Digital Artefact & Contextual Essay

For my Digital Artefact I chose to explore Virtual Reality (VR). VR Is something which has drawn my curiosity for a long time as I’ve heard about it but never researched into it properly. VR is a computer-generated simulation of a three dimensional image or environment (Steuer Jonathan,1992, pp. 73). VR is viewed using special electrical equipment which allows for the user to interact in a seemingly real way (Steuer Jonathan,1992, pp. 73). This equipment can take the form of helmets with screens fit inside or gloves fitted with sensors or anything similar (Seth A, Vance & Oliver J, 2010, pp.9). From the start of the research conducted for this assignment, I came to find that there is really no limit to Virtual Reality and how it can be used. Previous uses of the technology can be found in such industries as the adult film world, interior design and gaming (Burdea G & Coiffet P, 2003, pp.15). It was through this research that the concept of Facebook Spaces was uncovered. Facebook Spaces is essentially a Virtual reality version of Facebook, in the sense that users are able to interact in a manufactured interface that mimics reality (Facebook Spaces, 2018). Social Media was something I was not expecting to see to be used in VR.  This surprised me as it gave a whole new direction, to where I could envision VR being used in the future, as well as the potential for development within the social media sphere. After this discovery in my research I knew that I wanted this project to have a focus on social media, as then I would be able to contribute to the conceivable progression of social media.  VR is essentially a construction or animated version of reality, and so therefore it was this notion upon which this project was based. My lounge room is where I spend the majority of my nights and time on social media, so therefore this became the prime inspiration for my digital artefact. The idea was constructed to create a virtual lounge-room where friends could be invited over without physically entering the room.


With no previous experience using programs to create VR, or even a foundation of knowledge on how to create VR, it was imperative that I researched how I could go about creating this digital artefact. I utilised Youtube as well as Lynda, in order to understand how best this project could be completed. I downloaded the program Unity, which was researched as being the easiest program for novices to utilise. However, even with a background of animation this program was not easy to use or navigate, I could create objects but that was the extent of my ability. Following extensive research into the program I was finally able to operate the program enough to begin to create a virtual lounge-room. I learnt from xyz the best way to navigate the program and how to insert models, and access the pre-set models (Learn Unity, 2018). However, with no formal training the quality of what I created was not to the standard that I initially envisioned, and still found myself struggling with even the basic of tools. The biggest challenge that I came across was rendering as a 360 video, as I couldn’t understand how to stop the program from rendering as a still image per frame rather than a complete video. In order to overcome this, I imported the Unity project file into Cinema 4D (an animation program) which allowed me to render, not a 360 video, but instead a walk through model of my Virtual Reality living-room. The reason that I chose to present my digital artefact in this way, is it demonstrates the capability of VR in the sense that even though I was not able to create a 360 video, I could still create a walk through video of my living room. In this sense I achieved my goal of creating a VR version of my living room, however I am yet to create a virtual space in which my friend’s avatars can visit me without leaving the comfort of their own home.


Virtual reality is still a new concept, one which is constantly developing and evolving, and with further developments in technology, the ease with which VR programs can be accessed and understood is immense. Social media is a platform which houses great potential for VR, in terms of both adoption of the program by society as well as the increase in development. It is imperative to understand the ways in which VR can impact upon social media in order to understand the development of society and in turn how future cultures will evolve.


List of References


Burdea Grigore & Coiffet Philippe, 2003, Virtual Reality Technology, John Wiley and Sons, Australia


Facebook Spaces, 2018, Facebook, viewed 2nd  may 2018,


Facebook Spaces, 2017, GameSpot, viewed 2nd  may 2018,


How to Preview Your Interior Design in Virtual Reality, 2016, Decorilla,

viewed 4 may 2018,  


Learn Unity, 2018, Get Started, viewed 1st  May 2018,


Seth A, Vance J & Olver J, 2010, Virtual Reality for Assembly Methods Prototyping: A Review, Manufacturing and Construction, vol. 15, no. 1, pp.5-20


