Journal articles: 'Semiotics and art. Photography, Artistic. Digital art' – Grafiati (2024)

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Relevant bibliographies by topics / Semiotics and art. Photography, Artistic. Digital art / Journal articles

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Author: Grafiati

Published: 4 June 2021

Last updated: 8 February 2022

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1

Santo, Santo. "PERPADUAN SENI FOTOGRAFI DAN GAYA ART NOUVEAU." Jurnal Dimensi Seni Rupa dan Desain 15, no.2 (February1, 2019): 219. http://dx.doi.org/10.25105/dim.v15i2.5647.

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<strong>Abstract</strong><br />Feminine style inspiration in art media is built as one of the learning media in photography. The artistic concept of combining beauty / beauty with photography as one of the mediums of art. Photography is a medium that displays visual art, and artistic creation which are connected with the Art Nouveau style. Whereas, art nouveau is a design style featuring ornaments or decorations that embody a feminine impression. Through art nouveau photography, photography is displayed with digital techniques so that it can create a photography with a feminine impression.<br /><div> </div><div> </div><strong>Abstrak</strong><br />Inspirasi gaya feminim dalam media seni dibangun sebagai salah satu media pembelajaran pada fotografi. Konsep artistik dalam menggabungkan sebuah keindahan / kecantikan dengan media fotografi sebagai salah satu medium seni. Fotografi adalah sebuah medium yang menampilkan seni visual, melalui kreasi artistik melalui fotografi sebagai medium dalam penciptaan fotografi dihubungkan dengan gaya Art Nouveau, dimana art nouveau adalah sebuah gaya desain yang menampilkan ornament atau hiasan yang mewujudkan kesan feminim. Melalui fotografi gaya art nouveau ditampilkan dengan tehnik digital sehingga dapat mewujudkan fotografi yang menampilkan keindahan dengan kesan feminim yang dapat dinikmati.<br /><br />

2

Zepke, Stephen. "‘A work of art does not contain the least bit of information’: Deleuze and Guattari and Contemporary Art." Performance Philosophy 3, no.3 (December21, 2017): 751. http://dx.doi.org/10.21476/pp.2017.33145.

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Deleuze and Guattari’s rejection of Conceptual art is well known, and sits awkwardly with the current hegemony of ‘post-conceptual’ artistic practices. Equally awkward is Deleuze’s ontological and political dislike of photography, which produces a ‘snapshot’ or representation of becoming, placing cliched images directly into our brains, controlling our actions and reactions by denying us the power to think creatively. In Cinema 2 Deleuze will extend this argument to the new ‘electronic image’, which like Conceptual art turns the plane of composition into a ‘flatbed’ plane or ‘screen’ that simply formats information, and with it our interfaced brains. Today, conceptual practice, photography and digital technologies are all simply taken for granted by contemporary art, which is also happy to use “D&G” as well. But doesn’t Deleuze and Guattari’s thought require a more critical application? Doesn’t it demand a minor war-machine? What would this be in the case of contemporary artistic practice? Amongst various possibilities this paper will explore the sublime ramifications of a Deleuzean image of ‘thought’, and its position as the ‘immanent outside’ of art’s post-conceptual trajectory.

3

Szczęsna, Ewa. "The Semiotics of Cyberculture: the Example of Artistic Discourse." Kultura i Społeczeństwo 63, no.3 (September27, 2019): 45–62. http://dx.doi.org/10.35757/kis.2019.63.3.3.

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In this text the author reflects on the semiotic existence of culture discourses in connection with the rapid development of digital technology. The author analyzes selected texts of digital art as examples of the transformation in how works of literature, sculpture, or film exist. The article covers how movable font, which changes in shape and color, participates in shaping literary meanings; the creation of semiotic and interactive figures; the textualization of the user’s actions and body; dematerialization; processuality; narrativization; the temporalizing of sculpture, which changes before the eyes of the recipient; the presence of alternative narratives in literature and film; multi-variant plots co-created by the recipient; and the artistic use of other discourses. The author proves that the structure and specificity of the digital sign lies at the base of the changes. The digital sign is immaterial, programmable, and hybrid, and combines aspects of expression, meaning, and action, which makes it efficient.

4

Massarente, Martina. "The Digital Platform of D.I.R.A.A.S. (UNIGE)." Studies in Digital Heritage 3, no.2 (June13, 2020): 156–69. http://dx.doi.org/10.14434/sdh.v3i2.27441.

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This project studies photography as an instrument for artistic and historical teaching in relation to the didactic traditions of the Humanities at the University of Genoa. This research was initially based on an analysis of the corpus of glass diapositives and phototypes mostly owned by Giusta Nicco Fasola, Genoa’s first art history professor, and currently stored by D.I.R.A.A.S. (Dipartimento di Italianistica, Romanistica, Antichistica, arti e spettacolo). The corpus contextualizes Fasola's scientific and didactic interests in relation to her complex biography as a woman, professor, and political combatant in the Resistance in Fiesole and Florence. The central element of this analysis is the project for a prototype of a digital art history photo library, intended as a place of study and research and as a virtual communication platform. The overall goal of this work is to investigate the relationship between photography, history, and art critique.

5

Holgate, John. "Informational Aesthetics—What Is the Relationship between Art Intelligence and Information?" Proceedings 47, no.1 (May15, 2020): 54. http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/proceedings47010054.

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The author examines the notion of informational aesthetics. The origin of aesthetics lies in Epicurus’s notion of aesthesis and the integration of artistic activity within ethics and the ‘good life’—as in the aesthetic theory and practice of the East. The debasem*nt of the word ‘aesthetic’ reflects the increasing alienation of beauty from imagination. The fragmentation of art now packaged as media objects in our digital world is the legacy of this alienation. The author retraces the history of the concept of information aesthetics developed in the 1960s by Birkhoff, Bense and Mole and which sought to marry mathematics, computation and semiotics with artistic activity, based on Birkhoff’s aesthetic measure, and to bridge the gap between science and the humanistic imagination. The failure of the cognitive school is attributed to the limitations of its data-driven view of art itself as an affordance of perception (Arnheim). The roles of algorithmically generated art and of Computational Aesthetic Evaluation (CAE) are assessed. An appeal is made to the more fertile conceptual ground of information civilization—an idea developed by Professor Kun Wu. The author introduces the concept of digital iconography and applies it to Renaissance masterpieces such as Raphael’s School of Athens and Leonardo’s Mona Lisa. In conclusion, Informational Aesthetics is identified as a future discipline for the Philosophy of Information.

6

Holgate, John. "Informational Aesthetics—What Is the Relationship between Art Intelligence and Information?" Proceedings 47, no.1 (May15, 2020): 54. http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2020047054.

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The author examines the notion of informational aesthetics. The origin of aesthetics lies in Epicurus’s notion of aesthesis and the integration of artistic activity within ethics and the ‘good life’—as in the aesthetic theory and practice of the East. The debasem*nt of the word ‘aesthetic’ reflects the increasing alienation of beauty from imagination. The fragmentation of art now packaged as media objects in our digital world is the legacy of this alienation. The author retraces the history of the concept of information aesthetics developed in the 1960s by Birkhoff, Bense and Mole and which sought to marry mathematics, computation and semiotics with artistic activity, based on Birkhoff’s aesthetic measure, and to bridge the gap between science and the humanistic imagination. The failure of the cognitive school is attributed to the limitations of its data-driven view of art itself as an affordance of perception (Arnheim). The roles of algorithmically generated art and of Computational Aesthetic Evaluation (CAE) are assessed. An appeal is made to the more fertile conceptual ground of information civilization—an idea developed by Professor Kun Wu. The author introduces the concept of digital iconography and applies it to Renaissance masterpieces such as Raphael’s School of Athens and Leonardo’s Mona Lisa. In conclusion, Informational Aesthetics is identified as a future discipline for the Philosophy of Information.

7

Leone, Massimo. "Digital Cosmetics." Chinese Semiotic Studies 16, no.4 (November25, 2020): 551–80. http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/css-2020-0030.

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AbstractThe earliest extant depictions of the human face are not simply realistic but represented through specific technologies (means) and techniques (styles). In these representations, the face was probably idealized in order to empower its agency through simulacra. The history of art sees humans become increasingly aware of the impact of technology and technique on the production of visual representations of the face. With photography, and even more so with its digital version, technology is developed, hidden, and miniaturized so as to democratize and market technique. The result, however, a naturalization of technology, is increasingly problematic in the era of algorithms: artificial intelligence absorbs the social bias of its engineers. This is particularly evident in the domain of “digital cosmetics”: successful apps are used to process and share billions of facial images, yet few critically reflect on the aesthetic ideology underpinning them. This is an urgent task for visual, social, and cultural semiotics.

8

Roose, Henk, Willem Roose, and Stijn Daenekindt. "Trends in Contemporary Art Discourse: Using Topic Models to Analyze 25 years of Professional Art Criticism." Cultural Sociology 12, no.3 (April10, 2018): 303–24. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1749975518764861.

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In this article, we use topic modeling to systematically explore topics discussed in contemporary art criticism. Analyzing 6965 articles published between 1991 and 2015 in Frieze, a leading art magazine, we find a plurality of topics characterizing professional discourse on contemporary art. Not surprisingly, media- or genre-specific topics such as film/cinema, photography, sculpture/installations, etc. emerge. Interestingly, extra-artistic topics also characterize contemporary art criticism: there is room for articles on new digital technology and on art and philosophy; there is also growing interest in the relationship between art and society. Our analysis shows that despite evolutions in the field of contemporary art – such as the ‘social turn’, in which contemporary art starts paying more attention to social forms and content – the prevalence of certain topics in contemporary art criticism has barely changed over the past 25 years. With this article, we demonstrate the unique value of topic modeling for cultural sociology: it is both a powerful computational technique to generate a bird’s-eye view of a huge text corpus and a heuristic device that locates key texts for further close reading.

9

Dondero, Maria Giulia. "Le plan de l’expression des images: Quelques réflexions sur support et apport." Semiotica 2020, no.234 (October25, 2020): 253–70. http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/sem-2018-0124.

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AbstractIn this article we plan to revisit the notion of substance of the plane of expression, as found in semiotic studies of the image, and how this notion relates to the concepts of purport and form. The article is divided into three parts: The first section gives a brief history of the various ways substance has been addressed in (or excluded from) image analyses based on Greimassian semiotics and Groupe μ rhetoric. Drawing upon Jacques Fontanille’s semiotics of practices and Jean-François Bordron’s theory of iconicity, the second section concerns proposals that attempt to address the “moment” of giving substance in autographic works of art – and also in writing –, through notions of support, application, and the gestural act of inscription. The third section tests these methodological tools on chemical photography and on digital image-making in order to propose a new, specifically semiotic approach to studying the media characteristics of images.

10

Stuber, Tracy. "Review: How Photography Became Contemporary Art: Inside an Artistic Revolution from Pop to the Digital Age, by Andy Grundberg." Afterimage 48, no.3 (September1, 2021): 100–104. http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/aft.2021.48.3.100.

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11

Van Schepen, Randall. "Contemporary Misticism: Recovering Sensible Aesthetics in an Age of Digital Production." Religions 10, no.3 (March12, 2019): 186. http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/rel10030186.

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Materialist accounts of artistic development emphasize the ongoing revolution of media in the progress of history. Amongst the most popular accounts of modernity are Walter Benjamin’s essays on the relationship of photography to traditional art. His account of the loss of aura has been subject to countless reinterpretations since its publication. The present essay addresses the contemporary production of a number of architects and artists whose work provides an interesting challenge to the Benjaminian account of the secularization of artistic ritual. The artists Adam Fuss, Vera Lutter, Alison Rossiter, Sally Mann, and others have recently been exploring photographic methods that contradict the Benjaminian account of the history of photography. They continue to explore techniques that Benjamin placed in the auratic pre-paper-print era, such as Daguerreotypes and photograms, as well as employing other more material/chemically based effects. Such artistic choices are often considered nothing more than a nostalgic reverie trying to stem the tide of materialist history, a flawed search for a lost aura of presence. However, when these works are set against the backdrop of contemporary digitized production and of the Dusseldorf School as well as most other contemporary photographers, these “retro” works stand as a critical counterpoint to our present seamless digital imperium. The soft and hazy effects of these works, what I am calling their misticism, occludes the particularity of digital bits of information in a search to connect to the material and the sensual, something denied by information-saturated technologies. Even within a materialist approach to history, there is room to view these architectural and artistic effects as critically productive rather than merely retrograde. The present essay argues for the timely relevance of contemporary retro-photographic techniques in fostering both a critical attitude and as evidence of attempts to recover a sense of spiritual presence.

12

Mateo Sánchez, Cecila. "Dificultades en el registro y transmisión de un arte fugaz." Arte y Políticas de Identidad 21 (December29, 2019): 120–38. http://dx.doi.org/10.6018/reapi.416761.

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Desde la segunda mitad del siglo XX las intervenciones artísticas se independizan de los hartados y constantes componentes estéticos, miméticos y matéricos. La imposibilidad de custodiar la obra como objeto demanda nuevos mecanismos que registren un arte tan cambiante como caprichoso. Con los avances de la tecnología, la fotografía digital y las innovaciones acontecidas en el campo del arte, los artistas comenzarán a dejar constancia de sus intervenciones haciendo uso de cámaras fotográficas y pequeñas grabaciones para inmortalizar sus obras. Destinamos esta investigación a trabajar, a través de una representación de autores emergentes, las dificultades en el registro de obras artísticas caracterizadas por su intangibilidad. El desafío está servido, cualquier persona o entidad vinculada a lo artístico se enfrenta a la difícil tarea de registrar para conservar la inmortalidad del acontecimiento artístico. Estas innovadoras y fugaces categorías llevan implícita la condición participativa del espectador, el espacio como continente y contenido de la obra, el tiempo, la extinción de los materiales, la acción, el desplazamiento, la pérdida de la unicidad del arte, así como su acelerada mortalidad. Condiciones y aspectos que hacen del arte un “arte-acontecimiento”, predispuesto por la condición espaciotemporal a su caducidad, modificación o desaparición. Since the second half of 20th century, artistic interventions have become independent of the jaded and constant aesthetic, mimetic and mathematical components. The impossibility of guarding the work as an object demands new mechanisms that register an art as changing as it is capricious. With the advances in technology, digital photography and innovations in the field of art, artists will begin to record their interventions, using cameras and small recordings to immortalize their works. We dedicate this research to work through a representation of emerging authors, difficulties in the registration of artistic works characterized by their intangibility. The challenge is served, any person or entity linked to the artistic, faces the difficult task of registering to preserve the immortality of the artistic event. These innovative and fleeting categories implicitly involve the participatory condition of the viewer, space as a continent and content of the work, time, extinction of materials, action, displacement, loss of the uniqueness of art, as well as its accelerated dematerialization Conditions and aspects that make art an “art-event”, predisposed by the space-time condition to its expiration, modification or disappearance.

13

Zawojski, Piotr. "Fotografia i film w praktyce artystycznej oraz propozycjach teoretycznych Davida Hockneya." Artium Quaestiones 31, no.1 (December20, 2020): 101–22. http://dx.doi.org/10.14746/aq.2020.31.4.

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In his diverse works, David Hockney has used, and still uses, various media, which in some periods of his activity gained leading significance, while in the following they were abandoned or temporarily abandoned. But no matter what medium in the given period was the main form of creativity, the focus of his interest has always been the issue of image and imaging. The article is devoted to the practice and theoretical recognition of photography, which was a kind of introduction to experiments with a moving image. The author refers to the artist's numerous publications on the theory and history of image and imaging (including Secret Knowledge, History of Images, On Photography). Photography led to Hockney's audiovisual realizations. This is a kind of repetition of the natural evolution and developmental progression of the media, also, and perhaps above all, in the technological dimension. The article is divided into three parts. In the first part, the author presents Hockney as a practitioner and theoretician, in whose activities both these activities are closely intertwined. This is a sign of the times: practice and theory are equally important, awareness of the medium, or artistic and aesthetic self-awareness of artists, is an expression of the spirit of the era in which an intuitive approach to art today seems inefficient, not to say impossible. Hockney appears to be an exemplary artist, who is extremely conceptual in his artistic practice as a consequence of his research on the history of art and a constantly developed set of his own theoretical findings. He is an artist discursively commenting not only on his work as an artist in many media (painting, drawing, graphics, set design, photography, film, computer graphics), but also an art and media theoretician reflecting on the fate of images in a changing media landscape. The second part of the article is devoted to the reconstruction of Hockney's theoretical reflections on photography and the analysis of his photographic projects. First of all, experimental Polaroid compositions created in the early eighties, named by the artist joiners, as well as photographic collages and photographic images realized in the later periods of the British artist's work. The third part considers digital movies, as Hockney calls them, audiovisual realizations referring to both his previous photographic works and experimental video films in which multi-camera systems are used.

14

Huerta, Ricard, and Ricardo Domínguez. "La educación artística de la era digital: investigar en escenarios tecnológicos." eari. educación artística. revista de investigación, no.10 (December20, 2019): 9. http://dx.doi.org/10.7203/eari.10.16111.

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Resumen: Los retos que impone el nuevo escenario digital nos animan a reflexionar sobre las posibilidades de la Educación Artística en un momento histórico en el que combinamos momentos educativos presenciales junto a desubicaciones online. Las tecnologías de la imagen, uno de nuestros mayores aliados como docentes, hace tiempo que irrumpieron en el aula de artes, y es por ello que en este número de EARI presentamos un dossier monográfico sobre “Cine y educación artística”. Pero tanto la fotografía como la imagen en movimiento han experimentado un increíble desarrollo tecnológico en manos de tantos usuarios como personas convivimos en el planeta. Los dispositivos móviles y los nuevos conceptos y usos digitales están incorporándose a todas las facetas de nuestras vidas, de modo que ya no podemos permanecer ajenos a esta urgencia educativa y artística. Por eso desde el grupo CREARI nos hemos implicado en el la organización del I Congreso Internacional Humanidades Digitales y Pedagogías Culturales, para avanzar en la búsqueda de posibilidades académicas en un mundo donde los videojuegos, las series de televisión, los videoclips musicales y las tendencias del arte digital están abanderando procesos complejos y tremendamente atractivos. Consideramos que el juego y la aventura forman parte intrínseca de nuestra rebeldía. No podemos permanecer ajenos a las nuevas prácticas y hábitos de la ciudadanía. Palabras clave: arte, educación artística, investigación, formación de profesorado, humanidades digitales. Abstract: The new digital scenario generates challenges that encourage us to reflect on the possibilities of Artistic Education in a historical moment in which we combine conventional educational moments with new online trends. Image technologies are one of our best allies as teachers. We have been incorporating them into the arts classroom for a long time. In this issue of the journal EARI we present a dossier on “Cinema and Art Education”. Both photography and the moving image have experienced an incredible technological development among as many users as we live together on the planet. Mobile technologies and new concepts for digital uses are being incorporating into all dimensions of our lives, so that we can no longer remain oblivious to this educational and artistic urgency. From the CREARI group we have been fully involved in the organization of the First International Conference of Digital Humanities and Cultural Pedagogies, to advance in the search for academic possibilities in a world where video games, television series, music videos and music trends Digital art are leading complex and tremendously attractive processes. We consider that game and adventure are a natural part of our rebellion. We cannot continue without addressing the new practices and habits of citizenship. Keywords: Art, Art Education, Research, Teachers Training, Digital Humanities. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7203/eari.10.16111

15

Wango, Kamau. "The Role of Hyperrealism in Painted Portraiture –Engaging Culture: Analysis of Portraiture by Eddy Ochieng." East African Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies 2, no.1 (December9, 2020): 157–79. http://dx.doi.org/10.37284/eajis.2.1.246.

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Portraiture remains one of the most fascinating genres of Art; it is engaging, intriguing and often, perhaps, a little controversial. Portraiture has been executed through the centuries in a variety of styles and media and for different purposes, from the ancient Egyptian cave paintings, through the medieval civilisations to the renaissance, new world, the great divide, modern era and ultimately to post-modernism pop art portraiture. One question that has always resurfaced in the interrogation of portraiture is what is the role of portraiture. There have also been incessant questions about the effectiveness or even need for some painting styles used in portraiture as well as other genres. Within contemporary Art, one of these styles that have often generated passionate arguments between those who love it and those who do not subscribe to it is hyperrealism. Detractors of hyperrealism, which started in the early 1970s, have consistently argued that by virtue of its reliance upon photography, what it seeks to portray is already achieved through photography and hence it is artistically ‘pointless’ since it serves no further visual purpose. Dwelling specifically on this artistic ‘pointlessness’, they have even questioned whether hyperrealism is Art or just a very refined and admirable show of skill. Proponents of hyperrealism, however, bask in the satisfaction that it retrieves all photographic cues from a digital image or a high-resolution photograph and converts or transforms these into a different realm of artistry and perfection by the placement of even more minute and meticulous details that would otherwise be invisible to the eye. This creativity culminates in an entirely new form, an ‘illusion of reality’ more artistically and visually engaging than the original photograph. The detractors, therefore, state that since hyperrealism is derived from photography as a reference base, then it is redundant as a style. In order to address this query, this paper examines the role of hyperrealism in modern portraiture as it is specifically applied to Kenyan portraiture executed by Eddie Ochieng’, an outstanding Kenyan hyperrealist, in order to determine its own ‘visual efficacy’ as a sub-genre. The portraiture itself, as featured in this paper, focuses on aspects of culture to explore the overall visual impact as a result of the application of hyperrealism.

16

Almeida, Flávio, and Renata Ferraz. "Designerly Modus of Wandering and Shared Film Creation in “Corpos Palimpsésticos”: Artistic creations in times of socio-affective." International Journal of Film and Media Arts 6, no.1 (June9, 2021): 92–113. http://dx.doi.org/10.24140/ijfma.v6.n1.05.

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“Corpos Palimps sticos”1 emerged in 2020, in a moment of worldwide pandemic due to Covid-19 and because of the end of our relationship as lovers. Soon after our separation, and thanks to the call for proposals of the Residency Program “Residências em Residências Circolando / Central Elétrica 2020 – FASE 2”, the idea of mourning the separation through a creative gesture was born. The fruition of artistic objects in their physical places has been interrupted due to the restriction to people gathering in closed spaces. This new reality has forced artists to rethink the format of their works so they could reach a public that, without the usual places, is now reterritorialized in a digital environment. Thus, the project’s goal was the production of video-performances and the constant online sharing of our creation process. The project had an interdisciplinary approach, and although design and filmmaking were the privileged areas, the work also included text creation, photography, music, and scientific research. We will analyse here existing approaches of creation methods such as co-creation in documentary, art-based research, art thinking and a recontextualization of design thinking in order to reframe these modes of creation in “Corpos Palimps sticos”. By using more than a single methodology, we are interested in a process where our areas of research/creation can dialogue randomly in a non-hierarchical way. Once the residency was over, we systematized the creation process that gave rise to this text. Finally, we created the term “Designerly Modus of Wandering” and used the term “Shared Film Creation” of a previous research to base our creative journey in the areas of design and film creation.

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Patricia, Naomi, and Budi Adelar Sukada. "RUANG FOTOGRAFI DI KEDOYA SELATAN." Jurnal Sains, Teknologi, Urban, Perancangan, Arsitektur (Stupa) 2, no.1 (June16, 2020): 297. http://dx.doi.org/10.24912/stupa.v2i1.6777.

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Third place is a place other than home (first place) or office/school (second place), where visitors can spend time and feel welcomed. Third place is no longer just a relaxing recreation place; third place has become part of our overall lifestyle. In that case, we need to realize that for some people, especially those in the creative class, third place is actually an non-negotiable asset. The development of photography in Indonesia is currently experiencing rapid development, both in terms of economic and community growth. This development began in the early 2000s, with the start of film cameras with digital sensors. This certainly makes it easier for camera users to not bother to print photos just to see the work that has been captured.Photography is one of the mass media that has become popular among teenagers. The existence of technological changes that make it easier for humans to demonstrate their artistic skills by using photography, so that photography can affect the lives of people throughout the world. Photography itself has always been inseparable from human life, other than as a documentary, photography itself is art, the art of creativity using light. So no wonder many rapid developments. This third place project aims to facilitate people who have an interest in photography, provide facilities in the form of a gathering place that can function as a channel for visitors' interest and creativity, and increase the Creative Economy’s sector. AbstrakThird place (tempat ketiga) adalah tempat selain rumah (first place/tempat pertama) atau kantor maupun sekolah (second place/tempat kedua), di mana pengunjung dapat menghabiskan waktu dan merasa disambut. Third place tidak lagi hanya berupa tempat rekreasi santai; third place telah menjadi bagian dari gaya hidup kita secara keseluruhan. Dalam hal itu kita perlu menyadari bahwa bagi sebagian orang, terutama yang berada di kelas kreatif, third place sebenarnya menjadi aset yang tidak bisa dinegosiasikan. Perkembangan fotografi di Indonesia saat ini mengalami perkembangan yang pesat, baik dari segi ekonomis dan pertumbuhan komunitasnya. Perkembangan tersebut dimulai sejak era awal tahun 2000-an, dengan mulainya kamera berfilmkan menggunakan sensor digital. Hal ini tentu memudahkan pengguna kamera untuk tidak bersusah payah mencetak foto hanya untuk sekedar melihat karya yang telah diabadikan. Fotografi merupakan salah satu media massa yang menjadi populer di kalangan remaja. Adanya perubahan teknologi yang memudahkan manusia untuk menunjukkan keterampilan seninya dengan menggunakan fotografi, sehingga fotografi dapat mempengaruhi kehidupan masyarakat di seluruh dunia. Fotografi itu sendiri memang sejak dulu tidak dapat dipisahkan dari kehidupan manusia, selain sebagai dokumenter, fotografi itu sendiri adalah seni, seni kreatifitas menggunakan cahaya. Maka tak heran banyak perkembangan yang pesat. Proyek third place ini memiliki tujuan untuk memfasilitasi masyarakat yang memiliki minat terhadap fotografi, menyediakan fasilitas berupa tempat untuk berkumpul yang dapat berfungsi sebagai penyalur minat-bakat dan kreatifitas pengunjung, serta meningkatkan sektor Ekonomi Kreatif (Ekraf).

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Ferenc, Tomasz. "Nudity, Sexuality, Photography. Visual Redefinition of the Body." Qualitative Sociology Review 14, no.2 (August28, 2018): 96–114. http://dx.doi.org/10.18778/1733-8077.14.2.06.

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The article examines the relations between photography, body, nudity, and sexuality. It presents changing relations of photography with a naked or semi-naked body and different forms and recording conventions. From the mid-19th century the naked body became the subject of scientifically grounded photographic explorations, an allegorical motif referring to painting traditions, an object of interest and excitement for the newly-developed “touristic” perspective. These three main ways in which photographs depicting nudity were being taken at that time shaped three visual modes: artistic-documentary, ethnographic-travelling, and scientific-medical. It has deep cultural consequences, including those in the ways of shaping the notions of the corporeal and the sexual. Collaterally, one more, probably prevalent in numbers, kind of photographical images arose: p*rnographic. In the middle of the 19th century, the repertoire of p*rnographic pictures was already very wide, and soon it become one of the photographic pillars of visual imagination of the modern society, appealing to private and professional use of photography, popular culture, advertisem*nt, art. The number of erotic and p*rnographic pictures rose hand over fist with the development of digital photography. Access to p*rnographic data is easy, fast, and cheap, thanks to the Internet, as it never was before. Photography has fuelled p*rnography, laying foundations for a massive and lucrative business, employing a huge group of professional sex workers. How all those processes affected our imagination and real practices, what does the staggering number of erotic photography denote? One possible answer comes from Michel Foucault who suggests that our civilization does not have any ars erotica, but only scientia sexualis. Creating sexual discourse became an obsession of our civilization, and its main pleasure is the pleasure of analysis and a constant production of truth about sex. Maybe today the main pleasure is about watching technically registered images, and perhaps that is why we may consider visual redefinition of the body as the main social effect of the invention of the photography.

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Hristova, Stefka. "Training for the Algorithmic Machine." Media and Communication 9, no.2 (April6, 2021): 119–29. http://dx.doi.org/10.17645/mac.v9i2.3773.

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In thinking about the ubiquity of algorithmic surveillance and the ways our presence in front of a camera has become engaged with the algorithmic logics of testing and replicating, this project summons Walter Benjamin’s seminal piece <em>The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility </em>with its three versions, which was published in the United States under the editorial direction of Theodore Adorno. More specifically, it highlights two of the many ways in which the first and second versions of Benjamin’s influential essay on technology and culture resonate with questions of photography and art in the context of facial recognition technologies and algorithmic culture more broadly. First, Benjamin provides a critical lens for understanding the role of uniqueness and replication in a technocratic system. Second, he proposes an analytical framework for thinking about our response to visual surveillance through notions of training and performing a constructed identity—hence, being intentional about the ways we visually present ourselves. These two conceptual frameworks help to articulate our unease with a technology that trains itself using our everyday digital images in order to create unique identities that further aggregate into elaborate typologies and to think through a number of artistic responses that have challenged the ubiquity of algorithmic surveillance. Taking on Benjamin’s conceptual apparatus and his call for understanding the politics of art, I focus on two projects that powerfully critique algorithmic surveillance. Leo Selvaggio’s URME (you are me) Personal Surveillance Identity Prosthetic<em> </em>offers a critical lens through the adoption of algorithmically defined three-dimensional printed faces as performative prosthetics designed to be read and assessed by an algorithm. Kate Crawford and Trevor Paglen’s project Training Humans is the first major exhibition to display a collection of photographs used to train an algorithm as well as the classificatory labels applied to them both by artificial intelligence and by the freelance employees hired to sort through these images.

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Gokasan, Gurkan, and Erdal Aygenc. "Visualisation of Written Culture with Digital Collage and Woman Representation: Visualisation of Woman Figure in the Mountain and Sea Themed Turkish Cypriot Legends." Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences 8, no.3 (May24, 2017): 45–54. http://dx.doi.org/10.5901/mjss.2017.v8n3p45.

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Abstract This study aimed to visualise the written versions of legends, which can transform the intangible culture as one of the significant parts of culture covering human facts and some habits like art, customs, traditions, into the tangible culture which is the other part of culture, through certain theme/s. Within this perspective, the study aimed to transform the women and discursive representation styles given in the Turkish Cypriot legends into visual representation in addition to creating an absolute language through the use of hom*ogenous indicators. The study discussed the woman described with the ‘passive’, ‘oppressed’, ‘victim’ and ‘sinful’ features, in brief her marginalisation with the patriarchal legend structure through the use of semiotics. For the visualisation of legends, regardless the positive or negative consequence of woman, the ‘torn paper - collage with its popular name - texture was used to create a common language and the emotions to be reflected were symbolised with various colours. The content references of colours were taken into account; for instance, purple was used in the images that woman was downtrodden and blue in the images with the dominant male hegemony. Since the themes covered generally referred to the ‘mother nature’, the woman figures were illustrated as naked delivering the woman in her purest, simplest and most natural self without the social status indicators symbolised by the clothes. The main scene and woman figures, mountain and sea motifs in the selected legends were re-fictionalised in the digital environment and finalised with the illustration. As the effectiveness of pictorial elements in teaching and facilitating to remember the legends, as a cultural element within the main scope of this study is known, the legends were illustrated through the digital collage method. Therefore, the contribution was aimed to be reflected on the permanence and popularity of legends as a cultural product and verbal asset with the benefits of visual and artistic language.

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Purgar, Krešimir. "Nulti stupanj reprezentacije: Umjetnost, tehnika i slikovno pojavljivanje." Ars Adriatica, no.6 (January1, 2016): 241. http://dx.doi.org/10.15291/ars.189.

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My starting hypothesis in the theory of pictorial appearing is that Gottfried Boehm’s notion of iconic difference can serve as a sufficiently comprehensive concept for differentiating between image and non-image in all visual artefacts that have been created during the several millennia of visual representation. This era started with the first paleolithic drawings and includes the entire visual production from the period “before art”, as well as all those visual representations that emerged in the early modern period beyond the needs of religious worship, only to be substituted through the technosphere. However, since the technosphere is characterized by increasingly evolved systems of visual immersion, from the all-accessible OLED screen and IMAX cinema theatres to Oculus Rift glasses and further to the experience of total immersion, which recreates synesthetic visual-haptic impressions, ontological differentiation between the visual surface as such and the extra-iconic reality can no longer be established with the idea of difference alone. Namely, the notion of difference can serve as a qualifier for defining the relationship between the separate categories in an object – in our case, the pictorial and non-pictorial ones – only insofar as the reality in which they are situated is identical or equivalent. Thus, nobody questions the clear ontological separation between the two-dimensional represented reality such as established in cinematic fiction and the non-represented, that is actual reality existing outside of that fiction. Many films and artworks count on that implied separation and can therefore afford to question the borderline between the two, primarily within a strictly artistic discourse. Boehm’s theory of iconic difference and Jean-Luc Nancy’s understanding of the cut have helped establish the semiotic-phenomenological criteria for a theoretical differentiation between various experiences that are innate to man’s picture of the world. In other words, the difference or ontological cut between image and non-image can exist only because even a modestly capable individual can empirically grasp these two categories. However, my hypothesis is that iconic difference reveals itself as an inadequate concept for that ontological cut, not only because the status and the possibilities of human experience are radically altered in the time and space of the technosphere, but also because this new type of experience has not yet been “normalized” within the process that Flint Schier has termed “natural generativity”. The space and time of the technosphere require that one should no longer approach the image merely as the ancient Greek eikon, i.e. mirroring or representation, but rather as an experience, event, and a specific type of phenomenon. The modalities of pictorial appearing in the technosphere can be recognized as symptoms of the most recent visual turn, in any case the first in the 21st century, which no longer occurs in an encounter between image and language, as lucidly described by Mitchell and Boehm, but in an encounter between analogue and digital images, between representation and post-representation, reality and virtuality, semiotics and phenomenology. In order to understand this epochally new reality, one can use concepts such as Bolter’s and Grusin’s remediation, or Žarko Paić’s idea of the technosphere, as well as some other approaches, such as Paul Crowther’s categorization of “transhistorical images” or the phenomenologically based interpretation of art and images that Martin Seel has termed “the aesthetics of appearing”.

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Pidoprygora, Svitlana. "INTERMEDIAL COORDINATES OF ARTISTIC MODELING OF TRAUMATIC PAST IN M. BUBAK’S NOVEL “ALDER BLOOD”." LITERARY PROCESS: methodology, names, trends, 2018, 46–51. http://dx.doi.org/10.28925/2412-2475.2018.11.4651.

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The article examines the intermedial coordinates of the artistic modeling of traumatic past in the novel “Alder Blood” by the famous artist M. Babak. Theoretical and methodological basis of the research is the work on the theory of intermediality (A. A. Hansen-Leo, V. Wolf, J. Muller, I. Raievskyi, S. Matsenko, V. Prosalova, I. Ilchuk). Since we are talking about the semantic and communicative potential of visual images in the structure of the work, we take into account the works of semiotics, whose representatives (R. Bart, W. Eco, C. Pearce) began to decipher, interpret cultural codes of visual images. In the artistic world of the novel “Alder blood” the codes of literature and fine arts, digital art interact. Neo-Expressionism, Trans-Avant-garde author’s techniques reveals excessive emotionality, metaphorical, fragmentary, “curly” verbal text. The visual plan of the novel, apart from the verbal “picture”, the font expressiveness of the text, the presence of fragments that associated with methods of creation of visual poetry, is characterized by the insertion into the artistic structure of the work of photo collages, graphic sketches. In the novel photography not only represents the past. Black and white rural photography, scanned, processed with the help of a technical photo editor, transformed into a collage element, complemented with new meanings, turned into a work of digital art, means of comprehension and socio-political critique of important social and aesthetic issues. The novel “Alder blood” with its genre and stylistic peculiarities is closer to the art-book, that combining in one work verbal and visual art. Modeling traumatic past in intermedial coordinates (media combination), the author makes an act not personal, but also national auto-therapy.

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Marzal Felici, Javier. "Arte y fotografía digital. Una aproximación al estudio de algunas tendencias creativas de la fotografía digital en el contexto de la producción artística." Fotocinema. Revista científica de cine y fotografía, no.10 (January19, 2015). http://dx.doi.org/10.24310/fotocinema.2015.v0i10.5987.

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Resumen:Nos proponemos presentar en las siguientes páginas algunas reflexiones sobre la incidencia de la tecnología digital en el campo de la fotografía, en concreto en el contexto de la creación artística. En primer lugar, se articula una breve revisión de las principales dificultades que plantea la acotación de un territorio creativo como el de la “fotografía artística”. A continuación se propone un recorrido, necesariamente parcial y subjetivo, a través de la obra fotográfica de diferentes creadores contemporáneos, con el fin de determinar algunos rasgos característicos de la creación digital en el mundo del arte fotográfico. El propósito de este trabajo es subrayar cómo la transformación digital de la fotografía ha multiplicado sus posibilidades expresivas y narrativas, y ha convertido al medio fotográfico en un campo fértil, no sólo para la creación artística, sino sobre todo para la reflexión en torno a la naturaleza de la imagen y de la cultura visual contemporánea. Abstract: In the following pages we present some reflections on the impact of digital technology in the field of photography, particularly in the context of artistic creation. First, a brief review of the main difficulties in dimensioning a creative territory like the "art photography" is articulated. Then, we follow a panoramic review of different practises, necessarily partial and subjective, through the photographic work of various contemporary artists, in order to determine some characteristic features of digital creation in the world of photographic art. The purpose of this paper is to highlight how digital photography processing has increased its expressive and narrative possibilities, and the photographic medium has become a fertile field, not only for artistic creation, but especially for the reflection on the nature of the image and contemporary visual culture. Palabras clave: Fotografía artística; fotografía digital; autorreflexividad; arte; creación; espectáculo. Keywords: Artistic photography; digital photography; auto-reflexivity; art; creation; spectacle

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Calefato, Patrizia, Loredana La Fortuna, and Raffaella Scelzi. "Food-ography: Food and new media." Semiotica 2016, no.211 (January1, 2016). http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/sem-2016-0087.

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AbstractEver since Roland Barthes began to analyze food as a language, a symbol of culture and ideology, semiotics also began to study food in its connotative value or as a form of social identity and as a new “lifestyle.” As a matter of fact this approach is evident because our contemporary postmodern society can be defined as an orthorexic society, in which everybody, everywhere is constantly speaking about food. This phenomenon is called foodism, a practice particularly emphasized in the new media. In this article a specific type of foodism is analyzed: the practice of food–photography. This includes both an individual practice meant to be a self-expression, known by the famous name “food p*rn,” a sort of food “selfie” and also photography as an artistic expression, a new art form, a practice which can be seen at food photography exhibitions. Different from other forms of foodism, this particular form of food practice is emphasized by the viral use of photography through social networks. Nowadays, new media is the place in where social and individual identity originates therefore semiotics and sociosemiotics must study these new forms of communication to interpret the value of food in contemporary society and the sense of this phenomenon.

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Datoem, Arief. "Foto-Etnografi dalam Proses Penciptaan Karya Seni Fotografi." Panggung 23, no.2 (March6, 2013). http://dx.doi.org/10.26742/panggung.v23i2.94.

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ABSTRACT This article aims at deepening the possibility of utilizing the art of photography that is rich of sig- nificance of the socio-cultural representation. The visual ethnographic field or photo-ethnography, which is relatively new, can provide assistance and answer for this. Therefore, the author has tried a form of collaboration between the photo-ethnographic approach and the sense approach in doing his research on the subject in order to obtain the deep understanding and the truth significance attached to them. The method of digital photography art creation which is intuitively the basis of the art cre- ation in digital domain, then was tried to be formulated, based on heuristics research in the process of the art of digital photography. This concept was developed from the experience in the field of digital photography and visual anthropology, guided by the basic theories of creativity, quantum theory in art, and theory of artistic creation that has existed before. Through emotional approach as a method, along with the structured systematic approach of photo-ethnography and with the deep awareness of the environment and social life of the subject leads to the creation of the image that tends to be better and more meaningful, more productive in a social sense, and offers a credible empiric documentation. Keywords: photo-ethnography, photography art works  ABSTRAK Artikel ini dibuat dalam upaya melakukan pendalaman mengenai kemungkinan peman- faatan seni fotografi yang kaya makna representasi sosio-kultural. Bidang etnografi visual atau foto-etnografi yang relatif masih baru, dapat memberikan bantuan dan jawaban un- tuk hal ini. Oleh karena itu penulis mencoba suatu bentuk kolaborasi antara pendekatan foto-etnografi dengan pendekatan rasa ketika melakukan penelitian terhadap subjek agar diperoleh pemahaman mendalam serta makna kebenaran yang menyertainya. Metode penciptaan seni fotografi digital yang merupakan dasar dari penciptaan seni secara intu- itif dalam domain digital, kemudian dicoba dirumuskan, berdasarkan penelaahan heu- ristik dalam proses seni fotografi digital. Konsep ini dikembangkan dari pengalaman di bidang fotografi digital dan antropologi visual, dipandu oleh teori-teori dasar kreativitas, teori kuantum dalam seni, dan teori penciptaan seni yang telah ada sebelumnya. Melalui pendekatan emosional sebagai metode, disertai dengan pendekatan sistematis yang ter- struktur dari foto-etnografi dan dengan kesadaran yang mendalam mengenai lingkungan dan kehidupan sosial subjek mengarah pada penciptaan gambaran yang cenderung lebih baik dan lebih bermakna, lebih produktif dalam arti sosial, dan menawarkan dokumentasi empiris yang kredibel. Kata kunci: foto-etnografi, karya seni fotografi

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Mutran, Flavya, and Jander Rama. "Anachronistic dystopias : constructive tensions between digital and analog imaging." PORTO ARTE: Revista de Artes Visuais 19, no.32 (November20, 2013). http://dx.doi.org/10.22456/2179-8001.43766.

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The processes of constructing images that take the intersection as artistic strategy encompass much of the current production in the visual arts. This article discusses the recent productions of Flavya Mutran and Jander Rama, whose practices move between the anachronisms of the processes of analog image production and the dystopian vision related to advances in digital images. The transition of these productions through printmaking, drawing and photography raises questions about the stresses and displacements of the subject in contemporary art, caused by the clash between old and new technologies.

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Vuorinen, Jane. "Soft Interventions." Tahiti 10, no.4 (March7, 2021). http://dx.doi.org/10.23995/tht.103180.

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Recently there has been a growing number of artists working between photography and digital art, creating artworks in which the signs of digital operations have been left visible. I focus on three contemporary artists who use photography as a starting point in a process in which the work done in the digital environment of photography editing software is an equally important creative phase as the initial taking of the photograph: Andrey Bogush, Liina Aalto-Setälä, and Aaron Hegert. Starting from a reconfiguration of single authorship, I examine what kinds of subjectivities and agencies these works and practices produce, and how producing and encountering the works through screens affect our understanding of them. I stress the activity and agency of the editing software as an integral part of the artistic process. The three main areas of inquiry are originality, collaborative models of production, and authenticity. In the analysis, automatization becomes a generative engine, and the editing software a site for artistic creation, rather than a mere post-production tool.

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De Seta, Gabriele, and Michelle Proksell. "The Aesthetics of Zipai: From Wechat Selfies to Self-Representation in Contemporary Chinese Art and Photography." Networking Knowledge: Journal of the MeCCSA Postgraduate Network 8, no.6 (December7, 2015). http://dx.doi.org/10.31165/nk.2015.86.404.

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Zipai, literally ‘self-shot’, is the Chinese word for ‘selfie’, and it indicates both the action and the product of taking a picture of oneself. This paper presents an account of the “ways of working” through which the authors – a media anthropologist and a performance artist – negotiated a collaborative approach to zipai. The essay begins with a discussion of contemporary practices of self-representation on Chinese digital media, arguing that the zipai uploaded by Chinese users on online platforms can be understood as locational and relational self-portraits, a media-specific genre of vernacular photography. It then proceeds to consider the ethical implications of appropriating vernacular photography for artistic and ethnographic representation, proposing to adapt the practice of filtering as an ethical intervention. After an overview of contemporary works by Chinese artists and photographers engaging with the aesthetics of zipai, the essay concludes with a reflection on the possibilities of collaboration between art practice and media anthropology.

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Schrijver, Lara. "Always the real the thing?" Bulletin KNOB, December11, 2020, 26–31. http://dx.doi.org/10.48003/knob.119.2020.4.701.

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Walter Benjamin’s famous 1935 essay ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’ addresses the authenticity of a work of art as something beyond the merely material and technical. Benjamin constructs a broader notion of authenticity that includes ‘the life of things’ and is related to new techniques in artistic production. This broader sense of authenticity is used here to explore how it may help us to understand architecture in the age of digital reproduction. Two aspects of authenticity in Benjamin’s article are discussed: process reproduction and image reproduction. In process reproduction, authenticity is transformed through the mediation of technical procedures. Benjamin’s analysis of photography and film is a seminal version of how the digital age raises new questions through tools and techniques such as programs, coding and algorithms. The work of Kees Christiaanse in collaboration with Ludger Hovestadt provides an example of an increasingly algorithmic approach to urban planning. In image reproduction, the question of authenticity revolves around the increasing proliferation of images. In this context, the Wangjing soho complex by Zaha Hadid and its apparent imitation by a Chinese developer proves illuminating. These projects show aspects of the changing conditions of the digital age, in which new techniques of realization may transform current notions of authenticity.

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Coull, Kim. "Secret Fatalities and Liminalities: Translating the Pre-Verbal Trauma and Cellular Memory of Late Discovery Adoptee Illegitimacy." M/C Journal 17, no.5 (October26, 2014). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.892.

