Week Twelve: ‘“But is it Art?”—the new dynamism of art’

I like the question in the heading. ‘But is it art?’

It’s a question I find myself constantly asking. Since we have entered this digital age, advancements in technology have opened up many new avenues for artists to experimentwith and convey their message through different mediums. But I guess we’re starting to get to the point where we are asking ourselves and I know I do, if what we’re saying is really art?

When reading through this Fibreculture Journal entry and it was talking about the changing ‘conceptions of our perceived role within interconnected systems’ and how this involves an embodied experience I immediately thought of the works of Mike Parr.

Mike Parr does a lot of performative art works based around protesting the treatment of refugees, usually starving himself and inflicting some type of torture unto himself. The particular work I remembered that really resembled the embodied experiences the Journal discussed was ‘Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi: Democratic Torture’.

This art work involved Parr sitting in the middle of a room in a gallery space with his face wrapped with wire and the performance was broadcast on the internet via camera. Viewers could go to the website the performance was broadcast and by clicking on hotspots on the footage you could send immediate shocks to Parr as he sat in the room.

This work starts playing with the concept how now viewers are no longer passive in viewing an artwork. Parr’s work includes the viewer in the work through this interactive feature on the site. Parr has utilised this feature in order to comment on how people feel they are passive in relation to the refugee issue.

But when assessing these types of performative “artworks” I begin to question whether this still classifies as art and whether making a statement in this way is someone just trying to have voice?

In my opinion it still classifies as art it can still affect you upon seeing it, it renders you with a feeling and whether you agree with the message or not that becomes subjective and that is what a lot of art does.

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Week Nine: ‘Social Organization—Micropolitics, Networks, Designing for and Living in New Communities’

An open source approach to Global Warming?

Could it work?

I enjoy the idea of an open source internet, I love the idea of sharing and everything being free to access in order to help each other.

I don’t know how to exactly comment on Global Warming itself. I’m one of those people that is on the fence about the whole validity of the situation. I understand the argument that there is all this information that is here and now that proves there are changes in the atmosphere. I believe that. I also believe weather is unpredictable and so is the earth so that becomes contradictory to some facts. Also I’m so surprised that if all this evidence is there why the government has failed to do anything?

But I guess that’s a major point of why these communities are coming together and are for these Common Pool Resources that Elinor Ostrom herself is supporting. It’s an innovative way to assist in the fight against global warming all over the world creating this global community we seem to reference all the time and reach out to all parts of the world to even work on a local level within certain entities connected to these networks.

I understand how the concept will function after viewing A Knife’s Party Production of ‘Coalition of the Willing’ yet the question I propose from this is even with the vast outreach of the internet will this make a difference? Will more people come onboard to this cause? Or will it simply be the people that are interested in global warming now will be the people that get involved and the cause will stop there?

I hope for the earth’s sake that if this open source system came into fruition that we would see a surge in people becoming involved in the movement and the community would continually grow.

I hope it would work like P2P torrenting does, how a huge community of users work together to bring all the content they enjoy and share it with others in the online community.

I’d much rather an online community working together rather than companies putting money into shock campaigns about Global Warming like this.

I just think this is disturbing.

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Week Eight: ‘Big Politics—The Fate of the State’

Reading about all the events that have taken place in Egypt, I feel like I have been asleep for the majority of the time in relation to this whole commotion over there as I only appear to momentarily pass the television and see protests on TV then hear at uni how a lot of it is organised through social networking.

[image courtesy of Zuma Press]

I found the point that Nikki Usher made in this report very valid. Basically stating that all this organising may start in the virtual world through all the social networking people speak of but it is quickly taken to the streets and it becomes the ‘real world’.

We tend to sit their and focus on what developments are taking place online and how people are creating there government online and yes I agree that it is definitely evident these people are finding new ways to contact each other and organise these protests but when it comes down to what is happening on the street that is personal choice and nothing no matter how these individuals have been influenced by what they have been reading online it comes down to the individual to take what action they feel is necessary.

Moving away from the devastation in Egypt I think there are a lot of positives we are beginning to see with this ‘self policing’ that we are beginning to do online. The film Us Now has really opened my eyes to how people are using the web and I guess becoming more daring and open to new experiences based on web communities.

The idea of the website Couch Surfing scares me, yet I find it so interesting how this online community is functioning on developing this system of couch crashing all over the world. The film covered many other avenues of online participation but I think the main point I took from the film is from a lady on the film (missed her name and the website doesn’t let you rewind???) ‘A lot can be fulfilled by allowing people to help each other’.

This outlook on the inter-web is a great optimistic view to have on the possibilities the web offers. Not that I’m going to go crash on a strangers couch anytime soon but I’m happy these online systems are successful in the most part.