Steuer Jonathon, 1992, Defining Virtual Reality: Dimensions Determining Telepresence, Journal of Communication, vol.42, no.4, pp 72-75


The Infinadeck Omnidirectional Treadmill – Smarter Every Day 192 (VR Series),

2018, SmarterEveryDay, viewed 4 may 2018,


Virtual reality, 2018, English Oxford Living Dictionaries, viewed 4 may 2018,







Live Tweet Curation

Week One: Ghost In The Shell

The movie we kick started off with was “Ghost In The Shell”, a movie I had never seen before. It was our first live-tweeting session a brand new experience for majority of the class especially for me. I had only used twitter in the past to see what celebrities are getting up to. Turning the live tweeting into something humorous throughout the whole session generated the most responses. After a good response to one funny tweet I posted more comedy tweets. The use of GIFS was very effective as most of my peers used it as well. I think it was successful because memes is such a strong part of the social media culture and here we are migrating memes into something we use for class. I found posting and researching facts about the movie actually made me more interested in the movie so I understand why those tweets did better than others.

Week Two: Westworld:

This weeks choice of movie excited me as I’m a huge fan of Jonathan Nolan’s reboot. My love for Nolan and him & his brothers movies came out in a few of my tweets. Referencing other Nolan movies including Inception with the use of a GIF this was actually my most responded to tweet of the week. This week I was more prepared for live tweeting in that i had a sense of what I was doing and what to look out for in the movie. I started to use photoshop throughout the session for some of my “funny” tweets but after this class I found it to be too pointless and time consuming so after this week I limited myself to one photoshop a week.

Week Three: Johnny Mnemonic

Interesting choice of movie this week. It was hard to sit through this movie, I didn’t enjoy it barely at all it was more of a comedy how bad it was and how bad Keanu Reeves acting was crazy to think he landed the main role in Matrix after this movie. I feel like I wanted to start making more serious tweets because it is a class and

we are assessed on this but with this particular movie I think myself and my peers couldn’t help but make a few jokes. I engaged more in my peers tweets this class more than any other commenting on others and retweeting some. The movie made me more involved. My most successful tweet came from this class and it was another GIF for a joke.

Week Four:

Following last weeks disaster we upgraded from economy to first class going from a horrible Keanu Reeves technology movie to an awesome one. By this point in the

semester live tweeting has become a formula knowing what tweets will do better than others. Including myself I feel like at the start there was lots of funny tweets as I mentioned previously but by now everyone was getting more into their research – it was almost competitive researching you wanted to share facts that no one else had shared yet otherwise you look like you’ve completely copied someone. Also by this point everyone was a lot more engaged with everyone else’s the focus became more on what you were reading on twitter than what was on the screen which is interesting considering it’s watching a movie in class. For me anyway I became more interested in what everyone was posting and saying to each other rather than just watching the movie.

Week Five: Black Mirror S2E1 “Be Right Back”

This week we watched an episode of Black Mirror which considering the subject and the choice of films we’ve watched made perfect sense. Looking back now I didn’t meet the required tweets and the only reason I could think was because I got lost in the screen rather than focusing on the work. The tweets I did post were standard my go to I always start with what we’re about to watch.

Week Six: Robot & Frank

I loved this choice of movie. It was unique, simple but brilliant.

Week Seven: Black Mirror S3E6 “Hated In The Nation”

No words needed. Another fantastic Black Mirror episode.  

