Thursday, November 11, 2010

Seminar in Media & Design Studies 11/11/10 Notes

Hayles, N. Katherine. Writing Machines. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2002 (Laila)
Written in 2002... it's a book project
Talks about the materiality of language the way the book is printed is impt to it. It has rough cover, glossy sheets
experiment of the book... Kate came up with a persona in order to do an autobiography ...serves the role that the autobiography would play. It's an intellectual autobiography. Felt confined in the chemistry lab ...all these hours and rules, wanted to find out the meaning. Went back to a degree in literature ...she's housed as a literary critic. Stories / vignettes of learning the politics of a place, in a department. Think there are rules in place to prevent issues, however there's always a culture, depends on the people in the department
Using eco-tomes ...the place where we have to get along (fissures, trying to work together)

Read her post-human book in the past
Thought I'd like My Mother is a Computer but liked WRiting Machines alot more, b/c the way its written.
Story of Kay... she's an academic. We find out that Aserteth (student) ...have advised that impt text in the field. She is very interdisciplinary. She looks at 3 texts, framed through the narrative voice of Kay. All hypertext literatures...
1) Lexia to perplexia
2) Humorant
3) House of Leaves

Kay Hills to humanities as Bruno Latour is to social science. Kay's moment is to find that which is simulated or signified as a pre-reference (Post-bart, post-seceur). Words are pre-material and we need to think about
We have a signified and something that we are signifying ...beyond deconstructing that, we need to think of text as being simulated from nothing.
Her mistake was concentrating on the navigation to see the words, instead of the work embedded the narrative in a topical environment. The word was interwoven with the world... layered images, simulated documents. Focus on the words along, she missed the point of the piece. An integrated piece of all components became signifying practices.
** By making text the only domain of signification, before you read it, the form already signifies what meaning is possible **'s about the materiality of the way the text comes to us and the signifying influence of the form itself. (this is in the next book)

It's not just the construction of matter, but the matter of construction to human beings. How else do we find meaning, its not always through the word.

The word
The text
The document

What is the semiotic and performative discourse to the text. Expand textuality beyond the printed page.
Kay addresses the theory in this way... the theorists are interwoven in the fictional narrative of this woman Kay and how she learns about academia.

She pulls out in this autobiography:
* the importance of medium specificity analysis (think about Jenkins 7 principles of transmedia)

Three key pieces / conditions / things to look at when looking at electronic texts:
  1. Materiality of language itself = It is authored what "book-ness" is. This is what gets authored over and over again. [Whether it is designing your own application or taking one that exists ie: twitter and enacting, using it in new ways]
  2. Recursivity language of techno-texts [the role of practice in text-making], This is about practicing theory. Your moving between things, the feedback loop to make better meaning. The relationship between theory and practice, not in one place or the other.
  3. The need of looking at a medium specificity analysis = know the affordances of the text
Interesting conversation on the text the database a text?

Book is designed by Anne Burdick ...a book that is a collaboration between a designer and a writer

Hayles, N. Kathering. My Mother Was a Computer (Laila)
Written in 2005
Computational perspectives and more traditional perspectives ... a way to synergize a theory that respects both.
Technogies of Engendered Bodies talk about it. Woman who did computational work use to be called computers.
Brings together the computational with the natural.
Bring the 2 worlds together in conversations.
Talks about mothers reading their children stories and when we grow up they are replaced by other stimuli

The Making of the Discreet - intermediation and relates to technologies driving the regime of computation. Code is the language system of speech and writing.
Intermediation -- co-evolution, electronic literature is exploring human and non-human, that we are in relationship with technologies... make meaning, age of computing might make this more predominant or more evident.
ie: what kind of subject am i musing in front of the installation. (standing at the presence of a student that has gone beyond you. A child that does something that surprises us.)
Distributed cognition ...jointly articulated activities. i think therefore i connect... human and non-human ...processes that you de-code or ones that you don't even have to de-code.

Laila shares her poetry.
Node Job

it's been a long time, it's been a really long time
since the site of you watermarked on my chest and
fragments of touch embedded in the nodes of my body.
the culture of movement needs lubricant from a whisper of our love
it's been a long time, a really long time
since i extended into you.

she screamed rape at a glance,
and felt whipped by my tongue
remains just like before
when today followed yesterday and tomorrow was fantasy
i leave the scent on my fingers to linger

like a reminder of the experience
made me
and we are the summation of our experiences;
and the people we've touched
leave imprints of their scent on our skin

mediated by cultural logic
and the basic text just extends
into worlds like silly putty
unreal in my fingertips
i kneed your breath
into my imagination of you.

-Laila Shereen Sakr
Los Angeles, 11/09/10

Use poetry to respond to theory. how can you use a poetic performance as my methodology.
Diego - a way to analyze.. take sexual words to make theoretical argument


Alan Sokol ...Sokol Hoax
...point that the poeople of post-modernism theory didn't know what they were talking about. Don't adopt metaphors that you don't understand... especially when coming from another discipline. We've been burned by not understanding... then neither discipline is served.
...what are those non-scientists doing.

Ralph Abraham (father of fractal theory)


Reflexive Practices as Transformative Research
  1. Self-reflexive practice
    1. Personal interest (cross-generational digital media & learning)
    2. Creative insight (cyphibian theory, hybrid models, images, audio not as an observer but as a participant itself)
    3. Discipline knowledge (constructivism [Piaget], social constructivism [Vygotsky], constructionism [Papert], participatory culture [Jenkins])
  2. Reflect on information gathered or conceptual strategies
  3. Dialogue ..what is its significant meaning
  4. Question content and context