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I was born illegitimate. Born on an existential precipice. My unwed mother was 36 years old when she relinquished me. I was the fourth baby she was required to give away. After I emerged blood stained and blue tinged – abject, liminal – not only did the nurses refuse me my mother’s touch, I also lost the sound of her voice. Her smell. Her heart beat. Her taste. Her gaze. The silence was multi-sensory. When they told her I was dead, I also lost, within her memory and imagination, my life. I was adopted soon after but not told for over four decades. It was too shameful for even me to know. Imprinted at birth with a psychological ‘death’, I fell, as a Late Discovery Adoptee (LDA), into a socio-cultural and psychological abyss, frozen at birth at the bottom of a parturitive void from where, invisible within family, society, and self I was unable to form an undamaged sense of being.Throughout the 20th century (and for centuries before) this kind of ‘social abortion’ was the dominant script. An adoptee was regarded as a bastard, born of sin, the mother blamed, the father exonerated, and silence demanded (Lynch 28-74). My adoptive mother also sinned. She was infertile. But, in taking me on, she assumed the role of a womb worthy woman, good wife, and, in her case, reluctant mother (she secretly didn’t want children and was privately overwhelmed by the task). In this way, my mother, my adoptive mother, and myself are all the daughters of bereavement, all of us sacrificed on the altar of prejudice and fear that infertility, sex outside of marriage, and illegitimacy were unspeakable crimes for which a price must be paid and against which redemptive protection must be arranged. If, as Thomas Keneally (5) writes, “original sin is the mother fluid of history” then perhaps all three of us all lie in its abject waters. Grotevant, Dunbar, Kohler and Lash Esau (379) point out that adoption was used to ‘shield’ children from their illegitimacy, women from their ‘sexual indiscretions’, and adoptive parents from their infertility in the belief that “severing ties with birth family members would promote attachment between adopted children and parents”. For the adoptee in the closed record system, the socio/political/economic vortex that orchestrated their illegitimacy is born out of a deeply, self incriminating primal fear that reaches right back into the recesses of survival – the act of procreation is infested with easily transgressed life and death taboos within the ‘troop’ that require silence and the burial of many bodies (see Amanda Gardiner’s “Sex, Death and Desperation: Infanticide, Neonaticide, and Concealment of Birth in Colonial Western Australia” for a palpable, moving, and comprehensive exposition on the links between 'illegitimacy', the unmarried mother and child murder). As Nancy Verrier (24) states in Coming Home to Self, “what has to be understood is that separation trauma is an insidious experience, because, as a society, we fail to see this experience as a trauma”. Indeed, relinquishment/adoption for the baby and subsequent adult can be acutely and chronically painful. While I was never told the truth of my origins, of course, my body knew. It had been there. Sentient, aware, sane, sensually, organically articulate, it messaged me (and anyone who may have been interested) over the decades via the language of trauma, its lexicon and grammar cellular, hormonal, muscular (Howard & Crandall, 1-17; Pert, 72), the truth of my birth, of who I was an “unthought known” (Bollas 4). I have lived out my secret fatality in a miasmic nebula of what I know now to be the sequelae of adoption psychopathology: nausea, physical and psychological pain, agoraphobia, panic attacks, shame, internalised anger, depression, self-harm, genetic bewilderment, and generalised anxiety (Brodzinsky 25-47; Brodzinsky, Smith, & Brodzinsky 74; Kenny, Higgins, Soloff, & Sweid xiv; Levy-Shiff 97-98; Lifton 210-212; Verrier The Primal Wound 42-44; Wierzbicki 447-451) – including an all pervading sense of unreality experienced as dissociation (the experience of depersonalisation – where the self feels unreal – and derealisation – where the world feels unreal), disembodiment, and existential elision – all characteristics of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In these ways, my body intervened, acted out, groaned in answer to the social overlay, and from beyond “the dermal veil” tried to procure access, as Vicky Kirby (77) writes, to “the body’s opaque ocean depths” through its illnesses, its eloquent, and incessantly aching and silent verbosities deepened and made impossibly fraught because I was not told. The aim of this paper is to discuss one aspect of how my body tried to channel the trauma of my secret fatality and liminality: my pre-disclosure art work (the cellular memory of my trauma also expressed itself, pre-disclosure, through my writings – poetry, journal entries – and also through post-coital glossolalia, all discussed at length in my Honours research “Womb Tongues” and my Doctoral Dissertation “The Womb Artist – A Novel: Translating Pre-verbal Late Discovery Adoption Trauma into Narrative”). From the age of thirty onwards I spent twelve years in therapy where the cause of my childhood and adult psychopathology remained a mystery. During this time, my embodied grief and memories found their way into my art work, a series of 5’ x 3’ acrylic paintings, some of which I offer now for discussion (figures 1-4). These paintings map and express what my body knew but could not verbalise (without language to express my grief, my body found other ways to vent). They are symptom and sign of my pre-verbal adoption trauma, evidence that my body ‘knew’ and laboured ceaselessly and silently to find creative ways to express the incarcerated trauma. Post disclosure, I have used my paintings as artefacts to inform, underpin, and nourish the writing of a collection of poetry “Womb Tongues” and a literary novel/memoir “The Womb Artist” (TWA) in an ongoing autoethnographical, performative, and critical inquiry. My practice-led research as a now conscious and creative witness, fashions the recontextualisation of my ‘self’ into my ‘self’ and society, this time with cognisant and reparative knowledge and facilitates the translation of my body’s psychopathology and memory (explicit and implicit) into a healing testimony that explores the traumatised body as text and politicizes the issues surrounding LDAs (Riley 205). If I use these paintings as a memoirist, I use them second hand, after the fact, after they have served their initial purpose, as the tangible art works of a baby buried beneath a culture’s prejudice, shame, and judgement and the personal cries from the illegitimate body/self. I use them now to explore and explain my subclinical and subterranean life as a LDA.My pre-disclosure paintings (Figures 1-4) – filled with vagin*l, fetal, uterine, and umbilical references – provide some kind of ‘evidence’ that my body knew what had happened to me as if, with the tenacity of a poltergeist, my ‘spectral self’ found ways to communicate. Not simply clues, but the body’s translation of the intra-psychic landscape, a pictorial and artistic séance into the world, as if my amygdala – as quasar and signal, homing device and history lesson (a measure, container, and memoir) – knew how to paint a snap shot or an x-ray of the psyche, of my cellular marrow memories (a term formulated from fellow LDA Sandy McCutcheon’s (76) memoir, The Magician’s Son when he says, “What I really wanted was the history of my marrow”). If, as Salveet Talwar suggests, “trauma is processed from the body up”, then for the LDA pre-discovery, non-verbal somatic signage is one’s ‘mother tongue’(25). Talwar writes, “non-verbal expressive therapies such as art, dance, music, poetry and drama all activate the sub-cortical regions of the brain and access pre-verbal memories” (26). In these paintings, eerily divinatory and pointed traumatic, memories are made visible and access, as Gussie Klorer (213) explains in regard to brain function and art therapy, the limbic (emotional) system and the prefrontal cortex in sensorimotor integration. In this way, as Marie Angel and Anna Gibbs (168) suggest, “the visual image may serve as a kind of transitional mode in thought”. Ruth Skilbeck in her paper First Things: Reflections on Single-lens Reflex Digital Photography with a Wide-angled Lens, also discusses (with reference to her photographic record and artistic expression of her mother’s death) what she calls the “dark matter” – what has been overlooked, “left out”, and/or is inexplicable (55) – and the idea of art work as the “transitional object” as “a means that some artists use, conceptually and yet also viscerally, in response to the extreme ‘separation anxiety’ of losing a loved one, to the void of the Unknown” (57). In my case, non-disclosure prevented my literacy and the evolution of the image into language, prevented me from fully understanding the coded messages left for me in my art work. However, each of my paintings is now, with the benefit of full disclosure, a powerful, penetrating, and comprehensible intra and extra sensory cry from the body in kinaesthetic translation (Lusebrink, 125; Klorer, 217). In Figure 1, ‘Embrace’, the reference to the umbilical is palpable, described in my novel “The Womb Artist” (184) this way; “two ropes tightly entwine as one, like a dark and dirty umbilical cord snaking its way across a nether world of smudged umbers”. There is an ‘abject’ void surrounding it. The cord sapped of its colour, its blood, nutrients – the baby starved of oxygen, breath; the LDA starved of words and conscious understanding. It has two parts entwined that may be seen in many ways (without wanting to reduce these to static binaries): mother/baby; conscious/unconscious; first person/third person; child/adult; semiotic/symbolic – numerous dualities could be spun from this embrace – but in terms of my novel and of the adoptive experience, it reeks of need, life and death, a text choking on the poetic while at the same time nourished by it; a text made ‘available’ to the reader while at the same narrowing, limiting, and obscuring the indefinable nature of pre-verbal trauma. Figure 1. Embrace. 1993. Acrylic on canvas.The painting ‘Womb Tongues’ (Figure 2) is perhaps the last (and, obviously, lasting) memory of the infinite inchoate universe within the womb, the umbilical this time wrapped around in a phallic/cl*torial embrace as the baby-self emerges into the constrictions of a Foucauldian world, where the adoptive script smothers the ‘body’ encased beneath the ‘coils’ of Judeo-Christian prejudice and centuries old taboo. In this way, the reassigned adoptee is an acute example of power (authority) controlling and defining the self and what knowledge of the self may be allowed. The baby in this painting is now a suffocated cl*tor*s, a bound subject, a phallic representation, a gagged ‘tongue’ in the shape of the personally absent (but socially imposing) omni-present and punitive patriarchy. Figure 2. Womb Tongues. 1997. Acrylic on canvas.‘Germination’ (Figure 3) depicts an umbilical again, but this time as emerging from a seething underworld and is present in TWA (174) this way, “a colony of night crawlers that writhe and slither on the canvas, moving as one, dozens of them as thin as a finger, as long as a dream”. The rhizomic nature of this painting (and Figure 4), becomes a heaving horde of psychosomatic and psychopathological influences and experiences, a multitude of closely packed, intense, and dendridic compulsions and symptoms, a mass of interconnected (and by nature of the silence and lie) subterranean knowledges that force the germination of a ‘ghost baby/child/adult’ indicated by the pale and ashen seedling that emerges above ground. The umbilical is ghosted, pale and devoid of life. It is in the air now, reaching up, as if in germination to a psychological photosynthesis. There is the knot and swarm within the unconscious; something has, in true alien fashion, been incubated and is now emerging. In some ways, these paintings are hardly cryptic.Figure 3. Germination.1993. Acrylic on canvas.In Figure 4 ‘The Birthing Tree’, the overt symbolism reaches ‘clairvoyant status’. This could be read as the family ‘tree’ with its four faces screaming out of the ‘branches’. Do these represent the four babies relinquished by our mother (the larger of these ‘beings’ as myself, giving birth to the illegitimate, silenced, and abject self)? Are we all depicted in anguish and as wraithlike, grotesquely simplified into pure affect? This illegitimate self is painted as gestating a ‘blue’ baby, near full-term in a meld of tree and ‘self’, a blue umbilical cord, again, devoid of blood, ghosted, lifeless and yet still living, once again suffocated by the representation of the umbilical in the ‘bowels’ of the self, the abject part of the body, where refuse is stored and eliminated: The duodenum of the damned. The Devil may be seen as Christopher Bollas’s “shadow of the object”, or the Jungian archetypal shadow, not simply a Judeo-Christian fear-based spectre and curmudgeon, but a site of unprocessed and, therefore, feared psychological material, material that must be brought to consciousness and integrated. Perhaps the Devil also is the antithesis to ‘God’ as mother. The hell of ‘not mother’, no mother, not the right mother, the reluctant adoptive mother – the Devil as icon for the rich underbelly of the psyche and apophatic to the adopted/artificial/socially scripted self.Figure 4. The Birthing Tree. 1995. Acrylic on canvas.These paintings ache with the trauma of my relinquishment and LDA experience. They ache with my body’s truth, where the cellular and psychological, flesh and blood and feeling, leak from my wounds in unspeakable confluence (the two genital lips as the site of relinquishment, my speaking lips that have been sealed through non-disclosure and shame, the psychological trauma as Verrier’s ‘primal wound’) just as I leaked from my mother (and society) at birth, as blood and muck, and ooze and pus and death (Grosz 195) only to be quickly and silently mopped up and cleansed through adoption and life-long secrecy. Where I, as translator, fluent in both silence and signs, disclose the baby’s trauma, asking for legitimacy. My experience as a LDA sets up an interesting experiment, one that allows an examination of the pre-verbal/pre-disclosure body as a fleshed and breathing Rosetta Stone, as an interface between the language of the body and of the verbalised, painted, and written text. As a constructed body, written upon and invented legally, socially, and psychologically, I am, in Hélène Cixous’s (“To Live the Orange” 83) words, “un-forgetting”, “un-silencing” and “unearthing” my ‘self’ – I am re-writing, re-inventing and, under public scrutiny, legitimising my ‘self’. I am a site of inquiry, discovery, extrapolation, and becoming (Metta 492; Poulus 475) and, as Grosz (vii) suggests, a body with “all the explanatory power” of the mind. I am, as I embroider myself and my LDA experience into literary and critical texts, authoring myself into existence, referencing with particular relevance Peter Carnochan’s (361) suggestion that “analysis...acts as midwife to the birth of being”. I am, as I swim forever amorphous, invisible, and unspoken in my mother’s womb, fashioning a shore, landscaping my mind against the constant wet, my chronic liminality (Rambo 629) providing social landfall for other LDAs and silenced minorities. As Catherine Lynch (3) writes regarding LDAs, “Through the creation of text and theory I can formulate an intimate space for a family of adoptive subjects I might never know via our participation in a new discourse in Australian academia.” I participate through my creative, self-reflexive, process fuelled (Durey 22), practice-led enquiry. I use the intimacy (and also universality and multiplicity) and illegitimacy of my body as an alterative text, as a site of academic and creative augmentation in the understanding of LDA issues. The relinquished and silenced baby and LDA adult needs a voice, a ‘body’, and a ‘tender’ place in the consciousness of society, as Helen Riley (“Confronting the Conspiracy of Silence” 11) suggests, “voice, validation, and vindication”. Judith Herman (3) argues that, “Survivors challenge us to reconnect fragments, to reconstruct history, to make meaning of their present symptoms in the light of past events”. I seek to use the example of my experience – as Judith Durey (31) suggests, in “support of evocative, creative modes of representation as valid forms of research in their own right” – to unfurl the whole, to give impetus and precedence for other researchers into adoption and advocate for future babies who may be bought, sold, arranged, and/or created by various means. The recent controversy over Gammy, the baby boy born with Down Syndrome in Thailand, highlights the urgent and moral need for legislation with regard to surrogacy (see Kajsa Ekis Ekman’s Being and Being Bought: Prostitution, Surrogacy and the Split Self for a comprehensive examination of surrogacy issues). Indeed, Catherine Lynch in her paper Doubting Adoption Legislation links the experiences of LDAs and the children of born of surrogacy, most effectively arguing that, “if the fate that closed record adoptees suffered was a misplaced solution to the question of what to do with children already conceived how can you justify the deliberate conception of a child with the intention even before its creation of cruelly removing that child from their mother?” (6). Cixous (xxii) confesses, “All I want is to illustrate, depict fragments, events of human life and death...each unique and yet at the same time exchangeable. Not the law, the exception”. I, too, am a fragment, an illustration (a painting), and, as every individual always is – paradoxically – a communal and, therefore, deeply recognisable and generally applicable minority and exception. In my illegitimacy, I am some kind of evidence. Evidence of cellular memory. Evidence of embodiment. Evidence that silenced illegitimacies will manifest in symptom and non-verbal narratives, that they will ooze out and await translation, verification, and witness. This paper is offered with reverence and with feminist intention, as a revenant mouthpiece for other LDAs, babies born of surrogacy, and donor assisted offspring (and, indeed, any) who are marginalised, silenced, and obscured. It is also intended to promote discussion in the psychological and psychoanalytic fields and, as Helen Riley (202-207) advocates regarding late discovery offspring, more research within the social sciences and the bio-medical field that may encourage legislators to better understand what the ‘best interests of the child’ are in terms of late discovery of origins and the complexity of adoption/conception practices available today. As I write now (and always) the umbilical from my paintings curve and writhe across my soul, twist and morph into the swollen and throbbing organ of tongues, my throat aching to utter, my hands ready to craft latent affect into language in translation of, and in obedience to, my body’s knowledges. It is the art of mute witness that reverses genesis, that keeps the umbilical fat and supple and full of blood, and allows my conscious conception and creation. Indeed, in the intersection of my theoretical, creative, psychological, and somatic praxis, the heat (read hot and messy, insightful and insistent signage) of my body’s knowledges perhaps intensifies – with a ripe bouquet – the inevitably ongoing odour/aroma of the reproductive world. ReferencesAngel, Maria, and Anna Gibbs. “On Moving and Being Moved: The Corporeality of Writing in Literary Fiction and New Media Art.” Literature and Sensation, eds. Anthony Uhlmann, Helen Groth, Paul Sheehan, and Stephan McLaren. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009: 162-172. Bollas, Christopher. The Shadow of the Object: Psychoanalysis of the Unthought Known. New York: Columbia UP, 1987. Brodzinsky, David. “Adjustment to Adoption: A Psychosocial Perspective.” Clinical Psychology Review 7 (1987): 25-47. doi: 10.1016/0272-7358(87)90003-1.Brodzinsky, David, Daniel Smith, and Anne Brodzinsky. Children’s Adjustment to Adoption: Developmental and Clinical Issues. California: Sage Publications, 1998.Carnochan, Peter. “Containers without Lids”. Psychoanalytic Dialogues 16.3 (2006): 341-362.Cixous, Hélène. “To Live the Orange”. The Hélène Cixous Reader: With a Preface by Hélène Cixous and Foreword by Jacques Derrida, ed. Susan Sellers. Oxford, UK: Routledge, 1979/1994. 81-92. ---. “Preface.” The Hélène Cixous Reader: With a Preface by Hélène Cixous and Foreword by Jacques Derrida, ed. Susan Sellers. Oxford, UK: Routledge, 1994. xv-xxii.Coull, Kim. “Womb Tongues: A Collection of Poetry.” Honours Thesis. Perth, WA: Edith Cowan University, 2007. ---. “The Womb Artist – A Novel: Translating Late Discovery Adoptee Pre-Verbal Trauma into Narrative”. Dissertation. Perth, WA: Edith Cowan University, 2014. Durey, Judith. Translating Hiraeth, Performing Adoption: Art as Mediation and Form of Cultural Production. Dissertation. Perth, WA: Murdoch University, 2010. 22 Sep. 2011 .Ekis Ekman, Kajsa. Being and Being Bought: Prostitution, Surrogacy and the Split Self. Trans. S. Martin Cheadle. North Melbourne: Spinifex Press, 2013. Gardiner, Amanda. “Sex, Death and Desperation: Infanticide, Neonaticide, and Concealment of Birth in Colonial Western Australia”. Dissertation. Perth, WA: Edith Cowan University, 2014. Grosz, Elizabeth. Volatile Bodies. NSW: Allen &. Unwin, 1994. Grotevant, Harold D., Nora Dunbar, Julie K. Kohler, and Amy. M. Lash Esau. “Adoptive Identity: How Contexts within and beyond the Family Shape Developmental Pathways.” Family Relations 49.3 (2000): 79-87.Herman, Judith L. Trauma and Recovery: From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror. London: Harper Collins, 1992. Howard, Sethane, and Mark W. Crandall. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: What Happens in the Brain. Washington Academy of Sciences 93.3 (2007): 1-18.Keneally, Thomas. Schindler’s List. London: Serpentine Publishing Company, 1982. Kenny, Pauline, Daryl Higgins, Carol Soloff, and Reem Sweid. Past Adoption Experiences: National Research Study on the Service Response to Past Adoption Practices. Research Report 21. Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2012.Kirby, Vicky. Telling Flesh: The Substance of the Corporeal. New York and London: Routledge, 1997. Klorer, P. Gussie. “Expressive Therapy with Severely Maltreated Children: Neuroscience Contributions.” Journal of the American Art Therapy Association 22.4 (2005): 213-220. doi:10.1080/07421656.2005.10129523.Levy-Shiff, Rachel. “Psychological Adjustment of Adoptees in Adulthood: Family Environment and Adoption-Related Correlates. International Journal of Behavioural Development 25 (2001): 97-104. doi: 1080/01650250042000131.Lifton, Betty J. “The Adoptee’s Journey.” Journal of Social Distress and the Homeless 11.2 (2002): 207-213. doi: 10.1023/A:1014320119546.Lusebrink, Vija B. “Art Therapy and the Brain: An Attempt to Understand the Underlying Processes of Art Expression in Therapy.” Journal of the American Art Therapy Association 21.3 (2004): 125-135. doi:10.1080/07421656. 2004.10129496.Lynch, Catherine. “An Ado/aptive Reading and Writing of Australia and Its Contemporary Literature.” Australian Journal of Adoption 1.1 (2009): 1-401.---. Doubting Adoption Legislation. n.d.McCutcheon, Sandy. The Magician’s Son: A Search for Identity. Sydney, NSW: Penguin, 2006. Metta, Marilyn. “Putting the Body on the Line: Embodied Writing and Recovery through Domestic Violence.” Handbook of Autoethnography, eds. Stacy Holman Jones, Tony Adams, and Carolyn Ellis. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press, 2013: 486-509.Pert, Candace. Molecules of Emotion: The Science behind Mind-body Medicine. New York: Touchstone, 2007. Rambo, Carol. “Twitch: A Performance of Chronic Liminality.” Handbook of Autoethnography, eds. Stacy Holman Jones, Tony Adams, and Carolyn Ellis. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press, 2013: 627-638.Riley, Helen J. Identity and Genetic Origins: An Ethical Exploration of the Late Discovery of Adoptive and Donor-insemination Offspring Status. Dissertation. Brisbane: Queensland University of Technology, 2012.---. “Confronting the Conspiracy of Silence and Denial of Difference for Late Discovery Persons and Donor Conceived People.” Australian Journal of Adoption 7.2 (2013): 1-13.Skilbeck, Ruth. “First Things: Reflection on Single-Lens Reflex Digital Photography with a Wide-Angle Lens.” International Journal of the Image 3 (2013): 55-66. Talwar, Savneet. “Accessing Traumatic Memory through Art Making: An Art Therapy Trauma Protocol (ATTP)." The Arts in Psychotherapy 34 (2007): 22-25. doi:10.1016/ j.aip.2006.09.001.Verrier, Nancy. The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child. Baltimore, MD: Gateway Press, 1993.---. The Adopted Child Grows Up: Coming Home to Self. Baltimore, MD: Gateway Press, 2003. Wierzbicki, Michael. “Psychological Adjustment of Adoptees: A Meta-Analysis.” Journal of Clinical Child Psychology 22.4 (1993): 447-454. doi:10.1080/ 01650250042000131.

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Saba, Cosetta. "Cominciamenti della video arte in Italia (1968-1971)." Sciami | ricerche 6, no.1 (October21, 2019). http://dx.doi.org/10.47109/0102260101.

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In Italy, the progressive digital accessibility of sub-standard films, videotapes and related paper materials (work notes, project layouts, letters, etc.), as well as the study of the archives in which they were preserved, make it possible today to reconstruct the emergence (between the Sixties and the early Seventies), of the artistic practice of analog video. At the same time, this permits to highlight how this emergence interests both the contexts of artist’s and independent cinema and the areas of Arte Povera, Conceptual Art and Pop Art. On this basis and reflecting critically, it is possible to see that the medial emergence of "video" - as, albeit otherwise, photography and cinema had already done - has challenged the relationship between art and technology as much as the relationship between the theoretical frameworks and the operational modalities from which historically connoted definitions, taxonomies and lexicographies derive. In this perspective, the objective set here concerns the description and a first focus of the emergence of "video art" in Italy starting from what, perhaps too simplified, can be defined as a "prevideo" phase. A short period in which the chronology of events becomes important, certainly not to define primacies, but to highlight - among the practices - the works, the theoretical-critical discourses, the exhibition projects, their connections, their intercommunication or their flow. We will try, therefore, to reconstruct the debut of "video art" in a historiographical key, tracing its genealogy through the documentary apparatus of the main exhibition projects, artistic practices and videotape works. At the state of the archive research, the documentary traces reveal a peculiar connection between "performativity" and "videotape". This is the common thread that runs through the period under consideration. Already active in certain artist's cinema, the performative dimension intensifies and strengthens through the video device according to the closed-circuit mode, through which the first experimentation of the videotape in Italy is attested between 1969 and 1971. These are researches - whose manifestation is, precisely, performative and whose matrix is conceptual - which question, transforming them, the very ideas of work and exhibition. Not only. In the historical and socio-cultural contingency of 1968, the profound transformations produced by the practices of art (conceptual, pop, poor, kinetic and programmed, performative) impact the device of the exhibition, the places dedicated to exhibitions and, in particular, the galleries that become a mental space, a field open to the planning of artists. The "conceptual" character of their performative actions and of the "real time" in which they occur, show themselves and disappear; their documentation (photographic, cinematographic and videographic), therefore, takes on a peculiar function because it occurs instantaneously and simultaneously with artistic events / acts. The documentation overlaps and, together, becomes an expansive dimension of the artistic act rather than a supplementary dimension. On this basis, a first critical re-examination of how, on a double practical-theoretical track, with different methods and tools, both Luciano Giaccari (with Studio 970/2) and Gerry Schum (VideoGalleria) have operate. In particular, it is a question of highlighting how the work and its presence in Italy are interconnected with the beginning of video practices in the artistic field. Finally, it will be highlighted how, during that period, starting from performing experiences captured and recorded on reduced sub-standard film (8mm, 16mm, Super 8) which already present a strong curatorial planning, developed in exhibition contexts such as museums, galleries or alternative spaces, particular attention has been activated towards videotape (with all the technical specificities and the limits of the technologies of the time) as a mean of expression and documentation. Significantly, those same curatorial projects foresaw that the then-avant-garde technologies could be made available to artists in various ways (mainly Philips technologies). Here, as generative events of Italian video art, will be taken in consideration: the 3a Biennale internazionale della giovane pittura. Gennaio 70: comportamenti, progetti, mediazioni (curated by Renato Barilli, Maurizio Calvesi, Tommaso Trini, Andrea Emiliani at the Bologna Civic Museum in 1970); the 35a Esposizione Biennale Internazionale d'Arte del 1970; Eurodomus 3/ Il Telemuseo (curated by da Tommaso Trini in Milano in 1970); Improvvisazioni su Videonatro VPL 6 IC, videoregistratore LDL 1000, telecamera mini-compact (coordinated by Francesco Carlo Crispolti at the Obelisco Gallery in Rome in 1971); Circuito -----> Chiuso – Aperto (Curated by Francesco Carlo Crispolti in Acireale in 1971); Schifanoia-tv: “mezzo” aperto/opera chiusa (realized in Ferrara in 1972 by the collective Gruppo OB based in Milano).

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Avram, Horea. "The Convergence Effect: Real and Virtual Encounters in Augmented Reality Art." M/C Journal 16, no.6 (November7, 2013). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.735.

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Augmented Reality—The Liminal Zone Within the larger context of the post-desktop technological philosophy and practice, an increasing number of efforts are directed towards finding solutions for integrating as close as possible virtual information into specific real environments; a short list of such endeavors include Wi-Fi connectivity, GPS-driven navigation, mobile phones, GIS (Geographic Information System), and various technological systems associated with what is loosely called locative, ubiquitous and pervasive computing. Augmented Reality (AR) is directly related to these technologies, although its visualization capabilities and the experience it provides assure it a particular place within this general trend. Indeed, AR stands out for its unique capacity (or ambition) to offer a seamless combination—or what I call here an effect of convergence—of the real scene perceived by the user with virtual information overlaid on that scene interactively and in real time. The augmented scene is perceived by the viewer through the use of different displays, the most common being the AR glasses (head-mounted display), video projections or monitors, and hand-held mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets, increasingly popular nowadays. One typical example of AR application is Layar, a browser that layers information of public interest—delivered through an open-source content management system—over the actual image of a real space, streamed live on the mobile phone display. An increasing number of artists employ this type of mobile AR apps to create artworks that consist in perceptually combining material reality and virtual data: as the user points the smartphone or tablet to a specific place, virtual 3D-modelled graphics or videos appear in real time, seamlessly inserted in the image of that location, according to the user’s position and orientation. In the engineering and IT design fields, one of the first researchers to articulate a coherent conceptualization of AR and to underlie its specific capabilities is Ronald Azuma. He writes that, unlike Virtual Reality (VR) which completely immerses the user inside a synthetic environment, AR supplements reality, therefore enhancing “a user’s perception of and interaction with the real world” (355-385). Another important contributor to the foundation of AR as a concept and as a research field is industrial engineer Paul Milgram. He proposes a comprehensive and frequently cited definition of “Mixed Reality” (MR) via a schema that includes the entire spectrum of situations that span the “continuum” between actual reality and virtual reality, with “augmented reality” and “augmented virtuality” between the two poles (283). Important to remark with regard to terminology (MR or AR) is that especially in the non-scientific literature, authors do not always explain a preference for either MR or AR. This suggests that the two terms are understood as synonymous, but it also provides evidence for my argument that, outside of the technical literature, AR is considered a concept rather than a technology. Here, I use the term AR instead of MR considering that the phrase AR (and the integrated idea of augmentation) is better suited to capturing the convergence effect. As I will demonstrate in the following lines, the process of augmentation (i.e. the convergence effect) is the result of an enhancement of the possibilities to perceive and understand the world—through adding data that augment the perception of reality—and not simply the product of a mix. Nevertheless, there is surely something “mixed” about this experience, at least for the fact that it combines reality and virtuality. The experiential result of combining reality and virtuality in the AR process is what media theorist Lev Manovich calls an “augmented space,” a perceptual liminal zone which he defines as “the physical space overlaid with dynamically changing information, multimedia in form and localized for each user” (219). The author derives the term “augmented space” from the term AR (already established in the scientific literature), but he sees AR, and implicitly augmented space, not as a strictly defined technology, but as a model of visuality concerned with the intertwining of the real and virtual: “it is crucial to see this as a conceptual rather than just a technological issue – and therefore as something that in part has already been an element of other architectural and artistic paradigms” (225-6). Surely, it is hard to believe that AR has appeared in a void or that its emergence is strictly related to certain advances in technological research. AR—as an artistic manifestation—is informed by other attempts (not necessarily digital) to merge real and fictional in a unitary perceptual entity, particularly by installation art and Virtual Reality (VR) environments. With installation art, AR shares the same spatial strategy and scenographic approach—they both construct “fictional” areas within material reality, that is, a sort of mise-en-scène that are aesthetically and socially produced and centered on the active viewer. From the media installationist practice of the previous decades, AR inherited the way of establishing a closer spatio-temporal interaction between the setting, the body and the electronic image (see for example Bruce Nauman’s Live-Taped Video Corridor [1970], Peter Campus’s Interface [1972], Dan Graham’s Present Continuous Pasts(s) [1974], Jeffrey Shaw’s Viewpoint [1975], or Jim Campbell’s Hallucination [1988]). On the other hand, VR plays an important role in the genealogy of AR for sharing the same preoccupation for illusionist imagery and—at least in some AR projects—for providing immersive interactions in “expanded image spaces experienced polysensorily and interactively” (Grau 9). VR artworks such as Paul Sermon, Telematic Dreaming (1992), Char Davies’ Osmose (1995), Michael Naimark’s Be Now Here (1995-97), Maurice Benayoun’s World Skin: A Photo Safari in the Land of War (1997), Luc Courchesne’s Where Are You? (2007-10), are significant examples for the way in which the viewer can be immersed in “expanded image-spaces.” Offering no view of the exterior world, the works try instead to reduce as much as possible the critical distance the viewer might have to the image he/she experiences. Indeed, AR emerged in great part from the artistic and scientific research efforts dedicated to VR, but also from the technological and artistic investigations of the possibilities of blending reality and virtuality, conducted in the previous decades. For example, in the 1960s, computer scientist Ivan Sutherland played a crucial role in the history of AR contributing to the development of display solutions and tracking systems that permit a better immersion within the digital image. Another important figure in the history of AR is computer artist Myron Krueger whose experiments with “responsive environments” are fundamental as they proposed a closer interaction between participant’s body and the digital object. More recently, architect and theorist Marcos Novak contributed to the development of the idea of AR by introducing the concept of “eversion”, “the counter-vector of the virtual leaking out into the actual”. Today, AR technological research and the applications made available by various developers and artists are focused more and more on mobility and ubiquitous access to information instead of immersivity and illusionist effects. A few examples of mobile AR include applications such as Layar, Wikitude—“world browsers” that overlay site-specific information in real-time on a real view (video stream) of a place, Streetmuseum (launched in 2010) and Historypin (launched in 2011)—applications that insert archive images into the street-view of a specific location where the old images were taken, or Google Glass (launched in 2012)—a device that provides the wearer access to Google’s key Cloud features, in situ and in real time. Recognizing the importance of various technological developments and of the artistic manifestations such as installation art and VR as predecessors of AR, we should emphasize that AR moves forward from these artistic and technological models. AR extends the installationist precedent by proposing a consistent and seamless integration of informational elements with the very physical space of the spectator, and at the same time rejects the idea of segregating the viewer into a complete artificial environment like in VR systems by opening the perceptual field to the surrounding environment. Instead of leaving the viewer in a sort of epistemological “lust” within the closed limits of the immersive virtual systems, AR sees virtuality rather as a “component of experiencing the real” (Farman 22). Thus, the questions that arise—and which this essay aims to answer—are: Do we have a specific spatial dimension in AR? If yes, can we distinguish it as a different—if not new—spatial and aesthetic paradigm? Is AR’s intricate topology able to be the place not only of convergence, but also of possible tensions between its real and virtual components, between the ideal of obtaining a perceptual continuity and the inherent (technical) limitations that undermine that ideal? Converging Spaces in the Artistic Mode: Between Continuum and Discontinuum As key examples of the way in which AR creates a specific spatial experience—in which convergence appears as a fluctuation between continuity and discontinuity—I mention three of the most accomplished works in the field that, significantly, expose also the essential role played by the interface in providing this experience: Living-Room 2 (2007) by Jan Torpus, Under Scan (2005-2008) by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer and Hans RichtAR (2013) by John Craig Freeman and Will Pappenheimer. The works illustrate the three main categories of interfaces used for AR experience: head-attached, spatial displays, and hand-held (Bimber 2005). These types of interface—together with all the array of adjacent devices, software and tracking systems—play a central role in determining the forms and outcomes of the user’s experience and consequently inform in a certain measure the aesthetic and socio-cultural interpretative discourse surrounding AR. Indeed, it is not the same to have an immersive but solitary experience, or a mobile and public experience of an AR artwork or application. The first example is Living-Room 2 an immersive AR installation realized by a collective coordinated by Jan Torpus in 2007 at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts FHNW, Basel, Switzerland. The work consists of a built “living-room” with pieces of furniture and domestic objects that are perceptually augmented by means of a “see-through” Head Mounted Display. The viewer perceives at the same time the real room and a series of virtual graphics superimposed on it such as illusionist natural vistas that “erase” the walls, or strange creatures that “invade” the living-room. The user can select different augmenting “scenarios” by interacting with both the physical interfaces (the real furniture and objects) and the graphical interfaces (provided as virtual images in the visual field of the viewer, and activated via a handheld device). For example, in one of the scenarios proposed, the user is prompted to design his/her own extended living room, by augmenting the content and the context of the given real space with different “spatial dramaturgies” or “AR décors.” Another scenario offers the possibility of creating an “Ecosystem”—a real-digital world perceived through the HMD in which strange creatures virtually occupy the living-room intertwining with the physical configuration of the set design and with the user’s viewing direction, body movement, and gestures. Particular attention is paid to the participant’s position in the room: a tracking device measures the coordinates of the participant’s location and direction of view and effectuates occlusions of real space and then congruent superimpositions of 3D images upon it. Figure 1: Jan Torpus, Living-Room 2 (Ecosystems), Augmented Reality installation (2007). Courtesy of the artist. Figure 2: Jan Torpus, Living-Room 2 (AR decors), Augmented Reality installation (2007). Courtesy of the artist.In this sense, the title of the work acquires a double meaning: “living” is both descriptive and metaphoric. As Torpus explains, Living-Room is an ambiguous phrase: it can be both a living-room and a room that actually lives, an observation that suggests the idea of a continuum and of immersion in an environment where there are no apparent ruptures between reality and virtuality. Of course, immersion is in these circ*mstances not about the creation of a purely artificial secluded space of experience like that of the VR environments, but rather about a dialogical exercise that unifies two different phenomenal levels, real and virtual, within a (dis)continuous environment (with the prefix “dis” as a necessary provision). Media theorist Ron Burnett’s observations about the instability of the dividing line between different levels of experience—more exactly, of the real-virtual continuum—in what he calls immersive “image-worlds” have a particular relevance in this context: Viewing or being immersed in images extend the control humans have over mediated spaces and is part of a perceptual and psychological continuum of struggle for meaning within image-worlds. Thinking in terms of continuums lessens the distinctions between subjects and objects and makes it possible to examine modes of influence among a variety of connected experiences. (113) It is precisely this preoccupation to lessen any (or most) distinctions between subjects and objects, and between real and virtual spaces, that lays at the core of every artistic experiment under the AR rubric. The fact that this distinction is never entirely erased—as Living-Room 2 proves—is part of the very condition of AR. The ambition to create a continuum is after all not about producing perfectly hom*ogenous spaces, but, as Ron Burnett points out (113), “about modalities of interaction and dialogue” between real worlds and virtual images. Another way to frame the same problematic of creating a provisional spatial continuum between reality and virtuality, but this time in a non-immersive fashion (i.e. with projective interface means), occurs in Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s Under Scan (2005-2008). The work, part of the larger series Relational Architecture, is an interactive video installation conceived for outdoor and indoor environments and presented in various public spaces. It is a complex system comprised of a powerful light source, video projectors, computers, and a tracking device. The powerful light casts shadows of passers-by within the dark environment of the work’s setting. A tracking device indicates where viewers are positioned and permits the system to project different video sequences onto their shadows. Shot in advance by local videographers and producers, the filmed sequences show full images of ordinary people moving freely, but also watching the camera. As they appear within pedestrians’ shadows, the figurants interact with the viewers, moving and establishing eye contact. Figure 3: Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Under Scan (Relational Architecture 11), 2005. Shown here: Trafalgar Square, London, United Kingdom, 2008. Photo by: Antimodular Research. Courtesy of the artist. Figure 4: Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Under Scan (Relational Architecture 11), 2005. Shown here: Trafalgar Square, London, United Kingdom, 2008. Photo by: Antimodular Research. Courtesy of the artist. One of the most interesting attributes of this work with respect to the question of AR’s (im)possible perceptual spatial continuity is its ability to create an experientially stimulating and conceptually sophisticated play between illusion and subversion of illusion. In Under Scan, the integration of video projections into the real environment via the active body of the viewer is aimed at tempering as much as possible any disparities or dialectical tensions—that is, any successive or alternative reading—between real and virtual. Although non-immersive, the work fuses the two levels by provoking an intimate but mute dialogue between the real, present body of the viewer and the virtual, absent body of the figurant via the ambiguous entity of the shadow. The latter is an illusion (it marks the presence of a body) that is transcended by another illusion (video projection). Moreover, being “under scan,” the viewer inhabits both the “here” of the immediate space and the “there” of virtual information: “the body” is equally a presence in flesh and bones and an occurrence in bits and bytes. But, however convincing this reality-virtuality pseudo-continuum would be, the spatial and temporal fragmentations inevitably persist: there is always a certain break at the phenomenological level between the experience of real space, the bodily absence/presence in the shadow, and the displacements and delays of the video image projection. Figure 5: John Craig Freeman and Will Pappenheimer, Hans RichtAR, augmented reality installation included in the exhibition “Hans Richter: Encounters”, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2013. Courtesy of the artists. Figure 6: John Craig Freeman and Will Pappenheimer, Hans RichtAR, augmented reality installation included in the exhibition “Hans Richter: Encounters”, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2013. Courtesy of the artists. The third example of an AR artwork that engages the problem of real-virtual spatial convergence as a play between perceptual continuity and discontinuity, this time with the use of hand-held mobile interface is Hans RichtAR by John Craig Freeman and Will Pappenheimer. The work is an AR installation included in the exhibition “Hans Richter: Encounters” at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, in 2013. The project recreates the spirit of the 1929 exhibition held in Stuttgart entitled Film und Foto (“FiFo”) for which avant-garde artist Hans Richter served as film curator. Featured in the augmented reality is a re-imaging of the FiFo Russian Room designed by El Lissitzky where a selection of Russian photographs, film stills and actual film footage was presented. The users access the work through tablets made available at the exhibition entrance. Pointing the tablet at the exhibition and moving around the room, the viewer discovers that a new, complex installation is superimposed on the screen over the existing installation and gallery space at LACMA. The work effectively recreates and interprets the original design of the Russian Room, with its scaffoldings and surfaces at various heights while virtually juxtaposing photography and moving images, to which the authors have added some creative elements of their own. Manipulating and converging real space and the virtual forms in an illusionist way, AR is able—as one of the artists maintains—to destabilize the way we construct representation. Indeed, the work makes a statement about visuality that complicates the relationship between the visible object and its representation and interpretation in the virtual realm. One that actually shows the fragility of establishing an illusionist continuum, of a perfect convergence between reality and represented virtuality, whatever the means employed. AR: A Different Spatial Practice Regardless the degree of “perfection” the convergence process would entail, what we can safely assume—following the examples above—is that the complex nature of AR operations permits a closer integration of virtual images within real space, one that, I argue, constitutes a new spatial paradigm. This is the perceptual outcome of the convergence effect, that is, the process and the product of consolidating different—and differently situated—elements in real and virtual worlds into a single space-image. Of course, illusion plays a crucial role as it makes permeable the perceptual limit between the represented objects and the material spaces we inhabit. Making the interface transparent—in both proper and figurative senses—and integrating it into the surrounding space, AR “erases” the medium with the effect of suspending—at least for a limited time—the perceptual (but not ontological!) differences between what is real and what is represented. These aspects are what distinguish AR from other technological and artistic endeavors that aim at creating more inclusive spaces of interaction. However, unlike the CAVE experience (a display solution frequently used in VR applications) that isolates the viewer within the image-space, in AR virtual information is coextensive with reality. As the example of the Living-Room 2 shows, regardless the degree of immersivity, in AR there is no such thing as dismissing the real in favor of an ideal view of a perfect and completely controllable artificial environment like in VR. The “redemptive” vision of a total virtual environment is replaced in AR with the open solution of sharing physical and digital realities in the same sensorial and spatial configuration. In AR the real is not denounced but reflected; it is not excluded, but integrated. Yet, AR distinguishes itself also from other projects that presuppose a real-world environment overlaid with data, such as urban surfaces covered with screens, Wi-Fi enabled areas, or video installations that are not site-specific and viewer inclusive. Although closely related to these types of projects, AR remains different, its spatiality is not simply a “space of interaction” that connects, but instead it integrates real and virtual elements. Unlike other non-AR media installations, AR does not only place the real and virtual spaces in an adjacent position (or replace one with another), but makes them perceptually convergent in an—ideally—seamless way (and here Hans RichtAR is a relevant example). Moreover, as Lev Manovich notes, “electronically augmented space is unique – since the information is personalized for every user, it can change dynamically over time, and it is delivered through an interactive multimedia interface” (225-6). Nevertheless, as our examples show, any AR experience is negotiated in the user-machine encounter with various degrees of success and sustainability. Indeed, the realization of the convergence effect is sometimes problematic since AR is never perfectly continuous, spatially or temporally. The convergence effect is the momentary appearance of continuity that will never take full effect for the viewer, given the internal (perhaps inherent?) tensions between the ideal of seamlessness and the mostly technical inconsistencies in the visual construction of the pieces (such as real-time inadequacy or real-virtual registration errors). We should note that many criticisms of the AR visualization systems (being them practical applications or artworks) are directed to this particular aspect related to the imperfect alignment between reality and digital information in the augmented space-image. However, not only AR applications can function when having an estimated (and acceptable) registration error, but, I would state, such visual imperfections testify a distinctive aesthetic aspect of AR. The alleged flaws can be assumed—especially in the artistic AR projects—as the “trace,” as the “tool’s stroke” that can reflect the unique play between illusion and its subversion, between transparency of the medium and its reflexive strategy. In fact this is what defines AR as a different perceptual paradigm: the creation of a convergent space—which will remain inevitably imperfect—between material reality and virtual information.References Azuma, Ronald T. “A Survey on Augmented Reality.” Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments 6.4 (Aug. 1997): 355-385. < http://www.hitl.washington.edu/projects/knowledge_base/ARfinal.pdf >. Benayoun, Maurice. World Skin: A Photo Safari in the Land of War. 1997. Immersive installation: CAVE, Computer, video projectors, 1 to 5 real photo cameras, 2 to 6 magnetic or infrared trackers, shutter glasses, audio-system, Internet connection, color printer. Maurice Benayoun, Works. < http://www.benayoun.com/projet.php?id=16 >. Bimber, Oliver, and Ramesh Raskar. Spatial Augmented Reality. Merging Real and Virtual Worlds. Wellesley, Massachusetts: AK Peters, 2005. 71-92. Burnett, Ron. How Images Think. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2004. Campbell, Jim. Hallucination. 1988-1990. Black and white video camera, 50 inch rear projection video monitor, laser disc players, custom electronics. Collection of Don Fisher, San Francisco. Campus, Peter. Interface. 1972. Closed-circuit video installation, black and white camera, video projector, light projector, glass sheet, empty, dark room. Centre Georges Pompidou Collection, Paris, France. Courchesne, Luc. Where Are You? 2005. Immersive installation: Panoscope 360°. a single channel immersive display, a large inverted dome, a hemispheric lens and projector, a computer and a surround sound system. Collection of the artist. < http://courchel.net/# >. Davies, Char. Osmose. 1995. Computer, sound synthesizers and processors, stereoscopic head-mounted display with 3D localized sound, breathing/balance interface vest, motion capture devices, video projectors, and silhouette screen. Char Davies, Immersence, Osmose. < http://www.immersence.com >. Farman, Jason. Mobile Interface Theory: Embodied Space and Locative Media. New York: Routledge, 2012. Graham, Dan. Present Continuous Past(s). 1974. Closed-circuit video installation, black and white camera, one black and white monitor, two mirrors, microprocessor. Centre Georges Pompidou Collection, Paris, France. Grau, Oliver. Virtual Art: From Illusion to Immersion. Translated by Gloria Custance. Cambridge, Massachusetts, London: MIT Press, 2003. Hansen, Mark B.N. New Philosophy for New Media. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2004. Harper, Douglas. Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001-2012. < http://www.etymonline.com >. Manovich, Lev. “The Poetics of Augmented Space.” Visual Communication 5.2 (2006): 219-240. Milgram, Paul, Haruo Takemura, Akira Utsumi, Fumio Kishino. “Augmented Reality: A Class of Displays on the Reality-Virtuality Continuum.” SPIE [The International Society for Optical Engineering] Proceedings 2351: Telemanipulator and Telepresence Technologies (1994): 282-292. Naimark, Michael, Be Now Here. 1995-97. Stereoscopic interactive panorama: 3-D glasses, two 35mm motion-picture cameras, rotating tripod, input pedestal, stereoscopic projection screen, four-channel audio, 16-foot (4.87 m) rotating floor. Originally produced at Interval Research Corporation with additional support from the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Paris, France. < http://www.naimark.net/projects/benowhere.html >. Nauman, Bruce. Live-Taped Video Corridor. 1970. Wallboard, video camera, two video monitors, videotape player, and videotape, dimensions variable. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Novak, Marcos. Interview with Leo Gullbring, Calimero journalistic och fotografi, 2001. < http://www.calimero.se/novak2.htm >. Sermon, Paul. Telematic Dreaming. 1992. ISDN telematic installation, two video projectors, two video cameras, two beds set. The National Museum of Photography, Film & Television in Bradford England. Shaw, Jeffrey, and Theo Botschuijver. Viewpoint. 1975. Photo installation. Shown at 9th Biennale de Paris, Musée d'Art Moderne, Paris, France.

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Lawrence, Robert. "Locate, Combine, Contradict, Iterate: Serial Strategies for PostInternet Art." M/C Journal 21, no.1 (March14, 2018). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1374.

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We (I, Robert Lawrence and, in a rare display of unity, all my online avatars and agents)hereby render and proclaim thisMANIFESTO OF PIECES AND BITS IN SERVICE OF CONTRADICTIONAL AESTHETICSWe start with the simple premise that art has the job of telling us who we are, and that through the modern age doing this job while KEEPING UP with accelerating cultural change has necessitated the invention of something we might call the avant-garde. Along the way there has been an on-again-off-again affair between said avant-garde and technology. We are now in a new phase of the new and the technology under consideration is the Internet.The recent hyperventilating about the term postInternet reflects the artworld’s overdue recognition of the effect of the Internet on the culture at large, and on art as a cultural practice, a market, and a historical process.I propose that we cannot fully understand what the Internet is doing to us through a consideration of what happens on the screen, nor by considering what happens in the physical space we occupy either before or behind the screen. Rather we must critically and creatively fathom the flow of cultural practice between and across these realms. This requires Hybrid art combining both physical and Internet forms.I do not mean to imply that single discipline-based art cannot communicate complexity, but I believe that Internet culture introduces complexities that can only be approached through hybrid practices. And this is especially critical for an art that, in doing the job of “telling us who we are”, wants to address the contradictory ways we now form and promote, or conceal and revise, our multiple identities through online social media profiles inconsistent with our fleshly selves.We need a different way of talking about identity. A history of identity:In the ancient world, individual identity as we understand it did not exist.The renaissance invented the individual.Modernism prioritized and alienated him (sic).Post-Modernism fragmented him/her.The Internet hyper-circulates and amplifies all these modalities, exploding the possibilities of identity.While reducing us to demographic market targets, the Web facilitates mass indulgence in perversely individual interests. The now common act of creating an “online profile” is a regular reiteration of the simple fact that identity is an open-ended hypothesis. We can now live double, or extravagantly multiple, virtual lives. The “me meme” is a ceaseless morph. This is a profound change in how identity was understood just a decade ago. Other historical transformations of identity happened over centuries. This latest and most radical change has occurred in the click of a mouse. Selfhood is now imbued with new complexity, fluidity and amplified contradictions.To fully understand what is actually happening to us, we need an art that engages the variant contracts of the physical and the virtual. We need a Hybrid art that addresses variant temporal and spatial modes of the physical and virtual. We need an art that offers articulations through the ubiquitous web in concert with the distinct perspectives that a physical gallery experience uniquely offers: engagement and removal, reflection and transference. Art that tells us who we are today calls for an aesthetics of contradiction. — Ro Lawrence (and all avatars) 2011, revised 2013, 2015, 2018. The manifesto above grew from an artistic practice beginning in 1998 as I started producing a website for every project that I made in traditional media. The Internet work does not just document or promote the project, nor is it “Netart” in the common sense of creative work restricted to a browser window. All of my efforts with the Internet are directly linked to my projects in traditional media and the web components offer parallel aesthetic voices that augment or overtly contradict the reading suggested by the traditional visual components of each project.This hybrid work grew out of a previous decade of transmedia work in video installation and sculpture, where I would create physical contexts for silent video as a way to remove the video image from the seamless flow of broadcast culture. A video image can signify very differently in a physical context that separates it from the flow of mass media and rather reconnects it to lived physical culture. A significant part of the aesthetic pleasure of this kind of work comes from nuances of dissonance arising from contradictory ways viewers had learned to read the object world and the ways we were then still learning to read the electronic image world. This video installation work was about “relocating” the electronic image, but I was also “locating” the electronic image in another sense, within the boundaries of geographic and cultural location. Linking all my projects to specific geographic locations set up contrasts with the spatial ubiquity of electronic media. In 1998 I amplified this contrast with my addition of extensive Internet components with each installation I made.The Way Things Grow (1998) began as an installation of sculptures combining video with segments of birch trees. Each piece in the gallery was linked to a specific geographic location within driving distance of the gallery exhibiting the work. In the years just before this piece I had moved from a practice of text-augmented video installations to the point where I had reduced the text to small printed handouts that featured absurd Scripts for Performance. These text handouts that viewers could take with them suggested that the work was to be completed by the viewer later outside the gallery. This to-be-continued dynamic was the genesis of a serial form in work going forward from then on. Thematic and narrative elements in the work were serialized via possible actions viewers would perform after leaving the gallery. In the installation for The Way Things Grow, there was no text in the gallery at all to suggest interpretations of this series of video sculptures. Even the titles offered no direct textual help. Rather than telling the viewers something about the work before them in the gallery, the title of each piece led the viewer away from the gallery toward serial actions in the specific geographic locations the works referred to. Each piece was titled with an Internet address.Figure 1: Lawrence, Robert, The Way Things Grow, video Installation with web components at http://www.h-e-r-e.com/grow.html, 1998.When people went to the web site for each piece they found only a black page referencing a physical horizon with a long line of text that they could scroll to right for meters. Unlike the determinedly embodied work in the gallery, the web components were disembodied texts floating in a black void, but texts about very specific physical locations.Figure 2: Lawrence, Robert, The Way Things Grow, partial view of webpage at http://www.h-e-r-e.com/growth_variant4.html, 1998.The texts began with the exact longitude and latitude of a geographical site in some way related to birch trees. ... A particularly old or large tree... a factory that turned birch trees into popsicle sticks and medical tongue depressors... etc. The website texts included directions to the site, and absurd scripts for performance. In this way the Internet component transformed the suite of sculptures in the gallery to a series of virtual, and possibly actual, events beyond the gallery. These potential narratives that viewers were invited into comprised an open-ended serial structure. The gallery work was formal, minimal, essentialist. On the web it was social, locative, deconstructive. In both locations, it was located. Here follows an excerpt from the website. GROWTH VARIANT #25: North 44:57:58 by West 93:15:56. On the south side of the Hennepin County Government Center is a park with 9 birch trees. These are urban birches, and they display random scratchings, as well as proclamations of affection expressed with pairs of initials and a “+” –both with and without encircling heart symbols. RECOMMENDED PERFORMANCE: Visit these urban birches once each month. Photograph all changes in their bark made by humans. After 20 years compile a document entitled, "Human Mark Making on Urban Birches, a Visual Study of Specific Universalities". Bring it into the Hennepin County Government Center and ask that it be placed in the archives.An Acre of Art (2000) was a collaborative project with sculptor Mark Knierim. Like The Way Things Grow, this new work, commissioned by the Minneapolis Art Institute, played out in the gallery, in a specific geographic location, and online. In the Art Institute was a gallery installation combining sculptures with absurd combinations of physical rural culture fitting contradictorily into an urban "high art" context. One of the pieces, entitled Landscape (2000), was an 18’ chicken coop faced with a gold picture frame. Inside were two bard rock hens and an iMac. The computer was programmed to stream to the Internet live video from the coop, the world’s first video chicken cam. As a work unfolding across a long stretch of time, the web cam video was a serial narrative without determined division into episodes. The gallery works also referenced a specific acre of agricultural land an hour from the Institute. Here we planted a row of dwarf corn at a diagonal to the mid-western American rural geometric grid of farmland. Visitors to the rural site could sit on “rural art furniture,” contemplate the corn growing, and occasionally witness absurd performances. The third stream of the piece was an extensive website, which playfully theorized the rural/urban/art trialectic. Each of the three locations of the work was exploited to provide a richer transmedia interpretation of the project’s themes than any one venue or medium could. Location Sequence is a serial installation begun in 1999. Each installation has completely different physical elements. The only consistent physical element is 72 segments of a 72” collapsible carpenter's ruler evenly spaced to wrap around the gallery walls. Each of the 72 segments of the ruler displays an Internet web address. Reversing the notion of the Internet as a place of rapid change compared to a more enduring physical world, in this case the Internet components do not change with each new episode of the work, while the physical components transform with each new installation. Thematically, all aspects of the work deal with various shades of meaning of the term "location." Beginning/Middle/End is a 30-year conceptual serial begun in 2002, presenting a series of site-specific actions, objects, or interventions combined with corresponding web pages that collectively negotiate concepts related to time, location, and narrative. Realizing a 30-year project via the web in this manner is a self-conscious contradiction of the culture of the instantaneous that the Internet manifests and propagates.The installation documented here was completed for a one-night event in 2002 with Szilage Gallery in St Petersburg, Florida. Bricks moulded with the URLs for three web sites were placed in a historic brick road with the intention that they would remain there through a historical time frame. The URLs were also projected in light on a creek parallel to the brick road and seen only for several hours. The corresponding web site components speculate on temporal/narrative structures crossing with geographic features, natural and manufactured.Figure 3: Lawrence, Robert, Beginning/Middle/End, site-specific installation with website in conjunction with 30-year series, http://www.h-e-r-e.com/beginning.html, 2002-32.The most recent instalment was done as part of Conflux Festival in 2014 in collaboration with painter Ld Lawrence. White shapes appeared in various public spaces in downtown Manhattan. Upon closer inspection people realized that they were not painted tags or stickers, but magnetic sheets that could be moved or removed. An optical scan tag hidden on the back of each shape directed to a website which encouraged people to move the objects to other locations and send a geo-located photo to the web site to trace the shape's motion through the world. The work online could trace the serial narrative of the physical installation components following the installation during Conflux Festival. Figure 4: Lawrence, Robert w/Lawrence, Ld, Gravity Ace on the Move, site-specific installation with geo-tracking website at http://www.h-e-r-e.com/gravityace/. Completed for Conflux Festival NYC, 2014, as part of Beginning/Middle/End.Dad's Boots (2003) was a multi-sited sculpture/performance. Three different physical manifestations of the work were installed at the same time in three locations: Shirakawa-go Art Festival in Japan; the Phipps Art Center in Hudson, Wisconsin; and at the Tampa Museum of Art in Florida. Physical components of the work included silent video projection, digital photography, computer key caps, and my father's boots. Each of these three different installations referred back to one web site. Because all these shows were up at the same time, the work was a distributed synchronous serial. In each installation space the title of the work was displayed as an Internet address. At the website was a series of popup texts suggesting performances focused, however absurdly, on reassessing paternal relationships.Figure 5: Lawrence, Robert, Dad’s Boots, simultaneous gallery installation in Florida, Wisconsin and Japan, with website, 2003. Coincidently, beginning the same time as my transmedia physical/Internet art practice, since 1998 I have had a secret other-life as a tango dancer. I came to this practice drawn by the music and the attraction of an after-dark subculture that ran by different rules than the rest of life. While my life as a tanguero was most certainly an escape strategy, I quickly began to see that although tango was different from the rest of the world, it was indeed a part of this world. It had a place and a time and a history. Further, it was a fascinating history about the interplays of power, class, wealth, race, and desire. Figure 6: Lawrence, Robert, Tango Intervention, site-specific dance interventions with extensive web components, 2007-12.As Marta Savigliano points out in Tango and the Political Economy of Passion, “Tango is a practice already ready for struggle. It knows about taking sides, positions, risks. It has the experience of domination/resistance from within. …Tango is a language of decolonization. So pick and choose. Improvise... let your feet do the thinking. Be comfortable in your restlessness. Tango” (17). The realization that tango, my sensual escape from critical thought, was actually political came just about the time I was beginning to understand the essential dynamic of contradiction between the physical and Internet streams of my work. Tango Intervention began in 2007. I have now, as of 2018, done tango interventions in over 40 cities. Overall, the project can be seen as a serial performance of contradictions. In each case the physical dance interventions are manifestations of sensual fantasy in public space, and the Internet components recontextualize the public actions as site-specific performances with a political edge, revealing a hidden history or current social situation related to the political economy of tango. These themes are further developed in a series of related digital prints and videos shown here in various formats and contexts.In Tango Panopticon (2009), a “spin off” from the Tango Intervention series, the hidden social issue was the growing video surveillance of public space. The first Tango Panopticon production was Mayday 2009 with people dancing tango under public video surveillance in 15 cities. Mayday 2010 was Tango Panopticon 2.0, with tangointervention.org streaming live cell phone video from 16 simultaneous dance interventions on 4 continents. The public encountered the interventions as a sensual reclaiming of public space. Contradictorily, on the web Tango Panopticon 2.0 became a distributed worldwide action against the growing spectre of video surveillance and the increasing control of public commons. Each intervention team was automatically located on an online map when they started streaming video. Visitors to the website could choose an action from the list of cities or click on the map pins to choose which live video to load into the grid of 6 streaming signals. Visitors to the physical intervention sites could download our free open source software and stream their own videos to tangointervention.org.Figure 7: Lawrence, Robert, Tango Panopticon 2.0, worldwide synchronous dance intervention with live streaming video and extensive web components, 2010.Tango Panopticon also has a life as a serial installation, initially installed as part of the annual conference of “Digital Resources for Humanities and the Arts” at Brunel University, London. All shots in the grid of videos are swish pans from close-ups of surveillance cameras to tango interveners dancing under their gaze. Each ongoing installation in the series physically adapts to the site, and with each installation more lines of video frames are added until the images become too small to read.Figure 8: Lawrence, Robert, Tango Panopticon 2.0 (For Osvaldo), video installation based on worldwide dance intervention series with live streaming video, 2011.My new work Equivalence (in development) is quite didactic in its contradictions between the online and gallery components. A series of square prints of clouds in a gallery are titled with web addresses that open with other cloud images and then fade into randomly loading excerpts from the CIA torture manual used at Guantanamo Bay Detention Center.Figure 9: Lawrence, Robert, Eauivalence, digital prints, excerpts from CIA Guantanamo Detention Center torture manual, work-in-progress.The gallery images recall Stieglitz’s Equivalents photographs from the early 20th century. Made in the 1920s to 30s, the Equivalents comprise a pivotal change in photographic history, from the early pictorial movement in which photography tried to imitate painting, and a new artistic approach that embraced features distinct to the photographic medium. Stieglitz’s Equivalents merged photographic realism with abstraction and symbolist undertones of transcendent spirituality. Many of the 20th century masters of photography, from Ansel Adams to Minor White, acknowledged the profound influence these photographs had on them. Several images from the Equivalents series were the first photographic art to be acquired by a major art museum in the US, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.My series Equivalence serves as the latest episode in a serial art history narrative. Since the “Pictures Generation” movement in the 1970s, photography has cannibalized its history, but perhaps no photographic body of work has been as quoted as Stieglitz’s Equivalents. A partial list includes: John Baldessari’s series Blowing Cigar Smoke to Match Clouds That Are the Same(1973), William Eggleston’s series Wedgwood Blue (1979), John Pfahl’s smoke stack series (1982-89), George Legrady’s Equivalents II(1993), Vik Muniz’sEquivalents(1997), Lisa Oppenheim (2012), and most recently, Berndnaut Smilde’s Nimbus Series, begun in 2012. Over the course of more than four decades each of these series has presented a unique vision, but all rest on Stieglitz’s shoulders. From that position they make choices about how to operate relative the original Equivalents, ranging from Baldessari and Muniz’s phenomenological playfulness to Eggleston and Smilde’s neo-essentialist approach.My series Equivalence follows along in this serial modernist image franchise. What distinguishes it is that it does not take a single position relative to other Equivalents tribute works. Rather, it exploits its gallery/Internet transmediality to simultaneously assume two contradictory positions. The dissonance of this positioning is one of my main points with the work, and it is in some ways resonant with the contradictions concerning photographic abstraction and representation that Stieglitz engaged in the original Equivalents series almost a century ago.While hanging on the walls of a gallery, Equivalence suggests the same metaphysical intentions as Stieglitz’s Equivalents. Simultaneously, in its manifestation on the Internet, my Equivalence series transcends its implied transcendence and claims a very specific time and place –a small brutal encampment on the island of Cuba where the United States abandoned any remaining claim to moral authority. In this illegal prison, forgotten lives drag on invisibly, outside of time, like untold serial narratives without resolution and without justice.Partially to balance the political insistence of Equivalence, I am also working on another series that operates with very different modalities. Following up on the live streaming technology that I developed for my Tango Panopticon public intervention series, I have started Horizon (In Development).Figure 10: Lawrence, Robert, Horizon, worldwide synchronous horizon interventions with live streaming video to Internet, work-in-progress.In Horizon I again use live cell phone video, this time streamed to an infinitely wide web page from live actions around the world done in direct engagement with the horizon line. The performances will begin and automatically come online live at noon in their respective time zone, each added to the growing horizontal line of moving images. As the actions complete, the streamed footage will begin endlessly looping. The project will also stream live during the event to galleries, and then HD footage from the events will be edited and incorporated into video installations. Leading up to this major event day, I will have a series of smaller instalments of the piece, with either live or recorded video. The first of these preliminary versions was completed during the Live Performers Workshop in Rome. Horizon continues to develop, leading to the worldwide synchronous event in 2020.Certainly, artists have always worked in series. However, exploiting the unique temporal dimensions of the Internet, a series of works can develop episodically as a serial work. If that work unfolds with contradictory thematics in its embodied and online forms, it reaches further toward an understanding of the complexities of postInternet culture and identity. ReferencesSaviligliano, Marta. Tango and the Political Economy of Passion. Boulder: Westview Press, 1995.

