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Explaining the New Technology

2009 April 24
by Ruth Goodlaxson

I just posted my multimedia project (a few minutes late because I was having trouble logging in all day) and I wanted to explain it a little. I was thinking a lot about my History of Photography class, specifically the “photojournalist” Weegee and the book projects produced by Ed Ruscha. I was interested in the pure goofiness of Ruscha’s books, which are titled things like Twenty Six Gasoline Stations and Various Small Fires and a Glass of Milk. I wanted to do the same kind of thing, but with a different, new medium: a blog. I also wanted to bring the kind of kitschy attitude Weegee did to photojournalism with my fake reporting piece. (Weegee was really into spectacle and spectatorship, and took pictures of “strange” urban phenomena, like drag queens.) In terms of media, I was trying to question how weight or trust is given to blogs over newspapers – not that they’re inherently less trustworthy, just that you can manipulate both photography and a blog to construct a version of reality you couldn’t otherwise.

In terms of content, this course had me thinking a lot about the effects of technology on the world. I think normally the assumption is that people create, control and maintain technology; but from our discussions about gold farming, I was thinking that there are ramifications and effects of any technology we use that we do not have control over. I wanted to portray pieces of technology as active individuals in the world, in ways they could not possibly act, to call into question how those things actually do operate independent of control people. It’s a very open-ended question that I don’t have an answer for, but in my project I was attempting to encourage people to think about that question.

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