pop and K-Dramas.
Another interesting insight I found from research external of my main field site, was that most Korean Dramas are almost all one season (Nicolaou 2018) which further research revealed to generally be the case and have to do with the actual television industry of Korea. This is interesting in terms of the actual content of K-Dramas as well because he generally means that a show generally closes all possible plot shows in its first season rather than open ended endings to seasons in the hopes of making a return for several seasons. (As you may expect in Western media)
Overall I was surprised to find myself to actually enjoy my experience with Korean Dramas and will likely not hestitate to watch them again in the future, and hope to through my artefact inspire others like myself to give them ‘a go’ as it were.
Bacon, C 2016 ‘Why Korean Dramas are Popular’, Reel Rundown.
Available at: https://reelrundown.com/movies/Korean-Wave-Why-Are-Korean-Dramas-Popular
Yonhap, 2018 (2017) ‘Korean dramas enjoy huge wave of popularity in US’, The Korea Herald.
Available at: http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20170203000842
Nicolaou, E 2018 ‘Meet Your Next Big Obsession: Korean Dramas’, Refinery29
Available at: https://www.refinery29.com/2017/07/164868/korean-dramas-on-netflix
My Digital artefact is a Twitch channel called Mr4Eva. Coming from a background of running my own YouTube channel as well as editing and working with some relatively large influencers on YouTube (300-600k subs) I felt that while I had enjoyed creating YouTube content, I felt that I may enjoy and be successful in doing gaming live streaming. Currently the most revered and ideal live stream gaming platform is considered by many to be Twitch so I decided I should endeavour to create Twitch channel, some of the inspirations to actually do this came from having some friends who currently live stream and relayed that they enjoyed the unique form of engagement with your audience provides. I felt that I would have success in twitch streaming as I’ve already established somewhat of an audience with my Youtube content, so by creating a twitch I hoped to move my YouTube audience over to view my twitch live streams.
I started developing the project by making connections with some small streamers and began to network with these streamers by watching their streams, and communicating with them regularly. By doing so my Twitch channel would regularly be hosted by them, and I would also regularly host them back. Over time this began to progress into somewhat of a stream community in which I could consistently expect many of these streamers to host me when they finish their streams.
Some important achievements to note since I started this project are achievements such as becoming a Twitch affiliate. As a Twitch affiliate you are able to monetize your content through twitch and gain perks such as the ability for users to subscribe and donate bits to you, bits are a virtual twitch currency that when paid out to the live streamer causes a message to appear on your live stream.
Another great perk of becoming a Twitch affiliate is that you are able to gain Emotes, in three different tiers, often if the emote is attractive or has some utility this will encourage users who watch your stream to actually engage with you.
When developing and creating my own emotes I realized given that affiliates are limited to three emotes (with the price being outrageous for subscribers to sub for more than 1) I felt it important to make my tier 1 subscription emote ($4.99 usd) to be extremely useful to my users even if they weren’t using it on my own stream.
For this reason using, my experience and talents creating pixel art I created an emote with the words ‘Pro Gamer’ by creating this users are able to spam the emote generally when something on stream occurs is not at all what you would consider a pro gamer to do.
In my experience with this emote the emote seemed to be spammed most whenever I died in Dark Souls (A notoriously difficult JRPG) or when I lost in a game of Rocket League.
While I could have made another emote I felt that by creating an emote with utility and with prompts me directly (saying on stream, “Can we get a pro gamer emote for that one please chat”) my livestream’s chat improved in engagement by the chat feeling more involved in the stream by responding to my requests for the emote to be dropped in chat.
During my time observing some other small streamers who I see share a viewership with me, though rare I observed a few times where even though the viewer didn’t know I was in the chat, they would use my pro gamer emote whenever the streamer did something that was very unlike a pro gamer.
This type of comedy is important I feel to my identity as I find myself on stream almost constantly talking sarcastically as it’s a form of comedy I enjoy, and beyond that, something that my followers likely enjoy as well. (As identified in my starter pack above)
As I continued to stream I began to consider what it was that was attractive about Twitch to users and how I could further improve my growth and engagement so I looked into some academic writing and external insight into Twitch.
After talking to some of my university peers I was recommended to listen to a Podcast by WYNC Studios ‘On The Media: Twitch and Shout’ which held great insight into what is interesting about twitch, with the hosts describing Twitch as ‘It’s like watching someone think.’