Overall looking over all my tweets there’s a consistency in my personal agenda throughout them. I’m a passionate movie nerd which is shown as I make multiple references to the structure of a movie and comment on how well the movie we’re watching is made. There’s also a lot of IMDB which is every movie nerd’s bible. I make multiple references to gun laws which is a result of the time we sat through those specific screenings was when the School shooting took place in America I became fascinated with the politics behind it and more specifically Trump and how poorly he handled everything. Twitter as I see it is generally used to express opinion Kanye West tweets cause controversy as does Donald Trump’s I feel as if I became this when I used it sharing my thoughts throughout class. It’s an interesting concept live tweeting you’re more engaged with what you’re watching you pay more attention to the movie and put a lot more research into it during it as you are watching it as oppose to after researching It. Live Tweeting in my opinion is a formula that isn’t hard to figure out it’s easy to get a reaction by creating a laugh, also easy to create a reaction dropping interesting facts about the making that people didn’t know makes for a better viewing knowing the back story. Further into session I found myself getting so caught up in what everyone was posting and becoming fascinated with the facts I was learning that I became distracted from the purpose which was to tweet and be involved which is shown as the number of my tweets decreases each week. Live tweeting is something I could see myself doing at home as I watch a movie as I love having a voice on something.

BCM325: Future Cultures Research Project Post 2 – VR The New Social Media

Following up on my first blog post I have began my attempt in re-creating my lounge room in virtual reality. I have downloaded Unity and began my attempt. When i first opened the program I was instantly confused so decided to devote a few hours to playing around with the program I came to find it similar to a plugin I use in After Effects called Element3D.

Advanced Forced Opacity Full).jpg


The layout of Element3D as you can see in the image above is similar to Unity with the models and materials presented the same in the bottom of the screen. Once i noticed this similarity, using the program became more comfortable. After some playing around – not focusing particularly on the lounge room but more on just getting used to the program I created this. 22221.png

Figuring out how to insert a model was embarrassingly a challenge. It took me a while to find just some examples when I did on the asset store there were only few free the rest costed $10 and above. Obviously I couldn’t rely on pre made models to create my lounge room so after playing around I started to watch some online starter tutorials. Helpful tutorials I found included:


Zenva – “How to Get Started With Unity3D – Ultimate Beginners Guide” 


About one week was spent just playing around and watching tutorials, can’t say that I’m super confident and positive after it but I am a lot more familiar with Unity3D than i was before. From here i began researching lounge room’s created in VR just to get a feel for how other people did it and through this I found a whole new meaning to it’s existence in VR. For my digital artefact I want to re-create my actual Living room in VR playing on that the future of social media will be based – eventually getting a point where having guest come over won’t be necessary as with the advancement in VR technology they will be able to visit your house in VR as artificial intelligence taking away the physical aspect. What i found with Houses in general on VR is that VR is now used for Interior designers & architects to showcase to their customers their ideas and designs. Creating an interactive experience for the customer being able to walk through the house in VR and explore the depth of the designs. I came accross countless websites of companies that now use VR in their portfolio as a way to showcase their work.


I will of course be using Unity3D in order to create my digital artefact however I found whilst researching VR that theres another trick to creating it. People use animation software such as Blender & Cinema 4D animating everything and then adding a 360 Camera effect to it thus creating a VR experience through a VR headset. In order to help my project I am going to animate the foreground of my lounge room itself and  then in Unity3D create the individual objects. To make this more simple I’m not going to create this in fine detail but rather focus on main objects in the room including my TV, Lounge & Coffee table. Limiting the animation to these three main objects will make it easier and more realistic for me to complete this project.


Since i started writing this blog post I have actually attempted to create the three objects I mention. See my attempt below. The lounge is a working progress I haven’t quite figured out how to mesh the shape of solid objects in order to recreate this lounge. Stick with me however, Nothing a youtube tutorial won’t fix i will update my progress.






Coffee Table:




Side Note: It’s an interesting time to be doing an assignment about the future of social media especially considering a lot of my inspiration was Facebook’s VR. With everything thats going on with Facebook right now with the Cambridge Analytica maybe my idea well my prediction of the future of social media creating an interactive platform isn’t the best thing. With hackers and everything a night in my VR living room could be intruded by outsiders. Scary world and time we live in. The more advanced our technology becomes the more risks we face.

