Beta 1 – Maddy Baker’s The Horticultural Solution

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I thoroughly enjoyed Maddy’s digital artefact concept – a series of media-rich blog posts focusing on the future of agriculture and the potential for micro-agriculture technologies, even for students on a tight budget, to support growing one’s own food. Compared to my other two beta comments, I brought substantially more of my own experiences and knowledge on the topic into this comment – in particular, my own enthusiasm for neo-traditional Twitter accounts and my general scepticism of ‘raising awareness’ as a raison d’être for…anything, really.

This comment presented me with the opposite problem to what I experienced with the initial set of pitch reviews – rather than focusing too much on non-academic sources, I feel as if that I was not able to place the academic perspective I did share in a context that was specific enough to actually be useful. My remark about decoupling modern sustainable agricultural technologies for urban dwellers from Buzzfeed video compilations seems to be the focal point of this – I realistically should have provided a link or two to exactly the kind of fads I was referring to on Kickstarter.


Beta 2 – Georgie Piccirilli’s The Future of Content Creation

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Georgie’s digital artefact is a project on the future of content creation, and appears to centre on a TikTok presence to examine how content will change in the future. Aside from this I felt that concrete details as to what the project entailed, how it would examine the future in terms of specific timeframes, as well as examples of content and academic research were fairly thin on the ground, making the review process somewhat more difficult. However, my own lack of understanding as to what TikTok is as a platform most likely compounded my existing confusion about the nebulous nature of the topic, although I did acknowledge that I got at least a rough overview of what the platform is from the pitch.

Similarly to the other two beta pitches, I’ve worked in some academic reading (referencing in a more traditional style rather than providing links) – however, I’ve balanced this with some more mainstream media, as I’ve found that it is slightly more palateable for a wider audience. I’ve attempted to do further research that would benefit Georgie’s work further rather than exclusively drawing on my own personal experiences and interests, which I found was a major drawback of my initial pitch comments.


Beta 3 – Nyssa Snoek’s Fictional Dystopian Futures 

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Nyssa’s project, modified from a multiplatform project examining the future of technology and cybernetic implantations to a series of detailed blog posts examining different imaginings of cybernetics and how these may take shape in our own future, was absolutely fascinating. Given the ever-increasing volume of speculative technology think-pieces online, I floated the idea of submitting these blog posts to an online outlet such as Gizmodo in an effort to place these articles in context as a way to build Nyssa’s profile as a writer. Aside from incorporating academia going forward, I felt that the project is on the right track in terms of iteration, so I confined my feedback to focus more on the subject matter rather than the format.

I regret not mentioning the experiences of two of my good friends in relation to the notion of ‘everyday cyborgs’ – both are brain cancer survivors using different forms of implants to manage their post-operative lives (without which they simply would not be alive), yet their own quality of life has been made frustratingly painful as a result and the agency over these implants rests squarely with the hospital that implanted them, not the patient. Mentioning a comparatively more personal anecdote would have increased the potential for discussion on the subject, although it would detract somewhat from Nyssa’s content.


Header: ARMEN’s s p l a s h, licensed under CC BY 2.0

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