This is a unique way of looking at twitch as it’s not something that’s ever been actually asserted by anyone internally within the Twitch platform, but upon consideration I think this is an important epiphany as it allows me to understand what is attractive to users about the unique Twitch platform.
Some important learning moments were when I asked a fairly succesful streamer of 15k followers about what advice they had for streamer starting out and how to grow an audience, he said to me that for him it was important to be consistent streaming regularly then the issue of looking at growth, and also explained that growing a twitch channel to a partner channel size can take quite a while, he also stated that it’s important to ‘stay active on socials.’
Currently for my Mr4Eva internet persona I don’t use my fb page at all, as I feel there is none of my audience there after trying to use it for a while, instead I feel it’s better for me to engage with my audience outside Twitch and YouTube on Twitter so I have tried to be quite active on there.
However, this was an interesting point to me as it lead me to think more about how to get engagement and responses on twitter posts so I did some research into social media marketing. In Shainesh and Heggde’s ‘Social media Marketing: Emerging concepts and Applications’ they describe with a case study of a medical home service that their advertising campaigns on Facebook were a lot more engaging when they used images and videos, and used original content. And that after putting out these posts, it was bad to stagnate with the same creative content for an advertisement as their audience could cause ‘ad fatigue.’
After discovering this I thought back to how I would advertise my stream on twitter, where I realized I was simply posting my stream link and not really acknowledging how much more engaging me posting my stream link could be for followers on my twitter.
It occurred to me, If I am to improve my twitter engagement at the very least, I could create an attractive image to let my followers know I’m going live.
This shocked me, though 3 likes and a comment on the post cannot possibly be considered a large amount, however, since posting my stream link with images I’ve noticed significant and consistent increase in user engagement on each time I post that I’m going live.
An interesting collection of data from Hilvert-Bruce, Neill, Sjöblom and Hamari’s ‘Social Motivations of live-streaming viewer engagement on Twitch’ analysed the reasons and relating emotional and social reasons for viewer engagement on twitch. Some of the more interesting data is this table, which displays the percentage and connections between variables and the reasons for Twitch subscriptions.
The most notable being social interactions as well as a sense of community.
By considering this data and much more of the data gathered by the authors of this paper I am able to clearly assert how best to monetize my channel. By prioritizing the viewer experience around social interaction and community I will be able to encourage viewers to be more likely to subscribe then if I simply focused on the entertainment aspect of streaming.
Another resource I looked at was Paswan’s ‘Social Media Strategies’ though his writing is very basic, Paswan has clearly outlined some clear guidelines for marketing on social media as well as growing a brand or products engagement. Some of the clear points he identifies are the importance of using the correct social media that your target audience engages with, correctly identifying and researching your audience’s interests (Starter packs) and from that creating content that will appeal to that audience’s interests.
He also points out the importance of image and video content over text based posts on social media (the same point as Heggde and Shainesh).
In Jones and Liu’s paper ‘Heroes and Zeroes: Predicting the Impact of new video games on Twitch.tv’ they have amassed data to try to analyse how quickly a new game draws viewership on twitch, and how this viewership decays over time as the game no longer becomes ‘new.’
An interesting piece of data is the total viewers on twist over time, which displays a notable spike on the weekend.
While I was able to have already identified just from trial and error, actually have the data displayed makes this very clear that my ‘feeling’ that I generally gain more viewers on weekends, is not just a feeling and an actual fact.
Another interesting point that this paper identifies is that when a new game comes out, it is only the top percentile of twitch streamers who already hold a monopoly on the viewership of twitch who actually gain any real benefit or boost in viewers from streaming a brand new game,
while small streams (under 500 viewers) seem to be able to stream new games with a boost in viewership once the larger streams are no longer streaming it.
This is shown in their data and correlates with this article by Megan Ellis that also suggests to build an audience as a small streamer you should stream non-over saturated games that may have even been released months ago but still hold an active viewership.
Other similar advice in this article that correlates with John Morton’s guide to growing a Twitch channel is the importance of a schedule. Thus far, I haven’t actually created a schedule for my stream as I don’t feel I will be able to consistently stay on a schedule however I intend to create one once the uni semester is over.
An idea I hadn’t considered until very recently was something I learnt from reading Robert Wiesehan’s article on which are the best games to stream on twitch.
In his article he points out an interesting idea in regards to Steam (The main platform/store for PC gaming) and how a great idea for what to stream is stream whatever game is the most advertised or sold on steam. He points out how sudden huge sales and price drops on otherwise for forgotten titles can ‘rekindle interest’.