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Cham, Karen, and Jeffrey Johnson. "Complexity Theory." M/C Journal 10, no.3 (June1, 2007). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2672.

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Complex systems are an invention of the universe. It is not at all clear that science has an a priori primacy claim to the study of complex systems. (Galanter 5) Introduction In popular dialogues, describing a system as “complex” is often the point of resignation, inferring that the system cannot be sufficiently described, predicted nor managed. Transport networks, management infrastructure and supply chain logistics are all often described in this way. In socio-cultural terms “complex” is used to describe those humanistic systems that are “intricate, involved, complicated, dynamic, multi-dimensional, interconnected systems [such as] transnational citizenship, communities, identities, multiple belongings, overlapping geographies and competing histories” (Cahir & James). Academic dialogues have begun to explore the collective behaviors of complex systems to define a complex system specifically as an adaptive one; i.e. a system that demonstrates ‘self organising’ principles and ‘emergent’ properties. Based upon the key principles of interaction and emergence in relation to adaptive and self organising systems in cultural artifacts and processes, this paper will argue that complex systems are cultural systems. By introducing generic principles of complex systems, and looking at the exploration of such principles in art, design and media research, this paper argues that a science of cultural systems as part of complex systems theory is the post modern science for the digital age. Furthermore, that such a science was predicated by post structuralism and has been manifest in art, design and media practice since the late 1960s. Complex Systems Theory Complexity theory grew out of systems theory, an holistic approach to analysis that views whole systems based upon the links and interactions between the component parts and their relationship to each other and the environment within they exists. This stands in stark contrast to conventional science which is based upon Descartes’s reductionism, where the aim is to analyse systems by reducing something to its component parts (Wilson 3). As systems thinking is concerned with relationships more than elements, it proposes that in complex systems, small catalysts can cause large changes and that a change in one area of a system can adversely affect another area of the system. As is apparent, systems theory is a way of thinking rather than a specific set of rules, and similarly there is no single unified Theory of Complexity, but several different theories have arisen from the natural sciences, mathematics and computing. As such, the study of complex systems is very interdisciplinary and encompasses more than one theoretical framework. Whilst key ideas of complexity theory developed through artificial intelligence and robotics research, other important contributions came from thermodynamics, biology, sociology, physics, economics and law. In her volume for the Elsevier Advanced Management Series, “Complex Systems and Evolutionary Perspectives on Organisations”, Eve Mitleton-Kelly describes a comprehensive overview of this evolution as five main areas of research: complex adaptive systems dissipative structures autopoiesis (non-equilibrium) social systems chaos theory path dependence Here, Mitleton-Kelly points out that relatively little work has been done on developing a specific theory of complex social systems, despite much interest in complexity and its application to management (Mitleton-Kelly 4). To this end, she goes on to define the term “complex evolving system” as more appropriate to the field than ‘complex adaptive system’ and suggests that the term “complex behaviour” is thus more useful in social contexts (Mitleton-Kelly). For our purpose here, “complex systems” will be the general term used to describe those systems that are diverse and made up of multiple interdependent elements, that are often ‘adaptive’, in that they have the capacity to change and learn from events. This is in itself both ‘evolutionary’ and ‘behavioural’ and can be understood as emerging from the interaction of autonomous agents – especially people. Some generic principles of complex systems defined by Mitleton Kelly that are of concern here are: self-organisation emergence interdependence feedback space of possibilities co-evolving creation of new order Whilst the behaviours of complex systems clearly do not fall into our conventional top down perception of management and production, anticipating such behaviours is becoming more and more essential for products, processes and policies. For example, compare the traditional top down model of news generation, distribution and consumption to the “emerging media eco-system” (Bowman and Willis 14). Figure 1 (Bowman & Willis 10) Figure 2 (Bowman & Willis 12) To the traditional news organisations, such a “democratization of production” (McLuhan 230) has been a huge cause for concern. The agencies once solely responsible for the representation of reality are now lost in a global miasma of competing perspectives. Can we anticipate and account for complex behaviours? Eve Mitleton Kelly states that “if organisations are understood as complex evolving systems co-evolving as part of a social ‘ecosystem’, then that changed perspective changes ways of acting and relating which lead to a different way of working. Thus, management strategy changes, and our organizational design paradigms evolve as new types of relationships and ways of working provide the conditions for the emergence of new organisational forms” (Mitleton-Kelly 6). Complexity in Design It is thus through design practice and processes that discovering methods for anticipating complex systems behaviours seem most possible. The Embracing Complexity in Design (ECiD) research programme, is a contemporary interdisciplinary research cluster consisting of academics and designers from architectural engineering, robotics, geography, digital media, sustainable design, and computing aiming to explore the possibility of trans disciplinary principles of complexity in design. Over arching this work is the conviction that design can be seen as model for complex systems researchers motivated by applying complexity science in particular domains. Key areas in which design and complexity interact have been established by this research cluster. Most immediately, many designed products and systems are inherently complex to design in the ordinary sense. For example, when designing vehicles, architecture, microchips designers need to understand complex dynamic processes used to fabricate and manufacture products and systems. The social and economic context of design is also complex, from market economics and legal regulation to social trends and mass culture. The process of designing can also involve complex social dynamics, with many people processing and exchanging complex heterogeneous information over complex human and communication networks, in the context of many changing constraints. Current key research questions are: how can the methods of complex systems science inform designers? how can design inform research into complex systems? Whilst ECiD acknowledges that to answer such questions effectively the theoretical and methodological relations between complexity science and design need further exploration and enquiry, there are no reliable precedents for such an activity across the sciences and the arts in general. Indeed, even in areas where a convergence of humanities methodology with scientific practice might seem to be most pertinent, most examples are few and far between. In his paper “Post Structuralism, Hypertext & the World Wide Web”, Luke Tredennick states that “despite the concentration of post-structuralism on text and texts, the study of information has largely failed to exploit post-structuralist theory” (Tredennick 5). Yet it is surely in the convergence of art and design with computation and the media that a search for practical trans-metadisciplinary methodologies might be most fruitful. It is in design for interactive media, where algorithms meet graphics, where the user can interact, adapt and amend, that self-organisation, emergence, interdependence, feedback, the space of possibilities, co-evolution and the creation of new order are embraced on a day to day basis by designers. A digitally interactive environment such as the World Wide Web, clearly demonstrates all the key aspects of a complex system. Indeed, it has already been described as a ‘complexity machine’ (Qvortup 9). It is important to remember that this ‘complexity machine’ has been designed. It is an intentional facility. It may display all the characteristics of complexity but, whilst some of its attributes are most demonstrative of self organisation and emergence, the Internet itself has not emerged spontaneously. For example, Tredinnick details the evolution of the World Wide Web through the Memex machine of Vannevar Bush, through Ted Nelsons hypertext system Xanadu to Tim Berners-Lee’s Enquire (Tredennick 3). The Internet was engineered. So, whilst we may not be able to entirely predict complex behavior, we can, and do, quite clearly design for it. When designing digitally interactive artifacts we design parameters or co ordinates to define the space within which a conceptual process will take place. We can never begin to predict precisely what those processes might become through interaction, emergence and self organisation, but we can establish conceptual parameters that guide and delineate the space of possibilities. Indeed this fact is so transparently obvious that many commentators in the humanities have been pushed to remark that interaction is merely interpretation, and so called new media is not new at all; that one interacts with a book in much the same way as a digital artifact. After all, post-structuralist theory had established the “death of the author” in the 1970s – the a priori that all cultural artifacts are open to interpretation, where all meanings must be completed by the reader. The concept of the “open work” (Eco 6) has been an established post modern concept for over 30 years and is commonly recognised as a feature of surrealist montage, poetry, the writings of James Joyce, even advertising design, where a purposive space for engagement and interpretation of a message is designated, without which the communication does not “work”. However, this concept is also most successfully employed in relation to installation art and, more recently, interactive art as a reflection of the artist’s conscious decision to leave part of a work open to interpretation and/or interaction. Art & Complex Systems One of the key projects of Embracing Complexity in Design has been to look at the relationship between art and complex systems. There is a relatively well established history of exploring art objects as complex systems in themselves that finds its origins in the systems art movement of the 1970s. In his paper “Observing ‘Systems Art’ from a Systems-Theroretical Perspective”, Francis Halsall defines systems art as “emerging in the 1960s and 1970s as a new paradigm in artistic practice … displaying an interest in the aesthetics of networks, the exploitation of new technology and New Media, unstable or de-materialised physicality, the prioritising of non-visual aspects, and an engagement (often politicised) with the institutional systems of support (such as the gallery, discourse, or the market) within which it occurs” (Halsall 7). More contemporarily, “Open Systems: Rethinking Art c.1970”, at Tate Modern, London, focuses upon systems artists “rejection of art’s traditional focus on the object, to wide-ranging experiments al focus on the object, to wide-ranging experiments with media that included dance, performance and…film & video” (De Salvo 3). Artists include Andy Warhol, Richard Long, Gilbert & George, Sol Lewitt, Eva Hesse and Bruce Nauman. In 2002, the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, New York, held an international exhibition entitled “Complexity; Art & Complex Systems”, that was concerned with “art as a distinct discipline offer[ing] its own unique approache[s] and epistemic standards in the consideration of complexity” (Galanter and Levy 5), and the organisers go on to describe four ways in which artists engage the realm of complexity: presentations of natural complex phenomena that transcend conventional scientific visualisation descriptive systems which describe complex systems in an innovative and often idiosyncratic way commentary on complexity science itself technical applications of genetic algorithms, neural networks and a-life ECiD artist Julian Burton makes work that visualises how companies operate in specific relation to their approach to change and innovation. He is a strategic artist and facilitator who makes “pictures of problems to help people talk about them” (Burton). Clients include public and private sector organisations such as Barclays, Shell, Prudential, KPMG and the NHS. He is quoted as saying “Pictures are a powerful way to engage and focus a group’s attention on crucial issues and challenges, and enable them to grasp complex situations quickly. I try and create visual catalysts that capture the major themes of a workshop, meeting or strategy and re-present them in an engaging way to provoke lively conversations” (Burton). This is a simple and direct method of using art as a knowledge elicitation tool that falls into the first and second categories above. The third category is demonstrated by the ground breaking TechnoSphere, that was specifically inspired by complexity theory, landscape and artificial life. Launched in 1995 as an Arts Council funded online digital environment it was created by Jane Prophet and Gordon Selley. TechnoSphere is a virtual world, populated by artificial life forms created by users of the World Wide Web. The digital ecology of the 3D world, housed on a server, depends on the participation of an on-line public who accesses the world via the Internet. At the time of writing it has attracted over a 100,000 users who have created over a million creatures. The artistic exploration of technical applications is by default a key field for researching the convergence of trans-metadisciplinary methodologies. Troy Innocent’s lifeSigns evolves multiple digital media languages “expressed as a virtual world – through form, structure, colour, sound, motion, surface and behaviour” (Innocent). The work explores the idea of “emergent language through play – the idea that new meanings may be generated through interaction between human and digital agents”. Thus this artwork combines three areas of converging research – artificial life; computational semiotics and digital games. In his paper “What Is Generative Art? Complexity Theory as a Context for Art Theory”, Philip Galanter describes all art as generative on the basis that it is created from the application of rules. Yet, as demonstrated above, what is significantly different and important about digital interactivity, as opposed to its predecessor, interpretation, is its provision of a graphical user interface (GUI) to component parts of a text such as symbol, metaphor, narrative, etc for the multiple “authors” and the multiple “readers” in a digitally interactive space of possibility. This offers us tangible, instantaneous reproduction and dissemination of interpretations of an artwork. Conclusion: Digital Interactivity – A Complex Medium Digital interaction of any sort is thus a graphic model of the complex process of communication. Here, complexity does not need deconstructing, representing nor modelling, as the aesthetics (as in apprehended by the senses) of the graphical user interface conveniently come first. Design for digital interactive media is thus design for complex adaptive systems. The theoretical and methodological relations between complexity science and design can clearly be expounded especially well through post-structuralism. The work of Barthes, Derrida & Foucault offers us the notion of all cultural artefacts as texts or systems of signs, whose meanings are not fixed but rather sustained by networks of relationships. Implemented in a digital environment post-structuralist theory is tangible complexity. Strangely, whilst Philip Galanter states that science has no necessary over reaching claim to the study of complexity, he then argues conversely that “contemporary art theory rooted in skeptical continental philosophy [reduces] art to social construction [as] postmodernism, deconstruction and critical theory [are] notoriously elusive, slippery, and overlapping terms and ideas…that in fact [are] in the business of destabilising apparently clear and universal propositions” (4). This seems to imply that for Galanter, post modern rejections of grand narratives necessarily will exclude the “new scientific paradigm” of complexity, a paradigm that he himself is looking to be universal. Whilst he cites Lyotard (6) describing both political and linguistic reasons why postmodern art celebrates plurality, denying any progress towards singular totalising views, he fails to appreciate what happens if that singular totalising view incorporates interactivity? Surely complexity is pluralistic by its very nature? In the same vein, if language for Derrida is “an unfixed system of traces and differences … regardless of the intent of the authored texts … with multiple equally legitimate meanings” (Galanter 7) then I have heard no better description of the signifiers, signifieds, connotations and denotations of digital culture. Complexity in its entirety can also be conversely understood as the impact of digital interactivity upon culture per se which has a complex causal relation in itself; Qvortups notion of a “communications event” (9) such as the Danish publication of the Mohammed cartoons falls into this category. Yet a complex causality could be traced further into cultural processes enlightening media theory; from the relationship between advertising campaigns and brand development; to the exposure and trajectory of the celebrity; describing the evolution of visual language in media cultures and informing the relationship between exposure to representation and behaviour. In digital interaction the terms art, design and media converge into a process driven, performative event that demonstrates emergence through autopoietic processes within a designated space of possibility. By insisting that all artwork is generative Galanter, like many other writers, negates the medium entirely which allows him to insist that generative art is “ideologically neutral” (Galanter 10). Generative art, like all digitally interactive artifacts are not neutral but rather ideologically plural. Thus, if one integrates Qvortups (8) delineation of medium theory and complexity theory we may have what we need; a first theory of a complex medium. Through interactive media complexity theory is the first post modern science; the first science of culture. References Bowman, Shane, and Chris Willis. We Media. 21 Sep. 2003. 9 March 2007 http://www.hypergene.net/wemedia/weblog.php>. Burton, Julian. “Hedron People.” 9 March 2007 http://www.hedron.com/network/assoc.php4?associate_id=14>. Cahir, Jayde, and Sarah James. “Complex: Call for Papers.” M/C Journal 9 Sep. 2006. 7 March 2007 http://journal.media-culture.org.au/journal/upcoming.php>. De Salvo, Donna, ed. Open Systems: Rethinking Art c. 1970. London: Tate Gallery Press, 2005. Eco, Umberto. The Open Work. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard UP, 1989. Galanter, Phillip, and Ellen K. Levy. Complexity: Art & Complex Systems. SDMA Gallery Guide, 2002. Galanter, Phillip. “Against Reductionism: Science, Complexity, Art & Complexity Studies.” 2003. 9 March 2007 http://isce.edu/ISCE_Group_Site/web-content/ISCE_Events/ Norwood_2002/Norwood_2002_Papers/Galanter.pdf>. Halsall, Francis. “Observing ‘Systems-Art’ from a Systems-Theoretical Perspective”. CHArt 2005. 9 March 2007 http://www.chart.ac.uk/chart2005/abstracts/halsall.htm>. Innocent, Troy. “Life Signs.” 9 March 2007 http://www.iconica.org/main.htm>. Johnson, Jeffrey. “Embracing Complexity in Design (ECiD).” 2007. 9 March 2007 http://www.complexityanddesign.net/>. Lyotard, Jean-Francois. The Postmodern Condition. Manchester: Manchester UP, 1984. McLuhan, Marshall. The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 1962. Mitleton-Kelly, Eve, ed. Complex Systems and Evolutionary Perspectives on Organisations. Elsevier Advanced Management Series, 2003. Prophet, Jane. “Jane Prophet.” 9 March 2007 http://www.janeprophet.co.uk/>. Qvortup, Lars. “Understanding New Digital Media.” European Journal of Communication 21.3 (2006): 345-356. Tedinnick, Luke. “Post Structuralism, Hypertext & the World Wide Web.” Aslib 59.2 (2007): 169-186. Wilson, Edward Osborne. Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge. New York: A.A. Knoff, 1998. Citation reference for this article MLA Style Cham, Karen, and Jeffrey Johnson. "Complexity Theory: A Science of Cultural Systems?." M/C Journal 10.3 (2007). echo date('d M. Y'); ?> <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0706/08-cham-johnson.php>. APA Style Cham, K., and J. Johnson. (Jun. 2007) "Complexity Theory: A Science of Cultural Systems?," M/C Journal, 10(3). Retrieved echo date('d M. Y'); ?> from <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0706/08-cham-johnson.php>.

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Broeckmann, Andreas. "Minor Media - Heterogenic Machines." M/C Journal 2, no.6 (September1, 1999). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1788.

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1. A Minor Philosopher According to Guattari and Deleuze's definition, a 'minor literature' is the literature of a minority that makes use of a major language, a literature which deterritorialises that language and interconnects meanings of the most disparate levels, inseparably mixing and implicating poetic, psychological, social and political issues with each other. In analogy, the Japanese media theorist Toshiya Ueno has refered to Félix Guattari as a 'minor philosopher'. Himself a practicing psychoanalyst, Guattari was a foreigner to the Grand Nation of Philosophy, whose natives mostly treat him like an unworthy bastard. And yet he has established a garden of minor flowers, of mongrel weeds and rhizomes that are as polluting to philosophy as Kafka's writing has been to German literature (cf. Deleuze & Guattari, Kafka). The strategies of 'being minor' are, as exemplified by Guattari's writings (with and without Deleuze), deployed in multiple contexts: intensification, re-functionalisation, estrangement, transgression. The following offers a brief overview over the way in which Guattari conceptualises media, new technologies and art, as well as descriptions of several media art projects that may help to illustrate the potentials of such 'minor machines'. Without wanting to pin these projects down as 'Guattarian' artworks, I suggest that the specific practices of contemporary media artists can point us in the direction of the re-singularising, deterritorialising and subjectifying forces which Guattari indicated as being germane to media technologies. Many artists who work with media technologies do so through strategies of appropriation and from a position of 'being minor': whenever a marginality, a minority, becomes active, takes the word power (puissance de verbe), transforms itself into becoming, and not merely submitting to it, identical with its condition, but in active, processual becoming, it engenders a singular trajectory that is necessarily deterritorialising because, precisely, it's a minority that begins to subvert a majority, a consensus, a great aggregate. As long as a minority, a cloud, is on a border, a limit, an exteriority of a great whole, it's something that is, by definition, marginalised. But here, this point, this object, begins to proliferate ..., begins to amplify, to recompose something that is no longer a totality, but that makes a former totality shift, detotalises, deterritorialises an entity.' (Guattari, "Pragmatic/Machinic") In the context of media art, 'becoming minor' is a strategy of turning major technologies into minor machines. a. Krzysztof Wodiczko (PL/USA): Alien Staff Krzysztof Wodiczko's Alien Staff is a mobile communication system and prosthetic instrument which facilitates the communication of migrants in their new countries of residence, where they have insufficient command of the local language for communicating on a par with the native inhabitants. Alien Staff consists of a hand-held staff with a small video monitor and a loudspeaker at the top. The operator can adjust the height of the staff's head to be at a level with his or her own head. Via the video monitor, the operator can replay pre-recorded elements of an interview or a narration of him- or herself. The recorded material may contain biographical information when people have difficulties constructing coherent narratives in the foreign language, or it may include the description of feelings and impressions which the operator normally doesn't get a chance to talk about. The Staff is used in public places where passers-by are attracted to listen to the recording and engage in a conversation with the operator. Special transparent segments of the staff contain memorabilia, photographs or other objects which indicate a part of the personal history of the operator and which are intended to instigate a conversation. The Alien Staff offers individuals an opportunity to remember and retell their own story and to confront people in the country of immigration with this particular story. The Staff reaffirms the migrant's own subjectivity and re-singularises individuals who are often perceived as representative of a hom*ogenous group. The instrument displaces expectations of the majority audience by articulating unformulated aspects of the migrant's subjectivity through a medium that appears as the attractive double of an apparently 'invisible' person. 2. Mass Media, New Technologies and 'Planetary Computerisation' Guattari's comments about media are mostly made in passing and display a clearly outlined opinion about the role of media in contemporary society: a staunch critique of mass media is coupled with an optimistic outlook to the potentials of a post-medial age in which new technologies can develop their singularising, heterogenic forces. The latter development is, as Guattari suggests, already discernible in the field of art and other cultural practices making use of electronic networks, and can lead to a state of 'planetary computerisation' in which multiple new subject-groups can emerge. Guattari consistently refers to the mass media with contempt, qualifying them as a stupefying machinery that is closely wedded to the forces of global capitalism, and that is co-responsible for much of the reactionary hyper-individualism, the desperation and the "state of emergency" that currently dominates "four-fifth of humanity" (Guattari, Chaosmosis 97; cf. Guattari, Drei Ökologien 16, 21). Guattari makes a passionate plea for a new social ecology and formulates, as one step towards this goal, the necessity, "to guide these capitalist societies of the age of mass media into a post-mass medial age; by this I mean that the mass media have to be reappropriated by a multiplicity of subject-groups who are able to administer them on a path of singularisation" (Guattari, "Regimes" 64). Guattari consistently refers to the mass media with contempt, qualifying them as a stupefying machinery that is closely wedded to the forces of global capitalism, and that is co-responsible for much of the reactionary hyper-individualism, the desperation and the "state of emergency" that currently dominates "four-fifth of humanity" (Guattari, Chaosmosis 97; cf. Guattari, Drei Ökologien 16, 21). Guattari makes a passionate plea for a new social ecology and formulates, as one step towards this goal, the necessity, "to guide these capitalist societies of the age of mass media into a post-mass medial age; by this I mean that the mass media have to be reappropriated by a multiplicity of subject-groups who are able to administer them on a path of singularisation" (Guattari, "Regimes" 64). b. Seiko Mikami (J/USA): World, Membrane and the Dismembered Body An art project that deals with the cut between the human subject and the body, and with the deterritorialisation of the sense of self, is Seiko Mikami's World, Membrane and the Dismembered Body. It uses the visitor's heart and lung sounds which are amplified and transformed within the space of the installation. These sounds create a gap between the internal and external sounds of the body. The project is presented in an-echoic room where sound does not reverberate. Upon entering this room, it is as though your ears are no longer living while paradoxically you also feel as though all of your nerves are concentrated in your ears. The sounds of the heart, lungs, and pulse beat are digitised by the computer system and act as parameters to form a continuously transforming 3-d polygonal mesh of body sounds moving through the room. Two situations are effected in real time: the slight sounds produced by the body itself resonate in the body's internal membranes, and the transfigured resonance of those sounds is amplified in the space. A time-lag separates both perceptual events. The visitor is overcome by the feeling that a part of his or her corporeality is under erasure. The body exists as abstract data, only the perceptual sense is aroused. The visitor is made conscious of the disappearance of the physical contours of his or her subjectivity and thereby experiences being turned into a fragmented body. The ears mediate the space that exists between the self and the body. Mikami's work fragments the body and its perceptual apparatus into data, employing them as interfaces and thus folding the body's horizon back onto itself. The project elucidates the difference between an actual and a virtual body, the actual body being deterritorialised and projected outwards towards a number of potential, virtual bodies that can, in the installation, be experienced as maybe even more 'real' than the actual body. 3. Artistic Practice Guattari's conception of post-media implies criss-crossing intersections of aesthetic, ethical, political and technological planes, among which the aesthetic, and with it artistic creativity, are ascribed a position of special prominence. This special role of art is a trope that recurs quite frequently in Guattari's writings, even though he is rarely specific about the artistic practices he has in mind. In A Thousand Plateaus, Deleuze and Guattari give some detailled attention to the works of artists like Debussy, Boulez, Beckett, Artaud, Kafka, Kleist, Proust, and Klee, and Chaosmosis includes longer passages and concrete examples for the relevance of the aesthetic paradigm. These examples come almost exclusively from the fields of performing arts, music and literature, while visual arts are all but absent. One reason for this could be that the performing arts are time-based and processual and thus lend themselves much better to theorisation of flows, transformations and differentiations. The visual arts can be related to the abstract machine of faciality (visageité) which produces unified, molar, identical entities out of a multiplicity of different singularities, assigning them to a specific category and associating them with particular social fields (cf. Deleuze & Guattari, Tausend Plateaus 167-91) This semiotic territorialisation is much more likely to happen in the case of static images, whether two- or three-dimensional, than in time-based art forms. An interesting question, then, would be whether media art projects, many of which are time-based, processual and open-ended, can be considered as potential post-medial art practices. Moreover, given the status of computer software as the central motor of the digital age, and the crucial role it plays in aesthetic productions like those discussed here, software may have to be viewed as the epitome of post-medial machines. Guattari seems to have been largely unaware of the beginnings of digital media art as it developed in the 1980s. In generalistic terms he suggests that the artist is particularly well-equipped to conceptualise the necessary steps for this work because, unlike engineers, he or she is not tied to a particular programme or plan for a product, and can change the course of a project at any point if an unexpected event or accident intrudes (cf. Guattari, Drei Ökologien 50). The significance of art for Guattari's thinking comes primarily from its close relation with processes of subjectivation. "Just as scientific machines constantly modify our cosmic frontiers, so do the machines of desire and aesthetic creation. As such, they hold an eminent place within assemblages of subjectivation, themselves called to relieve our old social machines which are incapable of keeping up with the efflorescence of machinic revolutions that shatter our epoch' (Guattari, Chaosmosis 54). The aesthetic paradigm facilitates the development of new, virtual forms of subjectivity, and of liberation, which will be adequate to these machinic revolutions. c. Knowbotic Research + cF: IO_Dencies The Alien Staff project was mentioned as an example for the re-singularisation and the virtualisation of identity, and World, Membrane and the Dismembered Body as an instance of the deterritorialisation and virtualisation of the human body through an artistic interface. The recent project by Knowbotic Research, IO_Dencies -- Questioning Urbanity, deals with the possibilities of agency, collaboration and construction in translocal and networked environments. It points in the direction of what Guattari has called the formation of 'group subjects' through connective interfaces. The project looks at urban settings in different megacities like Tokyo, São Paulo or the Ruhr Area, analyses the forces present in particular local urban situations, and offers experimental interfaces for dealing with these local force fields. IO_Dencies São Paulo enables the articulation of subjective experiences of the city through a collaborative process. Over a period of several months, a group of young architects and urbanists from São Paulo, the 'editors', provided the content and dynamic input for a database. The editors collected material (texts, images, sounds) based on their current situation and on their personal urban experience. A specially designed editor tool allowed the editors to build individual conceptual 'maps' in which to construct the relations between the different materials in the data-pool according to the subjective perception of the city. On the computational level, connectivities are created between the different maps of the editors, a process that is driven by algorithmic self-organisation whose rules are determined by the choices that the editors make. In the process, the collaborative editorial work in the database generates zones of intensities and zones of tension which are visualised as force fields and turbulences and which can be experienced through interfaces on the Internet and at physical exhibition sites. Participants on the Net and in the exhibition can modify and influence these electronic urban movements, force fields and intensities on an abstract, visual level, as well as on a content-based, textual level. This engagement with the project and its material is fed back into the database and influences the relational forces within the project's digital environment. Characteristic of the forms of agency as they evolve in networked environments is that they are neither individualistic nor collective, but rather connective. Whereas the collective is determined by an intentional and empathetic relation between agents within an assemblage, the connective rests on any kind of machinic relation and is therefore more versatile, more open, and based on the heterogeneity of its components or members. In the IO_Dencies interfaces, the different networked participants become visible for each other, creating a trans-local zone of connective agency. The inter-connectedness of their activities can be experienced visually, acoustically, and through the constant reconfiguration of the data sets, an experience which can become the basis of the formation of a specific, heterogeneous group subject. 4. Guattari's Concept of the Machinic An important notion underlying these analyses is that of the machine which, for Guattari, relates not so much to particular technological or mechanical objects, to the technical infrastructure or the physical flows of the urban environment. 'Machines' can be social bodies, industrial complexes, psychological or cultural formations, they are assemblages of heterogeneous parts, aggregations which transform forces, articulate and propel their elements, and force them into a continuous state of transformation and becoming. An important notion underlying these analyses is that of the machine which, for Guattari, relates not so much to particular technological or mechanical objects, to the technical infrastructure or the physical flows of the urban environment. 'Machines' can be social bodies, industrial complexes, psychological or cultural formations, they are assemblages of heterogeneous parts, aggregations which transform forces, articulate and propel their elements, and force them into a continuous state of transformation and becoming. d. Xchange Network My final example is possibly the most evocative in relation to Guattari's notions of the polyvocity and heterogenesis that new media technologies can trigger. It also links up closely with Guattari's own engagement with the minor community radio movement. In late 1997, the E-Lab in Riga initiated the Xchange network for audio experiments on the Internet. The participating groups in London, Ljubljana, Sydney, Berlin, and many other minor and major places, use the Net for distributing their original sound programmes. The Xchange network is "streaming via encoders to remote servers, picking up the stream and re-broadcasting it purely or re-mixed, looping the streams" (Rasa Smite). Xchange is a distributed group, a connective, that builds creative cooperation in live-audio streaming on the communication channels that connect them. They explore the Net as a sound-scape with particular qualities regarding data transmission, delay, feedback, and open, distributed collaborations. Moreover, they connect the network with a variety of other fields. Instead of defining an 'authentic' place of their artistic work, they play in the transversal post-medial zone of media labs in different countries, mailing lists, net-casting and FM broadcasting, clubs, magazines, stickers, etc., in which 'real' spaces and media continuously overlap and fuse (cf. Slater). 5. Heterogenic Practices If we want to understand the technological and the political implications of the machinic environment of the digital networks, and if we want to see the emergence of the group subjects of the post-media age Guattari talks about, we have to look at connectives like Xchange and the editor-participant assemblages of IO_Dencies. The far-reaching machinic transformations which they articulate, hold the potential of what Guattari refers to as the 'molecular revolution'. To realise this revolution, it is vital to "forge new analytical instruments, new concepts, because it is ... the transversality, the crossing of abstract machines that constitute a subjectivity and that are incarnated, that live in very different regions and domains and ... that can be contradictory and antagonistic". For Guattari, this is not a mere theoretical question, but one of experimentation, "of new forms of interactions, of movement construction that respects the diversity, the sensitivities, the particularities of interventions, and that is nonetheless capable of constituting antagonistic machines of struggle to intervene in power relations" (Guattari, "Pragmatic/Machinic" 4-5). The implication here is that some of the minor media practices pursued by artists using digital technologies point us in the direction of the positive potentials of post media. The line of flight of such experimentation is the construction of new and strong forms of subjectivity, "an individual and/or collective reconstitution of the self" (Guattari, Drei Ökologien 21), which can strengthen the process of what Guattari calls "heterogenesis, that is a continuous process of resingularisation. The individuals must, at the same time, become solidary and ever more different" (Guattari, Drei Ökologien 76). References Deleuze, Gilles, and Felix Guattari. Kafka: Pour une Litterature Mineur. Paris: Ed. de Minuit, 1975. ---. Tausend Plateaus. (1980) Berlin: Merve, 1992. Guattari, Félix. Cartographies Schizoanalytiques. Paris: Ed. Galilée, 1989. ---. Chaosmosis: An Ethico-Aesthetic Paradigm. (1992) Sydney: Power Publications, 1995. ---. Die drei Ökologien. (1989) Wien: Passagen Verlag, 1994. ---. "Pragmatic/Machinic." Discussion with Guattari, conducted and transcribed by Charles J. Stivale. (1985) Pre/Text 14.3-4 (1995). ---. "Regimes, Pathways, Subjects." Die drei Ökologien. (1989) Wien: Passagen Verlag, 1994. 95-108. ---. "Über Maschinen." (1990) Schmidgen, 115-32. Knowbotic Research. IO_Dencies. 1997-8. 11 Sep. 1999 <http://io.khm.de/>. De Landa, Manuel. "The Machinic Phylum." Technomorphica. Eds. V2_Organisation. Rotterdam: V2_Organisation, 1997. Mikami, Seiko. World, Membrane and the Dismembered Body. 1997. 11 Sep. 1999 <http://www.ntticc.or.jp/permanent/mikami/mikami_e.php>. Schmidgen, Henning, ed. Ästhetik und Maschinismus: Texte zu und von Félix Guattari. Berlin: Merve, 1995. ---. Das Unbewußte der Maschinen: Konzeptionen des Psychischen bei Guattari, Deleuze und Lacan. München: Fink, 1997. Slater, Howard. "Post-Media Operators." Nettime, 10 June 1998. 11 Sep. 1999 <http://www.factory.org>. Wodiczko, Krzysztof. 11 Sep. 1999 <http://cavs.mit.edu/people/kw.htm>. Xchange. 11 Sep. 1999 <http://xchange.re-lab.net>. (Note: An extended, Dutch version of this text was published in: Oosterling/Thissen, eds. Chaos ex Machina: Het ecosofisch Werk van Félix Guattari op de Kaart Gezet. Rotterdam: CFK, 1998. Citation reference for this article MLA style: Andreas Broeckmann. "Minor Media -- Heterogenic Machines: Notes on Félix Guattari's Conceptions of Art and New Media." M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 2.6 (1999). [your date of access] <http://www.uq.edu.au/mc/9909/minor.php>. Chicago style: Andreas Broeckmann, "Minor Media -- Heterogenic Machines: Notes on Félix Guattari's Conceptions of Art and New Media," M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 2, no. 6 (1999), <http://www.uq.edu.au/mc/9909/minor.php> ([your date of access]). APA style: Andreas Broeckmann. (1999) Minor Media -- Heterogenic Machines: Notes on Félix Guattari's Conceptions of Art and New Media. M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 2(6). <http://www.uq.edu.au/mc/9909/minor.php> ([your date of access]).

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Sotelo-Castro, Luis Carlos. "Participation Cartography: The Presentation of Self in Spatio-Temporal Terms." M/C Journal 12, no.5 (December13, 2009). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.192.

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Abstract:

In this paper, I focus on disclosures by one participant as enabled by a kind of artistic practice that I term “participation cartography.” By using “participation cartography” as a framework for the analysis of Running Stitch (2006), a piece by Jen Southern (U.K.) and Jen Hamilton (Canada), I demonstrate that disclosures by participants in this practice are to be seen as a form of self-mapping that positions the self in relation to a given performance space. These self-positionings present the self in spatio-temporal terms and by means of performative narratives that re-define the subject from an isolated individual into a participant within an unfolding live process.It is my argument here that most of the participation performances to which the term “participation cartography” may be applied don’t have a mechanism for participants to share reflections about their participation experience embedded in the framework the artists provide. By discussing Running Stitch from some participant’s perspectives—mine included—I demonstrate that if such a sharing mechanism was provided, the participant’s disclosures would enact a poetics of sharing that at once reveals and conceals aspects of the self. “Participation cartography” performances hold the power to generate autobiographical conversations and exchanges. Without these (collective) conversations and exchanges, the disclosures made by participants in and through “participation performances” such as Running Stitch conceal more than what they reveal, shattering thereby the cartographic (self-mapping) power of these practices.Running Stitch (2006)This piece is a performative installation that involves the use of Global Positioning Technology and walking performances by participants in order to produce collaboratively a new kind of “map” or visual-art object, more concretely a tapestry. I experienced it in 2006 in Brighton (UK). It was commissioned by Fabrica, “a gallery promoting the understanding of contemporary art” (see: http://www.fabrica.org.uk/).The following is the description made by the artists of the work on their Website (see: http://www.satellitebureau.net/p8.php):Running Stitch is a 5m x 5m tapestry map, created live during the exhibition by charting the journeys of participants through the city...Visitors to the exhibition took a GPS-enabled mobile phone to track their journeys through the city centre. These walks resulted in individual GPS ‘drawings’ of the visitor’s movements that were then projected live in the exhibition to disclose hidden aspects of the city. Each individual route was sewn, as it happened, into a hanging canvas to form an evolving tapestry that revealed a sense of place and interconnection (see also fig. 1). Figure 1. Image: Jen Southern and Jen Hamilton. Running Stitch and audience members. Fabrica Contemporary Art Gallery, 2006.As the vocabulary used by the artists shows, the work was conceived at that time (2006) as a kind of collaborative map-making process by which previously “hidden aspects of the city” can be disclosed. My interrogation of this practice starts by questioning the assumption that cartography, as illustrated by cases such as this, refers to a physical or geographical space—the city. Through the lens of “participation cartography” I mean to show that that what is being mapped in and through practices such as Running Stitch is not (physical) space but the being-who-moves in space. Rather than the city, it is the multiple subjects-who-move in Brighton’s town centre on a particular day in 2006 and within the frame of this event what is the theme and content of the resulting tapestry and of the disclosures it may contain. Accordingly, the resulting visualisation (the map) is to be seen as a documentation of past performances by concrete individuals rather than as a visual representation of urban space or as an autonomous visual-art object. Practices such as this are a particular form of “spatial auto-bio-graphical” performance art. In these practices, the boundaries between notions of cartography and autobiography are blurred and need to be critically addressed.More established critical vocabularies such as locative media (Hemment), psychogeography (Kanarinka), collaborative mapping (Sant), map-art (Wood), or counter-cartographies (Holmes), with which similar works have been discussed typically focus on studying the relationships between the resulting visual-art objects and notions of space, as well as on issues of representation. Similarly, the term site-specific performance, as articulated for instance by Nick Kaye, draws attention primarily to the physical location in which the meaning of a given artwork may be defined (1), rather than on the participation experience by the subject who engages with the artistic process. In my view, a participants-centred approach is needed in order to adequately understand the power of participation performances such as Running Stitch (2006) and its connections with ‘auto-bio-graphical’ performance. Participation Cartography: A New Vocabulary“Participation cartography” introduces an ontological shift in what is typically considered performance art. From live gestures, or more precisely, “live art by artists,” as art historian Rose Lee Goldberg (9) has defined it, performance is re-defined by these practices into live art by participants in response to a spatio-temporal interaction framework provided by artists.Running Stitch illustrates a kind of practice in which the artists’s creation is not a finished artwork or arrangement of actions and conditions (a conventional performance). Rather, the artists’s creation is a kind of “open work” in the sense that the active role of the participant is envisaged by the artist at the very moment of conceiving the work (Eco 3). The participant is, moreover, conceived of by the artist as an individual who collaborates with the artist or group of artists in the very production of the artwork. From an ontological point of view, I conceptualise more specifically practices such as Running Stitch as what Allan Kaprow termed “participation performances,” that is, performances in which those who take part are literally, the ingredients of the performances (Kaprow 184). These were lifelike pieces in which normal routines by non-actors became the performance of a routine. In participation performances or activities every day life “performances” or “presentations of self” (Goffman) are framed as art, and more concretely, as a happening or a new form of theatre or performance art. For instance, by means of instructions to be enacted by non professional performers, in Kaprow’s participation performance Maneuvers the daily routine of the courtesy shown another person when passing through a doorway becomes the artistic performance of that routine (191).I conceptualise practices such as Running Stitch as a particular form of “participation performance,” namely as “participation cartography.” The cartographic power of such practices needs to be studied from the participant’s perspective. Let me illustrate this idea by discussing Running Stitch more in detail.Over a four weeks period, more than hundred participants collaborated in the production of the object called by the artists “the tapestry map”. Each walk was represented by a line of stitches on the canvas, and each walk was stitched with a different colour. At the end of the process, the tapestry was a colourful and intertwined collection of threads stitched onto the same surface (see fig. 2). Figure 2. Image: Jen Southern and Jen Hamilton. Running Stitch and audience members. Fabrica Contemporary Art Gallery, 2006.But, what did each thread disclose about each participant? Who are they? What exactly is disclosed to whom?On DisclosureIn Running Stitch it is possible to speak of two moments of disclosure, each moment illustrating a different scope of the verb “to disclose.” First, there is the disclosure in real time of the physical location of each walker. Second, there is the disclosure of the sense of purpose of the journey and of all what happened to the participant during the walk and after when confronted with the visualisation of her personal walk. It is this second disclosure what can infuse the “map” with personal meaning.In the first case, disclosure is associated with surveillance. Positioning, as used within the framework of Global Positioning Systems, refers to the computational process whereby the geographical location of the carrier of the GPS device can be pinpointed, usually on a conventional digital map. “To disclose” means here to make visible and, more precisely, to “draw” by means of technology the whereabouts of someone—an anonymous other—who is outside of the gallery walking about Brighton’s city centre. This first moment of disclosure happens for all to be seen in the gallery. It is framed by the artists as the core of what constitutes Running Stitch as an artwork.However, the technology-aided map-making that takes place here conceals the mental processes and the autobiographical stories that go with the actual walk—where did the participants go and why, what made them be there in the first place? This can only be known if the participant is given a voice for him or her to “map” herself by presenting the Self in spatio-temporal terms within the public arena of the ongoing artistic event. This would require an additional sharing mechanism to be embedded within the framework provided by the artists. As organised by the artists, two participants at a time were walking during one hour outside in Brighton’s town centre in the area surrounding the Fabrica Gallery. While this was happening, other members of the public could witness the unfolding journeys live on the canvas inside the gallery. While one was watching, there were of course random and casual opportunities to engage in conversations with other onlookers. However, the artists did not devise more formal opportunities for the public to engage in conversations with previous participants or with other onlookers. After the two walkers in turn had returned to the gallery and finished their walks, the next set of walkers would depart. Typically, the previous walkers would stay for some minutes watching at the resulting visualisation of their walk—the running stitches—on the canvas. The framework provided by the artists placed these previous walkers as onlookers rather than as ‘official’ commentators of their own walks. Their comments and their thoughts on the running stitches representing their walk remained secret—concealed, unless spontaneous conversations would randomly communicate (reveal) them.Fortunately, the artists did ask participants-walkers to fill anonymously a feedback sheet before leaving the gallery. In that sheet, participants had an opportunity to share their comments and thoughts about their participation experience with the artists in writing. These responses provide the evidence that, in practices such as this, a second disclosure moment can take place and, indeed, needs to be seen as integral to the cartographic process. Disclosure, in this second moment, is not associated with surveillance but with the ideas of sharing, self-reflexion, subjective positioning, and self-mapping.“My walk was an act of love…”One Running Stitch participant wrote anonymously in the above mentioned feedback sheet:My walk was for a friend of mine –Sandra- who’s very ill. I wanted to go past various landmarks that had meaning for us both and end up in Prestor Park where I could make a large S shape. There was another park where we used to meet where I wanted to make an ‘X’ shape. Sandra signed her e-mails SX. (“My walk was an act of love”).This testimony, which was not shared with others during the cartographic process called Running Stitch but framed by the artists as private participants’s feedback, not only comments about the walk but constitutes it. This story explains what makes the participant ‘be there’, go to Prestor Park, and walk/draw an “X” shape on the canvas. Rather than a statement about place in itself, it is a “spatial auto-bio-graphical” presentation of Self as a friend of Sandra. Within the framework of “participation cartography,” a “spatial auto-bio-graphical presentation” is a presentation of Self in spatio-temporal terms that involves an act of self-reading. By means of reflexive language, the participant gives an account of his walk as represented by his running stitches on the canvas. Literarily, by drawing his walk on the canvas via the Running Stitch framework, the participant made his Self legible. However, nobody but the walker himself is in the position to make an authoritative reading of his walk. The terms “reading” and “legibility” refer in this context to the ability to both remember and make sense of one’s own steps. In this sense, the drawing—the trace of the walk—must be seen as a mnemonic device enabling the subject who walked to perform self-reading, hermeneutic acts. Disclosure, as illustrated by this case, is then linked with a self-reading process in terms of a walk—a spatio-temporal live process—as documented on the canvas.Certainly, the Self of the participant emerges as the theme of his map as drawn on the canvas: “I wanted to go past various landmarks…” Rather than space, it is the being-who-moves in space what is being read and mapped through self-reflexive language.According to Ervin Goffman’s dramaturgical approach to social interaction, the notion of presentation of Self takes relevance whenever an individual “enters the presence of others” (14). To be in the presence of others, whether wittingly or unwittingly, involves a presentation of Self. Goffman’s influential The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (1959) is primarily concerned with arguing that the ways in which one presents the Self may direct the interlocutors’s attention towards those aspects of the Self one chooses to highlight (14). A premise underlying Goffman’s work is that a presentation of Self generates impressions and that one can manage the impressions one makes of oneself. A crucial concept in his theory is the notion of control: one can control and guide the other’s impressions of oneself, and a number of techniques can be employed to do so. It is crucial to understand that in practices such as Running Stitch, participants are enabled to occupy a dual position as “writers” and “readers” of the Self, as positioners and as the ones positioned. As “writers,” participants position themselves physically, graphically and literally both in the city and “on the map.” This takes place by means of a walking-drawing performance via GPS technology. As “readers”, participants position themselves linguistically (by means of autobiographical stories) and in their mind in relation with the performed space in question.By presenting his walk with words as ‘a walk for a friend of mine—Sandra—who’s very ill’, this participant positions himself subjectively in relation to his performed walk. His auto-biographical narrative infuses his walk with meaning. There is a relatively new approach in social psychology called “positioning theory” (Harre and Slocum). Drawing on Goffman’s work on social interaction, the issue that this theory investigates is the dynamics of creation of patterns of meaning. How can these dynamics be brought to light?Positioning theory analyses the emergence of meaning in terms of story lines. It is concerned exclusively with analysis at the level of acts; that is, of the meaning of actions as expressed through story lines that infuse those actions with meaning. A positioning is not a theoretical knowledge about one’s relationship with a given space. Rather, it is a practised knowledge. Moreover, it is an act of freedom. It is a choice. And it is an ethical choice in the sense that the one who positions himself claims responsibility for his own acts and decisions. The “I” of the one who positions himself emerges as the actor, author, and theme of the narratives that go with that decision. Such an act writes subjectivity (biography). Paraphrasing philosopher Emmanuel Lévinas, a reflexive positioning is a disclosure and opening of being that takes place for others and with others and where being manifests, loses, and finds itself again “so as to possess itself by showing itself, proposing itself as a theme, exposing itself in truth” (99). A reflexive positioning is a moment of truth. However, and still with Lévinas, truth, “before characterizing a statement or a judgment, consists in the exhibition of being” (23). In other words, by presenting the self in public and in spatio-temporal terms, the subject who presents herself produces truth about herself as a relational and spatial being.Positioning, or the Enactment of a Poetics of SharingI use the term sharing as the act of presenting private, subjective, everyday life, and autobiographical material in public contexts. My notion of the term sharing is inspired by Deirdre Heddon’s (21) account of how consciousness-raising events in which women shared personal concerns with each other was tied with the emergence of feminist, autobiographical live performances. In the context of such feminist events, according to Heddon, sharing and consciousness-raising processes were linked.My argument is that, in a similar fashion to feminist’s consciousness-raising events, the “knowledge” that the representations (maps) claim to represent in practices such as Running Stitch cannot be achieved if the voices behind the trajectories are not activated. The transformation of the represented trajectory into self-mapping knowledge cannot be achieved if the individual who took part does not “read” herself by sharing her spatial autobiographical narrative with others. For such a self-mapping to take place, artists need to devise a mechanism for participants to share reflections about their participation experience and embed it in the framework they provide. I use the word poetics as synonymous with the notion of “technology” as articulated by Martin Heidegger in his 1955 lecture on the question of technology. A poetics is “a way of revealing truth” (qtd. in McKenzie 156). In this sense, “participation cartography” is a technology that enables participants to bring forth “truth” (rather than simply disclose truth) about their self as a being-in-motion. However, it is a way of revealing that also conceals. This is precisely what makes this way of revealing a poiesis: it reveals and conceals at once. For instance, the uniqueness of my Running Stitch walk was concealed to me. I walked with my wife, our son, and a couple of friends who lived in Brighton at that time. Our walk was a means for us to spend some time together. In a way, it was a means for building our relationship. The meaning of our walk became conscious to me after I had read the story of Sandra’s friend and the other ninety or so stories. Without these (collective) conversations and exchanges, the disclosures made by participants in and through ‘participation performances’ such as Running Stitch conceal more than what they reveal, shattering thereby the cartographic (self-mapping) power of these practices.The act of validating the sequence of stitches as his is a crucial performative element of this process. It completes the disclosure process: it is the moment in which the voiceless walker on the canvas becomes a speaking subject who authors himself by recognising himself in the uniqueness of his auto-bio-graphical stitch. His spatial autobiographical narrative is a crucial self-positioning performance. By not framing moments of sharing such as this as integral to the cartographic process, I suggest that the artist may scatter the self-mapping and self-positioning agency of this practice. In consequence, the representation loses sight of what it claims to seek and represent. ReferencesEco, Umberto. The Role of the Reader: Explorations in the Semiotics of Texts. London: Hutchinson, 1981.Fabrica Contemporary Art Gallery. 2009. Fabrica Gallery. 6 Dec. 2009 < http://www.fabrica.org.uk/ >.Goffman, Ervin. The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. London: Penguin, 1990.Goldberg, Rose Lee. Performance Art: from Futurism to the Present. London: Thames and Hudson, 2001.Hamilton, Jen, and Southern, Jen. Running Stitch. 2006. 20 Oct. 2009 ‹http://www.satellitebureau.net/p8.php›.Harre, Rom, and Nikki Slocum. “Disputes as Complex Social Events: On the Uses of Positioning Theory”. Common Knowledge 9.1 (2003): 100–118.Heddon, Deirdre. Autobiography and Performance. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.Heidegger, Martin. The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays, Trans. William Lovitt. New York: Harper and Row, 1977.Hemment, Drew. “Locative Arts.” Leonardo 39.4 (2006): 348–355,Holmes, Brian. “Counter Cartographies.” Else/where: Mapping New Cartographies of Networks and Territories. Eds. Janet Abrams and Peter Hall. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Design Institute, 2006.Kanarinka, “Art-Machines, Body-Ovens and Map-Recipes: Entries for a Psychogeographic Dictionary.” Cartographic Perspectives 53 (2006): 24–40.Kaprow, Allan. “Participation Performance.” Essays on the Blurring of Art and Life. Ed. J. Kelley.. Berkeley, Los Angeles, New York: University of California Press, 2003.Kaye, Nick. Site-Specific Art: Performance, Place, and Documentation. London: Routledge, 2000.Lévinas, Emmanuel. Otherwise than Being, or, Beyond Essence. Trans. Alphonso Lingis. Pittsburgh: Duquesne UP, 2006.McKenzie, Jon. Perform or Else: From Discipline to Performance. London: Routledge, 2001.“My walk was an act of love.” Unpublished anonymous participant's feedback sheet. Running Stitch. Jen Southern and Jen Hamilton. Brighton, U.K.: Fabrica Contemporary Art Gallery, 2006.Running Stitch. Jen Southern and Jen Hamilton. Brighton, UK.: Fabrica Contemporary Art Gallery, 2006. Sant, Alison. “Redefining the Basemap.” TCM Locative Reader (2004). 16 Jan. 2007 < http://locative.net/tcmreader/index.php?mapping;sant >.Wood, Denis. “Map Art.” Cartographic Perspectives: Journal of the North American Cartographic Information Society 53 (2006): 5–14.

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McKenzie-Craig, Carolyn Jane. "Performa Punch: Subverting the Female Aggressor Trope." M/C Journal 23, no.2 (May13, 2020). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1616.

