Journal articles: 'Consciousness exploration book' – Grafiati (2024)

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Author: Grafiati

Published: 4 June 2021

Last updated: 13 February 2022

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1

Haensly, Patricia. "Balancing a Culture of Distraction with Guided Attention for Gifted Exploration and Reflection." Gifted Child Today 26, no.4 (October 2003): 30–64. http://dx.doi.org/10.4219/gct-2003-117.

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As I was looking for relevant material for the Adolescent Psychology course I teach, my attention was drawn to a book by Thomas Cottle, Mind Fields: Adolescent Consciousness in a Culture of Distraction (2001). Frost's quotation is in the frontispiece, and his words seemed so relevant to the topic I intended to develop in this issue's parent column and is stated with so much elegance, that I couldn't resist using it to initiate an exploration of the roles of distraction, attention, exploration, and reflection in our attempts, as both parents and teachers, to foster the development of gifted potential in our children.

2

Nordgren, Kenneth. "The sidewalk is a history book: Reflections on linking historical consciousness to uses of history." Historical Encounters: A journal of historical consciousness, historical cultures, and history education 8, no.1 (May4, 2021): 1–15. http://dx.doi.org/10.52289/hej8.101.

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The ongoing discussion about what constitutes historical consciousness is intensifying within the growing international community of history-education researchers. What started as an exploration of how life outside schools affects our historical thinking has become a key concept for structuring formal education. This shift has largely been positive; however, there are reasons for caution. If practical adaption means outlining, classifying, and measuring levels of achieved awareness, it also presents a risk of losing the initial reason for considering the wider influence on our perceptions and orientations. My reflection in this article concerns this paradox and how it can affect a complementary concept, use of history. Using examples from everyday historical representations in public life, namely song lyrics, the BLM, and Sweden’s approach to Covid 19, I demonstrate why history education requires a broad understanding of historical consciousness and a readiness to work with public uses of history.

3

Sevastyanova,SvetlanaK. "“How Beautiful and Splendid This Angelic Creature Is”: Images of Angels in the First Translation of the Great Mirror (Speculum Maius)." Observatory of Culture, no.6 (December28, 2015): 86–94. http://dx.doi.org/10.25281/2072-3156-2015-0-6-86-94.

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The Great Mirror became a source of themes and subjects for the East Slavic literature. The article researches its angelic theme, the exploration of which allows us to understand how deeply the West European ideas had penetrated into the Orthodox consciousness. The range of problems concerned with spirits contains the most important philosophical aspects, which underwent a significant evolution in the 17th century during the process of the book’s adaptation in a new culture and its russification. The author analyzes the images of lightful angels represented in the book, reveals some features of their nature and appearance, compares the models of celestial hierarchy presented in this book and in some works of ecclesiastical writers, describes anthropological characteristics and “physicality” of the angels, recognizes the types of their service, and finds parallels between the angels appearance’s details shown in the collected novels and the types of iconic images of the spirits, established by the second half of the 15th century, the time when the source for the Great Mirror was made up. Key words: “The Great Mirror”, angels, archangels Michael and Gabriel, the celestial hierarchy, angel’s “body”, service, iconography Pages: 86-94

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Hisnanick, John. "Book Review: The Cosmic Game: Explorations of the Frontiers of Human Consciousness." World Futures 58, no.4 (January 2002): 343–44. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02604020213007.

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Burger,W. "Breyten Breytenbach se Boek: die taal (poësie) as voelinstrument om bewussyn te verken." Literator 26, no.3 (July31, 2005): 1–22. http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/lit.v26i3.234.

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Breyten Breytenbach’s Boek: language (poetry) as feelinginstrument to explore consciousness One of the big questions of science is the mystery of consciousness. How is it possible that a state of consciousness, an awareness of your own being and actions, can originate from matter, from the movement of neurons in nerve tissue? While neuroscience does not have answers to these questions (yet), the subjective exploration of consciousness by means of works of art, could make a valuable contribution. Breyten Breytenbach explicitly views his art (writing and painting) as ways to investigate consciousness. In “Boek” (1987) Breytenbach explains his views on art. In this complex work, he focusses, among other aspects, on the idea that the work of art, at a specific moment, produces an “other”, a meaning that has not hitherto existed somewhere, waiting to be discovered. This hitherto unknown meaning comes into existence in the moment of creation. The creative moment in which the hitherto unknown is wrestled from the known, cannot be produced by following a recipe. The unknown, the other, virtually invades the world of the artist, as if the work of art happens to the artist, instead of him creating it. This experience has a changing effect on the artist and in the process he learns more about his own consciousness. The changing effect is not restricted to the artist, as the reader of the poem shares this experience. Because the reader is also writer, according to Breytenbach, the work of art is recreated by the reader and the reader has the same experience of a virtual invasion of the “other” on his/her own life and in the process also discovers more about his/her own consciousness.

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Kończal, Kornelia, and Joanna Wawrzyniak. "Provincializing memory studies: Polish approaches in the past and present." Memory Studies 11, no.4 (January25, 2017): 391–404. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1750698016688238.

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The history of memory studies has usually been told through research perspectives advanced in France, Germany and the United States. This well-established cartography and, thus, chronology of the field can be challenged while taking into account other provinces of thought. The example of Polish sociology and history shows that the Western memory boom took off just at the time when the golden age of the biographical method reached its apex in Poland and most research on historical consciousness had already been carried out. Furthermore, the Polish case illustrates how since 1989 researchers have been abandoning key terms previously used in the social sciences and humanities in favour of terminology related to memory. On the whole, the article argues for the exploration of continuities, ruptures and transformations of categories developed in non-mainstream research traditions to question the beaten tracks of the history of ideas.

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Risum, Janne. "The Voice of Ophelia." New Theatre Quarterly 10, no.38 (May 1994): 174–82. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s0266464x00000336.

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In earlier issues, New Theatre Quarterly has followed through several lines of enquiry into the processes of acting and the construction of critical methods appropriate to the analysis of contemporary performance. Articles on the work of Tilda Swinton (NTQ23) and Harriet Walters (NTQ34) for example, focused on the consciousness and techniques of those actresses. But the work of Odin Teatret, complemented (as in this issue) by the theoretical writings of its director, Eugenio Barba, has been a recurrent concern – most recently in the exploration in NTQ26 by Roberta Carreri of the technical means through which her role in Judith was articulated. Here, Janne Risum pulls together several related lines of enquiry by considering the performance of Julia Varley in the Castle of Holstebro, her vocal demonstration workshop The Echo of Silence, and her written piece, A Candle Lit amongst the Pages of Books, as related aspects of perception through which the female spectator engages with the actress and her fictive personae. Janne Risum teaches in the Institut for Dramaturgi at Aarhus University, Denmark, and is also active in the International School for Theatre Anthropology. She has published books and essays on acting, theatre history, and women in the theatre. A version of the present paper has also appeared, in Danish, in Nordic Theatre Studies, VI, No. 3 (1993).

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Beiner, Guy. "Probing the boundaries of Irish memory: from postmemory to prememory and back." Irish Historical Studies 39, no.154 (November 2014): 296–307. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s0021121400019106.

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It has long been accepted that memory plays a prominent role in the construction of Irish identities and yet historians of Ireland were relatively late in addressing the vogue for memory studies that emerged in the 1980s. Its arrival as a core theme in Irish historical studies was announced in 2001 with the publication ofHistory and memory in modern Ireland, edited by Ian McBride, whose seminal introduction essay – the essential starting point for all subsequent explorations – issued the promise that ‘a social and cultural history of remembering would unravel the various strands of commemorative tradition which have formed our consciousness of the past’. The volume originated in one of the many academic conferences held in the bicentennial year of the 1798 rebellion, which was part of a decade of commemorations that listed among its highlights the tercentenary of the battle of the Boyne, the sesquicentenary of the Great Famine, and the bicentenaries of the United Irishmen, the Act of Union, and Robert Emmet’s rising. The following years produced a boom of studies on Irish memory, which has anticipated another decade of commemorations. Eyes are now set on the centenaries of the Great War, the Irish Revolution and Partition, all of which will undoubtedly generate further publications on memory. It is therefore timely to take stock of this burgeoning field and consider its future prospects.

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Cichosz, Mariusz. "Individual, family and environment as the subject of research in social pedagogy – development and transformations." Papers of Social Pedagogy 7, no.2 (January28, 2018): 6–18. http://dx.doi.org/10.5604/01.3001.0010.8133.

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The cognitive specificity of social pedagogy is its interest in the issues related to social conditionings of human development and, respectively, the specific social conditionings of the upbringing process. The notion has been developed in various directions since the very beginning of the discipline, yet the most clearly visible area seems to be the functioning of individuals, families and broader environment. Simultaneously, it is possible to observe that the issues have been entangled in certain socio-political conditions, the knowledge of which is substantial for the reconstruction and identification of the research heritage of social pedagogy. All these interrelationships allowed to distinguish particular stages of development of social pedagogy. Contemporarily, it is a discipline with descent scientific achievements which marks out and indicates new perspectives both in the field of educational practice and the theory of social activity. Social pedagogy, similarly to other areas (subdisciplines) of pedagogy, deals with the notion of upbringing in a certain aspect – in a certain problem inclination. It specializes in social and environmental conditionings of the upbringing process. It is the thread of the social context of upbringing what proves to be the crucial, basic and fundamental determinant of upbringing and, thus, decisive factor for human development. This notion was always present in the general pedagogical thought however, its organized and rationalized character surfaced only when the social pedagogy was distinguished as a separate, systematic area of pedagogy. It occurred in Poland only at the beginning of the 19th century. From the very beginning the creators and precursors of this subdiscipline pointed out its relatively wide range. It has been the notion of individual – social conditionings of human development, yet, social pedagogists were interested in human at every stage of their lives i.e. childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age. Another area of interest were the issues related to family as the most important “place” of human development and, in this respect, the issues connected with institutions undertaking various activities: help, care, support and animation. Finally, the scope of interest included issues related to the environment as the place where the upbringing process is supposed to realize and realizes. Since the very beginning of social pedagogy these have been the prominent threads for exploration. At the same time it ought to be stated that these threads have always been interwoven with various social-political conditions both with regards to their interpretation as well as possible and planned educational practice. Therefore social pedagogy and its findings must be always “read” in the context of social-political conditions which accompanied the creation of a given thought or realization of some educational practice. As these conditions have constantly been undergoing certain transformations one may clearly distinguish particular stages of development of social pedagogy. The stages reflect various approaches to exploring and describing the above-mentioned areas of this discipline. Following the assumptions regarding the chronology of social pedagogy development and the three distinguished stages of development, it seems worthwhile to study how the issues related to an individual, family and environment were shaped at these stages. The first stage when the social psychology was arising was mainly the time of Helena Radlińska’s activities as well as less popular and already forgotten Polish pedagogists – precursors of this discipline such as: Anna Chmielewska, Irena Jurgielewiczowa, Zofia Gulińska or Maria Korytowska. In that period social pedagogists mainly dealt with individuals, families and the functioning of environments in the context of educational activities aimed at arousing national identity and consciousness. However, their work did no focus on indicating the layers of threats and deficits in functioning of individuals, social groups or families but on the possibilities to stimulate their development and cultural life. Therefore social pedagogy of those times was not as strongly related to social work as it currently is but dealt mainly with educational work. The classic example of such approach in the research carried out in the social pedagogy of that time may be the early works by Helena Radlińska who undertook the narrow field of cultural-educational work targeted to all categories of people. The works described such issues as the organization of libraries, organizing extra-school education (H. Orsza, 1922, H. Orsza-Radlińska, 1925). It ought to be stated that this kind of work was regarded as public and educational work, whereas currently it exists under the name of social work. Frequently quoted works related to the issues of arising social pedagogy were also the works by Eustachy Nowicki e.g. “Extra-school education and its social-educational role in the contemporary Polish life” from 1923 or the works by Stefania Sempołowska, Jerzy Grodecki or Jadwiga Dziubińska. Such an approach and tendencies are clearly visible in a book from 1913 (a book which has been regarded by some pedagogists as the first synthetic presentation of social pedagogy). It is a group work entitled “Educational work – its tasks, methods and organization” (T. Bobrowski, Z. Daszyńska-Golińska, J. Dziubińska, Z. Gargasa, M. Heilperna, Z. Kruszewska, L. Krzywicki, M. Orsetti, H. Orsza, St. Posner, M. Stępkowski, T. Szydłowski, Wł. Weychert-Szymanowska, 1913). The problem of indicated and undertaken research areas and hence, the topics of works realized by the social pedagogists of that times changed immediately after regaining independence and before World War II. It was the time when the area of social pedagogists interests started to include the issues of social inequality, poverty and, subsequently, the possibility of helping (with regards to the practical character of social pedagogy). The research works undertaken by social pedagogists were clearly of diagnostic, practical and praxeological character. They were aimed at seeking the causes of these phenomena with simultaneous identification and exploration of certain environmental factors as their sources. A classic example of such a paper – created before the war – under the editorial management of H. Radlińska was the work entitled “Social causes of school successes and failures” from 1937 (H. Radlińska, 1937). Well known are also the pre-war works written by the students of H. Radlińska which revealed diagnostic character such as: “The harm of a child” by Maria Korytowska (1937) or “A child of Polish countryside” edited by M. Librachowa and published in Warsaw in 1934 (M. Librachowa, 1934). Worthwhile are also the works by Czesław Wroczyński from 1935 entitled “Care of an unmarried mother and struggle against abandoning infants in Warsaw” or the research papers by E. Hryniewicz, J. Ryngmanowa and J. Czarnecka which touched upon the problem of neglected urban and rural families and the situation of an urban and rural child – frequently an orphaned child. As it may be inferred, the issues of poverty, inefficient families, single-parent families remain current and valid also after the World War II. These phenomena where nothing but an outcome of various war events and became the main point of interest for researchers. Example works created in the circle of social pedagogists and dealing with these issues may be two books written in the closest scientific environment of Helena Radlińska – with her immense editorial impact. They are “Orphanage – scope and compensation” (H. Radlińska, J. Wojtyniak, 1964) and “Foster families in Łódź” (A. Majewska, 1948), both published immediately after the war. Following the chronological approach I adopted, the next years mark the beginning of a relative stagnation in the research undertaken in the field of social pedagogy. Especially the 50’s – the years of notably strong political indoctrination and the Marxist ideological offensive which involved building the so called socialist educational society – by definition free from socio-educational problems in public life. The creation and conduction of research in this period was also hindered due to organizational and institutional reasons. The effect of the mentioned policy was also the liquidation of the majority of social sciences including research facilities – institutes, departments and units. An interesting and characteristic description of the situation may be the statement given by Professor J. Auletner who described the period from the perspective of development of social policy and said that: “During the Stalinist years scientific cultivation of social policy was factually forbidden”. During the period of real socialism it becomes truly difficult to explore the science of social policy. The name became mainly the synonym of the current activity of the state and a manifestation of struggles aimed at maintaining the existing status quo. The state authorities clearly wanted to subdue the science of social activities of the state […]. During the real socialism neither the freedom for scientific criticism of the reality nor the freedom of research in the field of social sciences existed. It was impossible (yet deliberated) to carry out a review of poverty and other drastic social issues” (J. Auletner, 2000). The situation changes at the beginning of the 60’s (which marks the second stage of development of social pedagogy) when certain socio-political transformations – on the one hand abandoning the limitation of the Stalinist period (1953 – the death of Stalin and political thaw), on the other – reinforcement of the idea of socialist education in social sciences lead to resuming environmental research. It was simultaneously the period of revival of Polish social pedagogy with regards to its institutional dimension as well as its ideological self-determination (M. Cichosz, 2006, 2014). The issues of individuals, families and environments was at that time explored with regards to the functioning of educational environments and in the context of exploring the environmental conditionings of the upbringing process. Typical examples here may be the research by Helena Izdebska entitled “The functioning of a family and childcare tasks” (H. Izdebska, 1967) and “The causes of conflicts in a family” (H. Izdebska, 1975) or research conducted by Anna Przecławska on adolescents and their participation in culture: “Book, youth and cultural transformations” (A. Przecławska, 1967) or e.g. “Cultural diversity of adolescents against upbringing problems” (A. Przecławska, 1976). A very frequent notion undertaken at that time and remaining within the scope of the indicated areas were the issues connected with organization and use of free time. This may be observed through research by T. Wujek: “Homework and active leisure of a student” (T. Wujek, 1969). Another frequently explored area was the problem of looking after children mainly in the papers by Albin Kelm or Marian Balcerek. It is worthwhile that the research on individuals, families or environments were carried out as part of the current pedagogical concepts of that time like: parallel education, permanent education, lifelong learning or the education of adults, whereas, the places indicated as the areas of human social functioning in which the environmental education took place were: family, school, housing estate, workplace, social associations. It may be inferred that from a certain (ideological) perspective at that time we witnessed a kind of modeling of social reality as, on the one hand particular areas were diagnosed, on the other – a desired (expected) model was built (designed) (with respect to the pragmatic function of practical pedagogy). A group work entitled “Upbringing and environment” edited by B. Passini and T. Pilch (B. Passini, T. Pilch, 1979) published in 1979 was a perfect illustration of these research areas. It ought to be stated that in those years a certain model of social diagnosis proper for undertaken social-pedagogical research was reinforced (M. Deptuła, 2005). Example paper could be the work by I. Lepalczyk and J. Badura entitled: “Elements of pedagogical diagnostics” (I. Lepalczyk, J. Badura, 1987). Finally, the social turning point in the 80’s and 90’s brought new approaches to the research on individuals, families and environments which may be considered as the beginning of the third stage of the development of social pedagogy. Breaking off the idea of socialist education meant abandoning the specific approach to research on the educational environment previously carried out within a holistic system of socio-educational influences (A. Przecławska, w. Theiss, 1995). The issues which dominated in the 90’s and still dominate in social pedagogy with regards to the functioning of individuals, families and local environments have been the issues connected with social welfare and security as well as education of adults. Research papers related to such approach may be the work by Józefa Brągiel: “Upbringing in a single-parent family” from 1990; the work edited by Zofia Brańka “The subjects of care and upbringing” from 2002 or a previous paper written in 1998 by the same author in collaboration with Mirosław Szymański “Aggression and violence in modern world” published in 1999 as well as the work by Danuta Marzec “Childcare at the time of social transformations” from 1999 or numerous works by St. Kawula, A. Janke. Also a growing interest in social welfare and social work is visible in the papers by J. Brągiel and P. Sikora “Social work, multiplicity of perspectives, family – multiculturalism – education” from 2004, E. Kanwicz and A. Olubiński: “Social activity in social welfare at the threshold of 21st century” from 2004 or numerous works on this topic created by the circles gathered around the Social Pedagogy Faculty in Łódź under the management of E. Marynowicz-Hetka. Current researchers also undertake the issues related to childhood (B. Smolińska-Theiss, 2014, B. Matyjas, 2014) and the conditionings of the lives of seniors (A. Baranowska, E. Kościńska, 2013). Ultimately, among the presented, yet not exclusive, research areas related to particular activities undertaken in human life environment (individuals, families) and fulfilled within the field of caregiving, social welfare, adult education, socio-cultural animation or health education one may distinguish the following notions:  the functioning of extra-school education institutions, most frequently caregiving or providing help such as: orphanage, residential home, dormitory, community centre but also facilities aimed at animating culture like youth cultural centres, cultural centres, clubs etc.,  the functioning of school, the realization of its functions (especially educational care), fulfilling and conditioning roles of student/teacher, the functioning of peer groups, collaboration with other institutions,  the functioning (social conditionings) of family including various forms of families e.g. full families, single-parent families, separated families, families at risk (unemployment) and their functioning in the context of other institutions e.g. school,  social pathologies, the issues of violence and aggression, youth subcultures,  participation in culture, leisure time, the role of media,  the functioning of the seniors – animation of activities in this field,  various dimensions of social welfare, support, providing help, the conditionings of functioning of such jobs as the social welfare worker, culture animator, voluntary work. It might be concluded that the issues connected with individuals, families and environment have been the centre of interest of social pedagogy since the very beginning of this discipline. These were the planes on which social pedagogists most often identified and described social life – from the perspective of human participation. On the course of describing the lives of individuals, families and broader educational environments social pedagogists figured out and elaborated on particular methods and ways of diagnosing social life. Is it possible to determine any regularities or tendencies in this respect? Unquestionably, at the initial stage of existence of this discipline, aimed at stimulating national consciousness and subsequent popularization of cultural achievements through certain activities – social and educational work, social pedagogists built certain models of these undertakings which were focused on stimulating particular social activity and conscious participation in social life. The issues concerning social diagnosis, though not as significant as during other stages, served these purposes and hence were, to a certain extent, ideologically engaged. The situation changed significantly before and shortly after the World War II. Facing particular conditions of social life – increase in many unfavourable phenomena, social pedagogists attempted to diagnose and describe them. It seems to have been the period of clear shaping and consolidation of the accepted model of empirical research in this respect. The model was widely accepted as dominating and has been developed in Polish social pedagogy during the second and subsequent stages of developing of this discipline. Practical and praxeological character of social pedagogy became the main direction of this development. Consequently, social diagnosis realized and undertaken with regard to social pedagogy was associated with the idea of a holistic system of education and extra-school educational influences and related educational environments. Therefore, the more and more clearly emphasized goal of environmental research – forecasting, was associated with the idea of building holistic, uniform educational impacts. After the systemic transformation which occurred in Poland in the 90’s, i.e. the third stage of social pedagogy development, abandoning the previous ideological solutions, environmental research including diagnosis was reassociated with social life problems mainly regarding social welfare and security. Individuals, families and environment have been and still seem to be the subject of research in the field of social pedagogy in Poland. These research areas are structurally bound with its acquired paradigm – of a science describing transformations of social life and formulating a directive of practical conduct regarding these transformations. A question arouses about the development of social pedagogy as the one which charts the direction of transformations of practices within the undertaken research areas. If it may be considered as such, then it would be worthwhile to enquire about the directions of the accepted theoretical acknowledgments. On the one hand we may observe a relatively long tradition of specifically elaborated and developed concepts, on the other – there are still new challenges ahead. Observing the previous and current development of Polish social pedagogy it may be inferred that its achievements are not overextensive with regards to the described and acquired theoretical deliberations. Nevertheless, from the very beginning, it has generated certain, specific theoretical solutions attempting to describe and explain particular areas of social reality. Especially noteworthy is the first period of the existence of this discipline, the period of such social pedagogists like i.a. J.W. Dawid, A. Szycówna, I. Moszczeńska or Helena Radlińska. The variety of the reflections with typically philosophical background undertaken in their works (e.g. E. Abramowski) is stunning. Equally involving is the second stage of development of social pedagogy i.e. shortly after the World War II, when Polish social pedagogy did not fully break with the heritage of previous philosophical reflections (A. Kamiński, R. Wroczyński) yet was developed in the Marxist current. A question arouses whether the area of education and the projects of its functioning of that time were also specific with regards to theory (it seems to be the problem of the whole Socialist pedagogy realised in Poland at that time). The following years of development of this discipline, especially at the turn of 80’s and 90’s was the period of various social ideas existing in social pedagogy – the influences of various concepts and theories in this field. The extent to which they were creatively adapted and included in the current of specific interpretations still requires detailed analysis, yet remains clearly visible. Another important area is the field of confronting the theories with the existing and undertaken solutions in the world pedagogy. A. Radziewicz-Winnicki refers to the views of the representatives of European and world social thought: P. Bourdieu, U. Beck, J. Baudrillard, Z. Bauman and M. Foucault, and tries to identify possible connections and relationships between these ideas and social pedagogy: “the ideas undertaken by the mentioned sociologists undoubtedly account for a significant source of inspiration for practical reflection within social pedagogy. Therefore, it is worthwhile to suggest certain propositions of their application in the field of the mentioned subdiscipline of pedagogy” (Radziewicz-Winnicki 2008). The contemporary social pedagogy in Poland constantly faces numerous challenges. W. Theiss analysed the contemporary social pedagogy with regards to its deficiencies but also the challenges imposed by globalisation and wrote: “Modern social pedagogy focuses mainly on the narrow empirical research and narrow practical activity and neglects research in the field of theory functioning separately from the realms of the global (or globalising) world or pays insufficient attention to these problems. It leads to a certain self-marginalisation of our discipline which leaves us beyond the current of main socio-educational problems of modern times. In this respect, it seems worthwhile and necessary to carry out intensive conceptual and research work focused on e.g. the following issues:  metatheory of social pedagogy and its relationship with modern trends in social sciences;  the concepts of human and the world, the concepts of the hierarchy of values;  the theory of upbringing, the theory of socialization, the theory of educational environment;  a conceptual key of the modern reality; new terms and new meanings of classical concepts;  socio-educational activities with direct and indirect macro range e.g. balanced development and its programmes, global school, intercultural education, inclusive education, professional education of emigrants”. Considering the currently undertaken research in this field and the accepted theoretical perspectives it is possible to indicate specific and elaborated concepts. They fluctuate around structural spheres of social pedagogy on the axis: human – environment – environmental transformations. It accounts for an ontological sphere of the acknowledged concepts and theories. Below, I am enumerating the concepts which are most commonly discussed in social pedagogy with regards to the acquired and accepted model. Currently discussed theoretical perspectives (contexts) in social pedagogy and the concepts within. I. The context of social personal relationships  social participation, social presence;  social communication, interaction;  reciprocity. II. The context of social activities (the organization of environment)  institutionalisation;  modernization;  urbanization. III. The context of environment  space;  place;  locality. The socially conditioned process of human development is a process which constantly undergoes transformations. The pedagogical description of this process ought to include these transformations also at the stage of formulating directives of practical activities – the educational practice. It is a big challenge for social pedagogy to simultaneously do not undergo limitations imposed by current social policy and response to real social needs. It has been and remains a very important task for social pedagogy.

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Portela, Manuel, and Diego Giménez. "The Fragmentary Kinetics of Writing in the Book of Disquiet." Textual Cultures 9, no.2 (December20, 2016). http://dx.doi.org/10.14434/tc.v9i2.12752.

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In this article we discuss the notion of literary fragment based on Fernando Pessoa’s Livro do Desassossego [Book of Disquiet], an unfinished work written between 1913 and 1935. Textual witnesses are analyzed as records of the temporal and kinetic dynamics of writing and rewriting, but also as textual units of a work in progress. Self-consciousness of writing emerges both in autograph textual marks, and in the concept of fragment as a piece of text meant for a bibliographic whole. The fragment becomes a textual unit of composition that links the temporality of script acts to the semantic units of a textual whole that remains elusive and only partially determined. Pessoa’s unfinished book project allows us to place this fragmentary logic at the heart of his writing, and see the Book of Disquiet itself as an embodiment of the kinetics of script acts as open explorations of self-consciousness in writing. We address these notions of fragment in the context of our current TEI-XML encoding of both Pessoa’s autograph materials and their editorial versions for the LdoD Archive.

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Allen, Stuart. "Metropolitan Wordsworth: Allegory as Affirmation and Critique in The Prelude." Romanticism on the Net, no.40 (March1, 2006). http://dx.doi.org/10.7202/012461ar.

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Abstract In this essay, I contest the view of recent historicist and New Historicist critics that the London books of The Prelude feature a “conservative view” of the city and capitalism. I argue that Wordsworth does not flee the social variety and perceived chaos of London in preference for his bourgeois domestic retreat in Grasmere. However, nor do I suggest that Wordsworth offers a “proto-Marxist” critique of capitalism. Instead, I show that the use of allegory in The Prelude enables Wordsworth not only to convey the alienating character of the city (and the law of the market dominating it), but also to explore London’s affective and imaginative potential. I argue that Wordsworth affirms the city and nature, and that his critique of certain aspects of London cannot be reduced to any ideological position – Burkean or Painite, for example. Drawing on Adorno’s claim that the successful work of art “transcends false consciousness”, I submit that Wordsworth’s commitment to the autonomy of the aesthetic reflects a distinctly undogmatic politics (“Lyric” 214). Embodied solely as art, Wordsworth’s critique balks at any instrumental realisation. Opposing the anti-aesthetic bent of some historicist writers, I argue that Wordsworth’s art is permanently adversarial and does not harden into either a political manifesto or false consciousness. Simultaneously affirmatory and critical, The Prelude is relatively free of ideological prejudice in its exploration of the full diversity of feeling.

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Ensminger, David Allen. "Populating the Ambient Space of Texts: The Intimate Graffiti of Doodles. Proposals Toward a Theory." M/C Journal 13, no.2 (March9, 2010). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.219.

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In a media saturated world, doodles have recently received the kind of attention usually reserved for coverage of racy extra marital affairs, corrupt governance, and product malfunction. Former British Prime Minister Blair’s private doodling at a World Economic Forum meeting in 2005 raised suspicions that he, according to one keen graphologist, struggled “to maintain control in a confusing world," which infers he was attempting to cohere a scattershot, fragmentary series of events (Spiegel). However, placid-faced Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, who sat nearby, actually scrawled the doodles. In this case, perhaps the scrawls mimicked the ambience in the room: Gates might have been ‘tuning’–registering the ‘white noise’ of the participants, letting his unconscious dictate doodles as a way to cope with the dissonance trekking in with the officialspeak. The doodles may have documented and registered the space between words, acting like deposits from his gestalt.Sometimes the most intriguing doodles co-exist with printed texts. This includes common vernacular graffiti that lines public and private books and magazines. Such graffiti exposes tensions in the role of readers as well as horror vacui: a fear of unused, empty space. Yet, school children fingering fresh pages and stiff book spines for the first few times often consider their book pages as sanctioned, discreet, and inviolable. The book is an object of financial and cultural investment, or imbued both with mystique and ideologies. Yet, in the e-book era, the old-fashioned, physical page is a relic of sorts, a holdover from coarse papyrus culled from wetland sage, linking us to the First Dynasty in Egypt. Some might consider the page as a vessel for typography, a mere framing device for text. The margins may reflect a perimeter of nothingness, an invisible borderland that doodles render visible by inhabiting them. Perhaps the margins are a bare landscape, like unmarred flat sand in a black and white panchromatic photo with unique tonal signature and distinct grain. Perhaps the margins are a mute locality, a space where words have evaporated, or a yet-to-be-explored environment, or an ambient field. Then comes the doodle, an icon of vernacular art.As a modern folklorist, I have studied and explored vernacular art at length, especially forms that may challenge and fissure aesthetic, cultural, and social mores, even within my own field. For instance, I contend that Grandma Prisbrey’s “Bottle Village,” featuring millions of artfully arranged pencils, bottles, and dolls culled from dumps in Southern California, is a syncretic culturescape with underlying feminist symbolism, not merely the product of trauma and hoarding (Ensminger). Recently, I flew to Oregon to deliver a paper on Mexican-American gravesite traditions. In a quest for increased multicultural tolerance, I argued that inexpensive dimestore objects left on Catholic immigrant graves do not represent a messy landscape of trinkets but unique spiritual environments with links to customs 3,000 years old. For me, doodles represent a variation on graffiti-style art with cultural antecedents stretching back throughout history, ranging from ancient scrawls on Greek ruins to contemporary park benches (with chiseled names, dates, and symbols), public bathroom latrinalia, and spray can aerosol art, including ‘bombing’ and ‘tagging’ hailed as “Spectacular Vernaculars” by Russell Potter (1995). Noted folklorist Alan Dundes mused on the meaning of latrinalia in Here I Sit – A Study of American Latrinalia (1966), which has inspired pop culture books and web pages for the preservation and discussion of such art (see for instance, www.itsallinthehead.com/gallery1.html). Older texts such as Classic American Graffiti by Allen Walker Read (1935), originally intended for “students of linguistics, folk-lore, abnormal psychology,” reveal the field’s longstanding interest in marginal, crude, and profane graffiti.Yet, to my knowledge, a monograph on doodles has yet to be published by a folklorist, perhaps because the art form is reconsidered too idiosyncratic, too private, the difference between jots and doodles too blurry for a taxonomy and not the domain of identifiable folk groups. In addition, the doodles in texts often remain hidden until single readers encounter them. No broad public interaction is likely, unless a library text circulates freely, which may not occur after doodles are discovered. In essence, the books become tainted, infected goods. Whereas latrinalia speaks openly and irreverently, doodles feature a different scale and audience.Doodles in texts may represent a kind of speaking from the ‘margin’s margins,’ revealing the reader-cum-writer’s idiosyncratic, self-meaningful, and stylised hieroglyphics from the ambient margins of one’s consciousness set forth in the ambient margins of the page. The original page itself is an ambient territory that allows the meaning of the text to take effect. When those liminal spaces (both between and betwixt, in which the rules of page format, design, style, and typography are abandoned) are altered by the presence of doodles, the formerly blank, surplus, and soft spaces of the page offer messages coterminous with the text, often allowing readers to speak, however haphazardly and unconsciously, with and against the triggering text. The bleached whiteness can become a crowded milieu in the hands of a reader re-scripting the ambient territory. If the book is borrowed, then the margins are also an intimate negotiation with shared or public space. The cryptic residue of the doodler now resides, waiting, for the city of eyes.Throughout history, both admired artists and Presidents regularly doodled. Famed Italian Renaissance painter Filippo Lippi avoided strenuous studying by doodling in his books (Van Cleave 44). Both sides of the American political spectrum have produced plentiful inky depictions as well: roughshod Democratic President Johnson drew flags and pagodas; former Hollywood fantasy fulfiller turned politician Republican President Reagan’s specialty was western themes, recalling tropes both from his actor period and his duration acting as President; meanwhile, former law student turned current President, Barack Obama, has sketched members of Congress and the Senate for charity auctions. These doodles are rich fodder for both psychologists and cross-discipline analysts that propose theories regarding the automatic writing and self-styled miniature pictures of civic leaders. Doodles allow graphologists to navigate and determine the internal, cognitive fabric of the maker. To critics, they exist as mere trifles and offer nothing more than an iota of insight; doodles are not uncanny offerings from the recesses of memory, like bite-sized Rorschach tests, but simply sloppy scrawls of the bored.Ambient music theory may shed some light. Timothy Morton argues that Brian Eno designed to make music that evoked “space whose quality had become minimally significant” and “deconstruct the opposition … between figure and ground.” In fact, doodles may yield the same attributes as well. After a doodle is inserted into texts, the typography loses its primacy. There is a merging of the horizons. The text of the author can conflate with the text of the reader in an uneasy dance of meaning: the page becomes an interface revealing a landscape of signs and symbols with multiple intelligences–one manufactured and condoned, the other vernacular and unsanctioned. A fixed end or beginning between the two no longer exists. The ambient space allows potential energies to hover at the edge, ready to illustrate a tension zone and occupy the page. The blank spaces keep inviting responses. An emergent discourse is always in waiting, always threatening to overspill the text’s intended meaning. In fact, the doodles may carry more weight than the intended text: the hierarchy between authorship and readership may topple.Resistant reading may take shape during these bouts. The doodle is an invasion and signals the geography of disruption, even when innocuous. It is a leveling tool. As doodlers place it alongside official discourse, they move away from positions of passivity, being mere consumers, and claim their own autonomy and agency. The space becomes co-determinant as boundaries are blurred. The destiny of the original text’s meaning is deferred. The habitus of the reader becomes embodied in the scrawl, and the next reader must negotiate and navigate the cultural capital of this new author. As such, the doodle constitutes an alternative authority and economy of meaning within the text.Recent studies indicate doodling, often regarded as behavior that announces a person’s boredom and withdrawal, is actually a very special tool to prevent memory loss. Jackie Andrade, an expert from the School of Psychology at the University of Plymouth, maintains that doodling actually “offsets the effects of selective memory blockade,” which yields a surprising result (quoted in “Doodling Gets”). Doodlers exhibit 29% more memory recall than those who passively listen, frozen in an unequal bond with the speaker/lecturer. Students that doodle actually retain more information and are likely more productive due to their active listening. They adeptly absorb information while students who stare patiently or daydream falter.Furthermore, in a 2006 paper, Andrew Kear argues that “doodling is a way in which students, consciously or not, stake a claim of personal agency and challenge some the values inherent in the education system” (2). As a teacher concerned with the engagement of students, he asked for three classes to submit their doodles. Letting them submit any two-dimensional graphic or text made during a class (even if made from body fluid), he soon discovered examples of “acts of resistance” in “student-initiated effort[s] to carve out a sense of place within the educational institution” (6). Not simply an ennui-prone teenager or a proto-surrealist trying to render some automatic writing from the fringes of cognition, a student doodling may represent contested space both in terms of the page itself and the ambience of the environment. The doodle indicates tension, and according to Kear, reflects students reclaiming “their own self-recognized voice” (6).In a widely referenced 1966 article (known as the “doodle” article) intended to describe the paragraph organisational styles of different cultures, Robert Kaplan used five doodles to investigate a writer’s thought patterns, which are rooted in cultural values. Now considered rather problematic by some critics after being adopted by educators for teacher-training materials, Kaplan’s doodles-as-models suggest, “English speakers develop their ideas in a linear, hierarchal fashion and ‘Orientals’ in a non-liner, spiral fashion…” (Severino 45). In turn, when used as pedagogical tools, these graphics, intentionally or not, may lead an “ethnocentric, assimilationist stance” (45). In this case, doodles likely shape the discourse of English as Second Language instruction. Doodles also represent a unique kind of “finger trace,” not unlike prints from the tips of a person’s fingers and snowflakes. Such symbol systems might be used for “a means of lightweight authentication,” according to Christopher Varenhorst of MIT (1). Doodles, he posits, can be used as “passdoodles"–a means by which a program can “quickly identify users.” They are singular expressions that are quirky and hard to duplicate; thus, doodles could serve as substitute methods of verifying people who desire devices that can safeguard their privacy without users having to rely on an ever-increasing number of passwords. Doodles may represent one such key. For many years, psychologists and psychiatrists have used doodles as therapeutic tools in their treatment of children that have endured hardship, ailments, and assault. They may indicate conditions, explain various symptoms and pathologies, and reveal patterns that otherwise may go unnoticed. For instance, doodles may “reflect a specific physical illness and point to family stress, accidents, difficult sibling relationships, and trauma” (Lowe 307). Lowe reports that children who create a doodle featuring their own caricature on the far side of the page, distant from an image of parent figures on the same page, may be experiencing detachment, while the portrayal of a father figure with “jagged teeth” may indicate a menace. What may be difficult to investigate in a doctor’s office conversation or clinical overview may, in fact, be gleaned from “the evaluation of a child’s spontaneous doodle” (307). So, if children are suffering physically or psychologically and unable to express themselves in a fully conscious and articulate way, doodles may reveal their “self-concept” and how they feel about their bodies; therefore, such creative and descriptive inroads are important diagnostic tools (307). Austrian born researcher Erich Guttman and his cohort Walter MacLay both pioneered art therapy in England during the mid-twentieth century. They posited doodles might offer some insight into the condition of schizophrenics. Guttman was intrigued by both the paintings associated with the Surrealist movement and the pioneering, much-debated work of Sigmund Freud too. Although Guttman mostly studied professionally trained artists who suffered from delusions and other conditions, he also collected a variety of art from patients, including those undergoing mescaline therapy, which alters a person’s consciousness. In a stroke of luck, they were able to convince a newspaper editor at the Evening Standard to provide them over 9,000 doodles that were provided by readers for a contest, each coded with the person’s name, age, and occupation. This invaluable data let the academicians compare the work of those hospitalised with the larger population. Their results, released in 1938, contain several key declarations and remain significant contributions to the field. Subsequently, Francis Reitman recounted them in his own book Psychotic Art: Doodles “release the censor of the conscious mind,” allowing a person to “relax, which to creative people was indispensable to production.”No appropriate descriptive terminology could be agreed upon.“Doodles are not communications,” for the meaning is only apparent when analysed individually.Doodles are “self-meaningful.” (37) Doodles, the authors also established, could be divided into this taxonomy: “stereotypy, ornamental details, movements, figures, faces and animals” or those “depicting scenes, medley, and mixtures” (37). The authors also noted that practitioners from the Jungian school of psychology often used “spontaneously produced drawings” that were quite “doodle-like in nature” in their own discussions (37). As a modern folklorist, I venture that doodles offer rich potential for our discipline as well. At this stage, I am offering a series of dictums, especially in regards to doodles that are commonly found adjacent to text in books and magazines, notebooks and journals, that may be expanded upon and investigated further. Doodles allow the reader to repopulate the text with ideogram-like expressions that are highly personalised, even inscrutable, like ambient sounds.Doodles re-purpose the text. The text no longer is unidirectional. The text becomes a point of convergence between writer and reader. The doodling allows for such a conversation, bilateral flow, or “talking back” to the text.Doodles reveal a secret language–informal codes that hearken back to the “lively, spontaneous, and charged with feeling” works of child art or naïve art that Victor Sanua discusses as being replaced in a child’s later years by art that is “stilted, formal, and conforming” (62).Doodling animates blank margins, the dead space of the text adjacent to the script, making such places ripe for spontaneous, fertile, and exploratory markings.Doodling reveals a democratic, participatory ethos. No text is too sacred, no narrative too inviolable. Anything can be reworked by the intimate graffiti of the reader. The authority of the book is not fixed; readers negotiate and form a second intelligence imprinted over the top of the original text, blurring modes of power.Doodles reveal liminal moments. Since the reader in unmonitored, he or she can express thoughts that may be considered marginal or taboo by the next reader. The original subject of the book itself does not restrict the reader. Thus, within the margins of the page, a brief suspension of boundaries and borders, authority and power, occurs. The reader hides in anonymity, free to reroute the meaning of the book. Doodling may convey a reader’s infantalism. Every book can become a picture book. This art can be the route returning a reader to the ambience of childhood.Doodling may constitute Illuminated/Painted Texts in reverse, commemorating the significance of the object in hitherto unexpected forms and revealing the reader’s codex. William Blake adorned his own poems by illuminating the skin/page that held his living verse; common readers may do so too, in naïve, nomadic, and primitive forms. Doodling demarcates tension zones, yielding social-historical insights into eras while offering psychological glimpses and displaying aesthetic values of readers-cum-writers.Doodling reveals margins as inter-zones, replete with psychogeography. While the typography is sanctioned, legitimate, normalised, and official discourse (“chartered” and “manacled,” to hijack lines from William Blake), the margins are a vernacular depository, a terminus, allowing readers a sense of agency and autonomy. The doodled page becomes a visible reminder and signifier: all pages are potentially “contested” spaces. Whereas graffiti often allows a writer to hide anonymously in the light in a city besieged by multiple conflicting texts, doodles allow a reader-cum-writer’s imprint to live in the cocoon of a formerly fossilised text, waiting for the light. Upon being opened, the book, now a chimera, truly breathes. Further exploration and analysis should likely consider several issues. What truly constitutes and shapes the role of agent and reader? Is the reader an agent all the time, or only when offering resistant readings through doodles? How is a doodler’s agency mediated by the author or the format of texts in forms that I have to map? Lastly, if, as I have argued, the ambient space allows potential energies to hover at the edge, ready to illustrate a tension zone and occupy the page, what occurs in the age of digital or e-books? Will these platforms signal an age of acquiescence to manufactured products or signal era of vernacular responses, somehow hitched to html code and PDF file infiltration? Will bytes totally replace type soon in the future, shaping unforeseen actions by doodlers? Attached Figures Figure One presents the intimate graffiti of my grandfather, found in the 1907 edition of his McGuffey’s Eclectic Spelling Book. The depiction is simple, even crude, revealing a figure found on the adjacent page to Lesson 248, “Of Characters Used in Punctuation,” which lists the perfunctory functions of commas, semicolons, periods, and so forth. This doodle may offset the routine, rote, and rather humdrum memorisation of such grammatical tools. The smiling figure may embody and signify joy on an otherwise machine-made bare page, a space where my grandfather illustrated his desires (to lighten a mood, to ease dissatisfaction?). Historians Joe Austin and Michael Willard examine how youth have been historically left without legitimate spaces in which to live out their autonomy outside of adult surveillance. For instance, graffiti often found on walls and trains may reflect a sad reality: young people are pushed to appropriate “nomadic, temporary, abandoned, illegal, or otherwise unwatched spaces within the landscape” (14). Indeed, book graffiti, like the graffiti found on surfaces throughout cities, may offer youth a sense of appropriation, authorship, agency, and autonomy: they take the page of the book, commit their writing or illustration to the page, discover some freedom, and feel temporarily independent even while they are young and disempowered. Figure Two depicts the doodles of experimental filmmaker Jim Fetterley (Animal Charm productions) during his tenure as a student at the Art Institute of Chicago in the early 1990s. His two doodles flank the text of “Lady Lazarus” by Sylvia Plath, regarded by most readers as an autobiographical poem that addresses her own suicide attempts. The story of Lazarus is grounded in the Biblical story of John Lazarus of Bethany, who was resurrected from the dead. The poem also alludes to the Holocaust (“Nazi Lampshades”), the folklore surrounding cats (“And like the cat I have nine times to die”), and impending omens of death (“eye pits “ … “sour breath”). The lower doodle seems to signify a motorised tank-like machine, replete with a furnace or engine compartment on top that bellows smoke. Such ominous images, saturated with potential cartoon-like violence, may link to the World War II references in the poem. Meanwhile, the upper doodle seems to be curiously insect-like, and Fetterley’s name can be found within the illustration, just like Plath’s poem is self-reflexive and addresses her own plight. Most viewers might find the image a bit more lighthearted than the poem, a caricature of something biomorphic and surreal, but not very lethal. Again, perhaps this is a counter-message to the weight of the poem, a way to balance the mood and tone, or it may well represent the larval-like apparition that haunts the very thoughts of Plath in the poem: the impending disease of her mind, as understood by the wary reader. References Austin, Joe, and Michael Willard. “Introduction: Angels of History, Demons of Culture.” Eds. Joe Austion and Michael Willard. Generations of Youth: Youth Cultures and History in Twentieth-Century America. New York: NYU Press, 1998. “Doodling Gets Its Due: Those Tiny Artworks May Aid Memory.” World Science 2 March 2009. 15 Jan. 2009 ‹http://www.world-science.net/othernews/090302_doodle›. Dundes, Alan. “Here I Sit – A Study of American Latrinalia.” Papers of the Kroeber Anthropological Society 34: 91-105. Ensminger, David. “All Bottle Up: Reinterpreting the Culturescape of Grandma Prisbey.” Adironack Review 9.3 (Fall 2008). ‹http://adirondackreview.homestead.com/ensminger2.html›. Kear, Andrew. “Drawings in the Margins: Doodling in Class an Act of Reclamation.” Graduate Student Conference. University of Toronto, 2006. ‹http://gradstudentconference.oise.utoronto.ca/documents/185/Drawing%20in%20the%20Margins.doc›. Lowe, Sheila R. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Handwriting Analysis. New York: Alpha Books, 1999. Morton, Timothy. “‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’ as an Ambient Poem; a Study of Dialectical Image; with Some Remarks on Coleridge and Wordsworth.” Romantic Circles Praxis Series (2001). 6 Jan. 2009 ‹http://www.rc.umd.edu/praxis/ecology/morton/morton.html›. Potter, Russell A. Spectacular Vernaculars: Hip Hop and the Politics of Postmodernism. Albany: State University of New York, 1995. Read, Allen Walker. Classic American Graffiti: Lexical Evidence from Folk Epigraphy in Western North America. Waukesha, Wisconsin: Maledicta Press, 1997. Reitman, Francis. Psychotic Art. London: Routledge, 1999. Sanua, Victor. “The World of Mystery and Wonder of the Schizophrenic Patient.” International Journal of Social Psychiatry 8 (1961): 62-65. Severino, Carol. “The ‘Doodles’ in Context: Qualifying Claims about Contrastive Rhetoric.” The Writing Center Journal 14.1 (Fall 1993): 44-62. Van Cleave, Claire. Master Drawings of the Italian Rennaissance. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard UP, 2007. Varenhost, Christopher. Passdoodles: A Lightweight Authentication Method. Research Science Institute. Cambridge, Mass.: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2004.

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Bartlett,LexeyA. "Who Do I Turn (in)to for Help?" M/C Journal 10, no.2 (May1, 2007). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2627.