While he doesn’t outright use the term niche marketing, I think the method of streaming niche titles is by the best way to get started on Twitch in growing a viewer ship as appose to streaming over-saturated games like Fortnite and League of Legends which have the biggest viewership on Twitch.
In my experience on streaming some of the most surprising things were how popular pixel art is on twitch, because the medium of pixel art is a relatively obscure one and very nostalgic for a lot of user’s interest in retro games like Pokemon on the Gameboy. It seems that there is a huge community on Twitch who are interested in specifically pixel art because it is so ‘out there’ from regular art streaming on Twitch.
In Gandolfi’s paper ‘To watch or to play, It is in the game: The game culture on Twitch.tv among performers, play and audiences’ there is a huge amount of data from polling audiences which clearly identifies what the interests are of Twitch’s viewership as a whole.
[Gandolfi, E 2016]
Here from their sample of mostly college to highschool aged people, Gandolfi has surveyed a general identity of what the gaming interests are of the Twitch platform.
Some of the more interesting survey data collected by Gandolfi however is the user’s habits and reasons for engaging with twitch as a whole.
[Gandolfi, E 2016]
Here we can see that most Twitch users are generally only watching 0-3 hours a week, and the main reason for them to engage with Twitch is to watch specific personalities rather than specific games. Though it is also an interesting point that generally it seems users prefer to engage with games that they are familiar with or own already.
The other interesting piece of data is that generally users prefer to watch gameplay passively rather than directly engaging with the streamer.
This is something that I have experienced myself, as well as often noticing when watching some small streamers with a usual of audience of 30 or more people watching but a very silent chat despite the large amount of people watching.
In Michael Andronico’s article on streaming on twitch, he writes about how streamers like Sonja Reid (Omgitsfirefoxx) referes to her viewers as the ‘foxx family.’
This is something I’ve seen other streamers do, and by referring back to some of the data above where Hilvert-Bruce and his co-authors found that the influences for subscribing to a twitch streamer was 31% related to a ‘sense of community’ by subscribing to the twitch streamer. This data and Andronico’s article both emphasise on this point of creating a sense of community in twitch streaming. In fact Reid stated herself that “I get to know a lot of my [viewers], and remember what’s going on in their lives and chat with them about it in stream,”
Reid further expresses that her community has bonded with her stream so much that it seems she can stream practically anything even obscure titles like Barbie’s Dreamhouse and her entire community was still “cheering me (sic) on.”
I think this is an important learning point to consider in the future of my twitch channel that I should really emphasise the importance of getting to know viewers and asking about how they are regularly, to encourage them to keep returning as part of the ‘community.’
Overall, using this data as well as the advice I’ve received from other streamers it seems that as long as I continue to focus on growing a community, and streaming niche titles or art forms like pixel art my stream is likely to continue to grow with my end goal being to continue to monetize my content and eventually become a twitch partner, a goal which is essentially achieved by streaming 5 days a week and averaging 75 viewers at a minimum.
I can see the near future the biggest difficulty will be remaining consistent over time despite any personal issues in life if you can’t consistently stream with a schedule then no matter how great a community I attempt to build there won’t be any consistent viewers without a schedule.
– Blake Foggo
Abumrad J, & WYNC Studios, 2018 On The Media ‘Twitch And Shout’
https://www.wnycstudios.org/story/on-the-media-2018-08-17 [Accessed 16/10/18]
Heggde, G, Shainesh, G, 2018 ‘Social Media Marketing: Emerging concepts and applications’ Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan pp.198-207
Hilvert-Bruce, Z, Neill, JT, Sjöblom, M, Hamari, J, 2018, ‘Social Motivations of live-streaming viewer engagement on Twitch,’ Computers in Human Behavior, Vol 84, pp.58-67
Paswan, A, 2018 ‘Social Media Marketing Strategies,’ DAWN: Journal for Contemporary Research in Management. Vol 5:1, pp.8-11
Jones, I, Liu, H, 2017 ‘Heroes and Zeroes: Predicting the Impact of new video games on Twitch.tv’ Social and Information Networks, Cornell University Library.
