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What the… is this the nineteen seventies?

2009 April 29
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by Baibh Cathba

Um… What the…

Wait, Sugarspice! Romance novel men apparently likes the interwebs too! or perhaps it is “Paulo the Poolboy” (now with 80% less clothing) or… “Fabio the Flowerboy”.

Isn’t there some video that we can link to that, say… shows women who use the internet in a non-ditzy way?
And this: Poker face. WHAT? WHAT? (No, this is not a call akin to asking for an encore, this is BEWILDERMENT) Firstly… POKER FACE? Unless there’s more botox than I noticed, she has no poker face. Second… is it meant to be all… “technology futuristic that horribly clashed with disco”? Because All I could think was this thing… it’s blue… and she… has metal on her face? Is that a microphone? Reinforcement for her jaw? What… WHAT?

And then…
Um… Are the Black Eyed Peas even a band anymore? (The video is, however, very technology-arty…Almost seizure-inducing visual).

And for all us geeks out there, WOW is actually good for us as: Birth Control

Playing with gender dancing expectations It’s a game show, and I think it’s meant to be humorous, but I’m not sure… it’s like watching clowns. Things like Chucky and Binky the Clown have you convinced that clowns are serial killers, but… there’s always one clown for whom clowning is a seriously funny business. (Pratchett, here’s to you and Dr. Whiteface)

And here someone has messed with Tata Young’s Song and put it through some sort of vocal changer to get this: Severus Snape. You read that right, SNAPE. (It’s… the video is not as funny, but you can hear a man’s voice singing a really girly song?)

Sexism in Gaming

2009 April 28
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by ZY

My friend just sent this to me in hopes that I would share it with the class:

A word or two about my project

2009 April 28
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by Carrie Soto

First, I had some issues getting my comic to be viewable online so I decided to upload the pictures to flickr for a better look. Hopefully the links will give you a better picture of what I actually did.

(the cover)

(first page)

(second page)

(third page)

(fourth page)

(fifth page)

Second, I wanted to briefly talk about what inspired me to do this project. I read an article, Adrienne Rich’s “Compulsory Heterosexuality and the Lesbian Existence” for one of my classes and really loved Rich’s idea about using “the lesbian existence” and “the lesbian continuum” as vocabulary instead of the term lesbianism (which for her seemed too clinical). I used the ideas from her essay for another creative project in my Intro to Film class and really wanted to continue with that into this project. The lesbian continuum, according to Rich, included all female-female relationships, not just sexual ones. I made a short film based on this idea for my Film class entitled “She” which deals with an ambiguous female relationship. I’ll leave the link for the video of it on youtube for anyone who wants to check it out and see where most of the ideas for my project came from.

“Library of Dust”

2009 April 28
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by Michelle Bennett

Today in film class we discussed permanence or mortality of images, and the discussion led to a place that I think is pertinent to our discussion of death from yesterday. The professor showed us this website.
David Maisel is a photographer whose latest project involved going to an abandoned mental hospital in Oregon (the one where One flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest was filmed) and taking photos. He found a room that he calls, “a library of dust.” In it were thousands of copper canisters containing the ashes of cremated patients that had never been claimed by friends or relatives. Over time (the facility has been abandoned since the 70’s) the copper canisters began to oxidize, and the result is quite beautiful:

This got me thinking about representation after death, related to what we were talking about yesterday. These canisters, whose labels have mostly disintegrated, confine these deceased patients in anonymity, but the time elapsed and subsequent decay has given each can a unique appearance, an individuality. The fact that these images now exist on the internet adds another layer to the image’s existence. As Dianna Xu pointed out last week, once we put something on the internet, it’s there forever. Versus perhaps a reel of film, which will bubble and decay over time, much like these copper cans. This relation between David Maisel’s work and the permanence of representation has got me thinking in circles. But take a look at the website, if for no other reason than to appreciate the beauty of decay!

“Take what I have to offer and do with it what I could never imagine….”