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The bodies of disordered women … offer themselves as an aggressively graphic text for the interpreter—a text that insists, actually demands, that it be read as a cultural statement, a statement about gender. (Bordo, 94)Violence is transgressive in fundamental ways. It erases boundaries, and imposes agency over others, or groups of others. The assumed social stance is to disapprove, morally and ethically, as a ‘good’ and ‘moral’ female subject. My current research has made me question the simplicity of this approach, to interrogate how aggression socialises power and how resistance to structural violence might look. I analyse three cultural practices to consider the social demarcations around aggression and gender, both within overt acts of violence and in less overt protocols. This research will focus on artistic practices as they offer unique embodied ways to “challenge our systems of representation and knowledge” (Szylak 2).The three creative works reviewed: the 2009 Swedish film the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the work Becoming an Image by Canadian non-binary/transgender artist Cassils, and Gambit Lines, by artist Carolyn Craig, each contest gendered modes of normativity within the space of the Cultural Screen (Silverman). The character of Lisbeth Salander in Girl with the Dragon Tattoo subverts the aggressor female/femme fatale trope in Western cinema by confusing and expanding visual repertoires around aggression, while artists Cassils and Carolyn Craig re-draw how their biologically assigned female bodies perform power in the Cultural Screen by activating bodily feedback loops for the viewer’s gaze.The Aggressor ModeThe discussion of these three works will centre on the ‘female aggressor trope’, understood here as the static coda of visual practices of female power/aggression in the western gaze. This article considers how subverting such representations of aggression can trigger an “epistemic crisis that allows gender categories to change,” in particular in the way protocols of power are performed over female and trans subjectivities (Butler, Athletic 105). The tran/non-binary subject state in the work of Cassils is included in this discussion of the female aggressor trope as their work directly subverts the biological habitus of the female body, that is, the artist’s birth/biologically assigned gender (Bourdieu). The transgender state they perform – where the body is still visibly female but refusing its constraints - offers a radical framework to consider new aggressive stances for non-biologically male bodies.The Cultural Screen and Visual RepresentationsI consider that aggression, when performed through the mediated position of a creative visual practice (as a fictional site of becoming) can deconstruct the textual citations that form normative tropes in the Cultural Screen. The Screen, for this article, is considered asthe site at which the gaze is defined for a particular society, and is consequently responsible both for the way in which the inhabitants of that society experience the gaze’s effects, and for much of the seeming particularity of that society’s visual regime. (Silverman 135)The Screen functions as a suite of agreed metaphors that constitute a plane of ‘reality’ that defines how we perform the self (Goffman). It comprises bodily performance, our internal gaze (of self and other) and the visual artefacts a culture produces. Each of the three works discussed here purposely intervenes with this site of gender production within the Cultural Screen, by creating new visual artefacts that expand permissible aggressive repertoires for female assigned bodies. Deconstructing the Cultural ScreenThe history of images … can be read as a cultural history of the human body. (Belting 17)Cinematic representations play a key role in producing the visual primers that generate social ‘acts’. For this reason I examine the Swedish film Män Som Hatar Kvinnor (Men Who Hate Women, 2009), released as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo for foreign audiences, as an example of an expanding range of female aggressor representations in film, and one of particular complexity in the way it expands on representational politics. I consider how specific scripting, dialogue and casting decisions in the lead female character of Lisbeth Salander (played by Noomi Rapace) serve to deconstruct the female aggressor trope (as criminal or sexual provocateur) to allow her character to engage in aggressive acts outside of the cliché of the deviant woman. This disrupts the fixity of assigned body protocols on the social grid to expand their gendered habitus (Bourdieu).Key semiotic relations in the film’s characterisation of Lisbeth prevent her performance of aggression from moving into the clichés of erotic or evil feminine typologies. Her character remains unfixed, moving between a continuous state of unfolding in response to necessity and desire. Here, she exhibits an agency usually denoting masculinity. This allows her violence a positive emancipatory affect, one that avoids the fixity of the representational tropes of the deviant woman or the femme fatale. Her character draws upon both tropes, but reformulates them into a postmodern hybridity, where aggression slips from its sexualised/deviant fetish state into an athletic political resistance. Signification is strategically confused as Lisbeth struts through the scaffolding of normalcy in her insurgent gender game. Her post-punk weaponised attire draws on the repertoire of super heroes, rock stars and bondage mistresses, without committing to any. The libidinal component of violence/aggression is not avoided, but acknowledged, both in its patriarchal formula and Lisbeth’s enactment of revenge as embodied pleasure.The visual representation of both lead actors is also of interest. Both Lisbeth and Mikael have visible acne scars. This small breach in aesthetic selection affects how we view and consume them as subjects and objects on the Screen. The standard social more for the appearance of male and female leads is to use faces modeled on ideas of symmetry and perfection. These tendencies draw upon the cultural legacies of physiognomy that linked moral character with attractiveness schedules and that continue to flourish in the Cultural Screen (Lavater; Principe and Langlois). This decision to feature faces with minor flaws appropriates the camera’s gaze to re-consider schedules of normalcy, in particular value and image index as they relate to gendered representations. This aesthetic erasure of the Western tradition of stereotyped representations permits transitional spaces to emerge within the binary onslaught. Technology is also appropriated in the film as a space for a performative ‘switching’ of the gender codes of fixity. In her role as undercover researcher, Lisbeth’s control of code gives her both a monetised agency and an informational agency. The way that she types takes on an almost aggressive assertion. Each stroke is active and purposeful, as she exerts control through her interface with digital space. This is made explicit early in the film when she appropriates the gaze of technology (a particularly male semiotic code) to extract agency from within the structural discourse of patriarchy itself. In this scene, she forces her guardian to watch footage of his own act of raping her. Here Lisbeth uses the apparatus of the gaze to re-inscribe it back over his body. This structural inversion of the devices of control is made even more explicit when Lisbeth then brands him with text. Here ‘writing on the body’ becomes manifest.The director also frames initial scenes of Lisbeth’s nude body in subtle ways that fracture the entrenched history of representations of women, where the female as object exists for the gaze of male desire (Berger). Initially all we see are her shoulders. They are powerful and she moves like a boxer, inhabiting space and flexing her sinew. When we do see her breasts, they are neutered from the dominant coda of the “breasted experience” (Young). Instead, they function as a necessary appendage that she acknowledges as part of the technology of her body, not as objectified male desire.These varied representational modes built within Lisbeth’s characterisation, inhabit and subvert the female aggressor trope (as deviant), to offer a more nuanced portrayal where the feminine is still worn, but as both a masquerade and an internal emancipatory dialogue. That is, the feminine is permitted to remain whilst the masculine (as aggressive code) is intertwined into non-binary relations of embodied agency. This fluidity refracts the male gaze from imposing spectatorial control via the gaze.Cassils The Canadian non-binary/transgender artist Cassils also uses the body as semiotic technology to deny submission to the dominant code of the Cultural Screen. They re-image the self with bodybuilding, diet and steroids to exit their biologically female structural discourse into a more fluid gendered state. This state remains transitive as their body is not surgically ‘reassigned ‘ back into normative codes (male or female assignations) but instead inhabits the trans pronoun of ‘they/their’. This challenges the Cultural Screen’s dependence on fixed binary states through which to allocate privilege. This visible reshaping also permits entry into more aggressive bodily protocols via the gaze (through the spectorial viewpoint of self and other).Cassils ruptures the restrictive habitus of female/trans subjectivity to enable more expansive gestures in the social sphere, and a more assertive bodily performance. This is achieved by appropriating the citational apparatus of male aggression via a visual reframing of its actions. Through daily repetitive athletic training Cassils activates the proprioceptive loops that inform their gendered schema and the presentation of self (Goffman). This training re-scripts their socially inscribed gender code with semiotically switched gender ‘acts’. This altered subjectivity is made visible for the viewer through performance to destablise the Screen of representation further via the observers’ gaze.In their work Becoming an Image (2012- current), Cassils performs against a nine hundred kilogram lump of clay for twenty minutes in complete darkness, fractured only by an intermittent camera flash that documents the action. This performance contests the social processes that formulate the subject as ‘image’. By using bodily force (aggressive power) against an inert lump of clay, Cassils enacts the frustration and affect that the disenfranchised Other feels from their own gender shaping (Bhaba). The images taken by the camera during this performance reflect a ferocious refusal, an animal intent, a state of battle. The marks and residues of their bodily ‘acts’ shape the clay in an endurance archive of resistance, where the body’s trace/print forms the material itself along with the semiotic residue of the violence against transgender and female bodies. In some ways, the body of Cassils and the body of clay confront each other through Cassils’s aggressive remolding of the material of social discourse itself.The complicity of photography in sustaining representational discourse is highlighted within Cassils’s work through the intertextual rupturing of the performance with the camera flash and through the title of the work. To Become an Image invokes the processes of the darkroom itself, where the photographer controls image development, whilst the aggressive flash reflects the snapshot of violence, where the gendered subject is ‘imaged’ (formulated and confined) without permission by the observer schedules of patriarchy. The flash also leaves a residual trace in the retinas of the viewer, a kind of image burn, perhaps chosen to mimic the fear, intrusion and coercion that normalcy’s violence impinges over Othered subjects. The artist converts these flash generated images into wallpaper that is installed into the gallery space, usually the day after the performance. Thus, Cassils’s corporeal space is re-inscribed onto the walls of the institutional archive of representations – to evoke both the domestic (wallpaper as home décor), the public domain (the white walls of institutional rhetoric) and the Cultural Screen.Carolyn Craig The work of Carolyn Craig also targets representations that substantiate the Cultural Screen. She uses performative modes in the studio to unravel her own subjective habitus, in particular targeting the codes that align female aggression with deviancy. Her work isolates the action of making a fist to re-inscribe how the aggression code is ‘read’ as embodied knowledge by women. Two key articles by Thomas Schubert that investigated how making a fist is perceived differently between genders (in terms of interiorised power) informed her research. Both studies found that when males make a fist they experience an enhanced sense of power, while women did not. In fact, in the studies, they experienced a slight decrease in their sense of comfort in the world (their embodied sense of agency). Schubert surmised this reflected gender-based protocols in relation to the permissible display of aggression, as “men are culturally less discouraged to use bodily force, which will frequently be associated with success and power gain [whilst women] are culturally discouraged from using bodily force” (Schubert 758). These studies suggest how anchored gestures of aggression are to male power schemas and their almost inaccessibility to women. When artists re-formulate such (existing) input algorithms by inserting new representations of female aggression into the Cultural Screen, they sever the display of aggression from the exclusive domain of the masculine. This circulates and incorporates a broader visual code that informs conceptual relations of power.Craig performs the fisting action in the studio to neuter this existing code using endurance, repetition and parody (fig. 1). Parody activates a Bakhtian space of Carnivalesque, a unique space in the western cultural tradition that permits transgressive inversions of gender, power and normativity (Hutcheon). By making and remaking a fist through an absurdist lens, the social scaffolding attached to the action (fear, anxiety, transgression) is diluted. Repetition and humour breaks down the existing code, and integrates new perceptual schema through the body itself. Parody becomes a space of slippage, one that is a precursor to a process of (re)constitution within the social screen, so that Craig can “produce representation” rather than be (re)presentation (Schneider 51). This transitory state of Carnivalesque produces new relational fields (both bodily and visual) that are then projected back into the Screen of normativity to further dislodge gender fixity. Figure 1: Carolyn Craig, Gambit Lines (Angles of Incidence #1), 2016. Etchings from performance on folded aluminium, 25.5 x 34 x 21cm. This nullifies the power of the static image of deviancy (the woman as specimen) and ferments leakages into broader representational fields. Craig’s fisting actions target the proprioceptive feedback loops that make women fear their own bodies’ potential of violence, that make us retreat from the citational acts of aggression. Her work tilts embodied retreat (as fear) through the distorted mimesis of parody to initiate a Deleuzian space of agentic potential (Deleuze and Guattari). This is re-inserted into the Cultural Screen as suites of etchings grounded in the representational politics, and historical genealogy of printed matter, to bring the historical conditions of formation of knowledge into review.Conclusion The aggressor trope as used within the works discussed, produces a more varied representational subject. This fosters subjectivities outside the restraints of normativity and its imposed gendered habitus. The performance of aggression by bodies not permissibly branded to script such acts forces static representations embedded through the Cultural Screen into “an unstable and troubled terrain, a crisis of knowledge, a situation of not-knowing”. This state of representational confusion leads to a “risking of gender itself … that exposes our knowledge about gender as tenuous, contested, and ungrounded in a thorough and productively disturbing sense” (Butler, Athletic 110). Tropes that define binary privilege, when dislodged in such a way, become accessible to fluidity or erasure. This allows more nuanced gender allocation to schedules of power.The Cultural Screen produces and projects the metaphors we live by and its relations to power are concrete (Johnson and Lakoff). Even small-scale incursions into masculine domains of agency (such as the visual display of aggression) have a direct correlation to the allocation of resources, both spatial, economic and subjective. The use of the visual can re-train the conceptual parameters of the cultural matrix to chip small ways forward to occupy space with our bodies and intellects, to assume more aggressive stances in public, to speak over people if I feel the need, and to be rewarded for such actions in a social context. I still feel unable to propose direct violence as a useful action but I do admit to having a small poster of Phoolan Devi in my home and my admiration for such women is deep.ReferencesBelting, Hans. An Anthropology of Images. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, 2011.Berger, John. Ways of Seeing. London: Penguin, 2008.Bhaba, Homi. "The Other Question: Difference, Discrimination and the Discourse of Colonialism.” Out There: Marginalisation and Contemporary Cultures. Eds. Russell Ferguson and Trinh T. Minh-ha. Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1990. 71-89.Bordo, Susan. “The Body and the Reproduction of Femininity.” Writing on the Body: Female Embodiment and Feminist Theory. Eds. Katie Conboy et al. New York: Colombia UP, 1997. 90-110.Bourdieu, Pierre. Outline of a Theory of Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977.Butler, Judith. “Athletic Genders: Hyperbolic Instance and/or the Overcoming of Sexual Binarism.” Stanford Humanities Review 6 (1998): 103-111.———. “Performative Acts and Gender Constitution: An Essay in Phenomenology and Feminist Theory.” Theatre Journal (1988): 519–31.Cassils. Becoming an Image. ONE Archive, Los Angeles. Original performance. 2012.Craig, Carolyn. “Gambit Lines." The Deviant Woman. POP Gallery, Brisbane. 2016.Deleuze, Gilles, and Félix Guattari. A Thousand Plateaus. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 1987.Girl with the Dragon Tattoo [Män Som Hatar Kvinnor]. Dir. Niels Arden Oplev. Stockholm: Yellowbird, 2009.Goffman, Erving. The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. London: Allen Lane, 1969.Hutcheon, Linda. A Theory of Parody: The Teachings of Twentieth-Century Art Forms. New York: Methuen, 1985.Johnson, Mark, and George Lakoff. Metaphors We Live By. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1980.Lavater, John Caspar. Essays in Physiognomy Designed to Promote the Knowledge and Love of Mankind. Vol. 1. London: Murray and Highley, 1789.Principe, Connor, and Judith Langlois. "Shifting the Prototype: Experience with Faces Influences Affective and Attractiveness Preferences." Social Cognition 30.1 (2012): 109-120.Schneider, Rebecca. The Explicit Body in Performance. New York: Routledge, 1997.Schubert, Thomas W., and Sander L. Koole. “The Embodied Self: Making a Fist Enhances Men’s Power-Related Self-Conceptions.” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 45.4 (2009): 828–834.Schubert, Thomas W. “The Power in Your Hand: Gender Differences in Bodily Feedback from Making a Fist.” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 30.6 (2004): 757–769.Silverman, Kaja. The Threshold of the Visible World. New York: Routledge, 1996.Szylak, Aneta. The Field Is to the Sky, Only Backwards. Brooklyn, NY: International Studio and Curatorial Program, 2013.Young, Iris Marion. “Breasted Experience: The Look and the Feeling.” On Female Body Experience. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.

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Smith,RoyceW. "The Image Is Dying." M/C Journal 6, no.2 (April1, 2003). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2172.

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The whole problem of speaking about the end…is that you have to speak of what lies beyond the end and also, at the same time, of the impossibility of ending. Jean Baudrillard, The Illusion of the End(110) Jean Baudrillard’s insights into finality demonstrate that “ends” always prompt cultures to speculate on what can or will happen after these terminations and to fear those traumatic ends, in which the impossible actually occurs, may only be the beginning of chaos. In the absence of “rational” explanations for catastrophic ends and in the whirlwind of emotional responses that are their after-effects, the search for beginnings and origins – the antitheses of Baudrillard’s finality – characterises human response to tragedy. Strangely, Baudrillard’s engagement with the end is linked to an articulation predicated on our ability “to speak” events into existence, to conjure and to bridle those events in terms of recognisable, linear, and logical arrangements of words. Calling this verbal ordering “the poetry of initial conditions” (Baudrillard 113) in which memory imposes a structure so that the chaotic/catastrophic may be studied and its elements may be compared, Baudrillard suggests that this poetry “fascinates” because “we no longer possess a vision of final conditions” (113). The images of contemporary catastrophes and their subsequent visualisation serve as the ultimate reminders that we, as viewers and survivors, were not there – that visualisation itself involves a necessary distance between the horrified viewer and the viewed horror. In the case of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Centre, the need to “be there,” to experience vicariously a trauma as similarly as possible to those who later became its victims, perhaps explains why images of the planes first slamming into each of the towers were played and repeated ad nauseam. As Baudrillard suggests, “it would be interesting to know whether…effects persist in the absence of causes … whether something can exist apart from any origin and reference” (111). The ongoing search for these causes – particularly in the case of the World Trade Centre’s obliteration – has manifested itself in a persistent cycle of image production and consumption, prompting those images to serve as the visible/visual join between our own survival and the lost lives of the attacks or as surrogates for those whose death we could not witness. These images frequently allowed the West to legitimise its mourning, served as the road map by which we could (re-)explore the halcyon days prior to September 11, and provided the evidence needed for collective retribution. Ultimately, images served as the fictive embodiments of unseen victims and provided the vehicle by which mourning could be transformed from an isolated act to a shared experience. Visitors on the Rooftop: Visualising Origins and the Moments before Destruction It goes without saying that most have seen the famous photograph of the bundled-up tourist standing on the observation deck of the World Trade Centre with one of the jets ready to strike the tower shortly thereafter (see Figure 1). Though the photograph was deemed a macabre photo-manipulation, it reached thousands of e-mail inboxes almost two weeks following the horrific attacks and led many to ponder excitedly whether this image truly was the “last” image of a pre-September 11 world. Many openly debated why someone would fabricate such an image, yet analysts believe that its creation was a means to heal and to return to the unruffled days prior to September 11, when terrorism was thought to be a phenomenon relegated to the “elsewhere” of the Middle East. A Website devoted to the analysis of cultural rumours, Urban Legends, somewhat melodramatically suggested that the photograph resurrects what recovery efforts could not re-construct – a better understanding of the moments before thousands of individuals perished: The online world is fraught with clever photo manipulations that often provoke gales of laughter in those who view them, so we speculate that whoever put together this particular bit of imaging did so purely as a lark. However, presumed lighthearted motives or not, the photo provokes sensations of horror in those who view it. It apparently captures the last fraction of a second of this man’s life ... and also of the final moment of normalcy before the universe changed for all of us. In the blink of an eye, a beautiful yet ordinary fall day was transformed into flames and falling bodies, buildings collapsing inwards on themselves, and wave upon wave of terror washing over a populace wholly unprepared for a war beginning in its midst…The photo ripped away the healing distance brought by the nearly two weeks between the attacks and the appearance of this digital manipulation, leaving the sheer horror of the moment once again raw and bared to the wind. Though the picture wasn’t real, the emotions it stirred up were. It is because of these emotions the photo has sped from inbox to inbox with the speed that it has. (“The Accidental Tourist”) While the photograph does help the viewer recall the times before our fears of terrorism, war, and death were realised, this image does not episodically capture “the last fraction of a second” in a man’s life, nor does it give credibility to the “blink-of-an-eye” shifts between beautiful and battered worlds. The photographic analysis provided by Urban Legends serves as a retrospective means of condensing the space of time in which we must imagine the inevitable suffering of unseen individuals. Yet, the video of the towers, from the initial impacts to their collapse, measured approximately 102 minutes – a massive space of time in which victims surely contemplated escape, the inevitability of escape, the possibility of their death, and, ultimately, the impossibility of their survival (“Remains of a Day” 58). Post-traumatic visualising serves as the basis for constructing the extended horror as instantaneous, a projection that reflects how we hoped the situation might be for those who experienced it, rather than an accurate representation of the lengthy period of time between the beginning and end of the attacks. The photograph of the “accidental tourist” does not subscribe to the usual tenets of photography that suggest the image we see is, to quote W.J.T. Mitchell, “a purely objective transcript of reality” (Mitchell 281). Rather, this image invites a Burginian “inva[sion] by language in the very moment it is looked at: in memory, in association, [where] snatches of words and images continually intermingle and exchange one for the other” (Burgin 51). One sees the tourist in the photograph as a smiling innocent, posing at the wrong place and at the wrong time. Through that ascription, viewers may justify their anger and melancholy as this singular, visible body (about to be harmed) stands in for countless, unseen others awaiting the same fate. Its discrepancies with the actual opening hours of the WTC observation deck and the positioning of the aircraft largely ignored, the “accidental tourist” photo-manipulation was visualised by countless individuals and forwarded to a plethora of in-boxes because September 11 realities could not be shared intimately on that day, because the death of aircraft passengers, WTC workers, and rescue personnel was an inevitable outcome that could not be visualised as even remotely “actual” or explainable. Computer-based art and design have shown us that approximations to reality often result in its overall conflation. Accordingly, our desperate hope that we have seen glimpses of the moments before tragedy is ultimately dismantled by an acknowledgement of the illogical or impossible elements that go against the basic rules of visualisation. The “accidental tourist” is a phenomenon that not only epitomises Baudrillard’s search for origins in the wake of catastrophic effects, but underscores a collective need to visualise bodies as once-living rather than presently and inevitably dead. Faces in the Smoke: Visualising the Unseen Although such photo-manipulations were rampant in the days and weeks following the attack, many people constructed their own realities in the untouched images that the media streamed to them. The World Trade Centre disaster seemed to implore photography, in particular, to resurrect both the unseen, unremembered moments prior to the airliners’ slamming into the building and to perform two distinct roles as the towers burned: to reaffirm the public’s perception of the attack as an act of evil and to catalyse a sense of hope that those who perished were touched by God or ushered peacefully to their deaths. Within hours of the attacks, photographic stills captured what many thought to be the image of Satan – complete with horns, face, eyes, nose, and mouth – within the plumes of smoke billowing from one of the towers (see Figure 2 and its detail in Figure 3). The Associated Press, whose footage was most frequently used to reference this visual phenomenon, quickly dismissed the speculation; as Vin Alabiso, an executive photo editor for AP, observed: AP has a very strict policy which prohibits the alteration of the content of a photo in any way…The smoke in this photo combined with light and shadow has created an image which readers have seen in different ways. (“Angel or Devil?”) Although Alabiso’s comments defended the authenticity of the photographs, they also suggested the ways in which visual representation and perception could be affected by catastrophic circ*mstances. While many observers openly questioned whether the photographs had been “doctored,” others all too willingly invested these images with ethereal qualities by asking if the “face” they saw was that of Satan – a question mirroring their belief that such an act of terrorism was clear evidence of evil masterminding. If, as Mitchell has theorised, photographs function through a dialogical exchange of connotative and denotative messages, the photographs of the burning towers instead bombarded viewers with largely connotative messages – in other words, nothing that could precisely link specific bodies to the catastrophe. The visualising of Satan’s face happens not because Satan actually dwells within the plumes of smoke, but because the photograph resists Mitchell’s dialogue with the melancholic eye. The photograph refuses to “speak” for the individuals we know are suffering behind the layers of smoke, so our own eye constructs what the photograph will not reveal: the “face” of a reality we wish to be represented as deplorably and unquestionably evil. Barthes has observed that such “variation in readings is not … anarchic, [but] depends on the different types of knowledge … invested in the image…” (Barthes 46). In traumatic situations, one might amend this analysis to state that these various readings occur because of gaps in this knowledge and because visualisation transforms into an act based on knowledge that we wish we had, that we wish we could share with victims and fellow mourners. These visualisations highlight a desperate need to bridge the viewer’s experience of survival and their concomitant knowledge of others’ deaths and to link the “safe” visualisation of the catastrophic with the utter submission to catastrophe likely felt by those who died. Explaining the faces in the smoke as “natural indentations” as Alabiso did may be the technical and emotionally neutral means of cataloguing these images; however, the spotting of faces in photographic stills is a mechanism of visualisation that humanises a tragedy in which physical bodies (their death, their mutilation) cannot be seen. Other people who saw photographic stills from other angles and degrees of proximity were quick to highlight the presence of angels in the smoke, as captured by WABC from a perspective entirely different from that in Figure 2 (instead, see Figure 3). In either scenario, photography allows the visual personification of redemptive or evil influences, as well as the ability to visualise the tragedy not just as the isolated destruction of an architectural marvel, but as a crime against humanity with cosmic importance. Sharing the Fall: Desperation and the Photographing of Falling Bodies Perhaps what became even more troubling than the imagistic conjuring of human forms within the smoke was the photographing of bodies falling from the upper floors of the North Tower (see Figure 5). Though newspapers (re-)published photographs of the debris and hysteria of the attacks and television networks (re-)broadcast video sequences of the planes’ crashing into the towers and their collapse, the pictures of people jumping from the building were rarely circulated by the media. Dennis Cauchon and Martha T. Moore characterised these consequences of the terrorist attacks as “the most sensitive aspect of the Sept. 11 tragedy … [that] shocked the nation” (Cauchon and Moore). A delicate balance certainly existed between the media’s desire to associate faces with the feelings of desperation we know those who died must have experienced and a now-numb general public who ascribed to the photographs an unequivocal “too-muchness.” To read about those who jumped to escape smoke and flames reveals a horrific and frightfully swift narrative of panic: For those who jumped, the fall lasted 10 seconds. They struck the ground at just less than 150 miles per hour – not fast enough to cause unconsciousness while falling, but fast enough to ensure instant death on impact. People jumped from all four sides of the north tower. They jumped alone, in pairs and in groups. (Cauchon and Moore) The text contextualises these leaps to death in terms that are understandable to survivors who read the story and later discover these descriptions can never approximate the trauma of “being there”: Why did they jump? How fast were they travelling? Did they feel anything when their bodies hit the ground? Were they conscious during their jump? Did they die alone? These questions and their answers put into motion the very moment that the photograph of the jumping man has frozen. Words act as extensions of the physical boundaries of the photograph and underscore the horror of that image, from the description of the conditions that prompted the jump to the pondering of the death that was its consequence. If, as Jonathan Crary’s analysis of photographic viewing might intimate, visualisation prompts both an “autonomy of vision” and a “standardisation and regulation of the observer” (Crary 150), the photograph of a man plummeting to his death fashions the viewer’s eye as autonomous and alive because the image he/she views is the undeniable representation of a now-deceased Other. Yet, as seen in the often-hysterical responses to the threats of terrorism in the days following September 11, this “Other” embodies the very possibility of our own demise. Suddenly, the man we see in mid-air becomes the visualised “Every(wo)man” whose photographic representation also represents our unacknowledged vulnerabilities. Thus, trauma is shared through a poignant visual negotiation of dying: the certainty of the photographed man’s death juxtaposed with the newly realised or conjured threat of the viewer’s own death. In terms of humanness, those who witnessed these falls firsthand recall the ways in which the falling people became objectified – their fall seemingly robbing them of any visible sense of humanity. Eric Thompson, an employee on the seventy-seventh floor of the South Tower, shared an instantaneous moment with one of the victims: Thompson looked the man in the face. He saw his tie flapping in the wind. He watched the man’s body strike the pavement below. “There was no human resemblance whatsoever,” Thompson says. (Cauchon and Moore) Obviously, the in-situ experience of viewing these individuals hopelessly jumping to their deaths served as the prompt to run away, to escape, but the photograph acts as the frozen-in-time re-visitation and sharing of – a turning back toward – this scenario. The act of viewing the photographs reinstates the humanness that the panic of the moment seemingly removed; yet, the disparity between the photograph’s foreground (the jumping man) and its background (the building’s façade) remains its greatest disconcerting element. Unlike those photographic portraits that script behaviours and capture us in our most presentable states of being, this photograph reveals the unwilling subject – he who has not consented to share his state of being with the camera. Though W.J.T. Mitchell suggests that “[p]hotographs…seem necessarily incomplete in their imposition of a frame that can never include everything that was there to be…‘taken’” (Mitchell 289), the eye in times of catastrophe shifts between its desire to maintain the frame (that does not visually engage the inferno from which the man jumped or the concrete upon which he died) and its inability to do so. This photograph, as Mitchell might assert, “speaks” because visualisation allows its total frame of reference to extend beyond its physical boundaries and, as evidenced by post-September 11 phobias and our responses to horrific images, to affect the very means by which catastrophe is imagined and visualised. Technically speaking, the negotiated balance between foreground and background in the photograph is lost: the desperation of the falling man juxtaposed with a seemingly impossible background that should not have been there. Lost, too, is the viewer’s ability to “connect” visually with – literally, to share – that experience, to see oneself within the contexts of that particular visual representation. This inability to see the viewing self in the photograph is an ironic moment of experiential possibility that lingers still in the Western world’s fears surrounding terrorism: when the supposedly impossible act is finally visualised, territorialised, and rendered as possible. Dead Art: The Destructions and Resurrections of Works by Rodin In many ways, the photographing of those experiences so divorced from our own contributed to intense discussions of perspective in visualisation: the viewer’s witnessing of trauma by means of a camera and photographer that captured the image from a “safe” distance. However, the recovery of artwork that actually suffered damage as a result of the World Trade Centre collapse prompted many art historians and theorists to ponder the possibilities of art’s death and to contemplate the fate of art that is physically victimised. In an anticipatory vein, J.M. Bernstein suggests that “art ends as it becomes progressively further distanced from truth and moral goodness, as it loses its capacity to speak the truth about our most fundamental categorical engagements…” (Bernstein 5). If Bernstein’s theory is applied to those works damaged at the World Trade Centre site, the sculptures of Rodin, so famously photographed in the weeks of excavation that followed September 11, could be categorised as “dead” – distanced from the “truth” of human form that Rodin cast, even further from the moral goodness and the striving toward global peace that the Cantor Fitzgerald collection aimed to embrace. While many art critics believed that the destroyed works should not be displayed again, many (including Fritz Koenig, who designed The Sphere, which was damaged in the terrorist attacks) believe that such “dead art” deserves, even requires, resuscitation (see Figure 6). Much like the American flags that survived the infernos at the World Trade Centre and Pentagon site, these lost and re-discovered artworks have served as rallying points to accomplish both the sharing of trauma and an artistically inspired foundation for the re-development of the lower Manhattan site. In the case of Rodin’s The Thinker, which was recovered at the site and later presumed stolen, the statue’s discovery alongside aircraft parts and twisted steel girders served as a unique and rare survival story, almost as the surrogate representative body for those human bodies that were never found, never seen. Dan Barry and William K. Rashbaum recall that in the days following the sculpture’s disappearance, “investigators have been at Fresh Kills [landfill] and at ground zero in recent weeks, flashing a photograph of ‘The Thinker’ and asking, in effect: Have you seen this symbol of humanity” (Barry and Rashbaum)? Given such symbolic weight, sculpture most certainly took on superhuman proportions. Yet, in the days that followed the discovery of artwork that survived the attacks, only passing references were made to those figurative paintings and drawings by Picasso, Hockney, Lichtenstein, and Miró that were lost – perhaps because their subject matter or manner of artistic representation did not (or could not) reflect a “true” infliction of damage and pain the way a three-dimensional, human-like sculpture could. Viewers visualised not only the possibility of their own cultural undoing by seeing damaged Rodins, but also the embodiment of unseen victims’ bodies that could not be recovered. In a rousing speech about September 11 as an attack upon the humanities and the production of culture, Bruce Cole stated that “the loss of artifacts and art, no matter how priceless and precious, is dwarfed by the loss of life” (Cole). Nevertheless, the visualisation of maimed, disfigured art was the lens through which many individuals understood the immensity of that loss of life and the finality of their loved ones’ disappearances. What the destruction and damaging of artwork on September 11 created was an atmosphere in which art, traditionally conjured as the studied and inanimate subject, transformed from a determined to a determining influence, a re-working of Paul Smith’s theory in which “the ‘subject’ … is determined – the object of determinant forces; whereas ‘the individual’ is assumed to be determining” (Smith xxxiv). Damaged sculptures gave representative form to the thousands of victims we, as a visualising public, knew were inside the towers, but their survival spoke to larger artistic issues: the impossibility of art’s end and the foiling of its death. Baudrillard’s notion of the “impossibility of ending” demonstrates that the destruction of art (in the capitalistic sense that is contingent on its undamaged condition and its prescribed worth and “value”) does not equate to the destruction of meaning as such, but that the new and re-negotiated meanings deployed by injured art frighteningly implicate us – viewers who once assigned meaning becoming the subjects who long to be assigned something, anything, be it solace, closure, or retribution. Importantly, the latest plans for the re-vitalised World Trade Centre site indicate that the damaged Rodin and Koenig sculptures will semiotically mediate the significations established when the original World Trade Centre was a vital nexus of activity in lower Manhattan, the shock and pain experienced when the towers collapsed and individuals were searching for meaning in art’s destruction and survival, and the hope many have invested in the new buildings and their role in the maintenance and recovery of memory. A Concluding Thought Digital manipulation, photography, and the re-contextualisation of artistic “masterpieces” from their hermetic placement in the gallery to their brutal dumping in a landfill have served as the humanistic prompts that actively determined the ways in which culture grappled with and shared unimaginable horror. Images have transformed in purpose from static re(-)presentations of reality to active, changing conduits by which pasts can be remembered, by which the intangibility of death can be given substance, by which unshared moments can be more intimately considered. Oddly, visualisation has performed simultaneously two disparate functions: separating the living from the dead through a panoply of re-affirming visual experiences and permitting the re-visitation of those times, events, and people that the human eye could not see itself. Ultimately, what the manipulations, misinterpretations, and destructions of art show us is that the conveyance of meaning between individuals, whether dead or alive, whether seen or unseen, is the image’s most pressing and difficult charge. Works Cited “Angel or Devil? Viewers See Images in Smoke.” Click on Detroit. 17 Sep. 2001. 10 February 2003 <http://www.clickondetroit.com/sh/news/stories/nat-news-96283920010917-120936.php>. Barry, Dan, and William K. Rashbaum. “Rodin Work from Trade Center Survived, and Vanished.” New York Times. 20 May 2002: B1. Barthes, Roland. Image, Music, Text. New York: Hill and Wang, 1977. Baudrillard, Jean. The Illusion of the End. Cambridge: Polity Press, 1994. Bernstein, J.M. The Fate of Art: Aesthetic Alienation from Kant to Derrida and Adorno. Cambridge: Polity Press, 1992. Burgin, Victor. The End of Art Theory: Criticism and Post-Modernity. Atlantic Highlands, N.J.: Humanities Press, 1986. Cauchon, Dennis and Martha T. Moore. “Desperation Drove Sept. 11 Victims Out World Trade Center Windows.” Salt Lake Tribune Online. 4 September 2002. 19 Jan. 2003 <http://www.sltrib.com/2002/sep/09042002/nation_w/768120.htm>. Crary, Jonathan. Techniques of the Observer: On Vision and Modernity in the Nineteenth Century. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1990. Mitchell, W.J.T. Picture Theory. Chicago: University of Chicago P, 1994. “Remains of a Day.” Time 160.11 (9 Sep. 2002): 58. Smith, Paul. Discerning the Subject. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1988. “The Accidental Tourist.” Urban Legends. 20 Nov. 2001. 21 Feb. 2003 <http://www.snopes2.com/rumors/crash.htm>. Links http://www.clickondetroit.com/sh/news/stories/nat-news-96283920010917-120936.html http://www.sltrib.com/2002/sep/09042002/nation_w/768120.htm http://www.snopes2.com/rumors/crash.htm Citation reference for this article Substitute your date of access for Dn Month Year etc... MLA Style Smith, Royce W.. "The Image Is Dying" M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture< http://www.media-culture.org.au/0304/09-imageisdying.php>. APA Style Smith, R. W. (2003, Apr 23). The Image Is Dying. M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture, 6,< http://www.media-culture.org.au/0304/09-imageisdying.php>

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Holmes,AshleyM. "Cohesion, Adhesion and Incoherence: Magazine Production with a Flickr Special Interest Group." M/C Journal 13, no.1 (March22, 2010). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.210.

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This paper provides embedded, reflective practice-based insight arising from my experience collaborating to produce online and print-on-demand editions of a magazine showcasing the photography of members of haphazart! Contemporary Abstracts group (hereafter referred to as haphazart!). The group’s online visual, textual and activity-based practices via the photo sharing social networking site Flickr are portrayed as achieving cohesive visual identity. Stylistic analysis of pictures in support of this claim is not attempted. Rather negotiation, that Elliot has previously described in M/C Journal as innate in collaboration, is identified as the unifying factor. However, the collaborators’ adherence to Flickr’s communication platform proves problematic in the editorial context. Some technical incoherence with possible broader cultural implications is encountered during the process of repurposing images from screen to print. A Scan of Relevant Literature The photographic gaze perceives and captures objects which seem to ‘carry within them ready-made’ a work of art. But the reminiscences of the gaze are only made possible by knowing and associating with groups that define a tradition. The list of valorised subjects is not actually defined with reference to a culture, but rather by familiarity with a limited group. (Chamboredon 144) As part of the array of socio-cultural practices afforded by Web 2.0 interoperability, sites of produsage (Bruns) are foci for studies originating in many disciplines. Flickr provides a rich source of data that researchers interested in the interface between the technological and the social find useful to analyse. Access to the Flickr application programming interface enables quantitative researchers to observe a variety of means by which information is propagated, disseminated and shared. Some findings from this kind of research confirm the intuitive. For example, Negoecsu et al. find that “a large percentage of users engage in sharing with groups and that they do so significantly” ("Analyzing Flickr Groups" 425). They suggest that Flickr’s Groups feature appears to “naturally bring together two key aspects of social media: content and relations.” They also find evidence for what they call hyper-groups, which are “communities consisting of groups of Flickr groups” ("Flickr Hypergroups" 813). Two separate findings from another research team appear to contradict each other. On one hand, describing what they call “social cascades,” Cha et al. claim that “content in the form of ideas, products, and messages spreads across social networks like a virus” ("Characterising Social Cascades"). Yet in 2009 they claim that hom*ocity and reciprocity ensure that “popularity of pictures is localised” ("Measurement-Driven Analysis"). Mislove et al. reflect that the affordances of Flickr influence the growth patterns they observe. There is optimism shared by some empiricists that through collation and analysis of Flickr tag data, the matching of perceptual structures of images and image annotation techniques will yield ontology-based taxonomy useful in automatic image annotation and ultimately, the Semantic Web endeavour (Kennedy et al.; Su et al.; Xu et al.). Qualitative researchers using ethnographic interview techniques also find Flickr a valuable resource. In concluding that the photo sharing hobby is for many a “serious leisure” activity, Cox et al. propose that “Flickr is not just a neutral information system but also value laden and has a role within a wider cultural order.” They also suggest that “there is genuinely greater scope for individual creativity, releasing the individual to explore their own identity in a way not possible with a camera club.” Davies claims that “online spaces provide an arena where collaboration over meanings can be transformative, impacting on how individuals locate themselves within local and global contexts” (550). She says that through shared ways of describing and commenting on images, Flickrites develop a common criticality in their endeavour to understand images, each other and their world (554).From a psychologist’s perspective, Suler observes that “interpersonal relationships rarely form and develop by images alone” ("Image, Word, Action" 559). He says that Flickr participants communicate in three dimensions: textual (which he calls “verbal”), visual, and via the interpersonal actions that the site affords, such as Favourites. This latter observation can surely be supplemented by including the various games that groups configure within the constraints of the discussion forums. These often include submissions to a theme and voting to select a winning image. Suler describes the place in Flickr where one finds identity as one’s “cyberpsychological niche” (556). However, many participants subscribe to multiple groups—45.6% of Flickrites who share images share them with more than 20 groups (Negoescu et al., "Analyzing Flickr Groups" 420). Is this a reflection of the existence of the hyper-groups they describe (2009) or, of the ranging that people do in search of a niche? It is also probable that some people explore more than a singular identity or visual style. Harrison and Bartell suggest that there are more interesting questions than why users create media products or what motivates them to do so: the more interesting questions center on understanding what users will choose to do ultimately with [Web2.0] capabilities [...] in what terms to define the success of their efforts, and what impact the opportunity for individual and collaborative expression will have on the evolution of communicative forms and character. (167) This paper addresseses such questions. It arises from a participatory observational context which differs from that of the research described above. It is intended that a different perspective about online group-based participation within the Flickr social networking matrix will avail. However, it will be seen that the themes cited in this introductory review prove pertinent. Context As a university teacher of a range of subjects in the digital media field, from contemporary photomedia to social media to collaborative multimedia practice, it is entirely appropriate that I embed myself in projects that engage, challenge and provide me with relevant first-hand experience. As an academic I also undertake and publish research. As a practicing new media artist I exhibit publically on a regular basis and consider myself semi-professional with respect to this activity. While there are common elements to both approaches to research, this paper is written more from the point of view of ‘reflective practice’ (Holmes, "Reconciling Experimentum") rather than ‘embedded ethnography’ (Pink). It is necessarily and unapologetically reflexive. Abstract Photography Hyper-Group A search of all Flickr groups using the query “abstract” is currently likely to return around 14,700 results. However, only in around thirty of them does the group name, its stated rules and, the stream of images that flow through the pool arguably reflect a sense of collective concept and aesthetic that is coherently abstract. This loose complex of groups comprises a hyper-group. Members of these groups often have co-memberships, reciprocal contacts, and regularly post images to a range of groups and comment on others’ posts to be found throughout. Given that one of Flickr’s largest groups, Black and White, currently has around 131,150 members and hosts 2,093,241 items in its pool, these abstract special interest groups are relatively small. The largest, Abstract Photos, has 11,338 members and hosts 89,306 items in its pool. The group that is the focus of this paper, haphazart!, currently has 2,536 members who have submitted 53,309 items. The group pool is more like a constantly flowing river because the most recently added images are foremost. Older images become buried in an archive of pages which cannot be reverse accessed at a rate greater than the seven pages linked from a current view. A member’s presence is most immediate through images posted to a pool. This structural feature of Flickr promotes a desire for currency; a need to post regularly to maintain presence. Negotiating Coherence to the Abstract The self-managing social dynamics in groups has, as Suler proposes to be the case for individuals, three dimensions: visual, textual and action. A group integrates the diverse elements, relationships and values which cumulatively constitute its identity with contributions from members in these dimensions. First impressions of that identity are usually derived from the group home page which consists of principal features: the group name, a selection of twelve most recent posts to the pool, some kind of description, a selection of six of the most recent discussion topics, and a list of rules (if any). In some of these groups, what is considered to constitute an abstract photographic image is described on the group home page. In some it is left to be contested and becomes the topic of ongoing forum debates. In others the specific issue is not discussed—the images are left to speak for themselves. Administrators of some groups require that images are vetted for acceptance. In haphazart! particular administrators dutifully delete from the pool on a regular basis any images that they deem not to comply with the group ethic. Whether reasons are given or not is left to the individual prosecutor. Mostly offending images just disappear from the group pool without trace. These are some of the ways that the coherence of a group’s visual identity is established and maintained. Two groups out of the abstract photography hyper-group are noteworthy in that their discussion forums are particularly active. A discussion is just the start of a new thread and may have any number of posts under it. At time of writing Abstract Photos has 195 discussions and haphazart! — the most talkative by this measure—has 333. Haphazart! invites submissions of images to regularly changing themes. There is always lively and idiosyncratic banter in the forum over the selection of a theme. To be submitted an image needs to be identified by a specific theme tag as announced on the group home page. The tag can be added by the photographer themselves or by anyone else who deems the image appropriate to the theme. An exhibition process ensues. Participant curators search all Flickr items according to the theme tag and select from the outcome images they deem to most appropriately and abstractly address the theme. Copies of the images together with comments by the curators are posted to a dedicated discussion board. Other members may also provide responses. This activity forms an ongoing record that may serve as a public indicator of the aesthetic that underlies the group’s identity. In Abstract Photos there is an ongoing discussion forum where one can submit an image and request that the moderators rule as to whether or not the image is ‘abstract’. The same group has ongoing discussions labelled “Hall of Appropriate” where worthy images are reposted and celebrated and, “Hall of Inappropriate” where images posted to the group pool have been removed and relegated because abstraction has been “so far stretched from its definition that it now resides in a parallel universe” (Askin). Reasons are mostly courteously provided. In haphazart! a relatively small core of around twelve group members regularly contribute to the group discussion board. A curious aspect of this communication is that even though participants present visually with a ‘buddy icon’ and most with a screen name not their real name, it is usual practice to address each other in discussions by their real Christian names, even when this is not evident in a member’s profile. This seems to indicate a common desire for authenticity. The makeup of the core varies from time to time depending on other activities in a member’s life. Although one or two may be professionally or semi-professionally engaged as photographers or artists or academics, most of these people would likely consider themselves to be “serious amateurs” (Cox). They are internationally dispersed with bias to the US, UK, Europe and Australia. English is the common language though not the natural tongue of some. The age range is approximately 35 to 65 and the gender mix 50/50. The group is three years old. Where Do We Go to from Here? In early January 2009 the haphazart! core was sparked into a frenzy of discussion by a post from a member headed “Where do we go to from here?” A proposal was mooted to produce a ‘book’ featuring images and texts representative of the group. Within three days a new public group with invited membership dedicated to the idea had been established. A smaller working party then retreated to a private Flickr group. Four months later Issue One of haphazart! magazine was available in print-on-demand and online formats. Following however is a brief critically reflective review of some of the collaborative curatorial, editorial and production processes for Issue Two which commenced in early June 2009. Most of the team had also been involved with Issue One. I was the only newcomer and replaced the person who had undertaken the design for Issue One. I was not provided access to the prior private editorial ruminations but apparently the collaborative curatorial and editorial decision-making practices the group had previously established persisted, and these took place entirely within the discussion forums of a new dedicated private Flickr group. Over a five-month period there were 1066 posts in 54 discussions concerning matters such as: change of format from the previous; selection of themes, artists and images; conduct of and editing of interviews; authoring of texts; copyright and reproduction. The idiom of those communications can be described as: discursive, sporadic, idiosyncratic, resourceful, collegial, cooperative, emphatic, earnest and purposeful. The selection process could not be said to follow anything close to a shared manifesto, or articulation of style. It was established that there would be two primary themes: the square format and contributors’ use of colour. Selection progressed by way of visual presentation and counter presentation until some kind of consensus was reached often involving informal votes of preference. Stretching the Limits of the Flickr Social Tools The magazine editorial collaborators continue to use the facilities with which they are familiar from regular Flickr group participation. However, the strict vertically linear format of the Flickr discussion format is particularly unsuited to lengthy, complex, asynchronous, multithreaded discussion. For this purpose it causes unnecessary strain, fatigue and confusion. Where images are included, the forums have set and maximum display sizes and are not flexibly configured into matrixes. Images cannot readily be communally changed or moved about like texts in a wiki. Likewise, the Flickrmail facility is of limited use for specialist editorial processes. Attachments cannot be added. This opinion expressed by a collaborator in the initial, open discussion for Issue One prevailed among Issue Two participants: do we want the members to go to another site to observe what is going on with the magazine? if that’s ok, then using google groups or something like that might make sense; if we want others to observe (and learn from) the process - we may want to do it here [in Flickr]. (Valentine) The opinion appears socially constructive; but because the final editorial process and production processes took place in a separate private forum, ultimately the suggested learning between one issue and the next did not take place. During Issue Two development the reluctance to try other online collaboration tools for the selection processes requiring visual comparative evaluation of images and trials of sequencing adhered. A number of ingenious methods of working within Flickr were devised and deployed and, in my opinion, proved frustratingly impractical and inefficient. The digital layout, design, collation and formatting of images and texts, all took place on my personal computer using professional software tools. Difficulties arose in progressively sharing this work for the purposes of review, appraisal and proofing. Eventually I ignored protests and insisted the team review demonstrations I had converted for sharing in Google Documents. But, with only one exception, I could not tempt collaborators to try commenting or editing in that environment. For example, instead of moving the sequence of images dynamically themselves, or even typing suggestions directly into Google Documents, they would post responses in Flickr. To Share and to Hold From the first imaginings of Issue One the need to have as an outcome something in one’s hands was expressed and this objective is apparently shared by all in the haphazart! core as an ongoing imperative. Various printing options have been nominated, discussed and evaluated. In the end one print-on-demand provider was selected on the basis of recommendation. The ethos of haphazart! is clearly not profit-making and conflicts with that of the printing organisation. Presumably to maintain an incentive to purchase the print copy online preview is restricted to the first 15 pages. To satisfy the co-requisite to make available the full 120 pages for free online viewing a second host that specialises in online presentation of publications is also utilised. In this way haphazart! members satisfy their common desires for sharing selected visual content and ideas with an online special interest audience and, for a physical object of art to relish—with all the connotations of preciousness, fetish, talisman, trophy, and bookish notions of haptic pleasure and visual treasure. The irony of publishing a frozen chunk of the ever-flowing Flickriver, whose temporally changing nature is arguably one of its most interesting qualities, is not a consideration. Most of them profess to be simply satisfying their own desire for self expression and would eschew any critical judgement as to whether this anarchic and discursive mode of operation results in a coherent statement about contemporary photographic abstraction. However there remains a distinct possibility that a number of core haphazart!ists aspire to transcend: popular taste; the discernment encouraged in camera clubs; and, the rhetoric of those involved professionally (Bourdieu et al.); and seek to engage with the “awareness of illegitimacy and the difficulties implied by the constitution of photography as an artistic medium” (Chamboredon 130). Incoherence: A Technical Note My personal experience of photography ranges from the filmic to the digital (Holmes, "Bridging Adelaide"). For a number of years I specialised in facsimile graphic reproduction of artwork. In those days I became aware that films were ‘blind’ to the psychophysical affect of some few particular paint pigments. They just could not be reproduced. Even so, as I handled the dozens of images contributed to haphazart!2, converting them from the pixellated place where Flickr exists to the resolution and gamut of the ink based colour space of books, I was surprised at the number of hue values that exist in the former that do not translate into the latter. In some cases the affect is subtle so that judicious tweaking of colour levels or local colour adjustment will satisfy discerning comparison between the screenic original and the ‘soft proof’ that simulates the printed outcome. In other cases a conversion simply does not compute. I am moved to contemplate, along with Harrison and Bartell (op. cit.) just how much of the experience of media in the shared digital space is incomparably new? Acknowledgement Acting on the advice of researchers experienced in cyberethnography (Bruckman; Suler, "Ethics") I have obtained the consent of co-collaborators to comment freely on proceedings that took place in a private forum. They have been given the opportunity to review and suggest changes to the account. References Askin, Dean (aka: dnskct). “Hall of Inappropriate.” Abstract Photos/Discuss/Hall of Inappropriate, 2010. 12 Jan. 2010 ‹http://www.flickr.com/groups/abstractphotos/discuss/72157623148695254/>. Bourdieu, Pierre, Luc Boltanski, Robert Castel, Jean-Claude Chamboredeon, and Dominique Schnapper. Photography: A Middle-Brow Art. 1965. Trans. Shaun Whiteside. Stanford: Stanford UP, 1990. Bruckman, Amy. Studying the Amateur Artist: A Perspective on Disguising Data Collected in Human Subjects Research on the Internet. 2002. 12 Jan. 2010 ‹http://www.nyu.edu/projects/nissenbaum/ethics_bru_full.html>. Bruns, Axel. “Towards Produsage: Futures for User-Led Content Production.” Proceedings: Cultural Attitudes towards Communication and Technology 2006. Perth: Murdoch U, 2006. 275–84. ———, and Mark Bahnisch. Social Media: Tools for User-Generated Content. Vol. 1 – “State of the Art.” Sydney: Smart Services CRC, 2009. Cha, Meeyoung, Alan Mislove, Ben Adams, and Krishna P. Gummadi. “Characterizing Social Cascades in Flickr.” Proceedings of the First Workshop on Online Social Networks. ACM, 2008. 13–18. ———, Alan Mislove, and Krishna P. Gummadi. “A Measurement-Driven Analysis of Information Propagation in the Flickr Social Network." WWW '09: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on World Wide Web. ACM, 2009. 721–730. Cox, A.M., P.D. Clough, and J. Marlow. “Flickr: A First Look at User Behaviour in the Context of Photography as Serious Leisure.” Information Research 13.1 (March 2008). 12 Dec. 2009 ‹http://informationr.net/ir/13-1/paper336.html>. Chamboredon, Jean-Claude. “Mechanical Art, Natural Art: Photographic Artists.” Photography: A Middle-Brow Art. Pierre Bourdieu. et al. 1965. Trans. Shaun Whiteside. Stanford: Stanford UP, 1990. 129–149. Davies, Julia. “Display, Identity and the Everyday: Self-Presentation through Online Image Sharing.” Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education 28.4 (Dec. 2007): 549–564. Elliott, Mark. “Stigmergic Collaboration: The Evolution of Group Work.” M/C Journal 9.2 (2006). 12 Jan. 2010 ‹http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0605/03-elliott.php>. Harrison, Teresa, M., and Brea Barthel. “Wielding New Media in Web 2.0: Exploring the History of Engagement with the Collaborative Construction of Media Products.” New Media & Society 11.1-2 (2009): 155–178. Holmes, Ashley. “‘Bridging Adelaide 2001’: Photography and Hyperimage, Spanning Paradigms.” VSMM 2000 Conference Proceedings. International Society for Virtual Systems and Multimedia, 2000. 79–88. ———. “Reconciling Experimentum and Experientia: Reflective Practice Research Methodology for the Creative Industries”. Speculation & Innovation: Applying Practice-Led Research in the Creative Industries. Brisbane: QUT, 2006. Kennedy, Lyndon, Mor Naaman, Shane Ahern, Rahul Nair, and Tye Rattenbury. “How Flickr Helps Us Make Sense of the World: Context and Content in Community-Contributed Media Collections.” MM’07. ACM, 2007. Miller, Andrew D., and W. Keith Edwards. “Give and Take: A Study of Consumer Photo-Sharing Culture and Practice.” Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM, 2007. 347–356. Mislove, Alan, Hema Swetha Koppula, Krishna P. Gummadi, Peter Druschel and Bobby Bhattacharjee. “Growth of the Flickr Social Network.” Proceedings of the First Workshop on Online Social Networks. ACM, 2008. 25–30. Negoescu, Radu-Andrei, and Daniel Gatica-Perez. “Analyzing Flickr Groups.” CIVR '08: Proceedings of the 2008 International Conference on Content-Based Image and Video Retrieval. ACM, 2008. 417–426. ———, Brett Adams, Dinh Phung, Svetha Venkatesh, and Daniel Gatica-Perez. “Flickr Hypergroups.” MM '09: Proceedings of the Seventeenth ACM International Conference on Multimedia. ACM, 2009. 813–816. Pink, Sarah. Doing Visual Ethnography: Images, Media and Representation in Research. 2nd ed. London: Sage, 2007. Su, Ja-Hwung, Bo-Wen Wang, Hsin-Ho Yeh, and Vincent S. Tseng. “Ontology–Based Semantic Web Image Retrieval by Utilizing Textual and Visual Annotations.” 2009 IEEE/WIC/ACM International Conference on Web Intelligence and Intelligent Agent Technology – Workshops. 2009. Suler, John. “Ethics in Cyberspace Research: Consent, Privacy and Contribution.” The Psychology of Cyberspace. 1996. 12 Jan. 2010 ‹http://www-usr.rider.edu/~suler/psycyber/psycyber.html>. ———. “Image, Word, Action: Interpersonal Dynamics in a Photo-Sharing Community.” Cyberpsychology & Behavior 11.5 (2008): 555–560. Valentine, Mark. “HAPHAZART! Magazine/Discuss/image selections…” [discussion post]. 2009. 12 Jan. 2010 ‹http://www.flickr.com/groups/haphazartmagazin/discuss/72157613147017532/>. Xu, Hongtao, Xiangdong Zhou, Mei Wang, Yu Xiang, and Baile Shi. “Exploring Flickr’s Related Tags for Semantic Annotation of Web Images.” CIVR ’09. ACM, 2009.