https://arxiv.org/abs/1707.05831v1 [Accessed 16/10/18]
Ellis, M 2017, ’10 Tips for Building an Audience for your live streaming channel’
https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/solo-live-streaming [Accessed 16/10/18]
Morton, J 2018. ‘A Growth Hacker’s Guide to Growing your Twitch Channel’
https://medium.com/@jomosenpai/a-growth-hackers-guide-to-growing-your-twitch-channel-2018-part-1-6-what-kind-of-streamer-are-619f8464fe82 [Accessed 16/10/18]
Wiesehan,R 2018 ‘Can’t get viewers on Twitch? You’re playing the wrong games’
https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/cant-get-viewers-on-twitch-youre-playing-the-wrong-games [Accessed 16/10/18]
Gandolfi, E 2016 ‘To watch or to play, It is in the game: The game culture on twitch.tv among performers, plays and audiences’ Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds 8(1):63-82
Andronico, Michael 2018 ‘The ultimate Guide to Twitch Streaming’
https://www.tomsguide.com/us/twitch-streaming-guide,review-3009.html [Accessed 19/10/18]
The project that I will be reviewing is April and Eliza’s Instagram account Yeah Sick! producing recipes and food related content with a focus audience of university students and people looking for good food that can be prepared without a lot of money or time invested. During the ideation stage the two of them researched what the main user base of Instagram was and found from surveys that would suggest that the primary user base of Instagram was ‘College age’ young adults. [Pew Research Centre 2012] Because this was the demographic that they were targeting with their content, this lead them to feel that they would be best off creating their food recipe content on Instagram instead of any other platform.
Both Eliza and April have a background and familiarity of filming and editing video which was why they felt confident in producing food tutorial videos that were edited in a clean cut manner. During their seminar they made considerations about the exact format of content that was most engaging with the class, by asking the class of their preference between cooking tutorial videos with a person vocally describing the process and the recently popular ‘Buzz feed’ associated jump cut style of food videos. The feedback they received from class in this seminar was a valuable asset in the direction they would take with the rest of the content produced for their Instagram page.
After receiving this feedback they went forward in attempting to refine their content to improve their font and format of their actual videos. I think it can be said that the actual content they’ve produced aesthetically at a standalone effort is at a very high level than the average person would be capable of producing.
Though the quality of content is very high, this cannot necessarily be said for the behind the scenes work like optimizing their engagement to the highest possible degree. While aesthetically their Instagram holds no issues there are issues in the lack of provisions made to improve engagement and further research into optimal strategies to grow the reach and visibility of a Instagram page. While in each post on their Instagram there is a large number of hashtags being utilized in an effort to improve engagement many of these hashtags are so popular that there is very little visibility because of how often they are used. This results in their videos and photos to only remain visible under these hashtags for a very short lifetime rather than remaining for several days. For this reason, much like in my own project where I endeavored to create content under niche tags on Twitch, it would be in the project’s interest to research and find some niche hashtags. Given the project’s identity as ‘Quality recipes for lazy Wollongong students’ perhaps it could be worth considering the opportunity of actually marketing the content to the Wollongong area. Another part in their process that April identified herself in her beta presentation was that they didn’t do enough work in looking around for similar content to try to connect and leech off their audiences and form connections socially in that way. This is a vital issue that I feel has stunted the growth and engagement of their Instagram account. From looking at their Beta presentation and their process it seems to me that there was a lot of focus on the content itself and a lack of focus on how they were going to be able to grow their reach and brand. By bringing more focus in their project towards the marketing social networking part of the project they should be able to make notable improvements to the engagement within their page.
Examining the actual trajectory and development history of the project, I can see an issue in regards to the regularity of content, while for 2-3 weeks they remained consistent in making 1-2 posts a week after an unfortunate issue with April having to take a break from the project due to medical issues, the project took an extended 2.5 week break from any content being produced.
After this long break, it seems that they posted 5 posts all at once between the 8/10/18 – 9/10/18.
I can guess that the reason for creating all these posts in a short time frame was due to the upcoming beta presentation and because of it, they felt they wanted to display as much content as possible in their beta. While this is likely what occurred, it may have been better to delay and stagger posts weekly/twice a week as they had originally intended.
Another issue I’ve identified with this project after consulting with the two of them, was that they had not engaged or looked at any analytical data for their page. While Instagram business accounts do are actually able to display this data. Because they hadn’t looked at these analytics, or possibly hadn’t become aware they could access them I think they have missed an opportunity to see important data such as the optimal time to post. They are therefore completely unable to make the optimal strategies without analytical data for them to ascertain how their page has gained growth or even data to display what their current user demographic is. (Interestingly though, despite this they wrote in their beta presentation that they felt the best time to upload was between 7-8 pm, I’m unsure how they have managed to identify this without any analytical data?)
