Here’s long overdue update to the website about ongoing work and projects that I have been tipping away over lately…
Gash Collective Artwork
So, I’ve been playing around with new imagery for the GASH Collective. In concept, its focus is to draw attention to the absurdity of sexualized female bodies in media. Another element that I have been using in the construction of the GASH collective’s aesthetic is the creation of nostalgic images using famous women of the 90’s and 00’s. As many of these women have faced harsh criticism by tabloids, heavily rooted in societal misogyny, I wanted to attempt to re-write their narratives through VHS-reminiscent imagery and satire.
Many of these images are of women cut into ‘parts’ either by glitch or fading. However, instead of objectifying the body parts, focus is given to the GASH Collective logo, or words, ‘GASH COLLECTIVE’. By doing this, not only is GASH’s artwork re-appropriating a derogatory word, but attempting to change the cultural context that typically surrounds sexist imagery.
Some examples of imagery I’ve been playing around with can be seen in the gallery below:
I’ve been quietly working on some new music. The tracks that I’m making available to listen to at the moment are available via my soundcloud. Currently, the tracks that I have been uploading have been playing with layering small amounts of samples and utilizing different percussion styles. These tracks are raw and unfinished as of now, but they are to serve as a sample of (and motivation to finish) a larger audio-visual project that I am working on completing by the end of February. My latest two, SAFARI: TIGHT RUNS and BREAKING NEWS: BURNING RAGS, will be included to some degree in this up-coming project.
You can listen to SAFARI: TIGHT RUNS below:
I haven’t updated this in a while, so I thought it would be a good idea to give an update with one of my latest posters for a GASH takeover in Galway on December 11th. More updates soon to follow this…
A brief description and introduction into GASH.
On International Women’s Day, March 8th, 2016, the GASH Collective was founded by Irish-based musician ELLLL, with the incentive of providing a platform for women involved in left-field electronics in Ireland. Inspired by Female:Pressure’s VISIBILITY project and collectives like SIREN London and DISCWOMAN NYC, GASH was created in order to shine a light on female producers and DJs in Ireland. Having an active interest in electronics myself, I was keen to participate in and support the collective in any way possible.
What projects is the GASH Collective involved in?
Currently the GASH collective has a monthly radio show on the Irish station, Radió na Life, allowing listeners to experience a diverse range of music made available through different GASH member’s mixes. (You can listen to the radio show, here.) Additionally, GASH, has hosted two successful events where female DJs and producers including ELLLL, Cailín Power, Joni, Lolz and others have played sets exploring the sounds of left-field electronics. As the GASH Collective is still in its early days, it is expected that more exciting gigs, mixes and events are due to come.
What is your role in GASH?
My role in GASH couples aesthetics and promotion of the collective in order to reach new audiences and encourage the involvement of other women interested in electronics. In participating in the GASH collective, I create visuals that assist in the artistic expression of what GASH is. These visuals include promotional posters, video and visuals to accompany the live performances of GASH collective DJ’s and producers.
How do I get involved in the GASH Collective?
Until next time,
As social media has become fully integrated into our lives, few of us may have predicted how our behaviours and interactions with one another on these platforms would eventually develop and evolve. Today, it is now possible to receive attention on social media for content both interesting and controversial across all social platforms.
However, in the case of controversial content, there is little known about what the individual might do, should their status update, tweet or other content start trending for the wrong reasons. This video presentation aims to search for and pose potential answers to this problem. Bláthnaid King will examine a series of case studies that serve as examples of this particular problem, in order to highlight the common themes and triggers of internet ‘firestorms’.
This presentation will give an insight into King’s MA research interest which focuses on negative behaviour that targets an individual on social media. This area of research is concerned with understanding how we move and participate in digital spaces, particularly in the case of trending topics or ‘crises’ that have the potential to damage an individual’s reputation or alter their lives. How we understand our interactions and behaviours in digital spheres, may ultimately, serve as crucial knowledge in management and response in future cases of digital crises online.
Alfonso, González-Herrero, and Smith Suzanne. ‘Crisis Communications Management on the Web: How Internet-Based Technologies Are Changing the Way Public Relations Professionals Handle Business Crises’. Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management 16.3 (2008): 143–153. Wiley Online Library. Web
Barkham, Patrick. ‘Cat Bin Woman Mary Bale Fined £250’. The Guardian 19 Oct. 2010. The Guardian. Web. 6 Apr. 2016.