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Many theories address the material adaptations that organisms—including humans—make to their environments, and many address the adaptation of art to different forms. The film Adaptation (Spike Jonze, 2002) by Charlie Kaufman, ostensibly an adaptation of Susan Orlean’s The Orchid Thief, addresses both kinds of adaptation, but also suggests how humans might psychically adapt to their emotional and mental environments, namely by doubling or multiplying their identities to create companions and helpmates who can help them cope with emotional and mental stresses. To expose some of Kaufman’s adaptive moves, I will draw on Wolfgang Iser’s literary anthropology, aimed at exploring “what literature may tell us about our anthropological makeup,” particularly “the human need for make-believe even when it is known to be what it is” (vii). Iser’s theory considers the use of imagination, particularly in the realm of fiction, as a way to “meet certain anthropological needs,” as a tool for human adaptation to social or cultural needs (264). Because of Iser’s emphasis on the importance of both the writer’s and reader’s roles, both may use performances of reading and writing to remake themselves in ways that allow them to function more effectively. Kaufman certainly does in his role as adapter: a type of reader who also writes. Kaufman uses imagination to adapt to his situation, just as humans have always needed their imaginations to adapt to their environments, a need as strong as biological adaptation, considering their psychic needs. Kaufman’s script addresses the major difficulty of how to match a book like The Orchid Thief with expectations for a Hollywood film, including a plot, dynamic characters, and a hook that drives the story. His film persona laments the lack of an overarching, coherent narrative, the relatively small portion of the book where the fascinating title character John LaRoche appears, and, in his conversation with the writing guru Robert McKee, the lack of any change in the people in the book, mainly Orlean and LaRoche. Seemingly promising parts of the book, like the court case, end in a few anti-climactic paragraphs about dropped charges and no-contest pleas, as LaRoche’s grand plan is judicially out-maneuvered. Interspersed with these lamentations are all the false starts and dead ends of Charlie’s composition, represented here in two ways: through watching Charlie type or speak his ideas, and through glimpses of these ideas actualized in film. These abortive attempts set up our expectations for his eventual solution, while showing us the films that never were and capturing some of The Orchid Thief’s non-narrative brilliance. Kaufman manages this, however, by creating the metanarrative of the screenplay’s composition, into which he writes the story of Orlean’s composition of her book. In other words, Kaufman adapts to the problem of adapting the book to a screenplay by thematizing adaptation itself, a concept that fits well with the book’s discussion of adaptation in the biological world. The contrast between Kaufman’s feverish, agonized composition process and Orlean’s placid, cool work creates a dramatic tension in the story, and Kaufman takes revenge on this fantasy of Orlean’s unflappable persona by forcing that persona to unravel more and more as the script progresses. Of course, neither in her book nor in her real life, it should be pointed out, does Orlean suffer from unbearable loneliness, fall in love with LaRoche, use drugs, or turn homicidal. Kaufman, combining selections from the extratextual world, from Orlean’s text, and from his imagination, doubles the real world and the world of the screenplay, distorting them both in the process, but also creating something new. When a new text combines parts of other texts, this doubling multiplies because of the complexity of the relationships involved, since the contexts of all these texts shift when put in new relations to one another. Iser remarks on how the selection of texts and their resulting recontextualization operates on other texts through the reader’s performance, namely by triggering a multiplication of voices, when all of the texts come together and are affected by each other in the recipient’s consciousness (Iser, 237-8). This explanation yields insight into how the performativity of the fictionalizing act and the act of representation merge, through the author’s selection and the recipient’s imagination, when all these different texts are finally placed in a medium where they can interact. The selections and combinations of Kaufman’s script come to fruition in the viewer’s mind, creating a potential for new ideas, new meaning: in other words, intellectual evolution, an adaptation specific to human beings. Iser emphasizes that representation does not merely mirror the existing, but instead creates something new (236). This power of imagination means that we can use make-believe to imagine ourselves in different ways in order to live successfully. This imagining brings together the performances of readers and writers not only to create something new but to cope with the world. For Iser, the creating is the coping, and it tells us something about human nature and how it adapts. Adaptation and The Orchid Thief both refer to Darwin’s The Various Contrivances by Which Orchids Are Fertilized by Insects and The Origin of Species, outlining his theories of evolution, based on species’ adaptation to their environments. The film invokes Darwin’s words, ideas, and likeness several times: the sequence of film showing the evolution of life, Charlie’s description of this scene for his screenplay, LaRoche and Orlean’s conversation about Darwin, a shot of Darwin’s writings on tape in LaRoche’s van, an imagined scene of Darwin writing the words we hear in narration, a shot of a book of Darwin’s writing in Charlie’s room, and numerous mentions of adaptation and mutation throughout the film in dialogue. The selection of this particular idea, magnified in the film through all of these references, provides a framework for the viewer to understand Kaufman’s choices and the rationalization behind them. Not only do orchids evolve—through mutation—to adapt to their environments, but so do people and ideas, just like the character Charlie Kaufman and his fictional screenplay, as well as the real Charlie Kaufman and his real screenplay. When the elements selected from these extratextual sources are brought together in the text, they “mutually inscribe themselves into one another. Every word becomes dialogic, and every semantic field is doubled by another” (Iser, 238). When combined like this, each element is present in every other one, even if it is literally absent. Sometimes the awareness of what is not present is greater than at others; sometimes, “the present serv[es] only to spotlight the absent” (Iser, 238). Combination doubles meaning by creating an absence for every presence, so that everything said is twofold, the said and the not-said. This doubling is compounded by the text’s self-disclosed fictionality so that what is missing from the text is always already present there as well (Iser, 239). Charlie’s script brings together the elements of writing and Hollywood with the text of Orlean’s book, and his inclusion of these elements creates additional possibilities for the film, many of which are realized through elements that are absent from the book but made present in the film. For example, the romance in the film, which is not present and is even denied in Orlean’s text, only actualizes possibilities already extant in potential in the reader’s mind: for example, Orlean’s rebuttal of any attraction between her and LaRoche (in an interview published in post-film versions of the book and incorporated in the screenplay) introduces the idea to the reader/viewer even if it had not already occurred spontaneously, and this denied possibility explodes in the movie’s latter half, irresistibly demanding exploration, if only because Hollywood films demand romance. In the film, what is absent, yet always present, is a true adaptation of Orlean’s book into a film. It is the subject of the film, and thus always present in one way, but what results is not really an adaptation of the book in the more usual sense. Fictionality enacts one other doubling through the “text’s disclosure of itself as fiction” (Iser, 238). This disclosure happens through two means: “The attitude to be imposed on the reader, and … what the text is meant to represent” (Iser, 238). Including a representation of the writing process—mind you, not the actual writing process—exposes the fictionalizing act, which imposes an attitude on the viewer of taking what is seen as play, as “make-believe”; this is not to say that the play is not purposeful, but it is difficult to lose sight of the film as staged due to the recursiveness of hearing something being composed that we have already seen staged on the screen. Other examples include references to other films, using musical scenes to break tension, and lore about Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, 1942) being partly written by twins. These pointers move the viewer to adopt different attitudes to the represented world, and as the tropes are warped here—a musical scene becomes a poignant connection between Charlie and Donald, rather than a beach-blanket, road-trip romp—the viewer gains a different perspective on movie-making. Thus, the viewer is mutated by Adaptation too, becoming, through the process of watching, the kind of audience Kaufman desires. Iser addresses the results of “self-disclosed fictionality” on the recipient of such a fictionalizing act (238-9). As applied to film, if viewers are freed from having to take the film as real, the different attitude to reality the film imposes can be more easily accepted. Thus, new attitudes can be accepted in play, learned through performances of reading or viewing. These attitudes may (although do not necessarily) remain with viewers beyond the represented world’s boundaries, marking a permanent evolution. This possibility of change is important to the disclosure of what the text is meant to represent, which is adaptation, in all its many senses. The writer can, through the fictionalizing act, produce a text; but the text’s recipient must complete the performance of representation through bringing what is represented to fruition through imagination, as Iser explains. Things are made present through imagination that have no reality outside of the text, are made to exist as if they are real in the reader’s imagination. Thus, through the whole process of representation, the fictionalizing act and the reader’s performance, what is not accessible in the extratextual world can be held in the mind, which is the making of make-believe (Iser, 243). Even then, the inaccessible may not be achieved, but only approached through these means: “Aesthetic semblance … neither transcends a given reality nor mediates between idea and manifestation; it is an indication that the inaccessible can only be approached by being staged” (Iser, 243). However, inaccessibility does not reduce the desire for what we cannot possess, as Orlean repeatedly witnesses; we can try to get what we desire, but ultimately it must be inaccessible because we cannot hold onto it at all. The staging of something inaccessible may not be the same as having it, but the manner of staging can also reveal something about what is sought—in this case, passion for Orlean, and perfect adaptation to one’s environment for Kaufman. The inaccessible is often figured as a blank in literature and film; solidifying it into form robs it of its power because the actual can never be the same as that pure potential—think of Orlean’s astonished and disappointed line in the film when she finally sees the ghost orchid: “It’s a flower.” Fear of disappointment prevents her from attempting to see the orchid in the real world, as she explains in her book; she would rather leave the possibility of any fulfillment she might receive in its perfect state of imagination. Even a pure reproduction is impossible, since representation ever creates something new. Film adaptation, of course, falls into this category; that Kaufman’s film does not equal Orlean’s book is obvious to anyone who has experienced both, but Kaufman’s script increases the audience’s awareness of this non-equation of film adaptations to their primary texts, as well as the possibility of the adaptation creating something new. Because of the performative quality of the reader’s role, actualizing the potential of a text, making it tangible through his or her imagination, we must cast Charlie Kaufman’s writing as a performance of reading as well. Iser posits a triadic relationship of the real, the fictional, and the imaginary, in place of the traditional dyad of the real and the fictional. The imaginary is the blank space and formless material made concrete through the fictionalizing act. In Orlean’s book, Florida is the imaginary; she writes, “Florida was to Americans what America had always been to the rest of the world—a fresh, free, unspoiled start. Florida is a wet, warm, tropical place, essentially featureless, and infinitely transformable. … Its essential character can be repeatedly reimagined” (123). For the character Kaufman, the screenplay is the imaginary; it is “infinitely transformable,” and can be “repeatedly reimagined”. Through the unformed potential of the screenplay that he imagines, he can do anything, access anything, even the inaccessible. He can use the screenplay to create fifty movies in one, to create a documentary and a Hollywood action film, a romance, a thriller. He can also use this space of infinite possibility to solve the problem of writing the real screenplay, by writing himself a new self and a partner in the form of a twin brother. Brian McHale explains that the dominant mode of postmodernist fiction is ontological. While McHale’s concern is primarily with questions about the modes of being of the worlds constructed by postmodernist fiction, the construction of new worlds often coincides with attempts by ontologically confused characters to understand themselves and their places in the world—sometimes they solve these problems by creating new worlds to suit (McHale, 9-10). Dick Higgins’s provocative question, quoted by McHale, “Which of my selves is to do [‘what is to be done’]?” highlights the quandary of characters in postmodernist fiction and, we might add, in postmodernist films (McHale, 10). The priority becomes determining the quality of one’s own being, or, given the problem of a certain kind of external reality, determining which self can best adapt to the new world. Kaufman creates multiple ontological layers to approach one of his problems, namely how to adapt a plotless book with no character development into a film. The film’s worlds multiply as he writes the screenplay before our eyes—often after an event that Charlie’s dictations echo—then erases, rewrites, and erases and rewrites, over and over again. I extend McHale’s thesis, however, in that, along with creating new worlds within the text to solve their ontological problems, characters create new selves to solve the problem of who to be in order to live meaningfully. To solve his multitude of problems, Kaufman creates not only a representation of himself in his screenplay (and one might argue, many representations), but also a twin brother who can help him do what he cannot. Kaufman creates at least two other selves to do what needs to be done in the real world and in the film’s world: that is, solving the intractable problem of making a movie out of this book, and for both himself and the character of Susan Orlean, connecting to other people. Kaufman does include a glimpse of the book that is true to its character, but he can’t make a movie out of just this, and a perfect reproduction of the book is impossible anyway—it is inaccessible, which is part of what causes Charlie such agonies. The theme of adaptation introduced by the subject of orchids ultimately provides a way to transform the book into a movie. Consequently, Charlie adapts to the problem in his environment, this unwritten screenplay, by multiplying himself. The character Robert McKee (a real name coincidentally significant in true Dickensian style) presents Charlie with the key to solving the twin problems of the screenplay and his own life; McKee tells Charlie that if characters don’t change there is no story; Charlie is skeptical, at first, at there being people in the world who actually do things, but McKee convinces him it is true. So Charlie, with Donald’s help, changes the characters from The Orchid Thief who do not change, or at least whom we don’t see change because of Orlean’s presentation of them. LaRoche as represented by Orlean does not change; the objects of his passion change, but not his relationship to them. Orlean herself refuses to change, to accept connections to other living things—she gives away the gifts of orchids from the orchid people she interviews. She articulates her lack of connection in an interview after the book’s publication. Kaufman includes this statement in the film, when Donald interviews her while pretending to be Charlie. This statement exposes her detachment, and we certainly do not wonder any more at her dispassionateness, although she says she wishes she had a passion. She claims her passion is for her subjects, but it is hard to believe that when we hear her comments about the relationships of reporters with their subjects. Ultimately, the book is disappointing because the one person present throughout never changes—refuses change, in fact, even when given the opportunity to connect with extraordinary people who might help her to change. For example, she reports, but does not explore, the implications of LaRoche’s change of passion from orchids to computers after his family tragedy; he says, and Kaufman emphasizes this in the film, that he loves computers because they can’t die, unlike the living things he cherished before. He has psychically adapted himself to this painful reality, and even if Orlean doesn’t learn from him, Kaufman does. Unlike Orlean, Charlie succeeds in breaking through his inability to connect with other people; he writes himself as a character who changes, who grows. Donald catalyzes this change, first by introducing Charlie to McKee’s ideas and holding onto them despite Charlie’s scoffing, so that he eventually sways Charlie with his conviction (and his success); and then, in the swamp, when he explains to Charlie that he owns his love and attachments to other people, and their judgments of him cannot make him let them go or spoil them for him. This revelation provides the final impetus for Charlie’s transformation, and he is able to connect to, and ultimately to integrate himself with, Donald, allowing him to continue after Donald is killed. Such integration commonly appears in stories of doubling, and the integrated double must then leave the story somehow. Donald’s effect on the screenplay, then, is the creation of a narrative arc and of characters who change, for better or for worse. Donald invents the relationship between Orlean and LaRoche and their illicit activities. Because of Donald, the movie also metamorphoses into the typical Hollywood film, with drugs, sex, violence, car chases, and a guy getting the girl in the end. But it is also through Donald that the action moves outside of Charlie’s head and that his solitude changes into action in the world involving other people. Thus, the process that brings the movie to that point makes it impossible for us to see it the same way as before, and it lends a significance to the ending that such a “Hollywood” copout wouldn’t otherwise have, just like the reprise of the musical number “Happy Together” in the swamp, this time a demonstration of Charlie’s affection for his brother. In order to excuse this “copout” and the complete departure from The Orchid Thief, Charlie must write himself into the screenplay, to picture his agonizing for us so we will sympathize with his choices, and he must write a double, Donald, who can make these changes, not a copout, but significant evolution. Kaufman changes himself psychically and emotionally in order to do what needs to be done: to create something that can survive through its novelty, to create a self that can survive through adaptation. References Darwin, Charles. The Origin of Species. London: John Murray, 1859. ———. On the Various Contrivances by Which British and Foreign Orchids Are Fertilized by Insects, and on the Good Effects of Intercrossing. 2nd ed. London: John Murray, 1877. Iser, Wolfgang. Prospecting: From Reader Response to Literary Anthropology. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1989. McHale, Brian. Postmodernist Fiction. New York: Methuen, 1987. Orlean, Susan. The Orchid Thief. 1998. New York: Ballantine, 2000. Citation reference for this article MLA Style Bartlett, Lexey A. "Who Do I Turn (in)to for Help?: Multiple Identity as Adaptation in Adaptation." M/C Journal 10.1 (2007). echo date('d M. Y'); ?> <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0705/04-bartlett.php>. APA Style Bartlett, L. (May 2007) "Who Do I Turn (in)to for Help?: Multiple Identity as Adaptation in Adaptation," M/C Journal, 10(1). Retrieved echo date('d M. Y'); ?> from <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0705/04-bartlett.php>.

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Gordienko-Mytrofanova, Iia, Iuliia Kobzieva, and Kateryna Borokh. "Investigating the Concept of “Lightness” As Reflected in the Russian-Speaking Ukrainians’ Linguistic Consciousness." East European Journal of Psycholinguistics 7, no.1 (June30, 2020). http://dx.doi.org/10.29038/eejpl.2020.7.1.gor.

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Abstract:

The purpose of this study is to define and describe the semantic components of the verbalised concept “lightness” as a component of ludic competence in the linguistic consciousness of the Russian-speaking people from Eastern Ukraine. The main method of the research was a psycholinguistic experiment. The sample comprised 426 young people (aged 18-35), males and females being equally represented. Cluster analysis showed that the core of the concept “lightness” is represented by three semantic groups: “the quality being light and insignificant in weight and size …”, “the feeling of happiness and joyful ease”, “the feeling of freedom …, cheerfulness, excitement”. The last two clusters reveal the ambivalent nature of the concept “lightness”. The concept “lightness” is characterized by a large variety of peripheral clusters. The ones that are especially noteworthy are “insight” and “duality”. The former reflects the cognitive component of lightness, which accounts for 3 per cent. The latter reflects the concept’s ambivalent nature. Basically, the semantic content of the core of the word “lightness” does not depend on gender. The comparative analysis of the concept “lightness” in the linguistic consciousness of Ukrainian citizens and people living in Russia reveals its nationally-specific perception in the linguistic consciousness of Ukrainian people, which was reflected in the most frequent reaction “freedom”. Taken together, both samples share a number of common features: wide semantic scope; strong synonymic and weak antonymic connections between stimulus and reactions; positive emotional response to the stimulus. Finally, the results of the free word association test with the stimulus word “lightness” were successfully used to define more precisely and expand our understanding of “lightness” as a component of ludic competence taking into account both core and peripheral clusters. References Barnett, L. (2007). The nature of playfulness in young adults. Personality and Individual Differences, 43, 949-958. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2007.02.018 Bowman, J. (1987). Making Work Play. In G. A. Fine (Ed.), Meaningful Play, Playful Meanings (pp. 61-71). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. Bundy, A. (1996). Play and Playfulness: What to Look for. In D.L. Parham & L. S. Fazio (Eds.), Play in Occupational Therapy for Children (pp. 52−66). St. Louis, MO: Mosby. Chapman, J. (1978). Playfulness and the development of divergent thinking abilities. Child: Care, Health and Development, 4, 371-383. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2214.1978.tb00096.x Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1975). Play and intrinsic rewards. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 15, 41-63. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2214.1978.tb00096.x Dal, V. I. (2011). Tolkovyi Slovar Zhivogo Velikorusskogo Yazyka [Explanatory Dictionary of the Living Great Russian Language]: in four volumes. Moscow: Publishing house: Drofa. Glynn, M., & Webster, J. (1992). The adult playfulness scale: an initial assessment. Psychological Reports, 71(1), 83-103. https://doi.org/10.2466/pr0.1992.71.1.83 Gordienko-Mytrofanova, I., & Kobzieva, Iu. (2017). Playful competence: the access code to the inner resources. Proceedings of the 15th European Congress of Psychology Amsterdam, 11-14 July (19). Gordienko-Mytrofanova, I., Pidchasov, Ye., Sauta, S., & Kobzieva, Iu. (2018). The problem of sample representativeness for conducting experimental and broad psychological research. Psycholinguistics, 23(1), 11-46. doi: 10.5281/zenodo.1212360. Groos, K. (1976). The Play of Man: Teasing and Love-Play. In J. Brunner, A. Jolly, & K. Sylva (Eds.), Play, Development and Evolution (pp. 62–83). Middlesex, United Kingdom: Penguin Books. Guitard, P., Ferland, F. & Dutil, É. (2005). Toward a better understanding of playfulness in adults. OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health, 25(1), 9-22. https://doi.org/10.1177/153944920502500103. Кобзева, Ю., Гордиенко-Митрофанова, И., Гончаренко-Кулиш, А. (2020a). Определение шаловливости как компонента игровой компетентности через реконструкцию семантических элементов концепта «шаловливость». Проблеми сучасної психології, 47, 118-140. Kobzieva Iu., Gordienko-Mytrofanova I., Sauta S. (2020b). Psycholinguistic Features of Imagination as a Component of Ludic Competence. EUREKA: Social and Humanities. Psychology, 2, 15-23. http://dx.doi.org/10.21303/2504-5571.2020.001128 Kobzieva Iu., Gordienko-Mytrofanova I., Udovenko M., Sauta S. (2020c). Concept “humour” in the linguistic consciousness of the Russian-speaking population of Ukraine. European Journal of Humour Research, 8(1), 29-44. http://dx.doi.org/10.7592/EJHR2020.8.1.kobzieva Караулов Ю. Н., Черкасова Г. А., Уфимцева Н. В., Сорокин Ю. А., Тарасов Е. Ф. Русский ассоциативный словарь. В 2-х т. Т. I. От стимула к реакции: ок.7000 стимулов. М.: ООО «Издательство Астрель»: ООО Издательство АСТ». Караулов Ю. Н., Черкасова Г. А., Уфимцева Н. В., Сорокин Ю. А., Тарасов Е. Ф. Русский ассоциативный словарь. В 2-х т. Т. II. От реакции к стимулу: более 100 000 реакций. М.: ООО «Издательство Астрель»: ООО Издательство АСТ». Ожегов, С. И., Шведова, Н. Ю. (2011). Толковый словарь русского языка. Москва: Мир и образование, Оникс. Попова, З. Д., Стернин, И. А. (2007). Семантико-когнитивный анализ языка. Воронеж: Истоки. Proyer, R. (2012). Development and initial assessment of a short measure for adult playfulness: The SMAP. Personality and Individual Differences, 53(8), 989-994. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2012.07.018 Proyer, R. (2017). A new structural model for the study of adult playfulness: Assessment and exploration of an understudied individual differences variable. Personality and Individual Differences, 108, 113-122. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2016.12.011 Raven, J. (2001). The Conceptualisation of Competence. New York: Peter Lang Publishing,Inc. Schaefer, C. & Greenberg, R. (1997). Measurement of playfulness: a neglected therapist variable. International Journal of Play Therapy, 6(2), 21-31. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0089406 Shen, X. (2010). Adult Playfulness as a Personality Trait: Its Conceptualization, Measurement, and Relationship to Psychological Well-Being. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from Pennsylvania State University Library Catalog (OCLC No. 859524715). Shen, X., Chick, G. & Zinn, H. (2014). Playfulness in adulthood as a personality trait: a reconceptualization and a new measurement. Journal of Leisure Research, 46(1), 58-83. https://doi.org/10.1080/00222216.2014.11950313 Стернин, И. А., Рудакова, А. В. (2011). Психолингвистическое значение слова и его описание. Воронеж: Ламберт. Tsuji, Hit., Tsuji, Hei., Yamada, S., Natsuno, Y., Morita, Y., Mukoyama, Y., Hata, K. & Fujishima, Y. (1996). Standardization of the Five Factor Personality Questionnaire: Factor structure. International Journal of Psychology, 31. Proceedings from the XXVI International Congress of Psychology. Montreal, 16-21August. (103-217). Уфимцева, Н. (2009). Образ мира русских: системность и содержание. Язык и культура, 98-111. Ушаков, Д. Н. (1935-1940). Толковый словарь русского языка: в четырех томах. Москва: Сов.энциклопедия: ОГИЗ. Yarnal, C. & Qian, X. (2011). Older-adult playfulness: an innovative construct and measurement for healthy aging research. American Journal of Play, 4(1), 52-79. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ985548.pdf Ефремова, Т. Ф. (2000). Новый словарь русского языка. Толково-словообразовательный. Москва: Русский язык. Епишкин, Н. И. (2010). Историчесикй словарь галлицизмов русского языка. Москва: Словарное издательство ЭТС. Yue, X., Leung, C. & Hiranandani, N. (2016). Adult playfulness, humor styles, and subjective happiness. Psychological Reports, 119(3), 630-640. https://doi.org/10.1177/0033294116662842. Засекина, Л. В. (2008). Тенденції розвитку вітчизняної психолінгвістики: методологічний огляд проблем та окреслення шляхів їх вирішення. Психолінгвістика, 1. С. 9-20. Retrieved from: http://nbuv.gov.ua/UJRN/psling_2008_1_2. References (translated and transliterated) Barnett, L. (2007). The nature of playfulness in young adults. Personality and Individual Differences, 43, 949-958. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2007.02.018 Bowman, J. (1987). Making Work Play. In G. A. Fine (Ed.), Meaningful Play, Playful Meanings (pp. 61-71). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. Bundy, A. (1996). Play and Playfulness: What to Look for. In D.L. Parham & L. S. Fazio (Eds.), Play in Occupational Therapy for Children (pp. 52−66). St. Louis, MO: Mosby. Chapman, J. (1978). Playfulness and the development of divergent thinking abilities. Child: Care, Health and Development, 4, 371-383. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2214.1978.tb00096.x Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1975). Play and intrinsic rewards. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 15, 41-63. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2214.1978.tb00096.x Dal, V. I. (2011). Tolkovyi Slovar Zhivogo Velikorusskogo Yazyka [Explanatory Dictionary of the Living Great Russian Language]: in four volumes. Moscow: Publishing house: Drofa. Glynn, M., & Webster, J. (1992). The adult playfulness scale: an initial assessment. Psychological Reports, 71(1), 83-103. https://doi.org/10.2466/pr0.1992.71.1.83 Gordienko-Mytrofanova, I., & Kobzieva, Iu. (2017). Playful competence: the access code to the inner resources. Proceedings of the 15th European Congress of Psychology Amsterdam, 11-14 July (19). Gordienko-Mytrofanova, I., Pidchasov, Ye., Sauta, S., & Kobzieva, Iu. (2018). The problem of sample representativeness for conducting experimental and broad psychological research. Psycholinguistics, 23(1), 11-46. doi: 10.5281/zenodo.1212360. Groos, K. (1976). The Play of Man: Teasing and Love-Play. In J. Brunner, A. Jolly, & K. Sylva (Eds.), Play, Development and Evolution (pp. 62–83). Middlesex, United Kingdom: Penguin Books. Guitard, P., Ferland, F. & Dutil, É. (2005). Toward a better understanding of playfulness in adults. OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health, 25(1), 9-22. https://doi.org/10.1177/153944920502500103. Кобзева, Ю., Гордиенко-Митрофанова, И., Гончаренко-Кулиш, А. (2020a). Определение шаловливости как компонента игровой компетентности через реконструкцию семантических элементов концепта «шаловливость». Проблеми сучасної психології, 47, 118-140. Kobzieva, Iu., Gordienko-Mytrofanova, I., Goncharenko-Kulish, A. (2020a). Opredeleniie shalovlivosti kak komponenta igrovoi kompetentosti cherez rekonstruktsiiu semanticheskikh elementov kontsepta “shalovlivost” [Defining impishness as a component of ludic competence via restructuring semantic elements of the concept “impishness”]. Problemy Suchasnoi Psykholohii − Problems of Modern Psychology, 47, 118-140. https://doi.org/10.32626/2227-6246.2020-47 Kobzieva Iu., Gordienko-Mytrofanova I., Sauta S. (2020b). Psycholinguistic Features of Imagination as a Component of Ludic Competence. EUREKA: Social and Humanities. Psychology, 2, 15-23. http://dx.doi.org/10.21303/2504-5571.2020.001128 Kobzieva Iu., Gordienko-Mytrofanova I., Udovenko M., Sauta S. (2020c). Concept “humour” in the linguistic consciousness of the Russian-speaking population of Ukraine. European Journal of Humour Research, 8(1), 29-44. http://dx.doi.org/10.7592/EJHR2020.8.1.kobzieva Karaulov, Yu. N., Cherkasova, G. A., Ufimtseva, N. V., Sorokin, Yu. A., & Tarasov, Ye. F. (2002a). Russkii Assotsiativnyi Slovar [Russian Associative Vocabulary], Vol. 1. Ot reaktsii k stimulu [From Reaction to Stimulus], ca. 100000 reactions. Мoscow: LLC Astrel Publishers; LLC AST Publishers. Karaulov, Yu. N., Cherkasova, G. A., Ufimtseva, N. V., Sorokin, Yu. A., & Tarasov, Ye. F. (2002b). Russkii Assotsiativnyi Slovar [Russian Associative Vocabulary], Vol. 2. Ot stimula k reaktsii [From Stimulus to Reaction], ca. 7000 stimuli. Мoscow: LLC Astrel Publishers; LLC AST Publishers. Ожегов, С. И., Шведова, Н. Ю. (2011). Толковый словарь русского языка. Москва: Мир и образование, Оникс. Ozhegov, S. I. & Shvedova, N. Yu. (2011). Tolkovyi Slovar Russkogo Yazyka [Dictionary of Russian Language]. Мoscow: Mir i Obrazovaniie, Oniks. Попова, З. Д., Стернин, И. А. (2007). Семантико-когнитивный анализ языка. Воронеж: Истоки. Popova, Z. D. & Sternin, I. A. (2007). Semantiko-Kognitivnyi Analiz Yazyka [Semantic and Cognitive Analysis of Language]. Voronezh: Istoki. Proyer, R. (2012). Development and initial assessment of a short measure for adult playfulness: The SMAP. Personality and Individual Differences, 53(8), 989-994. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2012.07.018 Proyer, R. (2017). A new structural model for the study of adult playfulness: Assessment and exploration of an understudied individual differences variable. Personality and Individual Differences, 108, 113-122. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2016.12.011 Raven, J. (2001). The Conceptualisation of Competence. New York: Peter Lang Publishing,Inc. Schaefer, C. & Greenberg, R. (1997). Measurement of playfulness: a neglected therapist variable. International Journal of Play Therapy, 6(2), 21-31. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0089406 Shen, X. (2010). Adult Playfulness as a Personality Trait: Its Conceptualization, Measurement, and Relationship to Psychological Well-Being. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from Pennsylvania State University Library Catalog (OCLC No. 859524715). Shen, X., Chick, G. & Zinn, H. (2014). Playfulness in adulthood as a personality trait: a reconceptualization and a new measurement. Journal of Leisure Research, 46(1), 58-83. https://doi.org/10.1080/00222216.2014.11950313 Sternin, I. A., & Rudakova, A. V. (2011). Psikholingvisticheskoie znacheniie slova i yego opisaniie [Psycholinguistic meaning of the word and its description]. Voronezh: Lambert Tsuji, Hit., Tsuji, Hei., Yamada, S., Natsuno, Y., Morita, Y., Mukoyama, Y., Hata, K. & Fujishima, Y. (1996). Standardization of the Five Factor Personality Questionnaire: Factor structure. International Journal of Psychology, 31. Proceedings from the XXVI International Congress of Psychology. Montreal, 16-21August. (103-217). Ufimtseva, N. (2009). Obraz mira russkikh: sistemnost i soderzhaniie [Image of the world of Russians: the systemic characteristics and the content]. Yazyk i Kultura − Language and Culture, 98-111. Ushakov, D. N. (Ed.). (1935-1940). Tolkovyi Slovar Russkogo Yazyka [Dictionary of Russian Language]: in four volumes. Moscow: Sov. Encyclopedia: OGIZ. http://feb-web.ru/feb/ushakov/ush-abc/0ush.htm Yarnal, C. & Qian, X. (2011). Older-adult playfulness: an innovative construct and measurement for healthy aging research. American Journal of Play, 4(1), 52-79. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ985548.pdf Yefremova, T. F. (2000). Novyi Slovar Russkogo Yazyka. Tolkovo-Slovoobrazovatelnyi [New Dictionary of the Russian Language. Interpretative and Derivational]. Moscow: Russkii yazyk. https://www.efremova.info/ Yepishkin, N. I. (2010). Istoricheskii slovar gallitsizmov russkogo yazyka [Historical Dictionary of Gallicisms in the Russian Language]. Moscow: ETS Dictionary Publishing House. Retrieved from: http://rus-yaz.niv.ru/doc/gallism-dictionary/index.htm Yue, X., Leung, C. & Hiranandani, N. (2016). Adult playfulness, humor styles, and subjective happiness. Psychological Reports, 119(3), 630-640. https://doi.org/10.1177/0033294116662842. Zasiekina, L. V. (2008). Tendentsiii rozvytku vitchyznianoii psykholingvistyky: metodolohichnyi ohliad problem ta okreslennia shlyakhiv yikh vyrishennia [Trends in the development of national psycholinguistics: a methodological overview of problems and outlining ways to solve them]. Psycholinguistics, 1, 9-20. Retrieved from: http://nbuv.gov.ua/UJRN/psling_2008_1_2.

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Leurs, Koen, and Sandra Ponzanesi. "Mediated Crossroads: Youthful Digital Diasporas." M/C Journal 14, no.2 (November17, 2010). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.324.

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What strikes me about the habits of the people who spend so much time on the Net—well, it’s so new that we don't know what will come next—is in fact precisely how niche in character it is. You ask people what nets they are on, and they’re all so specialised! The Argentines on the Argentine Net and so forth. And it’s particularly the Argentines who are not in Argentina. (Anderson, in Gower, par. 5) The preceding quotation, taken from his 1996 interview with Eric Gower, sees Benedict Anderson reflecting on the formation of imagined, transnational communities on the Internet. Anderson is, of course, famous for his work on how nationalism, as an “imagined community,” gets constructed through the shared consumption of print media (6-7, 26-27); although its readers will never all see each other face to face, people consuming a newspaper or novel in a shared language perceive themselves as members of a collective. In this more recent interview, Anderson recognised the specific groupings of people in online communities: Argentines who find themselves outside of Argentina link up online in an imagined diaspora community. Over the course of the last decade and a half since Anderson spoke about Argentinian migrants and diaspora communities, we have witnessed an exponential growth of new forms of digital communication, including social networking sites (e.g. Facebook), Weblogs, micro-blogging (e.g. Twitter), and video-sharing sites (e.g. YouTube). Alongside these new means of communication, our current epoch of globalisation is also characterised by migration flows across, and between, all continents. In his book Modernity at Large, Arjun Appadurai recognised that “the twin forces of mass migration and electronic mediation” have altered the ways the imagination operates. Furthermore, these two pillars, human motion and digital mediation, are in constant “flux” (44). The circulation of people and digitally mediatised content proceeds across and beyond boundaries of the nation-state and provides ground for alternative community and identity formations. Appadurai’s intervention has resulted in increasing awareness of local, transnational, and global networking flows of people, ideas, and culturally hybrid artefacts. In this article, we analyse the various innovative tactics taken up by migrant youth to imagine digital diasporas. Inspired by scholars such as Appadurai, Avtar Brah and Paul Gilroy, we tease out—from a postcolonial perspective—how digital diasporas have evolved over time from a more traditional understanding as constituted either by a vertical relationship to a distant homeland or a horizontal connection to the scattered transnational community (see Safran, Cohen) to move towards a notion of “hypertextual diaspora.” With hypertextual diaspora, these central axes which constitute the understanding of diaspora are reshuffled in favour of more rhizomatic formations where affiliations, locations, and spaces are constantly destabilised and renegotiated. Needless to say, diasporas are not hom*ogeneous and resist generalisation, but in this article we highlight common ways in which young migrant Internet users renew the practices around diaspora connections. Drawing from research on various migrant populations around the globe, we distinguish three common strategies: (1) the forging of transnational public spheres, based on maintaining virtual social relations by people scattered across the globe; (2) new forms of digital diasporic youth branding; and (3) the cultural production of innovative hypertexts in the context of more rhizomatic digital diaspora formations. Before turning to discuss these three strategies, the potential of a postcolonial framework to recognise multiple intersections of diaspora and digital mediation is elaborated. Hypertext as a Postcolonial Figuration Postcolonial scholars, Appadurai, Gilroy, and Brah among others, have been attentive to diasporic experiences, but they have paid little attention to the specificity of digitally mediated diaspora experiences. As Maria Fernández observes, postcolonial studies have been “notoriously absent from electronic media practice, theory, and criticism” (59). Our exploration of what happens when diasporic youth go online is a first step towards addressing this gap. Conceptually, this is clearly an urgent need since diasporas and the digital inform each other in the most profound and dynamic of ways: “the Internet virtually recreates all those sites which have metaphorically been eroded by living in the diaspora” (Ponzanesi, “Diasporic Narratives” 396). Writings on the Internet tend to favour either the “gold-rush” mentality, seeing the Web as a great equaliser and bringer of neoliberal progress for all, or the more pessimistic/technophobic approach, claiming that technologically determined spaces are exclusionary, white by default, masculine-oriented, and heteronormative (Everett 30, Van Doorn and Van Zoonen 261). For example, the recent study by Ito et al. shows that young people are not interested in merely performing a fiction in a parallel online world; rather, the Internet gets embedded in their everyday reality (Ito et al. 19-24). Real-life commercial incentives, power hierarchies, and hegemonies also get extended to the digital realm (Schäfer 167-74). Online interaction remains pre-structured, based on programmers’ decisions and value-laden algorithms: “people do not need a passport to travel in cyberspace but they certainly do need to play by the rules in order to function electronically” (Ponzanesi, “Diasporic Narratives” 405). We began our article with a statement by Benedict Anderson, stressing how people in the Argentinian diaspora find their space on the Internet. Online avenues increasingly allow users to traverse and add hyperlinks to their personal websites in the forms of profile pages, the publishing of preferences, and possibilities of participating in and affiliating with interest-based communities. Online journals, social networking sites, streaming audio/video pages, and online forums are all dynamic hypertexts based on Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) coding. HTML is the protocol of documents that refer to each other, constituting the backbone of the Web; every text that you find on the Internet is connected to a web of other texts through hyperlinks. These links are in essence at equal distance from each other. As well as being a technological device, hypertext is also a metaphor to think with. Figuratively speaking, hypertext can be understood as a non-hierarchical and a-centred modality. Hypertext incorporates multiplicity; different pathways are possible simultaneously, as it has “multiple entryways and exits” and it “connects any point to any other point” (Landow 58-61). Feminist theorist Donna Haraway recognised the dynamic character of hypertext: “the metaphor of hypertext insists on making connections as practice.” However, she adds, “the trope does not suggest which connections make sense for which purposes and which patches we might want to follow or avoid.” We can begin to see the value of approaching the Internet from the perspective of hypertext to make an “inquiry into which connections matter, why, and for whom” (128-30). Postcolonial scholar Jaishree K. Odin theorised how hypertextual webs might benefit subjects “living at the borders.” She describes how subaltern subjects, by weaving their own hypertextual path, can express their multivocality and negotiate cultural differences. She connects the figure of hypertext with that of the postcolonial: The hypertextual and the postcolonial are thus part of the changing topology that maps the constantly shifting, interpenetrating, and folding relations that bodies and texts experience in information culture. Both discourses are characterised by multivocality, multilinearity, openendedness, active encounter, and traversal. (599) These conceptions of cyberspace and its hypertextual foundations coalesce with understandings of “in-between”, “third”, and “diaspora media space” as set out by postcolonial theorists such as Bhabha and Brah. Bhabha elaborates on diaspora as a space where different experiences can be articulated: “These ‘in-between’ spaces provide the terrain for elaborating strategies of selfhood—singular or communal—that initiate new signs of identity, and innovative sites of collaboration, and contestation (4). (Dis-)located between the local and the global, Brah adds: “diaspora space is the point at which boundaries of inclusion and exclusion, of belonging and otherness, of ‘us’ and ‘them,’ are contested” (205). As youths who were born in the diaspora have begun to manifest themselves online, digital diasporas have evolved from transnational public spheres to differential hypertexts. First, we describe how transnational public spheres form one dimension of the mediation of diasporic experiences. Subsequently, we focus on diasporic forms of youth branding and hypertext aesthetics to show how digitally mediated practices can go beyond and transgress traditional formations of diasporas as vertically connected to a homeland and horizontally distributed in the creation of transnational public spheres. Digital Diasporas as Diasporic Public Spheres Mass migration and digital mediation have led to a situation where relationships are maintained over large geographical distances, beyond national boundaries. The Internet is used to create transnational imagined audiences formed by dispersed people, which Appadurai describes as “diasporic public spheres”. He observes that, as digital media “increasingly link producers and audiences across national boundaries, and as these audiences themselves start new conversations between those who move and those who stay, we find a growing number of diasporic public spheres” (22). Media and communication researchers have paid a lot of attention to this transnational dimension of the networking of dispersed people (see Brinkerhoff, Alonso and Oiarzabal). We focus here on three examples from three different continents. Most famously, media ethnographers Daniel Miller and Don Slater focused on the Trinidadian diaspora. They describe how “de Rumshop Lime”, a collective online chat room, is used by young people at home and abroad to “lime”, meaning to chat and hang out. Describing the users of the chat, “the webmaster [a Trini living away] proudly proclaimed them to have come from 40 different countries” (though massively dominated by North America) (88). Writing about people in the Greek diaspora, communication researcher Myria Georgiou traced how its mediation evolved from letters, word of mouth, and bulletins to satellite television, telephone, and the Internet (147). From the introduction of the Web, globally dispersed people went online to get in contact with each other. Meanwhile, feminist film scholar Anna Everett draws on the case of Naijanet, the virtual community of “Nigerians Living Abroad”. She shows how Nigerians living in the diaspora from the 1990s onwards connected in global transnational communities, forging “new black public spheres” (35). These studies point at how diasporic people have turned to the Internet to establish and maintain social relations, give and receive support, and share general concerns. Establishing transnational communicative networks allows users to imagine shared audiences of fellow diasporians. Diasporic imagination, however, goes beyond singular notions of this more traditional idea of the transnational public sphere, as it “has nowadays acquired a great figurative flexibility which mostly refers to practices of transgression and hybridisation” (Ponzanesi, “Diasporic Subjects” 208). Below we recognise another dimension of digital diasporas: the articulation of diasporic attachment for branding oneself. Mocro and Nikkei: Diasporic Attachments as a Way to Brand Oneself In this section, we consider how hybrid cultural practices are carried out over geographical distances. Across spaces on the Web, young migrants express new forms of belonging in their dealing with the oppositional motivations of continuity and change. The generational specificity of this experience can be drawn out on the basis of the distinction between “roots” and “routes” made by Paul Gilroy. In his seminal book The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness, Gilroy writes about black populations on both sides of the Atlantic. The double consciousness of migrant subjects is reflected by affiliating roots and routes as part of a complex cultural identification (19 and 190). As two sides of the same coin, roots refer to the stable and continuing elements of identities, while routes refer to disruption and change. Gilroy criticises those who are “more interested in the relationship of identity to roots and rootedness than in seeing identity as a process of movement and mediation which is more appropriately approached via the hom*onym routes” (19). He stresses the importance of not just focusing on one of either roots or routes but argues for an examination of their interplay. Forming a response to discrimination and exclusion, young migrants in online networks turn to more positive experiences such as identification with one’s heritage inspired by generational specific cultural affiliations. Here, we focus on two examples that cross two continents, showing routed online attachments to “be(com)ing Mocro”, and “be(coming) Nikkei”. Figure 1. “Leipe Mocro Flavour” music video (Ali B) The first example, being and becoming “Mocro”, refers to a local, bi-national consciousness. The term Mocro originated on the streets of the Netherlands during the late 1990s and is now commonly understood as a Dutch honorary nickname for youths with Moroccan roots living in the Netherlands and Belgium. A 2003 song, Leipe mocro flavour (“Crazy Mocro Flavour”) by Moroccan-Dutch rapper Ali B, familiarised a larger group of people with the label (see Figure 1). Ali B’s song is exemplary for a wider community of youngsters who have come to identify themselves as Mocros. One example is the Marokkanen met Brainz – Hyves (Mo), a community page within the Dutch social networking site Hyves. On this page, 2,200 youths who identify as Mocro get together to push against common stereotypes of Moroccan-Dutch boys as troublemakers and thieves and Islamic Moroccan-Dutch girls as veiled carriers of backward traditions (Leurs, forthcoming). Its description reads, “I assume that this Hyves will be the largest [Mocro community]. Because logically Moroccans have brains” (our translation): What can you find here? Discussions about politics, religion, current affairs, history, love and relationships. News about Moroccan/Arabic Parties. And whatever you want to tell others. Use your brains. Second, “Nikkei” directs our attention to Japanese migrants and their descendants. The Discover Nikkei website, set up by the Japanese American National Museum, provides a revealing description of being and becoming Nikkei: As Nikkei communities form in Japan and throughout the world, the process of community formation reveals the ongoing fluidity of Nikkei populations, the evasive nature of Nikkei identity, and the transnational dimensions of their community formations and what it means to be Nikkei. (Japanese American National Museum) This site was set up by the Japanese American National Museum for Nikkei in the global diaspora to connect and share stories. Nikkei youths of course also connect elsewhere. In her ethnographic online study, Shana Aoyama found that the social networking site Hi5 is taken up in Peru by young people of Japanese heritage as an avenue for identity exploration. She found group confirmation based on the performance of Nikkei-ness, as well as expressions of individuality. She writes, “instead of heading in one specific direction, the Internet use of Nikkei creates a starburst shape of identity construction and negotiation” (119). Mocro-ness and Nikkei-ness are common collective identification markers that are not just straightforward nationalisms. They refer back to different homelands, while simultaneously they also clearly mark one’s situation of being routed outside of this homeland. Mocro stems from postcolonial migratory flows from the Global South to the West. Nikkei-ness relates to the interesting case of the Japanese diaspora, which is little accounted for, although there are many Japanese communities present in North and South America from before the Second World War. The context of Peru is revealing, as it was the first South American country to accept Japanese migrants. It now hosts the second largest South American Japanese diaspora after Brazil (Lama), and Peru’s former president, Alberto Fujimoro, is also of Japanese origin. We can see how the importance of the nation-state gets blurred as diasporic youth, through cultural hybridisation of youth culture and ethnic ties, initiates subcultures and offers resistance to mainstream western cultural forms. Digital spaces are used to exert youthful diaspora branding. Networked branding includes expressing cultural identities that are communal and individual but also both local and global, illustrative of how “by virtue of being global the Internet can gift people back their sense of themselves as special and particular” (Miller and Slater 115). In the next section, we set out how youthful diaspora branding is part of a larger, more rhizomatic formation of multivocal hypertext aesthetics. Hypertext Aesthetics In this section, we set out how an in-between, or “liminal”, position, in postcolonial theory terms, can be a source of differential and multivocal cultural production. Appadurai, Bhabha, and Gilroy recognise that liminal positions increasingly leave their mark on the global and local flows of cultural objects, such as food, cinema, music, and fashion. Here, our focus is on how migrant youths turn to hypertextual forms of cultural production for a differential expression of digital diasporas. Hypertexts are textual fields made up of hyperlinks. Odin states that travelling through cyberspace by clicking and forging hypertext links is a form of multivocal digital diaspora aesthetics: The perpetual negotiation of difference that the border subject engages in creates a new space that demands its own aesthetic. This new aesthetic, which I term “hypertext” or “postcolonial,” represents the need to switch from the linear, univocal, closed, authoritative aesthetic involving passive encounters characterising the performance of the same to that of non-linear, multivocal, open, non-hierarchical aesthetic involving active encounters that are marked by repetition of the same with and in difference. (Cited in Landow 356-7) On their profile pages, migrant youth digitally author themselves in distinct ways by linking up to various sites. They craft their personal hypertext. These hypertexts display multivocal diaspora aesthetics which are personal and specific; they display personal intersections of affiliations that are not easily generalisable. In several Dutch-language online spaces, subjects from Dutch-Moroccan backgrounds have taken up the label Mocro as an identity marker. Across social networking sites such as Hyves and Facebook, the term gets included in nicknames and community pages. Think of nicknames such as “My own Mocro styly”, “Mocro-licious”, “Mocro-chick”. The term Mocro itself is often already multilayered, as it is often combined with age, gender, sexual preference, religion, sport, music, and generationally specific cultural affiliations. Furthermore, youths connect to a variety of groups ranging from feminist interests (“Women in Charge”), Dutch nationalism (“I Love Holland”), ethnic affiliations (“The Moroccan Kitchen”) to clothing (the brand H&M), and global junk food (McDonalds). These diverse affiliations—that are advertised online simultaneously—add nuance to the typical, one-dimensional stereotype about migrant youth, integration, and Islam in the context of Europe and Netherlands (Leurs, forthcoming). On the online social networking site Hi5, Nikkei youths in Peru, just like any other teenagers, express their individuality by decorating their personal profile page with texts, audio, photos, and videos. Besides personal information such as age, gender, and school information, Aoyama found that “a starburst” of diverse affiliations is published, including those that signal Japanese-ness such as the Hello Kitty brand, anime videos, Kanji writing, kimonos, and celebrities. Also Nikkei hyperlink to elements that can be identified as “Latino” and “Chino” (Chinese) (104-10). Furthermore, users can show their multiple affiliations by joining different “groups” (after which a hyperlink to the group community appears on the profile page). Aoyama writes “these groups stretch across a large and varied scope of topics, including that of national, racial/ethnic, and cultural identities” (2). These examples illustrate how digital diasporas encompass personalised multivocal hypertexts. With the widely accepted adagio “you are what you link” (Adamic and Adar), hypertextual webs can be understood as productions that reveal how diasporic youths choose to express themselves as individuals through complex sets of non-hom*ogeneous identifications. Migrant youth connects to ethnic origin and global networks in eclectic and creative ways. The concept of “digital diaspora” therefore encapsulates both material and virtual (dis)connections that are identifiable through common traits, strategies, and aesthetics. Yet these hypertextual connections are also highly personalised and unique, offering a testimony to the fluid negotiations and intersections between the local and the global, the rooted and the diasporic. Conclusions In this article, we have argued that migrant youths render digital diasporas more complex by including branding and hypertextual aesthetics in transnational public spheres. Digital diasporas may no longer be understood simply in terms of their vertical relations to a homeland or place of origin or as horizontally connected to a clearly marked transnational community; rather, they must also be seen as engaging in rhizomatic digital practices, which reshuffle traditional understandings of origin and belonging. Contemporary youthful digital diasporas are therefore far more complex in their engagement with digital media than most existing theory allows: connections are hybridised, and affiliations are turned into practices of diasporic branding and becoming. There is a generational specificity to multivocal diaspora aesthetics; this specificity lies in the ways migrant youths show communal recognition and express their individuality through hypertext which combines affiliation to their national/ethnic “roots” with an embrace of other youth subcultures, many of them transnational. These two axes are constantly reshuffled and renegotiated online where, thanks to the technological possibilities of HTML hypertext, a whole range of identities and identifications may be brought together at any given time. We trust that these insights will be of interest in future discussion of online networks, transnational communities, identity formation, and hypertext aesthetics where much urgent and topical work remains to be done. References Adamic, Lada A., and Eytan Adar. “You Are What You Link.” 2001 Tenth International World Wide Web Conference, Hong Kong. 26 Apr. 2010. ‹http://www10.org/program/society/yawyl/YouAreWhatYouLink.htm›. Ali B. “Leipe Mocro Flavour.” ALIB.NL / SPEC Entertainment. 2007. 4 Oct. 2010 ‹http://www3.alib.nl/popupAlibtv.php?catId=42&contentId=544›. Alonso, Andoni, and Pedro J. Oiarzabal. Diasporas in the New Media Age. Reno: U of Nevada P, 2010. Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. Rev. ed. London: Verso, 2006 (1983). Aoyama, Shana. Nikkei-Ness: A Cyber-Ethnographic Exploration of Identity among the Japanese Peruvians of Peru. Unpublished MA thesis. South Hadley: Mount Holyoke, 2007. 1 Feb. 2010 ‹http://hdl.handle.net/10166/736›. Appadurai, Arjun. Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1996. Bhabha, Homi. The Location of Culture. New York: Routledge, 1994. Brah, Avtar. Cartographies of Diaspora: Contesting Identities. London: Routledge, 1996. Brinkerhoff, Jennifer M. Digital Diasporas: Identity and Transnational Engagement. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2009. Cohen, Robin. Global Diasporas: An Introduction. London: U College London P, 1997. Everett, Anna. Digital Diaspora: A Race for Cyberspace. Albany: SUNY, 2009. Fernández, María. “Postcolonial Media Theory.” Art Journal 58.3 (1999): 58-73. Georgiou, Myria. Diaspora, Identity and the Media: Diasporic Transnationalism and Mediated Spatialities. Creskill: Hampton Press, 2006. Gilroy, Paul. The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness. London: Verso, 1993. Gower, Eric. “When the Virtual Becomes the Real: A Talk with Benedict Anderson.” NIRA Review, 1996. 19 Apr. 2010 ‹http://www.nira.or.jp/past/publ/review/96spring/intervi.html›. Haraway, Donna. Modest Witness@Second Millennium. FemaleMan Meets OncoMouse: Feminism and Technoscience. New York: Routledge, 1997. Ito, Mizuko, et al. Hanging Out, Messing Out, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2010. Japanese American National Museum. “Discover Nikkei: Japanese Migrants and Their Descendants.” Discover Nikkei, 2005. 4 Oct. 2010. ‹http://www.discovernikkei.org/en/›. Lama, Abraham. “Home Is Where the Heartbreak Is for Japanese-Peruvians.” Asia Times 16 Oct. 1999. 6 May 2010 ‹http://www.atimes.com/japan-econ/AJ16Dh01.html›. Landow, George P. Hypertext 3.0. Critical Theory and New Media in an Era of Globalization. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 2006. Leurs, Koen. Identity, Migration and Digital Media. Utrecht: Utrecht University. PhD Thesis, forthcoming. Miller, Daniel, and Don Slater. The Internet: An Etnographic Approach. Oxford: Berg, 2000. Mo. “Marokkanen met Brainz.” Hyves, 23 Feb. 2008. 4 Oct. 2010. ‹http://marokkaansehersens.hyves.nl/›. Odin, Jaishree K. “The Edge of Difference: Negotiations between the Hypertextual and the Postcolonial.” Modern Fiction Studies 43.3 (1997): 598-630. Ponzanesi, Sandra. “Diasporic Narratives @ Home Pages: The Future as Virtually Located.” Colonies – Missions – Cultures in the English-Speaking World. Ed. Gerhard Stilz. Tübingen: Stauffenburg, 2001. 396–406. Ponzanesi, Sandra. “Diasporic Subjects and Migration.” Thinking Differently: A Reader in European Women's Studies. Ed. Gabrielle Griffin and Rosi Braidotti. London: Zed Books, 2002. 205–20. Safran, William. “Diasporas in Modern Societies: Myths of Homeland and Return.” Diaspora 1.1 (1991): 83-99. Schäfer, Mirko T. Bastard Culture! How User Participation Transforms Cultural Production. Amsterdam: Amsterdam UP, 2011. Van Doorn, Niels, and Liesbeth van Zoonen. “Theorizing Gender and the Internet: Past, Present, and Future.” Routledge Handbook of Internet Politics. Ed. Andrew Chadwick and Philip N. Howard. London: Routledge. 261-74.

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Ensor, Jason. "666 Ways to Ambush the Future." M/C Journal 2, no.9 (January1, 2000). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1822.

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For some time, I have been concerned with uses and abuses of the future, how the exchange of temporally loaded language through conversation and text affects the pace, moods and behaviour of individuals, communities, cultures and civilisations. I am equally curious about Christianity which as a narrative structure begins with creation but awaits a conclusion. Whether it is religions announcing ten-point plans to attain paradise quickly, or cults encouraging group passes to heaven through suicide, it is the future end that counts. Whether it be ego-theologists -- as I prefer to call those pastors who proclaim the 'you are/they are god' creed -- scalping spiritual quick-fixes at the local entertainment centre, with a McDonald's-like serving of 'Would you like a blessing with that?', or the visiting soulwinner from New South Wales distributing 'Mark of the Beast' warning pamphlets, the future conclusion of the Christian narrative plays the lead. I cannot disguise my discomfort with the salvation franchises or merchants who market pre-fabricated responses to the Christian apocalyptic narrative, curiously shaped by contemporary circ*mstances, and who profit excessively from such business. Many times I wonder what dubious purposes their perception of the future is put to. Surviving Armageddon, it appears, can provide a diverse source of mobilisation for many. With such prominence in the everyday topics of public and mainstream dialogue, our age is the first historical period where the marginal phenomenon of apocalyptism has moved from the edge of society to its present-day popular near-centre. Money, I dare say, is made from such a shift. Ego-theologists are keen to boast the vices of contemporary society that are bringing apocalypse while conveniently offering the hefty-priced product that upon purchase will begin the process of surviving the end. It is no accident that the narrower the definition of salvation, the more specialised the rituals for attaining it, the qualifications for distributing it and the exclusivity for keeping it. Such restrictions place the power of salvation into the hands of a small number of people who make available -- upon specialised or ritualised request -- the means to lease it. I use the word lease because salvation is never completely settled. Instead, a symbolic contract is achieved between the franchise and the seeker in which salvation is conveyed to the seeker for a specified period but usually in exchange for membership and often mental and financial obligation. If the seeker breaks the contract, salvation is lost. Jehovah's Witnesses call this act of severance 'disfellowshipping' and the seeker is designated by continuing followers of Watchtower as an 'apostate', as one against the almighty creator. Many ex-witnesses are emotionally scared by this devastating, violent act of seemingly removing salvation. In this sense, a small elite using exclusive language and narrow definitions and who therefore monopolise the forms and the senses of achieving salvation habitually frame salvation and the rituals of being saved from a monstrous future. Who benefits and who is disempowered by the agenda being set in this manner? Why are only selected people able to lease directions to the road of salvation with maps that periodically imply the master planner has changed compass, be it the secular salvation from ecological doom or theological salvation from the damnable mark of the beast? Saving a person from the antichrist has today become a robust industry. Religious entrepreneurs proliferate their scriptural shandies and spiritual quick-fixes to the middle-class disheartened with the expertise of experienced confidence tricksters and the finesse of door-to-door selling. Subscribe to a local salvation franchise of the 'gospel of wealth' variety found marketing in the early morning hours of Australian televangelism and a continual stream of ministrations will arrive in the mail replete with US postage markings and external messages warning you and your postie: 'This envelope contains important information the devil hopes you will never find out!', 'Eight things you need to know before the new millennium', 'Has Y2K plunged us into a countdown to chaos? Don't panic -- prepare and trust God!' or 'Unleash the power of your faith!'. Content will vary across a range of marketable approaches. Two recent postings I received from the same franchise respectively presented a 4-5 page personalised letter requesting I purchase 'dynamic ministry materials' like Your Y2K New Millennium Survival Personal Library Kit for an appropriate 'seed harvest' of $165.99. This reflected fair market value, naturally, on 'powerful' items including The Antichrist: 666 video, a three audio tape set called End Time Signs and the Book of Revelation Comic Book. An explanation sheet was also included for explaining the rituals required to activate an enclosed 'miracle touch' 2-inch square cloth, apparently anointed -- touched in a supernatural way -- by a special class of persons self-identified as 'prayer warriors'. Some packages have reflected telegram-style formatting to 'emphasize the great URGENCY' felt by a pastor 'that many of you may be on the verge of falling apart or feeling absolutely overwhelmed by fear, anger, depression, rejection, worry' and who desperately require a newly-released 'powerful book of wisdom' to overcome personal tribulation and to successfully 'rebuke the devil'. Often, correspondence signed from the pastor displays these excesses of individual concern, claims of divine new revelation blended with unbiblical doses of numerological deduction. The accompanying letter to my Y2K Personal Request Sheet begins: 'Dear Jason, you are now reading a letter that had to be sent to you ... Yes, the Lord told me to prepare this ... He gave me a vivid, supernatural glimpse of the miracle difference this one letter could make in your life ... especially in this year of 1999 ... See it as your year of double fruitfulness'. What role does this type of 'future-thinking' and others play in Australian forms of hope and expectation? Can we establish a discourse of ethics regarding the use or abuse of future mythology? And how might we engage studies of the future in the historical and sociological disciplines which would see the future as itself: a theory with very particular ideological and metaphysical investments; an address to the present, transforming it into the fulfillment of the future we aim to aspire to; and, often, as a tool or weapon which has been waved about for some form of gain? To answer these questions requires us to place ourselves in a position to see something of the design and construction of contemporary futures as an invented thing with specific limitations. George Orwell's famous and relevant exploration of the future in 1984 is the story of Winston Smith's rebellion against the Party, of his hatred towards Big Brother and the thoughtcrime. On page thirty-four, Winston reflects on the perpetual state of war that has existed between Oceania and Eurasia: 'The Party said that Oceania had never been in alliance with Eurasia ... But where did that knowledge exist? Only in his own consciousness ... if all the others accepted the lie which the party imposed if all records told the same tale, then the lie passed into history and became truth. "Who controls the past," ran the Party slogan, "controls the future: who controls the present controls the past." It was quite simple. All that was needed was an unending series of victories over your own memory. "Reality control," they called it; in Newspeak, "doublethink."' Transposing the direction of Orwell's commentary, from a control of knowledge about the past to a monopoly control of future mythology, provides more than just an occasional point. To paraphrase, I would like to suggest that: 'Who controls the future controls the present. And that all is needed is an unending series of victories over your imagination'. In futurespeak, that is, the language and discursive strategies used to talk and think about the future, I call this 'thinkphobia'. Alvin Toffler, in his successful sociological trilogy, describes the cultural fallout from overchoice and the dangerous discrepancies between society's technological accelerative thrust and the pace of our individual adaptive abilities. This peculiar state results in what Toffler defines as future shock; that is, an overload of our individual decision-making processes from the demands of choice that we simply cannot tolerate. Thinkphobia, as an analogy to thoughtcrime, is one step removed: it is the fear we develop of choice, of options in the future and it is not, I suspect, limited to doomsayers. For members of Watchtower (Jehovah's Witnesses), the present is probed only in the interests of the future and they project only one intended and necessary future, squashing coherent, intellectual responses to it, closing alternatives to active public and popular debate. The future as promoted by Watchtower is totalist, monocultural, and biblically sealed, closed to individual modification, to the extent that a handbook 'Reasoning from the Scriptures' can provide the dialogue that accompanies their knock at your door. But, I wonder, are the future-systems of our societies any different in their application? What I'm suggest here is that the secular billions of people today who are either implicitly or explicitly coerced to reckon the future and time in ways they did not choose is highly questionable. While we may scoff at the witness who has their dialogue mapped out and a sense of the future pre-structured for them, should we ourselves spend much time exchanging talk about things called the 'millennium' and the year 2000, encouraging other cultures to share our enthusiasm, much like a cultist would promote their pattern of future for emulating? In other words, when our societies are diversifying culturally, socially and intellectually, why is our concept of the future hom*ogenising, almost, dare I suggest, in cultic mimicry? The approach of the year 2000/2001AD seems to evoke excess response from Christian groups throughout Australia. But can a culture of apocalypse or a cult of the future -- that is, a philosophically sealed community deriving identity from its expectation of doom in the future -- be limited to popular, extra-societal ideas of cult? A 'cult of the future' could be described as a community of people, which embraces a particular system of linear time reckoning as part of its cultural and/or social code, which encourages (either explicitly or implicitly) and sustains specialised activity as supplication to some qualitative or quantitative 'future'. A 'cult of the future', to draw from sociological literature, does not adhere to the possibility of unforeseen occurrence but rather devotes itself to a presumed unalterable and necessary future to which all current activity and thought seems conditional upon it. I wonder whether the term 'cult of the future' can be applied to a whole society and not just to the small evangelical cult based in the outer suburbs, which studiously awaits the end of the world. Can a cult of the future, traditionally applied to an unconventional extra-societal gathering, include society itself? How our societies conceive of the future may be different in content and style to evangelical and theological communities, but could the aim be similar? Whether it is a social reformer or a cult leader, is the process the same in the way future mythology is constructed? Could future-oriented systems conceivably sit alongside the systems of more controversial groups like Heaven's Gate or Jehovah's Witnesses as related efforts of installing pre-organised future-mythology into the mindset of a group of receptive people? To interrogate the monopolisation of future mythology by the leading mythmakers and the salvation merchants, whose greatest tool is the rumour of what we fear and whose largest assets are the hopes of seekers, is to begin reclaiming responsibility about the future. It is to reclaim meaning for an individual long-term present that would otherwise be lonely in the crowd of social, commercial and regulated short-term futures. Futures thinking should encourage us to ponder what part of ourselves goes on to the future and it should initiate a strong sense of responsibility to prospective generations: it should not invite us to consider what books or tapes to purchase in order to survive the various doomsday scenarios marketed at us. To interrogate the monopolisation of future mythology by the leading mythmakers and the salvation merchants, whose greatest tool is the rumour of what we fear and whose largest assets are the hopes of seekers, is to begin reclaiming responsibility about the future. It is to reclaim meaning for an individual long-term present that would otherwise be lonely in the crowd of social, commercial and regulated short-term futures. Futures thinking should encourage us to ponder what part of ourselves goes on to the future and it should initiate a strong sense of responsibility to prospective generations: it should not invite us to consider what books or tapes to purchase in order to survive the various doomsday scenarios marketed at us. Citation reference for this article MLA style: Jason Ensor. "666 Ways to Ambush the Future." M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 2.9 (2000). [your date of access] <http://www.uq.edu.au/mc/0001/666.php>. Chicago style: Jason Ensor, "666 Ways to Ambush the Future," M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 2, no. 9 (2000), <http://www.uq.edu.au/mc/0001/666.php> ([your date of access]). APA style: Jason Ensor. (2000) 666 ways to ambush the future. M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 2(9). <http://www.uq.edu.au/mc/0001/666.php> ([your date of access]).