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Week Seven ‘Framing versus “Transversality”—music, journalism and other ecologies of practice’

Metronomy

This is what consumed most of my time when trying to complete this week’s blog.

How?

I believe it’s definitely this ‘transversal’ connection between the technology and myself. I didn’t recognise how my mind/body is interacting with the technology till I read Andrew Murphie’s article. http://nine.fibreculturejournal.org/

I feel these new media technologies and their transversality are beginning to cross the ‘lines’ Murphie discusses into our biology in way. It’s crazy to be thinking about my biology when I’m talking about my interaction with technology. But I feel these technologies are starting to effect my thought process, changing the ways I go about trying to find information.

Now in relation to my thought process, I will get to how Metronomy consumed my time doing research this week. While looking through the links our lecturer had loaded I found this site. http://www.the-fly.co.uk/

After going on to this site I saw the article relating to the band Metronomy and being able to listen to their album. I clicked on the article then clicked on the link in the article to listen to the album.

I was then unable to listen to the album because I wasn’t living in the UK. I then googled the album to see if other sites were streaming the album and I found a site that wouldn’t load properly, from here I then went to Twitter and searched Metronomy’s album and begun clicking on all the link’s people posted…..

I was meant to be doing research for this week and I was totally led astray without even realising and this consumed at least half an hour of my time doing this.

What is wrong with me?

Then I started to think, wait, what is happening to my train of thought. Why did I attempt so many ways of finding this album, I could just wait a few days for the album to be released and listen to it then, but No, I needed the information now and my university work could wait.

We are educated by media technologies in a way that we believe that all this information is at our finger tips, which we should be able to access what we want right now. Our brain is telling us, working with the technologies in this ‘transversal’ manner that this is possible.

We are changing, whether we like it or not.

I don’t know if I mind it.

Here’s a song off Metronomy’s new album at least that I did get to enjoy during my search.

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Week Six “Data and Media—An Unrequited Love?”

My second video blog ever. Just trying to get into it. Never really done these before but thinking being a media student I should. Looked at Paul Edwards ‘A Vast Machine: Computer Models, Climate Data, and the Politics of Global Warming’ (2010) and Howard Heingold’s talk on Infotention and dashboards and so forth <http://howardrheingold.posterous.com/a-mini-course-on-infotention>. Was at first confused by Edwards reading and it’s relation to media but after watching Heingold’s mini lecture it made a lot of sense and I explain that in the vlog.

Also I didn’t define Infotention in the vlog but my own interpretation beside the definition on the site is how we take information in using technology and through using this technology train our brain to process the information in this new way.

Also next post I’ll go back to writing a blog I won’t vlog all the time, it’s only because I couldn’t think of any cool pictures or videos to put for data models.

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Week Five “Reality—actual, potential and virtual”

This is my first attempt at a vlog, thought I would give it a go. Sorry if the sound quality isn’t great. ALSO I say potential, present and virtual reality instead of “actual” reality so sorry about that. I’ll put some links below in reference to what I’m talking about.

About the bee’s http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qDHAjFVsXU

About the online shopping revolution http://gigantico.squarespace.com/336554365346/2009/6/23/augmented-reality-overview.html

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Week Four: “Global Mnemotechnics”—Globalising Memory, Thinking and Action Memory is a tricky thing.

It’s something I sort of find myself thinking about all the time. I wonder whether we have memories from our former lives/ancestors stored away in us or how certain moments in time I get that ‘déjà vu’ feeling all of a sudden and feel like I am living some moment over again.

It’s really interesting how this week we started to look at material memory in Stiegler’s article ‘Anamnesis and Hypomnesis: Plato as the first thinker of the proletarianisation’. I found it interesting how we can find our memories lying in an object somehow. This view of ‘active externalism’ and how these objects become an extension of the mind itself got me thinking about how I relate certain songs to moments in time/particular memories.

A particular example I can think of is this song.

(i can’t embed any version because sony music won’t let it play on a blog!)

And how whenever I hear this song a automatically think of a supermarket.

 

(image courtesy of creative commons)

It’s so strange and peculiar how I think of a supermarket every time and the song has nothing to do with supermarkets but still my mind goes there. I trace this train of thought back to my trip around Europe back in 2008. For some reason I kept hearing this song all around Europe, I didn’t know the exact words I basically just kept hearing the tune and was really into it. This finally led to me being in a supermarket in Rome and I heard it on the radio and asked someone close by what this song was and who sang it as I was compelled to know! (And I finally did find out)

But since then as soon as I hear the song it reminds me of my Euro Trip but before I reach that stage all I can remember is the interior of the supermarket and the look of the aisles, a type of involuntary memory.

I view music as a type of involuntary memory as I believe it is the most stimulating source of ‘memory extension’ as it can make me nostalgic when I hear certain songs from the past and bring myself back to certain moments in my life when I hear the first line to a song.

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