Elgot, Jessica. ‘Goldsmiths Students Divided over Event That Excluded White Men’. The Guardian 20 May 2015. The Guardian. Web. 6 Apr. 2016.
Hyland, M. J. ‘The Trial of Mary Bale’. Financial Times 25 Mar. 2011. Financial Times. Web. 6 Apr. 2016.
Kaligotla, Chaitanya, and Charles D. Galunic. ‘The Spread of False Ideas through Social Media’. Academy of Management Proceedings 2015.1 (2015): 14564. proceedings.aom.org. Web.
Kietzmann, Jan H. et al. ‘Social Media? Get Serious! Understanding the Functional Building Blocks of Social Media’. Business Horizons 54.3 (2011): 241–251. ScienceDirect. Web. SPECIAL ISSUE: SOCIAL MEDIA.
Pang, Augustine, Nasrath Begam Binte Abul Hassan, and Aaron Chee Yang Chong. “Negotiating crisis in the social media environment: Evolution of crises online, gaining credibility offline.” Corporate Communications: An International Journal 19.1 (2014): 96-118.
Pfeffer, J., T. Zorbach, and K. M. Carley. ‘Understanding Online Firestorms: Negative Word-of-Mouth Dynamics in Social Media Networks’. Journal of Marketing Communications 20.1-2 (2014): 117–128. Taylor and Francis+NEJM. Web.
Ronson, Jon. ‘How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life’. The New York Times 12 Feb. 2015. NYTimes.com. Web. 4 Jan. 2016.
‘Charges Have Been Dropped Against the Woman Who Allegedly Tweeted #KillAllWhiteMen | VICE | United States’. VICE. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Apr. 2016.
‘I’m Glad the CPS Saw Bahar Mustafa’s #killallwhitemen Tweet in Context’. The Guardian 5 Nov. 2015. The Guardian. Web. 6 Apr. 2016.
This piece was inspired by the concept of ourselves living in a surveillance society, where, we may be under constant observation. I was very interested in exploring the paradox of seeing and not seeing, and I felt that I could achieve this through utilizing this concept. This video was created by accessing live-streaming footage at insecam.org. This website broadcasts live feeds of Axis, Panasonic, Linksys, Sony, TPLink, Foscam and a range of other network video cameras that are available online without a password. This website highlights how easy it has become to watch an unsecured network camera from anywhere in the world.
The video seeks to convey how our own ignorance to facts like this allow us to invite viewers into our lives unknown to ourselves, or sometimes, even become viewers ourselves. This video aims to convey an eerie and uncomfortable atmosphere while entertaining the idea that we might perhaps be intruding on something that is not meant to be watched.
I recorded the live streaming video using Debut Video Capture, once I had captured a satisfactory amount of footage, I then began editing the video in Adobe Priemere Pro CC.
I organized the footage into four sections of a square. Each video was chosen based on its individual aesthetic and how it fit within the overall concept. I distorted the colour of the top right and bottom left videos – giving them sickly yellow and pink hues. The goal here was to encourage the impression and atmosphere of unease. The aesthetics of this video were based in the grainy elements of VHS rips and based on glitch art; both elements of art that are popular online today.
Finally, I downloaded some samples of cameras zooming and clicking and looped them over a synth. This was to add a final eerie touch to the video and hopefully drive home the concept of being watched/being the watcher.
Irish Weather: Does Rain Make Us Travel?
When I began my work on this assignment, I spent some time trying to decide what sort of dataset I was interested in creating a narrated visualization on. This was a surprisingly difficult decision to make as I was unsure of the exact argument that I wanted to make. Despite not knowing my exact argument in the beginning, I did know that I wanted to focus on a dataset that concentrated on technology and information society.
After spending a considerable amount of time browsing the Central Statistics Office’s available datasets, I finally settled on two datasets that interested me under ‘ICT Usage by Persons’: ‘Persons Aged 18 Years & Over by Sex, Purchases Made Online & Year’ and ‘Persons Aged 18 Years & Over by Purchases Made Online, Region & Year.’ These datasets spanned from 2011 to 2015, however, for this assignment, I decided to focus on the year 2015.
