Monday, December 14, 2009

How can the wind be borrowed? Finding oneself (and losing oneself) in a new (old) aesthetic

How can the wind be borrowed? How can it be made to have a bearing on corn and bread? How can its force be translated so that, whatever it does or does not do, the corn is reliably ground? Yes, may use the words translation and interest as well, because it is no more and no less difficult to interest a group in the fabrication of vaccine than to interest the wind in the fabrication of bread. Complicated negotiations have to go on continuously in both cases so that the provisional alliances do not break off.
(Latour, 1987, Science in action)

And so it is also for fund raising for a charity, will the sun shine on Christmas in the park, will the donations suffice for another year of service...

And for a phd student...
How to bend the to represent that which takes shape in one context, squeeze it through pages and have any evocation of what one sort to represent.

Tyler, cited by Strathern (1991) on what ethnography does:
"the point of discourse is not how to make a better representation, but how to avoid representation"...Ethnography works by evoking in the reader responses that cannot be commensurate with the writer's
- there is no 'object' that they both grasp....rather s/he provides a reader with a connection to it. Ethnography makes available what can be conceived but not presented."

The image loses its power the moment it becomes a subject of discussion as a shift to rhetoric alters the form.
A juxtoposition then of image following image where sediments of previous evocation might connect the one with the other in the reader's mind.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Mediation effects

A New Zealand take

Technical mediation

In what ways do the media we shape, shape us in return?

The concept of young people being negatively affected by the ubiquitous mobile telephone (“mobile”), has taken firm hold in the public consciousness. Unfortunately, an instrument blaming perspective fails to consider the relational issues involved. Questions of how we are both shaped by and shape our technologies are neglected when questions collapse to binaries of good or bad. This paper draws on the work of French sociologist Bruno Latour as a means to understanding the discourse positioning the mobile as an object of harm, and for strategies considering how the mobile might be positioned otherwise. In an attempt to redress the negative evaluative imbalance associated with mobile phones, an example taken from research in progress involving Youthline’s text messaging for counselling is explored. Implications for teaching and learning are suggested, including strategies for text messaging and for positioning the mobile as an adjunctive instrument supporting students through their studies.

Haxell, A. (2009). In what ways do the media we shape, shape us in return? In Same
places, different spaces. Proceedings ascilite Auckland 2009.