2009 April 27
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by Anne Dalke

I really enjoyed the conversation today, and was sad only that everyone won’t get a chance to be “up front” w/ their projects…
The FIVE main ideas I came away with were these:

  • Rebecca’s saying that the “open-questioning” quality of your multi-media projects were like a “get home free card”: asking questions–only asking questions–frees you from having to construct an argument, with evidence to back it up. As someone who has always valued questions more than answers–who judges a student’s evolution in a course (for instance) by changes in the quality of her questions, from beginning to end of the semester, I need to think about this a lot more.
  • The realization that we are making our own decisive contributions to “ending the university as we know it.” Mark C. Taylor’s six-stage proposal to make higher learning “more agile, adaptive and imaginative” begins with restructuring the curriculum (“the division-of-labor model of separate departments is obsolete and must be replaced with a curriculum structured like a web or complex adaptive network”) and ends with these instructions from professors to students: “Do not do what I do; rather, take whatever I have to offer and do with it what I could never imagine doing and then come back and tell me about it.”
    Thanks to you all for doing this!
  • I was particularly struck, in our first conversation about “the self mediated by technology,” by the very different ways in which Natasha, Melinda and Guinevere constructed their projects: starting w/ words, then looking for images; or vice versa; or some combination of the two….it occurs to me that all your projects were so phenomenal precisely because you all were willing (or–because the technology was new, the possibilities endless–were forced) to play, and so activated all sorts of unpredictable and unconscious processes that don’t come as much into action in a conventional paper where you are trying to assemble evidence to support an argument.
  • I was also struck by a double thing that aaclh said: first that she drew her project because she wanted to control what it looked like, then her adding that she didn’t know how to/hadn’t had experience drawing….so she couldn’t actually control the outcome after all. This caught my attention–because it suggests that we need tools, need technology, need training, need socialization in certain practices, in order to use them creatively, to new ends.
  • I was also very struck, in our second conversation about the “unfinishedness” of the “mortal” self, by the strong quality of parody in many of your projects (Maddie and Alexandra weren’t the only ones who admitted to having an “ironic” relationship with what they had made). It also occurs to me that–given the multiple dimensions that were in play here–sound, images, words; and the multiple ways in which they might be constructed–static, dynamic–you were also able to put yourselves in a series of complex relationships to your work, again more than you might in a conventional paper, where you don’t have as many possible directions in which to move….

Sarah Haskins is Amazing

2009 April 27
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by Baibh Cathba

Sarah Haskins is one of the most amazing women to exist.

She tackles problems such as, “can a robot lady learn to love?” and “Nature and…“. Very important problems that relate to us. Go see them ^_^

Thoughts on Multimedia Projects

2009 April 27
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by Mista Jay

First of all, I really liked looking at everyone’s projects! I thought I would haaaate this assignment, but it turned out to be fun, and everyone’s results were great! I especially liked that a lot of the ideas that we dealt with in these projects weren’t exactly “new” per se, but just to see them in a whole different way was so refreshing. Good job, everyone 🙂

I think AH’s project is sort of similar to mine, because it asked the same question (among many others!) that I was trying to figure out: Where am I? Also, I thought Kayln‘s went together with mine. We took two different approaches, but her project dealt with identity crisis, the “who Am I?” while mine addressed the “Where am I?” I just thought they went well together.

I especially liked Baibh Cathba‘s project because it made me thinking of a whole new intersection of gender and technology: the technology of our voices. It was something we never really explored in class and it made me realize that I rely heavily on gender stereotypes to distinguish between male and female voices.

I suppose my question for everyone is: if you had an unlimited amount of resources and/or an even stronger grasp of technology, what would you change about your project in order to better illustrate your idea? Was there anything you felt that you couldn’t get across with the resources that you had? Or did you not know how to do something that you really wanted to do? If you feel that you would not change your project regardless, then why not?

Inspiration for my Multimedia Project

2009 April 27
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by Shikha

I really enjoyed doing this project. I enjoyed looking at other people’s projects even more. I was scared because it was so open-ended, but I am now grateful that it was. It allowed everyone to talk about whatever it was that interests them and add their own individual flair to it. Unlike the papers, I did not to stop thinking about my project after I submitted it. In fact, I’m still trying to find a program that will let me make a video like I had originally envisioned it.

