I think the end of the course is another new start for me, through which I get a different scope to see things.

In this level, Visual Exploration Method is more proper, since research is too academic, and I think this course provides me not just only academic knowledge and skills, but also a expanded mindset.

Everthing about visual seems related, and I begin to try to use a visual way to present things more directly.

Thanks to professor, all the classmates. Wish you all good luck!!


The final paper

I create this site seperately from my previous blog for the course, and actually I want to thank the course for having a opportunity to discuss about issues related to skateboarding.

The paper is divided into 6 parts.

The question: How digital storytelling contribute to the Chinese Skateboarding Community




The introduction of the Chinese skateboarding community

The definition of the digital storytelling

The unintentional digital storytelling approach

The intentional digital storytelling approach

The conclusion


Parody of Getting High

Like the video essay made by Tamara, the topic of the film<The Boys and Girls guide to Getting Down> is the parody of the fact how a group of Hipsters living in LA.area get high everyday. The form of the film is a little hard to define, since it  is part is part documentary, part narrative, part instructional format, so it’s just an novel viewing experience to me.

If you could have a look at thefilm, you could find that the film is divided into several chapters such as drinking, taking drugs, dancing and talk,etc.covering nearly every aspect of getting high for the hipsters.By coincidence, there have been lots of heated videos on Youtube using the form of “XX Guide”, sarcastically imitating the iconic subculture group”Indie Rock”,”Emo”and so on, which might have given the director inspirations to do such a film.

However, compared to those Youtube video exaggerating the characters of certain groups, making you feel fake more or less, the film is smart enough to use the documentary style at certain time to convince the audience the authencity of its contents, while the introcution of each chapter suddenly reminds you of its parody, which constitute a strange and funny mixture. In this meaning, parody itself maybe not apparent, you have to feel it during your viewing, thinking over its contrast with the reality.

By the way, I think the paragraph Tamara wrties in her blog is worth reading and considering again, about Parody.

” Here, I also examine parody as a way of engaging in the kind of resistance to commodity fetishism described by Michel de Certeau — using the products of the dominant culture in unintended ways. While parody is useful in deconstructing commodity fetishism, it has its own limitations. Because it constantly refers to the status quo, parody must always operate within the bounds of the existing cultural system. By adopting the form of the message being deconstructed, parody is forced to speak in its language, to reinforce the ways of communicating on which the original message relies. In short, parody can tell us why the system is broken but only by reinforcing the formal limitations of the very system it criticizes. Marshall McLuhan would argue that this formal language is by no means “neutral” but laden with meaning and specific as to what kind of messages it can enable and constrain.”

The Silence

We have seen too many typical digital storytellings: pictures with human voice,telling a personal story. How about making a digital storytelling without any personal voices? The question came to me not just once, and I have longed for finding a nice video to challenge the typical digital storytelling.

Luckily, I got one, Noah K’s <everyday>, he didn’t mean to finish such a video when he started his  project: taking a portrait photo of himself everyday by himself, but as things always happen unexpectedly, the assembling of these photos spur a magical and powerful effect, through which we could see a more consistent transition of Noah’s life— or to say a man’s growth in a obvious way, and we all get resonance for our growth that we have experienced.In this way, he didn’t need to speak, just his photos could consitute a good digital storytelling, even if without background song.

Therefore, if there is no personal voice accompanying pictures, the pictures or the the integration of the pictures have to be easy to understand, such as <everyday>, we could easily see a man’s growth through the different pictures flashing quickly, so the content is clear and strong enough, making human voice as explanation extra. Moreover, Noah must thank to the digital age since it just gave his project more possibilities to share with other people rather than photos, and obviously it gets heated discussion on Yoube evern the whole internet, which he could not have imgained.

However, the authencity of <Everyday> seems enhanced without personal voice, while other typical digital storytelling usually need it to prove authencity. Seeing is believing, sometimes  you don’t need to tell your story through voice.

Thoughts About digital storytelling

The form of digital storytelling is not strange to me personally, since I have already seen several short clips on Youtube which was made by different people. They seem to be amateur, doing rought stories due to their interests, upload randomly, to be honest, didn’t attract me too much.

