Year 1 Module BCOP100-CMFT

Maps & Journeys & Signs 300 word response


Out of both lectures, symbols was definitely something that caught my interest, especially when we delved in deeper during the Thursday seminar with Andy after the second lecture with Jason on ‘Maps, Journeys and Signs’.

‘Semiotics’: “the study of signs and symbols and their use or interpretation.” After that Thursday seminar, this definition has suddenly become vastly more interesting to me. Interpretation. How can signs and symbols be up for interpretation? A fire exit sign is a fire exit sign, isn’t it?

This got me thinking about the twenty one pilots symbol:

2018 twenty one pilots logo
It’s just a few vertical and diagonal lines joined by a hyphen, isn’t it? Well, the meaning of this symbol is up to loads of interpretation. Moreover, it means something to one person and not to the other. The lead singer of twenty one pilots, Tyler Joseph, won’t disclose what the meaning of the symbol is to him because that will ruin what it means to other people.

This kind of idea applies to hand signals as well. After spending a lot of my childhood in the Middle East, I noticed that the Arabs used a lot of hand signals which I learnt myself. But in England, they wouldn’t make any sense at all.

At 1:00 in this video is an example of one of those hand the signals, the ‘wait’ hand signal which I discussed in the seminar. Doing that kind of hand signal in England would most likely be considered quite rude, but in the Middle East it isn’t rude at all. It means something to one culture, but not to another.

Another example of this idea is maths symbols. To me personally, they don’t make a lot of sense simply because I don’t like maths. I look into it too much, and I always ask why I’m doing certain equations, and how they work, instead of just doing them. To someone else, maths symbols could be the kind of thing to get them excited, just like seeing the splice symbol in Premiere Pro gets me excited to edit.

How can these ideas relate to digital media? Because a lot of films are up for interpretation too. A lot of films mean different things to different people. A lot of films are excellent to one person and not to another. A lot of films excite one person, but not another. Just like some people don’t like or understand twenty one pilots, some people don’t like or understand Mr. Nobody. Opinion, perspective and life experiences play a big part in how different people see different things.

Semiotics can be related directly to film, or digital media of any kind. I find that incredibly interesting, and it’s not a link I would ever have made.

Year 1 Module BCOP100-CMFT

Create a quick response to “Approaches to What”

My interpretation of this piece is that we are all lost in the big world; we do not pay attention to the litte things in life. We do not pay attention to the everyday. We get stuck in a routine and become robots. The little things only start to exist when they can make a good newspaper headline: ” railway trains only begin to exist when they are derailed, and the more passengers that are killed, the more the trains exist.” We’ve lost sight of the little things in life. We wake up, follow our routine, and don’t appreciate the everyday: “where is it?” “to question the habitual. But that’s just it, we’re habituated to it. We don’t question it, it doesn’t question us, it doesn’t seem to pose a problem, we live it without thinking…” “it’s anaesthesia. We sleep through our lives in a dreamless sleep. But where is our life?”.


Although written in 1973, this piece obviously still applies to now. For me, when I put my phone away on the train suddenly I’m there. I’m actually on the train, noticing things. I’m hearing everything, I’m seeing everything. It seems the most cliché thing to say, but it’s true to say that your phone drags you away from the everyday. It’s one of the items ingrained into your routine. You see a warped view of the world with it.

Year 1 Module BCOP100-CMFT

Me & You & Context 2 (Know Thyself) 300 word response

I found the main themes of both lectures (context and identity) interested me equally.

However, my ‘Ah-Ha’ moment happened during the identity lecture. During the lecture on knowing thyself, Jason mentioned a quote from Socrates: “an unexamined life is not worth living”.  Jason said that we have come to Plymouth College of Art to examine our lives.

When I was looking into this idea further, I found out that this could be different from individual to individual. To Socrates it meant “the attainment of wisdom and intellectual humility”, to Seneca it meant “to have a meaningful goal and strive to perfect one’s character”, but to me I didn’t know what it meant.

For a long time, I felt like lost myself, I didn’t know what I wanted to create. I had ideas for videos, but nothing I was excited about, or was even passionate about. Nothing I followed through because I was my own worst critic, and I stopped halfway through because I thought it was rubbish. But when talking about how films, such as ‘Avatar’ and John Carpenter’s ‘They Live’,  can be understood in relation to their context during the seminar, and that context could even be the experience of the director, it got me thinking into how filmmakers can find themselves in their work.

An examined life for a filmmaker is creating great films that they want to create. I feel, much like Truman Burbank from the Truman Show, that I’m on a ‘spiritual journey’ in Plymouth College of Art to find myself and what I want to create and do, and that the videos/films I create or edit will be the be the signs on that journey.  At the end of that road I would of found out more about my identity; who I am. To get to that point, I know now that I need to follow through with ideas and videos, and to practice in the area of practise I want to get in to, even if I start to overthink whether it’s good or not, because that’s how I will find my identity.

This was my “Ah-Ha” moment.