I decided to dive right into exploring these datasets by firstly organizing them in an Excel spreadsheet in order to make sense of them. After I had done this, I then concentrated on constructing the data into a visual representation.
I chose Piktochart as the medium I would use to create and display this visualization. I chose this tool for a few reasons: firstly, Piktochart is an incredibly user friendly tool for creating infographics and presentations, meaning that for a novice to data visualization like me, using this tool would not seem too daunting. Secondly, it gives the option of importing your data in CSV, XLS, XLSX, Google Sheets or by directly copying and pasting in order to create your chart or graphic. Finally, Piktochart offers a large variety of graphics and visuals that one can incorporate into their presentation or infographic in order to illustrate findings or arguments appropriately.
In order to visualize the data that I had downloaded from the CSO, I settled on using three types of charts in illustrating the information: vertical bar charts were used to illustrate purchases by sex and purchases by region would be illustrated via a map and horizontal bar charts. Both datasets show the percentage of a particular type of online purchase according to sex or region. There was a large range of purchase types listed in these datasets, ranging from food and groceries to travel arrangements and (almost) everything in between. There was a total list of 17 types of purchases in these datasets. In order to keep the visualization clear and understandable, I decided it best to concentrate on the purchases made online with the highest percentages by sex and by region in 2015.
In the process of organizing these datasets into understandable visualizations, one thing became glaringly clear; in 2015, persons of both sexes and in most regions of Ireland were making a lot of online purchases related to travel. Many of the other top online purchases included clothing and tickets for events. You can see the information I found in this dataset in the infographic below:
As the online purchases related to travel peaked my interest, I thought it might be useful to investigate whether this had any relation to the weather in Ireland in 2015. Considering many media reports had listed 2015 as being a particularly wet year, I wanted to determine whether there was any truth to this, and if it might be reason for the online purchases related to travel. In order to do this, I thought it best to locate records on Ireland’s rainfall and records on tourism from Ireland.
While I was unable to access any datasets from the Central Statistics Office on rainfall in 2015, I was able to access Met Eireann’s annual weather reports. Met Eireann calculates the annual rainfall in Ireland compared to Long Term Averages (LTA). It is usual to place current weather events in context by comparing them to LTAs or ‘Normals’. These are defined as 30 year averages of a weather element such as rainfall.
What I gathered from the Met Eireann annual reports ranging from 2014 to 2015 was as follows: 2014 had relatively varied weather across the country, although there were drier conditions where some stations reported rainfall totals below Long Term Averages. However, some counties such as Louth reported high rainfall.
According to the 2014 report, “The majority of annual rainfall totals were above their Long-Term Average (LTA) with below LTA values reported at some stations mainly in Cork, Donegal, Galway Kerry, Mayo and Waterford. Percentage of LTA values ranged from 62% at Inishbofin, Co Galway with the years lowest rainfall total of 803.4 mm to 150% at Dundalk (Ballymakellett), Co Louth with 1531.1 mm, its highest annual total on available record since 1944.”
Finally, 2015 was in fact a very wet year, with total rainfall landing on or above Long Term Averages. The wettest conditions were reported in December, when parts of the south of Ireland reported 300% or more of normal rainfall. Several stations had reported their wettest year since open or on record.
According to the 2015 report, “Annual precentage of LTA values ranged from 96% at Mace Head, Co Galway with 1281.66mm to 137% at Knock Airport, Co Mayo with 1852.0mm, its wettest years since the station opened in 1996. Malin Head, Co Donegal reported an annual total of 14839mm (134% of LTA) and its wettest year since records began at the site in 1885. Newport, Co Mayo, reported the highest annual rainfall with 2078.8mm (129% of LTA), its wettest since the site opened in 1960, while most other stations in the West, South and Midlands reported that it was their wettest year in six to 13 years. The highest daily rainfall was at Malin Head on December 5th during Storm Desmond with 80.7mm, the wettest day at the station since 1955. The number of annual wet days ranged from 144 at Dublin Airport to 236 at Newport”.
Once I had gathered some information on rainfall in 2014 and 2015, I then returned to the CSO website to find a dataset on tourism from Ireland. I successfully located and downloaded a dataset titled ‘Overseas Trips to and from Ireland by Reason for Journey, Year and Statistic’. This dataset ranged from 2009 – 2015 with a variety of options. I selected the options of ‘Overseas Trips by Irish Residents’ and ‘Holiday/leisure/recreation’, I then chose to examine the years 2014 and 2015.