After doing the reading, I tried to reconsider digital storytellings in a different way. Though the cameras may be of low quality, they could still be good stories from the form to the contents,of small scale. They story teller is aware of the fact that the story would be shared after it is done, so he or she is likely to think of the shape of a story elaboratively before editing. What’s more, the collaboartion process, with the multimedia tool, digital narratives aspire to the variety and plentitude  of constituting a world, enabling a personal story to be shared by more people.

In the first video, the girl tells the story through a slides of photos during her growth with her own voice. The photos are composed of portraits and certain things, replacing each other to show her life story. Compare to the video footages, photo footages are more steady, which is helpful for her to express her topic of getting infected by HIV while embraced by society. Her voice is plain and clear, without involving any mood,making the viewers feel comfortable with what she is talking about. Above all, the editing of the video is very authentic, making the audience know that there is a real story happening besides them.

The second video, all about kids.In my opinion, it’s more like a little documentary of Teacher Paula. The camera style is rough, even didn’t aim at Paula accurately, swagging most of the time, making it just like an ordinary recording of the class. Moreover, the voice is not so clear, with much noise,  so the contents are the stories that Paula told the kids through drawing, while the class itself is a story. Therefore, to me, it’s like a double story integration, Paula told story to kids and the camera told Paula’s story, from this percpective, it takes time to constructe the digital story telling form and contents together in a proper way.

The Ethnography Video Work– Facebook’s influence on the social relationships of different age groups

The second video work is coming! Tough the title seems too long, but it is necessary to deliver the essential contents to the audience.Also, the video is a little longer than 5 minutes(just a little), since we have research results to present in the end.

Compared to the first video essay, this work is more mature, consisting of group efforts. I’m glad that we have enough footages for me to edit, and the interviewees belong to different age groups: 10-20, 20-30, 30-40, 50-60, covering most Facebook users’age, which is very helpful to our research.

Here is the proposal for our video research work.

Subject matter:

 Facebook’s influence on the social relationships of different age groups


Consistent questions that presents an observation of facebook users


 Voices of the facebook users; Variety of the different ages.


Keep their voice clear, do not misinterpret  meanings of the facebook users.




  1. Would you please tell me you name?
  2. How old are you?
  3. Were were you born?
  4. What is your occupation?
  5. How long have you been on the facebook?
  6. How many friends do you have on the face book and  how  do you know in person?
  7. Do you add friends to your facebook page that are unknown to you ?
  8. Do you  believe that by using facebook  you are increasing your social sphere?
  9. How much time do you spend contacting your friends on facebook everyday?
  10. How much time do you spend contacting your friend outside facebook everyday?

However, in the editing process, I omit some unnecessary question such as ” What is occupation” and” Where were you born”, “How long have you been on the facebook”,keeping the key questions that will lead to our results. Also, as questions like”What’s your name”,”How old are you”,”How many friends do you have on Facebook”,during editing, I edit answers to these questions as a introduction of these interviewees more directly, helping the audience to know them better before looking at their interviews. Thus, the final interview questions in the video are below.

  1. How many friends do you have on the face book and  how  do you know in person?
  2. Do you add friends to your facebook page that are unknown to you ?
  3. How much time do you spend contacting your friends on facebook everyday?
  4. How much time do you spend contacting your friend outside facebook everyday?
  5. Do you  believe  your social sphere is enlarged by Facebook?

So…just enjoy the video!

Video Essay–Facebook Visual Fragments

I used a documentary style in this video essay, shooting an ordinary college student’s facebook life, and interviewed about her visual experience on facebook, trying to elicit the phenmoena that Facebook fragmentize our vision unconciously. So the audience would be all people who have used Facebook, especially those Facebook addicts, enabling them to reconsider the visual fragments that Facebook have brought to us, are there meaningful or just a waste of time, or other thoughts could be sparkled?


Below was my outline for the Video Essay

Purpose of the piece: Exploring the visual experience about Facebook and enabling people to think further about the effects that such visual experience bring.  

Thesis: Our vision could be fragmentized when we see things on Facebook.

Theory:  Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure’s classical model of linguistic sign; Roland Barthes ‘s RHETOIC OF THE IMAGE.

Interview questions for the interviewee

1. What do you see on Facebook?

 2. Do you see things differently on Facebook?

3. Do you feel distracted when seeing on Facebook?

4.Do you have deep impressions on what you have seen on facebook?


Shooting : 9/23/2011

Interviewee: Olivia, student from CGU

When Editing: 9/24/2011-10/2/2011

Equipment: Sony Camera.