IAT 206 Proposal

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Annie Wang (301139339)
Jennifer Lee (301147393)
Karen La (301147705)
Laurie Low (301134229)


Our project will be a working visual representation of celebrities known around the world on a map layout. Mapping out their connections, with string and thumbtacks, to places in the world and how those places have been affected by the influences of Western celebrities. There will be a video with two components. One, we will have a bird’s eye view of us creating this map and two, we will have a narrative explaining how the Western celebrities are connected around the world and how these connections have an influence on their culture and other cultures around the globe.

Artist Statement:

Our main purpose is to show how Western celebrities have not only a negative impacts in cultures but also have strong positive influences across the world. By showing these connections of just one person we are able to present the possibilities of not only being in your own personal world but at the same time stepping out of it and experiencing the whole world as one. We hope that the audience understands that there is possibilities of influencing other cultures by opening your own personal world. Celebrities are human beings just like us, if they can make a difference so can one individual.

Idea & Conceptual Relations to Class:

Topic : How media has made Western celebrities known across the world affecting and changing countries’ and their cultures.

With our topic we will explore various concepts which have been involved in our readings and lecture materials. This includes the following:
- networking                              - global society                               - pop cosmopolitanism
- media                                     - medium                                       - the other
- information                              - archives                                       - interfaces
- hot and cold media                  - encoding and decoding                  - multiculturalism
- subcultures                             - cultural hybridization

Though there are many concepts that can be found within our project, we will be focusing on networking within global society, the mediums in which media makes these celebrities famous and the quality and amount of information which will be distributed through our piece of work. These are the main concepts we believe will help get our project across to the audience. Our project is only a stepping stone for our audience to feel as if they can make a difference. If they have the information and determination to let themselves become apart of our global society, then our message as been successfully received.

Why it is Exciting and Interesting:

What makes our project exciting and interesting is the way we have chosen to visually show our project. By showing it visually, we are allowing others to see how celebrities are known around the world, which countries they have been linked to and so on. With each place the celebrity is linked to we then break it down to how they are link to that country/city, how their celebrity status changed others culture that live there. One by one we will show the many ways of how the celebrity is linked to more then their own city and culture. The amazement that one celebrity can have on number of cultures around the globe is phenomenal.

MF: So, "Visual" is a huge category and I'm not sure what the visualization entails, you mention making a video about a map, so that's a visual about a visual, is the map paper or virtual? I am not clear on the total scope of visualization media you are intending to use, is it just a linear video? If so, it can't be too long as there are only a few weeks of the course left, but a project involving lots of celebrities and the whole planet seems hugely ambitious! And how will that work in a short video format? Multiple short videos on a website with text and other visualizations I can get, but doing this project as a short video only seems confusing to me- is it a documentary you are proposing? A lot of work needs to be done here to clarify the MEDIUM FORMAT issues of your proposal. Thematically, your concept is ok but very broad in scope. There are thousands of celebrities, from film to music to politics to sports etc. plus each country has celebrities that are not globally known- what will be your CRITERIA for SELECTING celebrities? And what about celebrities doing interesting things in culturally diverse parts of their home country-- look at Brad Pitt's work with architects in rebuilding New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, for example. That's a celebrity doing very cool things with cutting edge architects and poor black people in the South, which is intra-country (not cross-global) but very pertinent to what you're describing. Finally, have a look at Lev Manovich's research in cultural analytics.