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Firth, Julie. "Ineradicable Stain." M/C Journal 9, no.5 (November1, 2006). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2659.

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For almost thirty years I have been an artist working predominantly in photography. My primary preoccupation has been to devise a visual language that expresses as closely as possible my experience of the interface between conscious and unconscious experience. This exploration has occurred on two fronts: in my production of artwork and in my analytic experiences. From the outset, the two have been inextricably linked and, over the years, have fuelled progress in both arenas. While certain themes have remained constant throughout my career, for the past eight years my investigations have been circling the territory of desire. I have been addressing this territory in one way or another since my career began, but it wasn’t until my previous body of work, Fall from Grace, and my current body of work, Stain, that the address became direct. These two bodies of work also marked the introduction of a new medium, video, into my practice. There is a long and rich historical relationship between psychoanalysis and cinema that formed the basis for my decision to work with video. These ideas are cogently expressed by film critic Vicky Lebeau: it [cinema] is a type of mime of both mind and world….Breaking from the confines of photography and theatre, it is unique in its representation of an abundant world in motion….There is a persistent sense that cinema imitates the movement of the mind, that there is a correspondence (however elusive) to be discovered between psyche and cinema. Stain is a multimedia installation that integrates still and moving image within each work. In Stain, the idea of introducing the video screen into the work itself was particularly relevant to my ongoing investigation into the issue of desire. This investigation was fuelled by Jacques Lacan’s thinking around desire. Slavoj Žižek in his book, Looking Awry, An Introduction to Jacques Lacan Through Popular Culture states: fantasy space functions as an empty surface, as a kind of screen for the projection of desires: the fascinating presence of its positive contents does nothing but fill out a certain emptiness (8) … It is precisely (and only) the logic of desire that belies the notorious wisdom that ‘nothing comes from nothing’: in the movement of desire, ‘something comes from nothing. (11) Lacan’s notion of reality is one of fabrication, construct—the result of the symbolisation process and induction through language. The Lacanian real, by contrast is the stuff of unconscious experience, a ‘grey and formless mist, pulsing slowly as if with inchoate life’ (Žižek 40). These ideas provided me with a new platform for devising visual strategies that addressed matters of conscious and unconscious experience and, more specifically, the issue of desire. Within these ideas the very evocative notion of a stop gap, a plug in the plughole between the real and reality, particularly appealed to me and suggested all kinds of visual possibilities. The strategies I developed regarding the function and aesthetics of the still versus the moving images were grounded in these particular Lacanian ideas. As my theoretical research and studio explorations developed, the title for the work, Stain, emerged. Stain expressed for me the idea of an encounter between substances and the residue deposited, left behind as a kind of evidentiary trace. Žižek’s discussion of the meaningless stain as the remainder of the real that protrudes, sticks out, ruptures through the seemingly organised screen of conscious experience, was particularly relevant to the aspect of desire I was exploring. Specifically, I was concerned with the polarity between beauty and horror and how this plays out in an ambivalent experience of desire. Where desire is concerned, Stain, stretches the poles of opposition even further and on one level can be posited in terms of the Freudian bi-polarity of eros and thanatos. Desire is explored, on the one hand, in terms of the abject, the carnal, in which to cede fully to this extreme of desire can lead to death. On the other hand, desire is explored as exalted and sublime, an ethereal expression of life, anticipating conception. In Stain desire is posited as both brutally savage and hauntingly beautiful, ideas that are expressed through a variety of aesthetic strategies as well as in the content itself. I became preoccupied with the notion of rupture as occupying a vertical, phallic trajectory, in which the real nature of desire is repressed and only becomes consciously known in the form of hallucinations, compulsions, suspicions and guilt. The consideration of repression as an activity that jettisons intolerable feelings and experiences to subterranean depths – requiring them to pass over into the realm of the prohibited – lead me to consider the art work itself as object, occupying three-dimensions, articulating ideas around psychological depth and layers. It also allowed me to reference the body and its three-dimensionality, the body as both map and territory of desire. It was out of these considerations that I chose to imbed passive layers within the still images that only become activated through engagement with the works over time. The quality of these layers is intended to lead the viewer into an ever more fragmented, distorted and uncertain realm of experience. The video further heightens destabilisation rendering all of the elements suspicious and pushing the viewer into a compulsive search for meaning. The viewer, robbed of certainty, finds that the work instead dishes up endless ambiguity, requiring interpretation, re-interpretation, and promising no conclusive understanding. The idea of creating a destabilised viewing experience in which everything becomes contingent appealed to me enormously in terms of creating a deeper level of connection between the viewing experience and the analytic process. Developing the content is something that occurs alongside the more formal considerations. It is, perhaps, the most intuitive part of the process and is the most directly linked to my analytic experience. There are moments in sessions when I’ve ventured into particularly evocative territories where certain images float up into consciousness and I recognise them as the basis for exploration in the studio. At other times, it’s not an actual image but a word, or series of words, which triggers recognition of creative potential. In either case, both are linked to a quality of feeling that I recognise as one that I want to work with. This is an exchange in which the therapy drives the creative process. The image that appears on the cover of Filth is an example of this process. While this image is not a part of the final body of work, it was critical as supporting research. As the work evolved, the symbolic narrative developed a sub-plot concerning multiple selves and splitting. Again, previous bodies of work had touched on these ideas but in Stain the idea of splitting, and the nature of the relationship between these split-off selves, became quite particularised as they related to the specific issue of desire. While the cover image is a fully resolved image in its own right, the relationship between the two figures (selves) began to read as too didactic within the context of the overall body of work. There were two crucial turning points in the development of the content for Stain. The first was when I decided to work with the tallis – the sacred Jewish prayer shawl worn only by men. As is often the case, I did not know why this was an important object to me but I decided to honour the impulse to work with it. The act of simply donning the tallis was a deeply affecting experience. On the one hand, I felt the subversion of this act, experienced the prohibition. On the other hand, it was a deeply reverential experience and I felt an overpowering connection with my father whose tallis it was. The second turning point occurred somewhat later when I encountered a pig carcass in a butcher shop and knew I had to work with this object. For months, while I worked with the pig carcass and the tallis I agonized: why did I have to work with such charged objects? Would this work be interpreted as antisemitic? Would it appear blasphemous? Would the work be hijacked by political agendas? Though the images I was producing were incredibly powerful, still, there were moments in which I thought I should abandon this work. Yet what was the alternative? If I couldn’t make work that honoured what was most authentic and urgent in me at any particular point in time what was the point of being an artist? I had my internal compass, I trusted it absolutely, what would happen if I chose to ignore it? Could I make work that was meaningful without this interior imperative? I thought not. So, I continued to make the work, I continued to tolerate the anxiety, and finally, there came a moment when I understood the meaning of my choices. It was lodged in a childhood dream in which an anthropomorthised pig was the protagonist, the only dream from my childhood that has stayed with me for my entire life. There is much that I unraveled over the years in relation to this dream but in all the years of carrying the dream inside of me, all the years of thinking and wondering about it, the one thing I never factored into the equation was perhaps the most obvious: the pig is food. And, in the Jewish tradition the pig is one of the few animals that is utterly taboo. I came to understand that on both a metaphorical and practical level the pig is the Hated Other. Yet the tallis is the sacred and revered. In placing these two objects together I began to realize that my work was creating a context in which hated extremes could co-exist side-by-side in an attitude of acceptance. I came to realize that Stain is about forgiveness. It is about redemption. It is about compassion. It addresses both a metanarrative and micronarrative. On the level of the universal, it is a protest against any beliefs that position individuals, cultures, religions into polarized extremes of hatred. On the level of the personal, it is an appeal for re-integration, self-acceptance, and a plea to bear the unbearable. On both of these levels the work argues for compassion and generosity of spirit. Žižek talks about Lacan’s notion of the ‘open wound of the world’ (90) – a cut that derails and disturbs the circulation of what we call reality…in that unrepresentable point where the very foundation of our world seems to dissolve itself, there the subject has to recognize the kernel of its most intimate being. (91) This idea of recognizing and encountering the kernel of one’s most intimate being has been at the heart of my art practice for nearly 30 years. It has been the drive, the motive, and the call. More than anything else, making art has for me been an act of connecting with myself, of knowing myself, and of forgiving myself. References Lebeau, Vicky. Psychoanalysis and Cinema—The Play of Shadows. London:Wallflower Press, 2002. Žižek, Slavoj. Looking Awry—An Introduction to Jacques Lacan Through Popular Culture. Cambridge MA: MIT Press, 1991. Citation reference for this article MLA Style Firth, Julie. "Ineradicable Stain." M/C Journal 9.5 (2006). echo date('d M. Y'); ?> <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0610/02-firth.php>. APA Style Firth, J. (Nov. 2006) "Ineradicable Stain," M/C Journal, 9(5). Retrieved echo date('d M. Y'); ?> from <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0610/02-firth.php>.

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Holleran, Samuel. "Better in Pictures." M/C Journal 24, no.4 (August19, 2021). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2810.

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While the term “visual literacy” has grown in popularity in the last 50 years, its meaning remains nebulous. It is described variously as: a vehicle for aesthetic appreciation, a means of defence against visual manipulation, a sorting mechanism for an increasingly data-saturated age, and a prerequisite to civic inclusion (Fransecky 23; Messaris 181; McTigue and Flowers 580). Scholars have written extensively about the first three subjects but there has been less research on how visual literacy frames civic life and how it might help the public as a tool to address disadvantage and assist in removing social and cultural barriers. This article examines a forerunner to visual literacy in the push to create an international symbol language born out of popular education movements, a project that fell short of its goals but still left a considerable impression on graphic media. This article, then, presents an analysis of visual literacy campaigns in the early postwar era. These campaigns did not attempt to invent a symbolic language but posited that images themselves served as a universal language in which students could receive training. Of particular interest is how the concept of visual literacy has been mobilised as a pedagogical tool in design, digital humanities and in broader civic education initiatives promoted by Third Space institutions. Behind the creation of new visual literacy curricula is the idea that images can help anchor a world community, supplementing textual communication. Figure 1: Visual Literacy Yearbook. Montebello Unified School District, USA, 1973. Shedding Light: Origins of the Visual Literacy Frame The term “visual literacy” came to the fore in the early 1970s on the heels of mass literacy campaigns. The educators, creatives and media theorists who first advocated for visual learning linked this aim to literacy, an unassailable goal, to promote a more radical curricular overhaul. They challenged a system that had hitherto only acknowledged a very limited pathway towards academic success; pushing “language and mathematics”, courses “referred to as solids (something substantial) as contrasted with liquids or gases (courses with little or no substance)” (Eisner 92). This was deemed “a parochial view of both human ability and the possibilities of education” that did not acknowledge multiple forms of intelligence (Gardner). This change not only integrated elements of mass culture that had been rejected in education, notably film and graphic arts, but also encouraged the critique of images as a form of good citizenship, assuming that visually literate arbiters could call out media misrepresentations and manipulative political advertising (Messaris, “Visual Test”). This movement was, in many ways, reactive to new forms of mass media that began to replace newspapers as key forms of civic participation. Unlike simple literacy (being able to decipher letters as a mnemonic system), visual literacy involves imputing meanings to images where meanings are less fixed, yet still with embedded cultural signifiers. Visual literacy promised to extend enlightenment metaphors of sight (as in the German Aufklärung) and illumination (as in the French Lumières) to help citizens understand an increasingly complex marketplace of images. The move towards visual literacy was not so much a shift towards images (and away from books and oration) but an affirmation of the need to critically investigate the visual sphere. It introduced doubt to previously upheld hierarchies of perception. Sight, to Kant the “noblest of the senses” (158), was no longer the sense “least affected” by the surrounding world but an input centre that was equally manipulable. In Kant’s view of societal development, the “cosmopolitan” held the key to pacifying bellicose states and ensuring global prosperity and tranquillity. The process of developing a cosmopolitan ideology rests, according to Kant, on the gradual elimination of war and “the education of young people in intellectual and moral culture” (188-89). Transforming disparate societies into “a universal cosmopolitan existence” that would “at last be realised as the matrix within which all the original capacities of the human race may develop” and would take well-funded educational institutions and, potentially, a new framework for imparting knowledge (Kant 51). To some, the world of the visual presented a baseline for shared experience. Figure 2: Exhibition by the Gesellschafts- und Wirtschaftsmuseum in Vienna, photograph c. 1927. An International Picture Language The quest to find a mutually intelligible language that could “bridge worlds” and solder together all of humankind goes back to the late nineteenth century and the Esperanto movement of Ludwig Zamenhof (Schor 59). The expression of this ideal in the world of the visual picked up steam in the interwar years with designers and editors like Fritz Kahn, Gerd Arntz, and Otto and Marie Neurath. Their work transposing complex ideas into graphic form has been rediscovered as an antecedent to modern infographics, but the symbols they deployed were not to merely explain, but also help education and build international fellowship unbounded by spoken language. The Neuraths in particular are celebrated for their international picture language or Isotypes. These pictograms (sometimes viewed as proto-emojis) can be used to represent data without text. Taken together they are an “intemporal, hieroglyphic language” that Neutrath hoped would unite working-class people the world over (Lee 159). The Neuraths’ work was done in the explicit service of visual education with a popular socialist agenda and incubated in the social sphere of Red Vienna at the Gesellschafts- und Wirtschaftsmuseum (Social and Economic Museum) where Otto served as Director. The Wirtschaftsmuseum was an experiment in popular education, with multiple branches and late opening hours to accommodate the “the working man [who] has time to see a museum only at night” (Neurath 72-73). The Isotype contained universalist aspirations for the “making of a world language, or a helping picture language—[that] will give support to international developments generally” and “educate by the eye” (Neurath 13). Figure 3: Gerd Arntz Isotype Images. (Source: University of Reading.) The Isotype was widely adopted in the postwar era in pre-packaged sets of symbols used in graphic design and wayfinding systems for buildings and transportation networks, but with the socialism of the Neuraths’ peeled away, leaving only the system of logos that we are familiar with from airport washrooms, charts, and public transport maps. Much of the uptake in this symbol language could be traced to increased mobility and tourism, particularly in countries that did not make use of a Roman alphabet. The 1964 Olympics in Tokyo helped pave the way when organisers, fearful of jumbling too many scripts together, opted instead for black and white icons to represent the program of sports that summer. The new focus on the visual was both technologically mediated—cheaper printing and broadcast technologies made the diffusion of image increasingly possible—but also ideologically supported by a growing emphasis on projects that transcended linguistic, ethnic, and national borders. The Olympic symbols gradually morphed into Letraset icons, and, later, symbols in the Unicode Standard, which are the basis for today’s emojis. Wordless signs helped facilitate interconnectedness, but only in the most literal sense; their application was limited primarily to sports mega-events, highway maps, and “brand building”, and they never fulfilled their role as an educational language “to give the different nations a common outlook” (Neurath 18). Universally understood icons, particularly in the form of emojis, point to a rise in visual communication but they have fallen short as a cosmopolitan project, supporting neither the globalisation of Kantian ethics nor the transnational socialism of the Neuraths. Figure 4: Symbols in use. Women's bathroom. 1964 Tokyo Olympics. (Source: The official report of the Organizing Committee.) Counter Education By mid-century, the optimism of a universal symbol language seemed dated, and focus shifted from distillation to discernment. New educational programs presented ways to study images, increasingly reproducible with new technologies, as a language in and of themselves. These methods had their roots in the fin-de-siècle educational reforms of John Dewey, Helen Parkhurst, and Maria Montessori. As early as the 1920s, progressive educators were using highly visual magazines, like National Geographic, as the basis for lesson planning, with the hopes that they would “expose students to edifying and culturally enriching reading” and “develop a more catholic taste or sensibility, representing an important cosmopolitan value” (Hawkins 45). The rise in imagery from previously inaccessible regions helped pupils to see themselves in relation to the larger world (although this connection always came with the presumed superiority of the reader). “Pictorial education in public schools” taught readers—through images—to accept a broader world but, too often, they saw photographs as a “straightforward transcription of the real world” (Hawkins 57). The images of cultures and events presented in Life and National Geographic for the purposes of education and enrichment were now the subject of greater analysis in the classroom, not just as “windows into new worlds” but as cultural products in and of themselves. The emerging visual curriculum aimed to do more than just teach with previously excluded modes (photography, film and comics); it would investigate how images presented and mediated the world. This gained wider appeal with new analytical writing on film, like Raymond Spottiswoode's Grammar of the Film (1950) which sought to formulate the grammatical rules of visual communication (Messaris 181), influenced by semiotics and structural linguistics; the emphasis on grammar can also be seen in far earlier writings on design systems such as Owen Jones’s 1856 The Grammar of Ornament, which also advocated for new, universalising methods in design education (Sloboda 228). The inventorying impulse is on display in books like Donis A. Dondis’s A Primer of Visual Literacy (1973), a text that meditates on visual perception but also functions as an introduction to line and form in the applied arts, picking up where the Bauhaus left off. Dondis enumerates the “syntactical guidelines” of the applied arts with illustrations that are in keeping with 1920s books by Kandinsky and Klee and analyse pictorial elements. However, at the end of the book she shifts focus with two chapters that examine “messaging” and visual literacy explicitly. Dondis predicts that “an intellectual, trained ability to make and understand visual messages is becoming a vital necessity to involvement with communication. It is quite likely that visual literacy will be one of the fundamental measures of education in the last third of our century” (33) and she presses for more programs that incorporate the exploration and analysis of images in tertiary education. Figure 5: Ideal spatial environment for the Blueprint charts, 1970. (Image: Inventory Press.) Visual literacy in education arrived in earnest with a wave of publications in the mid-1970s. They offered ways for students to understand media processes and for teachers to use visual culture as an entry point into complex social and scientific subject matter, tapping into the “visual consciousness of the ‘television generation’” (Fransecky 5). Visual culture was often seen as inherently democratising, a break from stuffiness, the “artificialities of civilisation”, and the “archaic structures” that set sensorial perception apart from scholarship (Dworkin 131-132). Many radical university projects and community education initiatives of the 1960s made use of new media in novel ways: from Maurice Stein and Larry Miller’s fold-out posters accompanying Blueprint for Counter Education (1970) to Emory Douglas’s graphics for The Black Panther newspaper. Blueprint’s text- and image-dense wall charts were made via assemblage and they were imagined less as charts and more as a “matrix of resources” that could be used—and added to—by youth to undertake their own counter education (Cronin 53). These experiments in visual learning helped to break down old hierarchies in education, but their aim was influenced more by countercultural notions of disruption than the universal ideals of cosmopolitanism. From Image as Text to City as Text For a brief period in the 1970s, thinkers like Marshall McLuhan (McLuhan et al., Massage) and artists like Bruno Munari (Tanchis and Munari) collaborated fruitfully with graphic designers to create books that mixed text and image in novel ways. Using new compositional methods, they broke apart traditional printing lock-ups to superimpose photographs, twist text, and bend narrative frames. The most famous work from this era is, undoubtedly, The Medium Is the Massage (1967), McLuhan’s team-up with graphic designer Quentin Fiore, but it was followed by dozens of other books intended to communicate theory and scientific ideas with popularising graphics. Following in the footsteps of McLuhan, many of these texts sought not just to explain an issue but to self-consciously reference their own method of information delivery. These works set the precedent for visual aids (and, to a lesser extent, audio) that launched a diverse, non-hierarchical discourse that was nonetheless bound to tactile artefacts. In 1977, McLuhan helped develop a media textbook for secondary school students called City as Classroom: Understanding Language and Media. It is notable for its direct address style and its focus on investigating spaces outside of the classroom (provocatively, a section on the third page begins with “Should all schools be closed?”). The book follows with a fine-grained analysis of advertising forms in which students are asked to first bring advertisem*nts into class for analysis and later to go out into the city to explore “a man-made environment, a huge warehouse of information, a vast resource to be mined free of charge” (McLuhan et al., City 149). As a document City as Classroom is critical of existing teaching methods, in line with the radical “in the streets” pedagogy of its day. McLuhan’s theories proved particularly salient for the counter education movement, in part because they tapped into a healthy scepticism of advertisers and other image-makers. They also dovetailed with growing discontent with the ad-strew visual environment of cities in the 1970s. Budgets for advertising had mushroomed in the1960s and outdoor advertising “cluttered” cities with billboards and neon, generating “fierce intensities and new hybrid energies” that threatened to throw off the visual equilibrium (McLuhan 74). Visual literacy curricula brought in experiential learning focussed on the legibility of the cities, mapping, and the visualisation of urban issues with social justice implications. The Detroit Geographical Expedition and Institute (DGEI), a “collective endeavour of community research and education” that arose in the aftermath of the 1967 uprisings, is the most storied of the groups that suffused the collection of spatial data with community engagement and organising (Warren et al. 61). The following decades would see a tamed approach to visual literacy that, while still pressing for critical reading, did not upend traditional methods of educational delivery. Figure 6: Beginning a College Program-Assisting Teachers to Develop Visual Literacy Approaches in Public School Classrooms. 1977. ERIC. Searching for Civic Education The visual literacy initiatives formed in the early 1970s both affirmed existing civil society institutions while also asserting the need to better inform the public. Most of the campaigns were sponsored by universities, major libraries, and international groups such as UNESCO, which published its “Declaration on Media Education” in 1982. They noted that “participation” was “essential to the working of a pluralistic and representative democracy” and the “public—users, citizens, individuals, groups ... were too systematically overlooked”. Here, the public is conceived as both “targets of the information and communication process” and users who “should have the last word”. To that end their “continuing education” should be ensured (Study 18). Programs consisted primarily of cognitive “see-scan-analyse” techniques (Little et al.) for younger students but some also sought to bring visual analysis to adult learners via continuing education (often through museums eager to engage more diverse audiences) and more radical popular education programs sponsored by community groups. By the mid-80s, scores of modules had been built around the comprehension of visual media and had become standard educational fare across North America, Australasia, and to a lesser extent, Europe. There was an increasing awareness of the role of data and image presentation in decision-making, as evidenced by the surprising commercial success of Edward Tufte’s 1982 book, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. Visual literacy—or at least image analysis—was now enmeshed in teaching practice and needed little active advocacy. Scholarly interest in the subject went into a brief period of hibernation in the 1980s and early 1990s, only to be reborn with the arrival of new media distribution technologies (CD-ROMs and then the internet) in classrooms and the widespread availability of digital imaging technology starting in the late 1990s; companies like Adobe distributed free and reduced-fee licences to schools and launched extensive teacher training programs. Visual literacy was reanimated but primarily within a circ*mscribed academic field of education and data visualisation. Figure 7: Visual Literacy; What Research Says to the Teacher, 1975. National Education Association. USA. Part of the shifting frame of visual literacy has to do with institutional imperatives, particularly in places where austerity measures forced strange alliances between disciplines. What had been a project in alternative education morphed into an uncontested part of the curriculum and a dependable budget line. This shift was already forecasted in 1972 by Harun Farocki who, writing in Filmkritik, noted that funding for new film schools would be difficult to obtain but money might be found for “training in media education … a discipline that could persuade ministers of education, that would at the same time turn the budget restrictions into an advantage, and that would match the functions of art schools” (98). Nearly 50 years later educators are still using media education (rebranded as visual or media literacy) to make the case for fine arts and humanities education. While earlier iterations of visual literacy education were often too reliant on the idea of cracking the “code” of images, they did promote ways of learning that were a deep departure from the rote methods of previous generations. Next-gen curricula frame visual literacy as largely supplemental—a resource, but not a program. By the end of the 20th century, visual literacy had changed from a scholarly interest to a standard resource in the “teacher’s toolkit”, entering into school programs and influencing museum education, corporate training, and the development of public-oriented media (Literacy). An appreciation of image culture was seen as key to creating empathetic global citizens, but its scope was increasingly limited. With rising austerity in the education sector (a shift that preceded the 2008 recession by decades in some countries), art educators, museum enrichment staff, and design researchers need to make a case for why their disciplines were relevant in pedagogical models that are increasingly aimed at “skills-based” and “job ready” teaching. Arts educators worked hard to insert their fields into learning goals for secondary students as visual literacy, with the hope that “literacy” would carry the weight of an educational imperative and not a supplementary field of study. Conclusion For nearly a century, educational initiatives have sought to inculcate a cosmopolitan perspective with a variety of teaching materials and pedagogical reference points. Symbolic languages, like the Isotype, looked to unite disparate people with shared visual forms; while educational initiatives aimed to train the eyes of students to make them more discerning citizens. The term ‘visual literacy’ emerged in the 1960s and has since been deployed in programs with a wide variety of goals. Countercultural initiatives saw it as a prerequisite for popular education from the ground up, but, in the years since, it has been formalised and brought into more staid curricula, often as a sort of shorthand for learning from media and pictures. The grand cosmopolitan vision of a complete ‘visual language’ has been scaled back considerably, but still exists in trace amounts. Processes of globalisation require images to universalise experiences, commodities, and more for people without shared languages. Emoji alphabets and globalese (brands and consumer messaging that are “visual-linguistic” amalgams “increasingly detached from any specific ethnolinguistic group or locality”) are a testament to a mediatised banal cosmopolitanism (Jaworski 231). In this sense, becoming “fluent” in global design vernacular means familiarity with firms and products, an understanding that is aesthetic, not critical. It is very much the beneficiaries of globalisation—both state and commercial actors—who have been able to harness increasingly image-based technologies for their benefit. To take a humorous but nonetheless consequential example, Spanish culinary boosters were able to successfully lobby for a paella emoji (Miller) rather than having a food symbol from a less wealthy country such as a Senegalese jollof or a Morrocan tagine. This trend has gone even further as new forms of visual communication are increasingly streamlined and managed by for-profit media platforms. The ubiquity of these forms of communication and their global reach has made visual literacy more important than ever but it has also fundamentally shifted the endeavour from a graphic sorting practice to a critical piece of social infrastructure that has tremendous political ramifications. Visual literacy campaigns hold out the promise of educating students in an image-based system with the potential to transcend linguistic and cultural boundaries. This cosmopolitan political project has not yet been realised, as the visual literacy frame has drifted into specialised silos of art, design, and digital humanities education. It can help bridge the “incomplete connections” of an increasingly globalised world (Calhoun 112), but it does not have a program in and of itself. Rather, an evolving visual literacy curriculum might be seen as a litmus test for how we imagine the role of images in the world. References Brown, Neil. “The Myth of Visual Literacy.” Australian Art Education 13.2 (1989): 28-32. Calhoun, Craig. “Cosmopolitanism in the Modern Social Imaginary.” Daedalus 137.3 (2008): 105–114. Cronin, Paul. “Recovering and Rendering Vital Blueprint for Counter Education at the California Institute for the Arts.” Blueprint for Counter Education. Inventory Press, 2016. 36-58. Dondis, Donis A. A Primer of Visual Literacy. MIT P, 1973. Dworkin, M.S. “Toward an Image Curriculum: Some Questions and Cautions.” Journal of Aesthetic Education 4.2 (1970): 129–132. Eisner, Elliot. Cognition and Curriculum: A Basis for Deciding What to Teach. Longmans, 1982. Farocki, Harun. “Film Courses in Art Schools.” Trans. Ted Fendt. Grey Room 79 (Apr. 2020): 96–99. Fransecky, Roger B. Visual Literacy: A Way to Learn—A Way to Teach. Association for Educational Communications and Technology, 1972. Gardner, Howard. Frames Of Mind. Basic Books, 1983. Hawkins, Stephanie L. “Training the ‘I’ to See: Progressive Education, Visual Literacy, and National Geographic Membership.” American Iconographic. U of Virginia P, 2010. 28–61. Jaworski, Adam. “Globalese: A New Visual-Linguistic Register.” Social Semiotics 25.2 (2015): 217-35. Kant, Immanuel. Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View. Cambridge UP, 2006. Kant, Immanuel. “Perpetual Peace.” Political Writings. Ed. H. Reiss. Cambridge UP, 1991 [1795]. 116–130. Kress, G., and T. van Leeuwen. Reading images: The Grammar of Visual Design. Routledge, 1996. Literacy Teaching Toolkit: Visual Literacy. Department of Education and Training (DET), State of Victoria. 29 Aug. 2018. 30 Sep. 2020 <https://www.education.vic.gov.au:443/school/teachers/teachingresources/discipline/english/literacy/ readingviewing/Pages/litfocusvisual.aspx>. Lee, Jae Young. “Otto Neurath's Isotype and the Rhetoric of Neutrality.” Visible Language 42.2: 159-180. Little, D., et al. Looking and Learning: Visual Literacy across the Disciplines. Wiley, 2015. Messaris, Paul. “Visual Literacy vs. Visual Manipulation.” Critical Studies in Mass Communication 11.2: 181-203. DOI: 10.1080/15295039409366894 ———. “A Visual Test for Visual ‘Literacy.’” The Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association. 31 Oct. to 3 Nov. 1991. Atlanta, GA. <https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED347604.pdf>. McLuhan, Marshall. Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. McGraw-Hill, 1964. McLuhan, Marshall, Quentin Fiore, and Jerome Agel. The Medium Is the Massage, Bantam Books, 1967. McLuhan, Marshall, Kathryn Hutchon, and Eric McLuhan. City as Classroom: Understanding Language and Media. Agincourt, Ontario: Book Society of Canada, 1977. McTigue, Erin, and Amanda Flowers. “Science Visual Literacy: Learners' Perceptions and Knowledge of Diagrams.” Reading Teacher 64.8: 578-89. Miller, Sarah. “The Secret History of the Paella Emoji.” Food & Wine, 20 June 2017. <https://www.foodandwine.com/news/true-story-paella-emoji>. Munari, Bruno. Square, Circle, Triangle. Princeton Architectural Press, 2016. Newfield, Denise. “From Visual Literacy to Critical Visual Literacy: An Analysis of Educational Materials.” English Teaching-Practice and Critique 10 (2011): 81-94. Neurath, Otto. International Picture Language: The First Rules of Isotype. K. Paul, Trench, Trubner, 1936. Schor, Esther. Bridge of Words: Esperanto and the Dream of a Universal Language. Henry Holt and Company, 2016. Sloboda, Stacey. “‘The Grammar of Ornament’: Cosmopolitanism and Reform in British Design.” Journal of Design History 21.3 (2008): 223-36. Study of Communication Problems: Implementation of Resolutions 4/19 and 4/20 Adopted by the General Conference at Its Twenty-First Session; Report by the Director-General. UNESCO, 1983. Tanchis, Aldo, and Bruno Munari. Bruno Munari: Design as Art. MIT P, 1987. Warren, Gwendolyn, Cindi Katz, and Nik Heynen. “Myths, Cults, Memories, and Revisions in Radical Geographic History: Revisiting the Detroit Geographical Expedition and Institute.” Spatial Histories of Radical Geography: North America and Beyond. Wiley, 2019. 59-86.

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Dewsbury, John-David. "Still: 'No Man's Land' or Never Suspend the Question." M/C Journal 12, no.1 (March4, 2009). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.134.

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“Say a body. Where none. No mind. Where none. That at least. A place. Where none. For the body. To be in. Move in. Out of. Back into. No out. No back. Only in. Stay in. On in. Still” (Beckett, Short Fiction 471). 1. Introduction – Wherefore to ‘still’?HIRST: As it is?SPOONER: As it is, yes please, absolutely as it is (Pinter, 1971-1981 77). These first lines of Harold Pinter’s play No Man’s Land are indeed the first lines: they were the first lines that came to Pinter, existing as the spark that drove the play into being. Pinter overhead the words ‘As it is’ whilst in a taxi cab and was struck by their poetry and utter uncertainty. That was it. In the play, they are referring to having a scotch – i.e. as it is, without ice. Here, they refer to the ‘still’ – the incessant constitutive moment of being in the world ‘as it is’. In this short paper I want to essay the phenomenon of ‘still’ as it is; as in there is ‘still’, and as in the ‘there is’ is the ‘still’ between presencing and absencing (as in No Man’s Land: two bodies in a room, a question, and a moment of comprehension). Three points need to be outlined from this desire to essay the phenomenon of ‘still’. First, it should be remembered and noted that to essay is to weigh something up in thought. Second, that ‘still’ is to be considered as a phenomena, both material and immaterial, and not as a concept or state, and where our endeavour with phenomenology here is understood as a concern with imagining ‘a body’ and ‘a place’ where there is neither – in this I want to think the vital and the vulnerable in non-oppositional terms “to work against conventional binaries such as stasis–movement, representation–practice (or the non-representational), textual–non-textual, and immaterial–material” (Merrimen et al 193). Third, that I was struck, in the call for papers for this issue of the Journal of Media and Culture, by the invocation of ‘still’ over that of ‘stillness’, or rather the persistent use of ‘still’ in the call focussing attention on ‘still’ as a noun or thing rather than as an adjective or verb. This exploration of being through the essaying of ‘still’ as a phenomenon will be exampled in the work of Samuel Beckett and Pinter and thought through in the philosophical and literary thought of the outside of Maurice Blanchot. Why Beckett? Beckett because he precisely and with distilled measure, exactitude and courage asks the question of being through the vain attempt to stage what remains when everything superfluous is taken away (Knowlson 463): what remains may well be the ‘still’ although this remainder is constitutive of presencing and not a relic or archive or dead space. Why Pinter? Pinter because, through restoring “theatre to its basic elements - an enclosed space and unpredictable dialogue” (Engdaht), he staged a certain vision of our life on earth which pulls on the very logic and power of silence in communication: this logic is that of ‘still’ – saying something while doing nothing; movement where stillness is perceived. Why Blanchot? Blanchot because he understood and gave expression to the fact that that which comes to be written, the work, will not succeed in communicating the experience that drives the writing and that as such the written work unworks the desire that brought it into being (see Smock 4). This ‘unworking’, this putting into question, is the ‘still’. * * * Apart from any other consideration, we are faced with the immense difficulty, if not the impossibility, of verifying the past. I don’t mean merely years ago, but yesterday, this morning. What took place, what was the nature of what took place, what happened? If one can speak of the difficulty of knowing what in fact took place yesterday, one can treat the present in the same way. We won’t know until tomorrow or in six months’ time, and we won’t know then, we’ll have forgotten, or our imagination will have attributed quite false characteristics to today. A moment is sucked away and distorted, often even at the time of its birth. We will all interpret a common experience quite differently, though we prefer to subscribe to the view that there’s a shared common ground, a known ground. I think there’s a shared common ground all right, but that it is more like a quicksand (Pinter, Voices 22). The ‘still’: treating the present in the same manner as the difficulty of knowing the past; seeing the present as being sucked away and distorted at its inception; taking knowing and the constitution of being as grounded on quicksand. At stake then is the work that revolves around the conceptualizations and empirical descriptions of the viscerally engraved being-there and the practical and social formations of embodiment that follow. I am concerned with the ways in which a performative re-emphasizing of practice and materiality has overlooked the central point of what ‘being-there’ means. Which is to say that what ‘being-there’ means has already been assumed in the exciting, extensive and particular engagements which concern themselves more with the different modes of being-there (walking, sitting, sleeping), the different potentialities of onto-technical connections connecting (to) the world (new image technologies, molecular stimulants, practised affecting words), and the various subjectivities produced in the subsequent placements being considered and being made in such connections whether materially or immaterially (imaginary) real (attentive, bored, thoughtful, exhausted). Such engagements do far more than this paper aims for, but what I want for this paper is for it to be a pause in itself, a provocation that takes a step back. What might this step back entail? Let’s start by pivoting off from a phrase that addresses the singular being-there of any performative material moment and that is “the event of corporeal exposure” alluded to by Paul Harrison in his paper ‘Corporeal Remains’ (432). Key to the question of ‘still’ or ‘stillness’ is the tension between thinking the body, embodiment and a sense of life that forms the social when what we are talking about or around is ‘a body. Where none. … A place. Where none’. What briefly do I mean by this? First, what can be said about the presencing of the body? Harrison, following Emmanuel Levinas, both inherits and withdraws from Martin Heidegger’s phenomenology primarily because, and this is what we want to move away from, the key concept of Dasein both covers up the sensible and vulnerable body in being discerned as a disembodied subjectivity and is too concerned forthwith with a sense of comprehension in a teleological economy of intent(ion) (429-430). Second, what is a stake in the ephemeral presence of place? Harrison signals that the eventhood of corporeal existence exists within a “specific relation between interior and exterior”, namely that of “the ‘sudden address from elsewhere’” (436). The Beckettian non-place can be read as that specific relation of the exterior to the interior, of the outside being part of that which brings the sense of self into being. In summary, these two points question the arguments raised by Harrison: ‘What is encountering'? if it isn’t quite the body as nominally thought. And ‘What is encountering?’ if such encountering is a radical asymmetrical address which nonetheless gives some orientation (placement) of comprehension for and of ourselves? 2. What is encountering? Never present still: ‘Say a body. Where none.’Literature is that experience through which the consciousness discovers its being in its inability to lose consciousness, in the movement whereby it disappears, as it tears itself away from the meticulousness of an I, it is re-created beyond consciousness as an impersonal spontaneity (Blanchot, Fire 331-332). I have used the textual extracts from literature and theatre because they present that constitutive and continual tearing away from consciousness (that sense that one is present, embodied, but always in the process of finding meaning or one’s place outside of one’s body). The ‘still’ I want to depict is then the incessant still point of presencing, the moment of disappearance and re-creation: take this passage in Blanchot’s Thomas the Obscure where the eye of the protagonist, Thomas, becomes useless for seeing in the normal way. Read this as a moment where the body doesn’t just function and gain definition within an economy of what we already know it can do, but that it places us and displaces us at the same time towards something more constitutive, indeterminate and existential because it is neither entirely animate flesh nor inanimate corpse but also the traced difference of the past and the differing affirmation of the future:Not only did this eye which saw nothing apprehend something, it apprehended the cause of its vision. It saw as object that which prevented it from seeing. Its own glance entered into it as an image, just when this glance seemed the death of all image (Blanchot, Reader 60). This is the ‘dark gaze’ that Kevin Hart unveils in his excellent book The Dark Gaze: Maurice Blanchot and the Sacred, which he defines as: “the vision of the artist who sees being as image, already separated from the phenomenal world and yet not belonging to a separate order of being” (12). Again this quivering and incessant becoming of ‘a body where none and a place where none’ pushes us towards the openness and exposure of the ‘stilling’ experience of a ‘loss of knowledge’, a lack of comprehension and yet an immediate need for orientation. The ‘still’, shown for Blanchot in the space of literature, distinguishes “itself from the struggle of which it is the dazzling expression … and if it is an answer, the answer to the destiny of the man that calls himself into question, then it is an answer that does not suspend the question” (Blanchot, Fire 343).Thus the phenomenological hegemony that produces “a certain structuring and logos of orientation within the very grammar geographers use to frame spatial experience” (Romanillos 795) is questioned and fractured in the incessant exposure of being by an ever inaccessible outside in which we ironically access ourselves – in other words, find out who or what we are. This is indeed a performance of coherence in always already deconstructing world (Rose). So for me the question of ‘still’ is a question that opens our thought up to the very way in which we think the human, and how we then think the subject in the social in a much more existential and embodied manner. The concern here is less with the biology of this disposition (although I think ultimately such insights need to go in lockstep with the ones I wish to address here) than its ontological constitution. In that sense I am questioning our micro and immediate place-making embodiment and this tasks us to think this embodiment and phenomenological disposition not in a landscape (more broadly or because this concept has become too broad) but in-place. The argument here operates a post-phenomenological and post-humanist bent in arguing for this ‘–place’ to be the neutral ‘there is’ of worlding, and the ‘in-’ to be the always exposed body. One can understand this as the absolute separation of self or other in terms of a non-dialectical account of intersubjectivity (see Critchley 18). In turning to Blanchot the want of the still, “where being ceaselessly perpetuates itself as nothingness” (Blanchot, Space 243), is in ‘showing/forcing us to think’ the strangeness, openness and finitudinal terror of this non-dialectical (non-relational) interhuman relation without the affirmations Levinas makes of an alterity to be understood ethically in some metaphysical sense and in an interpretation of that non-relation as ultimately theological (Critchley 19). What encounters is then the indeterminate, finite and exposed body. 3. What is encountering? The topography of still: ‘A place. Where none’.One of the autobiographical images for Beckett was of an old man holding a child’s hand walking down a country road. But what does this say of being? Embodied being and being-there respectively act as sensation and orientation. The touch of another’s hand is equally a touch of minimal comprehension that acts as a momentary placement. But who is guiding who? Who is pre-occupying and giving occupation to whom? Or take Pinter and the end of No Man’s Land: two men centred in a room one hoping to be employed by the other in order to employ the other back into the ‘land of the living’ rather than wait for death. Are they reflections of the same person, an internal battle to will one’s life to live, or rather to move one’s living fleshy being to an occupation (of place or as a mode by which one opens oneself up to the surroundings in which you literally find oneself – to become occupied by something there and to comprehend in doing so). Either way, is that all there is? Is this how it is? Do we just accept ‘life’ as it is? Or does ‘life’ always move us?HIRST: There is nothing there. Silence SPOONER: No. You are in no man’s land. Which never moves, which never changes, which never grows older, but which remains forever, icy and silent. Silence HIRST: I’ll drink to that (Pinter, Complete Works 157). Disingenuously, taking Pinter at face value here, ‘no man’s land’ is impossible for us, it is literally a land within which no human can be: can you imagine a place where nothing moves, never changes, never ages, but remains forever? Of course you can: we can imagine such a place. The ‘still’ can be made tangible in artistic expressions partly because they provide a means of both communicating that of which we cannot speak and showing the communication of silence when we do not speak. So in the literary spaces of Beckett, Blanchot, and Pinter, “literature as experience is valuable not so much for what it tells us about literature but for what it reveals about experience” (Hart 139-140). So what we have is a communication that reveals but doesn’t define, and that therefore questions the orientation and certainty of subject positions: The literary renderings of certain landscapes, such as those presentations of spatialities outside-the-subject, of the anonymous there is of spaces, contribute to a dismantling and erasure of the phenomenological subject (Romanillos 797). So what I think thinking through ‘still’ can do is bring us to think the ‘neutral presence of life itself’ and thus solicit from us a non-oppositional accounting of vitalism and passivity. “Blanchot asked me: why not pursue my inner experience as if I were the last man?” – for Bataille the answer became a dying from inside without witness, “an impossible moment of paralysis” (Boldt-Irons 3); but for Blanchot it became a “glimpse into ‘the interminable, the incessant’” (ibid) from outside the dying. In other words we, as in humans that comprehend, are also what we are from outside our corporeal being, be that active or passively engaged. But let’s not forget that the outside is as much about actual lived matter and materialized worlds. Whilst what enables us to instil a place in the immaterial flow of absent-presencing or present-absencing is our visceral embodied placement, it is not the body per se but its capacity that enables us to relate or encounter that which is non-relational and that which disrupts our sense of being in place. Herein all sorts of matter (air, earth, water, fire) encounter us and “act as a lure for feeling” (Stengers; after Anderson and Wylie). Pursuing the exposing nature of matter under the notion of ‘interrogation’ Anderson and Wylie site the sensible world as an interrogative agent itself. Wylie’s post-phenomenological folding of the seer and seen, the material and the sensible (2006), is rendered further here in the materialization of Levinas’ call to respond in Lingis’ worlding imperative of “obedience in sensibility” (5) where the materialization is not just the face of the Other that calls but matter itself. It is not just about living, quivering flesh then because “the flesh is a process, not a ‘substance’, in the sense of something which is simply there” (Anderson and Wylie 7). And it is here that I think the ontological accounting of ‘still’ I want to install intervenes: for it is not that there is ever a ‘simply there’ but always a ‘there is’. And this ‘there is’ is not necessarily of sensuality or sensibility, nor is it something vitally felt in one form or another. Rather it persists and insists as a neutral, incessant, interminable presencing that questions us into being: ‘what are we doing here?’ Some form of minimal comprehension must ensue even if it is only ephemeral or only enough to ‘go on’ for a bit more. I can’t go on, you must go on, I’ll go on, you must say words, as long as there are any, until they find me, until they say me, strange pain (Beckett, Unnameable 414). In a sense the question creates the questioner: all sorts of imperatives make us appear. But my point is that they are both of corporeal sensibility, felt pain or pleasure a la Lingis, and minimal comprehension of ontological placement, namely (as shown here) words as they say us, never ours and never finished. The task of reading such stuttering yet formative words is the question ‘still’ presents to social scientific explanation of being bodies in social formations. There is something unreal about the idea of stillness and the assertion that ‘still’ exists as a phenomenon and this unreality rests with the idea that ‘still’ presents both a principle of action and the incapacity to act (see Bissell for exemplary empirics on and theoretical insights into the relational constitution of activity and inactivity) – ‘I can’t go on, you must go on’. There is then a frustrated entitlement of being pre-occupied in space where we gain occupation not in equipmental activity but in the ontological attunement that makes us stall in fascination as a moment of comprehension. Such attunements are constitutive of being and as such are everywhere. They are however more readily seized upon as graspable in those moments of withdrawal from history, those moments that we don’t include when we bio-graph who we are to others, those ‘dull’ moments of pause, quiet, listlessness and apathy. But it is in these moments where, corporeally speaking, a suspension or dampening of sensibility heightens our awareness to perceive our being-there, and thus where we notice our coming to be inbetween heartbeat and thought. Such moments permanently wallpaper our world and as such provide room for perceiving that shadow mode of ‘stillness’ that “produces a strange insectlike buzzing in the margins” (Blanchot, Fire 333). Encountering is then the minimal sense of going on in the face of the questions asked of the body.Let us change the subject. For the last time (Pinter, Dramatic Works 149). Conclusion: ‘For the body. To be in. Move in. Out of. Back into. No out.’Thinking on ‘still’ seems to be a further turn away from vitalism, but such thinking acts as a fear (or a pause and therefore a demand to recognize) that what frightens us, what stills us, is the end of the end, the impossibility of dying (Blanchot, Fire 337): why are we here? But it is this fright that enlivens us both corporeally, in existing as beings, and meaningfully, in our ever ongoing encounter with the ‘there is’ that enables our sense of orientation, towards being something that can say/feel ‘there’.A human being is always on the way toward itself, in becoming, thwarted, thrown-into a situation, primordially ‘‘passive,’’ receptive, attuned, exposed …; far from limiting him, this exposure is the very ground of the emergence of a universe of meaning, of the ‘‘worldliness’’ of man (Žižek 273). The ‘still’ therefore names “the ‘site’ in which the event of Being occurs” (Calarco 34). It comes about from “glimpsing the abyss opened up by the recognition of the perspectival character of human knowledge and the concomitant awareness of … [its] limits” (Calarco 41) – that yes we are death-subjected beings and therefore corporeal and finite. And as such it fashions “a fascination for something ‘outside’ or other than the human” (Calarco 43) – that we are not alone in the world, and the world itself brings us into being. This counterpointing between body and place, sensation and meaning, exists at the very heart of what we call human: namely that we are tasked to know how to go on at the limits of what we know because to go on is the imperative of world. This essay has been a pause then on the circumflexion of ‘still’. If Levinas is right in suggesting that Blanchot overcomes Heidegger’s philosophy of the neuter (Levinas 298) it is because it is not just that we (Dasein) question the ontological from the ontic in which we are thrown but that also the ontological (the outside that ‘stills’ us) questions us:What haunts us is something inaccessible from which we cannot extricate ourselves. It is that which cannot be found and therefore cannot be avoided (Blanchot, Space 259). Thus, as Hart writes, we are transfixed “and risk standing where our ‘here’ will crumble into ‘nowhere’ (150).Neither just vital nor vulnerable, it is about the quick of meaning in the topography of finitude. The resultant non-ontological ethics that comes from this is voiced from an unsuspecting direction in a text written by Jacques Derrida to be read at his funeral. On 12th October 2004 Derrida’s son Pierre gave it oration: “Always prefer life and never cease affirming survival” (Derrida, quoted in Hill 7). Estragon: ‘I can’t go on like this’Vladimir: ‘That’s what you think’ (Beckett, Complete Works 87-88). ReferencesAnderson, Ben, and John Wylie. “On Geography and Materiality.” Environment and Planning A (advance online publication, 3 Dec. 2008). Beckett, Samuel. Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnameable. New York: Grove P, 1958. ———. Samuel Beckett: The Complete Dramatic Works. London: Faber & Faber, 1990. ———. Samuel Beckett, Volume 4: Poems, Short Fiction, Criticism. New York: Grove/Atlantic P, 2006. Blanchot, Maurice. The Work of Fire. Trans. Charlotte Mandell. Stanford: Stanford U P, 1995. ———. The Space of Literature. Trans. Ann Smock. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1989. ———. The Infinite Conversation. Trans. Susan Hanson. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1993. ———. The Station Hill Blanchot Reader. Trans. Lydia Davis. Barrytown: Station Hill P, 1999. Bissell, David. “Comfortable Bodies: Sedentary Affects.” Environment and Planning A 40 (2008): 1697-1712. Boldt-Irons, Lesile-Ann. “Blanchot and Bataille on the Last Man.” Angelaki 11.2 (2006): 3-17. Calarco, Matthew. Zoographies: The Question of the Animal from Heidegger to Derrida. New York: Columbia U P, 2008. Critchley, Simon. “Forgetfulness Must: Politics and Filiation in Blanchot and Derrida.” Parallax 12.2 (2006): 12-22. Engdaht, Horace. “The Nobel Prize in Literature – Prize Announcement.” 13 Oct. 2005. 8 Mar. 2009 ‹http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/2005/announcement.html›. Hart, Kevin. The Dark Gaze: Maurice Blanchot and the Sacred. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2004. Harrison, Paul. “Corporeal Remains: Vulnerability, Proximity, and Living On after the End of the World.” Environment and Planning A 40 (2008): 423-45. Hill, Leslie. The Cambridge Introduction to Jacques Derrida. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2007. Levinas, Emmanuel. Totality and Infinity. Trans. Alphonso Lingis, Pittsburgh: Duquesne UP, 1999. Lingis, Alphonso. The Imperative. Bloomington: Indiana University P, 1998. Knowlson, John. Damned to Fame: Life of Samuel Beckett. London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 1997.Merriman, Peter. et al. “Landscape, Mobility, Practice.” Social & Cultural Geography 9 (2008): 191-212. Nancy, Jean-Luc. “The Being-With of Being-There.” Continental Philosophical Review 41 (2008): 1-15. Pinter, Harold. 1971–1981 Complete Works: 4. New York: Grove P, 1981 ———. Various Voices: Prose, Poetry, Politics 1948-2005. London: Faber & Faber, 2005. Romanillos, Jose Lluis. “‘Outside, It Is Snowing’: Experience and Finitude in the Nonrepresentational Landscapes of Alain Robbe-Grillet.” Environment and Planning D 26 (2008): 795-822. Rose, Mitch. "Gathering ‘Dreams of Presence’: A Project for the Cultural Landscape." Environment and Planning D 24 (2006): 537–54.Smock, Ann. "Translator’s Introduction.”The Space of Literature. Maurice Blanchot. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1989. 1-15. Wylie, John. “Depths and Folds: On Landscape and the Gazing Subject.” Environment and Planning D 24 (2006): 519-35. Žižek, Slavoj. The Parallax View. Cambridge: The MIT P, 2006.

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Phillips, Maggi. "Diminutive Catastrophe: Clown’s Play." M/C Journal 16, no.1 (January18, 2013). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.606.

