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Autobiography of a Tech User

How a media queen comes to be

Alanna King

on 25 April 2016

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Transcript of Autobiography of a Tech User

1977 - Raggedy Ann and Andy
Michael Jackson's Thriller
SOlid gold dancers
My earliest recollection of a movie: that caramel swirl swallowing up Ann and Andy freaked me out. My grandparents made me Ann and Andy dolls and a crib for them. THis is my earliest memory of media messing with my own perceptions. The dolls were much less popular after seeing this movie.
Autobiography of a Tech User
Music Videos
Media Art
Alanna King
born in 1972
smalltown Ontario, 1 hour out of Toronto
did my B.A. in drama and English
It's impossible to talk about my tech journey without acknowledging the very prevalent roles of the arts, language and the idea of publishing
My first record purchase: a 45 LP recording of Spandau Ballet's True
Revolution #9 by the Beatles on their White Album
Then I went into this trippy retro phase, where I was all over music from the 60s and 70s. My very first CD purchase was The Beatles White Album.
Since I was very young I have been consumed by music and the motion picture. With each technological advancement I learned to incorporate that into my own life.
I grew up with 4 channels....until I left home at 18 for university. We had CBC, CTV, Global, and CHCH (Hamilton, ON).
Tiny Talent Time, CHCH television, 1988
Long before Canadian Idol, there was Tiny Talent Time. This is the only clip I could find, but you get the point. I watched this religiously.
My Mom tells me that when I was little, I used to like the commercials better than the show. I can remember her trying to get my attention and often having to turn off the TV before I would hear her.
Joseph Schneider Haus
I was hired on a student grant in 1997 to update all the educational materials for the Joseph Schneider haus museum in Kitchener, Ontario. It was the best gig I ever had. I used Microsoft publisher, took new digital photos to add to the material, spent hours researching the history of Waterloo county, and even did some video editing. One minute I'd be in the museum archives, and the next I'd be sewing clothing for mennonite dolls.
My husband Tim and I bought our first digital camera in 1998 while we were teaching in Japan. We're never without a recording device.
Digital camera is invented
picture of Tim by candlelight, A. King
I think I've seen every episode of Three's Company at least 3 times. My parents had no problems with the innuendo and sexual themes. It was cool that Jack was pretending to be gay...
Video killed the radio star, Buggles, 1979
I've thought deeply about this song's message ever since it was first released. Video didn't kill the radio for me it just amped it up....it' was another way to add to the whole spectacle of performance.
Xanadu - 1982
In this scene from Xanadu, the Greek muses escape out of a mural and begin dancing. It leads to a glitzy glamourous musical filled with rollerskating and sequins. My life was changed forever. Luckily my Dad never minded backing the car out of the garage so I could rollerskate and sing.
For me, my love of technology was born of my need to create.
Just when I thought I knew everything, I saw the movie The Big Chill. I was introduced to music from the 60s and 70s like Motown, and I began to feel very comfortable
If you can open these links then you will see a performance of mine.
My staff holds a semi-annual talent night we call Cavestock where we have an open mic and I'm singing "Rainbow Connection"
For the purpose of this assignment, texts can be anything from which an audience derives meaning: words, images, music, movies, performances.
Reading has always had a signicant place in my life.
In kindergarten, my teacher realized that I could read and in a few short days I was skipped to grade 1. I was 5.
Here are a few books that have had an impact on me.
Last year when I moved to my new home, I joined the local theatre groups production of Mamma Mia in which I played Rosie. This is my solo song "Take a Chance on Me".
Gabriel Knight 2: The Beast Within
my first game to have the ability to choose paths which lead to variated storylines
featured live movie-like action
IMpossible Mission for the Commodore 64
a puzzle game that involved completing a series of tasks in the right sequence in order to go to the next level
my first use of the internet was as correspondence
I emailed my husband weeks after our university course ended to ask him out on our first date
I corresponded with my family the 2nd time I went to Japan
I sent up a phone interview with my future principal and obtained my first teaching job in Ontario before I was back in Canada
My first blog describes my struggle with infertility. I needed to connect to my support network, but found it difficult to discuss. It gave me a way to be heard and comforted. It was very cathartic.
Between the years 2008 to 2010 I taught media arts at my school. I focused on film and photography. I began a bit over my head, so I took a my first online college course in digital storytelling and another course in video making. This was my first introduction to using mac computers. All those editing skills from audio engineering and video editing in university came in handy but the process became infinitely more efficient using a computer. My students entered and won regional film contests.
In 2009, I was hired by the Ontario Ministry of education to co-write a grade 11 English course. The process was done almost entirely online with me, my co-writer and our editor. I learned so much about collaboration.
Now: I've created a Google site for my library, a Ning for my school book club, a wiki for my staff, and an online school literary magazine. I'm swimming in online media.
Here's one activity that I designed as a writer for this course:
Thanks for checking me out!
I generally work on a PC for school work, a mac for media creation and I own a Blackberry to keep in touch.
G-Force: One of my first exposures to media created in a different culture. Who knew I'd be spending 3 years in Japan later in life.
Can you remember your first movie? I still experience movies as if they're washing over me. I want to be completely absorbed by them without interruption. I'm sure that there is scientific research about how the brain is stimulated by visual images and sound but for me I just immerse myself in the experience.
My first full-length LP
Music is a huge part of my life. I learned how to play the piano a bit, until I started playing percussion in school, and the whole time I was singing in choirs, in musicals, in performance. My greatest gift to a friend or boyfriend, was a mixed tape, later replaced by mixed CDs. Now I just make playlists in iTunes.
best song on the album!
I used to watch Solid Gold every Sunday afternoon with my sisters. This gave us enough show material for a week's worth of performances for each other.
I spent hours listening to music and trying to write down the lyrics. Now if I want to know the words, I just Google the song title or even just a line from the song. Blondie's Rapture was particularly challenging.
Pat Benatar was an idol because she was so angry. She embodied an idea of femininity that was completely contrary to any other role model I knew.
When I was in grade 11, I was cast in our school's production of "Godspell". We rehearsed for a whole year, using lots of audio technology, lots of theatre magic, and the experience gave me so much confidence as an artist. Musicals have always been the complete package of media creation for me.
I just had to include an ode to Michael Jackson. He was my Justin Bieber. Thriller changed the integrity of music videos. Of course on my 4 TV channels, I saw it a lot.
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