There are notable improvements in regards to the actual contents quality that I feel is praiseworthy as it shows that in their iterative process they have identified issues with their actual content which was already at quite high quality. As I have a background in the field of video production I noticed immediately that in some of their earlier iterations the font they used could have been improved immensely by considering how it needs to contrast with whatever it contrasts. In early iterations the font used in videos would often blend with white text on a bright background which is too similar to be very legible for the eyes. It seems in later iterations they added a black drop-shadow to the font which makes the text stand out more from the video.
Some other improvements are how they made slight improvements to the lighting conditions that they filmed under, as well as actually colour-grading the footage to present in in a more appealing way. The colour-grading and lighting is particular important in my opinion as the content they are trying to appeal to users is to make users want to consume the food they create or attempt to make it themselves. If the food is a dull grey, with little colour and in a poorly lit room it is not anywhere near as appealing.
Overall, the project has made noticeable improvements in the quality of their actual content, but as stated earlier has issues regarding a hiatus during production (unavoidable under medical circumstances) but also needs to try to engage deeper with analytical data and attempt further strategies to improve engagement and growth. (Such as more niche hashtags).
For the past few weeks, there have been some difficulties regarding conceptually where I want to go with this work. At the very least I have identified my focus on the social and cultural dynamics surrounding the recent emergence of live streaming online in particular Twitch.
The platform of twitch is very interesting, with at times relatively mundane streamers filming themselves with webcams and a video game, for hours on end retaining large viewerships where the viewer is able to communicate with the streamer through a chat box. Since the introduction of twitch however, in recent years the use of ‘streamer emotes’ a system in which you are able to a pay a fee to unlock an emote themed around the streamer for use in the chat has in my eyes caused a mass cultural phenomenon in which generally teenagers and young adults are comfortably using the codes required to write these emotes into the chat not only in the twitch chat but outside of the platform as a means of communication. I think this is akin conceptually to words like ‘LOL’ (Laugh out loud) and ‘TBH’(To be honest) now no longer being restricted to use in text messages and online chatting, and is often used in day to day conversation as the word is culturally ingrained in a large majority of the population.
It is very possible from my perspective after observing this change over the course of my lifetime that this could very well occur with twitch emote codes like ‘Kappa’ (Which is an emote meaning to be sarcastic with whatever is paired with it) and other popular twitch emotes.
How does this affect my work?
Well for starters this conceptually is very interesting and could potentially be an avenue of twitch to explore conceptually. How can I explore this idea of emote culture within twitch and bring it into a gallery space. How would this work as an installation?
I think in previous posts, in readings I looked into expanded cinema installations and how the viewer is not simply a viewer but is able to experience the work differently depending on where they are in the actual space. This kind of method of looking at art, is one that I’m interested in as I feel the more participatory art is (without being gimmicky) the more engaging it is. I’m certainly an advocate for art for the masses in which everyone is able to understand and engage with a work rather than art academic professionals.
I’m yet to realise how exactly I could bring this idea of emotes from a conceptual idea to a physical work but noting some of the unique processes and cultural icons unique to twitch is something that I feel is important to consider in my process of creating a work around twitch live streaming.
There are however, two other ideas I’ve had in regards to an actual physical work.
The first is the idea of a piece of performative art in which I do an analogue live stream. The idea is to do the processes within a live stream such as having a subscriptions, having donations and having a chat box, but actually doing the live stream in person. This is something that is very obscure from the idea of twitch in which you are connected to the streamer only by chat. By attempting a performance artwork where you live stream at a location it would interesting to see if the ‘live streamer’ would be able to hold the audiences interest in similar ways to a regular live stream, or if the lack of abstraction via online anonymity makes people less receptacle.
Streamers interviewed in the On the Media twitch podcast for example observed how they felt the twitch chat would be a lot kinder when they’re not anonymous. They express how in fan meets with the streamer that the people the streamer met in real life were not as much of a ‘savage or a troll’ as they are when participating essentially anonymously from their twitch user name.