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IntroductionClowns can be seen as enacting catastrophe with a small “c.” They are experts in “failing better” who perhaps live on the cusp of turning catastrophe into a metaphorical whirlwind while ameliorating the devastation that lies therein. They also have the propensity to succumb to the devastation, masking their own sense of the void with the gestures of play. In this paper, knowledge about clowns emerges from my experience, working with circus clowns in Circus Knie (Switzerland) and Circo Tihany (South America), observing performances and films about clowns, and reading, primarily in European fiction, of clowns in multiple guises. The exposure to a diverse range of texts, visual media and performance, has led me to the possibility that clowning is not only a conceptual discipline but also a state of being that is yet to be fully recognised.Diminutive CatastropheI have an idea (probably a long held obsession) of the clown as a diminutive figure of catastrophe, of catastrophe with a very small “c.” In the context of this incisive academic dialogue on relationships between catastrophe and creativity where writers are challenged with the horrendous tragedies that nature and humans unleash on the planet, this inept character appears to be utterly insignificant and, moreover, unworthy of any claim to creativity. A clown does not solve problems in the grand scheme of society: if anything he/she simply highlights problems, arguably in a fatalistic manner where innovation may be an alien concept. Invariably, as Eric Weitz observes, when clowns depart from their moment on the stage, laughter evaporates and the world settles back into the relentless shades of oppression and injustice. In response to the natural forces of destruction—earthquakes, tsunamis, cyclones, and volcanic eruptions—as much as to the forces of rage in war and ethnic cleansing that humans inflict on one another, a clown makes but a tiny gesture. Curiously, though, those fingers brushing dust off a threadbare jacket may speak volumes.Paradox is the crux of this exploration. Clowns, the best of them, project the fragility of human value on a screen beyond measure and across many layers and scales of metaphorical understanding (Big Apple Circus; Stradda). Why do odd tramps and ordinary inept people seem to pivot against the immense flows of loss and outrage which tend to pervade our understanding of the global condition today? Can Samuel Beckett’s call to arms of "failing better” in the vein of Charles Chaplin, Oleg Popov, or James Thiérrée offer a creative avenue to pursue (Bala; Coover; Salisbury)? Do they reflect other ways of knowing in the face of big “C” Catastrophes? Creation and CatastropheTo wrestle with these questions, I wish to begin by proposing a big picture view of earth-life wherein, across inconceivable aeons, huge physical catastrophes have wrought unimaginable damage on the ecological “completeness” of the time. I am not a palaeontologist or an evolutionary scientist but I suspect that, if human life is taken out of the equation, the planet since time immemorial has been battered by “disaster” which changed but ultimately did not destroy the earth. Evolution is replete with narratives of species wiped out by ice-ages, volcanoes, earthquakes, and meteors and yet the organism of this planet has survived and even regenerated. In metaphorical territory, the Sanskrit philosophers have a wise take on this process. Indian concepts are always multiple, crowded with possibilities, but I find there is something intriguing in the premise (even if it is impossible to tie down) of Shiva’s dance:Shiva Nataraja destroys creation by his Tandava Dance, or the Dance of Eternity. As he dances, everything disintegrates, apparently into nothingness. Then, out of the thin vapours, matter and life are recreated again. Shiva also dances in the hearts of his devotees as the Great Soul. As he dances, one’s egotism is consumed and one is rendered pure in soul and without any spiritual blemish. (Ghosh 109–10)For a dancer, the central location of dance in life’s creation forces is a powerful idea but I am also interested in how this metaphysical perspective aligns with current scientific views. How could these ancient thinkers predict evolutionary processes? Somehow, in the mix of experiential observation and speculation, they foresaw the complexity of time and, moreover, appreciated the necessary interdependence of creation and destruction (creativity and catastrophe). In comparison to western thought which privileges progression—and here evolution is a prime example—Hindu conceptualisation appears to prefer fatalism or a cyclical system of understanding that negates the potential of change to make things better. However, delving more closely into scientific narratives on evolution, the progression of life forms to the human species has involved the decimation of an uncountable number of other living possibilities. Contrariwise, Shiva’s Dance of Eternity is premised on endless diachronic change crossed vertically by reincarnation, through which progression and regression are equally expressed. I offer this simplistic view of both accounts of creation merely to point out that the interdependency of destruction and creation is deeply embodied in human knowledge.To introduce the clown figure into this idea, I have to turn to the minutiae of destruction and creation; to examples in the everyday nature of regeneration through catastrophe. I have memories of touring in the Northern Territory of Australia amidst strident green shoots bursting out of a fire-tortured landscape or, earlier in Paris, of the snow-crusted earth being torn asunder by spring’s awakening. We all have countless memories of such small-scale transformations of pain and destruction into startling glimpses of beauty. It is at this scale of creative wrestling that I see the clown playing his/her role.In the tension between fatalism and, from a human point of view, projections of the right to progression, a clown occupying the stage vacated by Shiva might stamp out a slight rhythm of his/her own with little or no meaning in the action. The brush on the sleeve might be hard to detect in an evolutionary or Hindu time scale but zoom down to the here and now of performance exchange and the scene may be quite different?Turning the Lens onto the Small-ScaleSmall-scale, clowns tend to be tiny bundles or, sometimes, gangly unbundles of ineptitude, careering through the simplest tasks with preposterous incompetence or, alternatively, imbibing complexity with the virtuosic delicacy—take Charles Chaplin’s shoe-lace spaghetti twirling and nibbling on nail-bones as an example. Clowns disrupt normalcy in small eddies of activity which often wreak paths of destruction within the tightly ordered rage of social formations. The momentum is chaotic and, not dissimilar to storms, clownish enactment bears down not so much to threaten human life but to disrupt what we humans desire and formulate as the natural order of decorum and success. Instead of the terror driven to consciousness by cyclones and hurricanes, the clown’s chaos is superficially benign. When Chaplin’s generous but unrealistic gesture to save the tightrope-act is thwarted by an escaped monkey, or when Thiérrée conducts a spirited debate with the wall of his abode in the midst of an identity crisis (Raoul), life is not threatened. Such incongruous and chaotic trajectories generate laughter and, sometimes, sadness. Moreover, as Weitz observes, “the clown-like imagination, unfettered by earthly logic, urges us to entertain unlikely avenues of thought and action” (87). While it may seem insensitive, I suggest that similar responses of laughter, sadness and unlikely avenues of thought and action emerge in the aftermath of cataclysmic events.Fear, unquestionably, saturates big states of catastrophe. Slide down the scale and intriguing parallels between fear and laughter emerge, one being a clown’s encapsulation of vulnerability and his/her stoic determination to continue, to persevere no matter what. There are many ways to express this continuity: Beckett’s characters are forever waiting, fearful that nothing will arrive, yet occupy themselves with variations of cruelty and amusem*nt through the interminable passage of time. A reverse action occurs in Grock’s insistence that he can play his tiny violin, in spite of his ever-collapsing chair. It never occurs to him to find another chair or play standing up: that, in an incongruous way, would admit defeat because this chair and his playing constitute Grock’s compulsion to succeed. Fear of failure generates multiple innovations in his relationship with the chair and in his playing skills. Storm-like, the pursuit of a singular idea in both instances triggers chaotic consequences. Physical destruction may be slight in such ephemeral storms but the act, the being in the world, does leave its mark on those who witness its passage.I would like to offer a mark left in me by a slight gesture on the part of a clown. I choose this one among many because the singular idea played out in Circus Knie (Switzerland) back in the early 1970s does not conform to the usual parameters. This Knie season featured Dimitri, an Italian-Swiss clown, as the principal attraction. Following clown conventions, Dimitri appeared across the production as active glue between the various circus acts, his persona operating as an odd-jobs man to fix and clean. For instance, he intervened in the elephant act as a cleaner, scrubbing and polishing the elephant’s skin with little effect and tuned, with much difficulty, a tiny fiddle for the grand orchestration to come. But Dimitri was also given moments of his own and this is the one that has lodged in my memory.Dimitri enters the brightly lit and empty circus ring with a broom in hand. The audience at this point have accepted the signal that Dimitri’s interludes prepare the ring for the next attraction—to sweep, as it were, the sawdust back to neutrality. He surveys the circle for a moment and then takes a position on the periphery to begin what appears to be a regular clean-up. The initial brushes over the sawdust, however, produce an unexpected result—the light rather than the sawdust responds to his broom stokes. Bafflement swiftly passes as an idea takes hold: the diminutive figure trots off to the other side of the ring and, after a deep breath and a quick glance to see if anyone is looking (we all are), nudges the next edge of light. Triumphantly, the pattern is pursued with increasing nimbleness, until the figure with the broom stands before a pin-spot of light at the ring’s centre. He hesitates, checks again about unwanted surveillance, and then, in a single strike (poof), sweeps light and the world into darkness.This particular clown gesture contradicts usual commentaries of ineptitude and failure associated with clown figures but the incongruity of sweeping light and the narrative of the little man who scores a win lie thoroughly in the characteristic grounds of clownish behaviour. Moreover, the enactment of this simple idea illustrates for me today, as much as it did on its initial viewing, how powerful a slight clown gesture can be. This catastrophe with a very small “c:” the little man with nothing but a broom and an idea destroyed, like the great god Shiva, the world of light.Jesse McKnight’s discussion of the peculiar attraction of two little men of the 20th century, James Joyce’s Bloom and Charles Chaplin, could also apply to Dimitri:They are at sixes and sevens here on earth but in tune with the stars, buffoons of time, and heroes of eternity. In the petty cogs of the causal, they appear foolish; in the grand swirl of the universe, they are wise, outmaneuvering their assailants and winning the race or the girl against all odds or merely retaining their skins and their dignity by nightfall. (496) Clowning as a State of Mind/ConsciousnessAnother perspective on a clown’s relationship to ideas of catastrophe which I would like to examine is embedded in the discussion above but, at the same time, deviates by way of a harsh tangent from the beatitude and almost sacred qualities attributed by McKnight’s and my own visions of the rhythmic gestures of these diminutive figures. Beckett’s advice in Worstward Ho (1983) is a fruitful starting place wherein the directive is “to keep on trying even if the hope of success is dashed again and again by failure: ‘Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better’” (Le Feuvre 13). True to the masterful wordsmith, these apparently simple words are not transparent; rather, they deflect a range of contradictory interpretations. Yes, failure can facilitate open, flexible and alternative thought which guards against fanatical and ultra-orthodox certitude: “Failure […] is free to honour other ways of knowing, other construals of power” (Werry & O’Gorman 107). On the other hand, failure can mask a horrifying realisation of the utter meaninglessness of human existence. It is as if catastrophe is etched lightly in external clown behaviour and scarred pitilessly deep in the psyches that drive the comic behaviour. Pupils of the pre-eminent clown teacher Jacques Lecoq suggest that theatrical clowning pivots on “finding that basic state of vulnerability and allowing the audience to exist in that state with you” (Butler 64). Butler argues that this “state of clowning” is “a state of anti-intellectualism, a kind of pure emotion” (ibid). From my perspective, there is also an emotional stratum in which the state or condition involves an adult anxiety desiring to protect the child’s view of the world with a fierceness equal to that of a mother hen protecting her brood. A clown knows the catastrophe of him/herself but refuses to let that knowledge (of failure) become an end. An obstinate resilience, even a frank acknowledgement of hopelessness, makes a clown not so much pure emotion or childlike but a kind of knowledgeable avenger of states of loss. Here I need to admit that I attribute the clowning state or consciousness to an intricate lineage inclusive of the named clowns, Grock, Chaplin, Popov, Dimitri, and Thiérrée, which extends to a whole host of others who never entered a circus or performance ring: Mikhail Dostoyevsky’s Mushkin (the holy Russian fool), Henry Miller’s Auguste, Salman Rushdie’s Saleem, Jacques Tati, Joan Miro, Marc Chagall, Jean Cocteau, Eric Satie’s sonic whimsy, and Pina Bausch’s choreography. In the following observation, the overlay of catastrophe and play is a crucial indication of this intricate lineage:Heiner Müller compared Pina Bausch's universe to the world of fairy tales. “History invades it like trouble, like summer flies [...] The territory is an unknown planet, an emerging island product of an ignored (forgotten or future) catastrophe [...] The whole is nothing but children's play”. (Biro 68)Bausch clearly recognises and is interested in the catastrophic moments or psychological wiring of life and her works are not exempt from comic (clownish) modulations in the play of violence and despair that often takes centre stage. In fact, Bausch probably plays on ambivalence between despair and play more explicitly than most artists. From one angle, this ambivalence is generational, as her adult performers bear the weight of oppression within the structures (and remembering of) childhood games. An artistic masterstroke in this regard is the tripling reproduction over many years of her work exploring gender negotiations at a social dance gathering: Kontakhof. Initially, the work was performed by Bausch’s regular company of mature, if diverse, dancers (Bausch 1977), then by an elderly ensemble, some of whom had appeared in the original production (Kontakhof), and, finally, by a group of adolescents in 2010. The latter version became the subject of a documentary film, Dancing Dreams (2010), which revealed the fidelity of the re-enactment, subtly transformed by the brashness and uncertainty of the teenage protagonists playing predetermined roles and moves. Viewing the three productions side-by-side reveals socialised relations of power and desire, resonant of Michel Foucault’s seminal observations (1997), and the catastrophe of gender relations subtly caught in generational change. The debility of each age group becomes apparent. None are able to engage in communication and free-play (dream) without negotiating an unyielding sexual terrain and, more often than not, the misinterpretation of one human to another within social conventions. Bausch’s affinity to the juxtaposition of childhood aspiration and adult despair places her in clown territory.Becoming “Inhuman” or SacrificialA variation on this condition of a relentless pursuit of failure is raised by Joshua Delpech-Ramey in an argument for the “inhuman” rights of clowns. His premise matches a “grotesque attachment to the world of things” to a clown’s existence that is “victimized by an excessive drive to exist in spite of all limitation. The clown is, in some sense, condemned to immortality” (133). In Delpech-Ramey’s terms:Chaplin is human not because his are the anxieties and frustrations of a man unable to realize his destiny, but because Chaplin—nearly starving, nearly homeless, a ghost in the machine—cannot not resist “the temptation to exist,” the giddiness of making something out of nothing, pancakes out of sawdust. In some sense the clown can survive every accident because s/he is an undead immortal, demiurge of a world without history. (ibid.)The play on a clown’s “undead” propensity, on his/her capacity to survive at all costs, provides a counterpoint to a tragic lens which has not been able, in human rights terms, to transcend "man’s inhumanity to man.” It might also be argued that this capacity to survive resists nature’s blindness to the plight of humankind (and visa versa). While I admire the skilful argument to place clowns as centrepieces in the formulation of alternative and possibly more potent human rights legislations, I’m not absolutely convinced that the clown condition, as I see it, provides a less mysterious and tragic state from which justice can be administered. Lear and his fool almost become interchangeable at the end of Shakespeare’s tragedy: both grapple with but cannot resolve the problem of justice.There is a little book written by Henry Miller, The Smile at the Foot of the Ladder (1948), which bears upon this aspect of a clown’s condition. In a postscript, Miller, more notorious for his sexually explicit fiction, states his belief in the unique status of clowns:Joy is like a river: it flows ceaselessly. It seems to me this is the message which the clown is trying to convey to us, that we should participate through ceaseless flow and movement, that we should not stop to reflect, compare, analyse, possess, but flow on and through, endlessly, like music. This is the gift of surrender, and the clown makes it symbolically. It is for us to make it real. (47)Miller’s fictional Auguste’s “special privilege [was] to re-enact the errors, the foibles, the stupidities, all the misunderstandings which plague human kind. To be ineptitude itself” (29). With overtones of a Christian resurrection, Auguste surrenders himself and, thereby, flows on through death, his eyes “wide open, gazing with a candour unbelievable at the thin sliver of a moon which had just become visible in the heavens” (40). It may be difficult to reconcile ineptitude with a Christ figure but those clowns who have made some sort of mark on human imagination tend to wander across territories designated as sacred and profane with a certain insouciance and privilege. They are individuals who become question marks: puzzles not meant to be solved. Maybe similar glimpses of the ineffable occur in tiny, miniscule shifts of consciousness, like the mark given to me by Dimitri and Chaplin and...—the unending list of clowns and clown conditions that have gifted their diminutive catastrophes to the problem of creativity, of rebirth after and in the face of destruction.With McKnight, I dedicate the last word to Chaplin, who speaks with final authority on the subject: “Be brave enough to face the veil and lift it, and see and know the void it hides, and stand before that void and know that within yourself is your world” (505).Thus poised, the diminutive clown figure may not carry the ferment of Shiva’s message of destruction and rebirth, he/she may not bear the strength to creatively reconstruct or re-birth normality after catastrophic devastation. But a clown, and all the humanity given to the collisions of laughter and tears, may provide an inept response to the powerlessness which, as humans, we face in catastrophe and death. Does this mean that creativity is inimical with catastrophe or that existing with catastrophe implies creativity? As noted at the beginning, these ruminations concern small “c” catastrophes. They are known otherwise as clowns.ReferencesBala, Michael. “The Clown.” Jung Journal: Culture & Psyche 4.1 (2010): 50–71.Bausch, Pina. Kontakthof. Wuppertal Dance Theatre, 1977.Big Apple Circus. Circopedia. 27 Feb. 2013 ‹http://www.circopedia.org/index.php/Main_Page›.Biro, Yvette. “Heartbreaking Fragments, Magnificent Whole: Pina Bausch’s New Minimyths.” PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art 20.2 (1998): 68–72.Butler, Lauren. “Everything Seemed New: Clown as Embodied Critical Pedagogy.” Theatre Topics 22.1 (2012): 63–72.Coover, Robert. “Tears of a Clown.” Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction 42.1 (2000): 81–83.Dancing Dreams. Dirs. Anne Linsel and Rainer Hoffmann. First Run Features, 2010.Delpech-Ramey, Joshua. “Sublime Comedy: On the Inhuman Rights of Clowns.” SubStance 39.2 (2010): 131–41.Foucault, Michel. “The Ethics of the Concern for Self as Practice of Freedom.” Michel Foucault: Ethics: Subjectivity and Truth. Ed. Paul Rabinow. New York: The New Press, 1997. 281–302. Ghosh, Oroon. The Dance of Shiva and Other Tales from India. New York: New American Library, 1965.Kontakthof with Ladies and Gentlemen over ’65. Dir. Pina Bausch. Paris: L’Arche Editeur, 2007.Le Feuvre, Lisa. “Introduction.” Failure: Documents of Contemporary Art. Ed. Lisa Le Feuvre. London: Whitechapel Gallery, 2010. 12–21.McKnight, Jesse H. “Chaplin and Joyce: A Mutual Understanding of Gesture.” James Joyce Quarterly 45.3–4 (2008): 493–506.Miller, Henry. The Smile at the Foot of the Ladder. New York: New Directions Books, 1974.Raoul. Dir. James Thiérrée. Regal Theatre, Perth, 2012.Salisbury, Laura. “Beside Oneself Beckett, Comic Tremor and Solicitude.” Parallax 11.4 (2005): 81–92.Stradda. Stradda: Le Magazine de la Creation hors les Murs. 27 Feb. 2013 ‹http://www.horslesmurs.fr/-Decouvrez-le-magazine-.html›.Weitz, Eric. “Failure as Success: On Clowns and Laughing Bodies.” Performance Research: A Journal of the Performing Arts 17.1 (2012): 79–87.Werry, Margaret, and Róisín O'Gorman. “The Anatomy of Failure: An Inventory.” Performance Research: A Journal of the Performing Arts 17.1 (2012): 105–10.

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Droumeva, Milena. "Curating Everyday Life: Approaches to Documenting Everyday Soundscapes." M/C Journal 18, no.4 (August10, 2015). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1009.

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In the last decade, the cell phone’s transformation from a tool for mobile telephony into a multi-modal, computational “smart” media device has engendered a new kind of emplacement, and the ubiquity of technological mediation into the everyday settings of urban life. With it, a new kind of media literacy has become necessary for participation in the networked social publics (Ito; Jenkins et al.). Increasingly, the way we experience our physical environments, make sense of immediate events, and form impressions is through the lens of the camera and through the ear of the microphone, framed by the mediating possibilities of smartphones. Adopting these practices as a kind of new media “grammar” (Burn 29)—a multi-modal language for public and interpersonal communication—offers new perspectives for thinking about the way in which mobile computing technologies allow us to explore our environments and produce new types of cultural knowledge. Living in the Social Multiverse Many of us are concerned about new cultural practices that communication technologies bring about. In her now classic TED talk “Connected but alone?” Sherry Turkle talks about the world of instant communication as having the illusion of control through which we micromanage our immersion in mobile media and split virtual-physical presence. According to Turkle, what we fear is, on the one hand, being caught unprepared in a spontaneous event and, on the other hand, missing out or not documenting or recording events—a phenomenon that Abha Dawesar calls living in the “digital now.” There is, at the same time, a growing number of ways in which mobile computing devices connect us to new dimensions of everyday life and everyday experience: geo-locative services and augmented reality, convergent media and instantaneous participation in the social web. These technological capabilities arguably shift the nature of presence and set the stage for mobile users to communicate the flow of their everyday life through digital storytelling and media production. According to a Digital Insights survey on social media trends (Bennett), more than 500 million tweets are sent per day and 5 Vines tweeted every second; 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute; more than 20 billion photos have been shared on Instagram to date; and close to 7 million people actively produce and publish content using social blogging platforms. There are more than 1 billion smartphones in the US alone, and most social media platforms are primarily accessed using mobile devices. The question is: how do we understand the enormity of these statistics as a coherent new media phenomenon and as a predominant form of media production and cultural participation? More importantly, how do mobile technologies re-mediate the way we see, hear, and perceive our surrounding evironment as part of the cultural circuit of capturing, sharing, and communicating with and through media artefacts? Such questions have furnished communication theory even before McLuhan’s famous tagline “the medium is the message”. Much of the discourse around communication technology and the senses has been marked by distinctions between “orality” and “literacy” understood as forms of collective consciousness engendered by technological shifts. Leveraging Jonathan Sterne’s critique of this “audio-visual litany”, an exploration of convergent multi-modal technologies allows us to focus instead on practices and techniques of use, considered as both perceptual and cultural constructs that reflect and inform social life. Here in particular, a focus on sound—or aurality—can help provide a fresh new entry point into studying technology and culture. The phenomenon of everyday photography is already well conceptualised as a cultural expression and a practice connected with identity construction and interpersonal communication (Pink, Visual). Much more rarely do we study the act of capturing information using mobile media devices as a multi-sensory practice that entails perceptual techniques as well as aesthetic considerations, and as something that in turn informs our unmediated sensory experience. Daisuke and Ito argue that—in contrast to hobbyist high-quality photographers—users of camera phones redefine the materiality of urban surroundings as “picture-worthy” (or not) and elevate the “mundane into a photographic object.” Indeed, whereas traditionally recordings and photographs hold institutional legitimacy as reliable archival references, the proliferation of portable smart technologies has transformed user-generated content into the gold standard for authentically representing the everyday. Given that visual approaches to studying these phenomena are well underway, this project takes a sound studies perspective, focusing on mediated aural practices in order to explore the way people make sense of their everyday acoustic environments using mobile media. Curation, in this sense, is a metaphor for everyday media production, illuminated by the practice of listening with mobile technology. Everyday Listening with Technology: A Case Study The present conceptualisation of curation emerged out of a participant-driven qualitative case study focused on using mobile media to make sense of urban everyday life. The study comprised 10 participants using iPod Touches (a device equivalent to an iPhone, without the phone part) to produce daily “aural postcards” of their everyday soundscapes and sonic experiences, over the course of two to four weeks. This work was further informed by, and updates, sonic ethnography approaches nascent in the World Soundscape Project, and the field of soundscape studies more broadly. Participants were asked to fill out a questionnaire about their media and technology use, in order to establish their participation in new media culture and correlate that to the documentary styles used in their aural postcards. With regard to capturing sonic material, participants were given open-ended instructions as to content and location, and encouraged to use the full capabilities of the device—that is, to record audio, video, and images, and to use any applications on the device. Specifically, I drew their attention to a recording app (Recorder) and a decibel measurement app (dB), which combines a photo with a static readout of ambient sound levels. One way most participants described the experience of capturing sound in a collection of recordings for a period of time was as making a “digital scrapbook” or a “media diary.” Even though they had recorded individual (often unrelated) soundscapes, almost everyone felt that the final product came together as a stand-alone collection—a kind of gallery of personalised everyday experiences that participants, if anything, wished to further organise, annotate, and flesh out. Examples of aural postcard formats used by participants: decibel photographs of everyday environments and a comparison audio recording of rain on a car roof with and without wipers (in the middle). Working with 139 aural postcards comprising more than 250 audio files and 150 photos and videos, the first step in the analysis was to articulate approaches to media documentation in terms of format, modality, and duration as deliberate choices in conversation with dominant media forms that participants regularly consume and are familiar with. Ambient sonic recordings (audio-only) comprised a large chunk of the data, and within this category there were two approaches: the sonic highlight, a short vignette of a given soundscape with minimal or no introduction or voice-over; and the process recording, featuring the entire duration of an unfolding soundscape or event. Live commentaries, similar to the conventions set forth by radio documentaries, represented voice-over entries at the location of the sound event, sometimes stationary and often in motion as the event unfolded. Voice memos described verbal reflections, pre- or post- sound event, with no discernable ambience—that is, participants intended them to serve as reflective devices rather than as part of the event. Finally, a number of participants also used the sound level meter app, which allowed them to generate visual records of the sonic levels of a given environment or location in the form of sound level photographs. Recording as a Way of Listening In their community soundwalking practice, Förnstrom and Taylor refer to recording sound in everyday settings as taking world experience, mediating it through one’s body and one’s memories and translating it into approximate experience. The media artefacts generated by participants as part of this study constitute precisely such ‘approximations’ of everyday life accessed through aural experience and mediated by the technological capabilities of the iPod. Thinking of aural postcards along this technological axis, the act of documenting everyday soundscapes involves participants acting as media producers, ‘framing’ urban everyday life through a mobile documentary rubric. In the process of curating these documentaries, they have to make decisions about the significance and stylistic framing of each entry and the message they wish to communicate. In order to bring the scope of these curatorial decisions into dialogue with established media forms, in this work’s analysis I combine Bill Nichols’s classification of documentary modes in cinema with Karin Bijsterveld’s concept of soundscape ‘staging’ to characterise the various approaches participants took to the multi-modal curation of their everyday (sonic) experience. In her recent book on the staging of urban soundscapes in both creative and documentary/archival media, Bijsterveld describes the representation of sound as particular ‘dramatisations’ that construct different kinds of meanings about urban space and engender different kinds of listening positions. Nichols’s articulation of cinematic documentary modes helps detail ways in which the author’s intentionality is reflected in the styling, design, and presentation of filmic narratives. Michel Chion’s discussion of cinematic listening modes further contextualises the cultural construction of listening that is a central part of both design and experience of media artefacts. The conceptual lens is especially relevant to understanding mobile curation of mediated sonic experience as a kind of mobile digital storytelling. Working across all postcards, settings, and formats, the following four themes capture some of the dominant stylistic dimensions of mobile media documentation. The exploratory approach describes a methodology for representing everyday life as a flow, predominantly through ambient recordings of unfolding processes that participants referred to in the final discussion as a ‘turn it on and forget it’ approach to recording. As a stylistic method, the exploratory approach aligns most closely with Nichols’s poetic and observational documentary modes, combining a ‘window to the world’ aesthetic with minimal narration, striving to convey the ‘inner truth’ of phenomenal experience. In terms of listening modes reflected in this approach, exploratory aural postcards most strongly engage causal listening, to use Chion’s framework of cinematic listening modes. By and large, the exploratory approach describes incidental documentaries of routine events: soundscapes that are featured as a result of greater attentiveness and investment in the sonic aspects of everyday life. The entries created using this approach reflect a process of discovering (seeing and hearing) the ordinary as extra-ordinary; re-experiencing sometimes mundane and routine places and activities with a fresh perspective; and actively exploring hidden characteristics, nuances of meaning, and significance. For instance, in the following example, one participant explores a new neighborhood while on a work errand:The narrative approach to creating aural postcards stages sound as a springboard for recollecting memories and storytelling through reflecting on associations with other soundscapes, environments, and interactions. Rather than highlighting place, routine, or sound itself, this methodology constructs sound as a window into the identity and inner life of the recordist, mobilising most strongly a semantic listening mode through association and narrative around sound’s meaning in context (Chion 28). This approach combines a subjective narrative development with a participatory aesthetic that draws the listener into the unfolding story. This approach is also performative, in that it stages sound as a deeply subjective experience and approaches the narrative from a personally significant perspective. Most often this type of sound staging was curated using voice memo narratives about a particular sonic experience in conjunction with an ambient sonic highlight, or as a live commentary. Recollections typically emerged from incidental encounters, or in the midst of other observations about sound. In the following example a participant reminisces about the sound of wind, which, interestingly, she did not record: Today I have been listening to the wind. It’s really rainy and windy outside today and it was reminding me how much I like the sound of wind. And you know when I was growing up on the wide prairies, we sure had a lot of wind and sometimes I kind of miss the sound of it… (Participant 1) The aesthetic approach describes instances where the creation of aural postcards was motivated by a reduced listening position (Chion 29)—driven primarily by the qualities and features of the soundscape itself. This curatorial practice for staging mediated aural experience combines a largely subjective approach to documenting with an absence of traditional narrative development and an affective and evocative aesthetic. Where the exploratory documentary approach seeks to represent place, routine, environment, and context through sonic characteristics, the aesthetic approach features sound first and foremost, aiming to represent and comment on sound qualities and characteristics in a more ‘authentic’ manner. The media formats most often used in conjunction with this approach were the incidental ambient sonic highlight and the live commentary. In the following example we have the sound of coffee being made as an important domestic ritual where important auditory qualities are foregrounded: That’s the sound of a stovetop percolator which I’ve been using for many years and I pretty much know exactly how long it takes to make a pot of coffee by the sound that it makes. As soon as it starts gurgling I know I have about a minute before it burns. It’s like the coffee calls and I come. (Participant 6) The analytical approach characterises entries that stage mediated aural experience as a way of systematically and inductively investigating everyday phenomena. It is a conceptual and analytical experimental methodology employed to move towards confirming or disproving a ‘hypothesis’ or forming a theory about sonic relations developed in the course of the study. As such, this approach most strongly aligns with Chion’s semantic listening mode, with the addition of the interactive element of analytical inquiry. In this context, sound is treated as a variable to be measured, compared, researched, and theorised about in an explicit attempt to form conclusions about social relationships, personal significance, place, or function. This analytical methodology combines an explicit and critical focus to the process of documenting itself (whether it be measuring decibels or systematically attending to sonic qualities) with a distinctive analytical synthesis that presents as ‘formal discovery’ or even ‘truth.’ In using this approach, participants most often mobilised the format of short sonic highlights and follow-up voice memos. While these aural postcards typically contained sound level photographs (decibel measurement values), in some cases the inquiry and subsequent conclusions were made inductively through sustained observation of a series of soundscapes. The following example is by a participant who exclusively recorded and compared various domestic spaces in terms of sound levels, comparing and contrasting them using voice memos. This is a sound level photograph of his home computer system: So I decided to record sitting next to my computer today just because my computer is loud, so I wanted to see exactly how loud it really was. But I kept the door closed just to be sort of fair, see how quiet it could possibly get. I think it peaked at 75 decibels, and that’s like, I looked up a decibel scale, and apparently a lawn mower is like 90 decibels. (Participant 2) Mediated Curation as a New Media Cultural Practice? One aspect of adopting the metaphor of ‘curation’ towards everyday media production is that it shifts the critical discourse on aesthetic expression from the realm of specialised expertise to general practice (“Everyone’s a photographer”). The act of curation is filtered through the aesthetic and technological capabilities of the smartphone, a device that has become co-constitutive of our routine sensorial encounters with the world. Revisiting McLuhan-inspired discourses on communication technologies stages the iPhone not as a device that itself shifts consciousness but as an agent in a media ecology co-constructed by the forces of use and design—a “crystallization of cultural practices” (Sterne). As such, mobile technology is continuously re-crystalised as design ‘constraints’ meet both normative and transgressive user approaches to interacting with everyday life. The concept of ‘social curation’ already exists in commercial discourse for social web marketing (O’Connell; Allton). High-traffic, wide-integration web services such as Digg and Pinterest, as well as older portals such as Reddit, all work on the principles of arranging user-generated, web-aggregated, and re-purposed content around custom themes. From a business perspective, the notion of ‘social curation’ captures, unsurprisingly, only the surface level of consumer behaviour rather than the kinds of values and meaning that this process holds for people. In the more traditional sense, art curation involves aesthetic, pragmatic, epistemological, and communication choices about the subject of (re)presentation, including considerations such as manner of display, intended audience, and affective and phenomenal impact. In his 2012 book tracing the discourse and culture of curating, Paul O’Neill proposes that over the last few decades the role of the curator has shifted from one of arts administrator to important agent in the production of cultural experiences, an influential cultural figure in her own right, independent of artistic content (88). Such discursive shifts in the formulation of ‘curatorship’ can easily be transposed from a specialised to a generalised context of cultural production, in which everyone with the technological means to capture, share, and frame the material and sensory content of everyday life is a curator of sorts. Each of us is an agent with a unique aesthetic and epistemological perspective, regardless of the content we curate. The entire communicative exchange is necessarily located within a nexus of new media practices as an activity that simultaneously frames a cultural construction of sensory experience and serves as a cultural production of the self. To return to the question of listening and a sound studies perspective into mediated cultural practices, technology has not single-handedly changed the way we listen and attend to everyday experience, but it has certainly influenced the range and manner in which we make sense of the sensory ‘everyday’. Unlike acoustic listening, mobile digital technologies prompt us to frame sonic experience in a multi-modal and multi-medial fashion—through the microphone, through the camera, and through the interactive, analytical capabilities of the device itself. Each decision for sensory capture as a curatorial act is both epistemological and aesthetic; it implies value of personal significance and an intention to communicate meaning. The occurrences that are captured constitute impressions, highlights, significant moments, emotions, reflections, experiments, and creative efforts—very different knowledge artefacts from those produced through textual means. Framing phenomenal experience—in this case, listening—in this way is, I argue, a core characteristic of a more general type of new media literacy and sensibility: that of multi-modal documenting of sensory materialities, or the curation of everyday life. References Allton, Mike. “5 Cool Content Curation Tools for Social Marketers.” Social Media Today. 15 Apr. 2013. 10 June 2015 ‹http://socialmediatoday.com/mike-allton/1378881/5-cool-content-curation-tools-social-marketers›. Bennett, Shea. “Social Media Stats 2014.” Mediabistro. 9 June 2014. 20 June 2015 ‹http://www.mediabistro.com/alltwitter/social-media-statistics-2014_b57746›. Bijsterveld, Karin, ed. Soundscapes of the Urban Past: Staged Sound as Mediated Cultural Heritage. Bielefeld: Transcript-Verlag, 2013. Burn, Andrew. Making New Media: Creative Production and Digital Literacies. New York, NY: Peter Lang Publishing, 2009. Daisuke, Okabe, and Mizuko Ito. “Camera Phones Changing the Definition of Picture-worthy.” Japan Media Review. 8 Aug. 2015 ‹http://www.dourish.com/classes/ics234cw04/ito3.pdf›. Chion, Michel. Audio-Vision: Sound on Screen. New York, NY: Columbia UP, 1994. Förnstrom, Mikael, and Sean Taylor. “Creative Soundwalks.” Urban Soundscapes and Critical Citizenship Symposium. Limerick, Ireland. 27–29 March 2014. Ito, Mizuko, ed. Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2010. Jenkins, Henry, Ravi Purushotma, Margaret Weigel, Katie Clinton, and Alice J. Robison. Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century. White Paper prepared for the McArthur Foundation, 2006. McLuhan, Marshall. Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1964. Nichols, Brian. Introduction to Documentary. Bloomington & Indianapolis, Indiana: Indiana UP, 2001. Nielsen. “State of the Media – The Social Media Report.” Nielsen 4 Dec. 2012. 12 May 2015 ‹http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/reports/2012/state-of-the-media-the-social-media-report-2012.html›. O’Connel, Judy. “Social Content Curation – A Shift from the Traditional.” 8 Aug. 2011. 11 May 2015 ‹http://judyoconnell.com/2011/08/08/social-content-curation-a-shift-from-the-traditional/›. O’Neill, Paul. The Culture of Curating and the Curating of Culture(s). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2012. Pink, Sarah. Doing Visual Ethnography. London, UK: Sage, 2007. ———. Situating Everyday Life. London, UK: Sage, 2012. Sterne, Jonathan. The Audible Past: Cultural Origins of Sound Reproduction. Durham, NC: Duke UP, 2003. Schafer, R. Murray, ed. World Soundscape Project. European Sound Diary (reprinted). Vancouver: A.R.C. Publications, 1977. Turkle, Sherry. “Connected But Alone?” TED Talk, Feb. 2012. 8 Aug. 2015 ‹http://www.ted.com/talks/sherry_turkle_alone_together?language=en›.

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Bohdan, Svitlana, and Tetiana Tarasiuk. "Associated Field Semantics in Modeling Lesya Ukrainka’s Image." East European Journal of Psycholinguistics 7, no.1 (June30, 2020). http://dx.doi.org/10.29038/eejpl.2020.7.1.boh.

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The article is focused on the study of the perception of Lesya Ukrainka, a famous Ukrainian writer, in contemporary Ukrainian society. The research is based on a free word association test held online with 200 respondents aged from 13 to 70. As a result of applying quantitative analysis of the associates and semantic gestalt method the authors singled out productive semantic zones concerning each of the stimuli. These zones presented an anthroponymic triad of personality identification related to the author’s names ‘Larysa Kvitka’, ‘Larysa Kosach’, and the pseudonym ‘Lesya Ukrainka’. The nuclear zones in each associative field manifest a tendency for uniformity. They are related to her professional activities, her works, elements of inner and outer portrayal, as well as of evaluative spectrum. The respondents have shown predominantly high levels of knowledge about Lesya Ukrainka’s personality, which is proven, in particular, by their reverse frequency reactions and peripheral character of zero reactions. A dominant positive evaluative spectrum of perception of Lesya Ukrainka, as well as productivity of individual associates of interpretational character, was also important. References Barnett, L. (2007). The nature of playfulness in young adults. Personality and Individual Differences, 43, 949-958. Bowman, J. (1987). Making Work Play. In G. A. Fine (Ed.), Meaningful Play, Playful Meanings (pp. 61-71). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. Bundy, A. (1996). Play and Playfulness: What to Look for. In D.L. Parham & L. S. Fazio (Eds.), Play in Occupational Therapy for Children (pp. 52−66). St. Louis, MO: Mosby. Chapman, J. (1978). Playfulness and the development of divergent thinking abilities. Child: Care, Health and Development, 4, 371-383. Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1975). Play and intrinsic rewards. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 15, 41-63. Dal, V. I. (2011). Explanatory Dictionary of the Living Great Russian Language: in four volumes. Publishing house: Drofa. Retrieved from: http://slovardalja.net/ Glynn, M., & Webster, J. (1992). The adult playfulness scale: an initial assessment. Psychological Reports, 71 (1), 83-103. https://doi.org/10.2466/pr0.1992.71.1.83 Гордиенко-Митрофанова, И.В. (2014а). Лексикографическое значение слова «игривость» (подготовительный этап психолингвистического эксперимента). Психологічні перспективи, 24, 76-88. Гордиенко-Митрофанова, И.В. (2014b). Психологическое содержание лексикографических значений слова «игривый» (подготовительный этап психолингвистического эксперимента). Проблеми сучасної педагогічної освіти, 46 (3), 298-306. Gordienko-Mytrofanova, I., & Kobzieva, Iu. (2017a). Playful competence: the access code to the inner resources. Proceedings of the 15th European Congress of Psychology. Amsterdam, 11-14 July. (19) Gordienko-Mytrofanova, I., & Kobzieva, Iu. (2017b). Humour as a component of ludic competence. Visnyk of H.S. Skovoroda Kharkiv National Pedagogical University, Psychology, 57, 40-56. Gordienko-Mytrofanova, I. & Kobzieva, Iu. (2018). Concept “holy fool” in the linguistic world-image of the Russian-speaking population of Ukraine. Psycholinguistics-Psiholingvistika, 24(1), 118-133. https://doi.org/10.31470/2309-1797-2018-24-1-118-133 Gordienko-Mytrofanova, I. & Kobzieva, Iu. (2019). Gender- and role-specific differences in the perception of the concept “impishness” (based on the results of a psycholinguistic experiment). Psycholinguistics-Psiholingvistika, 25(1), 33-48. https://doi.org/10.31470/2309-1797-2019-25-1-33-48 Gordienko-Mytrofanova, I., Kobzieva, Iu. & Silina, A. (2018a). Psycholinguistic meanings of the verbalised concept “holy fool” (based on the results of the psycholinguistic experiment). Vіsnyk of H. S. Skovoroda Kharkiv National Pedagogical University, Psychology, 59, 18-34. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.2527863 Gordiienko-Mytrofanova, I., Kobzieva, I. & Sauta, S. (2019). Psycholinguistic meanings of playfulness. East European Journal of Psycholinguistics, 6(1), 19-31. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3371627 Gordienko-Mytrofanova, I., Pidchasov, Ye., Sauta, S., & Kobzieva, Iu. (2018b). The problem of sample representativeness for conducting experimental and broad psychological research. Psycholinguistics-Psiholingvistika, 23(1), 11-46. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1212360 Gordiienko-Mytrofanova, I. V., & Sauta, S. L. (2016). Playfulness as a peculiar expression of sexual relationships (semantic interpretation of the results of the psycholinguistic experiment). European Humanities Studies: State and Society, 1, 46-62. Retrieved from: http://ehs-ss.pl/czasopismo/EHS-SS-01-2016.pdf Gordiienko-Mytrofanova, I. & Sypko, A. (2015). Playfulness as a relevant lexeme in the bilingual linguistic consciousness of Ukrainian people. East European Journal of Psycholinguistics, 2(1), 43-51. Retrieved from http://esnuir.eenu.edu.ua/bitstream/ 123456789/9355/1/eejpl_journal_2_1_2015_sypko_hordiyenko_mytrofanova.pdf Groos, K. (1976). The Play of Man: Teasing and Love-Play. In J. Brunner, A. Jolly, & K. Sylva (Eds.), Play, Development and Evolution (pp. 62–83). Middlesex, United Kingdom: Penguin Books. Guitard, P., Ferland, F. & Dutil, É. (2005). Toward a better understanding of playfulness in adults. OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health, 25 (1), 9-22. https://doi.org/10.1177/153944920502500103 Кобзева, Ю., Гордиенко-Митрофанова, И., Гончаренко-Кулиш, А. (2020a). Определение шаловливости как компонента игровой компетентности через реконструкцию семантических элементов концепта «шаловливость». 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(1935-1940). Толковый словарь русского языка: в четырех томах. Москва: Сов.энциклопедия: ОГИЗ. Yarnal, C. & Qian, X. (2011). Older-adult playfulness: an innovative construct and measurement for healthy aging research. American Journal of Play, 4 (1), 52-79. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ985548.pdf Ефремова, Т. Ф. (2000). Новый словарь русского языка. Толково-словообразовательный. Москва: Русский язык. Епишкин, Н. И. (2010). Историчесикй словарь галлицизмов русского языка. Словарное издательство ЭТС. Yue, X., Leung, C. & Hiranandani, N. (2016). Adult playfulness, humor styles, and subjective happiness. Psychological Reports, 119 (3), 630-640. https://doi.org/10.1177/0033294116662842 Засекина, Л. В. (2008). Тенденції розвитку вітчизняної психолінгвістики: методологічний огляд проблем та окреслення шляхів їх вирішення. Retrieved from: Psycholinguistics-Psiholingvistika, 1. Retrieved from: http://nbuv.gov.ua/UJRN/psling_2008_1_2 References (translated and transliterated) Barnett, L. (2007). The nature of playfulness in young adults. Personality and Individual Differences, 43, 949-958. Bowman, J. (1987). Making Work Play. In G. A. Fine (Ed.), Meaningful Play, Playful Meanings (pp. 61-71). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. Bundy, A. (1996). Play and Playfulness: What to Look for. In D.L. Parham & L. S. Fazio (Eds.), Play in Occupational Therapy for Children (pp. 52−66). St. Louis, MO: Mosby. Chapman, J. (1978). Playfulness and the development of divergent thinking abilities. Child: Care, Health and Development, 4, 371-383. Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1975). Play and intrinsic rewards. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 15, 41-63. Dal, V. I. (2011). Tolkovyi Slovar Zhivogo Velikorusskogo Yazyka [Explanatory Dictionary of the Living Great Russian Language]: in four volumes. Publishing house: Drofa. Retrieved from: http://slovardalja.net/ Glynn, M., & Webster, J. (1992). The adult playfulness scale: an initial assessment. Psychological Reports, 71(1), 83-103. https://doi.org/10.2466/pr0.1992.71.1.83 Gordiienko-Mytrofanova, I.V. (2014a). Leksikograficheskoie znacheniie slova “igrivost” (podgotovitelnyi etap psikholingvisticheskogo eksperimenta) [The lexicographic meaning of the word “playfulness” (preparatory stage of a psycholinguistic experiment)]. Psykholohichni Perspektyvy − Psychological Prospects, 24, 76-88. Gordiienko-Mytrofanova, I.V. (2014b). Psikhologicheskoie soderzhaniie leksikograficheskikh znachenii slova “igrivyi” (podgotovitelnyi etap psikholingvisticheskogo eksperimenta) [The psychological content of lexicographic meanings of the word “playful” (preparatory stage of the psycholinguistic experiment)]. Problemy suchasnoi pedahohichnoi osvity − Problems of Modern Pedagogical Education, 46(3), 298-306. Gordiienko-Mytrofanova, I.V. (2014c). Psikhologicheskaia interpretatsiia leksikograficheskogo opisaniia slova “igrivyi” [Psychological interpretation of the lexicographic description of the word “playful”]. Problemy Suchasnoi Psykholohii − Problems of Modern Psychology, 25, 83-98. Gordienko-Mytrofanova, I., & Kobzieva, Iu. (2017a). Playful competence: the access code to the inner resources. Proceedings of the 15th European Congress of Psychology Amsterdam, 11-14 July. (19). Gordienko-Mytrofanova, I., & Kobzieva, Iu. (2017b). Humour as a component of ludic competence. Visnyk of H.S. Skovoroda Kharkiv National Pedagogical University, Psychology, 57, 40-56. Gordienko-Mytrofanova, I. & Kobzieva, Iu. (2018). Concept “holy fool” in the linguistic world-image of the Russian-speaking population of Ukraine. Psycholinguistics- Psiholingvistika, 24 (1), 118-133. https://doi.org/10.31470/2309-1797-2018-24-1-118-133 Gordienko-Mytrofanova, I. & Kobzieva, Iu. (2019). Gender- and role-specific differences in the perception of the concept “impishness” (based on the results of a psycholinguistic experiment). Psycholinguistics-Psiholingvistika, 25(1), 33-48. https://doi.org/10.31470/2309-1797-2019-25-1-33-48 Gordienko-Mytrofanova, I., Kobzieva, Iu. & Silina, A. (2018a). Psycholinguistic meanings of the verbalised concept “holy fool” (based on the results of the psycholinguistic experiment). Vіsnyk of H. S. Skovoroda Kharkiv National Pedagogical University, Psychology, 59, 18-34. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.2527863 Gordiienko-Mytrofanova, I., Kobzieva, I. & Sauta, S. (2019). Psycholinguistic meanings of playfulness. East European Journal of Psycholinguistics, 6(1), 19-31. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3371627 Gordienko-Mytrofanova, I., Pidchasov, Ye., Sauta, S., & Kobzieva, Iu. (2018b). The problem of sample representativeness for conducting experimental and broad psychological research. Psycholinguistics-Psiholingvistika, 23(1), 11-46. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1212360 Gordiienko-Mytrofanova, I. V., & Sauta, S. L. (2016). Playfulness as a peculiar expression of sexual relationships (semantic interpretation of the results of the psycholinguistic experiment). European Humanities Studies: State and Society, 1, 46-62. Retrieved from: http://ehs-ss.pl/czasopismo/EHS-SS-01-2016.pdf Gordiienko-Mytrofanova, I. & Sypko, A. (2015). Playfulness as a relevant lexeme in the bilingual linguistic consciousness of Ukrainian people. East European Journal of Psycholinguistics, 2(1), 43-51. Retrieved from: http://esnuir.eenu.edu.ua/bitstream/ 123456789/9355/1/eejpl_journal_2_1_2015_sypko_hordiyenko_mytrofanova.pdf Groos, K. (1976). The Play of Man: Teasing and Love-Play. In J. Brunner, A. Jolly, & K. Sylva (Eds.), Play, Development and Evolution (pp. 62–83). Middlesex, United Kingdom: Penguin Books. Guitard, P., Ferland, F. & Dutil, É. (2005). Toward a better understanding of playfulness in adults. OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health, 25 (1), 9-22. https://doi.org/10.1177/153944920502500103 Kobzieva, Iu., Gordienko-Mytrofanova, I., Goncharenko-Kulish, A. (2020a). Opredeleniie shalovlivosti kak komponenta igrovoi kompetentosti cherez rekonstruktsiiu semanticheskikh elementov kontsepta “shalovlivost” [Defining impishness as a component of ludic competence via restructuring semantic elements of the concept “impishness”]. Problemy Suchasnoi Psykholohii − Problems of Modern Psychology, 47, 118-140. https://doi.org/10.32626/2227-6246.2020-47 Kobzieva Iu., Gordienko-Mytrofanova I., Sauta S. (2020b). Psycholinguistic Features of Imagination as a Component of Ludic Competence. EUREKA: Social and Humanities, 2, 15-23. http://dx.doi.org/10.21303/2504-5571.2020.001128 Kobzieva Iu., Gordienko-Mytrofanova I., Udovenko M., Sauta S. (2020c). 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Yazyk i Kultura − Language and Culture, 98-111. Ushakov, D. N. (Ed.). (1935-1940). Tolkovyi Slovar Russkogo Yazyka [Dictionary of Russian Language]: in four volumes. Moscow: Sov. Encyclopedia: OGIZ. http://feb-web.ru/feb/ushakov/ush-abc/0ush.htm Yarnal, C. & Qian, X. (2011). Older-adult playfulness: an innovative construct and measurement for healthy aging research. American Journal of Play, 4(1), 52-79. Retrieved from: https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ985548.pdf Yefremova, T. F. (2000). Novyi Slovar Russkogo Yazyka. Tolkovo-Slovoobrazovatelnyi [New Dictionary of the Russian Language. Interpretative and Derivational]. Moscow: Russkii yazyk. Retrieved from: https://www.efremova.info/ Yepishkin, N. I. (2010). Istoricheskii slovar gallitsizmov russkogo yazyka [Historical Dictionary of Gallicisms in the Russian Language]. ETS Dictionary Publishing House. Retrieved from: http://rus-yaz.niv.ru/doc/gallism-dictionary/index.htm Yue, X., Leung, C. & Hiranandani, N. (2016). 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Ellis,KatieM. "Breakdown Is Built into It: A Politics of Resilience in a Disabling World." M/C Journal 16, no.5 (August28, 2013). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.707.

