This week was a shift in direction from previous weeks, with preparing for the task of deciding on a topic for a virtual ethnography. I looked at a number of examples and also finally managed (being inspired) to refresh the look of my blog.
I cast the net far and wide (excuse the pun) and researched all sorts of potential ideas: a graffiti blog, an American Indian blog, an art website, a 1980s band… but in the end I settled for the idea I have had for quite some time: looking at You Tube.
As a case study the artist Mark Rothko has been a fascinating subject for me. I would like to look at how Rothko, or rather, his paintings have been represented online. [The underlying question for me is to what extent do we experience art online? Can online art spaces (and how we interact with these) contribute to an aesthetic experience? The representation of space in YouTube is mostly a recording of real life space. Can online discussions about viewing a TV documentary extend into an online art space?]
There are many websites that offer information on Rothko: some have a commercial interest (selling posters or prints), others are run by museums and galleries (the Tate is a fine example). Not long ago Rothko was in the news when one of his painting in the Tate Modern was de-faced. This act sparked a lot of of internet topical news activity. I even came across an extreme right wing internet forum, illustrating that internet opinion can be diverse and shocking.
For most of the week I used search engines to build up a picture of where Rothko can be found. (I even wondered how Google in a nitty-gritty sense actually works?) There are many social media platforms such as Flick’r, Vimeo, Twitter, Pinterest, even Google Maps and indeed of course YouTube which all offer a dynamic ‘Rothko’ view: pages are retrieved and aggregated, unlike the static articles that are published on various websites, including newspapers, galleries and in an academic context.
I started a new Pinterest board to keep track of some of these websites.
The readings of Hine, Clari and Kozinets gave a better idea of the context of what I will be doing in the next 2 weeks.
I checked the ethical considerations and looked at Timetoast as a timeline (but I don’t expect to use the latter one)
On the eve of the anniversary of Rothko’s death (25/2/1970) I feel I am ready to find out how the BBC programme by Simon Schama, opinion on Rothko and YouTube contextualisation will mix.