The hardest part for me was getting started. It took me a while to find information on my topic and make a story out of it. My inspiration was a video I had seen a few weeks ago called the The Girl Effect. It shows what can happen if a girl is given an education and a little bit of money (or a cow – watch the video!) and how that can propagate through her village, country, and lead to the betterment of the world. It is a very positive video and highly optimistic. I had been thinking about technology and economic growth from before and this video made me think about technologically empowering women in particular. So I started to think whether there is a “technological girl effect”. My project didn’t exactly end up in that direction, but I did talk about how technology can help women in developing countries, including as a way to educate them which can lead to economic empowerment. I wanted my presentation to have the same upbeat tone that the Girl Effect video has, but ended up choosing an emotional soundtrack instead, so it is still very positive, but emotional at the same time.

Technology can have such a big impact in developing nations and help them overcome the many hurdles that lie in the every day lives of their citizens; the absence of which we often take for granted.

Multimedia Response

2009 April 27
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by Cleo Calbot

A little late, but better than nothing, ne?

I really enjoyed looking at all of the projects, more so than I have with papers in the past. Perhaps because of the difference in medium?

The thing I noticed/liked the most was the fact that some projects did not have a sense of finality, which leaves them open to discussion. Unlike some of the papers, I feel like this project had less the sense of “washing our hands,” and more of us trying to start a conversation. And that’s awesome!

Also, because this was a multimedia presentation, I was pleased to see that there are SO many ways that gender can intersect with technology. In the case of my presentation, I was focusing mostly on the gendering of Shakespeare, and somehow the technology of cross-dressing/binding came up…Not only that, but by making a video out of my findings, an additional level of technology came into play.

I suppose my question for the creators would be: did you find this easier or harder than a paper? Why? Was it because it pushed you out of your comfort zone creatively? Or tehnologically?


2009 April 27
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by Baibh Cathba

OMG, this post is actually relevant!

“genetically perfect husband” at the Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal Comic. Also see Nanobot reconstruction. I promise they’re worth it.

Also, is there any way to challenge the gender stereotypes that we already have in place, or are we just doomed to keep posting reaffirmations of stereotypes?

Thoughts on the Projects

2009 April 27
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by Problem Sleuth

Man, I had so much fun with this, and going over everyone else’s. It was pretty intense.

I noticed a lot of interesting stuff with visuals, which was great. I was impressed with people’s photographic or other artistic talent, and similarly impressed with the way everyone managed to get it online in a more or less presentable fashion. It’s a welcome change from all the text in our essays.

Intersections. The project that I felt was most similar to mine was DC’s, which was pretty cool. I loved the question of what it means to try to represent our characters/avatars/online personalities well. I think it’s a really new way of looking at it; we ask whether we can be represented well without thinking about the ways in which we represent. Past that, a lot of what I saw was about breaking down this notion of identity and virtual identity, self and machine, in a way that really felt like a culmination of everything we’ve been doing in this class. It was quite exciting.

Questions for project-makers. To what degree did you feel as though you were able to express yourself adequately with technology? To what degree were you frustrated? Do you think you could have made a better project if it had just been in standard essay format? What were good/bad things about getting to do it this way?

multimedia projects

2009 April 26
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by Cat Durante

hey everyone! I’m sorry this post is a couple hours late. Ironically, I had a virus on my laptop for the past week and everything’s been out of whack and I feel like I’ve lost something of myself. How appropriate since we’re wrapping up the course and trying to decide where our “real” and virtual self lie. 

I really want to say congrats to everyone on a really great job for the projects. I’m not sure if this project was as difficult for all of you as it was for me but everyone raised really great questions about the overlap between our online lives and what we do everyday in the physical world. Some projects were really creative in ways I never even thought to express. I’m very interested in hearing more about Alexandra’s project that mimics Anne’s notes every week. I think what makes the notes so interesting is how the conversation goes out of the screen and into our words and it would be nice to have her walk us through her concepts. Roison’s project was very informative and done to create a great impact and I’d love to hear how she came across the subject and what compelled her to center her project around this topic. I’ve heard this from others, but Rebecca’s “technological embroidery” is sooo cool. I’d love to hear her talk about those origins. I would above all love everyone to explain why they chose the topic they did and the manner in which they did it. Well done everyone!