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Resilience is an interdisciplinary concept that has been interrogated and investigated in a number of fields of research and practice including psychology, climate change, trauma studies, education and disaster planning. This paper considers its position within critical disability studies, popular understandings of disability and the emergence of a disability culture. Patrick Martin-Breen and J. Marty Anderies offer a colloquial definition of resilience as: Bouncing back after stress, enduring greater stress, and being less disturbed by a given amount of stress. … To be resilient is to withstand a large disturbance without, in the end, changing, disintegrating, or becoming permanently damaged; to return to normal quickly; and to distort less in the face of such stresses. (1182) Conversely, Glenn E. Richardson argues that resiliency is a ‘metatheory’ that can best be described as ‘growth or adaptation through disruption rather than to just recover or bounce back’ (1184). He argues that resiliency theory has progressed through several stages, from the recognition of characteristics of resilient individuals to an appreciation of the support structures required beyond the level of the individual. In her memoir Resilience, Ann Deveson describes resilience as a concept that people think they understand until they are called upon to define it. Deveson offers many definitions and examples of resilience throughout her book, beginning with stories about disability, people with disability and their experiences of changing levels of social inclusion and exclusion (632). She paints an evocative picture of a young mother whose five year old son has cerebral palsy giving evidence before a Royal Commission into Human Relationships during a period of significant social change involving the deinstitutionalisation of people with disabilities: A few years earlier, this child with cerebral palsy would have been placed in an institution. His mother might not even have seen him. Now she had care of her child but the pendulum had swung in the opposite direction. (632) During the 1980s a number of large institutions caring for people with developmental impairments and psychiatric illnesses were closed in favour of community care (Clear 652). Although giving an appearance of endorsing equality of disabled people in the community, the ‘hidden agenda’ of this initiative was to cut public expenditure on social services (Ellis 163). As a result, an undue burden fell to women who became primary carers with little support such as the woman Deveson remembers. She questions where this young mother mustered such ‘magnificent resilience’ when she had such little support: When he was born, she had been discharged from the hospital with her baby, a feeding formula and a tiny pink plate for the child’s cleft palate. The only advice she received was to come back later to have the plate refitted. Her general practitioner prescribed her sedatives for depression, and she and her husband found their own way to the Royal Blind society by asking a blind man they saw outside a supermarket. She had only learned accidentally from one of the nurses that her baby was blind. ‘He’s mentally retarded too,’ the nurse had added, almost as an afterthought. (632) Thus Deveson’s consideration of resilience includes both an individual’s response to what could be described as tragedy and the importance of social support and the drive to demand it. Despite her child’s impairment and the lack of community resources made available to her family to cope, this young woman was leading public discussion about the plight of people with disabilities and their families in the hopes the government would intervene to help improve the situation (Deveson 632). Indeed, when it comes to the experience of disability, resilience is implied and generally understood to mean an attribute of the individual. However, as resilience theory has progressed, resilience can no longer be considered as existing exclusively within the domain of an individual’s personal qualities. Environmental support structures are vital in fostering resilience (Wilkes). Despite resiliency theory moving on from the level of the individual, popular discourses of resiliency as an individual’s attribute continue to dominate disability. As such, some critical disability commentators have redefined resilience as a response to a disabling social world. My aim in this paper is to explore this discourse by engaging with ideas about disability and resilience that emerge in popular culture. Despite the changing social position of people with disabilities in the community, notions of resilience are often invoked to describe the experience of people with disability and attributes of successful (often considered ‘inspiring’) people with disability. I begin by offering a definition of resilience as it is bound up in notions of inspiration and usually applied to people with disabilities. The second part of the paper explores disability as a cultural signifier to comment on the ways in which disability offers cultural meanings that may work to reassure nondisabled people of their privileged position. Finally, the paper considers interpretations of disability as a personal tragedy before exploring the emergence of a disability culture that recognises the social and cultural oppression experienced by people with disabilities and reworks definitions of resilience as a response to that oppression. Defining Resilience: Good Outcomes in Spite of Serious Threats Disability is often invoked in stories about resilience. Gillian King, Elizabeth Brown, and Linda Smith argue that a clear link exists between resilience and feeling that life is meaningful. They argue that the experiences of people with disabilities can offer a template for how to develop resilience and cope with life changes (King, Brown and Smith 633). According to the Oxford English Dictionary Online, resilience is ‘the action or an act of rebounding or springing back’ (653). King et al add that several concepts are associated with resilience such as hardiness, a sense of coherence and learned optimism (633). Deveson, resilience ‘has come to mean an ability to confront adversity and still find hope and meaning in life’. She comments that it conjures up notions of heroism, endurance and determination (632). Each of these characteristics we might describe as inspirational. It is telling that both Deveson and King et al use people with disabilities as signifiers of resilience in practice. However, Katherine Runswick-Cole and Dan Goodley argue that this definition of resilience has not necessarily been useful to people with disabilities and instead recommend a definition of resilience that Deveson only alludes to. For Runswick-Cole and Goodley resilience can be located in social processes. They argue that a thorough investigation of resilience in the lives of people with disabilities considers the broader social and cultural restrictions placed on top of impairments rather than simply individualising resilience as a character trait of people who can ‘overcome the odds’: An exploration of resilience in the lives of disabled people must, then, focus on what resources are available and who is accessing those resources. Crucially, in seeking to build resilience in the lives of disabled people, this can never simply be a matter of building individual capacity or family support, it must also be a case of challenging social, attitudinal and structural barriers which increase adversity in the lives of disabled people. (634) This is an alternative approach to disability that sees ‘the problem’ located in social structures and inaccessible environments. This so-called social model of disability is based on principles of empowerment and argues that able-bodied mainstream society disables people who have impairments through an inaccessible built environment and the perpetuation of stereotypes and prejudicial attitudes. Disability Dustbins and Inspirational Cripples Arthur Frank, sociologist and author of The Wounded Storyteller, explains that ‘the human body, for all its resilience, is fragile; breakdown is built into it. Bodily predictability, if not the exception, should be regarded as exceptional; contingency ought to be accepted as normative’ (634). Frank argues that we do not want to admit that our bodies are unpredictable and could ‘break down’ at any moment. Those bodies that do break down therefore become representatives of many of the things [the able-bodied, normal world] most fear-tragedy, loss, dark and the unknown. Involuntarily we walk- or more often sit- in the valley of the shadow of death. Contact with us throws up in people's faces the fact of sickness and death in the world … A deformed and paralysed body attacks everyone's sense of well-being and invincibility. (Hunt 186) People with disabilities therefore become loaded cultural signifiers, as Tom Shakespeare argues in Cultural Representations of Disabled People: Dustbins for Disavowal: ‘it is non-disabled people’s embodiment which is the issue: disabled people remind non-disabled people of their own vulnerability’ (139). As a result, people with disabilities are culturally othered. Several disability theorists have argued that this makes the non-disabled feel better about themselves and their tenuous privileged position (Barnes; Ellis; Kumari Campbell; Oliver, Goggin and Newell; Shakespeare). Disability, as a concept, is both everywhere and nowhere. Generally considered a medical experience or personal tragedy, the discipline of critical disability studies has emerged to question why disability is considered an inherently negative experience and if there is more to disability than a body that has something wrong with it. Fiona Kumari Campbell suggests ableism – ‘the network of beliefs, processes and practices that produces a particular kind of self and body (the corporeal standard) that is projected as the perfect, species typical and therefore essential and fully human’ – is repeatedly performed in our culture. This cultural project is difficult to sustain because by their very nature all bodies are out of control. People with disability are an acute reminder of the temporariness of an able bodied ontology (650). In order to maintain this division and network of beliefs, the idea that disability is a personal tragedy rather than a set of social relations designed to exclude some bodies but not others is culturally reproduced through stereotypes such as the idea that people with disabilities who achieve both ordinary and extraordinary things are sources of inspiration. Resilience as a personal quality is implicated in this stereotype. In a powerful Ramp Up blog that was republished on the ABC’s Drum and the influential popular culture/mummy blogging site website Mamamia, Stella Young takes issues with the media’s framing of disability as inspirational: We all learn how to use the bodies we're born with, or learn to use them in an adjusted state, whether those bodies are considered disabled or not. So that image of the kid drawing a picture with the pencil held in her mouth instead of her hand? That's just the best way for her, in her body, to do it. For her, it's normal. I can't help but wonder whether the source of this strange assumption that living our lives takes some particular kind of courage is the news media, an incredibly powerful tool in shaping the way we think about disability. Most journalists seem utterly incapable of writing or talking about a person with a disability without using phrases like "overcoming disability", "brave", "suffers from", "defying the odds", "wheelchair bound" or, my personal favourite, "inspirational". If we even begin to question the way we're labelled, we slide immediately to the other end of the scale and become "bitter" and "ungrateful". We fail to be what people expect. (610) These phrases, that Young claims the media rely on to isolate people with disabilities, are synonyms for the qualities Deveson attributes to resilient individuals (632). As Beth Haller notes, although disabled activists and academics attempt to progress important political work, the news media continue to frame people with disability as courageous and inspirational simply for living their lives (216). By comparison, disability theorist Irving Zola describes rejecting his leg braces (symbolic of his professional status) electing instead to use a wheelchair: If we lived in a less healthiest, capitalist, and hierarchal society, which spent less time finding ways to exclude and disenfranchise people and more time finding ways to include and enhance the potentialities of everyone, then there wouldn’t have been so much for me to overcome. (654) Harilyn Russo agrees, and in her memoir Don’t Call Me Inspirational highlights the socially created barriers put in her way and the ways these are ignored in favour of individualising social disablement as something inspirational people ‘overcome’: I’ll tell you why I am inspirational: I put up with the barriers, the barricades, the bullsh*t you put between us to avoid confronting something—probably yourself—and still pay the rent on time and savor dark chocolate. Now that takes real courage. (651) Throughout her book, Russo seeks to ‘overcome disability prejudice’ rather than ‘overcome disability’. Russo establishes herself and her experiences as normal and every day while articulating the tedium she finds in being pigeon holed as inspirational. These authors are constructing a new way of thinking about disability. Michael Oliver first described this as the ‘social model of disability’ in 1981. He sought to overturn the pathologisation of disability by giving people ‘a way of applying the idea that it was society not people with impairments that should be the target for professional intervention and practice’ (Runswick-Cole and Goodley 634). Resilience: A Key Concept Fiona Kumari Campbell questions whether resilience is a useful concept in the context of disability and reflects on its use to obscure “the ‘real’ problem, namely disability oppression” (649). She interrogates traditional definitions of resilience as they draw on notions of good outcomes in spite of risk factors or experiences of severe trauma and calls for an understanding of the interactive and dynamic features of resilience as opposed to ‘individualised psychological attributes’. Thus, individualised notions of resilience as they are implicated in the cultural stories of inspirational people with disabilities are embedded within the ableist relations that Kumari Campbell seeks to expose. In Empowerment, Self-Advocacy and Resilience, Dan Goodley argues that resilience is a key concept that has repeatedly emerged throughout his research into disability and self-advocacy. He draws on the reflections of people with disabilities to offer a re-definition of resilience as a response to a disabling society that includes five interrelated aspects (648). First is resilience as contextual, which recognises resilience as the result of the contexts in which it emerges, including through relationships with others and the experience of disabling and enabling environments. Secondly, resilience complicates preconceived notions about people with disabilities such as the view that they are passive. Goodley’s third feature of resilience is optimism. He notes resistance toward oppression as a key characteristic of optimistic resilience. Goodley again considers the importance of interpersonal relationships and group identity when he argues that the fourth feature of resilience relies on people with disabilities forming relationships with each other and group identities to question their oppression. Finally, Goodley argues ‘resilience is indicative of disablement’ and suggests that people with disability must be resilient in everyday life because we live in a disabling society. Kumari Campbell posits that individualised notions of resilience are a ‘cop out’ designed to ‘distract and defuse the reality of people labouring under very difficult circ*mstances of which the solution is better access to quality services’. She is hopeful, like Goodley, that resilience can be redefined as a political project, and encourages people with disabilities to develop a critical consciousness and find a new sense of community through art, humour and peer support. Therefore, according to Kumari Campbell and Goodley, resilience can be redefined as a response to social disablement rather than bodily impairment. Disability Culture: Acts of Resilience in a Disabling Society Russo and Zola’s work is part of a disability culture that has emerged in response to narrow ways of understanding disability. Steven Brown emphasises the importance of experience and personal identity in his definition of disability culture: People with disabilities have forged a group identity. We share a common history of oppression and a common bond of resilience. We generate art, music, literature, and other expressions of our lives and our culture, infused from our experience of disability. Most importantly, we are proud of ourselves as people with disabilities. We claim our disabilities with pride as part of our identity. (520) Brown’s definition of disability culture therefore draws on all five of Goodley’s features of resilience. Disability culture is contextual, complicating, optimistic, interpersonal and indicative of disablement. The forging of a group identity reveals the resilience of disability culture as contextual and interpersonal. The creation of art, music, literature and other cultural artefacts reveals resilience as optimistic. The notion that people with disabilities are proud of their identity complicates traditional understandings of disability as a personal tragedy. Brown’s emphasis on the common history of the oppression of people with disabilities, as it initiated the whole disability culture movement, is ‘indicative of disablement’. The bonds of resilience that create the disability cultural movement are a result of the social oppression of people with disabilities (Gill; Martin; Brown; Goodley). Conclusion Whereas people with disabilities going about their every day lives have often been considered inspirational and as possessing resilient qualities, a new disability culture is emerging that repositions the resilience of people with disabilities as a political response to social oppression. Drawing on Runswick-Cole and Goodley’s argument that individualising qualities of resilience in inspirational people with disabilities has not benefitted people with disabilities, this paper sought to reveal the importance of resilience as a response to social oppression. People with disabilities in their formation of a disability cultural movement are reworking and redefining resilience as a response to oppression. Throughout this paper I have drawn on the reflections of a number of people with disabilities to illustrate the emergence of a disability culture as it has begun the work of redefining resilience as a political project that “‘outs’ the problems that disabled people face and names and prioritises the concerns” (Kumari Campbell 649). As Goodley argues, people with disabilities have developed a politics of resilience ‘in the face of a disabling world’. References Barnes, Colin. “Disabling Imagery and the Media: An Exploration of the Principles for Media Representations of Disabled People.” 1992. Brown, Steven. “What Is Disability Culture?” Disability Studies Quarterly 22.2 (2002). Clear, Mike. Promises, Promises: Disability and Terms of Inclusion. Leichhardt: Federation Press, 2000. Deveson, Ann. Resilience. Crows Nest: Allen & Unwin, 2003. Ellis, Katie. Disabling Diversity: The Social Construction of Disability in 1990s Australian National Cinema. Saarbrücken, Germany: VDM Verlag, 2008. Frank, Arthur. The Wounded Storyteller: Body, Illness and Ethics. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1995. Gill, Carol. “A Psychological View of Disability Culture.” Disability Studies Quarterly (Fall 1995). ———. "Disability in Australia: Exposing a Social Apartheid." Sydney: University of New South Wales, 2005. Goodley, Dan. “Empowerment, Self-Advocacy and Resilience.” Journal of Intellectual Disabilities 9.4 (2005): 333-343. Haller, Beth. Representing Disability in an Ableist World: Essays on Mass Media. Louisville, KY: Avocado Press, 2010. Hunt, Paul. “A Critical Condition.” Stigma: The Experience of Disability. Ed. Paul Hunt. London: Geoffrey Chapman, 1966. King, Gillian, Elizabeth Brown, and Linda Smith. “Resilience: Learning from People with Disabilities and the Turning Points in Their Lives.” Health Psychology. Ed. Barbara, Tinsley. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2003. Kumari Campbell, Fiona. Contours of Ableism: The Production of Disability and Abledness. New York: Palgrave Macmillian, 2009. ———. “Out of the Shadows: Resilience and Living with Ableism Seminar.” The University of Dundee, 13 Sep. 2010. Martin-Breen, Patrick, and J. Marty Anderies. “Resilience: A Literature Review.” The Rockefeller Foundation, 2011. Martin, Douglas. Disability Culture: Eager to Bite the Hands That Would Feed Them. New York Times, 1997. Oliver, Mike. “Understanding Disability: From Theory to Practice.” Houndsmill, Basingstoke: Macmillian, 1996. Oxford English Dictionary. “resilience, n.” Oxford University Press. Richardson, G. E. “The Metatheory of Resilience and Resiliency,” Journal of Clinical Psychology 58.3. (2002): 307-321. Rousso, Harilyn. "Don’t Call Me Inspirational: A Disabled Feminist Talks Back." Philadelphia: Temple University Press. 2013. Runswick-Cole, Katherine, and Dan Goodley. “Resilience: A Disability Studies and Community Psychology Approach.” Social and Personality Psychology Compass 7. 2 (2013): 67-78. Shakespeare, Tom. “Cultural Representation of Disabled People: Dustbins for Disavowal?” Disability & Society 9.3 (1994): 283-299. Wilkes, Glenda. “Introduction – A Second Generation of Resilience Research.” Journal of Clinical Psychology 58.3 (2002): 229-232. Young, Stella. “We’re Not Here for Your Inspiration.” Ramp Up 2012. Zola, Irving. Missing Pieces: A Chronicle of Living with a Disability. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. 1982.

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Trofimova, Evija, and Sophie Nicholls. "On Walking and Thinking: Two Walks across the Page." M/C Journal 21, no.4 (October15, 2018). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1450.

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IntroductionTwo writers, stuck in our university offices, decide to take our thoughts “for a walk” across the page. Writing from Middlesbrough, United Kingdom, and Auckland, New Zealand, we are separated by 18,000 kilometres and 11 hours, and yet here, on the page, our paths meet. How does walking, imaginary or real, affect our thinking? How do the environments through which we move, and the things we see along the way, influence our writing? What role do rhythm and pace play in the process? We invite you to join us on two short walks that reflect on our shared challenges as writers from two different strands of writing studies. Perhaps our paths will intersect, or even overlap, with yours somewhere? Ultimately, we aim to find out what happens when we leave our academic baggage behind, side-stepping dense theoretical arguments and comprehensive literature reviews for a creative-critical exploration. Evija: Let’s admit it, Sophie—I’m stuck. I’ve spent half a day in front of this computer but have hardly typed a line. It’s not just writing. It’s my thinking. I feel like my mind is weighed down by the clutter of thoughts that lead nowhere.Look at my surroundings. My office is crammed with stuff. So many thoughts buried under piles of paper, insisting on their place in the work in which they so obviously do not belong. I also can’t help but feel the magnetic pull of others’ ideas from all the books around me. Each thought, each reference, fights for its place in my work. What an unbearable intertextual mess...Sophie: I think that everyone who has ever tried to write knows exactly what these moments feel like. We can feel so lost, so stuck and blocked. Have you ever noticed that the words that we use about these feelings are intensely visceral? Perhaps that’s why, when the words won’t come, so many of us find it helpful to get up and move our bodies. Evija, shall we leave our desks behind for a while and go for a walk? Would you like to join me?E: Most certainly! Apparently, Friedrich Nietzsche loved to take his mind for a walk (Gros). Ideas, born among books, says Frédéric Gros, “exude the stuffy odour of libraries” (18). Gros describes such books as “grey”: “overloaded with quotations, references, footnotes, explicatory prudence, indefinite refutations” (19). They fail to say anything new and are “crammed”, “stuffed”, and “weighed down”; they are “born of a compilation of the other books” (Gros 19) so also bear their weight. Essentially, we are told, we should think of the books we are writing as “expression[s] of [our] physiology” (Gros 19). If we are shrivelled, stuck, stooped, tense, and tired, so also are our thoughts. Therefore, in order to make your thoughts breathe, walk, and even “dance”, says Nietzsche, you should go outdoors, go up in the mountains.S: As I read what you’ve written here, Evija, I feel as if I’m walking amongst your thoughts, both here on the screen and in my imagination. Sometimes, I’m in perfect step with you. At other times, I want to interrupt, tug on your sleeve and point, and say “Look! Have you seen this, just up ahead?”E: That’s the value of companionship on the road. A shared conversation on the move can lead to a transformation of thought, a conversion, as in the Biblical stories of the roads to Emmaus and Damascus. In fact, we tested the power of walking and talking in rural settings in a series of experimental events organised for academics in Auckland, New Zealand, throughout 2017 (see our blog post on Writing, Writing Everywhere website). It appeared to work very well for writers who had either been “stuck” or in the early stages of drafting. Those who were looking to structure existing thoughts were better off staying put. But walking and talking is an entire other topic (see Anderson) that we should discuss in more depth some other time.Anyway, you’ve brought us to what looks like a forest. Is this where you want us to go?A Walk “into the Woods,” or Getting in the Thick of Free-Writing S: Yes, just follow me. I often walk in the woods close to where I live. Of course, going “into the woods” is itself a metaphor, rich with fairy-tale connotations about creativity. The woods are full of darkness and danger, grandmother’s cottage, wild beasts, witches, poisonous fruits. The woods are where traps are laid, where children wander and get lost, where enchantments befall us. But humans have always been seduced by the woods and what lies in wait there (Maitland). In Jungian terms, losing oneself in darkness is a rite of initiation. By stepping into the woods, we surrender to not knowing, to walking off the path and into the depths of our imagination. I dare you to do that, right now! E: Letting go is not always easy. I keep wanting to respond to your claim by adding scholarly references to important work on the topic. I want to mention the father of the essay, Michel de Montaigne, for whom this form of writing was but “an attempt” (from Old French, “essai”) to place himself in this world, a philosophical and literary adventure that stood very far from the rigidly structured academic essay of the present day (Sturm). We’ve forgotten that writing is a risky undertaking, an exploration of uncharted terrains (Sturm). S: Yes, and in academic thinking, we’re always afraid to ramble. But perhaps rambling is exactly what we need to do. Perhaps we need to start walking without knowing where we’re going ... and see where it takes us. E: Indeed. Instead of going on writing retreats, academics should be sent “into the woods”, where their main task would be to get lost before they even start to think.S: Into the Woods, a reality TV show for academics? But seriously, maybe there is something about walking into the woods—or a landscape different from our habitual one—that symbolises a shift in feeling-state. When I walk into the woods, I purposely place myself in a different world. My senses are heightened. I become acutely aware of each tiny sound—the ticking of the leaves, the wind, the birdsong, the crunch of my feet, the pounding of the blood in my ears. I become less aware of all the difficult parts of myself, my troubles, my stuckness, what weighs on me so heavily. It seems to me that there is a parallel here with a state of consciousness or awareness famously described by the psychologist of optimal experience, Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi, as “flow”. In flow, “the loss of a sense of self separate from the world around it is sometimes accompanied by a feeling of union with the environment” (Csikszentmihalyi 63), together with pleasure in movement and in the sensory experience of seeing the world. So flow might be one way of thinking about my lived experience of walking in the woods. But this shift has also been described by the psychotherapist Marion Milner as a shift from “narrow thinking” into a “wider” way of looking, listening, feeling, and moving—a feeling state that Milner called the “fat feeling”. She identified this “fat feeling” as characteristic of moments when she experienced intense delight (Milner 15) and she began to experiment with ways in which she could practice it more purposefully.In this sense, walking is a kind of “trick” that I can play upon myself. The shift from office to woods, from sitting at my desk to moving through the world, triggers a shift from preoccupation with the “head stuff” of academic work and into a more felt, bodily way of experiencing. Walking helps me to “get out of my head.”E: So wandering through this thicket becomes a kind of free writing?S: Yes, free writing is like “taking a line for a walk” on the page, words that the Swiss-German artist Paul Klee famously attributed to drawing (Klee 105; see also Raymond). It’s what we’re doing here, wouldn’t you say?Two Lines of Walking: A drawing by Evija. E: Yes—and we don’t know where this walk will lead us. I’m thinking of the many times I have propelled myself into meaningful writing by simply letting the hand do its work and produce written characters on the screen or page. Initially, it looks like nonsense. Then, meaning and order start to emerge.S: Yes, my suggestion is that walking—like writing—frees us up, connects us with the bodily, felt, and pleasurable aspects of the writing process. We need this opportunity to meander, go off at tangents...E: So what qualities do free writing and walking have in common? What is helpful about each of these activities?S: A first guess might be that free writing and walking make use of rhythm. Linguist and psychoanalyst Julia Kristeva calls the sound, rhythm, and texture of language the “semiotic”. For Kristeva, the “semiotic” (the realm of bodily drives and affects, rhythms, pre-verbal babble) and the “symbolic” (the realm of prescribed language, linguistic structure, grammar, and judgment) do not exist in rigid opposition to one another. Instead, they form a continuum which she calls “signifiance” or signification (Kristeva 22), a “dialectic” (24) of making meaning. According to Kristeva, even the smallest element of symbolic meaning, the phoneme, is involved in “rhythmic, intonational repetitions” (103) so that, as we order phonemes into words and words into sentences, our language pulses with the operations of our bodily, instinctual drives. Kristeva thinks in terms of an “explosion of the semiotic in the symbolic” (69). E: An explosion. I like that!S: Me too.My theory is that, by letting go into that rhythm a little, we’re enabling ourselves to access some of the pre-verbal force that Kristeva talks about. E: So the rhythm of walking helps us to connect with the rhythmic qualities of the semiotic?S: Exactly. We might say that a lot of academic writing tends to privilege the symbolic—both in terms of the style we choose and the way that we structure our arguments. E: And academic convention requires that we make more references here. For example, as we’re discussing “free writing”, we could cite Ken Macrorie or Peter Elbow, the two grandfathers of the method. Or we might scaffold our talks about collaborative writing as a means of scholarly inquiry, with the work of Laurel Richardson or another authority in the field.S: Yes, and all of this is an important part of academic practice, of course. But perhaps when we give ourselves permission to ramble and meander, to loosen up the relationships between what we feel and what we say, we move along the continuum of meaning-making towards the more felt and bodily, and away from the received and prescribed. …S: And I’ve put an ellipsis there to mark that we are moving into another kind of space now. We’re coming to a clearing in the woods. Because at some point in our rambling, we might want to pause and make a few suggestions. Perhaps we come to a clearing, like this one here. We sit down for a while and collect our thoughts.E: Yes. Let’s sit down. And, while you’re resting, let me tell you what this “collecting of thoughts” reminds me of.I’m thinking that we don’t necessarily need to go anywhere to get away from our particular state of mind. A shared cup of coffee or a conversation can have the same effect. Much has already been said about the effects of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs on writing; all rather harmful ways of going “on a trip” (Laing; Klein). In our case, it’s the blank pages of a shared Google Doc that has brought us together, collecting our thoughts on walking and moving us into a different realm, a new world of exciting and strange ideas to be explored. And the idea of mapping out this space by gradually filling its pages with words sets our minds on a journey.S: That’s interesting. The choreographer Twyla Tharp talks about the power of ritual in creating this shift for us into a creative or flow state. It could be lighting a candle or drinking a glass of water. There is a moment when something “clicks”, and we enter the world of creativity.E: Yes, a thing can act as a portal or gateway. And, as I want to show you, the things in the landscape that we walk through can help us to enter imaginary realms.So can I take you for a little walk now? See that winding country road leading through open fields and rolling hills? That’s where we’re going to start.A publicity image, drawn by Evija, for Walking Talking Writing events for academics, organised at the University of Auckland in 2017.A Walk “through the Countryside”, or Traversing the Landscape of ThoughtsE: Sophie, you spoke earlier about the way that experiencing yourself in relation to the environment is important for opening up your imagination. For example, just allowing yourself to be in the woods and noticing how the space pulsates around you is enough to awaken your bodily awareness.But let’s take a stroll along this road and let me explain to you what’s happening for me. You see, I find the woods too distracting and stimulating. When I’m stuck, I crave openness and space like this landscape that we’re walking through right now. S: Too much detail, too many things, overwhelm you?E: Exactly. Here, where the landscape is simple and spacious, my thoughts can breathe. Ideas quietly graze as I move through them. The country road is under my feet and I know exactly where I’m heading – beyond that horizon line in the distance… I need to be able to look far into that hazy distance to get my sense of seeing things “in depth.” All this makes me think of a study by Mia Keinänen in which she surveyed nine Norwegian academics who habitually walk to think (Keinänen). Based on their personal observations, the resulting article provides interesting material about the importance of walking—its rhythm, environment, and so on—on one’s thinking. For one of the academics, being able to see landmarks and thoughts in perspective was the key to being able to see ideas in new ways. There is a “landscape of thinking”, in which thinking becomes a place and environment is a process.For another participant in the study, thoughts become objects populating the landscape. The thinker walks through these object-thoughts, mapping out their connections, pulling some ideas closer, pushing others further away, as if moving through a 3D computer game.S: Hmm. I too think that we tend to project not only thoughts but also the emotions that we ourselves might be experiencing onto the objects around us. The literary critic Suzanne Nalbantian describes this as the creation of “aesthetic objects”, a “mythopoetic” process by which material objects in the external world “change their status from real to ‘aesthetic’ objects” and begin to function as “anchors or receptacles for subjectivity” (Nalbantien 54).Nalbantian uses examples such as Proust’s madeleine or Woolf’s lighthouse to illustrate the ways in which authors of autobiographical fiction invest the objects around them with a particular psychic value or feeling-tone.For me, this might be a tree, or a fallen leaf on the path. For you, Evija, it could be the horizon, or an open field or a vague object, half-perceived in the distance. E: So there’s a kind of equivalence between what we’re feeling and what we’re noticing? S: Yes. And it works the other way around too. What we’re noticing affects our feelings and thoughts. And perhaps it’s really about finding and knowing what works best for us—the landscape that is the best fit for how we want to feel… E: Or how we want to think. Or write. S: That’s it. Of course, metaphor is another way of describing this process. When we create a metaphor, we bring together a feeling or memory inside us with an object in the outside world. The feeling that we carry within us right now finds perfect form in the shape of this particular hillside. A thought is this pebble. A memory is that cloud…E: That’s the method of loci, which Mia Keinänen also refers to (600) in her article about the walking-thinking Norwegian academics. By projecting one’s learnt knowledge onto a physical landscape, one is able to better navigate ideas.S: Although I can’t help thinking that’s all a little cerebral. For me, the process is more immediate and felt. But I’m sure we’re talking about something very similar...E: Well, the anthropologist Tim Ingold, who has written a great deal on walking, in his article “Ways of Mind-Walking: Reading, Writing, Painting” urges us to rethink what imagination might be and the ways that it might relate to the physical environment, our movement through it, and our vision. He quotes James Elkins’s suggestion (in Ingold 15-16) that true “seeing” involves workings of both the eye and the mind in bringing forth images. But Ingold questions the very notion of imagination as a place inhabited by images. From derelict houses, barren fields and crossroads, to trees, stray dogs, and other people, the images we see around us do not represent “the forms of things in the world” (Ingold 16). Instead, they are gateways and “place-holders” for the truer essence of things they seem to represent (16). S: There’s that idea of the thing acting as a gateway or portal again… E: Yes, images—like the ruins of that windmill over there—do not “stand for things” but help us experientially “find” those things (Ingold16). This is one of the purposes of art, which, instead of giving us representations of things in the world, offers us something which is like the things in the world (16)—i.e., experiences.But as we walk, and notice the objects around us, are there specific qualities about the objects themselves that make this process—what you call “projection”—more or less difficult for us?A drawing by Latvian artist Māris Subačs (2016). The text on the image says: “Clouds slowly moving.” Publicity image for Subačs’s exhibition “Baltā Istaba” (The White Room), taken from Latvijas Sabiedriskie Mediji, https://www.lsm.lv/. S: Well, let’s circle back now—on the road and on the page. We’ve talked about the way that you need wide, open spaces, whereas I find myself responding to a range of different environments in different ways. How do you feel now, as we pause here and begin to retrace our steps? E: How do I feel? I’m not sure. Right now, I’m thinking about the way that I respond to art. For example, I would say that life-like images of physical objects in this world (e.g., a realistic painting of a vase with flowers) are harder to perceive with my mind's eye than, let’s say, of an abstract painting. I don’t want to be too tied to the surface details and physicality of the world. What I see in a picture is not the representation of the vase and flowers; what I see are forms that the “inner life force”, to use Ingold’s term, has taken to express itself through (vaseness, flowerness). The more abstract the image, the more of the symbolic or the imaginary it can contain. (Consider the traditional Aboriginal art, as Ingold invites, or the line drawings of Latvian artist Māris Subačs, as I suggest, depicted above.) Things we can observe in this world, says Ingold, are but “outward, sensible forms” that “give shape to the inner generative impulse that is life itself” (17). (This comes from the underlying belief that the phenomenal world itself is all “figmented” (Ingold 17, referring to literary scholar Mary Carruthers).)S: And, interestingly, I don’t recognise this at all! My experiencing of the objects around me feels very different. That tree, this pine cone in my hand, the solidity of this physical form is very helpful in crystallising something that I’m feeling. I enjoy looking at abstract paintings too. I can imagine myself into them. But the thing-ness of things is also deeply satisfying, especially if I can also touch, taste, smell, hold the thing itself. The poet Selima Hill goes for a walk in order to gather objects in a Tupperware box: “a dead butterfly, a yellow pebble, a scrap of blue paper, an empty condom packet.” Later she places an object from these “Tupperware treasures” on her writing desk and uses it “to focus on the kernel of the poem”, concentrating on it “to select the fragments and images she needs” (Taylor). This resonates with me.E: So, to summarise, walking seems to have something to do with seeing, for both of us. S: Yes, and not just seeing but also feeling and experiencing, with all of our senses. E: OK. And walking like appreciating art or writing or reading, has the capacity to take us beyond what shows at surface level, and so a step closer to the “truer” expression of life, to paraphrase Ingold. S: Yes, and the expression that Ingold calls more “true” is what Kristeva would say is the semiotic, the other-than-meaning, the felt and bodily, always bubbling beneath the surface. E: True, true. And although Ingold here doesn’t say how walking facilitates this kind of seeing and experiencing, perhaps we can make some suggestions here.You focused on the rhythm of walking and thinking/writing earlier. But I’m equally intrigued by the effects of speed. S: That resonates for me too. I need to be able to slow down and really experience the world around me. E: Well, did you know that there are scientific studies that suggest a correlation between the speed of walking and the speed of thinking (Jabr; Oppezzo and Schwartz)? The pace of walking, as the movement of our bodies through space, sets a particular temporal relationship with the objects we move past. In turn, this affects our “thinking time”, and our thinking about abstract ideas (Cuelenaere 127, referring to George Lakoff and Mark Johnson’s ideas).S: That makes sense to me. I noticed that when we were walking through the woods, we had slowed right down and then, as we reached the open road, you seemed to want to go much faster than me…E: Yes, at a steady pace. That’s perhaps not surprising. Because it seems that the speed of our walking is intimately connected with our vision. So if I’m moving through a landscape in which I’m fully immersed, I’m unable to take in everything around me. I choose to rest my eyes on a few select points of interest. S: Or on the horizon…E: Yes. The path that leads through an open field allows me to rest my eyes on the distant horizon. I register the patterns of fields and houses; and perhaps I catch sight of the trees in my peripheral vision. The detailed imagery, if any, gets reduced to geometrical figures and lines.The challenge is to find the right balance between the stimuli provided by the external world and the speed of movement through it.S: So the pace of walking can enable us to see things in a certain way. For you, this is moving quickly, seeing things vaguely, fragmentally and selectively. For me, it’s an opportunity to take my time, find my own rhythm, to slow down and weigh a thought or a thing. I think I’m probably the kind of walker who stops to pick up sticks and shells, and curious stones. I love the rhythm of moving but it isn’t necessarily fast movement. Perhaps you’re a speed walker and I’m a rambler? E: I think both the pace and the rhythm are of equal importance. The movement can be so monotonous that it becomes a meditative process, in which I lose myself. Then, what matters is no longer the destination but the journey itself. It’s like...S: Evija! Stop for a moment! Over here! Look at this! E: You know, that actually broke my train of thought. S: I’m sorry… I couldn’t resist. But Evija, we’ve arrived at the entrance to the woods again. E: And the light’s fading… I should get back to the office.S: Yes, but this time, we can choose which way to go: through the trees and into the half-dark of my creative subconscious or across the wide, open spaces of your imagination. E: And will we walk slowly—or at speed? There’s still so much to say. There are other landscapes and pathways—and pages—that we haven’t even explored yet.S: But I don’t want to stop. I want to keep walking with you.E: Indeed, Sophie, writing is a walk that never ends. ReferencesAnderson, Jon. “Talking whilst Walking: A Geographical Archaeology of Knowledge.” Area 36.3 (2004): 254-261. Csikszentmihalyi, Mihalyi. Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention. NewYork: Harper Perennial, 1997.Cuelenaere, Laurence. “Aymara Forms of Walking: A Linguistic Anthropological Reflection on the Relation between Language and Motion.” Language Sciences 33.1 (2011):126-137. Elbow, Peter. Writing without Teachers. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1998. Gros, Frédéric. The Philosophy of Walking. London: Verso, 2014.Ingold, Tim. Being Alive: Essays on Movement, Knowledge and Description. Abingdon: Routledge, 2011.———. “Culture on the Ground: The World Perceived through the Feet.” Journal of Material Culture 9.3 (2004): 315-340.———. Lines: A Brief History. Abingdon: Routledge, 2007.———. “Ways of Mind-Walking: Reading, Writing, Painting.” Visual Studies 25.1 (2010):15-23.Ingold, Tim, and J.L. Vergunst, eds. Ways of Walking: Ethnography and Practice on Foot. London: Ashgate, 2008.Jabr, Ferris. “Why Walking Helps Us Think.” The New Yorker, 3 Sep. 2014. 10 Aug. 2018 <https://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/walking-helps-us-think>.Keinänen, Mia. “Taking Your Mind for a Walk: A Qualitative Investigation of Walking and Thinking among Nine Norwegian Academics.” Higher Education 71.4 (2016): 593-605. Klee, Paul. Notebooks, Volume 1: The Thinking Eye. Ed. J. Spiller. Trans. R. Manheim. London: Lund Humphries, 1961. Klein, Richard. Cigarettes Are Sublime. London: Picador, 1995. Kristeva, Julia. Revolution in Poetic Language. Trans. Leon S. Roudiez. New York: Columbia UP, 1984.Laing, Olivia. The Trip to Echo Spring: Why Writers Drink. Edinburgh: Canongate 2013.Macrorie, Ken. Telling Writing. Rochelle Park, N.J.: Hayden Book Company, 1976.Maitland, Sarah. Gossip from the Forest: The Tangled Roots of Our Forests and Fairy-Tales. Berkeley, CA: Counterpoint, 2012. Milner, Marion (as Joanna Field). A Life of One’s Own. 1934. London: Virago, 1986.Nalbantien, Suzanne. Aesthetic Autobiography. London: Macmillan, 1994.Oppezzo, Marily, and Daniel L. Schwartz. “Give Your Ideas Some Legs: The Positive Effect of Walking on Creative Thinking.” Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 40.4 (2014): 1142-1152.Richardson, Laurel. “Writing: A Method of Inquiry.” Handbook of Qualitative Research. 2nd ed. Ed. N.K. Denzin and Y.S. Lincoln. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2007. 923-948. Sturm, Sean. “Terra (In)cognita: Mapping Academic Writing.” TEXT 16.2 (2012).Taylor, Debbie. “The Selima Hill Method.” Mslexia 6 (Summer/Autumn 2000). Tharp, Twyla. The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life. New York: Simon Schuster, 2003.Trofimova, Evija. “Academics Go Walking, Talking, Writing*.” Writing, Writing Everywhere, 8 Dec. 2017. 1 Oct. 2018 <http://www.writing.auckland.ac.nz/2017/12/08/academics-go-walking-talking-writing>.

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Blakey, Heather. "Designing Player Intent through “Playful” Interaction." M/C Journal 24, no.4 (August12, 2021). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2802.

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Abstract:

The contemporary video game market is as recognisable for its brands as it is for the characters that populate their game worlds, from franchise-leading characters like Garrus Vakarian (Mass Effect original trilogy), Princess Zelda (The Legend of Zelda franchise) and Cortana (HALO franchise) to more recent game icons like Miles Morales (Marvel's Spiderman game franchise) and Judy Alvarez (Cyberpunk 2077). Interactions with these casts of characters enhance the richness of games and their playable worlds, giving a sense of weight and meaning to player actions, emphasising thematic interests, and in some cases acting as buffers to (or indeed hindering) different aspects of gameplay itself. As Jordan Erica Webber writes in her essay The Road to Journey, “videogames are often examined through the lens of what you do and what you feel” (14). For many games, the design of interactions between the player and other beings in the world—whether they be intrinsic to the world (non-playable characters or NPCs) or other live players—is a bridging aspect between what you do and how you feel and is thus central to the communication of more cohesive and focussed work. This essay will discuss two examples of game design techniques present in Transistor by Supergiant Games and Journey by thatgamecompany. It will consider how the design of “playful” interactions between the player and other characters in the game world (both non-player characters and other player characters) can be used as a tool to align a player’s experience of “intent” with the thematic objectives of the designer. These games have been selected as both utilise design techniques that allow for this “playful” interaction (observed in this essay as interactions that do not contribute to “progression” in the traditional sense). By looking closely at specific aspects of game design, it aims to develop an accessible examination by “focusing on the dimensions of involvement the specific game or genre of games affords” (Calleja, 222). The discussion defines “intent”, in the context of game design, through a synthesis of definitions from two works by game designers. The first being Greg Costikyan’s definition of game structure from his 2002 presentation I Have No Words and I Must Design, a paper subsequently referenced by numerous prominent game scholars including Ian Bogost and Jesper Juul. The second is Steven Swink’s definition of intent in relation to video games, from his 2009 book Game Feel: A Game Designer’s Guide to Virtual Sensation—an extensive reference text of game design concepts, with a particular focus on the concept of “game feel” (the meta-sensation of involvement with a game). This exploratory essay suggests that examining these small but impactful design techniques, through the lens of their contribution to overall intent, is a useful tool for undertaking more holistic studies of how games are affective. I align with the argument that understanding “playfulness” in game design is useful in understanding user engagement with other digital communication platforms. In particular, platforms where the presentation of user identity is relational or performative to others—a case explored in Playful Identities: The Ludification of Digital Media Cultures (Frissen et al.). Intent in Game Design Intent, in game design, is generated by a complex, interacting economy, ecosystem, or “game structure” (Costikyan 21) of thematic ideas and gameplay functions that do not dictate outcomes, but rather guide behaviour and progression forward through the need to achieve a goal (Costikyan 21). Intent brings player goals in line with the intrinsic goals of the player character, and the thematic or experiential goals the game designer wants to convey through the act of play. Intent makes it easier to invest in the game’s narrative and spatial context—its role is to “motivate action in game worlds” (Swink 67). Steven Swink writes that it is the role of game design to create compelling intent from “a seemingly arbitrary collection of abstracted variables” (Swink 67). He continues that whether it is good or bad is a broader question, but that “most games do have in-born intentionality, and it is the game designer who creates it” (67). This echoes Costikyan’s point: game designers “must consciously set out to decide what kind of experiences [they] want to impart to players and create systems that enable those experiences” (20). Swink uses Mario 64 as one simple example of intent creation through design—if collecting 100 coins did not restore Mario’s health, players would simply not collect them. Not having health restricts the ability for players to fulfil the overarching intent of progression by defeating the game’s main villain (what he calls the “explicit” intent), and collecting coins also provides a degree of interactivity that makes the exploration itself feel more fulfilling (the “implicit” intent). This motivation for action may be functional, or it may be more experiential—how a designer shapes variables into particular forms to encourage the particular kinds of experience that they want a player to have during the act of play (such as in Journey, explored in the latter part of this essay). This essay is interested in the design of this compelling thematic intent—and the role “playful” interactions have as a variable that contributes to aligning player behaviours and experience to the thematic or experiential goals of game design. “Playful” Communication and Storytelling in Transistor Transistor is the second release from independent studio Supergiant Games and has received over 100 industry accolades (Kasavin) since its publication in 2014. Transistor incorporates the suspense of turn-based gameplay into an action role-playing game—neatly mirroring a style of gameplay to the suspense of its cyber noir narrative. The game is also distinctly “artful”. The city of Cloudbank, where the game takes place, is a cyberpunk landscape richly inspired by art nouveau and art deco style. There is some indication that Cloudbank may not be a real city at all—but rather a virtual city, with an abundance of computer-related motifs and player combat abilities named as if they were programming functions. At release, Transistor was broadly recognised in the industry press for its strength in “combining its visuals and music to powerfully convey narrative information and tone” (Petit). If intent in games in part stems from a unification of goals between the player and design, the interactivity between player input and the actions of the player character furthers this sense of “togetherness”. This articulation and unity of hand movement and visual response in games are what Kirkpatrick identified in his 2011 work Aesthetic Theory and the Video Game as the point in which videogames “broke from the visual entertainment culture of the last two centuries” (Kirkpatrick 88). The player character mediates access to the space by which all other game information is given context and allows the player a degree of self-expression that is unique to games. Swink describes it as an amplified impression of virtual proprioception, that is “an impression of space created by illusory means but is experienced as real by the senses … the effects of motion, sound, visuals, and responsive effects combine” (Swink 28). If we extend Swink’s point about creating an “impression of space” to also include an “impression of purpose”, we can utilise this observation to further understand how the design of the playful interactions in Transistor work to develop and align the player’s experience of intent with the overarching narrative goal (or, “explicit” intent) of the game—to tell a compelling “science-fiction love story in a cyberpunk setting, without the gritty backdrop” (Wallace) through the medium of gameplay. At the centre of any “love story” is the dynamic of a relationship, and in Transistor playful interaction is a means for conveying the significance and complexity of those dynamics in relation to the central characters. Transistor’s exposition asks players to figure out what happened to Red and her partner, The Boxer (a name he is identified by in the game files), while progressing through various battles with an entity called The Process to uncover more information. Transistor commences with player-character, Red, standing next to the body of The Boxer, whose consciousness and voice have been uploaded into the same device that impaled him: the story’s eponymous Transistor. The event that resulted in this strange circ*mstance has also caused Red to lose her ability to speak, though she is still able to hum. The first action that the player must complete to progress the game is to pull the Transistor from The Boxer’s body. From this point The Boxer, speaking through the Transistor, becomes the sole narrator of the game. The Boxer’s first lines of dialogue are responsive to player action, and position Red’s character in the world: ‘Together again. Heh, sort of …’ [Upon walking towards an exit a unit of The Process will appear] ‘Yikes … found us already. They want you back I bet. Well so do I.’ [Upon defeating The Process] ‘Unmarked alley, east of the bay. I think I know where we are.’ (Supergiant Games) This brief exchange and feedback to player movement, in medias res, limits the player’s possible points of attention and establishes The Boxer’s voice and “character” as the reference point for interacting with the game world. Actions, the surrounding world, and gameplay objectives are given meaning and context by being part of a system of intent derived from the significance of his character to the player character (Red) as both a companion and information-giver. The player may not necessarily feel what an individual in Red’s position would feel, but their expository position is aligned with Red’s narrative, and their scope of interaction with the world is intrinsically tied to the “explicit” intent of finding out what happened to The Boxer. Transistor continues to establish a loop between Red’s exploration of the world and the dialogue and narration of The Boxer. In the context of gameplay, player movement functions as the other half of a conversation and brings the player’s control of Red closer to how Red herself (who cannot communicate vocally) might converse with The Boxer gesturally. The Boxer’s conversational narration is scripted to occur as Red moves through specific parts of the world and achieves certain objectives. Significantly, The Boxer will also speak to Red in response to specific behaviours that only occur should the player choose to do them and that don’t necessarily contribute to “progressing” the game in the mechanical sense. There are multiple points where this is possible, but I will draw on two examples to demonstrate. Firstly, The Boxer will have specific reactions to a player who stands idle for too long, or who performs a repetitive action. Jumping repeatedly from platform to platform will trigger several variations of playful and exasperated dialogue from The Boxer (who has, at this point, no choice but to be carried around by Red): [Upon repeatedly jumping between the same platform] ‘Round and round.’ ‘Okay that’s enough.’ ‘I hate you.’ (Supergiant Games) The second is when Red “hums” (an activity initiated by the player by holding down R1 on a PlayStation console). At certain points of play, when making Red hum, The Boxer will chime in and sing the lyrics to the song she is humming. This musical harmonisation helps to articulate a particular kind of intimacy and flow between Red and The Boxer —accentuated by Red’s animation when humming: she is bathed in golden light and holds the Transistor close, swaying side to side, as if embracing or dancing with a lover. This is a playful, exploratory interaction. It technically doesn’t serve any “purpose” in terms of finishing the game—but is an action a player might perform while exploring controls and possibilities of interactivity, in turn exploring what it is to “be” Red in relation to the game world, the story being conveyed, and The Boxer. It delivers a more emotional and affective thematic idea about a relationship that nonetheless relies just as much on mechanical input and output as engaging in movement, exploration, and combat in the game world. It’s a mechanic that provides texture to the experience of inhabiting Red’s identity during play, showcasing a more individual complexity to her story, driven by interactivity. In techniques like this, Transistor directly unifies its method for information-giving, interactivity, progression, and theme into a single design language. To once again nod to Swink and Costikyan, it is a complex, interacting economy or ecosystem of thematic ideas and gameplay structures that guide behaviour and progression forward through the need to achieve a single goal (Costikyan 21), guiding the player towards the game’s “explicit” intent of investment in its “science fiction love story”. Companionship and Collaboration in Journey Journey is regularly praised in many circles of game review and discussion for its powerful, pared-back story conveyed through its exceptional game design. It has won a wide array of awards, including multiple British Academy Games Awards and Game Developer’s Choice Awards, and has been featured in highly regarded international galleries such as the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Its director, Jenova Chen, articulated that the goal of the game (and thus, in the context of this essay, the intent) was “to create a game where people who interact with each other in an online community can connect at an emotional level, regardless of their gender, age, ethnicity, and social status” (Webber 14). In Journey, the player controls a small robed figure moving through a vast desert—the only choices for movement are to slide gracefully through the sand or to jump into the air by pressing the X button (on a PlayStation console), and gracefully float down to the ground. You cannot attack anything or defend yourself from the elements or hostile beings. Each player will “periodically find another individual in the landscape” (Isbister 121) of similar design to the player and can only communicate with them by experimenting with simple movements, and via short chirping noises. As the landscape itself is vast and unknown, it is what one player referred to as a sense of “reliance on one another” that makes the game so captivating (Isbister 12). Much like The Boxer in Transistor, the other figure in Journey stands out as a reference point and imbues a sense of collaboration and connection that makes the goal to reach the pinprick of light in the distance more meaningful. It is only after the player has finished the game that the screen reveals the other individual is a real person, another player, by displaying their gamer tag. One player, playing the game in 2017 (several years after its original release in 2012), wrote: I went through most of the game by myself, and when I first met my companion, it was right as I walked into the gate transitioning to the snow area. And I was SO happy that there was someone else in this desolate place. I felt like it added so much warmth to the game, so much added value. The companion and I stuck together 100% of the way. When one of us would fall the slightest bit behind, the other would wait for them. I remember saying out loud how I thought that my companion was the best programmed AI that I had ever seen. In the way that he waited for me to catch up, it almost seemed like he thanked me for waiting for him … We were always side-by-side which I was doing to the "AI" for "cinematic-effect". From when I first met him up to the very very end, we were side-by-side. (Peace_maybenot) Other players indicate a similar bond even when their companion is perhaps less competent: I thought my traveller was a crap AI. He kept getting launched by the flying things and was crap at staying behind cover … But I stuck with him because I was like, this is my buddy in the game. Same thing, we were communicating the whole time and I stuck with him. I finish and I see a gamer tag and my mind was blown. That was awesome. (kerode4791) Although there is a definite object of difference in that Transistor is narrated and single-player while Journey is not, there are some defined correlations between the way Supergiant Games and thatgamecompany encourage players to feel a sense of investment and intent aligned with another individual within the game to further thematic intent. Interactive mechanics are designed to allow players a means of playful and gestural communication as an extension of their kinetic interaction with the game; travellers in Journey can chirp and call out to other players—not always for an intrinsic goal but often to express joy, or just to experience and sense of connectivity or emotional warmth. In Transistor, the ability to hum and hear The Boxer’s harmony, and the animation of Red holding the Transistor close as she does so, implying a sense of protectiveness and affection, says more in the context of “play” than a literal declaration of love between the two characters. Graeme Kirkpatrick uses dance as a suitable metaphor for this kind of experience in games, in that both are characterised by a certainty that communication has occurred despite the “eschewal of overt linguistic elements and discursive meanings” (120). There is also a sense of finite temporality in these moments. Unlike scripted actions, or words on a page, they occur within a moment of being that largely belongs to the player and their actions alone. Kirkpatrick describes it as “an inherent ephemerality about this vanishing and that this very transience is somehow essential” (120). This imbuing of a sense of time is important because it implies that even if one were to play the game again, repeating the interaction is impossible. The communication of narrative within these games is not a static form, but an experience that hangs unique at that moment and space of play. Thatgamecompany discussed in their 2017 interviews with Webber, published as part of her essay for the Victoria & Albert’s Video Games: Design/Play/Disrupt exhibition, how by creating and restricting the kind of playful interaction available to players within the world, they could encourage the kind of emotional, collaborative, and thoughtful intent they desired to portray (Webber 14). They articulate how in the development process they prioritised giving the player a variety of responses for even the smallest of actions and how that positive feedback, in turn, encourages play and prevented players from being “bored” (Webber 22). Meanwhile, the team reduced responsiveness for interactions they didn’t want to encourage. Chen describes the approach as “maximising feedback for things you want and minimising it for things you don’t want” (Webber 27). In her essay, Webber writes that Chen describes “a person who enters a virtual world, leaving behind the value system they’ve learned from real life, as like a baby banging their spoon to get attention” (27): initially players could push each other, and when one baby [player] pushed the other baby [player] off the cliff that person died. So, when we tested the gameplay, even our own developers preferred killing each other because of the amount of feedback they would get, whether it’s visual feedback, audio feedback, or social feedback from the players in the room. For quite a while I was disappointed at our own developers’ ethics, but I was able to talk to a child psychologist and she was able to clarify why these people are doing what they are doing. She said, ‘If you want to train a baby not to knock the spoon, you should minimise the feedback. Either just leave them alone, and after a while they’re bored and stop knocking, or give them a spoon that does not make a sound. (27) The developers then made it impossible for players to kill, steal resources from, or even speak to each other. Players were encouraged to stay close to each other using high-feedback action and responsiveness for doing so (Webber 27). By using feedback design techniques to encourage players to behave a certain way to other beings in the world—both by providing and restricting playful interactivity—thatgamecompany encourage a resonance between players and the overarching design intent of the project. Chen’s observations about the behaviour of his team while playing different iterations of the game also support the argument (acknowledged in different perspectives by various scholarship, including Costikyan and Bogost) that in the act of gameplay, real-life personal ethics are to a degree re-prioritised by the interactivity and context of that interactivity in the game world. Intent and the “Actualities of (Game) Existence” Continuing and evolving explorations of “intent” (and other parallel terms) in games through interaction design is of interest for scholars of game studies; it also is an important endeavour when considering influential relationships between games and other digital mediums where user identity is performative or relational to others. This influence was examined from several perspectives in the aforementioned collection Playful Identities: The Ludification of Digital Media Cultures, which also examined “the process of ludification that seems to penetrate every cultural domain” of modern life, including leisure time, work, education, politics, and even warfare (Frissen et al. 9). Such studies affirm the “complex relationship between play, media, and identity in contemporary culture” and are motivated “not only by the dominant role that digital media plays in our present culture but also by the intuition that ‘“play is central … to media experience” (Frissen et al. 10). Undertaking close examinations of specific “playful” design techniques in video games, and how they may factor into the development of intent, can help to develop nuanced lines of questioning about how we engage with “playfulness” in other digital communication platforms in an accessible, comparative way. We continue to exist in a world where “ludification is penetrating the cultural domain”. In the first few months of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Nintendo released Animal Crossing: New Horizons. With an almost global population in lockdown, Animal Crossing became host to professional meetings (Espiritu), weddings (Garst), and significantly, a media channel for brands to promote content and products (Deighton). TikTok, panoramically, is a platform where “playful” user trends— dances, responding to videos, the “Tell Me … Without Telling Me” challenge—occur in the context of an extremely complex algorithm, that while automated, is created by people—and is thus unavoidably embedded with bias (Dias et al.; Noble). This is not to say that game design techniques and broader “playful” design techniques in other digital communication platforms are interchangeable by any measure, or that intent in a game design sense and intent or bias in a commercial sense should be examined through the same lens. Rather that there is a useful, interdisciplinary resource of knowledge that can further illuminate questions we might ask about this state of “ludification” in both the academic and public spheres. We might ask, for example, what would the implications be of introducing an intent design methodology similar to Journey, but using it for commercial gain? Or social activism? Has it already happened? There is a quotation from Nathan Jurgensen’s 2016 essay Fear of Screens (published in The New Inquiry) that often comes to my mind when thinking about interaction design in video games in this way. In his response to Sherry Turkle’s book, Reclaiming Conversation, Jurgensen writes: each time we say “IRL,” “face-to-face,” or “in person” to mean connection without screens, we frame what is “real” or who is a person in terms of their geographic proximity rather than other aspects of closeness — variables like attention, empathy, affect, erotics, all of which can be experienced at a distance. We should not conceptually preclude or discount all the ways intimacy, passion, love, joy, pleasure, closeness, pain, suffering, evil and all the visceral actualities of existence pass through the screen. “Face to face” should mean more than breathing the same air. (Jurgensen) While Jurgensen is not talking about communication in games specifically, there are comparisons to be drawn between his “variables” and “visceral actualities of existence” as the drivers of social meaning-making, and the methodology of games communicating intent and purpose through Swink’s “seemingly arbitrary collection of abstracted variables” (67). When players interact with other characters in a game world (whether they be NPCs or other players), they are inhabiting a shared virtual space, and how designers articulate and present the variables of “closeness”, as Jurgensen defines it, can shape player alignment with the overarching design intent. These design techniques take the place of Jurgensen’s “visceral actualities of existence”. While they may not intrinsically share an overarching purpose, their experiential qualities have the ability to align ethics, priorities, and values between individuals. Interactivity means game design has the potential to facilitate a particular kind of engagement for the player (as demonstrated in Journey) or give opportunities for players to explore a sense of what an emotion might feel like by aligning it with progression or playful activity (as discussed in relation to Transistor). Players may not “feel” exactly what their player-characters do, or care for other characters in the world in the same way a game might encourage them to, but through thoughtful intent design, something of recognition or unity of belief might pass through the screen. References Bogost, Ian. Persuasive Games: The Expressive Power of Video Games. MIT P, 2007. Calleja, Gordon. “Ludic Identities and the Magic Circle.” Playful Identities: The Ludification of Digital Media Cultures. Eds. Valerie Frissen et al. Amsterdam UP, 2015. 211–224. Costikyan, Greg. “I Have No Words & I Must Design: Toward a Critical Vocabulary for Games.” Computer Games and Digital Cultures Conference Proceedings 2002. Ed. Frans Mäyrä. Tampere UP. 9-33. Dias, Avani, et al. “The TikTok Spiral.” ABC News, 26 July 2021. <https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-07-26/tiktok-algorithm-dangerous-eating-disorder-content-censorship/100277134>. Deighton, Katie. “Animal Crossing Is Emerging as a Media Channel for Brands in Lockdown.” The Drum, 21 Apr. 2020. <https://www.thedrum.com/news/2020/04/21/animal-crossing-emerging-media-channel-brands-lockdown>. Espiritu, Abby. “Japanese Company Attempts to Work Remotely in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.” The Gamer, 29 Mar. 2020. <https://www.thegamer.com/animal-crossing-new-horizons-work-remotely/>. Frissen, Valerie, et al., eds. Playful Identities: The Ludification of Digital Media Cultures. Amsterdam UP, 2015. Garst, Aron. “The Pandemic Canceled Their Wedding. So They Held It in Animal Crossing.” The Washington Post, 2 Apr. 2020. <https://www.washingtonpost.com/video-games/2020/04/02/animal-crossing-wedding-coronavirus/>. Isbister, Katherine. How Games Move Us: Emotion by Design. MIT P, 2016. Journey. thatgamecompany. 2012. Jurgensen, Nathan. “Fear of Screens.” The New Inquiry, 25 Jan. 2016. <https://thenewinquiry.com/fear-of-screens/>. Kasavin, Greg. “Transistor Earns More than 100+ Industry Accolades, Sells More than 600k Copies.” Supergiant Games, 8 Jan. 2015. <https://www.supergiantgames.com/blog/transistor-earns60-industry-accolades-sells-more-than-600k-copies/>. kerode4791. "Wanted to Share My First Experience with the Game, It Was That Awesome.”Reddit, 22 Mar. 2017. <https://www.reddit.com/r/JourneyPS3/comments/60u0am/wanted_to_share_my_f rst_experience_with_the_game/>. Kirkpatrick, Graeme. Aesthetic Theory and the Video Game. Manchester UP, 2011. Noble, Safiya Umoja. Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism. New York UP, 2018. peace_maybenot. "Wanted to Share My First Experience with the Game, It Was that Awesome” Reddit, 22 Mar. 2017. <https://www.reddit.com/r/JourneyPS3/comments/60u0am/wanted_to_share_my_f rst_experience_with_the_game/>. Petit, Carolyn. “Ghosts in the Machine." Gamespot, 20 May 2014. <https://www.gamespot.com/reviews/transistor-review/1900-6415763/>. Swink, Steve. Game Feel: A Game Designer’s Guide to Virtual Sensation. Amsterdam: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers/Elsevier, 2009. Transistor. Supergiant Games. 2014. Wallace, Kimberley. “The Story behind Supergiant Games’ Transistor.” Gameinformer, 20 May 2021. <https://www.gameinformer.com/2021/05/20/the-story-behind-supergiant-games-transistor>. Webber, Jordan Erica. “The Road to Journey.” Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt. Eds. Marie Foulston and Kristian Volsing. V&A Publishing, 2018. 14–31.

