Popular Online Visual Aesthetics

Bone Bead

Radical remediation, you say?

What’s odd is how ridiculously fun making this image was, and how it felt slightly transgressive.  Would I do the same with a photo of a skeleton?  With an assemblage from a Hansen’s disease settlement? This is actually fairly sedate; I could have added dancing kittens and diamond dollar bill signs.

When you make a photo “bling” on Blingee, it automatically saves it to the broader social network–what will people (probably mostly children and young adults) think when they see this next to more typical photos of grinning friends and anime characters?

More broadly, I wonder about this moment in internet aesthetics and whether it has more implications for visual representation in both the personal and professional realms.

I’ve never played World of Warcraft, mostly because I want to finish my dissertation someday, but partially because I never found it very appealing.  Frankly, it looks like a mess to me, but now I wonder if I just didn’t see the internal visual logic behind it.  Now that I’ve been in Second Life long enough to understand the importance of proper avatar maintenance, I can see how easy it is to end up with leopard skin and multicolored eyes.

This isnt my avatar, but you get the idea.

This isn't my avatar, but you get the idea.

As a sidenote, this person would actually get taken more seriously within Second Life than a tenured professor in a “newbie” skin.  An interesting commentary on this phenomenon is here, a commentary on the growing phenomenon of educators in Second Life and their conduct therein.

Regardless, it’s always interesting to perform these kinds of visual experiments to see how archaeological photos actually form the performance of our profession.  And I’d love to see more blingee archaeological photos.

2 responses to “Popular Online Visual Aesthetics

  1. Hee. I don’t think medicine is ever going to incorporate the blingee. People won’t take us seriously you see. Erm.

  2. I tried to blingee a photo of a skeleton. Doing that does definitely feel transgressive, but the result looks rather strange.
    Maybe I should have added some dancing kittens…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s