From this dataset, I was then able to determine that in the year 2015, there was a 5.11% increase in overseas trips for holiday/leisure/recreation.
From examining these records, I was able determine that 2015 was wetter than 2014. It seems natural that because of the high levels of rain that we receive in Ireland, that one of our top online purchases would be travel-related. In order to support this theory, I was able to determine that there was an increase in overseas travel in 2015 for holiday/leisure/recreation. To support my argument, I made a final infographic that illustrates the data that I collected for this assignment, as seen below.
To look up a weather report, click here.
For information on Long Term Averages, click here.
For the 2014 weather report, click here.
For the 2015 weather report, click here.
For information on online purchases by sex, click here.
For information on online purchases by region, click here.
For information on overseas travel to and from Ireland, click here.
Humanities and New Technologies: Tools and Methodologies – Assignment 1: Crowdsourced Spatial Participation
For this assignment I set up an Open Street Map account under the name ‘blathnaidk’. While I was very interested in the potential that OSM has for humanitarian work, I felt that as I was acquainting myself with how OSM works, it would be best to focus on mapping an area that I was personally familiar with.
I had originally intended on mapping my own neighbourhood, however, after exploring where I live on OSM, I found that the whole area was mapped thoroughly already. With this in mind, I decided on a different area to focus my attention, that being, Stoja beach outside of Pula city, Croatia. This beach is a somewhat regular holiday destination for me, and due to the forested and rocky landscape of the beach, there was very little mapping of the trails and pathways which tourists often use for hiking, mountain biking and other activities to and from the coastline.
The process that I undertook in completing this assignment was straight-forward; it was necessary that I mark several features on the map: paths and dirt trails that led to and from the beach, buildings and landmarks, and most importantly, the clearing that is often used for parking and camping, which is connected to some of the paths and trails. In addition to this, it was also important that I edit several features of the map, for example, the names of previously marked features, such as the coastline and beach itself, (the beach was marked as a ‘naturist’ beach which was incorrect).
In order to do this, I used the in-browser editor, IDEditor. I began by adding some paths that led to and from the beach into the forested area. Once I had completed this, I corrected the direction of the main road that accepts cars, (this had been listed as a ‘road’, when it is in fact an unpaved, gravel trail). From here, I marked the clearing in the forest, where it is possible for people to drive, cycle or walk to from the main road. Once marking the clearing, I then marked a large and dangerous ditch that was nearby, some ruins and several buildings.
After mapping these features, I was finally able to mark several trails from the beach to the larger paths and the forested area. These small trails were difficult to map as they are completely unpaved and challenging to locate with aerial imagery alone. However, I believe I was able to adequately map a number of these trails to a satisfactory degree.
From what I have contributed in this assignment on OSM, I believe that I have helped map an area that many tourists would be interested in visiting. This beach is often frequented by people who are interested in hiking, mountain-biking, sun-bathing and diving, and having marked and corrected the paths and trails on this beach means it will provide a reliable source of information for tourists interested in exploring this particular area.
I thoroughly enjoyed this experience as I found it interesting to use my personal knowledge of my favourite holiday destination in a way that might benefit other people in visiting this beach near Stoja, Pula. From this experience, I would definitely be interested in using OSM to map other areas that I am familiar with, and ultimately, I would then be interested in contributing to mapping in some humanitarian projects once I felt confident enough in my ability with this tool.
Application of Spatial or Crowd-Sourced Initiatives
During this time, I cannot find a way that I might be able to apply spatial or crowd-sourced initiatives in my own work and research for this MA course. However, from my experience with this assignment alone, this is definitely an area I would like to explore more generally, and perhaps to apply to projects in the future. I have dabbled with crowd-sourced initiatives in previous assignments, such as editing articles in Wikipedia. From this experience, I think in the future I would like to explore some more creative crowd-sourced initiatives perhaps related to writing or creating music or art.
I would be interested in using tools like OSM for humanitarian work as I previously mentioned. The potential behind tools like this for the provision of reliable and useful information to those who require it, from the comfort of my home is an opportunity that I feel I could not ignore.
You can check out my OSM edits from my very bare profile here.