Monthly Archives: April 2011

The Use of Vision: Illusion or Truth

A famous saying says that “seeing is believing”. However, in today’s high-tech driven world, can we actually believe or trust what we see? Taking magic performance as an example, all the audiences know it is the tricks of the magician, it is not real, however, it looks real and immersive. Actually it is the use of the weaknesses of our vision so as to create illusion. In the contemporary society, it is similar to the magic performances that the advanced technologies make the most use of the weaknesses of our vision to create illusion, which people sometimes regard illusion as reality.

Visualisation can be the artifice for advertiser to increase the incentive of consumers to buy the commodities. Sometimes it’s the use of the visual illusion. From one of the theories of vision, “visual experience is seen as overwhelming powerful, especially if it involves the technical, fundamentally untrustworthy, or both”
(ARTS 2090 Lecture notes for week 8, pp.10) This theory directly make me think of the updating advanced softwares and applications, such as Photoshop, Fireworks, AfterEffects etc., which are the tools that transform the original actual visual experience to an illusive one or create a new vision with certain purposes. Therefore, advertisers can apply “techniques” in their advertisement to create the illusive qualities of their products, which makes the invisible qualities of the products visible and add visible non-existed qualities as the persuasion of purchase to achieve the potential good selling.

“The world is relative to our ability to see it” (ARTS 2090 Lecture notes for week 8, pp.9). Reality depends on the variations of the species. As a result, the functions of visualization vary from one species to another. How we perceive the world through “vision” firstly depends on what kind of living-beings we are. Look at the pictures below: the comparison of vision between human and bee.

“A: Flower seen through the human eye.

B: Bees can see ultra-violet rays.

C: Bees have different trichromatic

colour vision. Image seen through

a bee’s simulated compound eye.

D: A bee’s hypothetical colour perception.”

(Picture and Capture Source: Dyer,

Dyer A., ‘Through the Eyes of a Bee’, Interview with Adrian Dyer,

Murphie, A 2011, Lecture notes for week8, ARTS2090
Publics and Publishing in transition, UNSW, pp.9-pp.10,


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Wikileaks: at the Crossroad

 The appearance of WikiLeaks creates one of the most controversial online platforms. No one seems to actually know what the ultimate purpose of the establishment of WikiLeaks. Is it in the public good or individual benefit? A lot of debates cover the problem with social panic, WikiLeaks dump and the credibility of the source as such. Although I concern about various potentials and codes behind the screen that WikiLeaks deal with, however, WikiLeaks can still be regarded as a informative source or potential useful reference for main stream media.

“WikiLeaks and the mainstream media still need each other”(cited in Axon, 2010). They need to work together to better the performance of the functionalities of journalism. WikiLeaks needs the support from the main stream media to appeal public attention to the content on WikiLeaks. “no one would have read the logs without someone to grab their attention, give the logs legitimacy and explain why it all mattered”, said Alexander Hotz”(cited in Axon, 2010), teacher of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. The mutual needs between main stream media and WikiLeaks appears a positive direction for the journalists’ role as watch dog. Besides, WikiLeaks, an organization without written restrictions, strict codes of ethics, government inspection etc., is informative and helpful for main stream media such as The New York Times to get “scoops” (Axon, 2010) that they couldn’t get on its own. Nevertheless, those “scoops” (Axon, 2010) might turn out to be meaningless to the public without the verification and explanation from the media.

WikiLeaks, like other online “news” organization, provides possible facts, statistics and cases etc rather than opinion that the public actually need. Though conservative view think “WikiLeaks is not a news organization. It is a criminal enterprise”(Thiessen,cited in Axon, 2010). Personally, WikiLeaks is just another new or modern kind of news platform. It actually leaves capacity for individuals to choose which content they need to consume and know more detail about that. However, people question the credibility of the source or fact published on WikiLeaks. There seem to be no reasonable possibilities for the public to fully trust the published content
that is selected by one organization for the purpose of the public notice. Instead, people turn to the main stream media, such as The New York Times for validation or research.

WikiLeaks leads its unique way to the new media form, manifestation of potential journalism functionalities. Whether the potentials is for public benefit or risks, the role of WikiLeaks facilitates another accessible variety of information possibilities and leaves the task of selection in the public interest for individuals to decide.


Axon S, August 20, 2010, ‘ The WikiLeaks Debate: Journalists Weigh In’,

Kurson K, December 3, 2010, ‘Julian Assange is neither
a hero nor a villain.’

Rear Admiral (RETD) K RAJA Menon, ‘WikiLeaks: For public good or Assange’s ego?’,