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Hill, Wes. "Harmony Korine’s Trash Humpers: From Alternative to Hipster." M/C Journal 20, no.1 (March15, 2017). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1192.

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Abstract:

IntroductionThe 2009 American film Trash Humpers, directed by Harmony Korine, was released at a time when the hipster had become a ubiquitous concept, entering into the common vernacular of numerous cultures throughout the world, and gaining significant press, social media and academic attention (see Žižek; Arsel and Thompson; Greif et al.; Stahl; Ouellette; Reeve; Schiermer; Maly and Varis). Trash Humpers emerged soon after the 2008 Global Financial Crisis triggered Occupy movements in numerous cities, aided by social media platforms, reported on by blogs such as Gawker, and stylized by multi-national youth-subculture brands such as Vice, American Apparel, Urban Outfitters and a plethora of localised variants.Korine’s film, which is made to resemble found VHS footage of old-aged vandals, epitomises the ironic, retro stylizations and “counterculture-meets-kitsch” aesthetics so familiar to hipster culture. As a creative stereotype from 1940s and ‘50s jazz and beatnik subcultures, the hipster re-emerged in the twenty-first century as a negative embodiment of alternative culture in the age of the Internet. As well as plumbing the recent past for things not yet incorporated into contemporary marketing mechanisms, the hipster also signifies the blurring of irony and authenticity. Such “outsiderness as insiderness” postures can be regarded as a continuation of the marginality-from-the-centre logic of cool capitalism that emerged after World War Two. Particularly between 2007 and 2015, the post-postmodern concept of the hipster was a resonant cultural trope in Western and non-Western cultures alike, coinciding with the normalisation of the new digital terrain and the establishment of mobile social media as an integral aspect of many people’s daily lives. While Korine’s 79-minute feature could be thought of as following in the schlocky footsteps of the likes of Rob Zombie’s The Devil’s Rejects (2006), it is decidedly more arthouse, and more attuned to the influence of contemporary alternative media brands and independent film history alike – as if the love child of Jack Smith’s Flaming Creatures (1963) and Vice Video, the latter having been labelled as “devil-may-care hipsterism” (Carr). Upon release, Trash Humpers was described by Gene McHugh as “a mildly hip take on Jackass”; by Mike D’Angelo as “an empty hipster pose”; and by Aaron Hillis as either “the work of an insincere hipster or an eccentric provocateur”. Lacking any semblance of a conventional plot, Trash Humpers essentially revolves around four elderly-looking protagonists – three men and a woman – who document themselves with a low-quality video camera as they go about behaving badly in the suburbs of Nashville, Tennessee, where Korine still lives. They cackle eerily to themselves as they try to stave off boredom, masturbating frantically on rubbish bins, defecating and drinking alcohol in public, fellating foliage, smashing televisions, playing ten-pin bowling, lighting firecrackers and telling gay “hate” jokes to camera with no punchlines. In one purposefully undramatic scene half-way through the film, the humpers are shown in the aftermath of an attack on a man wearing a French maid’s outfit; he lies dead in a pool of blood on their kitchen floor with a hammer at his feet. The humpers are consummate “bad” performers in every sense of the term, and they are joined by a range of other, apparently lower-class, misfits with whom they stage tap dance routines and repetitively sing nursery-rhyme-styled raps such as: “make it, make it, don’t break it; make it, make it, don’t fake it; make it, make it, don’t take it”, which acts as a surrogate theme song for the film. Korine sometimes depicts his main characters on crutches or in a wheelchair, and a baby doll is never too far away from the action, as a silent and Surrealist witness to their weird, sinister and sometimes very funny exploits. The film cuts from scene to scene as if edited on a video recorder, utilising in-house VHS titling sequences, audio glitches and video static to create the sense that one is engaging voyeuristically with a found video document rather than a scripted movie. Mainstream AlternativesAs a viewer of Trash Humpers, one has to try hard to suspend disbelief if one is to see the humpers as genuine geriatric peeping Toms rather than as hipsters in old-man masks trying to be rebellious. However, as Korine’s earlier films such as Gummo (1997) attest, he clearly delights in blurring the line between failure and transcendence, or, in this case, between pretentious art-school bravado and authentic redneck ennui. As noted in a review by Jeannette Catsoulis, writing for the New York Times: “Much of this is just so much juvenile posturing, but every so often the screen freezes into something approximating beauty: a blurry, spaced-out, yellow-green landscape, as alien as an ancient photograph”. Korine has made a career out of generating this wavering uncertainty in his work, polarising audiences with a mix of critical, cinema-verité styles and cynical exploitations. His work has consistently revelled in ethical ambiguities, creating environments where teenagers take Ritalin for kicks, kill cats, wage war with their families and engage in acts of sexual deviancy – all of which are depicted with a photographer’s eye for the uncanny.The elusive and contradictory aspects of Korine’s work – at once ugly and beautiful, abstract and commercial, pessimistic and nostalgic – are evident not just in films such as Gummo, Julien Donkey Boy (1999) and Mister Lonely (2007) but also in his screenplay for Kids (1995), his performance-like appearances on The Tonight Show with David Letterman (1993-2015) and in publications such as A Crackup at the Race Riots (1998) and Pass the Bitch Chicken (2001). As well as these outputs, Korine is also a painter who is represented by Gagosian Gallery – one of the world’s leading art galleries – and he has directed numerous music videos, documentaries and commercials throughout his career. More than just update of the traditional figure of the auteur, Korine, instead, resembles a contemporary media artist whose avant-garde and grotesque treatments of Americana permeate almost everything he does. Korine wrote the screenplay for Kids when he was just 19, and subsequently built his reputation on the paradoxical mainstreaming of alternative culture in the 1990s. This is exemplified by the establishment of music and film genres such “alternative” and “independent”; the popularity of the slacker ethos attributed to Generation X; the increased visibility of alternative press zines; the birth of grunge in fashion and music; and the coining of “cool hunting” – a bottom-up market research phenomenon that aimed to discover new trends in urban subcultures for the purpose of mass marketing. Key to “alternative culture”, and its related categories such as “indie” and “arthouse”, is the idea of evoking artistic authenticity while covertly maintaining a parasitic relationship with the mainstream. As Holly Kruse notes in her account of the indie music scenes of the 1990s, which gained tremendous popularity in the wake of grunge bands such as Nirvana: without dominant, mainstream musics against which to react, independent music cannot be independent. Its existence depends upon dominant music structures and practices against which to define itself. Indie music has therefore been continually engaged in an economic and ideological struggle in which its ‘outsider’ status is re-examined, re-defined, and re-articulated to sets of musical practices. (Kruse 149)Alternative culture follows a similar, highly contentious, logic, appearing as a nebulous, authentic and artistic “other” whose exponents risk being entirely defined by the mainstream markets they profess to oppose. Kids was directed by the artist cum indie-director Larry Clark, who discovered Korine riding his skateboard with a group of friends in New York’s Washington Square in the early 1990s, before commissioning him to write a script. The then subcultural community of skating – which gained prominence in the 1990s amidst the increased visibility of “alternative sports” – provides an important backdrop to the film, which documents a group of disaffected New York teenagers at a time of the Aids crisis in America. Korine has been active in promoting the DIY ethos, creativity and anti-authoritarian branding of skate culture since this time – an industry that, in its attempts to maintain a non-mainstream profile while also being highly branded, has become emblematic of the category of “alternative culture”. Korine has undertaken commercial projects with an array skate-wear brands, but he is particularly associated with Supreme, a so-called “guerrilla fashion” label originating in 1994 that credits Clark and other 1990s indie darlings, and Korine cohorts, Chloë Sevigny and Terry Richardson, as former models and collaborators (Williams). The company is well known for its designer skateboard decks, its collaborations with prominent contemporary visual artists, its hip-hop branding and “inscrutable” web videos. It is also well known for its limited runs of new clothing lines, which help to stoke demand through one-offs – blending street-wear accessibility with the restricted-market and anti-authoritarian sensibility of avant-garde art.Of course, “alternative culture” poses a notorious conundrum for analysis, involving highly subjective demarcations of “mainstream” from “subversive” culture, not to mention “genuine subversion” from mere “corporate alternatives”. As Pierre Bourdieu has argued, the roots of alternative culture lie in the Western tradition of the avant-garde and the “aesthetic gaze” that developed in the nineteenth century (Field 36). In analysing the modernist notion of advanced cultural practice – where art is presented as an alternative to bourgeois academic taste and to the common realm of cultural commodities – Bourdieu proposed a distinction between two types of “fields”, or logics of cultural production. Alternative culture follows what Bourdieu called “the field of restricted production”, which adheres to “art for art’s sake” ideals, where audiences are targeted as if like-minded peers (Field 50). In contrast, the “field of large-scale production” reflects the commercial imperatives of mainstream culture, in which goods are produced for the general public at large. The latter field of large-scale production tends to service pre-established markets, operating in response to public demand. Furthermore, whereas success in the field of restricted production is often indirect, and latent – involving artists who create niche markets without making any concessions to those markets – success in the field of large-scale production is typically more immediate and quantifiable (Field 39). Here we can see that central to the branding of “alternative culture” is the perceived refusal to conform to popular taste and the logic of capitalism more generally is. As Supreme founder James Jebbia stated about his brand in a rare interview: “The less known the better” (Williams). On this, Bourdieu states that, in the field of restricted production, the fundamental principles of all ordinary economies are inversed to create a “loser wins” scenario (Field 39). Profit and cultural esteem become detrimental attributes in this context, potentially tainting the integrity and marginalisation on which alternative products depend. As one ironic hipster t-shirt puts it: “Nothing is any good if other people like it” (Diesel Sweeties).Trash HipstersIn abandoning linear narrative for rough assemblages of vignettes – or “moments” – recorded with an unsteady handheld camera, Trash Humpers positions itself in ironic opposition to mainstream filmmaking, refusing the narrative arcs and unwritten rules of Hollywood film, save for its opening and closing credits. Given Korine’s much publicized appreciation of cinema pioneers, we can understand Trash Humpers as paying homage to independent and DIY film history, including Jack Smith’s Flaming Creatures, William Eggleston’s Stranded in Canton (1973), Andy Warhol’s and Paul Morrissey’s Lonesome Cowboys (1967) and Trash (1970), and John Waters’s Pink Flamingos (1972), all of which jubilantly embraced the “bad” aesthetic of home movies. Posed as fantasized substitutions for mainstream movie-making, such works were also underwritten by the legitimacy of camp as a form of counter-culture critique, blurring parody and documentary to give voice to an array of non-mainstream and counter-cultural identities. The employment of camp in postmodern culture became known not merely as an aesthetic subversion of cultural mores but also as “a gesture of self-legitimation” (Derrida 290), its “failed seriousness” regarded as a critical response to the specific historical problem of being a “culturally over-saturated” subject (Sontag 288).The significant difference between Korine’s film and those of his 1970s-era forbears is precisely the attention he pays to the formal aspects of his medium, revelling in analogue editing glitches to the point of fetishism, in some cases lasting as long as the scenes themselves. Consciously working out-of-step with the media of his day, Trash Humpers in imbued with nostalgia from its very beginning. Whereas Smith, Eggleston, Warhol, Morrissey and Waters blurred fantasy and documentary in ways that raised the social and political identities of their subjects, Korine seems much more interested in “trash” as an aesthetic trope. In following this interest, he rightfully pays homage to the tropes of queer cinema, however, he conveniently leaves behind their underlying commentaries about (hetero-) normative culture. A sequence where the trash humpers visit a whor*house and amuse themselves by smoking cigars and slapping the ample bottoms of prostitutes in G-strings confirms the heterosexual tenor of the film, which is reiterated throughout by numerous deadpan gay jokes and slurs.Trash Humpers can be understood precisely in terms of Korine’s desire to maintain the aesthetic imperatives of alternative culture, where formal experimentation and the subverting of mainstream genres can provide a certain amount of freedom from explicated meaning, and, in particular, from socio-political commentary. Bourdieu rightly points out how the pleasures of the aesthetic gaze often manifest themselves curiously as form of “deferred pleasure” (353) or “pleasure without enjoyment” (495), which corresponds to Immanuel Kant’s notion of the disinterested nature of aesthetic judgement. Aesthetic dispositions posed in the negative – as in the avant-garde artists who mined primitive and ugly cultural stereotypes – typically use as reference points “facile” or “vulgar” (393) working-class tropes that refer negatively to sensuous pleasure as their major criterion of judgment. For Bourdieu, the pleasures provided by the aesthetic gaze in such instances are not sensual pleasures so much as the pleasures of social distinction – signifying the author’s distance from taste as a form of gratification. Here, it is easy to see how the orgiastic central characters in Trash Humpers might be employed by Korine for a similar end-result. As noted by Jeremiah Kipp in a review of the film: “You don't ‘like’ a movie like Trash Humpers, but I’m very happy such films exist”. Propelled by aesthetic, rather than by social, questions of value, those that “get” the obscure works of alternative culture have a tendency to legitimize them on the basis of the high-degree of formal analysis skills they require. For Bourdieu, this obscures the fact that one’s aesthetic “‘eye’ is a product of history reproduced by education” – a privileged mode of looking, estranged from those unfamiliar with the internal logic of decoding presupposed by the very notion of “aesthetic enjoyment” (2).The rhetorical priority of alternative culture is, in Bourdieu’s terms, the “autonomous” perfection of the form rather than the “heteronomous” attempt to monopolise on it (Field 40). However, such distinctions are, in actuality, more nuanced than Bourdieu sometimes assumed. This is especially true in the context of global digital culture, which makes explicit how the same cultural signs can have vastly different meanings and motivations across different social contexts. This has arguably resulted in the destabilisation of prescriptive analyses of cultural taste, and has contributed to recent “post-critical” advances, in which academics such as Bruno Latour and Rita Felski advocate for cultural analyses and practices that promote relationality and attachment rather than suspicious (critical) dispositions towards marginal and popular subjects alike. Latour’s call for a move away from the “sledge hammer” of critique applies as much to cultural practice as it does to written analysis. Rather than maintaining hierarchical oppositions between authentic versus inauthentic taste, Latour understands culture – and the material world more generally – as having agency alongside, and with, that of the social world.Hipsters with No AlternativeIf, as Karl Spracklen suggests, alternativism is thought of “as a political project of resistance to capitalism, with communicative oppositionality as its defining feature” (254), it is clear that there has been a progressive waning in relevance of the category of “alternative culture” in the age of the Internet, which coincides with the triumph of so-called “neoliberal individualism” (258). To this end, Korine has lost some of his artistic credibility over the course of the 2000s. If viewed negatively, icons of 1990s alternative culture such as Korine can be seen as merely exploiting Dada-like techniques of mimetic exacerbation and symbolic détournement for the purpose of alternative, “arty” branding rather than pertaining to a counter-hegemonic cultural movement (Foster 31). It is within this context of heightened scepticism surrounding alternative culture that the hipster stereotype emerged in cultures throughout the world, as if a contested symbol of the aesthetic gaze in an era of neoliberal identity politics. Whatever the psychological motivations underpinning one’s use of the term, to call someone a hipster is typically to point out that their distinctive alternative or “arty” status appears overstated; their creative decisions considered as if a type of bathos. For detractors of alternative cultural producers such as Korine, he is trying too hard to be different, using the stylised codes of “alternative” to conceal what is essentially his cultural and political immaturity. The hipster – who is rarely ever self-identified – re-emerged in the 2000s to operate as a scapegoat for inauthentic markers of alternative culture, associated with men and women who appear to embrace Realpolitik, sincerity and authentic expressions of identity while remaining tethered to irony, autonomous aesthetics and self-design. Perhaps the real irony of the hipster is the pervasiveness of irony in contemporary culture. R. J Magill Jnr. has argued that “a certain cultural bitterness legitimated through trenchant disbelief” (xi) has come to define the dominant mode of political engagement in many societies since the early 2000s, in response to mass digital information, twenty-four-hour news cycles, and the climate of suspicion produced by information about terrorism threats. He analyses the prominence of political irony in American TV shows including The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Simpsons, South Park, The Chappelle Show and The Colbert Report but he also notes its pervasiveness as a twenty-first-century worldview – a distancing that “paradoxically and secretly preserves the ideals of sincerity, honesty and authenticity by momentarily belying its own appearance” (x). Crucially, then, the utterance “hipster” has come to signify instances when irony and aesthetic distance are perceived to have been taken too far, generating the most disdain from those for whom irony, aesthetic discernment and cultural connoisseurship still provide much-needed moments of disconnection from capitalist cultures drowning in commercial hyperbole and grave news hype. Korine himself has acknowledged that Spring Breakers (2013) – his follow-up feature film to Trash Humpers – was created in response to the notion that “alternative culture”, once a legitimate challenge to mainstream taste, had lost its oppositional power with the decentralization of digital culture. He states that he made Spring Breakers at a moment “when there’s no such thing as high or low, it’s all been exploded. There is no underground or above-ground, there’s nothing that’s alternative. We’re at a point of post-everything, so it’s all about finding the spirit inside, and the logic, and making your own connections” (Hawker). In this context, we can understand Trash Humpers as the last of the Korine films to be branded with the authenticity of alternative culture. In Spring Breakers Korine moved from the gritty low-fi sensibility of his previous films and adopted a more digital, light-filled and pastel-coloured palette. Focussing more conventionally on plot than ever before, Spring Breakers follows four college girls who hold up a restaurant in order to fund their spring break vacation. Critic Michael Chaiken noted that the film marks a shift in Korine’s career, from the alternative stylings of the pre-Internet generation to “the cultural heirs [of] the doomed protagonists of Kids: nineties babies, who grew up with the Internet, whose sensibilities have been shaped by the sweeping technological changes that have taken place in the interval between the Clinton and Obama eras” (33).By the end of the 2000s, an entire generation came of age having not experienced a time when the obscure films, music or art of the past took more effort to track down. Having been a key participant in the branding of alternative culture, Korine is in a good position to recall a different, pre-YouTube time – when cultural discernment was still caught up in the authenticity of artistic identity, and when one’s cultural tastes could still operate with a certain amount of freedom from sociological scrutiny. Such ideas seem a long way away from today’s cultural environments, which have been shaped not only by digital media’s promotion of cultural interconnection and mass information, but also by social media’s emphasis on mobilization and ethical awareness. ConclusionI should reiterate here that is not Korine’s lack of seriousness, or irony, alone that marks Trash Humpers as a response to the scepticism surrounding alternative culture symbolised by the figure of the hipster. It is, rather, that Korine’s mock-documentary about juvenile geriatrics works too hard to obscure its implicit social commentary, appearing driven to condemn contemporary capitalism’s exploitations of youthfulness only to divert such “uncool” critical commentaries through unsubtle formal distractions, visual poetics and “bad boy” avant-garde signifiers of authenticity. Before being bludgeoned to death, the unnamed man in the French maid’s outfit recites a poem on a bridge amidst a barrage of fire crackers let off by a nearby humper in a wheelchair. Although easily overlooked, it could, in fact, be a pivotal scene in the film. Spoken with mock high-art pretentions, the final lines of the poem are: So what? Why, I ask, why? Why castigate these creatures whose angelic features are bumping and grinding on trash? Are they not spawned by our greed? Are they not our true seed? Are they not what we’ve bought for our cash? We’ve created this lot, of the ooze and the rot, deliberately and unabashed. Whose orgiastic elation and one mission in creation is to savagely fornicate TRASH!Here, the character’s warning of capitalist overabundance is drowned out by the (aesthetic) shocks of the fire crackers, just as the stereotypical hipster’s ethical ideals are drowned out by their aesthetic excess. The scene also functions as a metaphor for the humpers themselves, whose elderly masks – embodiments of nostalgia – temporarily suspend their real socio-political identities for the sake of role-play. It is in this sense that Trash Humpers is too enamoured with its own artifices – including its anonymous “boys club” mentality – to suggest anything other than the aesthetic distance that has come to mark the failings of the “alternative culture” category. In such instances, alternative taste appears as a rhetorical posture, with Korine asking us to gawk knowingly at the hedonistic and destructive pleasures pursued by the humpers while factoring in, and accepting, our likely disapproval.ReferencesArsel, Zeynep, and Craig J. Thompson. “Demythologizing Consumption Practices: How Consumers Protect Their Field-Dependent Identity Investments from Devaluing Marketplace Myths.” Journal of Consumer Research 37.5 (2011): 791-806.Bourdieu, Pierre. Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste. Trans. Richard Nice. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1984.Bourdieu, Pierre. The Field of Cultural Production Essays on Art and Literature. Edited by Randal Johnson. London: Polity Press, 1993.Carr, David. “Its Edge Intact, Vice Is Chasing Hard News.” New York Times 24 Aug. 2014. 12 Nov. 2016 <https://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/25/business/media/its-edge-intact-vice-is-chasing-hard-news-.html>.Catsoulis, Jeannette. “Geriatric Delinquents, Rampaging through Suburbia.” New York Times 6 May 2010. 1` Nov. 2016 <http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/07/movies/07trash.html>.Chaiken, Michael. “The Dream Life.” Film Comment (Mar./Apr. 2013): 30-33.D’Angelo, Mike. “Trash Humpers.” Not Coming 18 Sep. 2009. 12 Nov. 2016 <http://www.notcoming.com/reviews/trashhumpers>.Derrida, Jacques. Positions. London: Athlone, 1981.Diesel Sweeties. 1 Nov. 2016 <https://store.dieselsweeties.com/products/nothing-is-any-good-if-other-people-like-it-shirt>.Felski, Rita. The Limits of Critique. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015.Greif, Mark. What Was the Hipster? A Sociological Investigation. New York: n+1 Foundation, 2010.Hawker, Philippa. “Telling Tales Out of School.” Sydney Morning Herald 4 May 2013. 12 Nov. 2016 <http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/movies/telling-tales-out-of-school-20130503-2ixc3.html>.Hillis, Aaron. “Harmony Korine on Trash Humpers.” IFC 6 May 2009. 12 Nov. 2016 <http://www.ifc.com/2010/05/harmony-korine-2>.Jay Magill Jr., R. Chic Ironic Bitterness. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2007.Kipp, Jeremiah. “Clean Off the Dirt, Scrape Off the Blood: An Interview with Trash Humpers Director Harmony Korine.” Slant Magazine 18 Mar. 2011. 1 Nov. 2016 <http://www.slantmagazine.com/house/article/clean-off-the-dirt-scrape-off-the-blood-an-interview-with-trash-humpers-director-harmony-korine>.Latour, Bruno. “Why Has Critique Run Out of Steam? From Matters of Fact to Matters of Concern.” Critical Inquiry 30.2 (2004): 225-248.Maly, Ico, and Varis, Piia. “The 21st-Century Hipster: On Micro-Populations in Times of Superdiversity.” European Journal of Cultural Studies 19.6 (2016): 637–653.McHugh, Gene. “Monday May 10th 2010.” Post Internet. New York: Lulu Press, 2010.Ouellette, Marc. “‘I Know It When I See It’: Style, Simulation and the ‘Short-Circuit Sign’.” Semiotic Review 3 (2013): 1–15.Reeve, Michael. “The Hipster as the Postmodern Dandy: Towards an Extensive Study.” 2013. 12 Nov. 2016. <http://www.academia.edu/3589528/The_hipster_as_the_postmodern_dandy_towards_an_extensive_study>.Schiermer, Bjørn. “Late-Modern Hipsters: New Tendencies in Popular Culture.” Acta Sociologica 57.2 (2014): 167–181.Sontag, Susan. “Notes on Camp.” Against Interpretation. New York: Octagon, 1964/1982. 275-92. Stahl, Geoff. “Mile-End Hipsters and the Unmasking of Montreal’s Proletaroid Intelligentsia; Or How a Bohemia Becomes BOHO.” Adam Art Gallery, Apr. 2010. 12 May 2015 <http://www.adamartgallery.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/adamartgallery_vuwsalecture_geoffstahl.pdf>.Williams, Alex. “Guerrilla Fashion: The Story of Supreme.” New York Times 21 Nov. 2012. 1 Nov. 2016 <http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/22/fashion/guerrilla-fashion-the-story-of-supreme.html>.Žižek, Slavoj. “L’Etat d’Hipster.” Rhinocerotique. Trans. Henry Brulard. Sep. 2009. 3-10.

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Marotta, Steve, Austin Cummings, and Charles Heying. "Where Is Portland Made? The Complex Relationship between Social Media and Place in the Artisan Economy of Portland, Oregon (USA)." M/C Journal 19, no.3 (June22, 2016). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1083.

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Abstract:

ExpositionPortland, Oregon (USA) has become known for an artisanal or ‘maker’ economy that relies on a resurgence of place specificity (Heying), primarily expressed and exported to a global audience in the notion of ‘Portland Made’ (Roy). Portland Made reveals a tension immanent in the notion of ‘place’: place is both here and not here, both real and imaginary. What emerges is a complicated picture of how place conceptually captures various intersections of materiality and mythology, aesthetics and economics. On the one hand, Portland Made represents the collective brand-identity used by Portland’s makers to signify a products’ material existence as handcrafted, place-embedded, and authentic. These characteristics lead to certain assumptions about the concept of ‘local’ (Marotta and Heying): what meaning does Portland Made convey, and how is such meaning distributed? On the other hand, the seemingly intentional embedding of place-specificity in objects meant for distribution far outside of Portland begs another type of question: how does Portland come to be discursively representative of these characteristics, and how are such representations distributed to global audiences? How does this global distribution and consumption of immaterial Portland feed back into the production of material Portland?To answer these questions we look to the realm of social media, specifically the popular image-based service Instagram. For the uninitiated, Instagram is a web-based social media service that allows pictures to be shared and seen by anyone that follows a person or business’ Instagram account. Actions include posting original photos (often taken and posted with a cell phone), ‘liking’ pictures, and ‘hash-tagging’ posts with trending terms that increase visibility. Instagram presents us with a complex view of place as both material and virtual, sometimes reifying and sometimes abstracting often-contradictory understandings of place specificity. Many makers use Instagram to promote their products to a broad audience and, in doing so, makers participate in the construction of Portland’s mythology. In this paper, we use empirical insights to theorise makers’ role in shaping and cultivating the virtual and material aspects of place. Additionally, we discuss how makers navigate the complex relationships tied to the importance of place in their specific cultural productions. In the first section, we develop the notion of a curated maker subjectivity. In the second section, we consider the relationship between subjectivity and place. Both sections emphasize how Instagram mediates the relationship between place and subjectivity. Through spotlighting particular literatures in each section, we attempt to fill a gap in the literature that addresses the relationship between subjectivity, place, and social media. Through this line of analysis, we attempt to better understand how and where Portland is made, along with the implications for Portland’s makers.ActionThe insights from this paper came to us inadvertently. While conducting fieldwork that interrogated ‘localism’ and how Portland makers conceptualise local, makers repeatedly discussed the importance of social media to their work. In our fieldwork, Instagram in particular has presented us with new opportunities to query the entanglements of real and virtual embedded in collective identifications with place. This paper draws from interviews conducted for two closely related research projects. The first examines maker ecosystems in three US cities, Portland, Chicago and New York (Doussard et. al.; Wolf-Powers and Levers). We drew from the Portland interviews (n=38) conducted for this project. The second research project is our multi-year examination of Portland’s maker community, where we have conducted interviews (n=48), two annual surveys of members of the Portland Made Collective (n=126 for 2014, n=338 for 2015) and numerous field observations. As will be evident below, our sample of makers includes small crafters and producers from a variety of ‘traditional’ sectors ranging from baking to carpentry to photography, all united by a common identification with the maker movement. Using insights from this trove of data as well as general observations of the changing artisan landscape of Portland, we address the question of how social media mediates the space between Portland as a material place and Portland as an imaginary place.Social Media, Subjectivity, and Authenticity In the post-Fordist era, creative self-enterprise and entrepreneurialism have been elevated to mythical status (Szeman), becoming especially important in the creative and digital industries. These industries have been characterized by contract based work (Neff, Wissinger, and Zukin; Storey, Salaman, and Platman), unstable employment (Hesmondhalgh and Baker), and the logic of flexible specialization (Duffy and Hund; Gill). In this context of hyper individualization and intense competition, creative workers and other entrepreneurs are increasingly pushed to strategically brand, curate, and project representational images of their subjectivity in order to secure new work (Gill), embody the values of the market (Banet-Weiser and Arzumanova), and take on commercial logics of authenticity (Duffy; Marwick and boyd). For example, Duffy and Hund explore how female fashion bloggers represent their branded persona, revealing three interrelated tropes typically used by bloggers: the destiny of passionate work; the presentation of a glam lifestyle; and carefully curated forms of social sharing. These curated tropes obscure the (unpaid) emotional and aesthetic labour (Hracs and Leslie), self-discipline, and capital required to run these blogs. Duffy and Hund also point out that this concealment is generative of particular mythologies about creative work, gender, race, and class. To this list we would add place; below, we will show the use of Instagram by Portland’s makers not only perpetuates particular mythologies about artisan labour and demands self-branding, but is also a spatial practice that is productive of place through the use of visual vernaculars that reflect a localized and globalized articulation of the social and physical milieu of Portland (Hjorth and Gu; Pike). Similar to many other artists and creative entrepreneurs (Pasquinelli and Sjöholm), Portland’s makers typically work long hours in order to produce high quality, unique goods at a volume that will afford them the ability to pay rent in Portland’s increasingly expensive central city neighbourhoods. Much of this work is done from the home: according to our survey of Portland Made Collective’s member firms, 40% consist of single entrepreneurs working from home. Despite being a part of a creative milieu that is constantly captured by the Portland ‘brand’, working long hours, alone, produces a sense of isolation, articulated well by this apparel maker:It’s very isolating working from home alone. [...] The other people I know are working from home, handmade people, I’ll post something, and it makes you realize we’re all sitting at home doing the exact same thing. We can’t all hang out because you gotta focus when you’re working, but when I’m like ugh, I just need a little break from the sewing machine for five minutes, I go on Instagram.This statement paints Instagram as a coping mechanism for the isolation of working alone from home, an important impetus for makers to use Instagram. This maker uses Instagram roughly two hours per workday to connect with other makers and to follow certain ‘trendsetters’ (many of whom also live in Portland). Following other makers allows the maker community to gauge where they are relative to other makers; one furniture maker told us that she was able to see where she should be going based on other makers that were slightly ahead of her, but she could also advise other makers that were slightly behind her. The effect is a sense of collaborative participation in the ‘scene’, which both alleviates the sense of isolation and helps makers gain legitimacy from others in their milieu. As we show below, this participation demands from makers a curative process of identity formation. Jacque Rancière’s intentional double meaning of the French term partage (the “distribution of the sensible”) creates space to frame curation in terms of the politics around “sharing in” and “sharing out” (Méchoulan). For Rancière, the curative aspect of communities (or scenes) reveals something inherently political about aesthetics: the politics of visibility on Instagram “revolve around what is seen and what can be said about it, who has the ability to see and the talent to speak, around the properties of space and the possibilities of time” (8-9). An integral part of the process of curating a particular identity to express over Instagram is reflected by who they follow or what they ‘like’ (a few makers mentioned the fact that they ‘like’ things strategically).Ultimately, makers need followers for their brand (product brand, self-brand, and place-brand), which requires makers to engage in a form of aesthetic labour through a curated articulation of who a maker is–their personal story, or what Duffy and Hund call “the destiny of passionate work”–and how that translates into what they make at the same time. These identities congeal over Instagram: one maker described this as a “circle of firms that are moving together.” Penetrating that circle by curating connections over Instagram is an important branding strategy.As a confections maker told us, strategically using hashtags and stylizing pictures to fit the trends is paramount. Doing these things effectively draws attention from other makers and trendsetters, and, as an apparel maker told us, getting even one influential trendsetter or blogger to follow them on Instagram can translate into huge influxes of attention (and sales) for their business. Furthermore, getting featured by an influential blogger or online magazine can yield instantaneous results. For instance, we spoke with an electronics accessories maker that had been featured in Gizmodo a few years prior, and the subsequent uptick in demand led him to hire over 20 new employees.The formulation of a ‘maker’ subjectivity reveals the underlying manner in which certain subjective characteristics are expressed while others remain hidden; expressing the wrong characteristics may subvert the ability for makers to establish themselves in the milieu. We asked a small Portland enterprise that documents the local maker scene about the process of curating an Instagram photo, especially curious about how they aesthetically frame ‘site visits’ at maker workspaces. We were somewhat surprised to hear that makers tend to “clean too much” ahead of a photo shoot; the photographer we spoke with told us that people want to see the space as it looks when it’s being worked in, when it’s a little messy. The photographer expressed an interest in accentuating the maker’s ‘individual understanding’ of the maker aesthetic; the framing and the lighting of each photo is meant to relay traces of the maker to potential consumers. The desire seems to be the expression and experience of ‘authenticity’, a desire that if captured correctly grants the maker a great deal of purchase in the field of Portland Made consumers. This is all to say that the curation of the workspaces is essential to the construction of the maker subjectivity and the Portland imaginary. Maker workshops are rendered as real places where real makers that belong to an authentic maker milieu produce authentic Portland goods that have a piece of Portland embedded within them (Molotch). Instagram is central in distributing that mythology to a global audience.At this point we can start to develop the relationship between maker subjectivity and place. Authenticity, in this context, appears to be tied to the product being both handmade and place-specific. As the curated imaginary of Portland matures, a growing dialogue emerges between makers and consumers of Portland Made (authentic) goods. This dialogue is a negotiated form of authority in which the maker claims authority while the consumer simultaneously confers authority. The aforementioned place-specificity signals a new layer of magic in regards to Portland’s distinctive position: would ‘making’ in any other place be generative of such authority? According to a number of our interviewees, being from Portland carries the assumption that Portland’s makers have a certain level of expertise that comes from being completely embedded in Portland’s creative scene. This complex interplay between real and virtual treats Portland’s imaginary as a concrete reality, preparing it for consumption by reinforcing the notion of an authoritative collective brand (Portland Made). One bicycle accessory maker claimed that the ability of Portland’s makers to access the Portland brand transmits credibility for makers of things associated with Portland, such as bikes, beer, and crafty goods. This perhaps explains why so many makers use Portland in the name of their company (e.g. Portland Razor Company) and why so many stamp their goods with ‘Made in Portland’.This, however, comes with an added set of expectations: the maker, again, is tasked with cultivating and performing a particular aesthetic in order to achieve legitimacy with their target audience, only this time it ends up being the dominant aesthetic associated with a specific place. For instance, the aforementioned bicycle accessory maker that we spoke with recalled an experience at a craft fair in which many of the consumers were less concerned with his prices than whether his goods were handmade in Portland. Without this legitimation, the good would not have the mysticism of Portland as a place locked within it. In this way, the authenticity of a place becomes metonymic (e.g. Portlandia), similar to how Detroit became known as ‘Motor City’. Portland’s particular authenticity is wrapped up in individuality, craftiness, creativity, and environmental conscientiousness, all things that makers in some way embed in their products (Molotch) and express in the photos on their Instagram feeds (Hjorth).(Social) Media, Place, and the Performance of Aesthetics In this section, we turn our attention to the relationship between subjectivity, place, and Instagram. Scholars have investigated how television production (Pramett), branding (Pike), and locative-based social media (Hjorth, Hjorth and Gu, Hjorth and Lim, Leszczynski) function as spatial practices. The practices affect and govern experiences and interactions with space, thereby generating spatial hybridity (de Souza e Silva). McQuire, for example, investigates the historical formation of the ‘media city’, demonstrating how various media technologies have become interconnected with the architectural structures of the city. Pramett expands on this analysis of media representations of cities by interrogating how media production acts as a spatial practice that produces and governs contested urban spaces, the people in those spaces, and the habitus of the place, forming what she dubs the “media neighbourhood.” The media neighbourhood becomes ordered by the constant opportunities for neighbourhood residents to be involved in media production; residents must navigate and interact with local space as though they may be captured on film or asked to work in the background production at any moment. These material (on site shooting and local hiring practices) and immaterial (textual, musical, and visual representations of a city) production practices become exploitative, extracting value from a place for media industries and developers that capitalize on a place’s popular imaginary.McQuire’s media city and Pramett’s media neighbourhood help us understand the embeddedness of (social) media in the material landscapes of Portland. Over the past few years, Portland has begun experiencing new flows of tourists and migrants–we should note that more than a few makers mentioned in interviews that they moved to Portland in order to become makers–expecting to find what they see on Instagram overlaid materially on the city itself. And indeed, they do: ‘vibrant’ neighbourhood districts such as Alberta Arts, Belmont, Mississippi, Hawthorne, Northwest 23rd, and downtown Portland’s rebranded ‘West End’ are all increasingly full of colourful boutiques that express maker aesthetics and sell local maker goods. Not only do the goods and boutiques need to exemplify these aesthetic qualities, but the makers and the workspaces from which these goods come from, need to fit that aesthetic.The maker subjectivity is developed through the navigation of both real and virtual experiences that contour the social performance of a ‘maker aesthetic’. This aesthetic has become increasingly socially consumed, a trend especially visible on Instagram: as a point of reference, there are at least four Portland-based ‘foodies’ that have over 80,000 followers on Instagram. One visible result of this curated and performed subjectivity and the place-brand it captures is the physical transformation of Portland: (material) space has become a surface onto which the (virtual) Instagram/maker aesthetic is being inscribed, a stage on which the maker aesthetic is performed. The material and immaterial are interwoven into a dramaturgy that gives space a certain set of meanings oriented toward creativity, quirkiness, and consumption. Meanings cultivated over Instagram, then, become productive of meaning in place. These meanings are consumed by thousands of tourists and newly minted Portlanders, as images of people posing in front of Portland’s hipster institutions (such as Salt & Straw or Voodoo Donuts) are captured on iPhones and redistributed back across Instagram for the world to experience. Perhaps this is why Tokyo now has an outpost of Portland’s Blue Star Donuts or why Red Hook (Brooklyn) has its own version of Portland’s Pok Pok. One designer/maker, who had recently relocated to Portland, captured the popular imaginary of Portland in this conversation:Maker: People in Brooklyn love the idea that it came from Portland. People in Seattle love it; people in the Midwest love that it came from Portland right now, because Portland’s like the thing.Interviewer: What does that mean, what does it embody?Maker: They know that it’s local, it like, they know that maker thing is there, it’s in Portland, that they know it’s organic to Portland, it’s local to Portland, there’s this crazy movement that you hear throughout the United States about–Interviewer: So people are getting a piece of that?Maker: Yeah.For us, the dialogical relationship between material and immaterial has never been more entangled. Instagram is one way that makers might control the gap between fragmentation and belonging (i.e. to a particular community or milieu), although in the process they are confronted with an aesthetic distribution that is productive of a mythological sense of place that social media seems to produce, distribute, and consume so effectively. In the era of social media, where sense of place is so quickly transmitted, cities can come to represent a sense of collective identity, and that identity might in turn be distributed across its material landscape.DenouementThrough every wrench turn, every stitching of fabric, every boutique opening, and every Instagram post, makers actively produce Portland as both a local and global place. Portland is constructed through the material and virtual interactions makers engage in, both cultivating and framing everyday interactions in space and ideas held about place. In the first section, we focused on the curation of a maker aesthetic and the development of the maker subjectivity mediated through Instagram. The second section attempted to better understand how those aesthetic performances on Instagram become imprinted on urban space and how these inscriptions feedback to global audiences. Taken together, these performances reveal the complex undertaking that makers adopt in branding their goods as Portland Made. In addition, we hope to have shown the complex entanglements between space and place, production and consumption, and ‘here’ and ‘not here’ that are enrolled in value production at the nexus of place-brand generation.Our investigation opens the door to another, perhaps more problematic set of interrogations which are beyond the scope of this paper. In particular, and especially in consideration of Portland’s gentrification crisis, we see two related sets of displacements as necessary of further interrogation. First, as we answer the question of where Portland is made, we acknowledge that the capturing of Portland Made as a brand perpetuates a process of displacement and “spatio-subjective” regulation that both reflects and reproduces spatial rationalizations (Williams and Dourish). This dis-place-ment renders particular neighbourhoods and populations within Portland, specifically ethnic minorities and the outer edges of the metropolitan area, invisible or superfluous to the city’s imaginary. Portland, as presented by makers through their Instagram accounts, conceals the city’s “power geometries” (Massey) and ignores the broader social context Portland exists in, while perpetuating the exclusion of ethnic minorities from the conversation about what else is made in Portland.Second, as Portland Made has become virtually representative of a deepening connection between makers and place, the performance of such aesthetic labour has left makers to navigate a process that increasingly leads to their own estrangement from the very place they have a hand in creating. This process reveals an absurdity: makers are making the very thing that displaces them. The cultivation of the maker milieu attracts companies, in-movers, and tourists to Portland, thus creating a tight real estate market and driving up property values. Living and working in Portland is increasingly difficult for makers, epitomized by the recent sale and eviction of approximately 500 makers from the Town Storage facility (Hammill). Additionally, industrial space in the city is increasingly coveted by tech firms, and competition over such space is being complicated by looming zoning changes in Portland’s new comprehensive plan.Our conclusions suggest additional research is needed to understand the relationship(s) between such aesthetic performance and various forms of displacement, but we also suggest attention to the global reach of such dynamics: how is Portland’s maker ecosystem connected to the global maker community over social media, and how is space shaped differentially in other places despite a seemingly hom*ogenizing maker aesthetic? Additionally, we do not explore policy implications above, although there is significant space for such exploration with consideration to the attention that Portland and the maker movement in general are receiving from policymakers hungry for a post-Fordist magic bullet. ReferencesBanet-Weiser, Sarah, and Inna Arzumanova. “Creative Authorship, Self-Actualizing Women, and the Self-Brand.” Media Authorship. Eds. Cynthia Chris and David A. Gerstner. New York, NY: Routledge, 2012: 163-179. De Souza e Silva, Adriana. “From Cyber to Hybrid: Mobile Technologies as Interfaces of Hybrid Spaces.” Space and Culture 9.3 (2006): 261–278.Duffy, Brooke Erin, “The Romance of Work: Gender and Aspirational Labour in the Digital Culture Industries.” International Journal of Cultural Studies (2015): 1–17. Duffy, Brooke Erin, and Emily Hund. “‘Having It All’ on Social Media: Entrepreneurial Femininity and Self-Branding among Fashion Bloggers.” Social Media + Society 1.2 (2015): n. pag. Doussard, Marc, Charles Heying, Greg Schrock, and Laura Wolf-Powers. Metropolitan Maker Networks: The Role of Policy, Organization, and "Maker-Enabling Entrepreneurs" in Building the Maker Economy. Progress update to the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. 2015. Gill, Rosalind. “‘Life Is a Pitch’: Managing the Self in New Media Work.” Managing Media Work (2010): n. pag. Hammill, Luke. "Sale of Towne Storage Building Sends Evicted Artists, Others Scrambling for Space." The Oregonian, 2016.Hesmondhalgh, David, and Sarah Baker. Creative Labour: Media Work in Three Cultural Industries. London, UK: Routledge, 2011. Heying, Charles. Brew to Bikes: Portland’s Artisan Economy. Portland, OR: Ooligan Press, 2010. Hjorth, Larissa. “The Place of the Emplaced Mobile: A Case Study into Gendered Locative Media Practices.” Mobile Media & Communication 1.1 (2013): 110–115. Hjorth, Larissa, and Kay Gu. “The Place of Emplaced Visualities: A Case Study of Smartphone Visuality and Location-Based Social Media in Shanghai, China.” Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies 26.5 (2012): 699–713. Hjorth, Larissa, and Sun Sun Lim. “Mobile Intimacy in an Age of Affective Mobile Media.” Feminist Media Studies 12.4 (2012): 477–484. Hracs, Brian J., and Deborah Leslie. “Aesthetic Labour in Creative Industries: The Case of Independent Musicians in Toronto, Canada.” Area 46.1 (2014): 66–73. Leszczynski, A. “Spatial Media/tion.” Progress in Human Geography 39.6 (2014): 729–751. Marotta, Stephen, and Charles Heying. “Interrogating Localism: What Does ‘Made in Portland’ Really Mean?” Craft Economies: Cultural Economies of the Handmade. Eds. Susan Luckman and Nicola Thomas. London, UK: Bloomsbury Academic: forthcoming. Marwick, Alice E., and danah boyd. “I Tweet Honestly, I Tweet Passionately: Twitter Users, Context Collapse, and the Imagined Audience.” New Media & Society 13.1 (2011): 114–133. Massey, Doreen. “A Global Sense of Place.” Space, Place, and Gender. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1994. McQuire, Scott. The Media City: Media, Architecture and Urban Space. Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications Inc., 2008. Mechoulan, Eric. “Introduction: On the Edges of Jacques Ranciere.” SubStance 33.1 (2004): 3–9. Molotch, Harvey. “Place in Product.” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 26.4 (2003): 665–688. Neff, Gina, Elizabeth Wissinger, and Sharon Zukin. “Entrepreneurial Labor among Cultural Producers: ‘Cool’ Jobs in ‘Hot’ Industries.” Social Semiotics 15.3 (2005): 307–334. Pasquinelli, Cecilia, and Jenny Sjöholm. “Art and Resilience: The Spatial Practices of Making a Resilient Artistic Career in London.” City, Culture and Society 6.3 (2015): 75–81. Pike, Andy. “Placing Brands and Branding: A Socio-Spatial Biography of Newcastle Brown Ale.” Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 36.2 (2011): 206–222. ———. “Progress in Human Geography Geographies of Brands and Branding Geographies of Brands and Branding.” (2009): 1–27. Ranciere, Jacque. The Politics of Aesthetics. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2004. Roy, Kelley. Portland Made. Portland, OR: Self-Published, 2015.

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Cover, Rob. "Reading the Remix: Methods for Researching and Analysing the Interactive Textuality of Remix." M/C Journal 16, no.4 (August12, 2013). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.686.