Another conceptual idea is the idea of a work which looks into what goes on behind the streamers view. When you watch a live stream you only see what the streamer wants you to see, so there is an interesting dynamic if I was to record myself live streaming from a different camera view than the standard webcam in front of my face. Would a live stream of a camera facing down at a keyboard recording keystrokes and input commands for the stream be interesting and reveal new ideas about what live streaming is from the ‘streamers’ perspective
In any case, at this point all of these ideas are simply ‘ideas’ and if I am to truly begin prototyping something for this work, I need to start creating something physical to get feedback from peers on whether the work is capable of speaking to them. One interesting piece of feedback I’ve already noticed is surprisingly how few people within class had participated in watching twitch live streams, despite it no longer being much of a niche genre. This observation is important to me as it means I need to be careful in having my work be approachable even to someone who isn’t very familiar with twitch.
So let’s talk about my previous post, regarding my experience watching Korean dramas.
Early in this video we can see how I point out my bias against the idea of even participating in watching a Korean drama, this is because I felt that it wouldn’t be something that I would enjoy watching. In regards to this I’d like to briefly reference Christiane Kraft Alsops autoethnographic work in regards to the idea of home and away in the German language. I found her analysis very interesting in regards to her questions of the meaning of what is defined as ‘home’ and what is ‘away’ or ‘foreign.’ By exploring these ideas, it made me consider that even when self-reflecting on my position and history in regards to Korean dramas I’ve never once considered why I consider the idea of watching Korean dramas foreign to me culturally. After all, I wouldn’t define k-pop and anime as foreign ideas culturally to me as I’m very familiar with them and enjoy them. K-dramas however, are something that I was uncomfortable with the idea of participating and involving myself with.
This sense of deliberate avoidance of participating in K-dramas is an interesting point as Ellis would suggest in an autoethnographic stance, I need to consider myself within the actual research. Placing myself inside, I know a little of Korean culture though that is mostly based on the emergence on E-sports and has very little to know about the south Korean entertainment industry other than perhaps the idea of what k-pop music videos sound and look like. This was my prior involvement with Korean cultural exports until my involvement with the K-drama ‘Part Time Idol.’
I noticed when reviewing my video on K-dramas that I was perplexed in regards to one of the characters bowing before she raps. I on the spot, theorised that perhaps it was culturally acceptable, to bow before and after rapping in South Korea however after doing my research now I have some doubts that this is the case.
In this source an anonymous writer writes in detail about the culture of hip hop within South Korea with mentions of how it fully inclusive of everyone regardless of age, however even in all the many sources of hip hop performers/artists I couldn’t find any evidence of a culture of bowing as part of hip hop at all.
Because, I couldn’t find anything relating the act of bowing to hip hop in made me curious as to why the filmmakers had the actor bow at all, what was the significance or point of this occurring, other than this I hadn’t seen any of the other characters bow at all other than in this hip scene.
This is why I endeavored to look at bowing as a cultural phenomenon in Korea, what I found was an article by Keith Kim who wrote that it isn’t uncommon in an informal setting that a ‘simple bow is used when saying, hello, bye and thank you.’
It is also used in important meetings with a much lower and longer bow, to display more respect.
With these ideas, I have come to a new hypothesis regarding the rapping bowing scene in Part Time Idol.
Perhaps I’m wrong, but given that Part Time Idol is a comedic show, maybe the act of the character bowing before rapping is actually for comedic effect, because it’s somewhat irrational for you to politely greet someone by bowing, and then immediately roast them verbally through the form of rap. I surmise that this is possibly the intention of the film makers, in this scene. However, I can’t say that this is 100% correct as this is simply how I have come to a conclusion after a little bit of research into hip hop and bowing culture in Korea.
Alsop, C Kraft. 2002, ‘Home and away: Self-Reflexive Auto-/Ethnography’,
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Ellis, C. Adams, T.E., and Bochner, A.P. 2011, ‘Autoethnography: An Overview’, Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 12:1.
Kim, K 2013 ‘When and How to Bow in Korea’ , Seoulistic,
Anonymous, 2017 ‘A Look into Korean Hip-Hop Culture’, Medium.
Sweet, J D. 2017 ‘An Autoethnographic of Masculinities: Flexibility and Flexing in Guyland’ International Journal of Education & The Arts. 18:35
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Pitard, J. 2017, ‘A Journey to the Centre of Self: Positioning the Researcher in Autoethnography.’ Forum: Qualitative Social Research. 18:3
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For my draft Meda302 proposal I intended to create a work based around my geographic location in Nowra, as well as some of the issues I feel I deal with working as a regional artist. In my previous week, I researched some of these issues which seemed to be a lack of collaboraters as advocated by regional photographer Adam Marlow and as written from the Australian council for the Arts 53% of directors/actors feel that their location negatively affects their work as an artist. This was something that I felt related to me personally, so I intended to create a work about the town of Nowra as well as some of the many issues of public transport that occur in Nowra. While I hadn’t yet decided whether I wanted to focus on the issues of being a regional artist, or the issues of being a regional town I hadn’t decided but worked with this experimental work.
