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.


7 responses to “Video Essay–Facebook Visual Fragments

  1. Tianyu: This is a wonderful piece of video. You absolutely comment upon, and reflect, and learn about the fragmentation of experience via Facebook, and social networks, and new technology more generally. I think using the story and voice of one woman is a great tactic allowing us all to hold ourselves and our society in dialogue with her experience. In regards to your comments above, I am less sure that this is all so “unconscious” on either the corporation’s or our side. I think we are all aware that our vision (and experience) is quickly changing. We are actually looking for essays like yours to help us make sense of it all!

    • Hi Professor, thank you very much for your comments!I appreciate it! Thinking of the unconsciousness, I think I am a little subjective towards that, since it’s true that some of us have already realized this problem, and what I want to do is to raise other people who have not realized such visual problems to think over it.

  2. Tianyu, I liked your Facebook video essay a lot. I liked that you chose an abstract approach to the subject matter, as it made the feeling of fragmentation more visceral. I know that this is kind of beyond the scope of your project, probably, but I wonder how this idea of fragmentation would change or stay the same in relation to other websites, or other media, such as television. Is Facebook uniquely fragmented?

    • Hi, Andrew!Thanks for your comments! As for the fregmentation, I think it could be related to other medias, but not as strong as social net work, since on social net work, we have latest update, and we could choose what we want to see easily, unlike TV whose contents are prepared, or websites where there’s no latest update to alert u, to distract u.Therefore, fragmentation is kind of weakened in other medias,in my opinion.Also, twitter has only words on it, but not videos, pictures directly on the same page, so Facbook is kind of representative fragmenting our vision.

  3. Tianyu, your video was fluid, reflective and tightly constructed. Facebook proves to be a site in which individuals fragment their own reality by using the system to manipulate other people’s perception of one’s own life. I particularly like your use of not only showing Olivia using Facebook on the laptop, but also making a comment upon the convenient accessibility of it on other devices like the iPad and cellphone. Great work!

    • Hi Amanda!Thanks for your comments!Sorry to reply you so late causing I didn’t check this blog frequently. I am glad that you like my work, and I think what the video reflects is actually us who are using facebook everyday, and just like Olivia did, we used different tools to get on the facebook, so it’s just a daily experience reflection. 🙂

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