My spectacle artefact is based around constructed reality and the dominant presence of consumerist culture within a false-reality; set in a video game environment. The point of the piece is to show the multiple levels of control placed upon us and the facade of what our reality has become.
One of the key points I have learnt from producing my artefact is the importance of reading into multiple theories from significant media theorists before coming up with an initial concept; in this case, looking at the theories posed by Guy Debord and Jean Baudrillard. One quotation that helped me ground my idea was one by Debord who wrote: “When the real world is transformed into mere images, mere images become real beings…” (Debord, 2009: 28) Although I had arrived at my chosen angle for the artefact (video games) and had researched the visual style of the typical gameplay, the artefact would have lacked integrity and substance without the theories being implemented or understood. I believe out of the three artefacts, this was by far my strongest and most effective precisely for this reason. The application and adaptation of media theories lends a lot more meaning and subtle connotations to a piece which makes it more engaging for the audience and enables multiple viewings to pick up on all of the ideas; which I believe to be one of the strengths of the artefact.
However, a few areas that I think posed a weakness were in terms of how the video game controls were applied to the video, and the actual quality of the footage itself. During the shoot, shots were filmed without much thought as to how the video game ‘quick time events’ would be implemented, and so sequences were filmed with the initial media theories on spectacle in mind, rather than the video game angle. Although this did not pose much of a problem in the long run, I believe that had I have given it more thought beforehand, some more creative applications of the ‘quick time events’ and general video game tropes could have been employed to further the quality of the finished product.
The quality of the footage itself was also not up to as higher standard as I would have liked. There were a few shots that were overexposed which drew away from the visual style of the artefact. Although our brief stated that we should not focus on the technical side as much for ‘spectacle’, it would have enhanced the professional quality of the piece.
Faults aside, general feedback from my peers was very positive, with most of the praise directed towards the idea and the post production side. The use of video game imagery in terms of the ‘quick time events’ was commended although I was told that the piece could have perhaps been shortened a little. As such, I believe that my artefact did appeal to its target audience and was engaging enough to produce the feedback that I received.
Overall, I think that unlike my other artefacts, this one proved to be the most successful in terms of both concept and execution purely for the reason that there were a lot more complex themes based on key media theorists. This has shown me the importance of being well versed in media theory in order to produce more challenging and thought-provoking work in terms of my development in the future.
Debord, G. (2009) Society of the spectacle. Eastbourne: Soul Bay Press L