BCM325 Future Cultures Research Project Post 1 – VR The New Social Media

For my independent research project, I’m going to focus on Virtual Reality (VR). So what is VR? According to Dr Jackson of Marxent VR is the use of computer technology to create a simulated environment. Unlike traditional user interfaces, VR places the user inside an experience. Instead of viewing a screen in front of them, users are immersed and able to interact with 3D worlds. By simulating as many senses as possible, such as vision, hearing, touch, even smell, the computer is transformed into a gatekeeper to this artificial world. VR is viewed through specially designed headsets amongst other capabilities including through your mobile phone. There is plenty of variety in choosing a VR device with Google Cardboard, Magic Leap & Samsung GearVR and many more.


VR is something in which I have always been interested and curious into learning more about. I have not personally ever made or done any research into this topic so this is going to be fun. VR has been described as the “Future of Gaming” creating an immerse experience for the user. Almost every technology based company in Silicon Valley is investing into research in VR in order to stay up to date. Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg has taken a different approach with his research of VR synchronising the virtual world to google maps creating an interactive experience where the user can walk/ explore the streets of any chosen place on the planet on top of that using the Facebook VR software (Facebook Spaces) If your friends are also using it a multiplayer-like experience is possible. The rapid advance of technology we have in our day and age is leading us to an inevitable virtual future. More and more of our experiences and social engagement is going online. VR is also heading into Medical practices.


Taking all of this in I have decided to focus my research on the future of VR. My digital artefact will be taking a crack (keeping in mind i have never made VR before) at creating virtual reality. Focusing on the social media aspect I am going to re-create my lounge room in VR.


A social place in which a lot of my social interactions take place. Creating this is my first step to taking my socialising into VR. Following my research on VR for beginners I am going to use:

  • Unity 3d
  • Unreal Engine

What lead me to the idea of actually creating VR was watching on the internet all the recreations of real places. As well as  some of it’s use in gaming a way to view parts of the game you wouldn’t normally be able to see.

I believe the future of Social Media will be through VR. As Mark Zuckerberg’s prototype has already hinted towards this I believe over time this concept will be developed by all social platforms eventually moving our social media onto the Virtual Reality. Creating my living room virtually then with VR all my friends will be able to join me. A more realistic social outcome than Facetime as you can virtually place you and your friends in the same room even when you’re not together. I will be updating my blog every week with videos and posts about the progression of my VR.

Teacher Feedback

Overall following my feedback from Mat & Jo there are multiple things in which i can change/ fix before presenting my work at the grad show. Focusing on the window Jo made comments as to using a more vintage window frame therefore adding something vintage to the space view giving it an earthly feel. Mat suggested i show the earth in the video. I feel if i added the earth it would take away the whole aesthetic of my work. Both Mat & Jo suggested i move my artist statement from the centre of the wall between the screens to the right side of the smaller screen, i placed it there purposely for the audience to walk in and engage with the work on either side of them however after they removed my statement to a different position i had to agree it was a lot better presented than how i originally had it. The feedback was half good half negative i can only turn the feedback into a positive way to improve and make my work perfect for grad show!

Final Presentation set- up (14.11.17)