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Abstract:

IntroductionWith the proliferation of remixed (audio-visual) texts such as fan music videos, slash video, mash-ups and digital stories utilising existing and new visual and audio material on sites such as YouTube, questions are opened as to the efficacy of current forms of media textual analysis. Remixed texts have been positioned as a new and transformative form of art that, despite industry copyright concerns, do not compete with existing texts but makes use of them as ‘found material’ in order to produce an ostensibly intertextual experience (Lessig). Intertexts include pastiche, parody and/or allusion to extant texts and, at the same time, acknowledge that no text is purely original but is built on its ostensible or tacit relationality with a broad range of other texts—relationalities which may be activated in reading or be coded into the text. Remixes are often the work of fan audiences who seek to engage in a participatory manner—a particular reading position that shifts into the act of writing—with texts, television, film and music of which one is a member of an avid audience or a community audience that engage with each other through collaborative production of new texts based on old. The remix is a substantial outcome of such readerly, writerly and collaborative engagement whereby meanings drawn intertextually from the original text are re-produced, expanded upon, critiqued or re-framed through several different activities which may include: re-ordering existing audio-visual material in a way which, according to Constance Penley, was once done by Star Trek fans using magnetic tape and two video recorders to produce new narratives and interpretative frames by cutting and suturing material in an order different from that broadcast (Penley);presenting new meanings to texts, stories or narratives by taking visual material either in short cuts or long scenes and layering over popular music audio tracks, which is commonly done by television fans, such as fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the early 2000s, who produce new meanings or re-emphasise old ones around relationships by bringing together (sometimes cheesy) songs with televised footage (Cover, More Than a Watcher). In both cases, the texts are both new and old—they are a remix of existing material, but the act of remixing produces new frames for the activations of meanings or new narratives, that sit between the interactive and the intertextual. The fact that these forms can be traced back to pre-digital technologies of the 1970s (in the case of Penley’s Star Trek fan videos) or the pre-YouTube and Web 2.0 participatory sharing (in the case of Cover’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan videos, distributed through newslists, email and private website) indicates the deep-seated cultural desire or demand for participatory engagement and co-creative forms of encountering texts (Cover, Interactivity). In light of this new form of participatory communication experience, there has emerged a methodological gap requiring new frameworks for researching and analysing the remix text as a text, and within the context of its interactivity, intertextuality, layering and the ways in which these together reconfigure existing narratives and produce new narrative. This paper outlines some approaches used in teaching students about contemporary interactive and convergent digital texts by undertaking practical textual analyses of sample remix audio-video texts. I will discuss some of the more important theoretical issues concerning the analysis of remix texts, with particular attention to notions of interactivity, intertextuality and layering. I will then outline some practical steps for undertaking this kind of analysis in the classroom. By understanding the remix text through a metaphor of layering (drawn from Photoshopping and digital manipulation terminology), a method for ‘remix analysis’ can be put forward that presents innovative ways of engaging with textuality and narrative. Such analyses incorporate narrative sourcing, identification of user-generated content, sequencing, digital manipulation, framing and audio/visual juxtaposition as starting points for reading the remix text. Remix analyses, in this framework, optimise a reflective engagement with contemporary issues of copyright and intellectual property, textual genealogy, intertextuality, co-creative production and emergent forms of interactivity. Interactivity and Intertextuality For Lawrence Lessig, remix is a form of creativity that puts in question the separation between reader and writer. It emphasises instead the participatory form in which read-write creativity (or co-creativity) becomes the normative standard of high-level engagement with extant texts through both selection and arrangement (56). Remix culture, for Lessig, makes use of digital technologies that have been developed for other purposes and practices and delivers forms of collage, complexity, and co-creativity directed towards a broader audience. The role played by YouTube as a sharing site which makes available the massive number of remixed texts is testament to the form’s significance as an interactive, intertextual creation or co-creation. As Burgess and Green have argued, consumer co-creation is fundamental to YouTube’s mission and role in the distribution of texts (4-5). It is more than a peripheral site for re-distribution of either existing texts or private video-logs but, today, operates as a mainstream component in a broader media matrix. In this matrix, the experience of textual audiencehood is re-coded as participatory engagement with prior texts, in order both to reflect on those texts and to produce new ones in a co-creative capacity. This is not to suggest that YouTube is not complicit in copyright regimes that actively seek to restrict participatory and co-creative artistic practice in favour of older models of textual ownership and control over distribution (Cover, Audience Inter/Active). Its digital capacity to police remixed texts that have been marked by corporate copyright holders as unavailable for further use or manipulation has been a substantial development on the side of traditional copyright in the push-pull struggle between free co-creativity and limiting regimes (Cover, Interactivity), although this does not altogether stem the production of the remix as a substantial experience of artistic practice and of user participatory engagement with media matrices. Central to understanding and analysing the remix as a text in its own right is the fact that it is interactive, a point which leads to the assertion that analytic tools suited to traditional, non-interactive texts are not always going to be adequate to the task of unpacking and drawing out thematic and conceptual material from a remix’s narrative. Although interactivity has been difficult to define, the form of interactivity in which we see the remix is that which involves an element of co-creativity between the author of a source text and the user of the text who interacts with the source to transform it into something new. Spiro Kiousis has argued that while definitions of interactivity are amorphous, there is value in the concept “as long as we all accept that the term implies some degree of receiver feedback and is usually linked to new technologies” (357). For Lelia Green, however, interactivity implies the capacity of a communication medium to have its products altered by the actions of a user or audience (xx). In the case of the latter, interactivity covers not only the sorts of texts in which audience or user engagement is required as a built-in part of the process, such as in digital games, but those texts, forms, mediums and experiences in which existing texts are manipulated, revised, re-used or brought together, such as in the remix. Drawing on Bordewijk and van Kaam, Sally McMillan delineated the concept of interactivity into a typology of four intersecting levels or uses: Allocution, in which interactive engagement is minimal, and is set within the context of a single, central broadcaster and multiple receivers on the periphery (273). This would ordinarily include most traditional mass media forms such as television and the selection of channels.Consultation, which occurs in the use of a database, such as a website, where a user actively searches for pre-provided information but does not seek to alter that information (273). Access here does not alter the content, source, narrative or information that has been requested. Drawing information from Wikipedia without the intent of editing information may alter the metadata or framework through providing the site with tracking information, but in this case the textuality of the text as accessed is not transformed through this level of interactivity.Registration, which does record access patterns and accumulates information from the periphery in a central registry which alters the information, significance or context of the material (273). McMillan’s early Web 1.0 example of registrational interactivity was the internet ‘cookie’, which tracks and customises content of internet sites visited by the user. However, as a category of interactivity in which the narrative or form of the text itself is altered in its reading or use, it might also be said to include the electronic game as well as forms of communications engagement which access a source text, manipulate, customise or re-form it using commonly-available or sophisticated software, and re-distribute it through digital means. Here, the narrative is knowingly acted upon in ways which alter it for other uses. Conversational, which occurs when individuals interact directly with each other, usually in real-time in ways which mimic face-to-face engagement without physical presence at a locale (273). An online written chat using a relay platform provided by a social networking site that does not record the text is an example; likewise using a video skype account is also conversational interactivity. While McMillan’s ‘registrational’ definition of interactivity, as the one which gives greater capacity to an audience to change, alter and manipulate a text or a textual narrative, allows considerable redefinition of the traditional author-text-audience relationship, none of the four-scale definitions adequately allow for the ways in which remix texts are at once interactive, intertextual, intermedial and built through participatory re-layering and re-organising of a broader corpus of material in ways typically not invited by the original texts or their original distributional mediums—hence the concerns around copyright and distributional control (Cover, Audience Inter/Active). As an outcome of registrational interactivity, the remix presents itself not merely in terms of how the relationship is structured in the context of new digital media, but also shifts how the audience has been conceived historically in terms of its ability to control the text and its internal structure and coherence. In light of both new developments in interactivity with the text as found in the increasing popularity of new media forms such as electronic gaming, and the ‘backlash’ development of new technologies, software and legal methods that actively seek to prevent alteration and re-distribution of texts, the historical and contemporary conception of the author-text-audience affinity can be characterised as a tactical war of contention for control over the text. This is a struggle set across a number of different contexts, media forms, sites and author/audience capacities but is embodied in the legal, cultural and economic skirmishes over the form and use of remix texts. More significantly, however, the remix is an interactivity that is conscious of the intertextuality that produces the various juxtapositions to create new narratives. All texts are intertextual, and the concept of intertextuality takes into account the network of other, similar texts to which any new text contributes and by which it is influenced. This similarity can be produced by several factors, including genre, allusion, trace, pastiche and aesthetics. Intertextuality can include the fact that a text is related to and permeated by the discourse of its sources (Bignell 92), but in all cases it shapes the meanings, significations and potential readings of a text in a way attuned to the polysemy of contemporary cultural production. In the context of interactivity, however, it is through co-creative engagement that intertextuality of both the source and the new text are drawn out as a deliberate act of creation. Layering As an interactive and deliberately intertextual text, the remix or mash-up is best understood as layered intermedia, that is, as a narrative comprised of—or fused between—moving image and sound, audio which includes dialogue, effects, incidental and narrative-related music. In that context, no individual component of the text can be understood or analysed away from the elements into which it has been remixed. New meanings emerge in intermedia remixes not simply because originary or new intertextualities are produced by user-creators relying on existing sources, but because those sources themselves no longer operate with the same set of meanings and significations, allowing the productive activation of new meanings (Bennett). While it is important to pay attention to the fact that the narrative of a remix text works only through the reconfiguration of the intermedia of audio and visual in order to create a new text with subsequent new potential meanings, the analysis must pay attention to the various forms of layering that constitute all audio-visual texts. For Lessig, such layering is a digital form of collage (70). However it is also the means by which, on the one hand, new intertextualities are developed through juxtaposition of different sources in order to give them all new significations and to activate new meanings and, on the other hand, to draw attention to the existing potential intertextuality of the sources and the polysemy of meaning. Understanding layering of texts involves understanding a text in a three-dimensional capacity. This is where some basic awareness of digital image manipulation through application software such as Photoshop and Gimp can be instructive in providing frameworks through which to understand contemporary digital media forms and analyse the ways in which they, as potential, productively activate sets or ranges of meanings. Such digital manipulation programs require the user to think about, say, an image as being built upon and manipulated across different layers, whereby a core image is ‘drawn out’ into its third dimension through adding, shifting, changing, re-figuring and re-framing—layer over layer. The core remains, but is radically altered by what occurs at the different layers. Likewise, the remix is produced through interacting with a number of different source texts together within a conceptual framework that is three-dimension and operates across layers. These include the two primary layers of the visual and the audio—for remixes are typically audio-visual—but also through interacting with a range of intertextual meanings that, likewise, can be understood in three-dimensional layers across the temporality of an audio-visual moving text. Method of Analysis A simple typology for analysing remix texts—focusing particularly on fan videos on YouTube, including same-sexualised fan fiction known as slash and those texts which re-order television and film material juxtaposed against popular music tracks—emerged from a first-year undergraduate digital media cultures course I taught at The University of Adelaide in 2010. With a broad range of meanings, views, interpretations and engagements emerging in large-group teaching, we workshopped possible scenarios with the aim of establishing some steps that can be used to consider the place of the remix in the context of its narrative interactivity and intertextual groundings. A typological method for analysis is not necessarily the most sophisticated way in which to draw out narrative threads and strands from a remix text and, indeed, there may be value in exploring remixed texts from other perspectives such as the YouTube-enabled participatory reflectiveness that emerges from community and commentary perspectives. However, to understand the narrative elements that emerge from a remix there is also great value in beginning with an unstitching of its constituent components in order to understand the interactive, intertextual, intermedial formation of the remix through its structuration and selectivity and assembling of extant texts. To best describe a typology for analysing the remix as a text and an interactive intertext, we might use an example. Let us say, hypothetically, a YouTube remix video of three- minutes-and-fifty-seconds in length that takes various scenes from the television series Arrested Development, perhaps the two characters of adult brothers GOB and Michael Bluth, from across its four years and sets them against a single audio track, Belle & Sebastian’s Seeing Other People. Such an example would not be an uncommon remix, which may be an expression of fandom for Arrested Development or perhaps an expression of critical engagement that actively draws attention to the range of reading positions, formations and potential productive activation of meanings (Bennett) around sibling relationships in the original. That is, by juxtaposing a popular audio track about the awkwardness of romantic relationships against images of the closeness, distance and competitiveness of the two brothers is to give it a ‘slash’ element, thereby presenting a narrative which either implies a pseudo-sexual or romantic component to the brotherly relationship (an activity not uncommon in the production of slash) or makes a critical statement about the way in which the theatrics of touch, familial hugging, looking and seeing or positioning in visual frames is utilised in the series in ways which are open to alternative readings. Now that it is determined such a remix might actively and self-consciously play with the juxtaposition across two layers to create additional meanings, the real work of analysis can be undertaken. This, of course, could include thematic, discursive or narrative analysis of the text alone. However, if one is to work with the notion that a remix is always produced in both interactivity and intertextuality, then a number of steps must be taken at the level of individual layers and, subsequently, together. This aids in understanding the sourcing, collocation, positioning, re-ordering in order to come to a depth of interpretation as to a possible meaning of the remix among the many available in a polysemic cultural product. Step One: Determine the Video Narrative Source. This involves establishing if the remix’s video material is from a singular source (such as a single film or television episode), multiple sources (many films) and, if multiple, if these are from the same genre, with the same actors, same director or different in each case. It also involves ascertaining if there is user-generated visual content such as additional material, animation or captioning. Exploring the possible arrangements of the visual source, while assuming that the audio track remains singular and identifiable, provides opportunities to consider the thematic, genre and story elements and their significations for the resulting new, co-creative narrative of the remix. This step invites the scholar to consider how the remix’s discernible narrative differs from the scholar’s reading of the source video texts, how the visual material signifies without its original audio component (for example, the dialogue in a television episode) and the ways in which the separation of the source visual from audio presents new interpretative frames. Step Two: Understand the Narrative Sequence. Has the video material been cut (pieces extracted and re-joined? Has the temporal order of the video material been re-sequenced. How do these shifts and changes impact on the narrative or story told? In our example here, we might find a series of scenes of two characters hugging or touching, with the narrative elements from the original episode that occur between—that is, that give a context to those hugs—removed. Asking how the removal of that contextual material presents the source clips as a new narrative and a new interactively-derived creation is central to this step. Step Three: Visual Manipulation. What additional visual manipulation features have been added—fade-ins, fade-outs, framing, changes to the speed or playback time of the source video? Accounting for these enables the viewer to position the remix narrative at a point of distance from the source, shifting from derivative to intertextual. Naturally, these must be understood in the context of the earlier steps while foregrounding the interactive form of the remix as a co-created piece that is more than just an intervention into an original text but the utilisation through manipulation of a range of texts to produce a new one. Step Four: Narrative Engagement and Collocation. Here, the scholar must assess the extent to which the audio source has a ‘fit’ with the visual. Thematic and discourse analysis (among others) can be applied to determine the way in which audio track, in addition to the above four steps and manipulations, productively activate new meanings, contexts and frames in the narrative. Importantly, however, this step requires not only asking what the audio does to the video, but the reverse. Using the Arrested Development example, one must ask what the visual material does for the meanings that are denoted within the audio, its musical elements and its lyrics: to what extent does the video source ‘fit’ with or re-position the significance of the audio dialogue and present it with meanings it would not otherwise have in an audio-online context (or, of course, in the context of its use in an ‘authorised’ music video). Together, these four steps present one possible means of ‘coming at’ the interactive and intertextual roots of the remix as a co-creative text. It is not merely to analyse how the source has been used or how the remix allows the sources to be presented or distributed differently, but to understand how new narratives emerge in the context of the various ‘mixings’ that come out of interactive engagement with the text to produce intertextual activation of meanings. Analysing remix texts through this method opens the possibility not only of being able to articulate readings of the text that are built on interactivity and layering, but a critique of the contemporary conditions of textual production. By demonstrating the ways in which a text can be understood to be located not just within intertextuality but within intertextual layers, it is possible to reflect more broadly on all textuality as being produced, disseminated and having its meanings productively activated in the context of ‘degrees’ of layers and ‘degrees’ of of interactivity. References Bennett, T. “Texts, Readers, Reading Formations.” Literature and History 9.2 (1983): 214-227. Bignell, J. Media Semiotics: An Introduction. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1997. Bordewijk, J.L., and B. van Kaam. “Towards a New Classification of Tele-Information Services.” InterMedia 14.1 (1986): 16-21. Burgess, J., and J. Green. YouTube: Online Video and Participatory Culture. Cambridge: Polity, 2009. Cover, R. “Interactivity: Reconceiving the Audience in the Struggle for Textual ‘Control’.” Australian Journal of Communication, 31.1 (2004): 107-120. — — —. “Audience Inter/Active: Interactive Media, Narrative Control & Reconceiving Audience History.” New Media & Society 8.1 (2006): 213-232. — — —. “More than a Watcher: Buffy Fans, Amateur Music Videos, Romantic Slash and Intermedia.” Music, Sound and Silence in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Ed. P. Attinello, J. K. Halfyard & V. Knights, London: Ashgate, 2010. 131-148. Green, L. Communication, Technology and Society. St. Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 2002. Jenkins, H. “What Happened before YouTube.” YouTube: Online Video and Participatory Culture. Ed. J. Burgess and J. Green. Cambridge: Polity, 2009. 109-125. Kiousis, S. “Interactivity: A Concept Explication.” New Media & Society 4.3 (2002): 355-383. Lessig, L. Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2008. McMillan, S. “A Four-Part Model of Cyber-Interactivity: Some Cyber-Places are More Interactive than Others.” New Media & Society 4.2 (2002): 271-291. Penley, C. Nasa/Trek: Popular Science and Sex in America. London & New York: Verso, 1997.

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Holleran, Samuel. "Better in Pictures." M/C Journal 24, no.4 (August19, 2021). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2810.

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While the term “visual literacy” has grown in popularity in the last 50 years, its meaning remains nebulous. It is described variously as: a vehicle for aesthetic appreciation, a means of defence against visual manipulation, a sorting mechanism for an increasingly data-saturated age, and a prerequisite to civic inclusion (Fransecky 23; Messaris 181; McTigue and Flowers 580). Scholars have written extensively about the first three subjects but there has been less research on how visual literacy frames civic life and how it might help the public as a tool to address disadvantage and assist in removing social and cultural barriers. This article examines a forerunner to visual literacy in the push to create an international symbol language born out of popular education movements, a project that fell short of its goals but still left a considerable impression on graphic media. This article, then, presents an analysis of visual literacy campaigns in the early postwar era. These campaigns did not attempt to invent a symbolic language but posited that images themselves served as a universal language in which students could receive training. Of particular interest is how the concept of visual literacy has been mobilised as a pedagogical tool in design, digital humanities and in broader civic education initiatives promoted by Third Space institutions. Behind the creation of new visual literacy curricula is the idea that images can help anchor a world community, supplementing textual communication. Figure 1: Visual Literacy Yearbook. Montebello Unified School District, USA, 1973. Shedding Light: Origins of the Visual Literacy Frame The term “visual literacy” came to the fore in the early 1970s on the heels of mass literacy campaigns. The educators, creatives and media theorists who first advocated for visual learning linked this aim to literacy, an unassailable goal, to promote a more radical curricular overhaul. They challenged a system that had hitherto only acknowledged a very limited pathway towards academic success; pushing “language and mathematics”, courses “referred to as solids (something substantial) as contrasted with liquids or gases (courses with little or no substance)” (Eisner 92). This was deemed “a parochial view of both human ability and the possibilities of education” that did not acknowledge multiple forms of intelligence (Gardner). This change not only integrated elements of mass culture that had been rejected in education, notably film and graphic arts, but also encouraged the critique of images as a form of good citizenship, assuming that visually literate arbiters could call out media misrepresentations and manipulative political advertising (Messaris, “Visual Test”). This movement was, in many ways, reactive to new forms of mass media that began to replace newspapers as key forms of civic participation. Unlike simple literacy (being able to decipher letters as a mnemonic system), visual literacy involves imputing meanings to images where meanings are less fixed, yet still with embedded cultural signifiers. Visual literacy promised to extend enlightenment metaphors of sight (as in the German Aufklärung) and illumination (as in the French Lumières) to help citizens understand an increasingly complex marketplace of images. The move towards visual literacy was not so much a shift towards images (and away from books and oration) but an affirmation of the need to critically investigate the visual sphere. It introduced doubt to previously upheld hierarchies of perception. Sight, to Kant the “noblest of the senses” (158), was no longer the sense “least affected” by the surrounding world but an input centre that was equally manipulable. In Kant’s view of societal development, the “cosmopolitan” held the key to pacifying bellicose states and ensuring global prosperity and tranquillity. The process of developing a cosmopolitan ideology rests, according to Kant, on the gradual elimination of war and “the education of young people in intellectual and moral culture” (188-89). Transforming disparate societies into “a universal cosmopolitan existence” that would “at last be realised as the matrix within which all the original capacities of the human race may develop” and would take well-funded educational institutions and, potentially, a new framework for imparting knowledge (Kant 51). To some, the world of the visual presented a baseline for shared experience. Figure 2: Exhibition by the Gesellschafts- und Wirtschaftsmuseum in Vienna, photograph c. 1927. An International Picture Language The quest to find a mutually intelligible language that could “bridge worlds” and solder together all of humankind goes back to the late nineteenth century and the Esperanto movement of Ludwig Zamenhof (Schor 59). The expression of this ideal in the world of the visual picked up steam in the interwar years with designers and editors like Fritz Kahn, Gerd Arntz, and Otto and Marie Neurath. Their work transposing complex ideas into graphic form has been rediscovered as an antecedent to modern infographics, but the symbols they deployed were not to merely explain, but also help education and build international fellowship unbounded by spoken language. The Neuraths in particular are celebrated for their international picture language or Isotypes. These pictograms (sometimes viewed as proto-emojis) can be used to represent data without text. Taken together they are an “intemporal, hieroglyphic language” that Neutrath hoped would unite working-class people the world over (Lee 159). The Neuraths’ work was done in the explicit service of visual education with a popular socialist agenda and incubated in the social sphere of Red Vienna at the Gesellschafts- und Wirtschaftsmuseum (Social and Economic Museum) where Otto served as Director. The Wirtschaftsmuseum was an experiment in popular education, with multiple branches and late opening hours to accommodate the “the working man [who] has time to see a museum only at night” (Neurath 72-73). The Isotype contained universalist aspirations for the “making of a world language, or a helping picture language—[that] will give support to international developments generally” and “educate by the eye” (Neurath 13). Figure 3: Gerd Arntz Isotype Images. (Source: University of Reading.) The Isotype was widely adopted in the postwar era in pre-packaged sets of symbols used in graphic design and wayfinding systems for buildings and transportation networks, but with the socialism of the Neuraths’ peeled away, leaving only the system of logos that we are familiar with from airport washrooms, charts, and public transport maps. Much of the uptake in this symbol language could be traced to increased mobility and tourism, particularly in countries that did not make use of a Roman alphabet. The 1964 Olympics in Tokyo helped pave the way when organisers, fearful of jumbling too many scripts together, opted instead for black and white icons to represent the program of sports that summer. The new focus on the visual was both technologically mediated—cheaper printing and broadcast technologies made the diffusion of image increasingly possible—but also ideologically supported by a growing emphasis on projects that transcended linguistic, ethnic, and national borders. The Olympic symbols gradually morphed into Letraset icons, and, later, symbols in the Unicode Standard, which are the basis for today’s emojis. Wordless signs helped facilitate interconnectedness, but only in the most literal sense; their application was limited primarily to sports mega-events, highway maps, and “brand building”, and they never fulfilled their role as an educational language “to give the different nations a common outlook” (Neurath 18). Universally understood icons, particularly in the form of emojis, point to a rise in visual communication but they have fallen short as a cosmopolitan project, supporting neither the globalisation of Kantian ethics nor the transnational socialism of the Neuraths. Figure 4: Symbols in use. Women's bathroom. 1964 Tokyo Olympics. (Source: The official report of the Organizing Committee.) Counter Education By mid-century, the optimism of a universal symbol language seemed dated, and focus shifted from distillation to discernment. New educational programs presented ways to study images, increasingly reproducible with new technologies, as a language in and of themselves. These methods had their roots in the fin-de-siècle educational reforms of John Dewey, Helen Parkhurst, and Maria Montessori. As early as the 1920s, progressive educators were using highly visual magazines, like National Geographic, as the basis for lesson planning, with the hopes that they would “expose students to edifying and culturally enriching reading” and “develop a more catholic taste or sensibility, representing an important cosmopolitan value” (Hawkins 45). The rise in imagery from previously inaccessible regions helped pupils to see themselves in relation to the larger world (although this connection always came with the presumed superiority of the reader). “Pictorial education in public schools” taught readers—through images—to accept a broader world but, too often, they saw photographs as a “straightforward transcription of the real world” (Hawkins 57). The images of cultures and events presented in Life and National Geographic for the purposes of education and enrichment were now the subject of greater analysis in the classroom, not just as “windows into new worlds” but as cultural products in and of themselves. The emerging visual curriculum aimed to do more than just teach with previously excluded modes (photography, film and comics); it would investigate how images presented and mediated the world. This gained wider appeal with new analytical writing on film, like Raymond Spottiswoode's Grammar of the Film (1950) which sought to formulate the grammatical rules of visual communication (Messaris 181), influenced by semiotics and structural linguistics; the emphasis on grammar can also be seen in far earlier writings on design systems such as Owen Jones’s 1856 The Grammar of Ornament, which also advocated for new, universalising methods in design education (Sloboda 228). The inventorying impulse is on display in books like Donis A. Dondis’s A Primer of Visual Literacy (1973), a text that meditates on visual perception but also functions as an introduction to line and form in the applied arts, picking up where the Bauhaus left off. Dondis enumerates the “syntactical guidelines” of the applied arts with illustrations that are in keeping with 1920s books by Kandinsky and Klee and analyse pictorial elements. However, at the end of the book she shifts focus with two chapters that examine “messaging” and visual literacy explicitly. Dondis predicts that “an intellectual, trained ability to make and understand visual messages is becoming a vital necessity to involvement with communication. It is quite likely that visual literacy will be one of the fundamental measures of education in the last third of our century” (33) and she presses for more programs that incorporate the exploration and analysis of images in tertiary education. Figure 5: Ideal spatial environment for the Blueprint charts, 1970. (Image: Inventory Press.) Visual literacy in education arrived in earnest with a wave of publications in the mid-1970s. They offered ways for students to understand media processes and for teachers to use visual culture as an entry point into complex social and scientific subject matter, tapping into the “visual consciousness of the ‘television generation’” (Fransecky 5). Visual culture was often seen as inherently democratising, a break from stuffiness, the “artificialities of civilisation”, and the “archaic structures” that set sensorial perception apart from scholarship (Dworkin 131-132). Many radical university projects and community education initiatives of the 1960s made use of new media in novel ways: from Maurice Stein and Larry Miller’s fold-out posters accompanying Blueprint for Counter Education (1970) to Emory Douglas’s graphics for The Black Panther newspaper. Blueprint’s text- and image-dense wall charts were made via assemblage and they were imagined less as charts and more as a “matrix of resources” that could be used—and added to—by youth to undertake their own counter education (Cronin 53). These experiments in visual learning helped to break down old hierarchies in education, but their aim was influenced more by countercultural notions of disruption than the universal ideals of cosmopolitanism. From Image as Text to City as Text For a brief period in the 1970s, thinkers like Marshall McLuhan (McLuhan et al., Massage) and artists like Bruno Munari (Tanchis and Munari) collaborated fruitfully with graphic designers to create books that mixed text and image in novel ways. Using new compositional methods, they broke apart traditional printing lock-ups to superimpose photographs, twist text, and bend narrative frames. The most famous work from this era is, undoubtedly, The Medium Is the Massage (1967), McLuhan’s team-up with graphic designer Quentin Fiore, but it was followed by dozens of other books intended to communicate theory and scientific ideas with popularising graphics. Following in the footsteps of McLuhan, many of these texts sought not just to explain an issue but to self-consciously reference their own method of information delivery. These works set the precedent for visual aids (and, to a lesser extent, audio) that launched a diverse, non-hierarchical discourse that was nonetheless bound to tactile artefacts. In 1977, McLuhan helped develop a media textbook for secondary school students called City as Classroom: Understanding Language and Media. It is notable for its direct address style and its focus on investigating spaces outside of the classroom (provocatively, a section on the third page begins with “Should all schools be closed?”). The book follows with a fine-grained analysis of advertising forms in which students are asked to first bring advertisem*nts into class for analysis and later to go out into the city to explore “a man-made environment, a huge warehouse of information, a vast resource to be mined free of charge” (McLuhan et al., City 149). As a document City as Classroom is critical of existing teaching methods, in line with the radical “in the streets” pedagogy of its day. McLuhan’s theories proved particularly salient for the counter education movement, in part because they tapped into a healthy scepticism of advertisers and other image-makers. They also dovetailed with growing discontent with the ad-strew visual environment of cities in the 1970s. Budgets for advertising had mushroomed in the1960s and outdoor advertising “cluttered” cities with billboards and neon, generating “fierce intensities and new hybrid energies” that threatened to throw off the visual equilibrium (McLuhan 74). Visual literacy curricula brought in experiential learning focussed on the legibility of the cities, mapping, and the visualisation of urban issues with social justice implications. The Detroit Geographical Expedition and Institute (DGEI), a “collective endeavour of community research and education” that arose in the aftermath of the 1967 uprisings, is the most storied of the groups that suffused the collection of spatial data with community engagement and organising (Warren et al. 61). The following decades would see a tamed approach to visual literacy that, while still pressing for critical reading, did not upend traditional methods of educational delivery. Figure 6: Beginning a College Program-Assisting Teachers to Develop Visual Literacy Approaches in Public School Classrooms. 1977. ERIC. Searching for Civic Education The visual literacy initiatives formed in the early 1970s both affirmed existing civil society institutions while also asserting the need to better inform the public. Most of the campaigns were sponsored by universities, major libraries, and international groups such as UNESCO, which published its “Declaration on Media Education” in 1982. They noted that “participation” was “essential to the working of a pluralistic and representative democracy” and the “public—users, citizens, individuals, groups ... were too systematically overlooked”. Here, the public is conceived as both “targets of the information and communication process” and users who “should have the last word”. To that end their “continuing education” should be ensured (Study 18). Programs consisted primarily of cognitive “see-scan-analyse” techniques (Little et al.) for younger students but some also sought to bring visual analysis to adult learners via continuing education (often through museums eager to engage more diverse audiences) and more radical popular education programs sponsored by community groups. By the mid-80s, scores of modules had been built around the comprehension of visual media and had become standard educational fare across North America, Australasia, and to a lesser extent, Europe. There was an increasing awareness of the role of data and image presentation in decision-making, as evidenced by the surprising commercial success of Edward Tufte’s 1982 book, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. Visual literacy—or at least image analysis—was now enmeshed in teaching practice and needed little active advocacy. Scholarly interest in the subject went into a brief period of hibernation in the 1980s and early 1990s, only to be reborn with the arrival of new media distribution technologies (CD-ROMs and then the internet) in classrooms and the widespread availability of digital imaging technology starting in the late 1990s; companies like Adobe distributed free and reduced-fee licences to schools and launched extensive teacher training programs. Visual literacy was reanimated but primarily within a circ*mscribed academic field of education and data visualisation. Figure 7: Visual Literacy; What Research Says to the Teacher, 1975. National Education Association. USA. Part of the shifting frame of visual literacy has to do with institutional imperatives, particularly in places where austerity measures forced strange alliances between disciplines. What had been a project in alternative education morphed into an uncontested part of the curriculum and a dependable budget line. This shift was already forecasted in 1972 by Harun Farocki who, writing in Filmkritik, noted that funding for new film schools would be difficult to obtain but money might be found for “training in media education … a discipline that could persuade ministers of education, that would at the same time turn the budget restrictions into an advantage, and that would match the functions of art schools” (98). Nearly 50 years later educators are still using media education (rebranded as visual or media literacy) to make the case for fine arts and humanities education. While earlier iterations of visual literacy education were often too reliant on the idea of cracking the “code” of images, they did promote ways of learning that were a deep departure from the rote methods of previous generations. Next-gen curricula frame visual literacy as largely supplemental—a resource, but not a program. By the end of the 20th century, visual literacy had changed from a scholarly interest to a standard resource in the “teacher’s toolkit”, entering into school programs and influencing museum education, corporate training, and the development of public-oriented media (Literacy). An appreciation of image culture was seen as key to creating empathetic global citizens, but its scope was increasingly limited. With rising austerity in the education sector (a shift that preceded the 2008 recession by decades in some countries), art educators, museum enrichment staff, and design researchers need to make a case for why their disciplines were relevant in pedagogical models that are increasingly aimed at “skills-based” and “job ready” teaching. Arts educators worked hard to insert their fields into learning goals for secondary students as visual literacy, with the hope that “literacy” would carry the weight of an educational imperative and not a supplementary field of study. Conclusion For nearly a century, educational initiatives have sought to inculcate a cosmopolitan perspective with a variety of teaching materials and pedagogical reference points. Symbolic languages, like the Isotype, looked to unite disparate people with shared visual forms; while educational initiatives aimed to train the eyes of students to make them more discerning citizens. The term ‘visual literacy’ emerged in the 1960s and has since been deployed in programs with a wide variety of goals. Countercultural initiatives saw it as a prerequisite for popular education from the ground up, but, in the years since, it has been formalised and brought into more staid curricula, often as a sort of shorthand for learning from media and pictures. The grand cosmopolitan vision of a complete ‘visual language’ has been scaled back considerably, but still exists in trace amounts. Processes of globalisation require images to universalise experiences, commodities, and more for people without shared languages. Emoji alphabets and globalese (brands and consumer messaging that are “visual-linguistic” amalgams “increasingly detached from any specific ethnolinguistic group or locality”) are a testament to a mediatised banal cosmopolitanism (Jaworski 231). In this sense, becoming “fluent” in global design vernacular means familiarity with firms and products, an understanding that is aesthetic, not critical. It is very much the beneficiaries of globalisation—both state and commercial actors—who have been able to harness increasingly image-based technologies for their benefit. To take a humorous but nonetheless consequential example, Spanish culinary boosters were able to successfully lobby for a paella emoji (Miller) rather than having a food symbol from a less wealthy country such as a Senegalese jollof or a Morrocan tagine. This trend has gone even further as new forms of visual communication are increasingly streamlined and managed by for-profit media platforms. The ubiquity of these forms of communication and their global reach has made visual literacy more important than ever but it has also fundamentally shifted the endeavour from a graphic sorting practice to a critical piece of social infrastructure that has tremendous political ramifications. Visual literacy campaigns hold out the promise of educating students in an image-based system with the potential to transcend linguistic and cultural boundaries. This cosmopolitan political project has not yet been realised, as the visual literacy frame has drifted into specialised silos of art, design, and digital humanities education. It can help bridge the “incomplete connections” of an increasingly globalised world (Calhoun 112), but it does not have a program in and of itself. Rather, an evolving visual literacy curriculum might be seen as a litmus test for how we imagine the role of images in the world. References Brown, Neil. “The Myth of Visual Literacy.” Australian Art Education 13.2 (1989): 28-32. Calhoun, Craig. “Cosmopolitanism in the Modern Social Imaginary.” Daedalus 137.3 (2008): 105–114. Cronin, Paul. “Recovering and Rendering Vital Blueprint for Counter Education at the California Institute for the Arts.” Blueprint for Counter Education. Inventory Press, 2016. 36-58. Dondis, Donis A. A Primer of Visual Literacy. MIT P, 1973. Dworkin, M.S. “Toward an Image Curriculum: Some Questions and Cautions.” Journal of Aesthetic Education 4.2 (1970): 129–132. Eisner, Elliot. Cognition and Curriculum: A Basis for Deciding What to Teach. Longmans, 1982. Farocki, Harun. “Film Courses in Art Schools.” Trans. Ted Fendt. Grey Room 79 (Apr. 2020): 96–99. Fransecky, Roger B. Visual Literacy: A Way to Learn—A Way to Teach. Association for Educational Communications and Technology, 1972. Gardner, Howard. Frames Of Mind. Basic Books, 1983. Hawkins, Stephanie L. “Training the ‘I’ to See: Progressive Education, Visual Literacy, and National Geographic Membership.” American Iconographic. U of Virginia P, 2010. 28–61. Jaworski, Adam. “Globalese: A New Visual-Linguistic Register.” Social Semiotics 25.2 (2015): 217-35. Kant, Immanuel. Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View. Cambridge UP, 2006. Kant, Immanuel. “Perpetual Peace.” Political Writings. Ed. H. Reiss. Cambridge UP, 1991 [1795]. 116–130. Kress, G., and T. van Leeuwen. Reading images: The Grammar of Visual Design. Routledge, 1996. Literacy Teaching Toolkit: Visual Literacy. Department of Education and Training (DET), State of Victoria. 29 Aug. 2018. 30 Sep. 2020 <https://www.education.vic.gov.au:443/school/teachers/teachingresources/discipline/english/literacy/ readingviewing/Pages/litfocusvisual.aspx>. Lee, Jae Young. “Otto Neurath's Isotype and the Rhetoric of Neutrality.” Visible Language 42.2: 159-180. Little, D., et al. Looking and Learning: Visual Literacy across the Disciplines. Wiley, 2015. Messaris, Paul. “Visual Literacy vs. Visual Manipulation.” Critical Studies in Mass Communication 11.2: 181-203. DOI: 10.1080/15295039409366894 ———. “A Visual Test for Visual ‘Literacy.’” The Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association. 31 Oct. to 3 Nov. 1991. Atlanta, GA. <https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED347604.pdf>. McLuhan, Marshall. Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. McGraw-Hill, 1964. McLuhan, Marshall, Quentin Fiore, and Jerome Agel. The Medium Is the Massage, Bantam Books, 1967. McLuhan, Marshall, Kathryn Hutchon, and Eric McLuhan. City as Classroom: Understanding Language and Media. Agincourt, Ontario: Book Society of Canada, 1977. McTigue, Erin, and Amanda Flowers. “Science Visual Literacy: Learners' Perceptions and Knowledge of Diagrams.” Reading Teacher 64.8: 578-89. Miller, Sarah. “The Secret History of the Paella Emoji.” Food & Wine, 20 June 2017. <https://www.foodandwine.com/news/true-story-paella-emoji>. Munari, Bruno. Square, Circle, Triangle. Princeton Architectural Press, 2016. Newfield, Denise. “From Visual Literacy to Critical Visual Literacy: An Analysis of Educational Materials.” English Teaching-Practice and Critique 10 (2011): 81-94. Neurath, Otto. International Picture Language: The First Rules of Isotype. K. Paul, Trench, Trubner, 1936. Schor, Esther. Bridge of Words: Esperanto and the Dream of a Universal Language. Henry Holt and Company, 2016. Sloboda, Stacey. “‘The Grammar of Ornament’: Cosmopolitanism and Reform in British Design.” Journal of Design History 21.3 (2008): 223-36. Study of Communication Problems: Implementation of Resolutions 4/19 and 4/20 Adopted by the General Conference at Its Twenty-First Session; Report by the Director-General. UNESCO, 1983. Tanchis, Aldo, and Bruno Munari. Bruno Munari: Design as Art. MIT P, 1987. Warren, Gwendolyn, Cindi Katz, and Nik Heynen. “Myths, Cults, Memories, and Revisions in Radical Geographic History: Revisiting the Detroit Geographical Expedition and Institute.” Spatial Histories of Radical Geography: North America and Beyond. Wiley, 2019. 59-86.

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Hutchinson, Jonathon. "The Cultural Impact of Institutional Remix: The Formalisation of Textual Reappropriation within the ABC." M/C Journal 16, no.4 (August12, 2013). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.682.

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Introduction The construction of meaning is specifically denoted by texts that are created and published by the mass media. To highlight how that meaning is constructed, we might take a communication research approach which then enables us to understand how mass media texts impact society. To undertake such an approach it is useful to reflect on two methods outlined by Adoni and Mane who suggest there are two communication research methodologies. “The first focuses on the social construction of reality as an important aspect of the relationship between culture and society. The second approach concentrates on the social construction of reality as one type of media effect.” (Adoni and Mane 323). Relying on Adoni and Mane’s second communication research approach and combining this with the practice of remix, we can begin to understand how practitioners construct a reality from the mass audience perspective and not the mass media’s construction. This aligns with the approach taken by the ABC Pool remix practitioners in that they are informed by the mass media’s construction of meaning, yet oppose their understanding of the text as the basis for their altered construction of meaning. The oppositional reading of the media text also aligns with Hall’s encoding/decoding theory, specifically the oppositional reading where audiences resist the dominant or preferred reading of the text (Long & Wall). If we align Deuze’s (Media Work) thinking to mass media that suggests we live in media as opposed to with media, the effects of the construction of reality have a major impact on how we construct our own lives. Until recently, that media and consequent meaning has been constructed by the mass media and broadcast into our living rooms, headphones, billboards and other public spaces where media resides. The emergence of Web 2.0 technologies and the affordances these information and communication technologies provide for the audience to talk back in new and innovative ways has challenged that traditional model of meaning construction. Now, instead of the mass media designing and disseminating meaning through our media consumption channels, the audience also has an opportunity to participate in this consumption and production process (Bruns; Jenkins; Shirky). “Remix means to take cultural artifacts and combine and manipulate them into new kinds of creative blends,” according to (Knobel & Lankshear 22) where Lessig argues that digital remix is writing on a mass cultural practice scale (Remix). Remix within this paper is considered a practice that takes the affordances of the technology and couples that with the creative ability of the artists to create socially constructed meanings through new and inventive methods. In considering socially constructed meaning, it is useful to reflect on media dependency theory, which suggests the amount of subjective reality depends on direct experience with various phenomena and the exposure to the media in relation to those phenomena (Ball-Rokeach and DeFleur). “According to the media dependency hypothesis, the degree of media contribution to the individual's construction of subjective reality is a function of one's direct experience with various phenomena and consequent dependence on the media for information about these phenomena” (Adoni and Mane 324). Remix requires a parent piece of media (the original meaning) to create a remixed child (the re-constructed meaning). There is a clear dependency relationship between the parent and child pieces of media in this arrangement, which realistically shapes how the child will be created. If this material is published in a non-institutional environment, the artist is more or less free to demonstrate what ever meaning they wish to express. However when this practice emerges from within an institutional environment, this raises concerns of the media production, namely is the media institution challenging the original meaning they placed on certain texts and are they endorsing the new socially constructed meaning provided by remix artists? Constructing new forms of meaning and challenging the preferred meaning of institutionally generated texts intrinsically connects remix to the act of online activism. Activism can be defined as “people and organisations that work to promote social or political changes” for the benefit of society (Jones 1). Scholars have noted the significance of online technologies to aid in the mobilisation of mass groups of individuals in protest. In light of the recent Arab Spring uprisings, González-Bailón et al. note “the number of events connecting social media with social unrest has multiplied, not only in the context of authoritarian regimes exemplified by the recent wave of upsurges across the Arab world but also in western liberal democracies, particularly in the aftermath of the financial crisis and changes to welfare policies” (para 1). Although the majority of work that is remixed on ABC Pool is not related to an authoritarian regime, it is representative of the frustrations many citizens have towards the inequality of distribution of wealth and power to a few privileged individuals. Remix as an online activism activity also explicitly demonstrates Hall’s oppositional reading of encoded texts. This paper will use media dependency theory as a lens to investigate how remix occurs outside of the institution to challenge the meanings created by authorities within the institutional setting, while challenging the mass media approach towards social discourse construction. To do this, the paper will focus on the case study of one remix artist, Main$treaM, who was an active participant within the institutional online community, ABC Pool. ABC Pool was a user created content space that ceased to operate during May 2013 from within the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). The Pool project enabled users to publish their audio, video, photography and writing on a platform that was developed and resourced by the ABC. ABC Pool was open to everyone and was governed by the same editorial policies that regulated all media and activities across the ABC in relation to the ABC Charter (ABC Act 1983). ABC Pool also operated under a Creative Commons licensing regime which enabled media to flow across platforms, for example the Internet, radio and television, while providing attribution to the original author (generally under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial license). Main$treaM was one active user that engaged in remix to pursue his creative direction but to also challenge the meanings of texts that had been created by the mass media. Max Prophet$ equals Ca$h for Comments Main$treaM had been active in Pool for several months when he began publishing his remixed works. His approach towards media and its production is especially important as his technique involved challenging the societal discourse that is accepted from traditional forms of media production and reappropriating them to reflect how an audience would reconstruct them, from their Deuzian lived in experience. Main$treaM can also be classified as an oppositional reader of text in regards to how he decodes the meaning within the message (Hall). His online activist approach is obvious in his self-described profile. Main$treaM’s profile on ABC Pool says: Making animations, music & loads of max prophet$ However, his profile on Discogs (Discogs is one of the largest online music databases, where users can contribute music information and data while locating collectables within the global marketplace) reveals the artist’s creative and political perspectives: Main$treaM started off wanting to piss people off. He loathed the studio recording industry professionals & Sound Production Mass Media Culture in general. How could it be that a TV Camera can record what you say in the street, then edit it into something YOU DID NOT SAY but take a little news sample off the TV & bam: "WE WILL SUE YOU" These days it makes me sick that hard breaks & media cut ups are trendy. Not sick enough to actually stop. Main$treaM’s approach is one that challenges the stereotypical rhetoric tropes of the mass media and is concerned with choosing a remix style that aligns with the media dependency theory. That is, he draws on the one perspective which is garnered by the traditional media figureheads and applies his lived in experience with those same societal discourses to provide a significantly different meaning (Ball-Rokeach & DeFleur). The tool he uses to operationalise this is the art of remix by taking multiple cultural artefacts to create new creative blends (Knobel & Lankshear). John Laws is a radio celebrity who has dominated the Australian media landscape for decades with his at times controversial ‘shock jock’ talk back radio program. He is right wing in his political alignment and has at times been the centre of controversial programming efforts that has riled Australian audiences, which also involved input from Australian media authorities. His political alignment coupled with his disregard for audience sensitivities makes Laws an ideal character for an activist remix artist such as Main$treaM to target. Main$treaM had taken comments that Laws had made, placed them out of context and remixed them to deliberately misrepresent Laws’s opinion. One track in particular, Max Prophet$, is a reaction to the controversial Cash for Comments scandal (Johnson). In this case, John Laws was accused of receiving remuneration from Toyota to endorse their products on his radio program without acknowledging this activity as advertising. Main$treaM, through one of his ABC Pool contributions Max Prophet$, selected various comments that Laws had made during his radio broadcasts, and remixed them in a format that had John Laws say he was indeed receiving large amounts of money from Toyota. His remix, in the tradition of Pauline Pantsdown, took Laws’s comments and connected them to say “That really is a terrific vehicle that Hilux Workmate, great name too isn’t it”, highlighting a clear endorsem*nt of the Toyota product by the radio presenter. However, Main$treaM did not stop at proving his point with this one remix contribution. He also provided in addition to the Max Prophet$ contribution, many other controversial social commentary works, including co*ck Cheek parts One and Two, Prickseye Picture of You and I, and Ca$h for Comment$. Each contribution focussed on a particular character trait that Laws had become known for, such as inviting input from his listeners and then hanging up on them when they provided commentary that was contrary to his opinion. “Did I call you or did you call me” was Main$treaM’s method of whimsically suggesting that Laws is a rude, right wing conservative. The public opinion within Australia of John Laws is split between support from the conservatives and disdain from the liberals. Main$treaM was attempting to provide a voice from within the liberal perspective that illuminates the public opinion of Laws. The public opinion of Laws is one cultural discourse that is difficult to define, and almost impossible to publish to the broader public. Remix, as Lessig suggests, provides the most suitable genre of mass cultural practice to interrogate both perspectives of someone as controversial as Laws, where ABC Pool provides the most suitable platform to publish remixed societal perspectives on contemporary controversial issues. However, as outlined earlier, ABC Pool is contained within the same regulatory framework as any other publication space of the ABC. Essentially by publishing this controversial work on an ABC platform is blurring the boundaries between the ABC providing a place to publish the material and the ABC endorsing the material. ABC Pool operated under a reactive mode of moderation which suggests that content can be published without any form of moderation but if it were flagged as inappropriate by another user or audience member it had to be investigated by the ABC Pool team. Main$treaM’s contemporary material contained confronting concepts, language and techniques and was flagged as inappropriate by an anonymous Pool user during 2011. In this instance, it becomes clear that remix within an institutional setting is a complicated activity to facilitate. By providing a Creative Commons licensing regime, the ABC Pool project is endorsing remix as an institutional activity, and given the ethos of ABC Pool to experiment with new and innovative ways of engaging the audience, remix is crucial to its operation. However given the complaints of the other users that Main$treaM’s material was inappropriate, the problem arose of how to manage contentious remix activity. Aligning with Jenkins’s convergent cultures and Bruns’s produsage theories which incorporates the audience into the production process, the ABC Pool project was required to promote remix as a suitable activity for its users. Remix as an online activist activity in turn attracted the societal dissent approach from remix artists, providing a problem of adhering to the rules and regulations of the ABC more broadly. In the immediacy of the complaint, a large proportion of Main$treaM’s material was temporarily unpublished from ABC Pool until the team could provide a suitable solution on how to solve the tensions. The Legal Consultation Process In an instance such as this, an ABC employee is required to consult the editorial policy people to seek their advice on the most appropriate approach on the problematic material. The ABC Editorial Policies representatives referenced the material in the then Section 9 of the Editorial Policies, which relates to user-generated content. After the consultation process, they could see no breach of the guidelines; however, given the obscene constitution of the material, they suggested the Pool team refer the material to ABC Legal, a process in the ABC known as ‘referring up’. ABC Legal had a team of media lawyers interrogate the material from a criminal law perspective. It is worth noting, in both departments, Legal and Editorial Policies, there was support for Main$treaM’s creative expression (Fieldnotes, 2011). However, both parties were approaching the material and acting in a risk management capacity to protect the integrity of the ABC brand. After receiving the approval of the editorial policy people, the ABC Pool team had to seek the advice from ABC Legal. After two weeks of investigation, ABC Legal returned the following recommendations for the Pool team: Ultimately, risk management is the deciding factor to determine if the material should be published or not, supported by a solid defense should the case go to court.There are three areas to be considered with Main$treaM’s content:CopyrightDefamatoryObscenityIn regards to copyright, it is OK to publish in this case because the works are covered by parody or satire as the pieces have a focussed angle, or subject (John Laws).Defamation is more complicated. Firstly, we have to establish if the usual person could identify the defamed person. If yes, we need to establish what imputations there are, i.e. hom*ophobic tendencies, pedophilia, etc. For each imputation, we need to establish if there is a defense. Typical defenses are honest opinion, expressed as one’s view, or truth. Honest Opinion needs to have a base to relate it to and not just a rant – i.e. John Laws was caught in the Cash for Comments scandal but there is no evidence to suggest he is a pedophile (unless the artists knows a truth – which becomes complicated again).Obscenity comes under classification, and since Pool does not have a rating system in place, we cannot offer this as a way to avoid publishing. A standard example of this relates to a younger audience member having the same access to an obscene piece of content (as guided by Pool’s Guidelines Section 4.1 a and b).These rules are premised by how do I read it/hear it. This is how a jury of citizens will approach the same piece of content. Risk management is also present when we ask how will John Laws hear about it, and what will the community think about it.(Fieldnotes, 2011) The suggestions the legal team returned are significant in highlighting the position of a media institution that facilitates remix. What is relevant here is a public service media organisation is a specific type of media organisation that is responsible for facilitating increased citizenry through its activities (Cunningham). Martin builds on the work of Jacka and Hartley to highlight how the ABC should be encouraging ‘DIY citizenry’. She says the combination of the core Reithian values of educate, inform and entertain can be combined with new media technologies that enable a “semiotic self determination model” to construct a “national semiosis model” (Hartley 161). However, there is a clear misalignment between the values of the PSM and the remix artist. What was required was the presence of a cultural intermediary to assist in calibrating those values and engaging in a negotiation phase between the two stakeholders. A cultural intermediary is a human or non-human actor that is located between the production and consumption of cultural artifacts and aids in facilitating the negotiation space between different expertise disciplines. In this case, it was the role of the community manager to attempt to connect the two approaches and enable remix practice to continue under the auspices of the ABC. The ABC had shifted its approach towards some of the Main$treaM material, but given its regulatory framework was unable to facilitate all of his contributions. Unfortunately in this case, Main$treaM did not align with the requirements of the ABC, left the Pool community and did not continue his practice of remix within the ABC any further. Conclusion Remixed texts that are published on PSM platforms demonstrate high levels of dependency on existing mass media texts, aligning them with the approach of the media dependency theory (Ball-Rokeach & DeFleur). Remixed texts are also cultural products of artists that live in media and not with media, as noted by Deuze (Media Industries, Work and Life) and are the result of mass cultural practice that manipulates the meaning of multiple cultural artefacts (Lessig). Remix as a form of online activism is also representative of Hall’s oppositional reading of texts which enable the practitioner to deepen their involvement within the social construction of reality (Adoni & Mane). Convergence cultures represent the audience’s ever-increasing desire to participate in the production of media and not merely consume it (Jenkins). The theoretical alignment of remix with these theories suggests remixed texts have a deeper and richer cultural representation than that of its institutionally produced parent text. However, collaboratively produced cultural artefacts via remix are problematised by the digital divide debate, specifically through the access of tools and knowledge for this practice. Lin terms this problem as ‘techno-elite’ where only certain individuals have access and knowledge and tools to engage in these types of cultural activities facilitated by PSM. Further, Carpentier challenges this type of participation by asking if we have access and can interact, are we really participating in a democratising activity, given the promises of online activism? Given that PSM is pursuing the concept of the audience as user, which positions the audience as a producer of content across online environments, facilitating the practice of remix should align with its core values to inform, educate and entertain (Martin). However as we have seen with the Main$treaM case, this is problematic when attempting to align the focus of a remix artist with that of PSM. In these instances the work of the cultural intermediary as the disciplinary expertise negotiator becomes critical to increase the societal representation within the production and consumption of cultural artefacts produced through the activity of remix. A public service broadcaster that is supportive of both institutionally produced texts, along with socially informed text production through remix, will be a rigorous media organisation that supports a better informed citizenry, or as Hartley suggests a self determined national semiosis model. References Adoni, Hanna, and Sherrill Mane. "Media and the Social Construction of Reality: Toward and Integration of Theory and Research." Communication Research 11.3 (1984): 323-40. Ball-Rokeach, Sandra, and DeFluer, Melvin. "A Dependency Model of Mass Media Effects." Communication Research 3 (1976): 3-21. Bruns, Axel. Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life and Beyond: From Production to Produsage. New York: Peter Lang, 2008. Carpentier, Nico. "The Concept of Participation. If They Have Access and Interact, Do They Really Participate?" Communication Management Quarterly 21 (2011): 13-36. Cunningham, Stuart. Hidden Innovation: Policy, Industry and the Creative Sector. Creative Economy and Innovation Culture. Brisbane: University of Queensland Press, 2013. Deuze, Mark. Media Work. London: Polity Press, 2007. Deuze, Mark. "Media Industries, Work and Life." European Journal of Communication 24 (2009): 467. Enli, Gunn Sara. "Redefining Public Service Broadcasting." Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies 14.1 (2008): 105 - 20. González-Bailón, Sandra, et al. "The Dynamics of Protest Recruitment through an Online Network." Scientific Reports 1.197 (2011). Hall, Stuart. Encoding and Decoding in the Television Discourse. Council of Europe Colloquy on "Training In The Critical Reading of Television Language". 1973. Hartley, John. "Communicative Democracy in a Redactional Society: The Future of Journalism Studies." Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism 1.1 (2001): 39-48. Jacka, Liz. "'Good Democracy': The Role of Public Service Broadcasting." The Centre for Culture and History (2001). 2 Feb. 2013 < http://www.cmchnyu.org/pdfs/jacka.pdf >. Jenkins, Henry. Convergence Culture - Where Old and New Media Collide. New York: New York University Press, 2006. Johnson, Rob. Cash for Comment: The Seduction of Journo Culture. Media.Culture Series. Sydney: Pluto Press, 2000. Jones, Christopher. "Activism or Slacktivism? The Role of Social Media in Effecting Social Change." Research Paper. School of Engineering and Applied Science: University of Virginia, 2013. Knobel, Michele, and Colin Lankshear. "Remix: The Art and Craft of Endless Hybridization." Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy 52.1 (2008): 22-33. Lessig, Lawrence. Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy. New York: Penguin, 2008. Lin, Yu-Wei. "The Emergence of the Techno-Elite Audience and Free/Open Source Content: A Case Study on Bbc Backstage." Participations: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies 9.2 (2012): 597-613. Long, Paul, and Tim Wall. "Investigating Audiences: What Do People Do with Media?" Media Studies: Texts, Production and Context. Eds. P. Long et al. Harlow, England: Pearson Education Limited, 2009. 240-72. Martin, Fiona. "Beyond Public Service Broadcasting? ABC Online and the User/Citizen." Southern Review: Communication, Politics and Culture 35.1 (2002): 42-62. Rosen, Jay. "The People Formerly Known as the Audience." Pressthink: Ghost of Democracy in the Media Machine (2006). 2 Feb. 2013 < http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2006/apr/25/bbc.broadcasting >. Shirky, Clay. Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organising without Organisations. New York: Allen Lane, 2008.

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Lemos Morais, Renata. "The Hybrid Breeding of Nanomedia." M/C Journal 17, no.5 (October25, 2014). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.877.