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Rossiter, Ned. "Creative Industries and the Limits of Critique from." M/C Journal 6, no.3 (June1, 2003). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2208.

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Abstract:

‘Every space has become ad space’. Steve Hayden, Wired Magazine, May 2003. Marshall McLuhan’s (1964) dictum that media technologies constitute a sensory extension of the body shares a conceptual affinity with Ernst Jünger’s notion of ‘“organic construction” [which] indicates [a] synergy between man and machine’ and Walter Benjamin’s exploration of the mimetic correspondence between the organic and the inorganic, between human and non-human forms (Bolz, 2002: 19). The logo or brand is co-extensive with various media of communication – billboards, TV advertisem*nts, fashion labels, book spines, mobile phones, etc. Often the logo is interchangeable with the product itself or a way or life. Since all social relations are mediated, whether by communications technologies or architectonic forms ranging from corporate buildings to sporting grounds to family living rooms, it follows that there can be no outside for sociality. The social is and always has been in a mutually determining relationship with mediating forms. It is in this sense that there is no outside. Such an idea has become a refrain amongst various contemporary media theorists. Here’s a sample: There is no outside position anymore, nor is this perceived as something desirable. (Lovink, 2002a: 4) Both “us” and “them” (whoever we are, whoever they are) are all always situated in this same virtual geography. There’s no outside …. There is nothing outside the vector. (Wark, 2002: 316) There is no more outside. The critique of information is in the information itself. (Lash, 2002: 220) In declaring a universality for media culture and information flows, all of the above statements acknowledge the political and conceptual failure of assuming a critical position outside socio-technically constituted relations. Similarly, they recognise the problems inherent in the “ideology critique” of the Frankfurt School who, in their distinction between “truth” and “false-consciousness”, claimed a sort of absolute knowledge for the critic that transcended the field of ideology as it is produced by the culture industry. Althusser’s more complex conception of ideology, material practices and subject formation nevertheless also fell prey to the pretence of historical materialism as an autonomous “science” that is able to determine the totality, albeit fragmented, of lived social relations. One of the key failings of ideology critique, then, is its incapacity to account for the ways in which the critic, theorist or intellectual is implicated in the operations of ideology. That is, such approaches displace the reflexivity and power relationships between epistemology, ontology and their constitution as material practices within socio-political institutions and historical constellations, which in turn are the settings for the formation of ideology. Scott Lash abandons the term ideology altogether due to its conceptual legacies within German dialectics and French post-structuralist aporetics, both of which ‘are based in a fundamental dualism, a fundamental binary, of the two types of reason. One speaks of grounding and reconciliation, the other of unbridgeability …. Both presume a sphere of transcendence’ (Lash, 2002: 8). Such assertions can be made at a general level concerning these diverse and often conflicting approaches when they are reduced to categories for the purpose of a polemic. However, the work of “post-structuralists” such as Foucault, Deleuze and Guattari and the work of German systems theorist Niklas Luhmann is clearly amenable to the task of critique within information societies (see Rossiter, 2003). Indeed, Lash draws on such theorists in assembling his critical dispositif for the information age. More concretely, Lash (2002: 9) advances his case for a new mode of critique by noting the socio-technical and historical shift from ‘constitutive dualisms of the era of the national manufacturing society’ to global information cultures, whose constitutive form is immanent to informational networks and flows. Such a shift, according to Lash, needs to be met with a corresponding mode of critique: Ideologycritique [ideologiekritik] had to be somehow outside of ideology. With the disappearance of a constitutive outside, informationcritique must be inside of information. There is no outside any more. (2002: 10) Lash goes on to note, quite rightly, that ‘Informationcritique itself is branded, another object of intellectual property, machinically mediated’ (2002: 10). It is the political and conceptual tensions between information critique and its regulation via intellectual property regimes which condition critique as yet another brand or logo that I wish to explore in the rest of this essay. Further, I will question the supposed erasure of a “constitutive outside” to the field of socio-technical relations within network societies and informational economies. Lash is far too totalising in supposing a break between industrial modes of production and informational flows. Moreover, the assertion that there is no more outside to information too readily and simplistically assumes informational relations as universal and horizontally organised, and hence overlooks the significant structural, cultural and economic obstacles to participation within media vectors. That is, there certainly is an outside to information! Indeed, there are a plurality of outsides. These outsides are intertwined with the flows of capital and the imperial biopower of Empire, as Hardt and Negri (2000) have argued. As difficult as it may be to ascertain the boundaries of life in all its complexity, borders, however defined, nonetheless exist. Just ask the so-called “illegal immigrant”! This essay identifies three key modalities comprising a constitutive outside: material (uneven geographies of labour-power and the digital divide), symbolic (cultural capital), and strategic (figures of critique). My point of reference in developing this inquiry will pivot around an analysis of the importation in Australia of the British “Creative Industries” project and the problematic foundation such a project presents to the branding and commercialisation of intellectual labour. The creative industries movement – or Queensland Ideology, as I’ve discussed elsewhere with Danny Butt (2002) – holds further implications for the political and economic position of the university vis-à-vis the arts and humanities. Creative industries constructs itself as inside the culture of informationalism and its concomitant economies by the very fact that it is an exercise in branding. Such branding is evidenced in the discourses, rhetoric and policies of creative industries as adopted by university faculties, government departments and the cultural industries and service sectors seeking to reposition themselves in an institutional environment that is adjusting to ongoing structural reforms attributed to the demands by the “New Economy” for increased labour flexibility and specialisation, institutional and economic deregulation, product customisation and capital accumulation. Within the creative industries the content produced by labour-power is branded as copyrights and trademarks within the system of Intellectual Property Regimes (IPRs). However, as I will go on to show, a constitutive outside figures in material, symbolic and strategic ways that condition the possibility of creative industries. The creative industries project, as envisioned by the Blair government’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) responsible for the Creative Industry Task Force Mapping Documents of 1998 and 2001, is interested in enhancing the “creative” potential of cultural labour in order to extract a commercial value from cultural objects and services. Just as there is no outside for informationcritique, for proponents of the creative industries there is no culture that is worth its name if it is outside a market economy. That is, the commercialisation of “creativity” – or indeed commerce as a creative undertaking – acts as a legitimising function and hence plays a delimiting role for “culture” and, by association, sociality. And let us not forget, the institutional life of career academics is also at stake in this legitimating process. The DCMS cast its net wide when defining creative sectors and deploys a lexicon that is as vague and unquantifiable as the next mission statement by government and corporate bodies enmeshed within a neo-liberal paradigm. At least one of the key proponents of the creative industries in Australia is ready to acknowledge this (see Cunningham, 2003). The list of sectors identified as holding creative capacities in the CITF Mapping Document include: film, music, television and radio, publishing, software, interactive leisure software, design, designer fashion, architecture, performing arts, crafts, arts and antique markets, architecture and advertising. The Mapping Document seeks to demonstrate how these sectors consist of ‘... activities which have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent and which have the potential for wealth and job creation through generation and exploitation of intellectual property’ (CITF: 1998/2001). The CITF’s identification of intellectual property as central to the creation of jobs and wealth firmly places the creative industries within informational and knowledge economies. Unlike material property, intellectual property such as artistic creations (films, music, books) and innovative technical processes (software, biotechnologies) are forms of knowledge that do not diminish when they are distributed. This is especially the case when information has been encoded in a digital form and distributed through technologies such as the internet. In such instances, information is often attributed an “immaterial” and nonrivalrous quality, although this can be highly misleading for both the conceptualisation of information and the politics of knowledge production. Intellectual property, as distinct from material property, operates as a scaling device in which the unit cost of labour is offset by the potential for substantial profit margins realised by distribution techniques availed by new information and communication technologies (ICTs) and their capacity to infinitely reproduce the digital commodity object as a property relation. Within the logic of intellectual property regimes, the use of content is based on the capacity of individuals and institutions to pay. The syndication of media content ensures that market saturation is optimal and competition is kept to a minimum. However, such a legal architecture and hegemonic media industry has run into conflict with other net cultures such as open source movements and peer-to-peer networks (Lovink, 2002b; Meikle, 2002), which is to say nothing of the digital piracy of software and digitally encoded cinematic forms. To this end, IPRs are an unstable architecture for extracting profit. The operation of Intellectual Property Regimes constitutes an outside within creative industries by alienating labour from its mode of information or form of expression. Lash is apposite on this point: ‘Intellectual property carries with it the right to exclude’ (Lash, 2002: 24). This principle of exclusion applies not only to those outside the informational economy and culture of networks as result of geographic, economic, infrastructural, and cultural constraints. The very practitioners within the creative industries are excluded from control over their creations. It is in this sense that a legal and material outside is established within an informational society. At the same time, this internal outside – to put it rather clumsily – operates in a constitutive manner in as much as the creative industries, by definition, depend upon the capacity to exploit the IP produced by its primary source of labour. For all the emphasis the Mapping Document places on exploiting intellectual property, it’s really quite remarkable how absent any elaboration or considered development of IP is from creative industries rhetoric. It’s even more astonishing that media and cultural studies academics have given at best passing attention to the issues of IPRs. Terry Flew (2002: 154-159) is one of the rare exceptions, though even here there is no attempt to identify the implications IPRs hold for those working in the creative industries sectors. Perhaps such oversights by academics associated with the creative industries can be accounted for by the fact that their own jobs rest within the modern, industrial institution of the university which continues to offer the security of a salary award system and continuing if not tenured employment despite the onslaught of neo-liberal reforms since the 1980s. Such an industrial system of traditional and organised labour, however, does not define the labour conditions for those working in the so-called creative industries. Within those sectors engaged more intensively in commercialising culture, labour practices closely resemble work characterised by the dotcom boom, which saw young people working excessively long hours without any of the sort of employment security and protection vis-à-vis salary, health benefits and pension schemes peculiar to traditional and organised labour (see McRobbie, 2002; Ross, 2003). During the dotcom mania of the mid to late 90s, stock options were frequently offered to people as an incentive for offsetting the often minimum or even deferred payment of wages (see Frank, 2000). It is understandable that the creative industries project holds an appeal for managerial intellectuals operating in arts and humanities disciplines in Australia, most particularly at Queensland University of Technology (QUT), which claims to have established the ‘world’s first’ Creative Industries faculty (http://www.creativeindustries.qut.com/). The creative industries provide a validating discourse for those suffering anxiety disorders over what Ruth Barcan (2003) has called the ‘usefulness’ of ‘idle’ intellectual pastimes. As a project that endeavours to articulate graduate skills with labour markets, the creative industries is a natural extension of the neo-liberal agenda within education as advocated by successive governments in Australia since the Dawkins reforms in the mid 1980s (see Marginson and Considine, 2000). Certainly there’s a constructive dimension to this: graduates, after all, need jobs and universities should display an awareness of market conditions; they also have a responsibility to do so. And on this count, I find it remarkable that so many university departments in my own field of communications and media studies are so bold and, let’s face it, stupid, as to make unwavering assertions about market demands and student needs on the basis of doing little more than sniffing the wind! Time for a bit of a reality check, I’d say. And this means becoming a little more serious about allocating funds and resources towards market research and analysis based on the combination of needs between students, staff, disciplinary values, university expectations, and the political economy of markets. However, the extent to which there should be a wholesale shift of the arts and humanities into a creative industries model is open to debate. The arts and humanities, after all, are a set of disciplinary practices and values that operate as a constitutive outside for creative industries. Indeed, in their creative industries manifesto, Stuart Cunningham and John Hartley (2002) loath the arts and humanities in such confused, paradoxical and hypocritical ways in order to establish the arts and humanities as a cultural and ideological outside. To this end, to subsume the arts and humanities into the creative industries, if not eradicate them altogether, is to spell the end of creative industries as it’s currently conceived at the institutional level within academe. Too much specialisation in one post-industrial sector, broad as it may be, ensures a situation of labour reserves that exceed market needs. One only needs to consider all those now unemployed web-designers that graduated from multi-media programs in the mid to late 90s. Further, it does not augur well for the inevitable shift from or collapse of a creative industries economy. Where is the standing reserve of labour shaped by university education and training in a post-creative industries economy? Diehard neo-liberals and true-believers in the capacity for perpetual institutional flexibility would say that this isn’t a problem. The university will just “organically” adapt to prevailing market conditions and shape their curriculum and staff composition accordingly. Perhaps. Arguably if the university is to maintain a modality of time that is distinct from the just-in-time mode of production characteristic of informational economies – and indeed, such a difference is a quality that defines the market value of the educational commodity – then limits have to be established between institutions of education and the corporate organisation or creative industry entity. The creative industries project is a reactionary model insofar as it reinforces the status quo of labour relations within a neo-liberal paradigm in which bids for industry contracts are based on a combination of rich technological infrastructures that have often been subsidised by the state (i.e. paid for by the public), high labour skills, a low currency exchange rate and the lowest possible labour costs. In this respect it is no wonder that literature on the creative industries omits discussion of the importance of unions within informational, networked economies. What is the place of unions in a labour force constituted as individualised units? The conditions of possibility for creative industries within Australia are at once its frailties. In many respects, the success of the creative industries sector depends upon the ongoing combination of cheap labour enabled by a low currency exchange rate and the capacity of students to access the skills and training offered by universities. Certainly in relation to matters such as these there is no outside for the creative industries. There’s a great need to explore alternative economic models to the content production one if wealth is to be successfully extracted and distributed from activities in the new media sectors. The suggestion that the creative industries project initiates a strategic response to the conditions of cultural production within network societies and informational economies is highly debateable. The now well documented history of digital piracy in the film and software industries and the difficulties associated with regulating violations to proprietors of IP in the form of copyright and trademarks is enough of a reason to look for alternative models of wealth extraction. And you can be sure this will occur irrespective of the endeavours of the creative industries. To conclude, I am suggesting that those working in the creative industries, be they content producers or educators, need to intervene in IPRs in such a way that: 1) ensures the alienation of their labour is minimised; 2) collectivising “creative” labour in the form of unions or what Wark (2001) has termed the “hacker class”, as distinct from the “vectoralist class”, may be one way of achieving this; and 3) the advocates of creative industries within the higher education sector in particular are made aware of the implications IPRs have for graduates entering the workforce and adjust their rhetoric, curriculum, and policy engagements accordingly. Works Cited Barcan, Ruth. ‘The Idleness of Academics: Reflections on the Usefulness of Cultural Studies’. Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies (forthcoming, 2003). Bolz, Norbert. ‘Rethinking Media Aesthetics’, in Geert Lovink, Uncanny Networks: Dialogues with the Virtual Intelligentsia. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2002, 18-27. Butt, Danny and Rossiter, Ned. ‘Blowing Bubbles: Post-Crash Creative Industries and the Withering of Political Critique in Cultural Studies’. Paper presented at Ute Culture: The Utility of Culture and the Uses of Cultural Studies, Cultural Studies Association of Australia Conference, Melbourne, 5-7 December, 2002. Posted to fibreculture mailing list, 10 December, 2002, http://www.fibreculture.org/archives/index.html Creative Industry Task Force: Mapping Document, DCMS (Department of Culture, Media and Sport), London, 1998/2001. http://www.culture.gov.uk/creative/mapping.html Cunningham, Stuart. ‘The Evolving Creative Industries: From Original Assumptions to Contemporary Interpretations’. Seminar Paper, QUT, Brisbane, 9 May, 2003, http://www.creativeindustries.qut.com/research/cirac/documen... ...ts/THE_EVOLVING_CREATIVE_INDUSTRIES.pdf Cunningham, Stuart; Hearn, Gregory; Cox, Stephen; Ninan, Abraham and Keane, Michael. Brisbane’s Creative Industries 2003. Report delivered to Brisbane City Council, Community and Economic Development, Brisbane: CIRAC, 2003. http://www.creativeindustries.qut.com/research/cirac/documen... ...ts/bccreportonly.pdf Flew, Terry. New Media: An Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Frank, Thomas. One Market under God: Extreme Capitalism, Market Populism, and the End of Economic Democracy. New York: Anchor Books, 2000. Hartley, John and Cunningham, Stuart. ‘Creative Industries: from Blue Poles to fat pipes’, in Malcolm Gillies (ed.) The National Humanities and Social Sciences Summit: Position Papers. Canberra: DEST, 2002. Hayden, Steve. ‘Tastes Great, Less Filling: Ad Space – Will Advertisers Learn the Hard Lesson of Over-Development?’. Wired Magazine 11.06 (June, 2003), http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/11.06/ad_spc.html Hardt, Michael and Negri, Antonio. Empire. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2000. Lash, Scott. Critique of Information. London: Sage, 2002. Lovink, Geert. Uncanny Networks: Dialogues with the Virtual Intelligentsia. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2002a. Lovink, Geert. Dark Fiber: Tracking Critical Internet Culture. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2002b. McLuhan, Marshall. Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1964. McRobbie, Angela. ‘Clubs to Companies: Notes on the Decline of Political Culture in Speeded up Creative Worlds’, Cultural Studies 16.4 (2002): 516-31. Marginson, Simon and Considine, Mark. The Enterprise University: Power, Governance and Reinvention in Australia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000. Meikle, Graham. Future Active: Media Activism and the Internet. Sydney: Pluto Press, 2002. Ross, Andrew. No-Collar: The Humane Workplace and Its Hidden Costs. New York: Basic Books, 2003. Rossiter, Ned. ‘Processual Media Theory’, in Adrian Miles (ed.) Streaming Worlds: 5th International Digital Arts & Culture (DAC) Conference. 19-23 May. Melbourne: RMIT University, 2003, 173-184. http://hypertext.rmit.edu.au/dac/papers/Rossiter.pdf Sassen, Saskia. Losing Control? Sovereignty in an Age of Globalization. New York: Columbia University Press, 1996. Wark, McKenzie. ‘Abstraction’ and ‘Hack’, in Hugh Brown, Geert Lovink, Helen Merrick, Ned Rossiter, David Teh, Michele Willson (eds). Politics of a Digital Present: An Inventory of Australian Net Culture, Criticism and Theory. Melbourne: Fibreculture Publications, 2001, 3-7, 99-102. Wark, McKenzie. ‘The Power of Multiplicity and the Multiplicity of Power’, in Geert Lovink, Uncanny Networks: Dialogues with the Virtual Intelligentsia. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2002, 314-325. Links http://hypertext.rmit.edu.au/dac/papers/Rossiter.pdf http://www.creativeindustries.qut.com/ http://www.creativeindustries.qut.com/research/cirac/documents/THE_EVOLVING_CREATIVE_INDUSTRIES.pdf http://www.creativeindustries.qut.com/research/cirac/documents/bccreportonly.pdf http://www.culture.gov.uk/creative/mapping.html http://www.fibreculture.org/archives/index.html http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/11.06/ad_spc.html Citation reference for this article Substitute your date of access for Dn Month Year etc... MLA Style Rossiter, Ned. "Creative Industries and the Limits of Critique from " M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture< http://www.media-culture.org.au/0306/11-creativeindustries.php>. APA Style Rossiter, N. (2003, Jun 19). Creative Industries and the Limits of Critique from . M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture, 6,< http://www.media-culture.org.au/0306/11-creativeindustries.php>

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Marshall,P.David. "Seriality and Persona." M/C Journal 17, no.3 (June11, 2014). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.802.

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No man [...] can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which one may be true. (Nathaniel Hawthorne Scarlet Letter – as seen and pondered by Tony Soprano at Bowdoin College, The Sopranos, Season 1, Episode 5: “College”)The fictitious is a particular and varied source of insight into the everyday world. The idea of seriality—with its variations of the serial, series, seriated—is very much connected to our patterns of entertainment. In this essay, I want to begin the process of testing what values and meanings can be drawn from the idea of seriality into comprehending the play of persona in contemporary culture. From a brief overview of the intersection of persona and seriality as well as a review of the deployment of seriality in popular culture, the article focuses on the character/ person-actor relationship to demonstrate how seriality produces persona. The French term for character—personnage—will be used to underline the clear relations between characterisation, person, and persona which have been developed by the recent work by Lenain and Wiame. Personnage, through its variation on the word person helps push the analysis into fully understanding the particular and integrated configuration between a public persona and the fictional role that an actor inhabits (Heinich).There are several qualities related to persona that allow this movement from the fictional world to the everyday world to be profitable. Persona, in terms of origins, in and of itself implies performance and display. Jung, for instance, calls persona a mask where one is “acting a role” (167); while Goffman considers that performance and roles are at the centre of everyday life and everyday forms and patterns of communication. In recent work, I have use persona to describe how online culture pushes most people to construct a public identity that resembles what celebrities have had to construct for their livelihood for at least the last century (“Persona”; “Self”). My work has expanded to an investigation of how online persona relates to individual agency (“Agency”) and professional postures and positioning (Barbour and Marshall).The fictive constructions then are intensified versions of what persona is addressing: the fabrication of a role for particular directions and ends. Characters or personnages are constructed personas for very directed ends. Their limitation to the study of persona as a dimension of public culture is that they are not real; however, when one thinks of the actor who takes on this fictive identity, there is clearly a relationship between the real personality and that of the character. Moreover, as Nayar’s analysis of highly famous characters that are fictitious reveals, these celebrated characters, such as Harry Potter or Wolverine, sometime take on a public presence in and of themselves. To capture this public movement of a fictional character, Nayar blends the terms celebrity with fiction and calls these semi-public/semi-real entities “celefiction”: the characters are famous, highly visible, and move across media, information, and cultural platforms with ease and speed (18-20). Their celebrity status underlines their power to move outside of their primary text into public discourse and through public spaces—an extra-textual movement which fundamentally defines what a celebrity embodies.Seriality has to be seen as fundamental to a personnage’s power of and extension into the public world. For instance with Harry Potter again, at least some of his recognition is dependent on the linking or seriating the related books and movies. Seriality helps organise our sense of affective connection to our popular culture. The familiarity of some element of repetition is both comforting for audiences and provides at least a sense of guarantee or warranty that they will enjoy the future text as much as they enjoyed the past related text. Seriality, though, also produces a myriad of other effects and affects which provides a useful background to understand its utility in both the understanding of character and its value in investigating contemporary public persona. Etymologically, the words “series” and seriality are from the Latin and refer to “succession” in classical usage and are identified with ancestry and the patterns of identification and linking descendants (Oxford English Dictionary). The original use of the seriality highlights its value in understanding the formation of the constitution of person and persona and how the past and ancestry connect in series to the current or contemporary self. Its current usage, however, has broadened metaphorically outwards to identify anything that is in sequence or linked or joined: it can be a series of lectures and arguments or a related mark of cars manufactured in a manner that are stylistically linked. It has since been deployed to capture the production process of various cultural forms and one of the key origins of this usage came from the 19th century novel. There are many examples where the 19th century novel was sold and presented in serial form that are too numerous to even summarise here. It is useful to use Dickens’ serial production as a defining example of how seriality moved into popular culture and the entertainment industry more broadly. Part of the reason for the sheer length of many of Charles Dickens’ works related to their original distribution as serials. In fact, all his novels were first distributed in chapters in monthly form in magazines or newspapers. A number of related consequences from Dickens’ serialisation are relevant to understanding seriality in entertainment culture more widely (Hayward). First, his novel serialisation established a continuous connection to his readers over years. Thus Dickens’ name itself became synonymous and connected to an international reading public. Second, his use of seriality established a production form that was seen to be more affordable to its audience: seriality has to be understood as a form that is closely connected to economies and markets as cultural commodities kneaded their way into the structure of everyday life. And third, seriality established through repetition not only the author’s name but also the name of the key characters that populated the cultural form. Although not wholly attributable to the serial nature of the delivery, the characters such as Oliver Twist, Ebenezer Scrooge or David Copperfield along with a host of other major and minor players in his many books become integrated into everyday discourse because of their ever-presence and delayed delivery over stories over time (see Allen 78-79). In the same way that newspapers became part of the vernacular of contemporary culture, fictional characters from novels lived for years at a time in the consciousness of this large reading public. The characters or personnages themselves became personalities that through usage became a way of describing other behaviours. One can think of Uriah Heep and his sheer obsequiousness in David Copperfield as a character-type that became part of popular culture thinking and expressing a clear negative sentiment about a personality trait. In the twentieth century, serials became associated much more with book series. One of the more successful serial genres was the murder mystery. It developed what could be described as recognisable personnages that were both fictional and real. Thus, the real Agatha Christie with her consistent and prodigious production of short who-dunnit novels was linked to her Belgian fictional detective Hercule Poirot. Variations of these serial constructions occurred in children’s fiction, the emerging science fiction genre, and westerns with authors and characters rising to related prominence.In a similar vein, early to mid-twentieth century film produced the film serial. In its production and exhibition, the film serial was a déclassé genre in its overt emphasis on the economic quality of seriality. Thus, the film serial was generally a filler genre that was interspersed before and after a feature film in screenings (Dixon). As well as producing a familiarity with characters such as Flash Gordon, it was also instrumental in producing actors with a public profile that grew from this repetition. Flash Gordon was not just a character; he was also the actor Buster Crabbe and, over time, the association became indissoluble for audiences and actor alike. Feature film serials also developed in the first half-century of American cinema in particular with child actors like Shirley Temple, Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland often reprising variations of their previous roles. Seriality more or less became the standard form of delivery of broadcast media for most of the last 70 years and this was driven by the economies of production it developed. Whether the production was news, comedy, or drama, most radio and television forms were and are variation of serials. As well as being the zenith of seriality, television serials have been the most studied form of seriality of all cultural forms and are thus the greatest source of research into what serials actually produced. The classic serial that began on radio and migrated to television was the soap opera. Although most of the long-running soap operas have now disappeared, many have endured for more than 30 years with the American series The Guiding Light lasting 72 years and the British soap Coronation Street now in its 64th year. Australian nighttime soap operas have managed a similar longevity: Neighbours is in its 30th year, while Home and Away is in its 27th year. Much of the analyses of soap operas and serials deals with the narrative and the potential long narrative arcs related to characters and storylines. In contrast to most evening television serials historically, soap operas maintain the continuity from one episode to the next in an unbroken continuity narrative. Evening television serials, such as situation comedies, while maintaining long arcs over their run are episodic in nature: the structure of the story is generally concluded in the given episode with at least partial closure in a manner that is never engaged with in the never-ending soap opera serials.Although there are other cultural forms that deploy seriality in their structures—one can think of comic books and manga as two obvious other connected and highly visible serial sources—online and video games represent the other key media platform of serials in contemporary culture. Once again, a “horizon of expectation” (Jauss and De Man 23) motivates the iteration of new versions of games by the industry. New versions of games are designed to build on gamer loyalties while augmenting the quality and possibilities of the particular game. Game culture and gamers have a different structural relationship to serials which at least Denson and Jahn-Sudmann describe as digital seriality: a new version of a game is also imagined to be technologically more sophisticated in its production values and this transformation of the similitude of game structure with innovation drives the economy of what are often described as “franchises.” New versions of Minecraft as online upgrades or Call of Duty launches draw the literal reinvestment of the gamer. New consoles provide a further push to serialisation of games as they accentuate some transformed quality in gameplay, interaction, or quality of animated graphics. Sports franchises are perhaps the most serialised form of game: to replicate new professional seasons in each major sport, the sports game transforms with a new coterie of players each year.From these various venues, one can see the centrality of seriality in cultural forms. There is no question that one of the dimensions of seriality that transcends these cultural forms is its coordination and intersection with the development of the industrialisation of culture and this understanding of the economic motivation behind series has been explored from some of the earliest analyses of seriality (see Hagedorn; Browne). Also, seriality has been mined extensively in terms of its production of the pleasure of repetition and transformation. The exploration of the popular, whether in studies of readers of romance fiction (Radway), or fans of science fiction television (Tulloch and Jenkins; Jenkins), serials have provided the resource for the exploration of the power of the audience to connect, engage and reconstruct texts.The analysis of the serialisation of character—the production of a public personnage—and its relation to persona surprisingly has been understudied. While certain writers have remarked on the longevity of a certain character, such as Vicky Lord’s 40 year character on the soap opera One Life to Live, and the interesting capacity to maintain both complicated and hidden storylines (de Kosnik), and fan audience studies have looked at the parasocial-familiar relationship that fan and character construct, less has been developed about the relationship of the serial character, the actor and a form of twinned public identity. Seriality does produce a patterning of personnage, a structure of familiarity for the audience, but also a structure of performance for the actor. For instance, in a longitudinal analysis of the character of Fu Manchu, Mayer is able to discern how a patterning of iconic form shapes, replicates, and reiterates the look of Fu Manchu across decades of films (Mayer). Similarly, there has been a certain work on the “taxonomy of character” where the serial character of a television program is analysed in terms of 6 parts: physical traits/appearance; speech patterns, psychological traits/habitual behaviours; interaction with other characters; environment; biography (Pearson quoted in Lotz).From seriality what emerges is a particular kind of “type-casting” where the actor becomes wedded to the specific iteration of the taxonomy of performance. As with other elements related to seriality, serial character performance is also closely aligned to the economic. Previously I have described this economic patterning of performance the “John Wayne Syndrome.” Wayne’s career developed into a form of serial performance where the individual born as Marion Morrison becomes structured into a cultural and economic category that determines the next film role. The economic weight of type also constructs the limits and range of the actor. Type or typage as a form of casting has always been an element of film and theatrical performance; but it is the seriality of performance—the actual construction of a personnage that flows between the fictional and real person—that allows an actor to claim a persona that can be exchanged within the industry. Even 15 years after his death, Wayne remained one of the most popular performers in the United States, his status unrivalled in its close definition of American value that became wedded with a conservative masculinity and politics (Wills).Type and typecasting have an interesting relationship to seriality. From Eisenstein’s original use of the term typage, where the character is chosen to fit into the meaning of the film and the image was placed into its sequence to make that meaning, it generally describes the circ*mscribing of the actor into their look. As Wojcik’s analysis reveals, typecasting in various periods of theatre and film acting has been seen as something to be fought for by actors (in the 1850s) and actively resisted in Hollywood in 1950 by the Screen Actors Guild in support of more range of roles for each actor. It is also seen as something that leads to cultural stereotypes that can reinforce the racial profiling that has haunted diverse cultures and the dangers of law enforcement for centuries (Wojcik 169-71). Early writers in the study of film acting, emphasised that its difference from theatre was that in film the actor and character converged in terms of connected reality and a physicality: the film actor was less a mask and more a sense of “being”(Kracauer). Cavell’s work suggested film over stage performance allowed an individuality over type to emerge (34). Thompson’s semiotic “commutation” test was another way of assessing the power of the individual “star” actor to be seen as elemental to the construction and meaning of the film role Television produced with regularity character-actors where performance and identity became indissoluble partly because of the sheer repetition and the massive visibility of these seriated performances.One of the most typecast individuals in television history was Leonard Nimoy as Spock in Star Trek: although the original Star Trek series ran for only three seasons, the physical caricature of Spock in the series as a half-Vulcan and half-human made it difficult for the actor Nimoy to exit the role (Laws). Indeed, his famous autobiography riffed on this mis-identity with the forceful but still economically powerful title I am Not Spock in 1975. When Nimoy perceived that his fans thought that he was unhappy in his role as Spock, he published a further tome—I Am Spock—that righted his relationship to his fictional identity and its continued source of roles for the previous 30 years. Although it is usually perceived as quite different in its constitution of a public identity, a very similar structure of persona developed around the American CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite. With his status as anchor confirmed in its power and centrality to American culture in his desk reportage of the assassination and death of President Kennedy in November 1963, Cronkite went on to inhabit a persona as the most trusted man in the United States by the sheer gravitas of hosting the Evening News stripped across every weeknight at 6:30pm for the next 19 years. In contrast to Nimoy, Cronkite became Cronkite the television news anchor, where persona, actor, and professional identity merged—at least in terms of almost all forms of the man’s visibility.From this vantage point of understanding the seriality of character/personnage and how it informs the idea of the actor, I want to provide a longer conclusion about how seriality informs the concept of persona in the contemporary moment. First of all, what this study reveals is the way in which the production of identity is overlaid onto any conception of identity itself. If we can understand persona not in any negative formulation, but rather as a form of productive performance of a public self, then it becomes very useful to see that these very visible public blendings of performance and the actor-self can make sense more generally as to how the public self is produced and constituted. My final and concluding examples will try and elucidate this insight further.In 2013, Netflix launched into the production of original drama with its release of House of Cards. The series itself was remarkable for a number of reasons. First among them, it was positioned as a quality series and clearly connected to the lineage of recent American subscription television programs such as The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Dexter, Madmen, The Wire, Deadwood, and True Blood among a few others. House of Cards was an Americanised version of a celebrated British mini-series. In the American version, an ambitious party whip, Frank Underwood, manoeuvres with ruthlessness and the calculating support of his wife closer to the presidency and the heart and soul of American power. How the series expressed quality was at least partially in its choice of actors. The role of Frank Underwood was played by the respected film actor Kevin Spacey. His wife, Clare, was played by the equally high profile Robin Warren. Quality was also expressed through the connection of the audience of viewers to an anti-hero: a personnage that was not filled with virtue but moved with Machiavellian acuity towards his objective of ultimate power. This idea of quality emerged in many ways from the successful construction of the character of Tony Soprano by James Gandolfini in the acclaimed HBO television series The Sopranos that reconstructed the very conception of the family in organised crime. Tony Soprano was enacted as complex and conflicted with a sense of right and justice, but embedded in the personnage were psychological tropes and scars, and an understanding of the need for violence to maintain influence power and a perverse but natural sense of order (Martin).The new television serial character now embodied a larger code and coterie of acting: from The Sopranos, there is the underlying sense and sensibility of method acting (see Vineberg; Stanislavski). Gandolfini inhabited the role of Tony Soprano and used the inner and hidden drives and motivations to become the source for the display of the character. Likewise, Spacey inhabits Frank Underwood. In that new habitus of television character, the actor becomes subsumed by the role. Gandolfini becomes both over-determined by the role and his own identity as an actor becomes melded to the role. Kevin Spacey, despite his longer and highly visible history as a film actor is overwhelmed by the televisual role of Frank Underwood. Its serial power, where audiences connect for hours and hours, where the actor commits to weeks and weeks of shoots, and years and years of being the character—a serious character with emotional depth, with psychological motivation that rivals the most visceral of film roles—transforms the actor into a blended public person and the related personnage.This blend of fictional and public life is complex as much for the producing actor as it is for the audience that makes the habitus real. What Kevin Spacey/Frank Underwood inhabit is a blended persona, whose power is dependent on the constructed identity that is at source the actor’s production as much as any institutional form or any writer or director connected to making House of Cards “real.” There is no question that this serial public identity will be difficult for Kevin Spacey to disentangle when the series ends; in many ways it will be an elemental part of his continuing public identity. This is the economic power and risk of seriality.One can see similar blendings in the persona in popular music and its own form of contemporary seriality in performance. For example, Eminem is a stage name for a person sometimes called Marshall Mathers; but Eminem takes this a step further and produces beyond a character in its integration of the personal—a real personnage, Slim Shady, to inhabit his music and its stories. To further complexify this construction, Eminem relies on the production of his stories with elements that appear to be from his everyday life (Dawkins). His characterisations because of the emotional depth he inhabits through his rapped stories betray a connection to his own psychological state. Following in the history of popular music performance where the singer-songwriter’s work is seen by all to present a version of the public self that is closer emotionally to the private self, we once again see how the seriality of performance begins to produce a blended public persona. Rap music has inherited this seriality of produced identity from twentieth century icons of the singer/songwriter and its display of the public/private self—in reverse order from grunge to punk, from folk to blues.Finally, it is worthwhile to think of online culture in similar ways in the production of public personas. Seriality is elemental to online culture. Social media encourage the production of public identities through forms of repetition of that identity. In order to establish a public profile, social media users establish an identity with some consistency over time. The everydayness in the production of the public self online thus resembles the production and performance of seriality in fiction. Professional social media sites such as LinkedIn encourage the consistency of public identity and this is very important in understanding the new versions of the public self that are deployed in contemporary culture. However, much like the new psychological depth that is part of the meaning of serial characters such as Frank Underwood in House of Cards, Slim Shady in Eminem, or Tony Soprano in The Sopranos, social media seriality also encourages greater revelations of the private self via Instagram and Facebook walls and images. We are collectively reconstituted as personas online, seriated by the continuing presence of our online sites and regularly drawn to reveal more and greater depths of our character. In other words, the online persona resembles the new depth of the quality television serial personnage with elaborate arcs and great complexity. Seriality in our public identity is also uncovered in the production of our game avatars where, in order to develop trust and connection to friends in online settings, we maintain our identity and our patterns of gameplay. At the core of this online identity is a desire for visibility, and we are drawn to be “picked up” and shared in some repeatable form across what we each perceive as a meaningful dimension of culture. Through the circulation of viral images, texts, and videos we engage in a circulation and repetition of meaning that feeds back into the constancy and value of an online identity. Through memes we replicate and seriate content that at some level seriates personas in terms of humour, connection and value.Seriality is central to understanding the formation of our masks of public identity and is at least one valuable analytical way to understand the development of the contemporary persona. This essay represents the first foray in thinking through the relationship between seriality and persona.ReferencesBarbour, Kim, and P. David Marshall. “The Academic Online Constructing Persona.” First Monday 17.9 (2012).Browne, Nick. “The Political Economy of the (Super)Text.” Quarterly Review of Film Studies 9.3 (1984): 174-82. Cavell, Stanley. “Reflections on the Ontology of Film.” Movie Acting: The Film Reader. Ed. Wojcik and Pamela Robertson. London: Routledge, 2004 (1979). 29-35.Dawkins, Marcia Alesan. “Close to the Edge: Representational Tactics of Eminem.” The Journal of Popular Culture 43.3 (2010): 463-85.De Kosnik, Abigail. “One Life to Live: Soap Opera Storytelling.” How to Watch Television. Ed. Ethan Thompson and Jason Mittell. New York: New York University Press, 2013. 355-63.Denson, Shane, and Andreas Jahn-Sudmann. “Digital Seriality: On the Serial Aesthetics and Practice of Digital Games.” Journal of Computer Game Culture 7.1 (2013): 1-32.Dixon, Wheeler Winston. “Flash Gordon and the 1930s and 40s Science Fiction Serial.” Screening the Past 11 (2011). 20 May 2014.Goffman, Erving. The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. Woodstock, New York: The Overlook Press, 1973.Hagedorn, Roger “Technology and Economic Exploitation: The Serial as a Form of Narrative Presentation.” Wide Angle 10. 4 (1988): 4-12.Hayward, Jennifer Poole. Consuming Pleasures: Active Audiences and Serial Fictions from Dickens to Soap Opera. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1997.Heinrich, Nathalie. “Personne, Personnage, Personalité: L'acteur a L'ère De Sa Reproductibilité Technique.” Personne/Personnage. Eds. Thierry Lenain and Aline Wiame. Paris: Librairie Philosophique J. Vrin, 2011. 77-101.Jauss, Hans Robert, and Paul De Man. Toward an Aesthetic of Reception. Brighton: Harvester, 1982.Jenkins, Henry. Textual Poachers: Television Fans & Participatory Culture. New York: Routledge, 1992.Jung, C. G., et al. Two Essays on Analytical Psychology. 2nd ed. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1966.Kracauer, Siegfried. “Remarks on the Actor.” Movie Acting, the Film Reader. Ed. Pamela Robertson Wojcik. London: Routledge, 2004 (1960). 19-27.Leonard Nimoy & Pharrell Williams: Star Trek & Creating Spock. Ep. 12. Reserve Channel. December 2013. Lenain, Thierry, and Aline Wiame (eds.). Personne/Personnage. Librairie Philosophiques J. VRIN, 2011.Lotz, Amanda D. “House: Narrative Complexity.” How to Watch TV. Ed. Ethan Thompson and Jason Mittell. New York: New York University Press, 2013. 22-29.Marshall, P. David. “The Cate Blanchett Persona and the Allure of the Oscar.” The Conversation (2014). 4 April 2014.Marshall, P. David “Persona Studies: Mapping the Proliferation of the Public Self.” Journalism 15.2 (2014): 153-70.Marshall, P. David. “Personifying Agency: The Public–Persona–Place–Issue Continuum.” Celebrity Studies 4.3 (2013): 369-71.Marshall, P. David. “The Promotion and Presentation of the Self: Celebrity as Marker of Presentational Media.” Celebrity Studies 1.1 (2010): 35-48.Marshall, P. David. Celebrity and Power: Fame in Contemporary Culture. 2nd Ed. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2014.Martin, Brett. Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution: From The Sopranos and The Wire to Mad Men and Breaking Bad. London: Faber and Faber, 2013.Mayer, R. “Image Power: Seriality, Iconicity and the Mask of Fu Manchu.” Screen 53.4 (2012): 398-417.Nayar, Pramod K. Seeing Stars: Spectacle, Society, and Celebrity Culture. New Delhi; Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications, 2009.Nimoy, Leonard. I Am Not Spock. Milbrae, California: Celestial Arts, 1975.Nimoy, Leonard. I Am Spock. 1st ed. New York: Hyperion, 1995.Radway, Janice A. Reading the Romance: Women, Patriarchy, and Popular Literature. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1984.Stanislavski, Constantin. Creating a Role. New York: Routledge, 1989 (1961).Thompson, John O. “Screen Acting and the Commutation Test.” Movie Acting: The Film Reader. Ed. Pamela Robertson Wojcik. London: Routledge, 2004 (1978). 37-48.Tulloch, John, and Henry Jenkins. Science Fiction Audiences: Watching Doctor Who and Star Trek. London; New York: Routledge, 1995.Vineberg, Steve. Method Actors: Three Generations of an American Acting Style. New York; Toronto: Schirmer Books, 1991.Wills, Garry. John Wayne’s America: The Politics of Celebrity. 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Cruikshank, Lauren. "Articulating Alternatives: Moving Past a Plug-and-Play Prosthetic Media Model." M/C Journal 22, no.5 (October9, 2019). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1596.

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The first uncomfortable twinges started when I was a grad student, churning out my Master’s thesis on a laptop that I worked on at the library, in my bedroom, on the kitchen table, and at the coffee shop. By the last few months, typing was becoming uncomfortable for my arms, but as any thesis writer will tell you, your whole body is uncomfortable with the endless hours sitting, inputting, and revising. I didn’t think much of it until I moved on to a new city to start a PhD program. Now the burning that accompanied my essay-typing binges started to worry me more, especially since I noticed the twinges didn’t go away when I got up to chat with my roommate, or to go to bed. I finally mentioned the annoying arm to Sonja, a medical student friend of mine visiting me one afternoon. She asked me to pick up a chair in front of me, palms out. I did, and the attempt stabbed pain up my arm and through my elbow joint. The chair fell out of my hands. We looked at each other, eyebrows raised.Six months and much computer work later, I still hadn’t really addressed the issue. Who had time? Chasing mystery ailments around and more importantly, doing any less typing were not high on my likely list. But like the proverbial frog in slowly heated water, things had gotten much worse without my really acknowledging it. That is, until the day I got up from my laptop, stretched out and wandered into the kitchen to put some pasta on to boil. When the spaghetti was ready, I grabbed the pot to drain it and my right arm gave as if someone had just handed me a 200-pound weight. The pot, pasta and boiling water hit the floor with a scalding splash that nearly missed both me and the fleeing cat. Maybe there was a problem here.Both popular and critical understandings of the body have been in a great deal of flux over the past three or four decades as digital media technologies have become ever more pervasive and personal. Interfacing with the popular Internet, video games, mobile devices, wearable computing, and other new media technologies have prompted many to reflect on and reconsider what it means to be an embodied human being in an increasingly digitally determined era. As a result, the body, at various times in this recent history, has been theoretically disowned, disavowed, discarded, disdained, replaced, idealised, essentialised, hollowed out, re-occupied, dismembered, reconstituted, reclaimed and re-imagined in light of new media. Despite all of the angst over the relationships our embodied selves have had to digital media, of course, our embodied selves have endured. It remains true, that “even in the age of technosocial subjects, life is lived through bodies” (Stone 113).How we understand our embodiments and their entanglements with technologies matter deeply, moreover, for these understandings shape not only discourse around embodiment and media, but also the very bodies and media in question in very real ways. For example, a long-held tenet in both popular culture and academic work has been the notion that media technologies extend our bodies and our senses as technological prostheses. The idea here is that media technologies work like prostheses that extend the reach of our eyes, ears, voice, touch, and other bodily abilities through time and space, augmenting our abilities to experience and influence the world.Canadian media scholar Marshall McLuhan is one influential proponent of this notion, and claimed that, in fact, “the central purpose of all my work is to convey this message, that by understanding media as they extend man, we gain a measure of control over them” (McLuhan and Zingrone 265). Other more contemporary media scholars reflect on how “our prosthetic technological extensions enable us to amplify and extend ourselves in ways that profoundly affect the nature and scale of human communication” (Cleland 75), and suggest that a media technology such as one’s mobile device, can act “as a prosthesis that supports the individual in their interactions with the world” (Glitsos 161). Popular and commercial discourses also frequently make use of this idea, from the 1980’s AT&T ad campaign that nudged you to “Reach out and Touch Someone” via the telephone, to Texas Instruments’s claim in the 1990’s that their products were “Extending Your Reach”, to Nikon’s contemporary nudge to “See Much Further” with the prosthetic assistance of their cameras. The etymology of the term “prosthesis” reveals that the term evolves from Greek and Latin components that mean, roughly, “to add to”. The word was originally employed in the 16th century in a grammatical context to indicate “the addition of a letter or syllable to the beginning of a word”, and was adopted to describe “the replacement of defective or absent parts of the body by artificial substitutes” in the 1700’s. More recently the world “prosthesis” has come to be used to indicate more simply, “an artificial replacement for a part of the body” (OED Online). As we see in the use of the term over the past few decades, the meaning of the word continues to shift and is now often used to describe technological additions that don’t necessarily replace parts of the body, but augment and extend embodied capabilities in various ways. Technology as prosthesis is “a trope that has flourished in a recent and varied literature concerned with interrogating human-technology interfaces” (Jain 32), and now goes far beyond signifying the replacement of missing components. Although the prosthesis has “become somewhat of an all-purpose metaphor for interactions of body and technology” (Sun 16) and “a tempting theoretical gadget” (Jain 49), I contend that this metaphor is not often used particularly faithfully. Instead of invoking anything akin to the complex lived corporeal experiences and conundrums of prosthetic users, what we often get when it comes to metaphors of technology-as-prostheses is a fascination with the potential of technologies in seamlessly extending our bodies. This necessitates a fantasy version of both the body and its prostheses as interchangeable or extendable appendages to be unproblematically plugged and unplugged, modifying our capabilities and perceptions to our varying whims.Of course, a body seamlessly and infinitely extended by technological prostheses is really no body. This model forgoes actual lived bodies for a shiny but hollow amalgamation based on what I have termed the “disembodimyth” enabled by technological transcendence. By imagining our bodies as assemblages of optional appendages, it is not far of a leap to imagine opting out of our bodies altogether and using technological means to unfasten our consciousness from our corporeal parts. Alison Muri points out that this myth of imminent emancipation from our bodies via unity with technology is a view that has become “increasingly prominent in popular media and cultural studies” (74), despite or perhaps because of the fact that, due to global overpopulation and wasteful human environmental practices, “the human body has never before been so present, or so materially manifest at any time in the history of humanity”, rendering “contradictory, if not absurd, the extravagantly metaphorical claims over the past two decades of the human body’s disappearance or obsolescence due to technology” (75-76). In other words, it becomes increasingly difficult to speak seriously about the body being erased or escaped via technological prosthetics when those prosthetics, and our bodies themselves, continue to proliferate and contribute to the piling up of waste and pollution in the current Anthropocene. But whether they imply smooth couplings with alluring technologies, or uncoupling from the body altogether, these technology-as-prosthesis metaphors tell us very little about “prosthetic realities” (Sun 24). Actual prosthetic realities involve learning curves; pain, frustrations and triumphs; hard-earned remappings of mental models; and much experimentation and adaption on the part of both technology and user in order to function. In this vein, Vivian Sobchak has detailed the complex sensations and phenomenological effects that followed the amputation of her leg high above the knee, including the shifting presence of her “phantom limb” perceptions, the alignments, irritations, movements, and stabilities offered by her prosthetic leg, and her shifting senses of bodily integrity and body-image over time. An oversimplistic application of the prosthetic metaphor for our encounters with technology runs the risk of forgetting this wealth of experiences and instructive first-hand accounts from people who have been using therapeutic prosthetics as long as assistive devices have been conceived of, built, and used. Of course, prosthetics have long been employed not simply to aid function and mobility, but also to restore and prop up concepts of what a “whole,” “normal” body looks like, moves like, and includes as essential components. Prosthetics are employed, in many cases, to allow the user to “pass” as able-bodied in rendering their own technological presence invisible, in service of restoring an ableist notion of embodied normality. Scholars of Critical Disability Studies have pushed back against these ableist notions, in service of recognising the capacities of “the disabled body when it is understood not as a less than perfect form of the normative standard, but as figuring difference in a nonbinary sense” (Shildrick 14). Paralympian, actress, and model Aimee Mullins has lent her voice to this cause, publicly contesting the prioritisation of realistic, unobtrusive form in prosthetic design. In a TED talk entitled It’s Not Fair Having 12 Pairs of Legs, she showcases her collection of prosthetics, including “cheetah legs” designed for optimal running speed, transparent glass-like legs, ornately carved wooden legs, Barbie doll-inspired legs customised with high heel shoes, and beautiful, impractical jellyfish legs. In illustrating the functional, fashionable, and fantastical possibilities, she challenges prosthetic designers to embrace more poetry and whimsy, while urging us all to move “away from the need to replicate human-ness as the only aesthetic ideal” (Mullins). In this same light, Sarah S. Jain asks “how do body-prosthesis relays transform individual bodies as well as entire social notions about what a properly functioning physical body might be?” (39). In her exploration of how prostheses can be simultaneously wounding and enabling, Jain recounts Sigmund Freud’s struggle with his own palate replacement following surgery for throat cancer in 1923. His prosthesis allowed him to regain the ability to speak and eat, but also caused him significant pain. Nevertheless, his artificial palate had to be worn, or the tissue would shrink and necessitate additional painful procedures (Jain 31). Despite this fraught experience, Freud himself espoused the trope of technologically enhanced transcendence, pronouncing “Man has, as it were, become a prosthetic god. When he puts on all his auxiliary organs, he is truly magnificent.” However, he did add a qualification, perhaps reflective of his own experiences, by next noting, “but those organs have not grown on him and they still give him much trouble at times” (qtd. in Jain 31). This trouble is, I argue, important to remember and reclaim. It is also no less present in our interactions with our media prostheses. Many of our technological encounters with media come with unacknowledged discomforts, adjustments, lag, strain, ill-fitting defaults, and fatigue. From carpal tunnel syndrome to virtual reality vertigo, our interactions with media technologies are often marked by pain and “much trouble” in Freud’s sense. Computer Science and Cultural Studies scholar Phoebe Sengers opens a short piece titled Technological Prostheses: An Anecdote, by reflecting on how “we have reached the post-physical era. On the Internet, all that matters is our thoughts. The body is obsolete. At least, whoever designed my computer interface thought so.” She traces how concentrated interactions with computers during her graduate work led to intense tendonitis in her hands. Her doctor responded by handing her “a technological prosthesis, two black leather wrist braces” that allowed her to return to her keyboard to resume typing ten hours a day. Shortly after her assisted return to her computer, she developed severe tendonitis in her elbows and had to stop typing altogether. Her advisor also handed her a technological prosthesis, this time “a speech understanding system that would transcribe my words,” so that she could continue to work. Two days later she lost her voice. Ultimately she “learned that my body does not go away when I work. I learned to stop when it hurt […] and to refuse to behave as though my body was not there” (Sengers). My own experiences in grad school were similar in many ways to Sengers’s. Besides the pasta problem outlined above, my own computer interfacing injuries at that point in my career meant I could no longer turn keys in doors, use a screwdriver, lift weights, or play the guitar. I held a friend’s baby at Christmas that year and the pressure of the small body on my arm make me wince. My family doctor bent my arm around a little, then shrugging her shoulders, she signed me up for a nerve test. As a young neurologist proceeded to administer a series of electric shocks and stick pins into my arms in various places, I noticed she had an arm brace herself. She explained that she also had a repetitive strain injury aggravated by her work tasks. She pronounced mine an advanced repetitive strain injury involving both medial and lateral epicondylitis, and sent me home with recommendations for rest, ice and physiotherapy. Rest was a challenge: Like Sengers, I puzzled over how one might manage to be productive in academia without typing. I tried out some physiotherapy, with my arm connected to electrodes and currents coursing through my elbow until my arm contorted in bizarre ways involuntarily. I tried switching my mouse from my right side to my left, switching from typing to voice recognition software and switching from a laptop to a more ergonomic desktop setup. I tried herbal topical treatments, wearing an extremely ugly arm brace, doing yoga poses, and enduring chiropractic bone-cracking. I learned in talking with people around me at that time that repetitive strains of various kinds are surprisingly common conditions for academics and other computer-oriented occupations. I learned other things well worth learning in that painful process. In terms of my own writing and thinking about technology, I have even less tolerance for the idea of ephemeral, transcendent technological fusions between human and machine. Seductive slippages into a cyberspatial existence seem less sexy when bumping your body up against the very physical and unforgiving interface hurts more with each keystroke or mouse click. The experience has given me a chronic injury to manage carefully ever since, rationing my typing time and redoubling my commitment to practicing embodied theorising about technology, with attention to sensation, materiality, and the way joints (between bones or between computer and computant) can become points of inflammation. Although pain is rarely referenced in the myths of smooth human and technological incorporations, there is much to be learned in acknowledging and exploring the entry and exit wounds made when we interface with technology. The elbow, or wrist, or lower back, or mental health that gives out serves as an effective alarm, should it be ignored too long. If nothing else, like a crashed computer, a point of pain will break a flow of events typically taken for granted. Whether it is your screen or your pinky finger that unexpectedly freezes, a system collapse will prompt a step back to look with new perspective at the process you were engaged in. The lag, crash, break, gap, crack, or blister exposes the inherent imperfections in a system and offers up an invitation for reflection, critical engagement, and careful choice.One careful choice we could make would be a more critical engagement with technology-as-prosthesis by “re-membering” our jointedness with technologies. Of course, joints themselves are not distinct parts, but interesting articulated systems and relationships in the spaces in-between. Experiencing our jointedness with technologies involves recognising that this is not the smooth romantic union with technology that has so often been exalted. Instead, our technological articulations involve a range of pleasures and pain, flows and blockages, frictions and slippages, flexibilities and rigidities. I suggest that a new model for understanding technology and embodiment might employ “articulata” as a central figure, informed by the multiple meanings of articulation. At their simplest, articulata are hinged, jointed, plural beings, but they are also precarious things that move beyond a hollow collection of corporeal parts. The inspiration for an exploration of articulation as a metaphor in this way was planted by the work of Donna Haraway, and especially by her 1992 essay, “The Promises of Monsters: A Regenerative Politics for Inappropriate/d Others,” in which she touches briefly on articulation and its promise. Haraway suggests that “To articulate is to signify. It is to put things together, scary things, risky things, contingent things. I want to live in an articulate world. We articulate; therefore we are” (324). Following from Haraway’s work, this framework insists that bodies and technologies are not simply components cobbled together, but a set of relations that rework each other in complex and ongoing processes of articulation. The double-jointed meaning of articulation is particularly apt as inspiration for crafting a more nuanced understanding of embodiment, since articulation implies both physiology and communication. It is a term that can be used to explain physical jointedness and mobility, but also expressive specificities. We articulate a joint by exploring its range of motion and we articulate ideas by expressing them in words. In both senses we articulate and are articulated by our jointed nature. Instead of oversimplifying or idealising embodied relationships with prostheses and other technologies, we might conceive of them and experience them as part of a “joint project”, based on points of connexion that are not static, but dynamic, expressive, complex, contested, and sometimes uncomfortable. After all, as Shildrick reminds us, in addition to functioning as utilitarian material artifacts, “prostheses are rich in semiotic meaning and mark the site where the disordering ambiguity, and potential transgressions, of the interplay between the human, animal and machine cannot be occluded” (17). By encouraging the attentive embracing of these multiple meanings, disorderings, ambiguities, transgressions and interplays, my aim moving forward is to explore the ways in which we might all become more articulate about our articulations. After all, I too want to live in an articulate world.ReferencesAT&T. "AT&T Reach Out and Touch Someone Commercial – 1987." Advertisem*nt. 13 Mar. 2014. YouTube. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OapWdclVqEY>.Cleland, Kathy. "Prosthetic Bodies and Virtual Cyborgs." Second Nature 3 (2010): 74–101.Glitsos, Laura. "Screen as Skin: The Somatechnics of Touchscreen Music Media." Somatechnics 7.1 (2017): 142–165.Haraway, Donna. "Promises of Monsters: A Regenerative Politics for Inappropriate/d Others." Cultural Studies. Eds. Lawrence Grossberg, Cary Nelson and Paula A. Treichler. New York: Routledge, 1992. 295–337.Jain, Sarah S. "The Prosthetic Imagination: Enabling and Disabling the Prosthetic Trope." Science, Technology, & Human Values 31.54 (1999): 31–54.McLuhan, Eric, and Frank Zingrone, eds. Essential McLuhan. Concord: Anansi P, 1995.Mullins, Aimee. Aimee Mullins: It’s Not Fair Having 12 Pairs of Legs. TED, 2009. <http://www.ted.com/talks/aimee_mullins_prosthetic_aesthetics.html>.Muri, Allison. "Of sh*t and the Soul: Tropes of Cybernetic Disembodiment in Contemporary Culture." Body & Society 9.3 (2003): 73–92.Nikon. "See Much Further! Nikon COOLPIX P1000." Advertisem*nt. 1 Nov. 2018. YouTube. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtABWZX0U8w>.OED Online. "prosthesis, n." Oxford UP. June 2019. 1 Aug. 2019 <https://www-oed-com.proxy.hil.unb.ca/view/Entry/153069?redirectedFrom=prosthesis#eid>.Sengers, Phoebe. "Technological Prostheses: An Anecdote." ZKP-4 Net Criticism Reader. Eds. Geert Lovink and Pit Schultz. 1997.Shildrick, Margrit. "Why Should Our Bodies End at the Skin?: Embodiment, Boundaries, and Somatechnics." Hypatia 30.1 (2015): 13–29.Sobchak, Vivian. "Living a ‘Phantom Limb’: On the Phenomenology of Bodily Integrity." Body & Society 16.3 (2010): 51–67.Stone, Allucquere Roseanne. "Will the Real Body Please Stand Up? Boundary Stories about Virtual Cultures." Cyberspace: First Steps. Ed. Michael Benedikt. Cambridge: MIT P, 1991. 81–113.Sun, Hsiao-yu. "Prosthetic Configurations and Imagination: Dis/ability, Body and Technology." Concentric: Literacy and Cultural Studies 44.1 (2018): 13–39.Texas Instruments. "We Wrote the Book on Classroom Calculators." Advertisem*nt. Teaching Children Mathematics 2.1 (1995): Back Matter. <http://www.jstor.org/stable/41196414>.