Reflective Statement

In the early stages of this semester when we first started experimenting and coming up with concepts in order to execute to start our major work; I was scared and lost. Every Meda work we had created so far was only small to this work this was our final setup. I was nervous because I knew this was our showcasing work we had to apply ourselves completely for this major. At the start I was experimenting with film and playing around with the idea of recreating a scene from one of my favourite movie openers. However, despite this I moved on to focus more on the topic (Future). At this point of the major I was optimistic for the future creating a colourful utopia-like setting with the use of colours & taking the viewer into a better place than where we are. The complete direction for my work changed after I became oddly fascinated with the news of Donald Trump pulling America out of the Paris Climate Deal. This reminded me of Leonardo DiCaprio’s documentary for National geographic which raises the concern of global warming which is something in which I take seriously and strongly believe. This lead me to somehow blending the idea of global warming with the ideas I was already exploring. Changing direction in that I was previously exploring an optimistic future whereas with global warming I was exploring quite the opposite. Despite the fact I completely changed It made me more confident as i thought now with the underlying problem of global warming I felt as if my work had actual purpose. Especially because it was something I actually cared about. I next played around with some transitions this lead me to space. When I think of the future I always think about space but why? I thought about this it’s definitely is partially a result of the copious amounts of 80’s futuristic movies I watch. Every movie about the future growing up always had the same idea we would all be in space travelling between different planets. I loved this idea but found this as a perfect way to implement my idea of global warming. Creating a space with no earth. But why no earth? There is no earth anymore in this world in which I have created, and this is a result of global warming. One of my first test for this idea was a yellowish coloured planet in order to represent a dry-dead earth however I changed this after I animated a planet made up of mini particles. Using the particles, I wanted to present the idea of a broken planet as it was not a solid. Overall my initial idea and first setup for the assessment was a success. From the start I wanted to create an interactive screen work and I feel with my first proper set up I achieved that. In comparison to all the work I’ve made throughout the last 3 years in Meda this was definitely the one I worked hardest on and was proudest of. I can honestly say that for the first time as most of my previous assignments had been left last minute or rushed. Now as ecstatic as I am here over the work the final execution wasn’t quite as successful as I’d hoped. For the 5ish so weeks of setting up & testing our works I kept the same two projectors and screens & 2 speakers set up in the centre right side wall. I experimented using this space and was successful in all my test and final test in this space. As exam week approached and it was time for us to properly set up our works everything started to go downhill for me. Firstly, we were re-assigned new spaces which I was okay with however my new space was in the far corner of the room. As I was using two screens – two projectors my first and biggest problem was because of the small space I was assigned I was unable to make the two projectors the same size. As the projector could only be so far from the wall without getting in the way of the second projector because of the close distance it was impossible to project the same scale as the further back screen which had the projector a few metres behind the work. After a full day of figuring out how to make it work it basically came down to impossible I was no matter what not going to be able to make these two screens the same size thus taking away the complete idea and concept of my work by creating an interactive space, it would just be stupid and wouldn’t work as the audience wouldn’t be able to properly engage or take it seriously looking at one-star pass from a proper size screen to a way smaller scaled screen. To compromise for this, I was forced to re-think and basically re-design my entire major just a few days before it’s due date despite the fact it had been working perfectly in my previous tests in the old space. After ripping my hair out and stressing I didn’t want to ruin the theme of global warming or the planet animation in which had taken weeks for me to make so I kept the original video on the big screen and to compromise with the little screen a created a different view of the content on the big screen. With this new view I gave it through the scope of a window. With the window view I was inspired by those old alien movies like ET & Alien it reminded me of the kid in ET who looks out his window to space. I was creating this view however a view of space from space. Implementing this is the kids new home on a spaceship as the motherland on earth was destroyed and made unliveable as a result of global warming. This different view also sticks to my original idea of an interactive work as the audience can switch views and feel as if they’re actually in space. This was my first problem solved. The second problem I faced was that despite the fact I booked two speakers for some reason all the speakers were booked out. I was going to bring my own speakers in but thought as an alternative to make the work silent. Silence is a technique used by Martin Scorsese in his movies in order to create a more dramatic undertone I thought this was a perfect alternative to my installation as global warming is a tense and real subject. This was initially a problem however turned out to be a good thing as I like the silence more than the ambient sound I originally had. Overall I was not completely happy with my final presentation as it wasn’t my initial plan, however I am proud of myself overcoming obstacles literally just days before the due date. I am proud with my assignment as a whole. There is no one to blame for how everything turned out with my space, my peers need room as well. In future I would improve my work by setting up in a different space or not trying to be so big and grand and make something more simple and easy not so overwhelming. I would like to thank Matt & Jo I am not an easy student to put up with! The last three years of Media Arts has been a lot of fun. Not proud of all but from first semester first year to now I am definitely prouder of myself and my work ethic and this is a result of Matt & Jo’s teaching and strict watching over me. Also thanks to my legendary peers for who have been nothing but supportive.