A basic sketch of a voice/virtual assistant with the text ‘Sorry. I didn’t understand that. Can you speak properly?’
A basic sketch of a voice/virtual assistant with the text ‘Sorry. I didn’t understand that. Can you speak properly?’
Source: Author’s own

I’ve recently bought a virtual/voice assistant as I wanted to learn a bit more about them and how they could fit into my daily life(turns out mostly music and reminders). However now that I have it, I’ve noticed my accent changing a little…or at the very least, how I say things. And further to this it’s also affected the things I listen to. Not to mention from a machine learning perspective….am I training it….or is it training me?

I love how identity adapts and changes to those around us. For example maybe we see this through shared values or just…


An attempt at capturing my dancing in sketch form…

I’ve recently been part of a team working on a dance-related research project, and it reminded me about the influence a research project sometimes can have on the lives of the researchers involved. In this instance, my work on the project has led me to dancing around my living room a little more than I used to (although anyone who has lived with me knows I’m partial to a bit of a disco in the kitchen). And so in some respect it’s been interesting to see the impact of research work on my identity.

I’ve worked on various projects over…


Source: Author’s own basic illustration

I’ve loved dinosaurs since I was a kid, and my love for them has only increased as I got older (DISCALIMER: I’m not a paleontologist…just a massive dino fan). Only my interest in them has taken on a new form of late. Now they seem to embody a lot about what I love about science itself. A major part of this is the fact that dinosaur’s ‘identities’ keep changing, offering a fascinating viewpoint on the nature of identity itself.

Perhaps the most exciting example of this in recent times is the case of Spinosaurus and its tail. (I say most…


Source: Instagram @ lilmiquela , November 11

Whilst doing some research into virtual influencers, I came across this interesting quote in Forbes about an ‘interview’ with the CG influencer Lil Miquela:

“In a 2018 interview with the publication Business of Fashion, Miquela shared, “I definitely wouldn’t say my identity is crowdsourced. I’m an artist and have expressed opinions that are unpopular and as a result have cost me fans.” Her literally crowdsourced answer is the work of Brud, the transmedia studio which is valued upwards of $125M. And it’s this untruth — “I’m not crowdsourced” — a thread of deceptiveness, that when pulled, doesn’t seem to end…


Illustration of opening line from Atrocity Exhibition by JG Ballard

From an identity perspective, I was interested in how the name of something changed over time. Or was applied to different things. Do aspects of the original intention survive? Or does it lose a lot of meaning? In this instance I thought I’d look at Atrocity Exhibition. The novel, the song, the album.

Why focus on The Atrocity Exhibition? Well it seems to always stick out to me and has long been one of my favourite books. Although as I will cover later, don’t ask me what its about.

So here is my brief journey looking at the various approaches…


Big news for DC fans and it’s the arrival of a trailer for Justice League: Director’s Cut. Which combines a few things for me…I’ve always wanted a director’s cut of Justice League (although I’m aware not many do). I’ve always had a soft spot for the DC Universe films (although this universe never quite gets it right), and I always love a director’s cut. But it does raise the issue of the role of filmmaker identities in the work they make.

In this case how much more of the identity of Snyder is in this cut than that of…


Taken on London Underground

I have to admit I am a fan of collage art as it has within it a very interesting approach to identity. Do the meanings of the original pieces of art still mean the same? Or are they manipulated to mean something new?

And linked to this is the idea of pieces of art changing over time, are faded posters like the one above. At one time they were one thing. But over time they become something else, a collage of other marketing material. People adding things, tearing things. Or even just the daily grime, grit and dust accumulating on…


When it all boils down to it, we are all researchers. Each day is an activity of research. Researching the world around us and trying to make sense of it, reporting back to ourselves and others what we find. Is every look in the mirror a mini research project? Every step across the road? Contemplating our environment, testing our hypotheses, building propositions, exploring something or other. This is perhaps even more so as the era of the quantified self takes hold. I can’t remember having so many conversations about how many steps someone has done today. …


I find it fascinating how elements of identity spread over time. For example, how do company values spread through not just an organisation, but also to other organisations? Is this a case of replication? Of actually appearing the same, in some respects, as other companies? Which would mean on some level, there is a lack of differentiation.

Looking at this replication idea, are some elements easier to replicate than others? For example, is visual branding more imitable than the values of an organisation. Is the corporate brand more readily mimicked than the corporate identity?

Branding seems relatively easy to mimic…


A very quick post here. I’ve been doing a lot of transcribing lately. Being predominantly a qualitative researcher means I spend quite a lot of time doing it. And for some reason, this time it really got me reflecting on this process of transcription.

Most notably the aspect of having to confront your mistakes. Not only confronting them, but actively having to type them out. And most likely listen to them multiple times. And then include it in some form of analysis.

Perhaps you missed asking a question that you could have led to a much juicier quote? Maybe you…

Luke Devereux

Lecturer exploring identity, and specifically corporate identity. Lover of all things related to marketing and education.

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