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Fedorova, Ksenia. "Mechanisms of Augmentation in Proprioceptive Media Art." M/C Journal 16, no.6 (November7, 2013). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.744.

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Introduction In this article, I explore the phenomenon of augmentation by questioning its representational nature and analyzing aesthetic modes of our interrelationship with the environment. How can senses be augmented and how do they serve as mechanisms of enhancing the feeling of presence? Media art practices offer particularly valuable scenarios of activating such mechanisms, as the employment of digital technology allows them to operate on a more subtle level of perception. Given that these practices are continuously evolving, this analysis cannot claim to be a comprehensive one, but rather aims to introduce aspects of the specific relations between augmentation, sense of proprioception, technology, and art. Proprioception is one of the least detectable and trackable human senses because it involves our intuitive sense of positionality, which suggests a subtle equilibrium between a center (our individual bodies) and the periphery (our immediate environments). Yet, as any sense, proprioception implies a communicational chain, a network of signals traveling and exchanging information within the body-mind complex. The technological augmentation of this dynamic process produces an interference in our understanding of the structure and elements, the information sent/received. One way to understand the operations of the senses is to think about them as images that the mind creates for itself. Artistic intervention (usually) builds upon exactly this logic: representation of images generated in mind, supplementing or even supplanting the existing collection of inner images with new, created ones. Yet, in case of proprioception the only means to interfere with and augment these inner images is on bodily level. Hence, the question of communication through images (or representations) should be extended towards a more complex theory of embodied perception. Drawing on phenomenology, cognitive science, and techno-cultural studies, I focus on the potential of biofeedback technologies to challenge and transform our self-perception by conditioning new pathways of apprehension (sometimes by creating mechanisms of direct stimulation of neural activity). I am particularly interested in how the awareness of the self (grounded in the felt relationality of our body parts) is most significantly activated at the moments of disturbance of balance, in situations of perplexity and disorientation. Projects by Marco Donnarumma, Sean Montgomery, and other artists working with biofeedback aesthetically validate and instantiate current research about neuro-plasticity, with technologically mediated sensory augmentation as one catalyst of this process. Augmentation as Representation: Proprioception and Proprioceptive Media Representation has been one of the key ways to comprehend reality. But representation also constitutes a spatial relation of distancing and separation: the spectator encounters an object placed in front of him, external to him. Thus, representation is associated more with an analytical, rather than synthetic, methodology because it implies detachment and division into parts. Both methods involve relation, yet in the case of representation there is a more distinct element of distance between the representing subject and represented object. Representation is always a form of augmentation: it extends our abilities to see the "other", otherwise invisible sides and qualities of the objects of reality. Representation is key to both science and art, yet in case of the latter, what is represented is not a (claimed) "objective" scheme of reality, but rather images of the imaginary, inner reality (even figurative painting always presents a particular optical and psychological perspective, to say nothing about forms of abstract art). There are certain kinds of art (visual arts, music, dance, etc.) that deal with different senses and thus, build their specific representational structures. Proprioception is one of the senses that occupies relatively marginal position in artistic production (which is exactly because of the specificity of its representational nature and because it does not create a sense of an external object. The term "proprioception" comes from Latin propius, or "one's own", "individual", and capio, cepi – "to receive", "to perceive". It implies a sense of one's self felt as a relational unity of parts of the body most vividly discovered in movement and in effort employed in it. The loss of proprioception usually means loss of bodily orientation and a feeling of one's body (Sacks 43-54). On the other hand, in case of additional stimulation and training of this sense (not only via classical cyber-devices, like cyber-helmets, gloves, etc. that set a different optics, but also techniques of different kinds of altered states of mind, e.g. through psychotropics, but also through architecture of virtual space and acoustics) a sense of disorientation that appears at first changes towards some analogue of reactions of enthusiasm, excitement discovery, and emotion of approaching new horizons. What changes is not only perception of external reality, but a sense of one's self: the self is felt as fluid, flexible, with penetrable borders. Proprioception implies initial co-existence of the inner and outer space on the basis of originary difference and individuality/specificity of the occupied position. Yet, because they are related, the "external" and "other" already feels as "one's own", and this is exactly what causes the sense of presence. Among the many possible connections that the body, in its sense of proprioception, is always already ready for, only a certain amount gets activated. The result of proprioception is a special kind of meta-stable internal image. This image may not coincide with the optical, auditory, or haptic image. According to Brian Massumi, proprioception translates the exertions and ease of the body's encounters with objects into a muscular memory of relationality. This is the cumulative memory of skill, habit, posture. At the same time as proprioception folds tactility in, it draws out the subject's reactions to the qualities of the objects it perceives through all five senses, bringing them into the motor realm of externalizable response. (59) This internal image is not mediated by anything, though it depends directly on the relations between the parts. It cannot be grasped because it is by definition fluid and dynamic. The position in one point is replaced here by a position-in-movement (point-in-movement). "Movement is not indexed by position. Rather, the position is born in movement, from the relation of movement towards itself" (Massumi 179). Philosopher of "extended mind" Andy Clark notes that we should distinguish between a real body schema (non-conscious configuration) and a body image (conscious construct) (Clark). It is the former that is important to understand, and yet is the most challenging. Due to its fluidity and self-referentiality, proprioception is not presentable to consciousness (the unstable internal image that it creates resides in consciousness but cannot be grasped and thus re-presented). A feeling/sense, it is not bound by sensible forms that would serve as means of objectification and externalization. As Barbara Montero observes, while the objects of vision and hearing, i.e. the most popular senses involved in the arts, are beyond one's body, sense of proprioception relates directly to the bodily sensation, it does not represent any external objects, but the sensory itself (231). These characteristics of proprioception help to reframe the question of augmentation as mediation: in the case of proprioception, the medium of sensation is the very relational structure of the body itself, irrespective of the "exteroceptive" (tactile) or "interoceptive" (visceral) dimensions of sensibility. The body is understood, then, as the "body without image,” and its proprioceptive effect can then be described as "the sensibility proper to the muscles and ligaments" (Massumi 58). Proprioception in (Media) Art One of the most convincing ways of externalization and (re)presentation of the data of proprioception is through re-production of its structure and its artificial enhancement with the help of technology. This can be achieved in at least two ways: by setting up situations and environments that emphasize self-perspective and awareness of perception, and by presenting measurements of bio-data and inviting into dialogue with them. The first strategy may be connected to disorientation and shifted perspective that are created in immersive virtual environments that make the role of otherwise un-trackable, fluid sense of proprioception actually felt and cognized. These effects are closely related to the nuances of perception of space, for instance, to spatial illusion. Practice of spatial illusion in the arts traces its history as far back as Roman frescos, trompe l’oeil, as well as phantasmagorias, like magic lantern. Geometrically, the system of the 360º image is still the most effective in producing a sense of full immersion—either in spaces from panoramas, Stereopticon, Cinéorama to CAVE (Computer Augmented Virtual Environments), or in devices for an individual spectator’s usage, like a stereoscope, Sensorama and more recent Head Mounted Displays (HMD). All these devices provide a sense of hermetic enclosure and bodily engagement with its scenes (realistic or often fantastical). Their images are frameless and thus immeasurable (lack of the sense of proportion provokes feeling of disorientation), image apparatus and the image itself converge here into an almost inseparable total unity: field of vision is filled, and the medium becomes invisible (Grau 198-202; 248-255). Yet, the constructed image is even more frameless and more peculiarly ‘mental’ in environments created on the basis of objectless or "immaterial" media, like light or sound; or in installations prioritizing haptic sensation and in responsive architectures, i.e. environments that transform physically in reaction to their inhabitants. The examples may include works by Olafur Eliasson that are centered around the issues of conscious perception and employ various optical and other apparata (mirrors, curved surfaces, coloured glass, water systems) to shift the habitual perspective and make one conscious of the subtle changes in the environment depending on one's position in space (there have been instances of spectators in Eliasson's installations falling down after trying to lean against an apparent wall that turned out to be a mere optical construct.). Figure 1: Olafur Eliasson, Take Your Time, 2008. © Olafur Eliasson Studio. In his classic H2OExpo project for Delta Expo in 1997, the Dutch architect Lars Spuybroek experimented with the perception of instability. There is no horizontal surface in the pavilion; floors, composed of interconnected elliptical volumes, transform into walls and walls into ceilings, promoting a sense of fluidity and making people respond by falling, leaning, tilting and "experiencing the vector of one’s own weight, and becoming sensitized to the effects of gravity" (Schwartzman 63). Along the way, specially installed sensors detect the behaviour of the ‘walker’ and send signals to the system to contribute further to the agenda of imbalance and confusion by changing light, image projection, and sound.Figure 2: Lars Spuybroek, H2OExpo, 1994-1997. © NOX/ Lars Spuybroek. Philip Beesley’s Hylozoic Ground (2010) is also a responsive environment filled by a dense organic network of delicate illuminated acrylic tendrils that can extend out to touch the visitor, triggering an uncanny mixture of delight and discomfort. The motif of pulsating movement was inspired by fluctuations in coral reefs and recreated via the system of precise sensors and microprocessors. This reference to an unfamiliar and unpredictable natural environment, which often makes us feel cautious and ultra-attentive, is a reminder of our innate ability of proprioception (a deeply ingrained survival instinct) and its potential for a more nuanced, intimate, emphatic and bodily rooted communication. Figure 3: Philip Beesley, Hylozoic Ground, 2010. © Philip Beesley Architect Inc. Works of this kind stimulate awareness of both the environment and one's own response to it. Inviting participants to actively engage with the space, they evoke reactions of self-reflexivity, i.e. the self becomes the object of its own exploration and (potentially) transformation. Another strategy of revealing the processes of the "body without image" is through representing various kinds of bio-data, bodily affective reactions to certain stimuli. Biosignal monitoring technologies most often employed include EEG (Electroencephalogram), EMG (Electromyogram), GSR (Galvanic Skin Response), ECG (Electrocardiogram), HRV (Heart Rate Variability) and others. Previously available only in medical settings and research labs, many types of sensors (bio and environmental) now become increasingly available (bio-enabled products ranging from cardio watches—an instance of the "quantified self" trend—to brain wave-controlled video games). As the representatives of the DIY makers community put it: "By monitoring some phenomena (biofeedback) you can train yourself to modulate them, possibly improving your emotional state. Biosensing lets you interact more naturally with digital systems, creating cyborg-like extensions of your body that overcome disabilities or provide new abilities. You can also share your bio-signals, if you choose, to participate in new forms of communication" (Montgomery). What is it about these technologies besides understanding more accurately the unconscious and invisible signals? The critical question in relation to biofeedback data is about the adequacy of the transference of the initial signal, about the "new" brought by the medium, as well as the ontological status of the resulting representation. These data are reflections of something real, yet themselves have a different weight, also providing the ground for all sorts of simulative methods and creation of mixed realities. External representations, unlike internal, are often attributed a prosthetic nature that is treated as extensions of existing skills. Besides serving their direct purpose (for instance, maps give detailed picture of a distant location), these extensions provide certain psychological effects, such as disorientation, displacement, a shift in a sense of self and enhancement of the sense of presence. Artistic experiments with bio-data started in the 1960s most famously with employing the method of sonification. Among the pioneers were the composers Alvin Lucier, Richard Teitelbaum, David Rosenblum, Erkki Kurenemi, Pierre Henry, and others. Today's versions of biophysical performance may include not only acoustic, but also visual interpretation, as well as subtle narrative scenarios. An example can be Marco Donnarumma's Hypo Chrysos, a piece that translates visceral strain in sound and moving images. The title refers to the type of a punishing trial in one of the circles of hell in Dante's Divine Comedy: the eternal task of carrying heavy rocks is imitated by the artist-performer, while the audience can feel the bodily tension enhanced by sound and imagery. The state of the inner body is, thus, amplified, or augmented. The sense of proprioception experienced by the performer is translated into media perceivable by others. In this externalized form it can also be shared, i.e. released into a space of inter-subjectivity, where it receives other, collective qualities and is not perceived negatively, in terms of pressure. Figure 4: Marco Donnarumma, Hypo Chrysos, 2011. © Marco Donnarumma. Another example can be an installation Telephone Rewired by the artist-neuroscientist Sean Montgomery. Brainwave signals are measured from each visitor upon the entrance to the installation site. These individual data then become part of the collective archive of the brainwaves of all the participants. In the second room, the viewer is engulfed by pulsing light and sound that mimic endogenous brain waveforms of the previous viewers. As in the experience of Donnarumma's performance, this process encourages tuning in to the inner state of the other and finding resonating states in one's own body. It becomes a tool for self-exploration, self-knowledge, and self-control, as well as for developing skills of collective being, of shared body-mind topologies. Synchronization of mental and bodily states of multiple people serves here a broader and deeper goal of training collaborative and empathic abilities. An immersive experience, it triggers deep embodied neural circuits, reaching towards the most authentic reactions not mediated by conscious procedures and judgment. Figure 5: Sean Montgomery, Telephone Rewired, 2013. © Sean Montgomery. Conclusion The potential of biofeedback as a strategy for art projects is a rich area that artists have only begun to explore. The layer of the imaginary and the fictional (which makes art special and different from, for instance, science) can add a critical dimension to understanding the processes of augmentation and mediation. As the described examples demonstrate, art is an investigative journey that can be engaging, surprising, and awakening towards the more subtle and acute forms of thinking and feeling. This astuteness and percipience are especially needed as media and technologies penetrate and affect our very abilities to apprehend reality. We need new tools to make independent and individual judgment. The sense of proprioception establishes a productive challenge not only for science, but also for the arts, inviting a search for new mechanisms of representing the un-presentable and making shareable and communicable what is, by definition, individual, fluid, and ungraspable. Collaborative cognition emerging from the augmentation of proprioception that is enabled by biofeedback technologies holds distinct promise for exploration of not only subjective, but also inter-subjective states and aesthetic strategies of inducing them. References Beesley, Philip. Hylozoic Ground. 2010. Venice Biennale, Venice. Clark, Andy, and David J. Chalmers. “The Extended Mind.” Analysis 58.1 (1998):7-19. Donnarumma, Marco. Hypo Chrysos: Action Art for Vexed Body and Biophysical Media. 2011. Xth Sense Biosensing Wearable Technology. MADATAC Festival, Madrid. Eliasson, Olafur. Take Your Time, 2008. P.S.1 Contemporary Art Centre; Museum of Modern Art, New York. Grau, Oliver. Virtual Art: From Illusion to Immersion. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2003. Massumi, Brian. Parables of the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation. Durham: Duke University Press, 2002. Montero, Barbara. "Proprioception as an Aesthetic Sense." Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 64.2 (2006): 231-242. Montgomery, Sean, and Ira Laefsky. "Biosensing: Track Your Body's Signals and Brain Waves and Use Them to Control Things." Make 26. 1 Oct. 2013 ‹http://www.make-digital.com/make/vol26?pg=104#pg104›. Sacks, Oliver. "The Disembodied Lady". The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales. Philippines: Summit Books, 1985. Schwartzman, Madeline, See Yourself Sensing. Redefining Human Perception. London: Black Dog Publishing, 2011. Spuybroek, Lars. Waterland. 1994-1997. H2O Expo, Zeeland, NL.

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Deslandes, Ann. "Three Ethics of Coalition." M/C Journal 13, no.6 (November20, 2010). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.311.

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To coalesce politically is to join together whilst retaining singularity. This is the aim of much contemporary social movement activism, marked most consistently under the sign of the global justice movement – the movement ‘for humanity and against neoliberalism’, as a common slogan goes. This movement regularly writes itself as one composed of diversity and a commitment to horizontal power relations. Within this, the discourse of the movement demonstrates a particular consciousness around privilege and oppression (Starr 95-97). The demands, in this regard, on a coalescence that brings together such groups as middle-class university students, landless peasant farmers, indigenous militants and child labourers are strong (Maeckelbergh). What kinds of solidarities are required for such a precipitation across difference and power? What ethical imperatives are produced for those activists who occupy the normatively first world, white, middle-class activist subject position within this?For activism in the Australian context, this question has had particular implications for practices of alliance and resistance around, for example, the Northern Territory Intervention as well as the treatment of refugees, particularly their mandatory detention and deportation. Many activist individuals and groups involved in these social movements can also be found occupying various positions within global justice movement discourse. There were shouts of “no borders, no nations, no deportations” at the 2002 World Trade Organisation protests in Sydney; there are declarations of Indigenous sovereignty at the gates of the Villawood detention centre in 2010. Under these circ*mstances, the question for coalition between singularities is negotiated at the difference between being an incarcerated refugee or a citizen of the incarcerating state; or between a person whose livelihood is administered through their race and class and one who has relative control over their own means of existence.Whilst these differentials are neither static nor binarised opposites, they do manifest in this way, among other ways, at the moment of claiming coalition. Again, then: what are the ethics of coalition that might be produced here for the relatively or differently privileged subject? By way of a response, this article is an address to the ethical scene of activist coalition, drawing on anti-colonial feminism, discourses of precarity, and Derrida’s “fiduciary register” (Acts of Religion). I pose three interpenetrating ethics of coalition for the privileged subject in (the) global justice movement: risk, prayer and gift. I’ll leave it up to you to decide if you are interpellated as this subject, in view of its instability. By the same token, this meditation is not specifically applied to the cases of alliance sketched above; which is not to say it cannot be.RiskAs global justice movement discourse recognises, the contemporary global polis is heavily marked by practices of securitisation and containment. Under such conditions, anticolonial theorist Leela Gandhi suggests that a collective oppositional consciousness may be defined by risk. For Gandhi it is the risk (of pain, sacrifice, humiliation, or exile) taken by the “philoxenic”, or stranger-oriented, subject in transnational activism that defines their politics as one of friendship, after Jacques Derrida (Politics; Gandhi 29–30). Risk takes the subject beyond recognition; it means facing something you might not recognise, something you cannot know. Easily commodified, risk cannot be pre-planned; “philoxenia”, says Gandhi, “is not reducible to a form of masoch*stic moral adventurism or absolutism, to a sort of ethics-as-bungie-jumping-at-any-cost school of thought” (30). Risk, rather, is partial, open-ended; always to come. (Risk here is distinguished, thus, from its actuarial register. The regimes of risk underpinning global securitisation are defined by imminence rather than immanence.)Risk, in this ethical imaginary, is a threat to subjectivity; the catalyst for any coalitional process of deactivating the habits of privilege and hierarchy. This is viscerally articulated by Bernice Johnson Reagon in her speech "Turning the Century: Coalition Politics":I feel as if I’m gonna keel over any minute and die. That is often what it feels like if you’re really doing coalition work. Most of the time you feel threatened to the core and if you don’t, you’re not really doing no coalescing. (Reagon)Reagon (a musician, scholar and activist speaking at a women’s music festival in 1981) highlighted that, as displacement is necessary to coalition, so do we risk displacement every time we seek coalition. Reagon’s speech remains a landmark challenge for allies to stake their subjectivity on social justice. A response is perhaps prefigured by feminist philosopher and activist Simone de Beauvoir, in her reflection on her pro-abortion activism in early 1970s France:I believed that it was up to women like me to take the risk on behalf of those who could not, because we could afford to do it. We had the money and the position and we were not likely to be punished for our actions. I was already a sacred cow to the authorities and no-one would dare arrest me, so don’t give me too much credit for bravery because I was untouchable. Save your sympathy for the ordinary women who really suffered by their admission. (Bair 547)Contemporarily, queer theorist and activist Judith Butler expresses similar coalescent displacement in Precarious Life, her manifesto for a politics of mourning:For if I am confounded by you, then you are already of me, and I am nowhere without you. I cannot muster the “we” except by finding the way in which I am tied to “you”, by trying to translate but finding that my own language must break up and yield if I am to know you. You are what I gain through this disorientation and loss. This is how the human comes into being, again and again, as that which we have yet to know. (49)Indeed: Butler and de Beauvoir, two different feminists equally concerned with coalition, provide two orientations to the risky solidarity forecast by Reagon. Butler’s is a commitment to displacing privilege, in order to bring about political relationship to another. De Beauvoir’s is to use her privilege to protect and advance the rights of those who are oppressed by that privilege. Both recognise a re-distributive, even liberatory, power that is created by giving up privilege, or by recognising it in order to work against it. Both statements might be located in particular timespace: de Beauvoir’s from a feminism beginning to consider the hom*ogeneity in the white middle class heterosexual feminist construct of “woman”, and Butler’s reflecting a thoroughly raced, classed, queered, feminist subject. An anticolonial feminist reworking of this scene might thus see de Beauvoir and Butler as both deploying forms of Chela Sandoval's “tactical subjectivity”, that “capacity to de- and recenter, given the forms of power to be moved” (58-9). In doing this, both may run the risk of fetishising the others they de/refer to: Butler’s as the source of her humanity, de Beauvoir’s in speaking on their behalf (Ahmed 4-5). So in risking their personal empowerment activists still, simultaneously, risk replicating the very dominations to which they are opposed. The risk still, must not ‘stop’ alliance work, as Sandoval’s theory appreciates (62). These themes - of endurance and disorienting imagination - are rife in activist discourse: from the unionist “dare to struggle, dare to win” to the World Social Forum’s “another world is possible”. The ethical precept of risk is unpredictability, uncertainty; the interception of otherness. PrayerIn a world overdetermined by risk it is no surprise that much global justice movement activism is founded on notions of precarity. “Precarious work” is a term in labour politics that refers to widespread workforce casualisation and the decline of certain industrial standards, particularly in the geopolitical west. An example of its political deployment may be found in the performative Italian meme of San Precario, created by Milanese activists in 2000. For a decade now, San Precario has appeared at rallies, in grottoes and on devotional cards as the patron saint of precarious workers in Italy (Johal); enacting an iconic-ironic twist on prayer. Precarity as activist trope has its roots in wage instability but has been extended (particularly since the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York) to refer to the condition of life during neoliberal globalisation.Within this there are those such as Ida Dominijanni who invoke Butler’s “precarious life” for an alliance politics formed from a shared vulnerability and instability. Butler’s notion of precarity here entails an acknowledgement that September 11 generated a “dislocation from First World privilege” (xii) in the Anglosphere.The ethical content of such a risky politics can be gleaned from these examples. On the one hand Butler and Dominijanni demonstrate that to be open to risk is to refuse the obsessive securitisations of neoliberal globalisation. On the other, San Precario highlights the value of security to those who are denied it under those same conditions. In evaluating the many-edged significance of precarity in global justice movement activism, Australian scholar Angela Mitropoulos puts it this way:“Precarious” is as much a description of patterns of worktime as it is the description, experience, hopes and fears of a faltering movement … This raises the risk of movements that become trapped in communitarian dreams of a final end to risk in the supposedly secure embrace of global juridical recognition. Yet, it also makes clear that a different future, by definition, can only be constructed precariously, without firm grounds for doing so, without the measure of a general rule, and with questions that should, often, shake us – particularly what “us” might mean. (Mitropoulos, Precari-Us?)Our precarious lives in partiality require, then, a contemplative sensibility - in order to discern and deploy, to tell the difference between containment and critique, and so on. We need to “take a moment” to balance on precarity’s shaky edge: to mourn the loss of certainty, seek guidance, affirm hope and belief, express the desires of futurity. It is arguably in this way that the Latin precarium became the English word prayer; as its simplest root/route it means “entreaty, petition, request” (Oxford English Dictionary).Prayer implies an address, though not necessarily as supplication to a sovereign. Prayer may instead be a gesture to a time of justice that may arrive despite all odds. Activism is social creativity: it requires the imagination of other worlds. It thus negotiates the transcendant: as other-to-this, other-to-now – simultaneously multiplying conceptions of time. This is a fiduciary mode of being; an openness to otherness that may be distinguished from institutional religion (Derrida, Acts of Religion 51), and that generates a “social divine” (Lacey).Crucially, prayer also tends to belong to the time and space of solitude (the “time out”, the “space outside”). In her thinking on solitude, Angela Mitropoulos suggests of contemporary activists – who are in social movement under hyperconnected capitalism – that “connection is not necessarily relation” (Mitropoulos, What Is to Be Undone?), particularly when said hypernetwork underscores an “injunction to stay connected in order to be a political subject.” Mitropoulos reinforces how “the solitude that can derive from disconnection” need not be “a retreat to the personal … neither individualism or quietism.” Instead, “a politics that disconnects as well as connects remains a form of relation”.To be sure, as Sara Ahmed notes, (more) ethical relations may be formed by a disinvestment that allows one to detect difference and disconnection; “getting closer to others in order to occupy or inhabit the distance between us” (179). In turning away, activists can nuance their responses to the domination they resist: choosing, sometimes, not to reproduce hegemonic sociality. The implication may be that those in social movement who adhere only to the communitarian community critiqued by Mitropoulos will lack the critical expansiveness required of coalition. The ethical precept of prayer may thus question, reaffirm and sustain activism through disconnection from coalition and disinvestment from activism by the privileged subject. Indeed, this may be a particularly just movement when the participation of privileged allies threatens to dominate the resistance of those they ally with.GiftTo think of yourself as being an activist means to think of yourself as being somehow privileged or more advanced than others in your appreciation of the need for social change, in the knowledge of how to achieve it and as leading or being in the forefront of the practical struggle to create this change. (X 160)These remarks from Andrew X, heavily circulated in some activist milieux, suggest that to Give Up Activism is something of an impossible gift for the activist. Indeed, one response to this text is entitled “The Impossibility and Necessity of Anti-Activism” (Kellstadt). For the geopolitically privileged agent to whom X’s text is addressed, Giving Up Activism would mean giving up privilege – which is itself the necessary and impossible catalyst for ethical coalition in the global justice movement (Spivak). On this logic, those who resist the exclusions of identity, community and geopolity may do well to give up activism when that identification is at risk of reproducing the force of these categories. It is one thing to give up activism as a literal casting off of the label and a refusal of activity addressed to patriarch, polis or nation; an interlinked giving up may be in understanding activism as an impossible gift, along lines traced by Jacques Derrida, Georges Bataille and Hélène Cixous. In these specific readings, the gift is reconceptualised as operating outside of the capitalist system of exchange (Cowell). But, under the modern system of ubiquitous global capital, there is something impossible about this gesture. For the privileged subject who “gives up privilege” for the other, she enacts a “giving which is also always a taking”, as Fiona Probyn puts it (42). So, the impossible gift of “giving up activism” – as strategic action or tactical consciousness – is one made with the awareness that the privileged activist in social movement cannot not risk reinscribing domination. Such an understanding in activist discourse would continue to nuánce the question of “What Is to Be Done?” (or indeed, What is to Be Undone, in Mitropoulos’ formulation). The ethical precept of gift is the capacity to give up the privileged investments of activism, and understanding that you cannot.Meta-MovementTo give up activism when it is called for, within an understanding of activism as the impossible gift of the privileged subject, is reflective of the Derridean friendship that shapes Gandhi’s explorations of anticolonial transnational solidarity. This is the friendship that requires turning one’s back, or “‘facing’ back to front” (Wills 9). If horizontal coalitions are to work with and against privilege, and if this means working beyond that limited horizon where activist recognises activist, then “giving up”, “turning one’s back on” activism may be a tactical exercise of power. This “turning one’s back” will also, therefore, be “the turn outwards” implied by prayer: a metaphysical movement that engages the other worlds that are imagined and sought. It is a movement which allows one to risk “giving up activism”, when that is required, in order to give (in)to or over to (the) other(ness). The metaphysical move goes outwards, from “physical” to “meta”: not towards a totalising meta, but as a sense of the other which overwrites present certainties: meta-. I recall Chela Sandoval’s words here: “Without making this metamove any ‘liberation’ or social movement eventually becomes destined to repeat the oppressive authoritarianism from which it is attempting to free itself” (59, my emphasis). It is in the space of such a movement that the ethics of coalition are disclosed.ReferencesAhmed, Sara. Strange Encounters: Embodied Others in Postcoloniality. London: Routledge, 2000.Bair, Dierdre. Simone de Beauvoir: A Biography. New York: Summit Books, 1990.Butler, Judith. Precarious Life: The Powers of Mourning and Violence. London: Verso, 2004.Cowell, Andrew. “The Pleasures and Pains of the Gift." The Question of the Gift: Essays across Disciplines. Ed. Mart Osteen. London: Routledge, 2002.Derrida, Jacques. Acts of Religion. Ed. Gil Anidjar. London: Routledge, 2002.———. Politics of Friendship. Trans. David Wills. London: Verso, 1997.Dominijanni, Ida. "Rethinking Change: Italian Feminism between Crisis and Critique of Politics." Cultural Studies Review 11.2 (2005): 25-35.Gandhi, Leela. Affective Communities: Anticolonial Thought, Fin-de-Siècle Radicalism, and the Politics of Friendship. Durham: Duke University Press, 2006.Gandhi, M.K. “Non-Violent Non-Cooperation.” The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, 82. Delhi: Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, 1995 (1942).Johal, Am. “Precarious Labour: Interview with San Precario Connection Organizer Alessandro Delfanti.” Rabble.ca 11 Sep. 2010. 10 Nov. 2010 ‹http://www.rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/amjohal/2010/09/precarious-labour-interview-san-precario-connection-organizer-alessan>. Kellstadt, J. “The Necessity and Impossibility of Anti-Activism.” A Critical Discussion on the Role of Activism. n.d. 10 Nov. 2010 ‹http://www.archive.org/details/ACriticalDiscussionOnTheRoleOfActivism>. Lacey, Anita. “Spaces of Justice: The Social Divine of Global Anti-Capital Activists’s Sites of Resistance.” Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology 42.4 (2005): 403-420.Maeckelbergh, Marian. The Will of the Many: How the Alterglobalisation Movement Is Changing the Face of Democracy. London: Pluto Press, 2009.Mitropoulos, Angela. “Precari-Us?” Mute 29 (Jan. 2005). 23 Sep. 2010 ‹http://www.metamute.org/en/Precari-us>. Mitropoulos, Angela. “What Is to Be Undone?" archive:s0metim3s, 27 Jan. 2007. 28 Jan. 2005 ‹http://archive.blogsome.com/2007/01/25/activism>. Probyn, Fiona. "Playing Chicken at the Intersection: The White Critic in/of Whiteness." borderlands 3.2 (2004). 10 Nov. 2010 ‹http://www.borderlandsejournal.adelaide.edu.au>. Reagon, Bernice Johnson. “Turning the Century: Coalition Politics.” Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology. Ed. Barbara Smith. New York: Kitchen Table Press, 1983 [1981].Sandoval, Chela. Methodology of the Oppressed. Minneaopolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2000. Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty. “A Note on the New International.” Parallax 3.1 (2001): 12-16.Starr, Amory. Global Revolt: A Guide to the Movements against Globalization. New York: Zed Books, 2005.Wills, David. “Full Dorsal: Derrida’s Politics of Friendship.” Postmodern Culture 15.3 (2005).X, Andrew. “Give up Activism”. Do or Die 9 (2001): 160-166.

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Hanscombe, Elisabeth. "A Plea for Doubt in the Subjectivity of Method." M/C Journal 14, no.1 (January24, 2011). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.335.

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Photograph by Gonzalo Echeverria (2010)Doubt has been my closest companion for several years as I struggle to make sense of certain hidden events from within my family’s history. The actual nature of such events, although now lost to us, can nevertheless be explored through the distorting lens of memory and academic research. I base such explorations in part on my intuition and sensitivity to emotional experience, which are inevitably riddled with doubt. I write from the position of a psychoanalytic psychologist who is also a creative writer and my doubts increase further when I use the autobiographical impulse as a driving force. I am not alone with such uncertainties. Ross Gibson, an historian and filmmaker, uses his doubts to explore empty spaces in the Australian landscape. He looks to see “what’s gone missing” as he endeavours with a team of colleagues to build up some “systematic comprehension in response to fragments” (Gibson, “Places” 1). How can anyone be certain as to what has transpired with no “facts” to go on? he asks. What can we do with our doubts? To this end, Gibson has collected a series of crime scene photographs, taken in post war Sydney, and created a display – a photographic slide show with a minimalist musical score, mostly of drumming and percussion, coupled with a few tight, poetic words, in the form of haiku, splattered across the screen. The notes accompanying the photographic negatives were lost. The only details “known” include the place, the date and the image. Of some two thousand photos, Gibson selected only fifty for display, by hunch, by nuance, or by whatever it was that stirred in him when he first glimpsed them. He describes each photo as “the imprint of a scream”, a gut reaction riddled with doubt (Gibson and Richards, Wartime). In this type of research, creative imaginative flair is essential, Gibson argues. “We need to propose ‘what if’ scenarios that help us account for what has happened…so that we can better envisage what might happen. We need to apprehend the past” (Gibson, “Places” 2). To do this we need imagination, which involves “a readiness to incorporate the unknown…when one encounters evidence that’s in smithereens”, the evidence of the past that lies rooted in a seedbed of doubt (Gibson, “Places” 2). The sociologist, Avery Gordon, also argues in favour of the imaginative impulse. “Fiction is getting pretty close to sociology,” she suggests as she begins her research into the business of ghosts and haunting (Gordon 38). As we entertain our doubts we tune in with our uncertain imaginations. “The places where our discourse is unauthorised by virtue of its unruliness…take us away from abstract questions of method, from bloodless professionalised questions, toward the materiality of institutionalised storytelling, with all its uncanny repetitions” (Gordon 39). If we are to dig deeper, to understand more about the emotional truth of our “fictional” pasts we must look to “the living traces, the memories of the lost and disappeared” (Gordon ix). According to Janice Radway, Gordon seeks a new way of knowing…a knowing that is more a listening than a seeing, a practice of being attuned to the echoes and murmurs of that which has been lost but which is still present among us in the form of intimations, hints, suggestions and portents … ghostly matters … . To be haunted is to be tied to historical and social effects. (x) And to be tied to such effects is to live constantly in the shadow of doubt. A photograph of my dead baby sister haunts me still. As a child I took this photo to school one day. I had peeled it from its corners in the family album. There were two almost identical pictures, side by side. I hoped no one would notice the space left behind. “She’s dead,” I said. I held the photo out to a group of girls in the playground. My fingers had smeared the photo’s surface. The children peered at the image. They wanted to stare at the picture of a dead baby. Not one had seen a dead body before, and not one had been able to imagine the stillness, a photographic image without life, without breath that I passed around on the asphalt playground one spring morning in 1962 when I was ten years old. I have the photo still—my dead sister who bears the same name as my older sister, still living. The dead one has wispy fine black hair. In the photo there are dark shadows underneath her closed eyes. She looks to be asleep. I do not emphasise grief at the loss of my mother’s first-born daughter. My mother felt it briefly, she told me later. But things like that happened all the time during the war. Babies were born and died regularly. Now, all these years later, these same unmourned babies hover restlessly in the nurseries of generations of survivors. There is no way we can be absolute in our interpretations, Gibson argues, but in the first instance there is some basic knowledge to be generated from viewing the crime scene photographs, as in viewing my death photo (Gibson, "Address"). For example, we can reflect on the décor and how people in those days organised their spaces. We can reflect on the way people stood and walked, got on and off vehicles, as well as examine something of the lives of the investigative police, including those whose job it was to take these photographs. Gibson interviewed some of the now elderly men from the Sydney police force who had photographed the crime scenes he displays. He asked questions to deal with his doubts. He now has a very different appreciation of the life of a “copper”, he says. His detective work probing into these empty spaces, digging into his doubts, has reduced his preconceptions and prejudices (Gibson, "Address"). Preconception and prejudice cannot tolerate doubt. In order to bear witness, Gibson says we need to be speculative, to be loose, but not glib, “narrativising” but not inventive, with an eye to the real world (Gibson, "Address"). Gibson’s interest in an interpretation of life after wartime in Sydney is to gather a sense of the world that led to these pictures. His interpretations derive from his hunches, but hunches, he argues, also need to be tested for plausibility (Gibson, Address). Like Gibson, I hope that the didactic trend from the past—to shut up and listen—has been replaced by one that involves “discovery based learning”, learning that is guided by someone who knows “just a little more”, in a common sense, forensic, investigative mode (Gibson, “Address”). Doubt is central to this heuristic trend. Likewise, my doubts give me permission to explore my family’s past without the paralysis of intentionality and certainty. “What method have you adopted for your research?” Gordon asks, as she considers Luce Irigaray’s thoughts on the same question. It is “a delicate question. For isn’t it the method, the path to knowledge, that has always also led us away, led us astray, by fraud and artifice” (Gordon 38). So what is my methodology? I use storytelling meshed with theory and the autobiographical. But what do you think you’re doing? my critics ask. You call this research? I must therefore look to literary theorists on biography and autobiography for support. Nancy Miller writes about the denigration of the autobiographical, particularly in academic circles, where the tendency has been to see the genre as “self indulgent” in its apparent failure to maintain standards of objectivity, of scrutiny and theoretical distance (Miller 421). However, the autobiographical, Miller argues, rather than separating and dividing us through self-interests can “narrow the degree of separation” by operating as an aid to remembering (425). We recognise ourselves in another’s memoir, however fleetingly, and the recognition makes our “own experience feel more meaningful: not ‘merely’ personal but part of the bigger picture of cultural memory” (Miller 426). I speak with some hesitation about my family of origin yet it frames my story and hence my methodology. For many years I have had a horror of what writers and academics call “structure”. I considered myself lacking any ability to create a structure within my writing. I write intuitively. I have some idea of what I wish to explore and then I wait for ideas to enter my mind. They rise to the surface much like air bubbles from a fish. I wait till the fish joggles my bait. Often I write as I wait for a fish to bite. This writing, which is closely informed by my reading, occurs in an intuitive way, as if by instinct. I follow the associations that erupt in my mind, even as I explore another’s theory, and if it is at all possible, if I can get hold of these associations, what I, too, call hunches, then I follow them, much as Gibson and Gordon advocate. Like Gordon, I take my “distractions” seriously (Gordon, 31-60). Gordon follows ghosts. She looks for the things behind the things, the things that haunt her. I, too, look for what lies beneath, what is unconscious, unclear. This writing does not come easily and it takes many drafts before a pattern can emerge, before I, who have always imagined I could not develop a structure, begin to see one—an outline in bold where the central ideas accrue and onto which other thoughts can attach. This structure is not static. It begins with the spark of desire, the intercourse of opposing feelings, for me the desire to untangle family secrets from the past, to unpack one form, namely the history as presented within my family and then to re-assemble it through a written re-construction that attempts to make sense of the empty spaces left out of the family narrative, where no record, verbal or written, has been provided. This operates against pressure from certain members of my family to leave the family past unexplored. My methodology is subjective. Any objectivity I glean in exploring the work and theories of others comes through my own perspective. I read the works of academics in the literary field, and academics from psychoanalysis interested in infant development and personality theory. They consider these issues in different ways from the way in which I, as a psychotherapist, a doubt-filled researcher, and writer, read and experience them. To my clinician self, these ideas evolve in practice. I do not see them as mere abstractions. To me they are living ideas, they pulse and flow, and yet there are some who would seek to tie them down or throw them out. Recently I asked my mother about the photo of her dead baby, her first-born daughter who had died during the Hongerwinter (Hunger winter) of 1945 in Heilo, Holland. I was curious to know how the photo had come about. My curiosity had been flamed by Jay Ruby’s Secure the Shadow: Death and Photography in America, a transcript on the nature of post-mortem photography, which includes several photos of dead people. The book I found by chance in a second-hand books store. I could not leave these photographs behind. Ruby is concerned to ask questions about why we have become so afraid of death, at least in the western world, that we no longer take photographs of our loved ones after death as mementos, or if we take such photos, they are kept private, not shared with the public, for fear that the owners might be considered ghoulish (Ruby 161). I follow in Gordon’s footsteps. She describes how one day, on her way to a conference to present a paper, she had found herself distracted from her conference topic by thoughts of a woman whose image she had discovered was “missing” from a photo taken in Berlin in 1901. According to Gordon’s research, the woman, Sabina Spielrein, should have been present in this photo, but was not. Spielrein is a little known psychoanalyst, little known despite the fact that she was the first to hypothesise on the nature of the death instinct, an unconscious drive towards death and oblivion (Gordon 40). Gordon’s “search” for this missing woman overtook her initial research. My mother could not remember who took her dead baby’s photograph, but suspected it was a neighbour of her cousin in whose house she had stayed. She told me again the story she has told me many times before, and always at my instigation. When I was little I wondered that my mother could stay dry-eyed in the telling. She seemed so calm, when I had imagined that were I the mother of a dead baby I would find it hard to go on. “It is harder,” my mother said, to lose an older child. “When a child dies so young, you have fewer memories. It takes less time to get over it.” Ruby concludes that after World War Two, postmortem photographs were less likely to be kept in the family album, as they would have been in earlier times. “Those who possess death-related family pictures regard them as very private pictures to be shown only to selected people” (Ruby 161). When I look at the images in Ruby’s book, particularly those of the young, the children and babies, I am struck again at the unspoken. The idea of the dead person, seemingly alive in the photograph, propped up in a chair, on a mother’s lap, or resting on a bed, lifeless. To my contemporary sensibility it seems wrong. To look upon these dead people, their identities often unknown, and to imagine the grief for others in that loss—for grief there must have been such that the people remaining felt it necessary to preserve the memory—becomes almost unbearable. It is tempting to judge the past by present standards. In 1999, while writing her historical novel Year of Wonders, Geraldine Brooks came across a letter Henry James had written ninety eight years earlier to a young Sarah Orne Jewett who had previously sent him a manuscript of her historical novel for comment. In his letter, James condemns the notion of the historical novel as an impossibility: “the invention, the representation of the old consciousness, the soul, the sense of horizon, the vision of individuals in whose minds half the things that make ours, that make the modern world,” are all impossible, he insisted (Brooks 3). Despite Brooks’s initial disquiet at James’s words, she realised later that she had heard similar ideas uttered in different contexts before. Brooks had worked as a journalist in the Middle East and Africa: “They don’t think like us,” white Africans would say of their black neighbours, or Israelis of Arabs or upper class Palestinians about their desperately poor refugee-camp brethren … . “They don’t value life as we do. They don’t care if their kids get killed—they have so many of them”. (Brookes 3) But Brooks argues, “a woman keening for a dead child sounds exactly as raw in an earth-floored hovel as it does in a silk-carpeted drawing room” (3). Brooks is concerned to get beyond the certainties of our pre-conceived ideas: “It is human nature to put yourself in another’s shoes. The past may be another country. But the only passport required is empathy”(3). And empathy again requires the capacity to tolerate doubt. Later I asked my mother yet again about what it was like for her when her baby died, and why she had chosen to have her dead baby photographed. She did not ask for the photograph to be taken, she told me. But she was glad to have it now; otherwise nothing would remain of this baby, buried in an unfamiliar cemetery on the other side of the world. Why am I haunted by this image of my dead baby sister and how does it connect with my family’s secrets? The links are still in doubt. Gibson’s creative flair, Gordon’s ideas on ghostly matters and haunting, the things behind the things, my preoccupation with my mother’s dead baby and a sense that this sister might mean less to me did I not have the image of her photograph planted in my memory from childhood, all come together through parataxis if we can bear our doubts. Certainty is the enemy of introspection of imagination and of creativity. Yet too much doubt can paralyse. Here I write about tolerable levels of doubt tempered with an inquisitive mind that can land on hunches and an imagination that allows the researcher to follow such hunches and then seek evidence that corroborates or disproves them. As Gibson writes elsewhere, I tried to use all these scrappy details to help people think about the absences and silences between all the pinpointed examples that made up the scenarios that I presented in prose that was designed to spur rigorous speculation rather than lock down singular conclusions. (“Extractive” 2) Ours is a positive doubt, one that expects to find something, however “unexpected”, rather than a negative doubt that expects nothing. For doubt in large doses can paralyse a person into inaction. Furthermore, a balanced state of doubt fosters connectivity. As John Patrick Shanley’s character, the parish priest, Father Flynn, in the film Doubt, observes, “there are these times in our life when we feel lost. It happens and it’s a bond” (Shanley). References Brooks, Geraldine. "Timeless Tact Helps Sustain a Literary Time Traveller." New York Times, 2001. 14 Jan. 2011 ‹http://www.nytimes.com/2001/07/02/arts/writers-on-writing-timeless-tact-helps-sustain-a-literary-time-traveler.html?pagewanted=3&src=pm›. Doubt. Shanley, Dir. J. P. Shanley. Miramax Films, 2008. Gibson, Ross, and Kate Richards. “Life after Wartime.” N.d. 25 Feb. 2011. ‹http://www.lifeafterwartime.com/›. Gibson, Ross. “The Art of the Real Conference.” Keynote address. U Newcastle, 2008. Gibson, Ross. “Places past Disappearance.” Transformations 13-1 (2006). 22 Feb. 2007 ‹http://www.transformationsjournal.org/journal/issue_13/article_01.shtml›. ———. “Extractive Realism.” Australian Humanities Review 47 (2009). 25 Feb. 2011 ‹http://www.australianhumanitiesreview.org/archive/Issue-November-2009/gibson.html›. Gordon, Avery F. Ghostly Matters: Haunting and the Sociological Imagination. Minneapolis: U Minnesota P, 2008. Miller, Nancy K. “But Enough about Me, What Do You Think of My Memoir?” The Yale Journal of Criticism 13.2 (2000): 421-536. Ruby, Jay. Secure the Shadow: Death and Photography in America. Cambridge, MA: MIT P, 1995.

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Taylor, Josephine, Kylie Stevenson, Amanda Gardiner, and John Charles Ryan. "Overturning the Sudden End: New Interpretations of Catastrophe." M/C Journal 16, no.1 (March24, 2013). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.631.

