Welcome to ImageCult.
My name is Alina Kulesh, I am currently completing an Honours B.A degree in the Film & Media department at Queen’s University. ImageCult is a thesis that I am currently undertaking, examining selected aspects of the creation and theorizing of digital visual culture in contemporary post-modern society. Specifically I am interested in how social media forms and tools are being used as a cultural and commercial medium, encouraging various modalities of community, creativity, and critique. My research will highlight key moments and movements in the way filmmakers and content creators have engaged in “digital storytelling” in our increasingly networked culture. This project will include an examination of case studies in feature and short film, online video/ social media, microsite advertising (including music video), and mobile TV episodes.
It’s commonsense to state that contemporary society is continuously bombarded with visuals; currently, the world is a visual (most often, a commercialized visual). As an individual, I have always been interested in “visual culture”, both personally and professionally. I have an extensive background in Fine Arts, specializing in Portrait Drawing (under the mentorship of Veronica Tysglan co-chair of The Canadian Portrait Society). Upon starting my undergraduate career at Queen’s University, I experienced a great amount of anxiety in regards to entering the Film & Media industry; Are there going to be employment opportunities? Is this even a booming field? Are all the rumors true about the industry’s over-competitive nature? At the time, viral video was just beginning to emerge.
Now, upon graduation, viral video and cross-platform advertising consume our society. I could not have chosen a better industry to work in, and a better time to begin my career. One major shift occurred while I had my nose buried in textbooks —everything digitized. Hopefully, this blog will help to highlight and perhaps reveal trends about our visual society.
The supervisor for this thesis is Dr. Sidney E. Matrix; she has done an extensive amount of work in the field of digital pop culture and consequently has been a consistent go-to media expert for many Canadian publishers, broadcasters, and journalists. I have had the privilege of working with Dr. Matrix as a Teaching Assistant, Media Consultant, and Blogger; these experiences have allowed me to excel –leading to priceless self-discovery. Above all, Dr. Matrix has been an outstanding mentor and friend. I thank her for allowing me the opportunity to undertake this project, and for digitizing my life.