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IntroductionIf human beings have become a geophysical force, capable of impacting the very crust and atmosphere of the planet, and if geophysical forces become objects of study, presences able to be charted over millions of years—one of our many problems is a 'naming' problem. - Bethany NowviskieThe anthropocene "denotes the present time interval, in which many geologically significant conditions and processes are profoundly altered by human activities" (S.Q.S.). Although the narrative and terminology of the anthropocene has not been officially legitimized by the scientific community as a whole, it has been adopted worldwide by a plethora of social and cultural studies. The challenges of the anthropocene demand interdisciplinary efforts and actions. New contexts, situations and environments call for original naming propositions: new terminologies are always illegitimate at the moment of their first appearance in the world.Against the background of the naming challenges of the anthropocene, we will map the emergence and tell the story of a tiny world within the world of media studies: the world of the term 'nanomedia' and its hyphenated sister 'nano-media'. While we tell the story of the uses of this term, its various meanings and applications, we will provide yet another possible interpretation and application to the term, one that we believe might be helpful to interdisciplinary media studies in the context of the anthropocene. Contemporary media terminologies are usually born out of fortuitous exchanges between communication technologies and their various social appropriations: hypodermic media, interactive media, social media, and so on and so forth. These terminologies are either recognised as the offspring of legitimate scientific endeavours by the media theory community, or are widely discredited and therefore rendered illegitimate. Scientific legitimacy comes from the broad recognition and embrace of a certain term and its inclusion in the canon of an epistemology. Illegitimate processes of theoretical enquiry and the study of the kinds of deviations that might deem a theory unacceptable have been scarcely addressed (Delborne). Rejected terminologies and theories are marginalised and gain the status of bastard epistemologies of media, considered irrelevant and unworthy of mention and recognition. Within these margins, however, different streams of media theories which involve conceptual hybridizations can be found: creole encounters between high culture and low culture (James), McLuhan's hybrid that comes from the 'meeting of two media' (McLuhan 55), or even 'bastard spaces' of cultural production (Bourdieu). Once in a while a new media epistemology arises that is categorised as a bastard not because of plain rejection or criticism, but because of its alien origins, formations and shape. New theories are currently emerging out of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary thinking which are, in many ways, bearers of strange features and characteristics that might render its meaning elusive and obscure to a monodisciplinary perspective. Radical transdisciplinary thinking is often alien and alienated. It results from unconventional excursions into uncharted territories of enquiry: bastard epistemologies arise from such exchanges. Being itself a product of a mestizo process of thinking, this article takes a look into the term nanomedia (or nano-media): a marginal terminology within media theory. This term is not to be confounded with the term biomedia, coined by Eugene Thacker (2004). (The theory of biomedia has acquired a great level of scientific legitimacy, however it refers to the moist realities of the human body, and is more concerned with cyborg and post-human epistemologies. The term nanomedia, on the contrary, is currently being used according to multiple interpretations which are mostly marginal, and we argue, in this paper, that such uses might be considered illegitimate). ’Nanomedia’ was coined outside the communications area. It was first used by scientific researchers in the field of optics and physics (Rand et al), in relation to flows of media via nanoparticles and optical properties of nanomaterials. This term would only be used in media studies a couple of years later, with a completely different meaning, without any acknowledgment of its scientific origins and context. The structure of this narrative is thus illegitimate, and as such does not fit into traditional modalities of written expression: there are bits and pieces of information and epistemologies glued together as a collage of nano fragments which combine philology, scientific literature, digital ethnography and technology reviews. Transgressions Illegitimate theories might be understood in terms of hybrid epistemologies that intertwine disciplines and perspectives, rendering its outcomes inter or transdisciplinary, and therefore prone to being considered marginal by disciplinary communities. Such theories might also be considered illegitimate due to social and political power struggles which aim to maintain territory by reproducing specific epistemologies within a certain field. Scientific legitimacy is a social and political process, which has been widely addressed. Pierre Bourdieu, in particular, has dedicated most of his work to deciphering the intricacies of academic wars around the legitimacy or illegitimacy of theories and terminologies. Legitimacy also plays a role in determining the degree to which a certain theory will be regarded as relevant or irrelevant:Researchers’ tendency to concentrate on those problems regarded as the most important ones (e.g. because they have been constituted as such by producers endowed with a high degree of legitimacy) is explained by the fact that a contribution or discovery relating to those questions will tend to yield greater symbolic profit (Bourdieu 22).Exploring areas of enquiry which are outside the boundaries of mainstream scientific discourses is a dangerous affair. Mixing different epistemologies in the search for transversal grounds of knowledge might result in unrecognisable theories, which are born out of a combination of various processes of hybridisation: social, technological, cultural and material.Material mutations are happening that call for new epistemologies, due to the implications of current technological possibilities which might redefine our understanding of mediation, and expand it to include molecular forms of communication. A new terminology that takes into account the scientific and epistemological implications of nanotechnology applied to communication [and that also go beyond cyborg metaphors of a marriage between biology and cibernetics] is necessary. Nanomedia and nanomediations are the terminologies proposed in this article as conceptual tools to allow these further explorations. Nanomedia is here understood as the combination of different nanotechnological mediums of communication that are able to create and disseminate meaning via molecular exchange and/ or assembly. Nanomediation is here defined as the process of active transmission and reception of signs and meaning using nanotechnologies. These terminologies might help us in conducting interdisciplinary research and observations that go deeper into matter itself and take into account its molecular spaces of mediation - moving from metaphor into pragmatics. Nanomedia(s)Within the humanities, the term 'nano-media' was first proposed by Mojca Pajnik and John Downing, referring to small media interventions that communicate social meaning in independent ways. Their use of term 'nano-media' proposes to be a revised alternative to the plethora of terms that categorise such media actions, such as alternative media, community media, tactical media, participatory media, etc. The metaphor of smallness implied in the term nano-media is used to categorise the many fragments and complexities of political appropriations of independent media. Historical examples of the kind of 'nano' social interferences listed by Downing (2),include the flyers (Flugblätter) of the Protestant Reformation in Germany; the jokes, songs and ribaldry of François Rabelais’ marketplace ... the internet links of the global social justice (otromundialista) movement; the worldwide community radio movement; the political documentary movement in country after country.John Downing applies the meaning of the prefix nano (coming from the Greek word nanos - dwarf), to independent media interventions. His concept is rooted in an analysis of the social actions performed by local movements scattered around the world, politically engaged and tactically positioned. A similar, but still unique, proposition to the use of the term 'nano-media' appeared 2 years later in the work of Graham St John (442):If ‘mass media’ consists of regional and national print and television news, ‘niche media’ includes scene specific publications, and ‘micro media’ includes event flyers and album cover art (that which Eshun [1998] called ‘conceptechnics’), and ‘social media’ refers to virtual social networks, then the sampling of popular culture (e.g. cinema and documentary sources) using the medium of the programmed music itself might be considered nano-media.Nano-media, according to Graham St John, "involves the remediation of samples from popular sources (principally film) as part of the repertoire of electronic musicians in their efforts to create a distinct liminalized socio-aesthetic" (St John 445). While Downing proposes to use the term nano-media as a way to "shake people free of their obsession with the power of macro-media, once they consider the enormous impact of nano-technologies on our contemporary world" (Downing 1), Graham St John uses the term to categorise media practices specific to a subculture (psytrance). Since the use of the term 'nano-media' in relation to culture seems to be characterised by the study of marginalised social movements, portraying a hybrid remix of conceptual references that, if not completely illegitimate, would be located in the border of legitimacy within media theories, I am hereby proposing yet another bastard version of the concept of nanomedia (without a hyphen). Given that neither of the previous uses of the term 'nano-media' within the discipline of media studies take into account the technological use of the prefix nano, it is time to redefine the term in direct relation to nanotechnologies and communication devices. Let us start by taking a look at nanoradios. Nanoradios are carbon nanotubes connected in such a way that when electrodes flow through the nanotubes, various electrical signals recover the audio signals encoded by the radio wave being received (Service). Nanoradios are examples of the many ways in which nanotechnologies are converging with and transforming our present information and communication technologies. From molecular manufacturing (Drexler) to quantum computing (Deutsch), we now have a wide spectrum of emerging and converging technologies that can act as nanomedia - molecular structures built specifically to act as communication devices.NanomediationsBeyond literal attempts to replicate traditional media artifacts using nanotechnologies, we find deep processes of mediation which are being called nanocommunication (Hara et al.) - mediation that takes place through the exchange of signals between molecules: Nanocommunication networks (nanonetworks) can be used to coordinate tasks and realize them in a distributed manner, covering a greater area and reaching unprecedented locations. Molecular communication is a novel and promising way to achieve communication between nanodevices by encoding messages inside molecules. (Abadal & Akyildiz) Nature is nanotechnological. Living systems are precise mechanisms of physical engineering: our molecules obey our DNA and fall into place according to biological codes that are mysteriously written in our every cell. Bodies are perfectly mediated - biological systems of molecular communication and exchange. Humans have always tried to emulate or to replace natural processes by artificial ones. Nanotechnology is not an exception. Many nanotechnological applications try to replicate natural systems, for example: replicas of nanostructures found in lotus flowers are now being used in waterproof fabrics, nanocrystals, responsible for resistance of cobwebs, are being artificially replicated for use in resistant materials, and various proteins are being artificially replicated as well (NNI 05). In recent decades, the methods of manipulation and engineering of nano particles have been perfected by scientists, and hundreds of nanotechnological products are now being marketed. Such nano material levels are now accessible because our digital technologies were advanced enough to allow scientific visualization and manipulation at the atomic level. The Scanning Tunneling Microscopes (STMs), by Gerd Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer (1986), might be considered as the first kind of nanomedia devices ever built. STMs use quantum-mechanical principles to capture information about the surface of atoms and molecules, allowed digital imaging and visualization of atomic surfaces. Digital visualization of atomic surfaces led to the discovery of buckyballs and nanotubes (buckytubes), structures that are celebrated today and received their names in honor of Buckminster Fuller. Nanotechnologies were developed as a direct consequence of the advancement of digital technologies in the fields of scientific visualisation and imaging. Nonetheless, a direct causal relationship between nano and digital technologies is not the only correlation between these two fields. Much in the same manner in which digital technologies allow infinite manipulation and replication of data, nanotechnologies would allow infinite manipulation and replication of molecules. Nanocommunication could be as revolutionary as digital communication in regards to its possible outcomes concerning new media. Full implementation of the new possibilities of nanomedia would be equivalent or even more revolutionary than digital networks are today. Nanotechnology operates at an intermediate scale at which the laws of classical physics are mixed to the laws of quantum physics (Holister). The relationship between digital technologies and nanotechnologies is not just instrumental, it is also conceptual. We might compare the possibilities of nanotechnology to hypertext: in the same way that a word processor allows the expression of any type of textual structure, so nanotechnology could allow, in principle, for a sort of "3-D printing" of any material structure.Nanotechnologies are essentially media technologies. Nanomedia is now a reality because digital technologies made possible the visualization and computational simulation of the behavior of atomic particles at the nano level. Nanomachines that can build any type of molecular structure by atomic manufacturing could also build perfect replicas of themselves. Obviously, such a powerful technology offers medical and ecological dangers inherent to atomic manipulation. Although this type of concern has been present in the global debate about the social implications of nanotechnology, its full implications are yet not entirely understood. A general scientific consensus seems to exist, however, around the idea that molecules could become a new type of material alphabet, which, theoretically, would make possible the reconfiguration of the physical structures of any type of matter using molecular manufacturing. Matter becomes digital through molecular communication.Although the uses given to the term nano-media in the context of cultural and social studies are merely metaphorical - the prefix nano is used by humanists as an allegorical reference of a combination between 'small' and 'contemporary' - once the technological and scientifical realities of nanomedia present themselves as a new realm of mediation, populated with its own kind of molecular devices, it will not be possible to ignore its full range of implications anymore. A complexifying media ecosystem calls for a more nuanced and interdisciplinary approach to media studies.ConclusionThis article narrates the different uses of the term nanomedia as an illustration of the way in which disciplinarity determines the level of legitimacy or illegitimacy of an emerging term. We then presented another possible use of the term in the field of media studies, one that is more closely aligned with its scientific origins. The importance and relevance of this narrative is connected to the present challenges we face in the anthropocene. The reality of the anthropocene makes painfully evident the full extent of the impact our technologies have had in the present condition of our planet's ecosystems. For as long as we refuse to engage directly with the technologies themselves, trying to speak the language of science and technology in order to fully understand its wider consequences and implications, our theories will be reduced to fancy metaphors and aesthetic explorations which circulate around the critical issues of our times without penetrating them. The level of interdisciplinarity required by the challenges of the anthropocene has to go beyond anthropocentrism. Traditional theories of media are anthropocentric: we seem to be willing to engage only with that which we are able to recognise and relate to. Going beyond anthropocentrism requires that we become familiar with interdisciplinary discussions and perspectives around common terminologies so we might reach a consensus about the use of a shared term. For scientists, nanomedia is an information and communication technology which is simultaneously a tool for material engineering. For media artists and theorists, nano-media is a cultural practice of active social interference and artistic exploration. However, none of the two approaches is able to fully grasp the magnitude of such an inter and transdisciplinary encounter: when communication becomes molecular engineering, what are the legitimate boundaries of media theory? If matter becomes not only a medium, but also a language, what would be the conceptual tools needed to rethink our very understanding of mediation? Would this new media epistemology be considered legitimate or illegitimate? Be it legitimate or illegitimate, a new media theory must arise that challenges and overcomes the walls which separate science and culture, physics and semiotics, on the grounds that it is a transdisciplinary change on the inner workings of media itself which now becomes our vector of epistemological and empirical transformation. A new media theory which not only speaks the language of molecular technologies but that might be translated into material programming, is the only media theory equipped to handle the challenges of the anthropocene. ReferencesAbadal, Sergi, and Ian F. Akyildiz. "Bio-Inspired Synchronization for Nanocommunication Networks." Global Telecommunications Conference (GLOBECOM), 2011.Borisenko, V. E., and S. Ossicini. What Is What in the Nanoworld: A Handbook on Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. Weinheim: Wiley-VCH, 2005.Bourdieu, Pierre. "The Specificity of the Scientific Field and the Social Conditions of the Progress of Reason." Social Science Information 14 (Dec. 1975): 19-47.---. La Distinction: Critique Sociale du Jugement. Paris: Editions de Minuit, 1979. Delborne, Jason A. "Transgenes and Transgressions: Scientific Dissent as Heterogeneous Practice". Social Studies of Science 38 (2008): 509.Deutsch, David. The Beginning of Infinity. London: Penguin, 2011.Downing, John. "Nanomedia: ‘Community’ Media, ‘Network’ Media, ‘Social Movement’ Media: Why Do They Matter? And What’s in a Name? Mitjans Comunitaris, Moviments Socials i Xarxes." InCom-UAB. Barcelona: Cidob, 15 March 2010.Drexler, E.K. "Modular Molecular Composite Nanosystems." Metamodern 10 Nov. 2008. Epstein, Steven. Impure Science: AIDS, Activism, and the Politics of Knowledge. Vol. 7. U of California P, 1996.Hara, S., et al. "New Paradigms in Wireless Communication Systems." Wireless Personal Communications 37.3-4 (May 2006): 233-241.Holister, P. "Nanotech: The Tiny Revolution." CMP Cientifica July 2002.James, Daniel. Bastardising Technology as a Critical Mode of Cultural Practice. PhD Thesis. Wellington, New Zealand, Massey University, 2010.Jensen, K., J. Weldon, H. Garcia, and A. Zetti. "Nanotube Radio." Nano Letters 7.11 (2007): 3508–3511. Lee, C.H., S.W. Lee, and S.S. Lee. "A Nanoradio Utilizing the Mechanical Resonance of a Vertically Aligned Nanopillar Array." Nanoscale 6.4 (2014): 2087-93. Maasen. Governing Future Technologies: Nanotechnology and the Rise of an Assessment Regime. Berlin: Springer, 2010. 121–4.Milburn, Colin. "Digital Matters: Video Games and the Cultural Transcoding of Nanotechnology." In Governing Future Technologies: Nanotechnology and the Rise of an Assessment Regime, eds. Mario Kaiser, Monika Kurath, Sabine Maasen, and Christoph Rehmann-Sutter. Berlin: Springer, 2009.Miller, T.R., T.D. Baird, C.M. Littlefield, G. Kofinas, F. Chapin III, and C.L. Redman. "Epistemological Pluralism: Reorganizing Interdisciplinary Research". Ecology and Society 13.2 (2008): 46.National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI). Big Things from a Tiny World. 2008.Nowviskie, Bethany. "Digital Humanities in the Anthropocene". Nowviskie.org. 15 Sep. 2014 .Pajnik, Mojca, and John Downing. "Introduction: The Challenges of 'Nano-Media'." In M. Pajnik and J. Downing, eds., Alternative Media and the Politics of Resistance: Perspectives and Challenges. Ljubljana, Slovenia: Peace Institute, 2008. 7-16.Qarehbaghi, Reza, Hao Jiang, and Bozena Kaminska. "Nano-Media: Multi-Channel Full Color Image with Embedded Covert Information Display." In ACM SIGGRAPH 2014 Posters. New York: ACM, 2014. Rand, Stephen C., Costa Soukolis, and Diederik Wiersma. "Localization, Multiple Scattering, and Lasing in Random Nanomedia." JOSA B 21.1 (2004): 98-98.Service, Robert F. "TF10: Nanoradio." MIT Technology Review April 2008. Shanken, Edward A. "Artists in Industry and the Academy: Collaborative Research, Interdisciplinary Scholarship and the Creation and Interpretation of Hybrid Forms." Leonardo 38.5 (Oct. 2005): 415-418.St John, Graham. "Freak Media: Vibe Tribes, Sampledelic Outlaws and Israeli Psytrance." Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies 26. 3 (2012): 437–447.Subcomission on Quartenary Stratigraphy (S.Q.S.). "What Is the Anthropocene?" Quaternary.stratigraphy.org.Thacker, Eugene. Biomedia. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2004.Toffoli, Tommaso, and Norman Margolus. "Programmable Matter: Concepts and Realization." Physica D 47 (1991): 263–272.Vanderbeeken, Robrecht, Christel Stalpaert, Boris Debackere, and David Depestel. Bastard or Playmate? On Adapting Theatre, Mutating Media and the Contemporary Performing Arts. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University, 2012.Wark, McKenzie. "Climate Science as Sensory Infrastructure." Extract from Molecular Red, forthcoming. The White Review 20 Sep. 2014.Wilson, Matthew W. "Cyborg Geographies: Towards Hybrid Epistemologies." Gender, Place and Culture 16.5 (2009): 499–515.

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Kuppers, Petra. "“your darkness also/rich and beyond fear”: Community Performance, Somatic Poetics and the Vessels of Self and Other." M/C Journal 12, no.5 (December13, 2009). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.203.

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“Communicating deep feeling in linear solid blocks of print felt arcane, a method beyond me” — Audre Lorde in an interview with Adrienne Rich (Lorde 87) How do you disclose? In writing, in spoken words, in movements, in sounds, in the quiet energetic vibration and its trace in discourse? Is disclosure a narrative account of a self, or a poetic fragment, sent into the world outside the sanction of a story or another recognisable form (see fig. 1)?These are the questions that guide my exploration in this essay. I meditate on them from the vantage point of my own self-narrative, as a community performance practitioner and writer, a poet whose artistry, in many ways, relies on the willingness of others to disclose, to open themselves, and yet who feels ambivalent about narrative disclosures. What I share with you, reader, are my thoughts on what some may call compassion fatigue, on boredom, on burn-out, on the inability to be moved by someone’s hard-won right to story her life, to tell his narrative, to disclose her pain. I find it ironic that for as long as I can remember, my attention has often wandered when someone tells me their story—how this cancer was diagnosed, what the doctors did, how she coped, how she garnered support, how she survived, how that person died, how she lived. The story of how addiction took over her life, how she craved, how she hated, how someone sponsored her, listened to her, how she is making amends, how she copes, how she gets on with her life. The story of being born this way, being prodded this way, being paraded in front of doctors just like this, being operated on, being photographed, being inappropriately touched, being neglected, being forgotten, being unloved, being lonely. Listening to these accounts, my attention does wander, even though this is the heart blood of my chosen life—these are the people whose company I seek, with whom I feel comfortable, with whom I make art, with whom I make a life, to whom I disclose my own stories. But somehow, when we rehearse these stories in each others’s company (for rehearsal, polishing, is how I think of storytelling), I drift. In this performance-as-research essay about disclosure, I want to draw attention to what does draw my attention in community art situations, what halts my drift, and allows me to find connection beyond a story that is unique and so special to this individual, but which I feel I have heard so many times. What grabs me, again and again, lies beyond the words, beyond the “I did this… and that… and they did this… and that,” beyond the story of hardship and injury, recovery and overcoming. My moment of connection tends to happen in the warmth of this hand in mine. It occurs in the material connection that seems to well up between these gray eyes and my own deep gaze. I can feel the skin change its electric tonus as I am listening to the uncoiling account. There’s a timbre in the voice that I follow, even as I lose the words. In the moment of verbal disclosure, physical intimacy changes the time and space of encounter. And I know that the people I sit with are well aware of this—it is not lost on them that my attention isn’t wholly focused on the story they are telling, that I will have forgotten core details when next we work together. But they are also aware, I believe, of those moments of energetic connect that happen through, beyond and underneath the narrative disclosure. There is a physical opening occurring here, right now, when I tell this account to you, when you sit by my side and I confess that I can’t always keep the stories of my current community participants straight, that I forget names all the time, that I do not really wish to put together a show with lots of testimony, that I’d rather have single power words floating in space.Figure 1. Image: Keira Heu-Jwyn Chang. Performer: Neil Marcus.”water burns sun”. Burning. 2009. Orientation towards the Frame: A Poetics of VibrationThis essay speaks about how I witness the uncapturable in performance, how the limits of sharing fuel my performance practice. I also look at the artistic processes of community performance projects, and point out traces of this other attention, this poetics of vibration. One of the frames through which I construct this essay is a focus on the formal in practice: on an attention to the shapes of narratives, and on the ways that formal experimentation can open up spaces beyond and beneath the narratives that can sound so familiar. An attention to the formal in community practice is often confused with an elitist drive towards quality, towards a modern or post-modern play with forms that stands somehow in opposition to how “ordinary people” construct their lives. But there are other ways to think about “the formal,” ways to question the naturalness with which stories are told, poems are written, the ease of an “I”, the separation between self and those others (who hurt, or love, or persecute, or free), the embedment of the experience of thought in institutions of thinking. Elizabeth St. Pierre frames her own struggle with burn-out, falling silent, and the need to just keep going even if the ethical issues involved in continuing her research overwhelm her. She charts out her thinking in reference to Michel Foucault’s comments on how to transgress into a realm of knowing that stretches a self, allows it “get free of oneself.”Getting free of oneself involves an attempt to understand the ‘structures of intelligibility’ (Britzman, 1995, p. 156) that limit thought. Foucault (1984/1985) explaining the urgency of such labor, says, ‘There are times in life when the question of knowing if one can think differently than one thinks, and perceive differently than one sees, is absolutely necessary if one is to go on looking and reflecting at all’ (p. 8). (St. Pierre 204)Can we think outside the structure of story, outside the habits of thought that make us sense and position ourselves in time and space, in power and knowledge? Is there a way to change the frame, into a different format, to “change our mind”? And even if there is not, if the structures of legibility always contain what we can think, there might be riches in that borderland, the bordercountry towards the intelligible, the places where difference presses close in an uncontained, unstoried way. To think differently, to get free of oneself: all these concerns resonate deeply with me, and with the ways that I wish to engage in community art practice. Like St. Pierre, I try to embrace Deleuzian, post-structuralist approaches to story and self:The collective assemblage is always like the murmur from which I take my proper name, the constellation of voices, concordant or not, from which I draw my voice. […] To write is perhaps to bring this assemblage of the unconscious to the light of day, to select the whispering voices, to gather the tribes and secret idioms from which I extract something I call myself (moi). I is an order word. (Deleuze and Guattari 84).“I” wish to perform and to write at the moment when the chorus of the voices that make up my “I” press against my skin, from the inside and the outside, query the notion of ‘skin’ as barrier. But can “I” stay in that vibrational moment? This essay will not be an exercise in quotation marks, but it is an essay of many I’s, and—imagine you see this essay performed—I invite the vibration of the hand gestures that mark small breaches in the air next to my head as I speak.Like St. Pierre, I get thrown off those particular theory horses again and again. But curiosity drives me on, and it is a curiosity nourished not by the absence of (language) connection, by isolation, but by the fullness of those movements of touch and density I described above. That materiality of the tearful eye gaze, the electricity of those fine skin hairs, the voice shivering me: these are not essentialist connections that somehow reveal or disclose a person to me, but these matters make the boundaries of “me” and “person” vibrate. Disclose here becomes the density of living itself, the flowing, non-essential process of shaping lives together. Deleuze and Guattari (1987) have called this bordering “deterritorialization,” always already bound to the reterritorialisation that allows the naming of the experience. Breath-touch on the limits of territories.This is not a shift from verbal to a privileging of non-verbal communication, finding richness and truth in one and less in the other. Non-verbal communication can be just as conventional as spoken language. When someone’s hand reaches out to touch someone who is upset, that gesture can feel ingrained and predictable, and the chain of caretaking that is initiated by the gesture can even hinder the flow of disclosure the crying or upset person might be engaged in. Likewise, I believe the common form of the circle, one I use in nearly every community session I lead, does not really create more community than another format would engender. The repetition of the circle just has something very comforting, it can allow all participants to drop into a certain kind of ease that is different from the everyday, but the rules of that ease are not open—circles territorialise as much as they de-territorialise: here is an inside, here an outside. There is nothing inherently radical in them. But circles might create a radical shift in communication situations when they break open other encrusted forms—an orientation to a leader, a group versus individual arrangement, or the singularity of islands out in space. Circles brings lots of multiples into contact, they “gather the tribes.” What provisional I’s we extract from them in each instance is our ethical challenge.Bodily Fantasies on the Limit: BurningEven deeply felt inner experiences do not escape the generic, and there is lift available in the vibration between the shared fantasy and the personal fantasy. I lead an artists’ collective, The Olimpias, and in 2008/2009, we created Burning, a workshop and performance series that investigated cell imagery, cancer imagery, environmental sensitivity and healing journeys through ritual-based happenings infused with poetry, dramatic scenes, Butoh and Contact Improvisation dances, and live drawing (see: http://www.olimpias.org/).Performance sites included the Subterranean Arthouse, Berkeley, July and October 2009, the Earth Matters on Stage Festival, Eugene, Oregon, May 2009, and Fort Worden, Port Townsend, Washington State, August 2009. Participants for each installation varied, but always included a good percentage of disabled artists.(see fig. 2).Figure 2. Image: Linda Townsend. Performers: Participants in the Burning project. “Burning Action on the Beach”. Burning. 2009. In the last part of these evening-long performance happenings, we use meditation techniques to shift the space and time of participants. We invite people to lie down or otherwise become comfortable (or to observe in quiet). I then begin to lead the part of the evening that most closely dovetails with my personal research exploration. With a slow and reaching voice, I ask people to breathe, to become aware of the movement of breath through their bodies, and of the hollows filled by the luxuriating breath. Once participants are deeply relaxed, I take them on journeys which activate bodily fantasies. I ask them to breathe in colored lights (and leave the specific nature of the colors to them). I invite participants to become cell bodies—heart cells, liver cells, skin cells—and to explore the properties and sensations of these cell environments, through both internal and external movement. “What is the surface, what is deep inside, what does the granular space of the cell feel like? How does the cell membrane move?” When deeply involved in these explorations, I move through the room and give people individual encounters by whispering to them, one by one—letting them respond bodily to the idea that their cell encounters alchemical elements like gold and silver, lead or mercury, or other deeply culturally laden substances like oil or blood. When I am finished with my individual instruction to each participant, all around me, people are moving gently, undulating, contracting and expanding, their eyes closed and their face full of concentration and openness. Some have dropped out of the meditation and are sitting quietly against a wall, observing what is going on around them. Some move more than others, some whisper quietly to themselves.When people are back in spoken-language-time, in sitting-upright-time, we all talk about the experiences, and about the cultural body knowledges, half-forgotten healing practices, that seem to emerge like Jungian archetypes in these movement journeys. During the meditative/slow movement sequence, some long-standing Olimpias performers in the room had imagined themselves as cancer cells, and gently moved with the physical imagery this brought to them. In my meditation invitations during the participatory performance, I do not invite community participants to move as cancer cells—it seems to me to require a more careful approach, a longer developmental period, to enter this darkly signified state, even though Olimpias performers do by no means all move tragically, darkly, or despairing when entering “cancer movement.” In workshops in the weeks leading up to the participatory performances, Olimpias collaborators entered these experiences of cell movement, different organ parts, and cancerous movement many times, and had time to debrief and reflect on their experiences.After the immersion exercise of cell movement, we ask people how it felt like to lie and move in a space that also held cancer cells, and if they noticed different movement patterns, different imaginaries of cell movement, around them, and how that felt. This leads to rich discussions, testimonies of poetic embodiment, snippets of disclosures, glimpses of personal stories, but the echo of embodiment seems to keep the full, long stories at bay, and outside of the immediacy of our sharing. As I look around myself while listening, I see some hands intertwined, some gentle touches, as people rock in the memory of their meditations.nowyour light shines very brightlybut I want youto knowyour darkness alsorichand beyond fear (Lorde 87)My research aim with these movement meditation sequences is not to find essential truths about human bodily imagination, but to explore the limits of somatic experience and cultural expression, to make artful life experiential and to hence create new tools for living in the chemically saturated world we all inhabit.I need to add here that these are my personal aims for Burning—all associated artists have their own journey, their own reasons for being involved, and there is no necessary consensus—just a shared interest in transformation, the cultural images of disease, disability and addiction, the effects of invasion and touch in our lives, and how embodied poetry can help us live. (see fig. 3). For example, a number of collaborators worked together in the participatory Burning performances at the Subterranean Arthouse, a small Butoh performance space in Berkeley, located in an old shop, complete with an open membrane into the urban space—a shop-window and glass door. Lots of things happen with and through us during these evenings, not just my movement meditations.One of my colleagues, Sadie Wilcox, sets up live drawing scenarios, sketching the space between people. Another artist, Harold Burns, engages participants in contact dance, and invites a crossing of boundaries in and through presence. Neil Marcus invites people to move with him, gently, and blindfolded, and to feel his spastic embodiment and his facility with tender touch. Amber diPietra’s poem about cell movement and the journeys from one to another sounds out in the space, set to music by Mindy Dillard. What I am writing about here is my personal account of the actions I engage in, one facet of these evenings—choreographing participants’ inner experiences.Figure 3. Image: Keira Heu-Jwyn Chang. Performers: Artists in the Burning project. “water burns sun”. Burning. 2009. My desires echo Lorde’s poem: “I want you”—there’s a sensual desire in me when I set up these movement meditation scenes, a delight in an erotic language and voice touch that is not predicated on sexual contact, but on intimacy, and on the borderlines, the membranes of the ear and the skin; ‘to know’—I continue to be intrigued and obsessed, as an artist and as a critic, by the way people envision what goes on inside them, and find agency, poetic lift, in mobilising these knowledges, in reaching from the images of bodies to the life of bodies in the world. ‘your darkness also’—not just the bright light, no, but also the fears and the strengths that hide in the blood and muscle, in the living pulsing shadow of the heart muscle pumping away, in the dark purple lobe of the liver wrapping itself around my middle and purifying, detoxifying, sifting, whatever sweeps through this body.These meditative slow practices can destabilise people. Some report that they experience something quite real, quite deep, and that there is transformation to be gained in these dream journeys. But the framing within which the Burning workshops take place question immediately the “authentic” of this experiential disclosure. The shared, the cultural, the heritage and hidden knowledge of being encultured quickly complicate any essence. This is where the element of formal enframing enters into the immediacy of experience, and into the narration of a stable, autonomous “I.” Our deepest cellular experience, the sounds and movements we listen to when we are deeply relaxed, are still cultured, are still shared, come to us in genres and stable image complexes.This form of presentation also questions practices of self-disclosure that participate in trauma narratives through what Canadian sociologist Erving Goffman has called “impression management” (208). Goffman researched the ways we play ourselves as roles in specific contexts, how we manage acts of disclosure and knowledge, how we deal with stigma and stereotype. Impression management refers to the ways people present themselves to others, using conscious or unconscious techniques to shape their image. In Goffman’s framing of these acts of self-presentation, performance and dramaturgical choices are foregrounded: impression management is an interactive, dynamic process. Disclosure becomes a semiotic act, not a “natural,” unfiltered display of an “authentic” self, but a complex engagement with choices. The naming and claiming of bodily trauma can be part of the repertoire of self-representation, a (stock-)narrative that enables recognition and hence communication. The full traumatic narrative arc (injury, reaction, overcoming) can here be a way to manage the discomfort of others, to navigate potential stigma.In Burning, by-passing verbal self-disclosure and the recitation of experience, by encountering ourselves in dialogue with our insides and with foreign elements in this experiential way, there is less space for people to speak managed, filtered personal truths. I find that these truths tend to either close down communication if raw and direct, or become told as a story in its complete, polished arc. Either form leaves little space for dialogue. After each journey through bodies, cells, through liver and heart, breath and membrane, audience members need to unfold for themselves what they felt, and how that felt, and how that relates to the stories of cancer, environmental toxins and invasion that they know.It is not fair. We should be able to have dialogues about “I am poisoned, I live with environmental sensitivities, and they constrict my life,” “I survived cancer,” “I have multiple sclerosis,” “I am autistic,” “I am addicted to certain substances,” “I am injured by certain substances.” But tragedy tugs at these stories, puts their narrators into the realm of the inviolate, as a community quickly feel sorry for these persons, or else feels attacked by them, in particular if one does not know how to help. Yes, we know this story: we can manage her identity for her, and his social role can click into fixity. The cultural weight of these narratives hinders flow, become heavily stigmatised. Many contemporary writers on the subjects of cancer and personhood recognise the (not always negative) aspects of this stigma, and mobilise them in their narratives. As Marisa Acocella Marchetto in the Cancer-Vixen: A True Story puts it: ‘Play the cancer card!’ (107). The cancer card appears in this graphic novel memoir in the form of a full-page spoof advertisem*nt, and the card is presented as a way to get out of unwanted social obligations. The cancer card is perfectly designed to create the communal cringe and the hasty retreat. If you have cancer, you are beyond the pale, and ordinary rules of behavior do no longer apply. People who experience these life-changing transformational diagnoses often know very well how isolating it can be to name one’s personal story, and many are very careful about how they manage disclosure, and know that if they choose to disclose, they have to manage other people’s discomfort. In Burning, stories of injury and hurt swing in the room with us, all of these stories are mentioned in our performance program, but none of them are specifically given individual voice in our performance (although some participants chose to come out in the sharing circle at the end of the event). No one owns the diagnoses, the identity of “survivor,” and the presence of these disease complexes are instead dispersed, performatively enacted and brought in experiential contact with all members of our temporary group. When you leave our round, you most likely still do not know who has multiple sclerosis, who has substance addiction issues, who is sensitive to environmental toxins.Communication demands territorialisation, and formal experimentation alone, unanchored in lived experience, easily alienates. So how can disclosure and the storytelling self find some lift, and yet some connection, too? How can the Burning cell imaginary become both deep, emotionally rich and formal, pointing to its constructed nature? That’s the question that each of the Olimpias’ community performance experiments begins with.How to Host a Past Collective: Setting Up a CirclePreceding Burning, one of our recent performance investigations was the Anarcha Project. In this multi-year, multi-site project, we revisited gynecological experiments performed on slave women in Montgomery, Alabama, in the 1840s, by J. Marion Sims, the “father of American gynecology.” We did so not to revictimise historical women as suffering ciphers, or stand helpless at the site of historical injury. Instead, we used art-based methods to investigate the heritage of slavery medicine in contemporary health care inequalities and women’s health care. As part of the project, thousands of participants in multiple residencies across the U.S. shared their stories with the project leaders—myself, Aimee Meredith Cox, Carrie Sandahl, Anita Gonzalez and Tiye Giraud. We collected about two hundred of these fragments in the Anarcha Anti-Archive, a website that tries, frustratingly, to undo the logic of the ordered archive (Cox et al. n.p).The project closed in 2008, but I still give presentations with the material we generated. But what formal methods can I select, ethically and responsibly, to present the multivocal nature of the Anarcha Project, given that it is now just me in the conference room, given that the point of the project was the intersection of multiple stories, not the fetishisation of individual ones? In a number of recent presentations, I used a circle exercise to engage in fragmented, shrouded disclosure, to keep privacies safe, and to find material contact with one another. In these Anarcha rounds, we all take words into our mouths, and try to stay conscious to the nature of this act—taking something into our mouth, rather than acting out words, normalising them into spoken language. Take this into your mouth—transgression, sacrament, ritual, entrainment, from one body to another.So before an Anarcha presentation, I print out random pages from our Anarcha Anti-Archive. A number of the links in the website pull up material through chance procedures (a process implemented by Olimpias collaborator Jay Steichmann, who is interested in digital literacies). So whenever you click that particular link, you get to a different page in the anti-archive, and you can not retrace your step, or mark you place in an unfolding narrative. What comes up are poems, story fragments, images, all sent in in response to cyber Anarcha prompts. We sent these prompts during residencies to long-distance participants who could not physically be with us, and many people, from Wales to Malaysia, sent in responses. I pull up a good number of these pages, combined with some of the pages written by the core collaborators of our project. In the sharing that follows, I do not speak about the heart of the project, but I mark that I leave things unsaid. Here is what I do not say in the moment of the presentation—those medical experiments were gynecological operations without anesthesia, executed to close vagin*l fistula that were leaking piss and sh*t, executed without anesthesia not because it was not available, but because the doctor did not believe that black women felt pain. I can write this down, here, in this essay, as you can now stop for a minute if you need to collect yourself, as you listen to what this narrative does to your inside. You might feel a clench deep down in your torso, like many of us did, a kinesthetic empathy that translates itself across text, time and space, and which became a core choreographic element in our Anarcha poetics.I do not speak about the medical facts directly in a face-to-face presentation where there is no place to hide, no place to turn away. Instead, I point to a secret at the heart of the Anarcha Project, and explain where all the medical and historical data can be found (in the Anarcha Project essay, “Remembering Anarcha,” in the on-line performance studies journal Liminalities site, free and accessible to all without subscription, now frequently used in bioethics education (see: http://www.liminalities.net/4-2). The people in the round, then, have only a vague sense of what the project is about, and I explain why this formal frame appears instead of open disclosure. I ask their permission to proceed. They either give it to me, or else our circle becomes something else, and we speak about performance practices and formal means of speaking about trauma instead.Having marked the space as one in which we agree on a specific framework or rule, having set up a space apart, we begin. One by one, raw and without preamble, people in the circle read what they have been given. The meaning of what they are reading only comes to them as they are reading—they have had little time to familiarise themselves with the words beforehand. Someone reads a poem about being held as a baby by one’s mother, being accepted, even through the writer’s body is so different. Someone reads about the persistence of shame. Someone reads about how incontinence is so often the borderline for independent living in contemporary cultures—up to here, freedom; past this point, at the point of leakage, the nursing home. Someone reads about her mother’s upset about digging up that awful past again. Someone reads about fibroid tumors in African-American women. Someone reads about the Venus Hottentott. Someone begins to cry (most recently at a Feminisms and Rhetorics conference), crying softly, and there is no knowing about why, but there is companionship, and quiet contemplation, and it is ok. These presentations start with low-key chatting, setting up the circle, and end the same way—once we have made our way around, once our fragments are read out, we just sit and talk, no “presentation-mode” emerges, and no one gets up into high drama. We’ve all taken strange things into our mouths, talked of piss and sh*t and blood and race and oppression and love and survival. Did we get free of ourselves, of the inevitability of narrative, in the attention to articulation, elocution, the performance of words, even if just for a moment? Did we taste the words on our tongues, material physical traces of a different form of embodiment? Container/ConclusionThe poet Anne Carson attended one of our Anarcha presentations, and her comments to us that evening helped to frame our subsequent work for me—she called our work creating a container, a vessel for experience, without sharing the specifics of that experience. I have since explored this image further, thought about amphorae as commemorative vases, thought of earth and clay as materials, thought of the illustrations on ancient vessels, on pattern and form, flow and movement. The vessel as matter: deterritorialising and reterritorialising, familiar and strange, shaping into form, and shaped out of formlessness, fired in the light and baked in the earth’s darkness, hardened only to crumble and crack again with the ages, returning to dust. These disclosures are in time and space—they are not narratives that create an archive or a body of knowledge. They breathe, and vibrate, and press against skin. What can be contained, what leaks, what finds its way through the membrane?These disclosures are traces of life, and I can touch them. I never get bored by them. Come and sit by my side, and we share in this river flow border vessel cell life.ReferencesBritzman, Deborah P. "Is There a Queer Pedagogy? Or, Stop Reading Straight." Educational Theory 45:2 (1995): 151–165. Burning. The Olimpias Project. Berkley; Eugene; Fort Worden. May-October, 2009Deleuze, Gilles, and Felix Guattari. A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Trans. Brian Massumi. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987.Foucault, Michel. The History of Sexuality: Vol. 2. The Use of Pleasure. Trans. Robert Hurley. New York: Vintage, 1985.Goffman, Erving. Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. New York: Anchor, 1969Kuppers, Petra. “Remembering Anarcha: Objection in the Medical Archive.” Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies 4.2 (2006): n.p. 24 July 2009 < http://liminalities.net/4-2 >.Cox, Aimee Meredith, Tiye Giraud, Anita Gonzales, Petra Kuppers, and Carrie Sandahl. “The Anarcha-Anti-Archive.” Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies 4.2 (2006): n.p. 24 July 2009 < http://liminalities.net/4-2 >.Lorde, Audre. Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches. Berkeley: The Crossing Press, 1984.Marchetto, Marisa Acocella. Cancer Vixen: A True Story. New York: Knopf, 2006.St. Pierre, Elizabeth Adams. “Circling the Text: Nomadic Writing Practices.” Qualitative Inquiry 3.4 (1997): 403–18.

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Morse, Nicole Erin. "Authenticity, Captioned: Hashtags, Emojis, and Visibility Politics in Alok Vaid-Menon’s Selfie Captions." M/C Journal 20, no.3 (June21, 2017). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1240.

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IntroductionWithin social media visibility campaigns, selfie captions usually work to produce coherent identity categories, linking disparate selfies together through hashtags. Furthering visibility politics, such selfie captions claim that authentic identities can be made visible through selfies and can be described and defined by these captions. However, selfie captions by the trans artist Alok Vaid-Menon challenge the assumption that selfies and their captions can make authentic identity legible. Through hashtags, emojis, and punning text, Vaid-Menon’s selfie captions interrogate visibility politics from within one of visibility politics most popular contemporary tools, demonstrating how social media can be used to theorize representation. Coherence, Visibility, and Authenticity through HashtagsMobilising and organising identitarian counterpublics through hashtags—from #DisabledAndCute (Wade) to #GirlsLikeUs (Jackson, Bailey, and Welles 2)—these captions operate as hyperlinks that lead users to collections of all the images similarly tagged or captioned. This draws attention to certain aspects of the images, and produces coherence and similarity, despite the actual diversity of the individuals participating in these projects of visibility. These captions also question the over-determination of visibility with authenticity in dominant discourse, and the assumption that visibility can guarantee authenticity. For example, this is apparent in the Human Rights Campaign’s 2014 publication Transgender Visibility: A Guide to Being You, which offers visibility as a critical strategy for “living as authentically as possible” (quoted in David 28).Further, as images that seem to enable direct, unmediated, and hence “authentic,” self-expression (Lorbinger and Brantner 1848), selfies are described as ideally designed for visibility politics (Duguay 4). Visibility politics relies on aesthetic representation to expand the boundaries of commonsense to include those who were previously excluded—all without challenging the underlying logic that produces the inclusion of some through the exclusion of others (Rancière 141–3). In social media visibility campaigns, selfie captions are therefore a critical tool, for they not only use hashtags to create webs of interconnected selfies that produce a coherent, visible identity category, but through doing so, they reinforce the illusion that selfies—as photographs—exhibit an unmediated relationship between sign and signified, offering a visual authentication of identity. Thus, social media visibility campaigns presume that the authentic self can be made legible through selfies and their captions, reiterating, as C. Riley Snorton writes, the “popular, long-held myth—that both the truth of race and the truth of sex are obvious, transparent, and written on the body” (3).Because visible markers of gender and race are assumed to offer access to the “truth” of identity (Rightler-McDaniels and Hendrickson 178), visibility politics are usually heavily invested in this idea of visible authenticity—they also, ultimately, provide a critical avenue for commodification, branding, and consumerism (Banet-Weiser 35; David 30). However, in direct contrast to this, the trans artist Alok Vaid-Menon—a non-binary South Asian performance artist whose pronouns are they/them—uses selfie captions to expose and explode the insufficiency of visibility politics, albeit while promoting their personal brand.Vaid-Menon: Captions, Hashtags, and Intersectional IdentitiesIn Instagram posts that include both still and video selfies, their punning captions undermine any direct relationship between sign and signified, and use playful language to challenge the logic that selfies can transparently communicate authentic identity. Instead of producing coherence, Vaid-Menon uses hashtags to insert charged, political posts within supposedly apolitical series, disrupting any claims to similarity. For example, although Vaid-Menon’s selfie captions draw attention to particular elements within the image, they highlight those aspects of the visual field that make it impossible to identify a single, unified identity.It is also worth discussing here how this plays out in a specifically visual medium such as Instagram. Drawing on the resources of this platform, these selfie captions include emojis, thereby doubling the elements of the visual field within the space of the caption, and emphasising the symbolic function of cultural signifiers of identity. Thus, Vaid-Menon’s selfie captions demonstrate that social media platforms are not merely conduits for visibility politics, but instead offer rich resources for interrogating and contesting the politics of representation.Throughout Vaid-Menon’s Instagram selfies, punning captions appear—examples include “beach the change you want to see in the world” and “fifty shades of gay.” In these captions, puns not only draw attention to the texture and flexibility of language—a linguistic playfulness that is always already present in social media platforms through ludic hashtags (Rightler-McDaniels and Hendrickson 187)—but also highlight elements within the image that put pressure on the idea of coherent and unified identity. By doing this, these captions explicitly declare that identity work is self-consciously performative, producing identities that are not a question of authenticity—even within the framework of “branded authenticity” (Banet-Weiser 11)—but that might instead be read through the more ambivalent notion of “sincerity” (Jackson 15).An example of this can be seen accompanying a slow-motion video selfie of Vaid-Menon in a blonde wig (AlokVMenon, 9 January 2016a). The significance of body hair for South Asian women and femmes is a reoccurring theme throughout Vaid-Menon’s selfie captions. They are vocal about the political significance of body hair, and use hashtags and text captions to address how body hair complicates their ability to communicate the truth(s) of their identity. In the video, brightly painted lips parted, Vaid-Menon twirls the blonde curls around their fingers, while the slow-motion effect emphasises the movement of each lock of hair. Simultaneously, Vaid-Menon’s dark body hair is prominent and visible, including chest hair, the shadow of a beard, and thick eyebrows.The image is accompanied by a caption which asserts punningly “gender is racial construct: blondes have more funding”, thereby transforming the gender studies dogma that “gender is a social construct” and the popular culture slogan that “blondes have more fun.” The caption uses this wording to point out that the gendering of body hair as masculine delimits femininity as whiteness, and also privileges white (cis) femininity within capitalism. Like the caption, the image also reveals how “gender is a racial construct,” staging the tensions between Vaid-Menon’s “natural” dark body hair (gendered masculine) and the bright, blonde wig they wear (gendered feminine, but racialised as white). Further, within late capitalism, the caption “blondes have more funding” lays claim to a possibility that the image forecloses—because “gender is a racial construct,” this increased funding is likely to be out of reach for brown trans femmes who look like Vaid-Menon. Together, the caption and the image suggest that hair is both the solution and the problem for Vaid-Menon—although “blondes have more funding,” the blondes who get funded are white, and definitely not covered in thick, dark body hair.Posting selfies that show off their body hair, Vaid-Menon regularly captions these images with the hashtag #TGIF (AlokVMenon, 19 August 2016) thereby taking advantage of the cross-platform utility and democratising function of hashtags (Rightler-McDaniels and Hendrickson 176) to insert these images into a space that is not usually one of critical race and gender analysis. Popular on Fridays, the hashtag #TGIF usually stands for “thank God it’s Friday,” but Vaid-Menon uses the ubiquitous hashtag to mean “thank goddess I’m femme.” As a result, the “thank god it’s Friday” hashtag introduces unsuspecting users to Vaid-Menon’s #TGIF selfies and their interrogation of the racialised politics of hair. Through inserting critical analysis of race and gender within such a light-hearted, non-serious hashtag, that is, by capitalising on the popularity of #TGIF, Vaid-Menon appears to defy the norms of discursive consistency within social media discourse (Rightler-McDaniels and Hendrickson 187) while simultaneously enhancing their personal brand (Banet-Weiser 59). Beyond hashtags, Vaid-Menon’s captions elaborate on the distinct pressures they experience around body hair, discussing how their body hair simultaneously obscures their ability to be recognised as femme and makes their race hyper-visible. In the caption on one #TGIF post, Vaid-Menon writes that, when they began shaving at age 13, it was an attempt at “becoming white.” Now, they write, they face pressure to authenticate their transfemininity by shaving, noting that, in this case, authenticity requires “invisibilization” (AlokVMenon, 15 November 2016).Vaid-Menon continues this theme in another selfie post, again problematising the supposedly direct relationship between authenticity and visibility. This example—in which Vaid-Menon poses against a violet background wearing a curly, blonde wig (AlokVMenon, 9 January 2016 b) their thick, dark hair contrasting strongly with the wig’s light gold—aims to critique the signifying power of the blonde wig.From the hyper-saturated colours, to the bright gold nose rings, to Vaid-Menon’s body hair, the selfie combines—and emphasises—markers of artifice and authenticity, femininity and masculinity. Reinforcing these contradictions, the caption interrogates the relationship between authenticity and visibility, stating “authenticity is a fraught project in a world that ritualizes your invisibilization.” Bringing together weighty concepts that occur in time, the caption speaks of ritual, the project of authenticity, and the process of invisibilisation, yet the selfie itself is a frozen instant, with nothing in the post clarifying what point of these processes, if any, it captures. In the selfie, the hyper-saturated colours highlight the wealth of information that the visual field makes available, but the image itself cannot answer the question of what visible markers, if any, communicate the truth of Vaid-Menon’s authentic identity. As the caption states, also foreclosing any answers, “authenticity is a fraught project,” and, moreover, that authenticity is threatened by what is not visible. While authenticity discourse presumes that the visual field offers the firmest epistemological grounds for assessing and legitimating identity, the visible may not convey the full reality of identity nor experience (Jackson 159). Furthermore, within selfie conventions, visual imperfection usually signifies authenticity (Lobinger and Brantner 1849), but this selfie has characteristics of professional photography, including the studio background, further marking it as a hybrid of authenticity and artifice.Through the intersection of the caption and the selfie, Vaid-Menon therefore casts into question the ability of the visual to successfully signify authentic identity. Thus, the caption reinforces and extends the work that the selfie does to trouble the coherence of Vaid-Menon’s identity. It should be noted, however, that this caption simultaneously participates in the production of Vaid-Menon’s personal brand, investing in a distinct mode of authenticity that Sarah Banet-Weiser has dubbed “AuthenticityTM,” an authenticity that is available to artists precisely through their creative and performative rejection of social norms (119–20). Refusing such normative assumptions about the relationship between hair, race, and gender, the caption and the selfie therefore position the blonde wig as simultaneously artificial and authentic.The tension between artifice and authenticity is explored further by Vaid-Menon in a set of two videos exploring the symbolism of the blonde wig, both captioned with an emoji of a blonde, white woman (AlokVMenon, 11 January 2016; 12 January 2016). By doubling the image of blonde hair within the caption—through the emoji that operates, rebus-like, as a substitute for language—these two captions shift the function of the blonde wig from a tactile, experiential object to an abstracted symbol of white womanhood. In the videos, Vaid-Menon, in character as “Becky” (Kelly) plays with the wig while delivering a monologue full of stereotypes about white women, a monologue that is summed up by the static, cartoonish emoji. As the visual spreads from the photograph into the space of the caption, the caption emphasises the symbolic—as opposed to the tactile or realist—function of the photographed wig.Across the series with the blonde wig, this shift from experiential object to abstract symbol happens primarily through the captions, although it also extends to the images. For example, accompanying the slow-motion video, the first caption puns “blondes have more funding” as the slow-motion video shows Vaid-Menon enjoying the physical sensation of the blonde curls. The slow-motion video creates an endless, looping present as its 7-second runtime repeats over and over, drawing our attention to the materiality of time and touch through the slow-motion effect. In the close, frontal framing of the video, the viewer does not see the pleasure of Vaid-Menon’s hand touching the wig itself, but rather its effect, as the curls fall slowly against Vaid-Menon’s cheek. Meanwhile, the punning caption is also concerned with texture, experience, and effect, drawing the viewer in to the texture of language. While the video stages an intimate, haptic pleasure, the selfie, posted later that same day, displays the wig, stressing what it might represent, rather than how it moves or how it feels. In the selfie, Vaid-Menon poses with one hand raised, caught in the act of twirling a curl, and the caption moves away from the pleasures of wordplay to a more overt political stance—“authenticity is fraught.” Here, their hand seems to pull the hair away from Vaid-Menon’s face, interrupting the sensuous intimacy of curls against their face.These selfie captions assert not only that cultural constructs make authentic visibility fraught for minoritised subjects, but, through the “transparent and economical” emoji (Bloom 248), these selfie videos and their emoji captions also serve to mediate blonde, white womanhood. As the image of the blonde wig proliferates, moving into the space of the caption, the final video selfie also introduces a second character, a white woman, presumably cisgender, wearing a different blonde wig, who appears suddenly behind Vaid-Menon.This tall, skinny woman with corkscrew blonde curls approaches the viewer with curiosity, swaying her body as she walks forward, with her eyes fixed on the camera. Pursing her lips, she produces the facial expression commonly described as “duckface,” a feminised facial expression that is common in selfies and marks the performative—rather than unmediated—self-expression they make possible. As she approaches Vaid-Menon and the camera, she ends up half-in and half-out of frame, lingering at the edge of our vision. Her presence has a disquieting and jarring effect, as Vaid-Menon continues their monologue without acknowledging her, despite the fact that she must be visible to Vaid-Menon on their cell phone screen. Then, because the video is a loop, the monologue ends abruptly, and the video restarts. As Vaid-Menon performs the role of Becky, the white woman who hovers eerily behind Vaid-Menon in the final video is pushed to the edge of the frame and ultimately vanishes at the moment of the loop. The structure of the loop is a provocative approach to questions of visibility, given that visibility politics asserts that visibility is teleologically directed toward future change, while in fact visibility politics reproduces the status quo that it makes visible (Keeling 33). Here, since Vaid-Menon only manages to displace “Becky” by enacting her (over and over), the final result is not (yet) an uncomplicated or uncompromised brown trans femme visibility.By staging the incoherence of claims to visible authenticity, Vaid-Menon’s selfie captions foreclose the possibility of successfully “passing” into coherent identity categories. In the series of posts with the blonde wig, Vaid-Menon never succeeds in seamlessly embodying any single identity category, and these tensions appear within the images as well as in the relationship between image and caption. This failure to “pass” is political, and as J. Jack Halberstam writes, there is a queer art to failure, for “under certain circ*mstances failing, losing, forgetting, unmaking, undoing, unbecoming, not knowing may in fact offer more creative, more cooperative, more surprising ways of being in the world” (2–3).Failure is also a critical aesthetic element in social media humour, with the hashtag #fail curating posts that ironically celebrate mistakes and failures (Zappavigna 152). In selfies and selfie captions, Vaid-Menon revels in the queer art of social media failure. For example, in a selfie posted on 23 December 2016, Vaid-Menon stares solemnly past the camera, wearing vibrant, contrasting colours, including a bobbed purple wig, bright yellow lipstick, and a dress covered with bright, multi-coloured polka dots. The caption on this colourful, clearly queer, photograph proclaims that Vaid-Menon is “str8 acting looking for same #discrete” (AlokVMenon, 23 December 2016).Everything in the caption operates as a promise that will never be fulfilled, as even the hashtag—#discrete—fails to connect the selfie to other, similar images, as this hashtag is populated by a wildly heterogenous mix of images ranging from sexual images, to landscape photography, to images of fashionable, modern homes. Here, Vaid-Menon participates in a common social media practice, subverting the utility of hashtags and using them as paratextual commentary rather than as tools for networked cataloguing. In this post, Vaid-Menon’s failure to conform to the standards of hom*onormativity—which would require Vaid-Menon to appear “straight-acting” and to be able to promise discretion to a lover—is pushed to excess, producing a glorious rainbow of queer failure. Similarly, in the series of posts featuring the blonde wig, Vaid-Menon’s campy, parodic version of blonde, white womanhood does not simply demonstrate soberly that the standards imposed by white supremacy and heterocispatriarchy are unreachable. Instead, the series produces this attempt to pass into acceptable white femininity as a strange, delirious failure, accompanied by brilliant colours, strobing slow-motion, and punning, incisive captions.ConclusionIn Vaid-Menon’s Instagram posts, selfies and their captions interrogate and challenge the assumption that authentic identity can transparently be made legible through selfies. Through hashtags, Vaid-Menon’s captions draw upon the resources of the social media platform to connect their selfies to a network of other—not necessarily similar—images, inserting their “thank goddess I’m femme” selfies amid the wealth of “thank god it’s Friday” Instagram posts. And, by using emojis as captions, Vaid-Menon undermines the ability of the caption to anchor the visual to coherent meaning by substituting images for language.Through images and captions, Vaid-Menon’s Instagram selfies restage the act of direct, immediate self-expression as a complicated negotiation of the mediating pressures of language, social media platforms, digital photography, and, ultimately, culture. Furthermore, although selfies are celebrated in popular culture and online activism for the “visibility” they seem to make possible, Vaid-Menon’s selfie captions indicate that social media can do far more than simply promulgate visibility politics. This is necessary, for, despite its compelling lure, visibility politics not only neglects to imagine alternative futures, but actually limits future possibilities through its focus on the present, which is inevitably shaped by the past (Keeling 23). Instead, while building their personal brand on Instagram, Vaid-Menon simultaneously uses selfies and selfie captions to interrogate visibility politics from within one of its most popular contemporary tools, exposing the limitations and compromises of “visibility.” Rather than merely a tool for representation, Vaid-Menon’s work demonstrates how selfies and selfie captions can produce theories of, and about, representation.ReferencesAlokVMenon. Instagram post. 9 January 2016 a. <https://www.instagram.com/p/BAVG-Q3Olqs>.AlokVMenon. Instagram post. 9 January 2016 b. <https://www.instagram.com/p/BAVSkAoOlmF>.AlokVMenon. Instagram post. 11 January 2016. <https://www.instagram.com/p/BAa-CXnOlla>.AlokVMenon. Instagram post. 12 January 2016. <https://www.instagram.com/p/BAdDLiCulhe>.AlokVMenon. Instagram post. 19 August 2016. <https://www.instagram.com/p/BJTp9cNhBPI>.AlokVMenon. Instagram post. 15 November 2016. <https://www.instagram.com/p/BM27QEFAmBu>.AlokVMenon. Instagram post. 23 December 2016. <https://www.instagram.com/p/BOWp_S3glq7>.Banet-Weiser, Sarah. Authentic TM: The Politics and Ambivalence in a Brand Culture. New York: New York UP, 2012.Bloom, Lynn Z. “Critical Emoticons.” Symplokē 18.1-2 (2010): 247–249.David, Emmanuel. “Trans Visibility, Corporate Capitalism, and Commodity Culture.” TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly 4.1 (2017): 28–44.Duguay, Stephanie. “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Queer Visibility through Selfies: Comparing Platform Mediators across Ruby Rose’s Instagram and Vine Presence.” Social Media + Society 2.2 (2016): 1–12.Halberstam, J. Jack. The Queer Art of Failure. Durham: Duke UP, 2011.Jackson, John L. Real Black: Adventures in Racial Sincerity. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2005.Jackson, Sarah J., Moya Bailey, and Brooke Foucault Welles. “#GirlsLikeUs: Trans Advocacy and Community Building Online.” New Media & Society (2017), 1–21. DOI: 10.1177/1461444817709276.Keeling, Kara. The Witch's Flight: The Cinematic, the Black Femme, and the Image of Common Sense. Durham: Duke UP, 2007.Kelly, Cara. “What Does Becky Mean? Here's the History behind Beyoncé's 'Lemonade' Lyric That Sparked a Firestorm.” USA Today 27 April 2016. <https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/entertainthis/2016/04/27/what-does-becky-mean-heres-history-behind-beyoncs-lemonade-lyric-sparked-firestorm/83555996>.Lobinger, K., and C. Brantner. “In the Eye of the Beholder: Subjective Views on the Authenticity of Selfies.” International Journal of Communication 9 (2015): 1848–1860.Rancière, Jacques. Dissensus: On Politics and Aesthetics. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2013.Rightler-McDaniels, Jodi L., and Elizabeth M. Hendrickson. “Hoes and Hashtags: Constructions of Gender and Race in Trending Topics.” Social Semiotics 24.2 (2013): 175-190.Snorton, C. Riley. Nobody Is Supposed to Know: Black Sexuality on the Down Low. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2014.Wade, Carrie. “’I Want to Be Visible’: A Queer #DisabledAndCute Photo Gallery.” Autostraddle.com. 20 Feb. 2017 <https://www.autostraddle.com/i-want-to-be-visible-a-queer-disabledandcute-photo-gallery-369532>Zappavigna, Michele. Discourse of Twitter and Social Media: How We Use Language to Create Affiliation on the Web. London: Continuum, 2012.