Response to Multimedia Projects

2009 April 26
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by AH

I noticed that there were many projects involving looking but less involving listening. I found the listening projects the most interesting since I can’t recall us ever spending any time on this topic except maybe to remark that trans individuals might try to change their voice to better “pass” or “fit in.” I like that Second Life made it into a lot of the projects. It made the project feel more like a continuum of some of what we did in class, although I did enjoy having an opportunity to branch out a little more than usual in this form of our Web Papers. I love looking through the projects and seeing all of the different technology used. I stuck with technology that I knew, photography and photoshop, but after looking at Mista Jay’s collage I wish that I had tried to incorporate that technology as well. I like that you could click on something to interact with it and have it pop up/zoom in so you can see it as a separate part as well as part of a whole. It makes me want to try to explain my project better.

My problem is that while I know what I wanted to do with my project I have a very hard describing it. I feel like there’s not much that I can do when it’s all on its lonesome on the Web Papers page without a better description of its worth and meaning, but if asked in person I would have just as much trouble trying to explain it. I guess part of the reason why it is hard for me to explain is that I don’t know any of the terms for the specific and broader concepts that I want to convey and represent. This is the same problem that I have with trying to explain to other people about what I want to do in the future, what I want to do with computers, and why it hurts me so much that computer science is close, but it’s still not quite right. My project was a slight attempt to figure out what felt more ‘right.’ I don’t have the full technology to express myself and its really frustrating. All I have are hints and suggestions. I had originally planned this form of my project before the speakers came in to talk on Wednesday, but, as you can see in my almost involuntary tangent above, it changed the way that I interacted with the pieces of my project and how I wanted to do it.

Otherwise, while making my various photo/collages I learned lots of interesting little things. Since I had a completely dead computer I wasn’t afraid of hurting it so I didn’t feel bad about taking it apart and accidentally cracking pieces of it. I feel like my computer is an extension of myself and I suppose that I look at it the way that I look at my arm. I would be interested in knowing how it works, but I definitely don’t want to take it apart or mess it up in anyway that might inhibit its use in the future. And I’m phobic of blood, but that’s not as much of an issue with computers. 🙂 I really enjoyed playing with the external keyboard and the keyboard on the dead laptop and the result is a large crop of photos of me playing with keyboard keys like legos in the various drafts that I made for my project. I didn’t know that certain keys are interchangeable and that others (f and j for example) are actually put on the keyboard in such a way that the way they clip on is upside down compared to all of the other keys. Actually, curiosity did get the better of me at one point and I pried up a key from my own, working, laptop to see if those keys were interchangeable as well, but it appears that Dell has updated its attachment technology since the original Dell Latitudes.

So this post went in a lot of different ways that I did not expect. Ah well. In that it’s a good representation of myself, so I’ll let technology represent me as I am right now, slightly disorganized.

Multimedia Projects

2009 April 26
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by Ruth Goodlaxson

Looking through the projects, the thing I noticed the most was how the media being used effected what was being said, and how I understood. A lot of people paired images with text, and having the two sources of information at the same time was really different than just reading a paper. It was like visual support for a verbal claim – the two working together made the argument/point more relevant. The projects which were all image were a little different; for those, I don’t think I understood the argument without the text to explain it. Maybe “understood” is the wrong word – I just took away an understanding based more on instinct or emotion, I guess.

I guess my biggest question for everyone who made the projects is how much an awareness of other people’s projects effected how you made yours. While I was making mine, I had an uneasy sense that mine was going to be “different than everyone else’s,” which objectively isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but made me really nervous. Were you thinking about what other people were doing or not? If you were, did that change how you worked?

Short Comments on the Multimedia projects

2009 April 26
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by Aline

Many of the projects dealt with gender, technology, and identity.  I feel that mine like so many others juxtaposed reality and the virtual world. I learned a lot about how creative people are with technology. I, personally, don’t ever deal with videos or other advanced computer programs, so I was amazed by all different programs people used. I had some technical difficulties, but other than that I enjoyed the freedom of the project.  I guess the only question I would have for the project makers: is what inspired you to create your project?