Digital Ethnography Final Brenna Monson
Post on 11-Feb-2017
Digital EthnographyBy Brenna Monson (BrennaNM)Floating Masterpieces
Digital EthnographyDigital ethnography is a form of qualitative research which makes use of digital technology to study and come to understand a different culture. Digital ethnography consists of three stages; data collection, content analysis, and comparative analysis.
Source: Mary Stockrocki, Art Education Qualitative Research in Cyberspace
Stages of Digital EthnographyData Collection: The process of collecting data via interview, study, etc. The data collected is used for the two following steps, content analysis and comparative analysis.
Content Analysis: The act of analyzing the data in search of common themes or patterns. Findings may be reported in a diagram or table (Qualitative Research in Cyberspace).
Comparative Analysis: A form of analysis in which the information is compared with other information. The main goal is to discover similarities and differences in studies (Qualitative Research in Cyberspace).
ContextMetaLESWhile looking through various art galleries and such, I came across a place called MetaLES which displays different art installations at different times. Upon arriving at MetaLES I found that the current installation is a piece called Queens Gambit Declined.
ContextMy initial reaction of seeing Queens Gambit Declined was a sense of wonder and amazement. The scene consists of three floating platforms; two made of stone on the sides and a large circular platform in between with a hedge maze on top. Above the maze is a huge thorny heart wrapped up ropes/vines which are connected to the two stone platforms.
ContextInside the maze are several smaller sculptures and decorations.
The sky and water look very realistic and I was very impressed at the details as I had not seen anything like it in Second Life before.
ContextIt took me a little while to figure this out, but you can teleport inside the heart! Inside is a beautiful, glowing cave with lovely transparent teardrops and other ornate dcor. This hidden little room feels very serene and the colors and objects are a nice contrast to the rest of Queens Gambit.
ContextDespite the dark and gloomy look to the place, I felt very relaxed at Queens Gambit. The slowly moving clouds, the calm waters, and the soft music playing in the background give the place a very calm, relaxing feeling. As it is quite the attraction, there were almost always a handful of people there. There were about equal amounts of men and women, with the women wearing attractive, revealing clothes.
Data CollectionI soon discovered that the installation is named after a move in chess, which is hinted by the pawn located underneath the maze platform. I found out that the creator of this piece is Rebeca Bashly, so I sent her a message to see if she would be up for doing an interview.
Research QuestionsWhat artwork forms and methods do they use?
What are their art preferences?
What drives them to create their artwork?
Data Collection: The InterviewRebeca Bashly was quick to respond to my query and was kind enough to allow me to interview her. We met up at Queens Gambit and chatted about this piece, her other works, and her work in general. While she was unwilling to share any personal information, she gladly told me all about what she does.
Data Collection: The Interview[08:31] BrennaNM: Alright, then lets begin. What inspired you to create Queen's Gambit Declined?[08:31] Rebeca Bashly: my life[08:32] BrennaNM: Could you elaborate?[08:32] Rebeca Bashly: not really, it is personal, I can give you hints while u ask questions though[08:33] BrennaNM: That's fine, you don't have to answer something if it makes you uncomfortable.[08:33] BrennaNM: Why do you make such installations on Second Life?[08:34] Rebeca Bashly: I build because dont want to talk about certain things, that is how I communicate
Data Collection: The Interview[08:34] BrennaNM: How do you make your installations?[08:35] Rebeca Bashly: I create mesh in 3ds max and zbrush, I texture in photoshop and upload, I use few native prims for support[08:36] Rebeca Bashly: like this platform where we sit, there is native prim that is invisible under it so we dont fall down[08:37] BrennaNM: No wonder you are able to make so much detail. That's very interesting.[08:37] Rebeca Bashly: i am 3d modeler in real life[08:38] BrennaNM: Is that your job or a hobby or both?[08:38] Rebeca Bashly: its my life:)
Data Collection: The InterviewWhat is your favorite piece?Snowcrash. This was her first build, inspired by Neal Stephensons book Snow Crash. She was invited by Igor Ballyhoo to work on the collaborative project for the University of Texas at San Antonio Artspace. Other notable info? Rebeca Bashly has donated works to many charity events such as PTSD, Pacific crisis, help for Japan, breast cancer, art for autism, and kids in India.
I rather enjoyed talking with Rebeca Bashly. Even though her avatar was a bit intimidating at first, with her serious expression and dressed in all black, she was probably the kindest person I have spoken to on Second Life.
Pictured above is Snowcrash. As it is no longer in SL, Rebeca was kind enough to share a picture of it with me.
Content AnalysisArtist NameArtwork TitleArtwork LocationType of ArtHow was it made?Why make art?Favorite work?Rebeca BashlyQueens Gambit DeclinedMetaLES3D SculptureMade in 3ds Max and Zbrush, textured in PhotoshopTo express herself/communicate and donate to charitiesSnowcrash, collab with Igor Ballyhoo
Comparative Analysis & ConclusionsRebeca Bashly is a 3D modeler who uses programs such as 3ds Max, Zbrush, and Photoshop to create her work. Her life revolves around 3D modeling and you can tell from her work that she loves what she does. She creates all kinds of pieces; everything you can imagine and cant imagine, as she put it.
Images taken by Rebeca Bashly, found on her Flickr page.https://www.flickr.com/photos/rebecabashly/
Comparative Analysis & ConclusionsShe creates her pieces in order to escape reality and express herself. Her work is generally rather dark and invokes a sense of wonder and mystery. She often collaborates with others to make extraordinary pieces and often makes pieces for UTSA. She also creates in order to donate pieces to various charity events.
Comparative Analysis & ConclusionsSecond Life allows artists to freely express their creativity by providing many options for creating and important art. Avatars have the ability to create in-world objects as well as to import textures and images created in other applications (Qtd. in Art Treasure Quests in Second Life). Bashly takes advantage of this feature, as most of her work is done outside of Second Life and imported into it to be put on display. This allows her to go far beyond the limitations of building in Second Life, as her work can be very detailed and textured however she wants.
My Second Life ExperienceI have learned a lot throughout my experience on Second Life and had a blast playing around and trying new things. I am very impressed by all of the art I have seen so far; there are so many different installations and I am amazed at the endless possibilities there are for creating and bringing art into Second Life. I have grown to appreciate different art styles and take the time to browse through a museum and look at each and every piece.
LinksQueens Gambit Declined:http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/MetaLES/85/39/93
Rebeca Bashlys Flickr account:https://www.flickr.com/photos/rebecabashly/
Art Treasure Quests in Second Life:https://myasucourses.asu.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-12316659-dt-content-rid-64387531_1/courses/2016Spring-X-ARE494-ARE598-20026-20027/Art%20Treasures%20AE_March14_Stokrocki.pdf
Art Education Qualitative Research in Cyberspace:https://myasucourses.asu.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-12316654-dt-content-rid-64387550_1/xid-64387550_1