The work is a video recording of some beautiful and popular locations in Nowra, and contrasts them with the darker unseen side of Nowra that many do not see. It is also deliberately graded quite colourfully to draw a deeper contrast with the horror/thriller film-like soundtrack. I aimed to draw attention to how Nowra has a negative perception from outsiders, and insiders alike, and create an interesting contrast between the natural river views and invasion of trolleys in tourist spots such as the navy helicopter which is well known in Nowra. (This could be considered comparable to something like a smaller big banana from Coffs Harbour).
Overall though, when presenting my proposal and describing my practice to my peers, I felt that perhaps this type of work wasn’t something I wanted to create. Given that what I would consider my best works have been focused on politics, mockumentary, satire and internet culture I think it’d be more in my interest to go back to the drawing board and reconsider what exactly I want to create.
I think this week I will think more about internet culture and hopefully read up on some peer-reviewed writing on the subject of YouTube and Twitch. Hopefully from that, I will gain some insight on where I want to go with this work.
This week I watched a Korean Drama for the first time, it was certainly not the worst thing I’ve watched, and I’m not sure how I feel thinking that It wasn’t actually too bad…
Some info on the show I watched can be seen here
I reference Andy Warhol’s hamburger video, so if you’re interested you can read up on it here.
If you’re interested in watching ex Pm, Onion-kun consume a delicious succulent onion then you can see it here.
At this stage I haven’t ironed out exactly the road I want to go for the medium of my work, but I have identified some general themes that I am interested in pursuing.
The first things are the conceptual part of my work:
I’ve recently identified personally that I feel very isolated from the art industry of not only Sydney but even Wollongong as well. As an artist and among my peers, I am regularly unable to attend collaborations and ‘shoots’ with my peers which causes me to miss a lot of opportunity to work together and discuss ideas. While I’m not entirely isolated from Wollongong an hour of driving or 1.5 hour train trip to get to a location to work with alongside my peers is a lot of time to sacrifice particularly when you consider the fact that this time is doubled to make the return trip. (2 hours driving, 3 hours train).
This is then doubled once more if I’m instead travelling to Sydney from my home in Nowra.
With this personal issue identified it got me thinking, how I can portray this feeling of isolation from my peers and the city.
A few things that stand out to me from this are:
The poor and slow public transport between Nowra and Kiama. (This is a growing concern from residents in Nowra with political appeals occurring yearly about this issue)
As well as this, I’ve identified an issue of general dissatisfaction with the amount of time lost while travelling via car, to Wollongong. This daily commute in which I find myself growingly bored, and dissatisfied because if I was located closer to Wollongong I could be spending the time doing practical things instead of simply travelling. This is another aspect I’m interested in potentially exploring conceptually.
After doing some research around the topic of regional artists, I wondered perhaps how other regional artists struggle with the issue of being geographically located regionally.
In an abc interview with regional art photographer Adam Marlow, Marlow explains how it’s difficult for him to find subjects to participate in. This is relatable to me in how I find it difficult to find people to collaborate with locally.
As well as this the interviewer points out how regional artists are often pigeonholed as a country cliché, which isn’t necessarily something I’ve experienced. I can relate to this point in a way that due to my strong Australian country accent and location in Nowra in my experience of meeting people from Sydney and even at times Wollongong there is a particular assumption about my level of education simply based on these factors of sounding like and being from a regional town.
As well as this, I read from the Australia council for the Arts that regionally based artists often have negative perceptions about the impact of their location on their practice and earn almost a third less than their city counterparts for their creative work.
These points are interesting as they add some validation to my interest in the challenges of working as a regional artist.
For my proposal at this point, I’m thinking of filming and taking photos around my town and then trying to experiment with the content in different ways to present the town under different mediums.
for example, film, photography, sound, videogame, sculpture, ect.
https://open.abc.net.au/explore/91392 Interview with Regional Art Photographer – Adam Marlow
http://www.australiacouncil.gov.au/research/regional-arts-summary/ – Regional Australia Arts Research Summary