This semester, I explored the rich and diverse discourse community of online artists; creative individuals who, rather than commercial publication, elect to use the internet as a platform to share their creations. Given the variety of artistic disciplines showcased all over the internet, I chose to focus on filmmakers, game designers, animators, and graphic designers, as these fields are the ones I find the most interesting and popular. Throughout the semester, our studies into the historical and theoretical elements that seek to explain and give context to the nature of the internet and new media have informed my perspectives on my discourse community. Of all of our theories we covered, the ones that informed my practice the strongest were digital delivery (techne, identity, distribution, interaction, accessibility), remediation, and hypertexuality.
The theories of digital delivery we covered were the most useful when I developed my website, as they allowed me to take a broader look at similar platforms and means of distribution. James Porter, the theorist behind digital delivery, went into depth explaining how the oratory of delivery has been remediated for digital content, and why this is significant in our landscape of new media. His paper assisted me in making my decision to make a tutorial database as a final project. The age of night classes to learn a craft is coming to an end, as the internet is filled with tutorials that assist artists of any discipline. Therefore, I set out to design a website that would provide easier access to the various remediated tutorials that are available on the web. My website, in this manner, would be the ‘techne’ of my delivery, and social media would serve as my means of distribution. In terms of accessibility, my website is entirely open for anyone to access via google search and mobile, which was decided on purpose. If the intention of my site was to connect artists with their relevant communities and tutorials, openness and ease of access would be expected. Finally, in terms of interactivity, each post on my site on every page has a comments section linked to Facebook. Anyone with a facebook account is able to participate on the discussions and comments on the site, so long as their social media account is linked.
Hypertextuality was another theory that informed my practice. Hypertext through links, shares, and other internet currencies is what strong websites are built on. My Tutorial Codex was intended to be a constructive hypertext rather than an exploratory hypertext because, while I wanted it to be a place for artists to explore their discipline through links to relevant tutorials, I also wanted to be constructed via their interaction with it. Upon completion, I made sure to include a comment section under each tutorial to ensure that users can leave reviews and links to other pages, allowing for community participation.
Overall, the theories of digital delivery and hypertexuality were the most informative for my practice. Without these, I wouldn’t have had the guidance I needed to construct a website that would be effective in a new media environment. Through hyperlinking to other domains on the internet and provided didactic materials that have been remediated for web delivery, I believe I have developed a site that will allow artists to engage in their online communities and enhance their art.