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Shiloh, Ilana. "Adaptation, Intertextuality, and the Endless Deferral of Meaning." M/C Journal 10, no.2 (May1, 2007). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2636.

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Film adaptation is an ambiguous term, both semantically and conceptually. Among its multiple connotations, the word “adaptation” may signify an artistic composition that has been recast in a new form, an alteration in the structure or function of an organism to make it better fitted for survival, or a modification in individual or social activity in adjustment to social surroundings. What all these definitions have in common is a tacitly implied hierarchy and valorisation: they presume the existence of an origin to which the recast work of art is indebted, or of biological or societal constraints to which the individual should conform in order to survive. The bias implied in the very connotations of the word has affected the theory and study of film adaptation. This bias is most noticeably reflected in the criterion of fidelity, which has been the major standard for evaluating film adaptations ever since George Bluestone’s 1957 pivotal Novels into Films. “Fidelity criticism,” observes McFarlane, “depends on a notion of the text as having and rendering up to the (intelligent) reader a single, correct ‘meaning’ which the film-maker has either adhered to or in some sense violated or tampered with” (7). But such an approach, Leitch argues, is rooted in several unacknowledged but entrenched misconceptions. It privileges literature over film, casts a false aura of originality on the precursor text, and ignores the fact that all texts, whether literary or cinematic, are essentially intertexts. As Kristeva, along with other poststructuralist theorists, has taught us, any text is an amalgam of others, a part of a larger fabric of cultural discourse (64-91). “A text is a multidimensional space in which a variety of writings, none of them original, blend and clash”, writes Barthes in 1977 (146), and 15 years later film theoretician Robert Stam elaborates: “The text feeds on and is fed into an infinitely permutating intertext, which is seen through evershifting grids of interpretation” (57). The poststructuralists’ view of texts draws on the structuralists’ view of language, which is conceived as a system that pre-exists the individual speaker and determines subjectivity. These assumptions counter the Romantic ideology of individualism, with its associated concepts of authorial originality and a text’s single, unified meaning, based on the author’s intention. “It is language which speaks, not the author,” declares Barthes, “to write is to reach the point where only language acts, ‘performs’, and not me” (143). In consequence, the fidelity criterion of film adaptation may be regarded as an outdated vestige of the Romantic world-view. If all texts quote or embed fragments of earlier texts, the notion of an authoritative literary source, which the cinematic version should faithfully reproduce, is no longer valid. Film adaptation should rather be perceived as an intertextual practice, contributing to a dynamic interpretive exchange between the literary and cinematic texts, an exchange in which each text can be enriched, modified or subverted. The relationship between Jonathan Nolan’s short story “Memento Mori” and Christopher Nolan’s film Memento (2001) is a case in point. Here there was no source text, as the writing of the story did not precede the making of the film. The two processes were concurrent, and were triggered by the same basic idea, which Jonathan discussed with his brother during a road trip from Chicago to LA. Christopher developed the idea into a film and Jonathan turned it into a short story; he also collaborated in the film script. Moreover, Jonathan designed otnemem> (memento in reverse), the official Website, which contextualises the film’s fictional world, while increasing its ambiguity. What was adapted here was an idea, and each text explores in different ways the narrative, ontological and epistemological implications of that idea. The story, the film and the Website produce a multi-layered intertextual fabric, in which each thread potentially unravels the narrative possibilities suggested by the other threads. Intertextuality functions to increase ambiguity, and is therefore thematically relevant, for “Memento Mori”, Memento and otnemem> are three fragmented texts in search of a coherent narrative. The concept of narrative may arguably be one of the most overused and under-defined terms in academic discourse. In the context of the present paper, the most productive approach is that of Wilkens, Hughes, Wildemuth and Marchionini, who define narrative as a chain of events related by cause and effect, occurring in time and space, and involving agency and intention. In fiction or in film, intention is usually associated with human agents, who can be either the characters or the narrator. It is these agents who move along the chain of causes and effects, so that cause-effect and agency work together to make the narrative. This narrative paradigm underpins mainstream Hollywood cinema in the years 1917-1960. In Narration in the Fiction Film, David Bordwell writes: The classical Hollywood film presents psychologically defined individuals who struggle to solve a clear-cut problem or to attain specific goals. … The story ends with a decisive victory or defeat, a resolution of the problem, and a clear achievement, or non achievement, of the goals. The principal causal agency is thus the character … . In classical fabula construction, causality is the prime unifying principle. (157) The large body of films flourishing in America between the years 1941 and 1958 collectively dubbed film noir subvert this narrative formula, but only partially. As accurately observed by Telotte, the devices of flashback and voice-over associated with the genre implicitly challenge conventionally linear narratives, while the use of the subjective camera shatters the illusion of objective truth and foregrounds the rift between reality and perception (3, 20). Yet in spite of the narrative experimentation that characterises the genre, the viewer of a classical film noir film can still figure out what happened in the fictional world and why, and can still reconstruct the story line according to sequential and causal schemata. This does not hold true for the intertextual composite consisting of Memento, “Memento Mori” and otnemem>. The basic idea that generated the project was that of a self-appointed detective who obsessively investigates and seeks to revenge his wife’s rape and murder, while suffering from a total loss of short term memory. The loss of memory precludes learning and the acquisition of knowledge, so the protagonist uses scribbled notes, Polaroid photos and information tattooed onto his skin, in an effort to reconstruct his fragmented reality into a coherent and meaningful narrative. Narrativity is visually foregrounded: the protagonist reads his body to make sense of his predicament. To recap, the narrative paradigm relies on a triad of terms: connectedness (a chain of events), causality, and intentionality. The basic situation in Memento and “Memento Mori”, which involves a rupture in the protagonist’s/narrator’s psychological time, entails a breakdown of all three pre-requisites of narrativity. Since the protagonists of both story and film are condemned, by their memory deficiency, to living in an eternal present, they are unable to experience the continuity of time and the connectedness of events. The disruption of temporality inevitably entails the breakdown of causality: the central character’s inability to determine the proper sequence of events prevents him from being able to distinguish between cause and effect. Finally, the notion of agency is also problematised, because agency implies the existence of a stable, identifiable subject, and identity is contingent on the subject’s uninterrupted continuity across time and change. The subversive potential of the basic narrative situation is heightened by the fact that both Memento and “Memento Mori” are focalised through the consciousness and perception of the main character. This means that the story, as well as the film, is conveyed from the point of view of a narrator who is constitutionally unable to experience his life as a narrative. This conundrum is addressed differently in the story and in the film, both thematically and formally. “Memento Mori” presents, in a way, the backdrop to Memento. It focuses on the figure of Earl, a brain damaged protagonist suffering from anterograde amnesia, who is staying in a blank, anonymous room, that we assume to be a part of a mental institution. We also assume that Earl’s brain damage results from a blow to the head that he received while witnessing the rape and murder of his wife. Earl is bent on avenging his wife’s death. To remind himself to do so, he writes messages to himself, which he affixes on the walls of his room. Leonard Shelby is Memento’s cinematic version of Earl. By Leonard’s own account, he has an inability to form memories. This, he claims, is the result of neurological damage sustained during an attack on him and his wife, an attack in which his wife was raped and killed. To be able to pursue his wife’s killers, he has recourse to various complex and bizarre devices—Polaroid photos, a quasi-police file, a wall chart, and inscriptions tattooed onto his skin—in order to replace his memory. Hampered by his affliction, Leonard trawls the motels and bars of Southern California in an effort to gather evidence against the killer he believes to be named “John G.” Leonard’s faulty memory is deviously manipulated by various people he encounters, of whom the most crucial are a bartender called Natalie and an undercover cop named Teddy, both involved in a lucrative drug deal. So far for a straightforward account of the short story and the film. But there is nothing straightforward about either Memento or “Memento Mori”. The basic narrative premise, consisting of a protagonist/narrator suffering from a severe memory deficit, is a condition entailing far-reaching psychological and philosophical implications. In the following discussion, I would like to focus on these two implications and to tie them in to the notions of narrativity, intertextuality, and eventually, adaptation. The first implication of memory loss is the dissolution of identity. Our sense of identity is contingent on our ability to construct an uninterrupted personal narrative, a narrative in which the present self is continuous with the past self. In Oneself as Another, his philosophical treatise on the concept of selfhood, Paul Ricoeur queries: “do we not consider human lives to be more readable when they have been interpreted in terms of the stories that people tell about them?” He concludes by observing that “interpretation of the self … finds in narrative, among others signs and symbols, a privileged form of mediation” (ft. 114). Ricoeur further suggests that the sense of selfhood is contingent on four attributes: numerical identity, qualitative identity, uninterrupted continuity across time and change, and finally, permanence in time that defines sameness. The loss of memory subverts the last two attributes of personal identity, the sense of continuity and permanence over time, and thereby also ruptures the first two. In “Memento Mori” and Memento, the disintegration of identity is formally rendered through the fragmentation of the literary and cinematic narratives, respectively. In Jonathan Nolan’s short story, traditional linear narrative is disrupted by shifts in point of view and by graphic differences in the shape of the print on the page. “Memento Mori” is alternately narrated in the first and in the third person. The first person segments, which constitute the present of the story, are written by Earl to himself. As his memory span is ten-minute long, his existence consists of “just the same ten minutes, over and over again” (Nolan, 187). Fully aware of the impending fading away of memory, Earl’s present-version self leaves notes to his future-version self, in an effort to situate him in time and space and to motivate him to the final action of revenge. The literary device of alternating points of view formally subverts the notion of identity as a stable unity. Paradoxically, rather than setting him apart from the rest of us, Earl’s brain damage foregrounds his similarity. “Every man is broken into twenty-four-hour fractions,” observes Earl, comforting his future self by affirming his basic humanity, “Your problem is a little more acute, maybe, but fundamentally the same thing” (Nolan, 189). His observation echoes Beckett’s description of the individual as “the seat of a constant process of decantation … to the vessel containing the fluid of past time” (Beckett, 4-5). Identity, suggests Jonathan Nolan, following Beckett, among other things, is a theoretical construct. Human beings are works in progress, existing in a state of constant flux. We are all fragmented beings—the ten-minute man is only more so. A second strategy employed by Jonathan to convey the discontinuity of the self is the creation of visual graphic disunity. As noted by Yellowlees Douglas, among others, the static, fixed nature of the printed page and its austere linearity make it ideal for the representation of our mental construct of narrative. The text of “Memento Mori” appears on the page in three different font types: the first person segments, Earl’s admonitions to himself, appear in italics; the third person segments are written in regular type; and the notes and signs are capitalised. Christopher Nolan obviously has recourse to different strategies to reach the same ends. His principal technique, and the film’s most striking aspect, is its reversed time sequence. The film begins with a crude Polaroid flash photograph of a man’s body lying on a decaying wooden floor. The image in the photo gradually fades, until the camera sucks the picture up. The photograph presents the last chronological event; the film then skips backwards in ten-minute increments, mirroring the protagonist’s memory span. But the film’s time sequence is not simply a reversed linear structure. It is a triple-decker narrative, mirroring the three-part organisation of the story. In the opening scene, one comes to realise that the film-spool is running backwards. After several minutes the film suddenly reverses and runs forward for a few seconds. Then there is a sudden cut to a different scene, in black and white, where the protagonist (who we have just learned is called Leonard) begins to talk, out of the blue, about his confusion. Soon the film switches to a color scene, again unconnected, in which the “action” of the film begins. In the black and white scenes, which from then on are interspersed with the main action, Leonard attempts to understand what is happening to him and to explain (to an unseen listener) the nature of his condition. The “main action” of the film follows a double temporal structure: while each scene, as a unit of action, runs normally forward, each scene is triggered by the following, rather than by the preceding scene, so that we are witnessing a story whose main action goes back in time as the film progresses (Hutchinson and Read, 79). A third narrative thread, interspersed with the other two, is a story that functions as a foil to the film’s main action. It is the story of Sammy Jankis: one of the cases that Leonard worked on in his past career as an insurance investigator. Sammy was apparently suffering from anterograde amnesia, the same condition that Leonard is suffering from now. Sammy’s wife filed an insurance claim on his behalf, a claim that Leonard rejected on the grounds that Sammy’s condition was merely psychosomatic. Hoping to confirm Leonard’s diagnosis, Sammy’s diabetic wife puts her husband to the test. He fails the test as he tenderly administers multiple insulin injections to her, thereby causing her death. As Leonard’s beloved wife also suffered from diabetes, and as Teddy (the undercover cop) eventually tells Leonard that Sammy never had a wife, the Sammy Jankis parable functions as a mise en abyme, which can either corroborate or subvert the narrative that Leonard is attempting to construct of his own life. Sammy may be seen as Leonard’s symbolic double in that his form of amnesia foreshadows the condition with which Leonard will eventually be afflicted. This interpretation corroborates Leonard’s personal narrative of his memory loss, while tainting him with the blame for the death of Sammy’s wife. But the camera also suggests a more unsettling possibility—Leonard may ultimately be responsible for the death of his own wife. The scene in which Sammy, condemned by his amnesia, administers to his wife a repeated and fatal shot of insulin, is briefly followed by a scene of Leonard pinching his own wife’s thigh before her insulin shot, a scene recurring in the film like a leitmotif. The juxtaposition of the two scenes suggests that it is Leonard who, mistakenly or deliberately, has killed his wife, and that ever since he has been projecting his guilt onto others: the innocent victims of his trail of revenge. In this ironic interpretive twist, it is Leonard, rather than Sammy, who has been faking his amnesia. The parable of Sammy Jankis highlights another central concern of Memento and “Memento Mori”: the precarious nature of truth. This is the second psychological and philosophical implication of what Leonard persistently calls his “condition”, namely his loss of memory. The question explicitly raised in the film is whether memory records or creates, if it retains the lived life or reshapes it into a narrative that will confer on it unity and meaning. The answer is metaphorically suggested by the recurring shots of a mirror, which Leonard must use to read his body inscriptions. The mirror, as Lacan describes it, offers the infant his first recognition as a coherent, unique self. But this recognition is a mis-recognition, for the reflection has a coherence and unity that the subject both lacks and desires. The body inscriptions that Leonard can read only in the mirror do not necessarily testify to the truth. But they do enable him to create a narrative that makes his life worth living. A Lacanian reading of the mirror image has two profoundly unsettling implications. It establishes Leonard as a morally deficient, rather than neurologically deficient, human being, and it suggests that we are not fundamentally different from him. Leonard’s intricate system of notes and body inscriptions builds up an inventory of set representations to which he can refer in all his future experiences. Thus when he wakes up naked in bed with a woman lying beside him, he looks among his Polaroid photographs for a picture which he can match with her, which will tell him what the woman’s name is and what he can expect from her on the basis of past experience. But this, suggest Hutchinson and Read, is an external representation of operations that all of us perform mentally (89). We all respond to sensory input by constructing internal representations that form the foundations of our psyche. This view underpins current theories of language and of the mind. Semioticians tell us that the word, the signifier, refers to a mental representation of an object rather than to the object itself. Cognitivists assume that cognition consists in the operation of mental items which are symbols for real entities. Leonard’s apparently bizarre method of apprehending reality is thus essentially an externalisation of memory. But if, cognitively and epistemologically speaking, Lennie is less different from us than we would like to think, this implication may also extend to our moral nature. Our complicity with Leonard is mainly established through the film’s complex temporal structure, which makes us viscerally share the protagonist’s/narrator’s confusion and disorientation. We become as unable as he is to construct a single, coherent and meaningful narrative: the film’s obscurity is built in. Memento’s ambiguity is enhanced by the film’s Website, which presents a newspaper clipping about the attack on Leonard and his wife, torn pages from police and psychiatric reports, and a number of notes from Leonard to himself. While blurring the boundaries between story and film by suggesting that Leonard, like Earl, may have escaped from a mental institution, otnemem> also provides evidence that can either confirm or confound our interpretive efforts, such as a doctor’s report suggesting that “John G.” may be a figment of Leonard’s imagination. The precarious nature of truth is foregrounded by the fact that the narrative Leonard is trying to construct, as well as the narrative in which Christopher Nolan has embedded him, is a detective story. The traditional detective story proceeds from a two-fold assumption: truth exists, and it can be known. But Memento and “Memento Mori” undermine this epistemological confidence. They suggest that truth, like identity, is a fictional construct, derived from the tales we tell ourselves and recount to others. These tales do not coincide with objective reality; they are the prisms we create in order to understand reality, to make our lives bearable and worth living. Narratives are cognitive patterns that we construct to make sense of the world. They convey our yearning for coherence, closure, and a single unified meaning. The overlapping and conflicting threads interweaving Memento, “Memento Mori” and the Website otnemem> simultaneously expose and resist our nostalgia for unity, by evoking a multiplicity of meanings and creating an intertextual web that is the essence of all adaptation. References Barthes, Roland. Image-Music-Text. London: Fontana, 1977. Beckett, Samuel. Proust. London: Chatto and Windus, 1931. Bluestone, George. Novels into Film. Berkley and Los Angeles: California UP, 1957. Bordwell, David. Narration in the Fiction Film. Madison: Wisconsin UP, 1985. Hutchinson, Phil, and Rupert Read. “Memento: A Philosophical Investigation.” Film as Philosophy: Essays in Cinema after Wittgenstein and Cavell. Ed. Rupert Read and Jerry Goodenough. Hampshire: Palgrave, 2005. 72-93. Kristeva, Julia. “World, Dialogue and Novel.” Desire in Language: A Semiotic Approach to Literature and Art. Ed. Leon S. Rudiez. Trans. Thomas Gora. New York: Columbia UP, 1980. 64-91. Lacan, Jacques. “The Mirror Stage as Formative of the Function of the I as Revealed in Psychoanalytic Experience.” Ēcrits: A Selection. New York: Norton 1977. 1-7. Leitch, Thomas. “Twelve Fallacies in Contemporary Adaptation Theory.” Criticism 45.2 (2003): 149-71. McFarlane, Brian. Novel to Film: An Introduction to the Theory of Adaptation. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996. Nolan, Jonathan. “Memento Mori.” The Making of Memento. Ed. James Mottram. London: Faber and Faber, 2002. 183-95. Nolan, Jonathan. otnemem. 24 April 2007 http://otnemem.com>. Ricoeur, Paul. Oneself as Another. Chicago: Chicago UP, 1992. Stam, Robert. “Beyond Fidelity: The Dialogics of Adaptation.” Film Adaptation. Ed. James Naremore. New Brunswick: Rutgers UP, 2000. 54-76. Telotte, J.P. Voices in the Dark: The Narrative Patterns of Film Noir. Urbana and Chicago: Illinois UP, 1989. Wilkens, T., A. Hughes, B.M. Wildemuth, and G. Marchionini. “The Role of Narrative in Understanding Digital Video.” 24 April 2007 http://www.open-video.org/papers/Wilkens_Asist_2003.pdf>. Yellowlees Douglass, J. “Gaps, Maps and Perception: What Hypertext Readers (Don’t) Do.” 24 April 2007 http://www.pd.org/topos/perforations/perf3/douglas_p3.html>. Citation reference for this article MLA Style Shiloh, Ilana. "Adaptation, Intertextuality, and the Endless Deferral of Meaning: Memento." M/C Journal 10.2 (2007). echo date('d M. Y'); ?> <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0705/08-shiloh.php>. APA Style Shiloh, I. (May 2007) "Adaptation, Intertextuality, and the Endless Deferral of Meaning: Memento," M/C Journal, 10(2). Retrieved echo date('d M. Y'); ?> from <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0705/08-shiloh.php>.

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Droumeva, Milena. "Curating Everyday Life: Approaches to Documenting Everyday Soundscapes." M/C Journal 18, no.4 (August10, 2015). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1009.

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Abstract:

In the last decade, the cell phone’s transformation from a tool for mobile telephony into a multi-modal, computational “smart” media device has engendered a new kind of emplacement, and the ubiquity of technological mediation into the everyday settings of urban life. With it, a new kind of media literacy has become necessary for participation in the networked social publics (Ito; Jenkins et al.). Increasingly, the way we experience our physical environments, make sense of immediate events, and form impressions is through the lens of the camera and through the ear of the microphone, framed by the mediating possibilities of smartphones. Adopting these practices as a kind of new media “grammar” (Burn 29)—a multi-modal language for public and interpersonal communication—offers new perspectives for thinking about the way in which mobile computing technologies allow us to explore our environments and produce new types of cultural knowledge. Living in the Social Multiverse Many of us are concerned about new cultural practices that communication technologies bring about. In her now classic TED talk “Connected but alone?” Sherry Turkle talks about the world of instant communication as having the illusion of control through which we micromanage our immersion in mobile media and split virtual-physical presence. According to Turkle, what we fear is, on the one hand, being caught unprepared in a spontaneous event and, on the other hand, missing out or not documenting or recording events—a phenomenon that Abha Dawesar calls living in the “digital now.” There is, at the same time, a growing number of ways in which mobile computing devices connect us to new dimensions of everyday life and everyday experience: geo-locative services and augmented reality, convergent media and instantaneous participation in the social web. These technological capabilities arguably shift the nature of presence and set the stage for mobile users to communicate the flow of their everyday life through digital storytelling and media production. According to a Digital Insights survey on social media trends (Bennett), more than 500 million tweets are sent per day and 5 Vines tweeted every second; 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute; more than 20 billion photos have been shared on Instagram to date; and close to 7 million people actively produce and publish content using social blogging platforms. There are more than 1 billion smartphones in the US alone, and most social media platforms are primarily accessed using mobile devices. The question is: how do we understand the enormity of these statistics as a coherent new media phenomenon and as a predominant form of media production and cultural participation? More importantly, how do mobile technologies re-mediate the way we see, hear, and perceive our surrounding evironment as part of the cultural circuit of capturing, sharing, and communicating with and through media artefacts? Such questions have furnished communication theory even before McLuhan’s famous tagline “the medium is the message”. Much of the discourse around communication technology and the senses has been marked by distinctions between “orality” and “literacy” understood as forms of collective consciousness engendered by technological shifts. Leveraging Jonathan Sterne’s critique of this “audio-visual litany”, an exploration of convergent multi-modal technologies allows us to focus instead on practices and techniques of use, considered as both perceptual and cultural constructs that reflect and inform social life. Here in particular, a focus on sound—or aurality—can help provide a fresh new entry point into studying technology and culture. The phenomenon of everyday photography is already well conceptualised as a cultural expression and a practice connected with identity construction and interpersonal communication (Pink, Visual). Much more rarely do we study the act of capturing information using mobile media devices as a multi-sensory practice that entails perceptual techniques as well as aesthetic considerations, and as something that in turn informs our unmediated sensory experience. Daisuke and Ito argue that—in contrast to hobbyist high-quality photographers—users of camera phones redefine the materiality of urban surroundings as “picture-worthy” (or not) and elevate the “mundane into a photographic object.” Indeed, whereas traditionally recordings and photographs hold institutional legitimacy as reliable archival references, the proliferation of portable smart technologies has transformed user-generated content into the gold standard for authentically representing the everyday. Given that visual approaches to studying these phenomena are well underway, this project takes a sound studies perspective, focusing on mediated aural practices in order to explore the way people make sense of their everyday acoustic environments using mobile media. Curation, in this sense, is a metaphor for everyday media production, illuminated by the practice of listening with mobile technology. Everyday Listening with Technology: A Case Study The present conceptualisation of curation emerged out of a participant-driven qualitative case study focused on using mobile media to make sense of urban everyday life. The study comprised 10 participants using iPod Touches (a device equivalent to an iPhone, without the phone part) to produce daily “aural postcards” of their everyday soundscapes and sonic experiences, over the course of two to four weeks. This work was further informed by, and updates, sonic ethnography approaches nascent in the World Soundscape Project, and the field of soundscape studies more broadly. Participants were asked to fill out a questionnaire about their media and technology use, in order to establish their participation in new media culture and correlate that to the documentary styles used in their aural postcards. With regard to capturing sonic material, participants were given open-ended instructions as to content and location, and encouraged to use the full capabilities of the device—that is, to record audio, video, and images, and to use any applications on the device. Specifically, I drew their attention to a recording app (Recorder) and a decibel measurement app (dB), which combines a photo with a static readout of ambient sound levels. One way most participants described the experience of capturing sound in a collection of recordings for a period of time was as making a “digital scrapbook” or a “media diary.” Even though they had recorded individual (often unrelated) soundscapes, almost everyone felt that the final product came together as a stand-alone collection—a kind of gallery of personalised everyday experiences that participants, if anything, wished to further organise, annotate, and flesh out. Examples of aural postcard formats used by participants: decibel photographs of everyday environments and a comparison audio recording of rain on a car roof with and without wipers (in the middle). Working with 139 aural postcards comprising more than 250 audio files and 150 photos and videos, the first step in the analysis was to articulate approaches to media documentation in terms of format, modality, and duration as deliberate choices in conversation with dominant media forms that participants regularly consume and are familiar with. Ambient sonic recordings (audio-only) comprised a large chunk of the data, and within this category there were two approaches: the sonic highlight, a short vignette of a given soundscape with minimal or no introduction or voice-over; and the process recording, featuring the entire duration of an unfolding soundscape or event. Live commentaries, similar to the conventions set forth by radio documentaries, represented voice-over entries at the location of the sound event, sometimes stationary and often in motion as the event unfolded. Voice memos described verbal reflections, pre- or post- sound event, with no discernable ambience—that is, participants intended them to serve as reflective devices rather than as part of the event. Finally, a number of participants also used the sound level meter app, which allowed them to generate visual records of the sonic levels of a given environment or location in the form of sound level photographs. Recording as a Way of Listening In their community soundwalking practice, Förnstrom and Taylor refer to recording sound in everyday settings as taking world experience, mediating it through one’s body and one’s memories and translating it into approximate experience. The media artefacts generated by participants as part of this study constitute precisely such ‘approximations’ of everyday life accessed through aural experience and mediated by the technological capabilities of the iPod. Thinking of aural postcards along this technological axis, the act of documenting everyday soundscapes involves participants acting as media producers, ‘framing’ urban everyday life through a mobile documentary rubric. In the process of curating these documentaries, they have to make decisions about the significance and stylistic framing of each entry and the message they wish to communicate. In order to bring the scope of these curatorial decisions into dialogue with established media forms, in this work’s analysis I combine Bill Nichols’s classification of documentary modes in cinema with Karin Bijsterveld’s concept of soundscape ‘staging’ to characterise the various approaches participants took to the multi-modal curation of their everyday (sonic) experience. In her recent book on the staging of urban soundscapes in both creative and documentary/archival media, Bijsterveld describes the representation of sound as particular ‘dramatisations’ that construct different kinds of meanings about urban space and engender different kinds of listening positions. Nichols’s articulation of cinematic documentary modes helps detail ways in which the author’s intentionality is reflected in the styling, design, and presentation of filmic narratives. Michel Chion’s discussion of cinematic listening modes further contextualises the cultural construction of listening that is a central part of both design and experience of media artefacts. The conceptual lens is especially relevant to understanding mobile curation of mediated sonic experience as a kind of mobile digital storytelling. Working across all postcards, settings, and formats, the following four themes capture some of the dominant stylistic dimensions of mobile media documentation. The exploratory approach describes a methodology for representing everyday life as a flow, predominantly through ambient recordings of unfolding processes that participants referred to in the final discussion as a ‘turn it on and forget it’ approach to recording. As a stylistic method, the exploratory approach aligns most closely with Nichols’s poetic and observational documentary modes, combining a ‘window to the world’ aesthetic with minimal narration, striving to convey the ‘inner truth’ of phenomenal experience. In terms of listening modes reflected in this approach, exploratory aural postcards most strongly engage causal listening, to use Chion’s framework of cinematic listening modes. By and large, the exploratory approach describes incidental documentaries of routine events: soundscapes that are featured as a result of greater attentiveness and investment in the sonic aspects of everyday life. The entries created using this approach reflect a process of discovering (seeing and hearing) the ordinary as extra-ordinary; re-experiencing sometimes mundane and routine places and activities with a fresh perspective; and actively exploring hidden characteristics, nuances of meaning, and significance. For instance, in the following example, one participant explores a new neighborhood while on a work errand:The narrative approach to creating aural postcards stages sound as a springboard for recollecting memories and storytelling through reflecting on associations with other soundscapes, environments, and interactions. Rather than highlighting place, routine, or sound itself, this methodology constructs sound as a window into the identity and inner life of the recordist, mobilising most strongly a semantic listening mode through association and narrative around sound’s meaning in context (Chion 28). This approach combines a subjective narrative development with a participatory aesthetic that draws the listener into the unfolding story. This approach is also performative, in that it stages sound as a deeply subjective experience and approaches the narrative from a personally significant perspective. Most often this type of sound staging was curated using voice memo narratives about a particular sonic experience in conjunction with an ambient sonic highlight, or as a live commentary. Recollections typically emerged from incidental encounters, or in the midst of other observations about sound. In the following example a participant reminisces about the sound of wind, which, interestingly, she did not record: Today I have been listening to the wind. It’s really rainy and windy outside today and it was reminding me how much I like the sound of wind. And you know when I was growing up on the wide prairies, we sure had a lot of wind and sometimes I kind of miss the sound of it… (Participant 1) The aesthetic approach describes instances where the creation of aural postcards was motivated by a reduced listening position (Chion 29)—driven primarily by the qualities and features of the soundscape itself. This curatorial practice for staging mediated aural experience combines a largely subjective approach to documenting with an absence of traditional narrative development and an affective and evocative aesthetic. Where the exploratory documentary approach seeks to represent place, routine, environment, and context through sonic characteristics, the aesthetic approach features sound first and foremost, aiming to represent and comment on sound qualities and characteristics in a more ‘authentic’ manner. The media formats most often used in conjunction with this approach were the incidental ambient sonic highlight and the live commentary. In the following example we have the sound of coffee being made as an important domestic ritual where important auditory qualities are foregrounded: That’s the sound of a stovetop percolator which I’ve been using for many years and I pretty much know exactly how long it takes to make a pot of coffee by the sound that it makes. As soon as it starts gurgling I know I have about a minute before it burns. It’s like the coffee calls and I come. (Participant 6) The analytical approach characterises entries that stage mediated aural experience as a way of systematically and inductively investigating everyday phenomena. It is a conceptual and analytical experimental methodology employed to move towards confirming or disproving a ‘hypothesis’ or forming a theory about sonic relations developed in the course of the study. As such, this approach most strongly aligns with Chion’s semantic listening mode, with the addition of the interactive element of analytical inquiry. In this context, sound is treated as a variable to be measured, compared, researched, and theorised about in an explicit attempt to form conclusions about social relationships, personal significance, place, or function. This analytical methodology combines an explicit and critical focus to the process of documenting itself (whether it be measuring decibels or systematically attending to sonic qualities) with a distinctive analytical synthesis that presents as ‘formal discovery’ or even ‘truth.’ In using this approach, participants most often mobilised the format of short sonic highlights and follow-up voice memos. While these aural postcards typically contained sound level photographs (decibel measurement values), in some cases the inquiry and subsequent conclusions were made inductively through sustained observation of a series of soundscapes. The following example is by a participant who exclusively recorded and compared various domestic spaces in terms of sound levels, comparing and contrasting them using voice memos. This is a sound level photograph of his home computer system: So I decided to record sitting next to my computer today just because my computer is loud, so I wanted to see exactly how loud it really was. But I kept the door closed just to be sort of fair, see how quiet it could possibly get. I think it peaked at 75 decibels, and that’s like, I looked up a decibel scale, and apparently a lawn mower is like 90 decibels. (Participant 2) Mediated Curation as a New Media Cultural Practice? One aspect of adopting the metaphor of ‘curation’ towards everyday media production is that it shifts the critical discourse on aesthetic expression from the realm of specialised expertise to general practice (“Everyone’s a photographer”). The act of curation is filtered through the aesthetic and technological capabilities of the smartphone, a device that has become co-constitutive of our routine sensorial encounters with the world. Revisiting McLuhan-inspired discourses on communication technologies stages the iPhone not as a device that itself shifts consciousness but as an agent in a media ecology co-constructed by the forces of use and design—a “crystallization of cultural practices” (Sterne). As such, mobile technology is continuously re-crystalised as design ‘constraints’ meet both normative and transgressive user approaches to interacting with everyday life. The concept of ‘social curation’ already exists in commercial discourse for social web marketing (O’Connell; Allton). High-traffic, wide-integration web services such as Digg and Pinterest, as well as older portals such as Reddit, all work on the principles of arranging user-generated, web-aggregated, and re-purposed content around custom themes. From a business perspective, the notion of ‘social curation’ captures, unsurprisingly, only the surface level of consumer behaviour rather than the kinds of values and meaning that this process holds for people. In the more traditional sense, art curation involves aesthetic, pragmatic, epistemological, and communication choices about the subject of (re)presentation, including considerations such as manner of display, intended audience, and affective and phenomenal impact. In his 2012 book tracing the discourse and culture of curating, Paul O’Neill proposes that over the last few decades the role of the curator has shifted from one of arts administrator to important agent in the production of cultural experiences, an influential cultural figure in her own right, independent of artistic content (88). Such discursive shifts in the formulation of ‘curatorship’ can easily be transposed from a specialised to a generalised context of cultural production, in which everyone with the technological means to capture, share, and frame the material and sensory content of everyday life is a curator of sorts. Each of us is an agent with a unique aesthetic and epistemological perspective, regardless of the content we curate. The entire communicative exchange is necessarily located within a nexus of new media practices as an activity that simultaneously frames a cultural construction of sensory experience and serves as a cultural production of the self. To return to the question of listening and a sound studies perspective into mediated cultural practices, technology has not single-handedly changed the way we listen and attend to everyday experience, but it has certainly influenced the range and manner in which we make sense of the sensory ‘everyday’. Unlike acoustic listening, mobile digital technologies prompt us to frame sonic experience in a multi-modal and multi-medial fashion—through the microphone, through the camera, and through the interactive, analytical capabilities of the device itself. Each decision for sensory capture as a curatorial act is both epistemological and aesthetic; it implies value of personal significance and an intention to communicate meaning. The occurrences that are captured constitute impressions, highlights, significant moments, emotions, reflections, experiments, and creative efforts—very different knowledge artefacts from those produced through textual means. Framing phenomenal experience—in this case, listening—in this way is, I argue, a core characteristic of a more general type of new media literacy and sensibility: that of multi-modal documenting of sensory materialities, or the curation of everyday life. 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Förnstrom, Mikael, and Sean Taylor. “Creative Soundwalks.” Urban Soundscapes and Critical Citizenship Symposium. Limerick, Ireland. 27–29 March 2014. Ito, Mizuko, ed. Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2010. Jenkins, Henry, Ravi Purushotma, Margaret Weigel, Katie Clinton, and Alice J. Robison. Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century. White Paper prepared for the McArthur Foundation, 2006. McLuhan, Marshall. Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1964. Nichols, Brian. Introduction to Documentary. Bloomington & Indianapolis, Indiana: Indiana UP, 2001. Nielsen. “State of the Media – The Social Media Report.” Nielsen 4 Dec. 2012. 12 May 2015 ‹http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/reports/2012/state-of-the-media-the-social-media-report-2012.html›. O’Connel, Judy. “Social Content Curation – A Shift from the Traditional.” 8 Aug. 2011. 11 May 2015 ‹http://judyoconnell.com/2011/08/08/social-content-curation-a-shift-from-the-traditional/›. O’Neill, Paul. The Culture of Curating and the Curating of Culture(s). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2012. Pink, Sarah. Doing Visual Ethnography. London, UK: Sage, 2007. ———. Situating Everyday Life. London, UK: Sage, 2012. Sterne, Jonathan. The Audible Past: Cultural Origins of Sound Reproduction. Durham, NC: Duke UP, 2003. Schafer, R. Murray, ed. World Soundscape Project. European Sound Diary (reprinted). Vancouver: A.R.C. Publications, 1977. Turkle, Sherry. “Connected But Alone?” TED Talk, Feb. 2012. 8 Aug. 2015 ‹http://www.ted.com/talks/sherry_turkle_alone_together?language=en›.

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Nairn, Angelique. "Chasing Dreams, Finding Nightmares: Exploring the Creative Limits of the Music Career." M/C Journal 23, no.1 (March18, 2020). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1624.

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Abstract:

In the 2019 documentary Chasing Happiness, recording artist/musician Joe Jonas tells audiences that the band was “living the dream”. Similarly, in the 2012 documentary Artifact, lead singer Jared Leto remarks that at the height of Thirty Seconds to Mars’s success, they “were living the dream”. However, for both the Jonas Brothers and Thirty Seconds to Mars, their experiences of the music industry (much like other commercially successful recording artists) soon transformed into nightmares. Similar to other commercially successful recording artists, the Jonas Brothers and Thirty Seconds to Mars, came up against the constraints of the industry which inevitably led to a forfeiting of authenticity, a loss of creative control, increased exploitation, and unequal remuneration. This work will consider how working in the music industry is not always a dream come true and can instead be viewed as a proverbial nightmare. Living the DreamIn his book Dreams, Carl Gustav Jung discusses how that which is experienced in sleep, speaks of a person’s wishes: that which might be desired in reality but may not actually happen. In his earlier work, The Interpretation of Dreams, Freud argued that the dream is representative of fulfilling a repressed wish. However, the creative industries suggest that a dream need not be a repressed wish; it can become a reality. Jon Bon Jovi believes that his success in the music industry has surpassed his wildest dreams (Atkinson). Jennifer Lopez considers the fact that she held big dreams, had a focussed passion, and strong aspirations the reason why she pursued a creative career that took her out of the Bronx (Thomas). In a Twitter post from 23 April 2018, Bruno Mars declared that he “use [sic] to dream of this sh*t,” in referring to a picture of him performing for a sold out arena, while in 2019 Shawn Mendes informed his 24.4 million Twitter followers that his “life is a dream”. These are but a few examples of successful music industry artists who are seeing their ‘wishes’ come true and living the American Dream.Endemic to the American culture (and a characteristic of the identity of the country) is the “American Dream”. It centres on “a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for every man, with opportunity for each according to his ability and achievement” (Adams, 404). Although initially used to describe having a nice house, money, stability and a reasonable standard of living, the American Dream has since evolved to what the scholar Florida believes is the new ‘aspiration of people’: doing work that is enjoyable and relies on human creativity. At its core, the original American Dream required striving to meet individual goals, and was promoted as possible for anyone regardless of their cultural, socio-economic and political background (Samuel), because it encourages the celebrating of the self and personal uniqueness (Gamson). Florida’s conceptualisation of the New American dream, however, tends to emphasise obtaining success, fame and fortune in what Neff, Wissinger, and Zukin (310) consider “hot”, “creative” industries where “the jobs are cool”.Whether old or new, the American Dream has perpetuated and reinforced celebrity culture, with many of the young generation reporting that fame and fortune were their priorities, as they sought to emulate the success of their famous role models (Florida). The rag to riches stories of iconic recording artists can inevitably glorify and make appealing the struggle that permits achieving one’s dream, with celebrities offering young, aspiring creative people a means of identification for helping them to aspire to meet their dreams (Florida; Samuel). For example, a young Demi Lovato spoke of how she idolised and looked up to singer Beyonce Knowles, describing Knowles as a role model because of the way she carries herself (Tishgart). Similarly, American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson cited Aretha Franklin as her musical inspiration and the reason that she sings from a place deep within (Nilles). It is unsurprising then, that popular media has tended to portray artists working in the creative industries and being paid to follow their passions as “a much-vaunted career dream” (Duffy and Wissinger, 4656). Movies such as A Star Is Born (2018), The Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980), Dreamgirls (2006), Begin Again (2013) and La La Land (2016) exalt the perception that creativity, talent, sacrifice and determination will mean dreams come true (Nicolaou). In concert with the American dream is the drive among creative people pursuing creative success to achieve their dreams because of the perceived autonomy they will gain, the chance of self-actualisation and social rewards, and the opportunity to fulfil intrinsic motivations (Amabile; Auger and Woodman; Cohen). For these workers, the love of creation and the happiness that accompanies new discoveries (Csikszentmihalyi) can offset the tight budgets and timelines, precarious labour (Blair, Grey, and Randle; Hesmondhalgh and Baker), uncertain demand (Caves; Shultz), sacrifice of personal relationships (Eikhof and Haunschild), the demand for high quality products (Gil & Spiller), and the tense relationships with administrators (Bilton) which are known to plague these industries. In some cases, young, up and coming creative people overlook these pitfalls, instead romanticising creative careers as ideal and worthwhile. They willingly take on roles and cede control to big corporations to “realize their passions [and] uncover their personal talent” (Bill, 50). Of course, as Ursell argues in discussing television employees, such idealisation can mean creatives, especially those who are young and unfamiliar with the constraints of the industry, end up immersed in and victims of the “vampiric” industry that exploits workers (816). They are socialised towards believing, in this case, that the record label is a necessary component to obtain fame and fortune and whether willing or unwilling, creative workers become complicit in their own exploitation (Cohen). Loss of Control and No CompensationThe music industry itself has been considered by some to typify the cultural industries (Chambers). Popular music has potency in that it is perceived as speaking a universal language (Burnett), engaging the emotions and thoughts of listeners, and assisting in their identity construction (Burnett; Gardikiotis and Baltzis). Given the place of music within society, it is not surprising that in 2018, the global music industry was worth US$19.1billion (IFPI). The music industry is necessarily underpinned by a commercial agenda. At present, six major recording companies exist and between them, they own between 70-80 per cent of the recordings produced globally (Konsor). They also act as gatekeepers, setting trends by defining what and who is worth following and listening to (Csikszentmihalyi; Jones, Anand, and Alvarez). In essence, to be successful in the music industry is to be affiliated with a record label. This is because the highly competitive nature and cluttered environment makes it harder to gain traction in the market without worthwhile representation (Moiso and Rockman). In the 2012 documentary about Thirty Seconds to Mars, Artifact, front man Jared Leto even questions whether it is possible to have “success without a label”. The recording company, he determines, “deal with the crappy jobs”. In a financially uncertain industry that makes money from subjective or experience-based goods (Caves), having a label affords an artist access to “economic capital for production and promotion” that enables “wider recognition” of creative work (Scott, 239). With the support of a record label, creative entrepreneurs are given the chance to be promoted and distributed in the creative marketplace (Scott; Shultz). To have a record label, then, is to be perceived as legitimate and credible (Shultz).However, the commercial music industry is just that, commercial. Accordingly, the desire to make money can see the intrinsic desires of musicians forfeited in favour of standardised products and a lack of remuneration for artists (Negus). To see this standardisation in practice, one need not look further than those contestants appearing on shows such as American Idol or The Voice. Nowhere is the standardisation of the music industry more evident than in Holmes’s 2004 article on Pop Idol. Pop Idol first aired in Britain from 2001-2003 and paved the way for a slew of similar shows around the world such as Australia’s Popstars Live in 2004 and the global Idol phenomena. According to Holmes, audiences are divested of the illusion of talent and stardom when they witness the obvious manufacturing of musical talent. The contestants receive training, are dressed according to a prescribed image, and the show emphasises those melodramatic moments that are commercially enticing to audiences. Her sentiments suggest these shows emphasise the artifice of the music industry by undermining artistic authenticity in favour of generating celebrities. The standardisation is typified in the post Idol careers of Kelly Clarkson and Adam Lambert. Kelly Clarkson parted with the recording company RCA when her manager and producer Clive Davis told her that her album My December (2007) was “not commercial enough” and that Clarkson, who had written most of the songs, was a “sh*tty writer… who should just shut up and sing” (Nied). Adam Lambert left RCA because they wanted him to make a full length 80s album comprised of covers. Lambert commented that, “while there are lots of great songs from that decade, my heart is simply not in doing a covers album” (Lee). In these instances, winning the show and signing contracts led to both Clarkson and Lambert forfeiting a degree of creative control over their work in favour of formulaic songs that ultimately left both artists unsatisfied. The standardisation and lack of remuneration is notable when signing recording artists to 360° contracts. These 360° contracts have become commonplace in the music industry (Gulchardaz, Bach, and Penin) and see both the material and immaterial labour (such as personal identities) of recording artists become controlled by record labels (Stahl and Meier). These labels determine the aesthetics of the musicians as well as where and how frequently they tour. Furthermore, the labels become owners of any intellectual property generated by an artist during the tenure of the contract (Sanders; Stahl and Meier). For example, in their documentary Show Em What You’re Made Of (2015), the Backstreet Boys lament their affiliation with manager Lou Pearlman. Not only did Pearlman manufacture the group in a way that prevented creative exploration by the members (Sanders), but he withheld profits to the point that the Backstreet Boys had to sue Pearlman in order to gain access to money they deserved. In 2002 the members of the Backstreet Boys had stated that “it wasn’t our destinies that we had to worry about in the past, it was our souls” (Sanders, 541). They were not writing their own music, which came across in the documentary Show Em What You’re Made Of when singer Howie Dorough demanded that if they were to collaborate as a group again in 2013, that everything was to be produced, managed and created by the five group members. Such a demand speaks to creative individuals being tied to their work both personally and emotionally (Bain). The angst encountered by music artists also signals the identity dissonance and conflict felt when they are betraying their true or authentic creative selves (Ashforth and Mael; Ashforth and Humphrey). Performing and abiding by the rules and regulations of others led to frustration because the members felt they were “being passed off as something we aren’t” (Sanders 539). The Backstreet Boys were not the only musicians who were intensely controlled and not adequately compensated by Pearlman. In the documentary The Boy Band Con: The Lou Pearlman Story 2019, Lance Bass of N*Sync and recording artist Aaron Carter admitted that the experience of working with Pearlman became a nightmare when they too, were receiving cheques that were so small that Bass describes them as making his heart sink. For these groups, the dream of making music was undone by contracts that stifled creativity and paid a pittance.In a similar vein, Thirty Seconds to Mars sought to cut ties with their record label when they felt that they were not being adequately compensated for their work. In retaliation EMI issued Mars with a US$30 million lawsuit for breach of contract. The tense renegotiations that followed took a toll on the creative drive of the group. At one point in the documentary Artifact (2012), Leto claims “I can’t sing it right now… You couldn’t pay me all the money in the world to sing this song the way it needs to be sung right now. I’m not ready”. The contract subordination (Phillips; Stahl and Meier) that had led to the need to renegotiate financial terms came at not only a financial cost to the band, but also a physical and emotional one. The negativity impacted the development of the songs for the new album. To make music requires evoking necessary and appropriate emotions in the recording studio (Wood, Duffy, and Smith), so Leto being unable to deliver the song proved problematic. Essentially, the stress of the lawsuit and negotiations damaged the motivation of the band (Amabile; Elsbach and Hargadon; Hallowell) and interfered with their creative approach, which could have produced standardised and poor quality work (Farr and Ford). The dream of making music was almost lost because of the EMI lawsuit. Young creatives often lack bargaining power when entering into contracts with corporations, which can prove disadvantaging when it comes to retaining control over their lives (Phillips; Stahl and Meier). Singer Demi Lovato’s big break came in the 2008 Disney film Camp Rock. As her then manager Phil McIntyre states in the documentary Simply Complicated (2017), Camp Rock was “perceived as the vehicle to becoming a superstar … overnight she became a household name”. However, as “authentic and believable” as Lovato’s edginess appeared, the speed with which her success came took a toll on Lovato. The pressure she experienced having to tour, write songs that were approved by others, star in Disney channel shows and movies, and look a certain way, became too much and to compensate, Lovato engaged in regular drug use to feel free. Accordingly, she developed a hybrid identity to ensure that the squeaky clean image required by the moral clauses of her contract, was not tarnished by her out-of-control lifestyle. The nightmare came from becoming famous at a young age and not being able to handle the expectations that accompanied it, coupled with a stringent contract that exploited her creative talent. Lovato’s is not a unique story. Research has found that musicians are more inclined than those in other workforces to use psychotherapy and psychotropic drugs (Vaag, Bjørngaard, and Bjerkeset) and that fame and money can provide musicians more opportunities to take risks, including drug-use that leads to mortality (Bellis, Hughes, Sharples, Hennell, and Hardcastle). For Lovato, living the dream at a young age ultimately became overwhelming with drugs her only means of escape. AuthenticityThe challenges then for music artists is that the dream of pursuing music can come at the cost of a musician’s authentic self. According to Hughes, “to be authentic is to be in some sense real and true to something ... It is not simply an imitation, but it is sincere, real, true, and original expression of its creator, and is believable or credible representations or example of what it appears to be” (190). For Nick Jonas of the Jonas Brothers, being in the spotlight and abiding by the demands of Disney was “non-stop” and prevented his personal and musical growth (Chasing Happiness). As Kevin Jonas put it, Nick “wanted the Jonas Brothers to be no more”. The extensive promotion that accompanies success and fame, which is designed to drive celebrity culture and financial motivations (Currid-Halkett and Scott; King), can lead to cynical performances and dissatisfaction (Hughes) if the identity work of the creative creates a disjoin between their perceived self and aspirational self (Beech, Gilmore, Cochrane, and Greig). Promoting the band (and having to film a television show and movies he was not invested in all because of contractual obligations) impacted on Nick’s authentic self to the point that the Jonas Brothers made him feel deeply upset and anxious. For Nick, being stifled creatively led to feeling inauthentic, thereby resulting in the demise of the band as his only recourse.In her documentary Gaga: Five Foot Two (2017), Lady Gaga discusses the extent she had to go to maintain a sense of authenticity in response to producer control. As she puts it, “when producers wanted me to be sexy, I always put some absurd spin on it, that made me feel like I was still in control”. Her words reaffirm the perception amongst scholars (Currid-Halkett and Scott; King; Meyers) that in playing the information game, industry leaders will construct an artist’s persona in ways that are most beneficial for, in this case, the record label. That will mean, for example, establishing a coherent life story for musicians that endears them to audiences and engaging recording artists in co-branding opportunities to raise their profile and to legitimise them in the marketplace. Such behaviour can potentially influence the preferences and purchases of audiences and fans, can create favourability, originality and clarity around artists (Loroz and Braig), and can establish competitive advantage that leads to producers being able to charge higher prices for the artists’ work (Hernando and Campo). But what impact does that have on the musician? Lady Gaga could not continue living someone else’s dream. She found herself needing to make changes in order to avoid quitting music altogether. As Gaga told a class of university students at the Emotion Revolution Summit hosted by Yale University:I don’t like being used to make people money. It feels sad when I am overworked and that I have just become a money-making machine and that my passion and creativity take a backseat. That makes me unhappy.According to Eikof and Haunschild, economic necessity can threaten creative motivation. Gaga’s reaction to the commercial demands of the music industry signal an identity conflict because her desire to create, clashed with the need to be commercial, with the outcome imposing “inconsistent demands upon” her (Ashforth and Mael, 29). Therefore, to reduce what could be considered feelings of dissonance and inconsistency (Ashforth and Mael; Ashforth and Humphrey) Gaga started saying “no” to prevent further loss of her identity and sense of authentic self. Taking back control could be seen as a means of reorienting her dream and overcoming what had become dissatisfaction with the commercial processes of the music industry. ConclusionsFor many creatives working in the creative industries – and specifically the music industry – is constructed as a dream come true; the working conditions and expectations experienced by recording artists are far from liberating and instead can become nightmares to which they want to escape. The case studies above, although likely ‘constructed’ retellings of the unfortunate circ*mstances encountered working in the music industry, nevertheless offer an inside account that contradicts the prevailing ideology that pursuing creative passions leads to a dream career (Florida; Samuel). If anything, the case studies explored above involving 30 Seconds to Mars, the Jonas Brothers, Lady Gaga, Kelly Clarkson, Adam Lambert and the Backstreet Boys, acknowledge what many scholars writing in the creative industries have already identified; that exploitation, subordination, identity conflict and loss of control are the unspoken or lesser known consequences of pursuing the creative dream. That said, the conundrum for creatives is that for success in the industry big “creative” businesses, such as recording labels, are still considered necessary in order to break into the market and to have prolonged success. This is simply because their resources far exceed those at the disposal of independent and up-and-coming creative entrepreneurs. Therefore, it can be argued that this friction of need between creative industry business versus artists will be on-going leading to more of these ‘dream to nightmare’ stories. The struggle will continue manifesting in the relationship between business and artist for long as the recording artists fight for greater equality, independence of creativity and respect for their work, image and identities. 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