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IntroductionCatastrophe surrounds us perpetually: from the Queensland floods, Christchurch earthquake, global warming, and Global Financial Crisis to social conflicts, psychological breaking points, relationship failures, and crises of understanding. As a consequence of the pervasiveness of catastrophe, its representation saturates our everyday awareness. On a daily basis we encounter stories of people impacted by and coping with natural, economic, ecological, and emotional disasters of all kinds.But what is the relationship between culture, catastrophe, and creativity? Can catastrophe be an impetus for the creative transformation of societies and individuals? Conversely, how can culture moderate, transform, and re-imagine catastrophe? And in the final analysis, how should we conceive of catastrophe; does catastrophe have a bad name? These questions and others have guided us in editing the “catastrophe” issue of M/C Journal. The word catastrophe has been associated with extreme disaster only since the 1700s. In an earlier etymological sense, catastrophe simply connoted “a reversal of what is expected” or, in Western literary history, a defining turn in a drama (Harper). Catastrophe derives from the Greek katastrophe for “an overturning; a sudden end.” As this issue clearly demonstrates, whilst catastrophes vary in scale, context, and meaning, their outcomes are life-changing inversions of the interpersonal, social, or environmental norm. In The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity, and the Renewal of Civilization, political scientist Thomas Homer-Dixon echoes this definition and argues that catastrophe “can be a source of immense creativity—a shock that opens up political, social, and psychological space for fresh ideas, actions, institutions, and technologies that weren't possible before” (23). According to Homer-Dixon and on a hopeful note, “in any complex adaptive system, breakdown, if limited, can be a key part of that system's long-term resilience and renewal” (308). Indeed, many of the articles in this issue sound a note of hope. Catastrophe and Creativity The impetus for this issue comes from the Catastrophe and Creativity symposium convened at Edith Cowan University in Perth, Western Australia, in 2012. The symposium brought together artists and researchers from around Australia to engage with the theme “catastrophe.” The organisers encouraged participants to conceptualise catastrophe broadly and creatively: from natural disasters to personal turning points, and from debilitating meltdowns to regenerative solutions. As a result, the topics explored in this issue stretch deeply and widely, and demonstrate the different forms and scales of catastrophe. Many of the 24 articles submitted for possible inclusion in this issue emerged as responses to the symposium theme. Distinct moods and meanings of catastrophe reverberate in the final selection of 12. The articles that shape the issue are intimate, collective, and geographical engagements with and reflections upon cataclysm that move from the highly personal to the global and speak of countries, communities, networks, friends, families, and colleagues. As a collection, the articles re-envision catastrophe as a pathway for creative interventions, artistic responses, community solidarities, social innovations, individual modes of survival and resilience, and environmental justices. In thinking through the relationship between catastrophe and culture, the authors challenge existing discourses and ways of knowing trauma, and offer fresh interpretations and hope. Catastrophe leads to metanoia: a change of perception after a significant crisis. The editors appreciate that there are no hierarchies between interpretations of catastrophe. Instead, the articles represent a dialogue between diverse experiences of pain, disaster, and abuse, as well as different theories about the nature of catastrophe—from the catastrophic loss of millions through genocide to the impact of trauma on an individual’s body and psyche. Part of the challenge of crafting this issue of M/C Journal has been in delineating what constitutes catastrophe. Admittedly we end up with more questions than we started with. Is catastrophe the same as trauma? Is it disaster? When is it apocalypse? Can catastrophe entail all these things? Who is silenced, and who can tell the narratives of catastrophe? How? Despite these unanswerable questions, we can be certain that catastrophe, as described by the authors, foundationally changes the fabric of human and non-human being in the world. The authors leave us with the lingering reverberations and resonances of catastrophe, revealing at the same time how catastrophic events can “reverse the expected” in the true sense of the word. The transformative potential of catastrophe is prominent in the issue. Some authors call for justice, support, inspiration, and resilience—on personal and community levels. The contributions remind us that, after catastrophe, the person, society, or planet will never be the same. Responses to Catastrophe The issue opens with the intimate nature of catastrophes. A feature article by esteemed Canadian academic and poet Lorri Neilsen Glenn takes the form of a lyric essay originally presented as the keynote address at the symposium. Composed of extracts from her book Threading Light: Explorations in Loss and Poetry (published here with kind permission of the author and Hagios Press) and reflective interludes, Neilsen combines her acute academic insights with personal experiences of loss to create evocative prose and poetry that, as she says, “grounds our grief in form […] connects us to one another and the worlds.” Her work opens for the reader “complex and nuanced understandings of our human capacities for grief.” In this piece, Neilsen speaks of personal catastrophe through lyric inquiry, a method she has described eloquently in the Sage Handbook of the Arts in Qualitative Research. The second feature article is a commentary on Neilsen’s work by the equally esteemed feminist scholar Lekkie Hopkins. In her article, Hopkins explains Neilsen’s journey from literacy researcher to arts-based social science researcher to poet and lyric inquirer. Hopkins uses her reflections on the work of Neilsen in order to draw attention, not only to Neilsen’s “ground-breaking uses of lyric inquiry,” but also to another kind of communal catastrophe which Hopkins calls “the catastrophe of the methodological divide between humanities and the social sciences that runs the risk of creating, for the social sciences, a limiting and limited approach to research.” In her article “Casualties on the Road to Ethical Authenticity,” Kate Rice applies a powerful narrative inquiry to the relationship between catastrophe and ethics. As a playwright experienced in projects dealing with personal catastrophe, Rice nevertheless finds her usual research and writing practice challenged by the specific content of her current project—a play about the murder of innocents—and its focus on the real-life perpetrator. Ambivalent regarding the fascinated human response such catastrophe draws, Rice suggests that spectacle creates “comfort” associated with “processing sympathy into a feeling of self-importance at having felt pain that isn’t yours.” She also argues against a hierarchy of grief, noting that, “when you strip away the circ*mstances, the essence of loss is the same, whether your loved one dies of cancer, in a car accident, or a natural disaster.” In an article tracing the reverberation of catastrophe over the course of 100 years, Marcella Polain explores the impact of the Armenian Genocide’s 1.5 million deaths. Through a purposefully fragmented, non-linear narrative, Polain evokes with exquisite sensitivity the utter devastation the Genocide wreaked upon one family—her own: “When springs run red, when the dead are stacked tree-high, when ‘everything that could happen has already happened,’ then time is nothing: ‘there is no future [and] the language of civilised humanity is not our language’” (Nichanian 142).The potentiality that can be generated in the aftermath of catastrophe also resonates in an article co-authored by Brenda Downing and Alice Cummins. (A photograph of Downing’s performance aperture is the issue’s cover image.) In their visceral evocation, the catastrophe of childhood rape is explored and enfleshed with a deft and generous touch. Downing, embodying for the reader her experience as researcher, writer, and performer, and Cummins, as Body-Mind Centering® practitioner and artistic director, explore the reciprocity of their collaboration and the performance aperture that they created together. Their collaboration made possible the realisation that “a performance […] could act as a physical, emotional, and intellectual bridge of communication between those who have experienced sexual violence and those who have not.” Maggie Phillips evokes the authoritative yet approachable voice of her 2012 symposium presentation in “Diminutive Catastrophe: Clown’s Play;” her meditation on clowns and clowning as not only a discipline and practice, but also “a state of being.” In response to large-scale catastrophe, and the catastrophic awareness of “the utter meaninglessness of human existence,” the clown offers “a tiny gesture.” As Phillips argues, however, “those fingers brushing dust off a threadbare jacket may speak volumes.” By inducing “miniscule shifts of consciousness” as they “wander across territories designated as sacred and profane with a certain insouciance and privilege,” clowns offer “glimpses of the ineffable.” In “Creativity in an Online Community as a Response to the Chaos of a Breast Cancer Diagnosis,” Cynthia Witney, Lelia Green, Leesa Costello, and Vanessa Bradshaw explore the role of online communities, such as the “Click” website, in providing support and information for women with breast cancer. Importantly, the authors show how these communities can provide a forum for the expression of creativity. Through Csikszentmihalyi’s concept of “flow” (53), the authors suggest that “becoming totally involved in the creative moment, so as to lose all track of time” allows women temporary space to “forget the trials and worries of breast cancer.” By providing a forum for women and their supporters to reach out to others in similar situations, online communities, inspired by notions of creativity and flow, can offer “some remedy for catastrophe.” A different impulse pervades Ella Mudie’s insightful examination of the Surrealist city novel. Mudie argues against the elision of historical catastrophe through contemporary practices; specifically, the current reading in the field of psychogeography of Surrealist city dérives (drifts) as playful city walks, or “an intriguing yet ultimately benign method of urban research.” Mudie revisits the Surrealist city novel, evoking the original “praxis of shock” deployed through innovative experiments in novelistic form and content. Binding the theory and practice of Surrealism to the catastrophic event from which it sprang—the Great War—Mudie argues against “domesticating movements” which “dull the awakening power” of such imaginative and desperate revolts against an increasingly mechanised society. Through discussions of natural disasters, the next three articles bring a distinctive architectural, geographical, and ecological stream to the issue. Michael Levine and William Taylor invoke Susan Sontag’s essay “The Imagination of Disaster” in conceptualising approaches to urban recovery and renewal after catastrophic events, as exemplified by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The authors are interested explicitly in the “imagination of disaster” and the “psychology, politics, and morality of rebuilding,” which they find absent in Sontag’s account of the representation of urban cataclysms in 1950s and 60s science fiction films. Levine and Taylor’s article points to community ethics and social justice issues that—as they outline through different examples from film—should be at the centre of urban reconstruction initiatives. Interpretations of what is meant by reconstruction will vary substantially and, hence, so should community responses be wide-ranging. Extending the geo-spatial emphasis of Levine and Taylor’s article, Rod Giblett theorises the historical and environmental context of Hurricane Katrina using Walter Benjamin’s productive notion of the “Angel of History.” However, Giblett offers the analogous metaphor of the “Angel of Geography” as a useful way to locate catastrophe in both time (history) and space (geography). In particular, Giblett’s reading of the New Orleans disaster addresses the disruption of the city’s ecologically vital habitats over time. As such, according to Giblett, Katrina was the culmination of a series of smaller environmental catastrophes throughout the history of the city, namely the obliteration of its wetlands. Benjamin’s “Angel of History,” thereby, recognises the unity of temporal events and “sees a single, catastrophic history, not just of New Orleans but preceding and post-dating it.” Giblett’s archaeology of the Hurricane Katrina disaster provides a novel framework for reconceptualising the origins of catastrophes. Continuing the sub-theme of natural disasters, Dale Dominey-Howes returns our attention to Australia, arguing that the tsunami is poised to become the “new Australian catastrophe.” Through an analysis of Australian media coverage of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, Dominey-Howes asks provocatively: “Has extensive media coverage resulted in an improved awareness of the catastrophic potential of tsunami for Australians?” After speaking with more than 800 Australians in order to understand popular attitudes towards tsunami, the author responds with a definitive “no.” In his view, Australians are “avoiding or disallowing the reality; they normalise and dramaticise the event. Thus in Australia, to date, a cultural transformation about the catastrophic nature of tsunami has not occurred for reasons that are not entirely clear.” As the final article in the issue, “FireWatch: Creative Responses to Bushfire Catastrophe” gives insights into the real-world experience of managing catastrophes as they occur, in this case, bushfires in the remote Kimberley region of Western Australia. Donell Holloway, Lelia Green, and Danielle Brady detail an Australian Research Council funded project that creatively engages with Kimberley residents who “improvise in a creative and intuitive manner” when responding to catastrophe. The authors capture responses from residents in order to redesign an interface that will provide real-time, highly useable information for the management of bushfires in Western Australia. Conclusion This “catastophe” issue of M/C Journal explores, by way of the broad reach of the articles, the relationship between culture, creativity, and catastrophe. Readers will have encountered collective creative responses to bushfire or breast cancer, individual responses to catastrophe, such as childhood rape or genocide, and cultural conceptualisations of catastrophe, for example, in relation to New Orlean’s Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. The editors hope that, just like the metanoia that catastrophe can bring about (demonstrated so articulately by Downing and Cummins), readers too will experience a change of their perception of catastrophe, and will come to see catastrophe in its many fascinating iterations. References Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. New York: Harper and Row, 1990. Harper, Douglas. “catastrophe.” Online Etymology Dictionary. 22 Mar. 2013 . Homer-Dixon, Thomas. The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity, and the Renewal of Civilization. Melbourne : Text Publishing, 2007. Kazanjian, David, and Marc Nichanian. “Between Genocide and Catastrophe.” Loss. Eds. David Eng and David Kazanjian. Los Angeles: U of California P, 2003. 125–47. Neilsen Glenn, Lorri. Threading Light. Explorations in Loss and Poetry. Regina, SK: Hagios Press, 2011. Neilsen, Lorri. “Lyric Inquiry.” Handbook of the Arts in Qualitative Research. Eds. J. Gary Knowles and Ardra Cole. Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2008. 88–98.

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Ryan, Robin Ann. "Forest as Place in the Album "Canopy": Culturalising Nature or Naturalising Culture?" M/C Journal 19, no.3 (June22, 2016). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1096.

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Every act of art is able to reveal, balance and revive the relations between a territory and its inhabitants (François Davin, Southern Forest Sculpture Walk Catalogue)Introducing the Understory Art in Nature TrailIn February 2015, a colossal wildfire destroyed 98,300 hectares of farm and bushland surrounding the town of Northcliffe, located 365 km south of Perth, Western Australia (WA). As the largest fire in the recorded history of the southwest region (Southern Forest Arts, After the Burn 8), the disaster attracted national attention however the extraordinary contribution of local knowledge in saving a town considered by authorities to be “undefendable” (Kennedy) is yet to be widely appreciated. In accounting for a creative scene that survived the conflagration, this case study sees culture mobilised as a socioeconomic resource for conservation and the healing of community spirit.Northcliffe (population 850) sits on a coastal plain that hosts majestic old-growth forest and lush bushland. In 2006, Southern Forest Arts (SFA) dedicated a Southern Forest Sculpture Walk for creative professionals to develop artworks along a 1.2 km walk trail through pristine native forest. It was re-branded “Understory—Art in Nature” in 2009; then “Understory Art in Nature Trail” in 2015, the understory vegetation layer beneath the canopy being symbolic of Northcliffe’s deeply layered caché of memories, including “the awe, love, fear, and even the hatred that these trees have provoked among the settlers” (Davin in SFA Catalogue). In the words of the SFA Trailguide, “Every place (no matter how small) has ‘understories’—secrets, songs, dreams—that help us connect with the spirit of place.”In the view of forest arts ecologist Kumi Kato, “It is a sense of place that underlies the commitment to a place’s conservation by its community, broadly embracing those who identify with the place for various reasons, both geographical and conceptual” (149). In bioregional terms such communities form a terrain of consciousness (Berg and Dasmann 218), extending responsibility for conservation across cultures, time and space (Kato 150). A sustainable thematic of place must also include livelihood as the third party between culture and nature that establishes the relationship between them (Giblett 240). With these concepts in mind I gauge creative impact on forest as place, and, in turn, (altered) forest’s impact on people. My abstraction of physical place is inclusive of humankind moving in dialogic engagement with forest. A mapping of Understory’s creative activities sheds light on how artists express physical environments in situated creative practices, clusters, and networks. These, it is argued, constitute unique types of community operating within (and beyond) a foundational scene of inspiration and mystification that is metaphorically “rising from the ashes.” In transcending disconnectedness between humankind and landscape, Understory may be understood to both culturalise nature (as an aesthetic system), and naturalise culture (as an ecologically modelled system), to build on a trope introduced by Feld (199). Arguably when the bush is cultured in this way it attracts consumers who may otherwise disconnect from nature.The trail (henceforth Understory) broaches the histories of human relations with Northcliffe’s natural systems of place. Sub-groups of the Noongar nation have inhabited the southwest for an estimated 50,000 years and their association with the Northcliffe region extends back at least 6,000 years (SFA Catalogue; see also Crawford and Crawford). An indigenous sense of the spirit of forest is manifest in Understory sculpture, literature, and—for the purpose of this article—the compilation CD Canopy: Songs for the Southern Forests (henceforth Canopy, Figure 1).As a cultural and environmental construction of place, Canopy sustains the land with acts of seeing, listening to, and interpreting nature; of remembering indigenous people in the forest; and of recalling the hardships of the early settlers. I acknowledge SFA coordinator and Understory custodian Fiona Sinclair for authorising this investigation; Peter Hill for conservation conversations; Robyn Johnston for her Canopy CD sleeve notes; Della Rae Morrison for permissions; and David Pye for discussions. Figure 1. Canopy: Songs for the Southern Forests (CD, 2006). Cover image by Raku Pitt, 2002. Courtesy Southern Forest Arts, Northcliffe, WA.Forest Ecology, Emotion, and ActionEstablished in 1924, Northcliffe’s ill-founded Group Settlement Scheme resulted in frontier hardship and heartbreak, and deforestation of the southwest region for little economic return. An historic forest controversy (1992-2001) attracted media to Northcliffe when protesters attempting to disrupt logging chained themselves to tree trunks and suspended themselves from branches. The signing of the Western Australian Regional Forest Agreement in 1999 was followed, in 2001, by deregulation of the dairy industry and a sharp decline in area population.Moved by the gravity of this situation, Fiona Sinclair won her pitch to the Manjimup Council for a sound alternative industry for Northcliffe with projections of jobs: a forest where artists could work collectively and sustainably to reveal the beauty of natural dimensions. A 12-acre pocket of allocated Crown Land adjacent to the town was leased as an A-Class Reserve vested for Education and Recreation, for which SFA secured unified community ownership and grants. Conservation protocols stipulated that no biomass could be removed from the forest and that predominantly raw, natural materials were to be used (F. Sinclair and P. Hill, personal interview, 26 Sep. 2014). With forest as prescribed image (wider than the bounded chunk of earth), Sinclair invited the artists to consider the themes of spirituality, creativity, history, dichotomy, and sensory as a basis for work that was to be “fresh, intimate, and grounded in place.” Her brief encouraged artists to work with humanity and imagination to counteract residual community divisiveness and resentment. Sinclair describes this form of implicit environmentalism as an “around the back” approach that avoids lapsing into political commentary or judgement: “The trail is a love letter from those of us who live here to our visitors, to connect with grace” (F. Sinclair, telephone interview, 6 Apr. 2014). Renewing community connections to local place is essential if our lives and societies are to become more sustainable (Pedelty 128). To define Northcliffe’s new community phase, artists respected differing associations between people and forest. A structure on a karri tree by Indigenous artist Norma MacDonald presents an Aboriginal man standing tall and proud on a rock to become one with the tree and the forest: as it was for thousands of years before European settlement (MacDonald in SFA Catalogue). As Feld observes, “It is the stabilizing persistence of place as a container of experiences that contributes so powerfully to its intrinsic memorability” (201).Adhering to the philosophy that nature should not be used or abused for the sake of art, the works resonate with the biorhythms of the forest, e.g. functional seats and shelters and a cascading retainer that directs rainwater back to the resident fauna. Some sculptures function as receivers for picking up wavelengths of ancient forest. Forest Folk lurk around the understory, while mysterious stone art represents a life-shaping force of planet history. To represent the reality of bushfire, Natalie Williamson’s sculpture wraps itself around a burnt-out stump. The work plays with scale as small native sundew flowers are enlarged and a subtle beauty, easily overlooked, becomes apparent (Figure 2). The sculptor hopes that “spiders will spin their webs about it, incorporating it into the landscape” (SFA Catalogue).Figure 2. Sundew. Sculpture by Natalie Williamson, 2006. Understory Art in Nature Trail, Northcliffe, WA. Image by the author, 2014.Memory is naturally place-oriented or at least place-supported (Feld 201). Topaesthesia (sense of place) denotes movement that connects our biography with our route. This is resonant for the experience of regional character, including the tactile, olfactory, gustatory, visual, and auditory qualities of a place (Ryan 307). By walking, we are in a dialogue with the environment; both literally and figuratively, we re-situate ourselves into our story (Schine 100). For example, during a summer exploration of the trail (5 Jan. 2014), I intuited a personal attachment based on my grandfather’s small bush home being razed by fire, and his struggle to support seven children.Understory’s survival depends on vigilant controlled (cool) burns around its perimeter (Figure 3), organised by volunteer Peter Hill. These burns also hone the forest. On 27 Sept. 2014, the charred vegetation spoke a spring language of opportunity for nature to reassert itself as seedpods burst and continue the cycle; while an autumn walk (17 Mar. 2016) yielded a fresh view of forest colour, patterning, light, shade, and sound.Figure 3. Understory Art in Nature Trail. Map Created by Fiona Sinclair for Southern Forest Sculpture Walk Catalogue (2006). Courtesy Southern Forest Arts, Northcliffe, WA.Understory and the Melody of CanopyForest resilience is celebrated in five MP3 audio tours produced for visitors to dialogue with the trail in sensory contexts of music, poetry, sculptures and stories that name or interpret the setting. The trail starts in heathland and includes three creek crossings. A zone of acacias gives way to stands of the southwest signature trees karri (Eucalyptus diversicolor), jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata), and marri (Corymbia calophylla). Following a sheoak grove, a riverine environment re-enters heathland. Birds, insects, mammals, and reptiles reside around and between the sculptures, rendering the earth-embedded art a fusion of human and natural orders (concept after Relph 141). On Audio Tour 3, Songs for the Southern Forests, the musician-composers reflect on their regionally focused items, each having been birthed according to a personal musical concept (the manner in which an individual artist holds the totality of a composition in cultural context). Arguably the music in question, its composers, performers, audiences, and settings, all have a role to play in defining the processes and effects of forest arts ecology. Local musician Ann Rice billeted a cluster of musicians (mostly from Perth) at her Windy Harbour shack. The energy of the production experience was palpable as all participated in on-site forest workshops, and supported each other’s items as a musical collective (A. Rice, telephone interview, 2 Oct. 2014). Collaborating under producer Lee Buddle’s direction, they orchestrated rich timbres (tone colours) to evoke different musical atmospheres (Table 1). Composer/Performer Title of TrackInstrumentation1. Ann RiceMy Placevocals/guitars/accordion 2. David PyeCicadan Rhythmsangklung/violin/cello/woodblocks/temple blocks/clarinet/tapes 3. Mel RobinsonSheltervocal/cello/double bass 4. DjivaNgank Boodjakvocals/acoustic, electric and slide guitars/drums/percussion 5. Cathie TraversLamentaccordion/vocals/guitar/piano/violin/drums/programming 6. Brendon Humphries and Kevin SmithWhen the Wind First Blewvocals/guitars/dobro/drums/piano/percussion 7. Libby HammerThe Gladevocal/guitar/soprano sax/cello/double bass/drums 8. Pete and Dave JeavonsSanctuaryguitars/percussion/talking drum/cowbell/soprano sax 9. Tomás FordWhite Hazevocal/programming/guitar 10. David HyamsAwakening /Shaking the Tree /When the Light Comes guitar/mandolin/dobro/bodhran/rainstick/cello/accordion/flute 11. Bernard CarneyThe Destiny Waltzvocal/guitar/accordion/drums/recording of The Destiny Waltz 12. Joel BarkerSomething for Everyonevocal/guitars/percussion Table 1. Music Composed for Canopy: Songs for the Southern Forests.Source: CD sleeve and http://www.understory.com.au/art.php. Composing out of their own strengths, the musicians transformed the geographic region into a living myth. As Pedelty has observed of similar musicians, “their sounds resonate because they so profoundly reflect our living sense of place” (83-84). The remainder of this essay evidences the capacity of indigenous song, art music, electronica, folk, and jazz-blues to celebrate, historicise, or re-imagine place. Firstly, two items represent the phenomenological approach of site-specific sensitivity to acoustic, biological, and cultural presence/loss, including the materiality of forest as a living process.“Singing Up the Land”In Aboriginal Australia “there is no place that has not been imaginatively grasped through song, dance and design, no place where traditional owners cannot see the imprint of sacred creation” (Rose 18). Canopy’s part-Noongar language song thus repositions the ancient Murrum-Noongar people within their life-sustaining natural habitat and spiritual landscape.Noongar Yorga woman Della Rae Morrison of the Bibbulmun and Wilman nations co-founded The Western Australian Nuclear Free Alliance to campaign against the uranium mining industry threatening Ngank Boodjak (her country, “Mother Earth”) (D.R. Morrison, e-mail, 15 July 2014). In 2004, Morrison formed the duo Djiva (meaning seed power or life force) with Jessie Lloyd, a Murri woman of the Guugu Yimidhirr Nation from North Queensland. After discerning the fundamental qualities of the Understory site, Djiva created the song Ngank Boodjak: “This was inspired by walking the trail […] feeling the energy of the land and the beautiful trees and hearing the birds. When I find a spot that I love, I try to feel out the lay-lines, which feel like vortexes of energy coming out of the ground; it’s pretty amazing” (Morrison in SFA Canopy sleeve) Stanza 1 points to the possibilities of being more fully “in country”:Ssh!Ni dabarkarn kooliny, ngank boodja kookoorninyListen, walk slowly, beautiful Mother EarthThe inclusion of indigenous language powerfully implements an indigenous interpretation of forest: “My elders believe that when we leave this life from our physical bodies that our spirit is earthbound and is living in the rocks or the trees and if you listen carefully you might hear their voices and maybe you will get some answers to your questions” (Morrison in SFA Catalogue).Cicadan Rhythms, by composer David Pye, echoes forest as a lively “more-than-human” world. Pye took his cue from the ambient pulsing of male cicadas communicating in plenum (full assembly) by means of airborne sound. The species were sounding together in tempo with individual rhythm patterns that interlocked to create one fantastic rhythm (Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Composer David Pye). The cicada chorus (the loudest known lovesong in the insect world) is the unique summer soundmark (term coined by Truax Handbook, Website) of the southern forests. Pye chased various cicadas through Understory until he was able to notate the rhythms of some individuals in a patch of low-lying scrub.To simulate cicada clicking, the composer set pointillist patterns for Indonesian anklung (joint bamboo tubes suspended within a frame to produce notes when the frame is shaken or tapped). Using instruments made of wood to enhance the rich forest imagery, Pye created all parts using sampled instrumental sounds placed against layers of pre-recorded ambient sounds (D. Pye, telephone interview, 3 Sept. 2014). He takes the listener through a “geographical linear representation” of the trail: “I walked around it with a stopwatch and noted how long it took to get through each section of the forest, and that became the musical timing of the various parts of the work” (Pye in SFA Canopy sleeve). That Understory is a place where reciprocity between nature and culture thrives is, likewise, evident in the remaining tracks.Musicalising Forest History and EnvironmentThree tracks distinguish Canopy as an integrative site for memory. Bernard Carney’s waltz honours the Group Settlers who battled insurmountable terrain without any idea of their destiny, men who, having migrated with a promise of owning their own dairy farms, had to clear trees bare-handedly and build furniture from kerosene tins and gelignite cases. Carney illuminates the culture of Saturday night dancing in the schoolroom to popular tunes like The Destiny Waltz (performed on the Titanic in 1912). His original song fades to strains of the Victor Military Band (1914), to “pay tribute to the era where the inspiration of the song came from” (Carney in SFA Canopy sleeve). Likewise Cathie Travers’s Lament is an evocation of remote settler history that creates a “feeling of being in another location, other timezone, almost like an endless loop” (Travers in SFA Canopy sleeve).An instrumental medley by David Hyams opens with Awakening: the morning sun streaming through tall trees, and the nostalgic sound of an accordion waltz. Shaking the Tree, an Irish jig, recalls humankind’s struggle with forest and the forces of nature. A final title, When the Light Comes, defers to the saying by conservationist John Muir that “The wrongs done to trees, wrongs of every sort, are done in the darkness of ignorance and unbelief, for when the light comes the heart of the people is always right” (quoted by Hyams in SFA Canopy sleeve). Local musician Joel Barker wrote Something for Everyone to personify the old-growth karri as a king with a crown, with “wisdom in his bones.”Kevin Smith’s father was born in Northcliffe in 1924. He and Brendon Humphries fantasise the untouchability of a maiden (pre-human) moment in a forest in their song, When the Wind First Blew. In Libby Hammer’s The Glade (a lover’s lament), instrumental timbres project their own affective languages. The jazz singer intended the accompanying double bass to speak resonantly of old-growth forest; the cello to express suppleness and renewal; a soprano saxophone to impersonate a bird; and the drums to imitate the insect community’s polyrhythmic undercurrent (after Hammer in SFA Canopy sleeve).A hybrid aural environment of synthetic and natural forest sounds contrasts collision with harmony in Sanctuary. The Jeavons Brothers sampled rustling wind on nearby Mt Chudalup to absorb into the track’s opening, and crafted a snare groove for the quirky eco-jazz/trip-hop by banging logs together, and banging rocks against logs. This imaginative use of percussive found objects enhanced their portrayal of forest as “a living, breathing entity.”In dealing with recent history in My Place, Ann Rice cameos a happy childhood growing up on a southwest farm, “damming creeks, climbing trees, breaking bones and skinning knees.” The rich string harmonies of Mel Robinson’s Shelter sculpt the shifting environment of a brewing storm, while White Haze by Tomás Ford describes a smoky controlled burn as “a kind of metaphor for the beautiful mystical healing nature of Northcliffe”: Someone’s burning off the scrubSomeone’s making sure it’s safeSomeone’s whiting out the fearSomeone’s letting me breathe clearAs Sinclair illuminates in a post-fire interview with Sharon Kennedy (Website):When your map, your personal map of life involves a place, and then you think that that place might be gone…” Fiona doesn't finish the sentence. “We all had to face the fact that our little place might disappear." Ultimately, only one house was lost. Pasture and fences, sheds and forest are gone. Yet, says Fiona, “We still have our town. As part of SFA’s ongoing commission, forest rhythm workshops explore different sound properties of potential materials for installing sound sculptures mimicking the surrounding flora and fauna. In 2015, SFA mounted After the Burn (a touring photographic exhibition) and Out of the Ashes (paintings and woodwork featuring ash, charcoal, and resin) (SFA, After the Burn 116). The forthcoming community project Rising From the Ashes will commemorate the fire and allow residents to connect and create as they heal and move forward—ten years on from the foundation of Understory.ConclusionThe Understory Art in Nature Trail stimulates curiosity. It clearly illustrates links between place-based social, economic and material conditions and creative practices and products within a forest that has both given shelter and “done people in.” The trail is an experimental field, a transformative locus in which dedicated physical space frees artists to culturalise forest through varied aesthetic modalities. Conversely, forest possesses agency for naturalising art as a symbol of place. Djiva’s song Ngank Boodjak “sings up the land” to revitalise the timelessness of prior occupation, while David Pye’s Cicadan Rhythms foregrounds the seasonal cycle of entomological music.In drawing out the richness and significance of place, the ecologically inspired album Canopy suggests that the community identity of a forested place may be informed by cultural, economic, geographical, and historical factors as well as endemic flora and fauna. Finally, the musical representation of place is not contingent upon blatant forms of environmentalism. The portrayals of Northcliffe respectfully associate Western Australian people and forests, yet as a place, the town has become an enduring icon for the plight of the Universal Old-growth Forest in all its natural glory, diverse human uses, and (real or perceived) abuses.ReferencesAustralian Broadcasting Commission. “Canopy: Songs for the Southern Forests.” Into the Music. Prod. Robyn Johnston. Radio National, 5 May 2007. 12 Aug. 2014 <http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/intothemusic/canopy-songs-for-the-southern-forests/3396338>.———. “Composer David Pye.” Interview with Andrew Ford. The Music Show, Radio National, 12 Sep. 2009. 30 Jan. 2015 <http://canadapodcasts.ca/podcasts/MusicShowThe/1225021>.Berg, Peter, and Raymond Dasmann. “Reinhabiting California.” Reinhabiting a Separate Country: A Bioregional Anthology of Northern California. Ed. Peter Berg. San Francisco: Planet Drum, 1978. 217-20.Crawford, Patricia, and Ian Crawford. Contested Country: A History of the Northcliffe Area, Western Australia. Perth: UWA P, 2003.Feld, Steven. 2001. “Lift-Up-Over Sounding.” The Book of Music and Nature: An Anthology of Sounds, Words, Thoughts. Ed. David Rothenberg and Marta Ulvaeus. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan UP, 2001. 193-206.Giblett, Rod. People and Places of Nature and Culture. Bristol: Intellect, 2011.Kato, Kumi. “Addressing Global Responsibility for Conservation through Cross-Cultural Collaboration: Kodama Forest, a Forest of Tree Spirits.” The Environmentalist 28.2 (2008): 148-54. 15 Apr. 2014 <http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10669-007-9051-6#page-1>.Kennedy, Sharon. “Local Knowledge Builds Vital Support Networks in Emergencies.” ABC South West WA, 10 Mar. 2015. 26 Mar. 2015 <http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2015/03/09/4193981.htm?site=southwestwa>.Morrison, Della Rae. E-mail. 15 July 2014.Pedelty, Mark. Ecomusicology: Rock, Folk, and the Environment. Philadelphia, PA: Temple UP, 2012.Pye, David. Telephone interview. 3 Sep. 2014.Relph, Edward. Place and Placelessness. London: Pion, 1976.Rice, Ann. Telephone interview. 2 Oct. 2014.Rose, Deborah Bird. Nourishing Terrains: Australian Aboriginal Views of Landscape and Wilderness. Australian Heritage Commission, 1996.Ryan, John C. Green Sense: The Aesthetics of Plants, Place and Language. Oxford: Trueheart Academic, 2012.Schine, Jennifer. “Movement, Memory and the Senses in Soundscape Studies.” Canadian Acoustics: Journal of the Canadian Acoustical Association 38.3 (2010): 100-01. 12 Apr. 2016 <http://jcaa.caa-aca.ca/index.php/jcaa/article/view/2264>.Sinclair, Fiona. Telephone interview. 6 Apr. 2014.Sinclair, Fiona, and Peter Hill. Personal Interview. 26 Sep. 2014.Southern Forest Arts. Canopy: Songs for the Southern Forests. CD coordinated by Fiona Sinclair. Recorded and produced by Lee Buddle. Sleeve notes by Robyn Johnston. West Perth: Sound Mine Studios, 2006.———. Southern Forest Sculpture Walk Catalogue. Northcliffe, WA, 2006. Unpaginated booklet.———. Understory—Art in Nature. 2009. 12 Apr. 2016 <http://www.understory.com.au/>.———. Trailguide. Understory. Presented by Southern Forest Arts, n.d.———. After the Burn: Stories, Poems and Photos Shared by the Local Community in Response to the 2015 Northcliffe and Windy Harbour Bushfire. 2nd ed. Ed. Fiona Sinclair. Northcliffe, WA., 2016.Truax, Barry, ed. Handbook for Acoustic Ecology. 2nd ed. Cambridge Street Publishing, 1999. 10 Apr. 2016 <http://www.sfu.ca/sonic-studio/handbook/Soundmark.html>.

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Dominey-Howes, Dale. "Tsunami Waves of Destruction: The Creation of the “New Australian Catastrophe”." M/C Journal 16, no.1 (March18, 2013). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.594.

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Introduction The aim of this paper is to examine whether recent catastrophic tsunamis have driven a cultural shift in the awareness of Australians to the danger associated with this natural hazard and whether the media have contributed to the emergence of “tsunami” as a new Australian catastrophe. Prior to the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami disaster (2004 IOT), tsunamis as a type of hazard capable of generating widespread catastrophe were not well known by the general public and had barely registered within the wider scientific community. As a university based lecturer who specialises in natural disasters, I always started my public talks or student lectures with an attempt at a detailed description of what a tsunami is. With little high quality visual and media imagery to use, this was not easy. The Australian geologist Ted Bryant was right when he named his 2001 book Tsunami: The Underrated Hazard. That changed on 26 December 2004 when the third largest earthquake ever recorded occurred northwest of Sumatra, Indonesia, triggering the most catastrophic tsunami ever experienced. The 2004 IOT claimed at least 220,000 lives—probably more—injured tens of thousands, destroyed widespread coastal infrastructure and left millions homeless. Beyond the catastrophic impacts, this tsunami was conspicuous because, for the first time, such a devastating tsunami was widely captured on video and other forms of moving and still imagery. This occurred for two reasons. Firstly, the tsunami took place during daylight hours in good weather conditions—factors conducive to capturing high quality visual images. Secondly, many people—both local residents and westerners who were on beachside holidays and at the coast at multiple locations impacted by the tsunami—were able to capture images of the tsunami on their cameras, videos, and smart phones. The extensive media coverage—including horrifying television, video, and still imagery that raced around the globe in the hours and days after the tsunami, filling our television screens, homes, and lives regardless of where we lived—had a dramatic effect. This single event drove a quantum shift in the wider cultural awareness of this type of catastrophe and acted as a catalyst for improved individual and societal understanding of the nature and effects of disaster landscapes. Since this event, there have been several notable tsunamis, including the March 2011 Japan catastrophe. Once again, this event occurred during daylight hours and was widely captured by multiple forms of media. These events have resulted in a cascade of media coverage across television, radio, movie, and documentary channels, in the print media, online, and in the popular press and on social media—very little of which was available prior to 2004. Much of this has been documentary and informative in style, but there have also been numerous television dramas and movies. For example, an episode of the popular American television series CSI Miami entitled Crime Wave (Season 3, Episode 7) featured a tsunami, triggered by a volcanic eruption in the Atlantic and impacting Miami, as the backdrop to a standard crime-filled episode ("CSI," IMDb; Wikipedia). In 2010, Warner Bros Studios released the supernatural drama fantasy film Hereafter directed by Clint Eastwood. In the movie, a television journalist survives a near-death experience during the 2004 IOT in what might be the most dramatic, and probably accurate, cinematic portrayal of a tsunami ("Hereafter," IMDb; Wikipedia). Thus, these creative and entertaining forms of media, influenced by the catastrophic nature of tsunamis, are impetuses for creativity that also contribute to a transformation of cultural knowledge of catastrophe. The transformative potential of creative media, together with national and intergovernmental disaster risk reduction activity such as community education, awareness campaigns, community evacuation planning and drills, may be indirectly inferred from rapid and positive community behavioural responses. By this I mean many people in coastal communities who experience strong earthquakes are starting a process of self-evacuation, even if regional tsunami warning centres have not issued an alert or warning. For example, when people in coastal locations in Samoa felt a large earthquake on 29 September 2009, many self-evacuated to higher ground or sought information and instruction from relevant authorities because they expected a tsunami to occur. When interviewed, survivors stated that the memory of television and media coverage of the 2004 IOT acted as a catalyst for their affirmative behavioural response (Dominey-Howes and Thaman 1). Thus, individual and community cultural understandings of the nature and effects of tsunami catastrophes are incredibly important for shaping resilience and reducing vulnerability. However, this cultural shift is not playing out evenly.Are Australia and Its People at Risk from Tsunamis?Prior to the 2004 IOT, there was little discussion about, research in to, or awareness about tsunamis and Australia. Ted Bryant from the University of Wollongong had controversially proposed that Australia had been affected by tsunamis much bigger than the 2004 IOT six to eight times during the last 10,000 years and that it was only a matter of when, not if, such an event repeated itself (Bryant, "Second Edition"). Whilst his claims had received some media attention, his ideas did not achieve widespread scientific, cultural, or community acceptance. Not-with-standing this, Australia has been affected by more than 60 small tsunamis since European colonisation (Dominey-Howes 239). Indeed, the 2004 IOT and 2006 Java tsunami caused significant flooding of parts of the Northern Territory and Western Australia (Prendergast and Brown 69). However, the affected areas were sparsely populated and experienced very little in the way of damage or loss. Thus they did not cross any sort of critical threshold of “catastrophe” and failed to achieve meaningful community consciousness—they were not agents of cultural transformation.Regardless of the risk faced by Australia’s coastline, Australians travel to, and holiday in, places that experience tsunamis. In fact, 26 Australians were killed during the 2004 IOT (DFAT) and five were killed by the September 2009 South Pacific tsunami (Caldwell et al. 26). What Role Do the Media Play in Preparing for and Responding to Catastrophe?Regardless of the type of hazard/disaster/catastrophe, the key functions the media play include (but are not limited to): pre-event community education, awareness raising, and planning and preparations; during-event preparation and action, including status updates, evacuation warnings and notices, and recommendations for affirmative behaviours; and post-event responses and recovery actions to follow, including where to gain aid and support. Further, the media also play a role in providing a forum for debate and post-event analysis and reflection, as a mechanism to hold decision makers to account. From time to time, the media also provide a platform for examining who, if anyone, might be to blame for losses sustained during catastrophes and can act as a powerful conduit for driving socio-cultural, behavioural, and policy change. Many of these functions are elegantly described and a series of best practices outlined by The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency in a tsunami specific publication freely available online (CDEMA 1). What Has Been the Media Coverage in Australia about Tsunamis and Their Effects on Australians?A manifest contents analysis of media material covering tsunamis over the last decade using the framework of Cox et al. reveals that coverage falls into distinctive and repetitive forms or themes. After tsunamis, I have collected articles (more than 130 to date) published in key Australian national broadsheets (e.g., The Australian and Sydney Morning Herald) and tabloid (e.g., The Telegraph) newspapers and have watched on television and monitored on social media, such as YouTube and Facebook, the types of coverage given to tsunamis either affecting Australia, or Australians domestically and overseas. In all cases, I continued to monitor and collect these stories and accounts for a fixed period of four weeks after each event, commencing on the day of the tsunami. The themes raised in the coverage include: the nature of the event. For example, where, when, why did it occur, how big was it, and what were the effects; what emergency response and recovery actions are being undertaken by the emergency services and how these are being provided; exploration of how the event was made worse or better by poor/good planning and prior knowledge, action or inaction, confusion and misunderstanding; the attribution of blame and responsibility; the good news story—often the discovery and rescue of an “iconic victim/survivor”—usually a child days to weeks later; and follow-up reporting weeks to months later and on anniversaries. This coverage generally focuses on how things are improving and is often juxtaposed with the ongoing suffering of victims. I select the word “victims” purposefully for the media frequently prefer this over the more affirmative “survivor.”The media seldom carry reports of “behind the scenes” disaster preparatory work such as community education programs, the development and installation of warning and monitoring systems, and ongoing training and policy work by response agencies and governments since such stories tend to be less glamorous in terms of the disaster gore factor and less newsworthy (Cox et al. 469; Miles and Morse 365; Ploughman 308).With regard to Australians specifically, the manifest contents analysis reveals that coverage can be described as follows. First, it focuses on those Australians killed and injured. Such coverage provides elements of a biography of the victims, telling their stories, personalising these individuals so we build empathy for their suffering and the suffering of their families. The Australian victims are not unknown strangers—they are named and pictures of their smiling faces are printed or broadcast. Second, the media describe and catalogue the loss and ongoing suffering of the victims (survivors). Third, the media use phrases to describe Australians such as “innocent victims in the wrong place at the wrong time.” This narrative establishes the sense that these “innocents” have been somehow wronged and transgressed and that suffering should not be experienced by them. The fourth theme addresses the difficulties Australians have in accessing Consular support and in acquiring replacement passports in order to return home. It usually goes on to describe how they have difficulty in gaining access to accommodation, clothing, food, and water and any necessary medicines and the challenges associated with booking travel home and the complexities of communicating with family and friends. The last theme focuses on how Australians were often (usually?) not given relevant safety information by “responsible people” or “those in the know” in the place where they were at the time of the tsunami. This establishes a sense that Australians were left out and not considered by the relevant authorities. This narrative pays little attention to the wide scale impact upon and suffering of resident local populations who lack the capacity to escape the landscape of catastrophe.How Does Australian Media Coverage of (Tsunami) Catastrophe Compare with Elsewhere?A review of the available literature suggests media coverage of catastrophes involving domestic citizens is similar globally. For example, Olofsson (557) in an analysis of newspaper articles in Sweden about the 2004 IOT showed that the tsunami was framed as a Swedish disaster heavily focused on Sweden, Swedish victims, and Thailand, and that there was a division between “us” (Swedes) and “them” (others or non-Swedes). Olofsson (557) described two types of “us” and “them.” At the international level Sweden, i.e. “us,” was glorified and contrasted with “inferior” countries such as Thailand, “them.” Olofsson (557) concluded that mediated frames of catastrophe are influenced by stereotypes and nationalistic values.Such nationalistic approaches preface one type of suffering in catastrophe over others and delegitimises the experiences of some survivors. Thus, catastrophes are not evenly experienced. Importantly, Olofsson although not explicitly using the term, explains that the underlying reason for this construction of “them” and “us” is a form of imperialism and colonialism. Sharp refers to “historically rooted power hierarchies between countries and regions of the world” (304)—this is especially so of western news media reporting on catastrophes within and affecting “other” (non-western) countries. Sharp goes much further in relation to western representations and imaginations of the “war on terror” (arguably a global catastrophe) by explicitly noting the near universal western-centric dominance of this representation and the construction of the “west” as good and all “non-west” as not (299). Like it or not, the western media, including elements of the mainstream Australian media, adhere to this imperialistic representation. Studies of tsunami and other catastrophes drawing upon different types of media (still images, video, film, camera, and social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and the like) and from different national settings have explored the multiple functions of media. These functions include: providing information, questioning the authorities, and offering a chance for transformative learning. Further, they alleviate pain and suffering, providing new virtual communities of shared experience and hearing that facilitate resilience and recovery from catastrophe. Lastly, they contribute to a cultural transformation of catastrophe—both positive and negative (Hjorth and Kyoung-hwa "The Mourning"; "Good Grief"; McCargo and Hyon-Suk 236; Brown and Minty 9; Lau et al. 675; Morgan and de Goyet 33; Piotrowski and Armstrong 341; Sood et al. 27).Has Extensive Media Coverage Resulted in an Improved Awareness of the Catastrophic Potential of Tsunami for Australians?In playing devil’s advocate, my simple response is NO! This because I have been interviewing Australians about their perceptions and knowledge of tsunamis as a catastrophe, after events have occurred. These events have triggered alerts and warnings by the Australian Tsunami Warning System (ATWS) for selected coastal regions of Australia. Consequently, I have visited coastal suburbs and interviewed people about tsunamis generally and those events specifically. Formal interviews (surveys) and informal conversations have revolved around what people perceived about the hazard, the likely consequences, what they knew about the warning, where they got their information from, how they behaved and why, and so forth. I have undertaken this work after the 2007 Solomon Islands, 2009 New Zealand, 2009 South Pacific, the February 2010 Chile, and March 2011 Japan tsunamis. I have now spoken to more than 800 people. Detailed research results will be presented elsewhere, but of relevance here, I have discovered that, to begin with, Australians have a reasonable and shared cultural knowledge of the potential catastrophic effects that tsunamis can have. They use terms such as “devastating; death; damage; loss; frightening; economic impact; societal loss; horrific; overwhelming and catastrophic.” Secondly, when I ask Australians about their sources of information about tsunamis, they describe the television (80%); Internet (85%); radio (25%); newspaper (35%); and social media including YouTube (65%). This tells me that the media are critical to underpinning knowledge of catastrophe and are a powerful transformative medium for the acquisition of knowledge. Thirdly, when asked about where people get information about live warning messages and alerts, Australians stated the “television (95%); Internet (70%); family and friends (65%).” Fourthly and significantly, when individuals were asked what they thought being caught in a tsunami would be like, responses included “fun (50%); awesome (75%); like in a movie (40%).” Fifthly, when people were asked about what they would do (i.e., their “stated behaviour”) during a real tsunami arriving at the coast, responses included “go down to the beach to swim/surf the tsunami (40%); go to the sea to watch (85%); video the tsunami and sell to the news media people (40%).”An independent and powerful representation of the disjunct between Australians’ knowledge of the catastrophic potential of tsunamis and their “negative” behavioral response can be found in viewing live television news coverage broadcast from Sydney beaches on the morning of Sunday 28 February 2010. The Chilean tsunami had taken more than 14 hours to travel from Chile to the eastern seaboard of Australia and the ATWS had issued an accurate warning and had correctly forecast the arrival time of the tsunami (approximately 08.30 am). The television and radio media had dutifully broadcast the warning issued by the State Emergency Services. The message was simple: “Stay out of the water, evacuate the beaches and move to higher ground.” As the tsunami arrived, those news broadcasts showed volunteer State Emergency Service personnel and Surf Life Saving Australia lifeguards “begging” with literally hundreds (probably thousands up and down the eastern seaboard of Australia) of members of the public to stop swimming in the incoming tsunami and to evacuate the beaches. On that occasion, Australians were lucky and the tsunami was inconsequential. What do these responses mean? Clearly Australians recognise and can describe the consequences of a tsunami. However, they are not associating the catastrophic nature of tsunami with their own lives or experience. They are avoiding or disallowing the reality; they normalise and dramaticise the event. Thus in Australia, to date, a cultural transformation about the catastrophic nature of tsunami has not occurred for reasons that are not entirely clear but are the subject of ongoing study.The Emergence of Tsunami as a “New Australian Catastrophe”?As a natural disaster expert with nearly two decades experience, in my mind tsunami has emerged as a “new Australian catastrophe.” I believe this has occurred for a number of reasons. Firstly, the 2004 IOT was devastating and did impact northwestern Australia, raising the flag on this hitherto, unknown threat. Australia is now known to be vulnerable to the tsunami catastrophe. The media have played a critical role here. Secondly, in the 2004 IOT and other tsunamis since, Australians have died and their deaths have been widely reported in the Australian media. Thirdly, the emergence of various forms of social media has facilitated an explosion in information and material that can be consumed, digested, reimagined, and normalised by Australians hungry for the gore of catastrophe—it feeds our desire for catastrophic death and destruction. Fourthly, catastrophe has been creatively imagined and retold for a story-hungry viewing public. Whether through regular television shows easily consumed from a comfy chair at home, or whilst eating popcorn at a cinema, tsunami catastrophe is being fed to us in a way that reaffirms its naturalness. Juxtaposed against this idea though is that, despite all the graphic imagery of tsunami catastrophe, especially images of dead children in other countries, Australian media do not and culturally cannot, display images of dead Australian children. Such images are widely considered too gruesome but are well known to drive changes in cultural behaviour because of the iconic significance of the child within our society. As such, a cultural shift has not yet occurred and so the potential of catastrophe remains waiting to strike. Fifthly and significantly, given the fact that large numbers of Australians have not died during recent tsunamis means that again, the catastrophic potential of tsunamis is not yet realised and has not resulted in cultural changes to more affirmative behaviour. Lastly, Australians are probably more aware of “regular or common” catastrophes such as floods and bush fires that are normal to the Australian climate system and which are endlessly experienced individually and culturally and covered by the media in all forms. The Australian summer of 2012–13 has again been dominated by floods and fires. If this idea is accepted, the media construct a uniquely Australian imaginary of catastrophe and cultural discourse of disaster. The familiarity with these common climate catastrophes makes us “culturally blind” to the catastrophe that is tsunami.The consequences of a major tsunami affecting Australia some point in the future are likely to be of a scale not yet comprehensible. References Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). "ABC Net Splash." 20 Mar. 2013 ‹http://splash.abc.net.au/media?id=31077›. Brown, Philip, and Jessica Minty. “Media Coverage and Charitable Giving after the 2004 Tsunami.” Southern Economic Journal 75 (2008): 9–25. Bryant, Edward. Tsunami: The Underrated Hazard. First Edition, Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2001. ———. Tsunami: The Underrated Hazard. Second Edition, Sydney: Springer-Praxis, 2008. Caldwell, Anna, Natalie Gregg, Fiona Hudson, Patrick Lion, Janelle Miles, Bart Sinclair, and John Wright. “Samoa Tsunami Claims Five Aussies as Death Toll Rises.” The Courier Mail 1 Oct. 2009. 20 Mar. 2013 ‹http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/samoa-tsunami-claims-five-aussies-as-death-toll-rises/story-e6freon6-1225781357413›. CDEMA. "The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency. Tsunami SMART Media Web Site." 18 Dec. 2012. 20 Mar. 2013 ‹http://weready.org/tsunami/index.php?Itemid=40&id=40&option=com_content&view=article›. Cox, Robin, Bonita Long, and Megan Jones. “Sequestering of Suffering – Critical Discourse Analysis of Natural Disaster Media Coverage.” Journal of Health Psychology 13 (2008): 469–80. “CSI: Miami (Season 3, Episode 7).” International Movie Database (IMDb). ‹http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0534784/›. 9 Jan. 2013. "CSI: Miami (Season 3)." Wikipedia. ‹http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CSI:_Miami_(season_3)#Episodes›. 21 Mar. 2013. DFAT. "Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Annual Report 2004–2005." 8 Jan. 2013 ‹http://www.dfat.gov.au/dept/annual_reports/04_05/downloads/2_Outcome2.pdf›. Dominey-Howes, Dale. “Geological and Historical Records of Australian Tsunami.” Marine Geology 239 (2007): 99–123. Dominey-Howes, Dale, and Randy Thaman. “UNESCO-IOC International Tsunami Survey Team Samoa Interim Report of Field Survey 14–21 October 2009.” No. 2. Australian Tsunami Research Centre. University of New South Wales, Sydney. "Hereafter." International Movie Database (IMDb). ‹http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1212419/›. 9 Jan. 2013."Hereafter." Wikipedia. ‹http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hereafter (film)›. 21 Mar. 2013. Hjorth, Larissa, and Yonnie Kyoung-hwa. “The Mourning After: A Case Study of Social Media in the 3.11 Earthquake Disaster in Japan.” Television and News Media 12 (2011): 552–59. ———, and Yonnie Kyoung-hwa. “Good Grief: The Role of Mobile Social Media in the 3.11 Earthquake Disaster in Japan.” Digital Creativity 22 (2011): 187–99. Lau, Joseph, Mason Lau, and Jean Kim. “Impacts of Media Coverage on the Community Stress Level in Hong Kong after the Tsunami on 26 December 2004.” Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 60 (2006): 675–82. McCargo, Duncan, and Lee Hyon-Suk. “Japan’s Political Tsunami: What’s Media Got to Do with It?” International Journal of Press-Politics 15 (2010): 236–45. Miles, Brian, and Stephanie Morse. “The Role of News Media in Natural Disaster Risk and Recovery.” Ecological Economics 63 (2007): 365–73. Morgan, Olive, and Charles de Goyet. “Dispelling Disaster Myths about Dead Bodies and Disease: The Role of Scientific Evidence and the Media.” Revista Panamericana de Salud Publica-Pan American Journal of Public Health 18 (2005): 33–6. Olofsson, Anna. “The Indian Ocean Tsunami in Swedish Newspapers: Nationalism after Catastrophe.” Disaster Prevention and Management 20 (2011): 557–69. Piotrowski, Chris, and Terry Armstrong. “Mass Media Preferences in Disaster: A Study of Hurricane Danny.” Social Behavior and Personality 26 (1998): 341–45. Ploughman, Penelope. “The American Print News Media Construction of Five Natural Disasters.” Disasters 19 (1995): 308–26. Prendergast, Amy, and Nick Brown. “Far Field Impact and Coastal Sedimentation Associated with the 2006 Java Tsunami in West Australia: Post-Tsunami Survey at Steep Point, West Australia.” Natural Hazards 60 (2012): 69–79. Sharp, Joanne. “A Subaltern Critical Geopolitics of The War on Terror: Postcolonial Security in Tanzania.” Geoforum 42 (2011): 297–305. Sood, Rahul, Stockdale, Geoffrey, and Everett Rogers. “How the News Media Operate in Natural Disasters.” Journal of Communication 37 (1987): 27–41.

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Green, Lelia, Richard Morrison, Andrew Ewing, and Cathy Henkel. "Ways of Depicting: The Presentation of One’s Self as a Brand." M/C Journal 20, no.4 (August16, 2017). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1257.

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Ways of Seeing"Images … define our experiences more precisely in areas where words are inadequate." (Berger 33)"Different skins, you know, different ways of seeing the world." (Morrison)The research question animating this article is: 'How does an individual creative worker re-present themselves as a contemporary - and evolving - brand?' Berger notes that the "principal aim has been to start a process of questioning" (5), and the raw material energising this exploration is the life's work of Richard Morrison, the creative director and artist who is the key moving force behind The Morrison Studio collective of designers, film makers and visual effects artists, working globally but based in London. The challenge of maintaining currency in this visually creative marketplace includes seeing what is unique about your potential contribution to a larger project, and communicating it in such a way that this forms an integral part of an evolving brand - on trend, bleeding edge, but reliably professional. One of the classic outputs of Morrison's oeuvre, for example, is the title sequence for Terry Gilliam's Brazil.Passion cannot be seen yet Morrison conceives it as the central engine that harnesses skills, information and innovative ways of working to deliver the unexpected and the unforgettable. Morrison's perception is that the design itself can come after the creative artist has really seen and understood the client's perspective. As he says: "What some clients are interested in is 'How can we make money from what we're doing?'" Seeing the client, and the client's motivating needs, is central to Morrison's presentation of self as a brand: "the broader your outlook as a creative, the more chance you have of getting it right". Jones and Warren draw attention to one aspect of this dynamic: "Wealthy and private actors, both private and state, historically saw creative practice as something that money was spent on - commissioning a painting or a sculpture, giving salaries to composers to produce new works and so forth. Today, creativity has been reimagined as something that should directly or indirectly make money" (293). As Berger notes, "We never look at just one thing; we are always looking at the relation between things and ourselves…The world-as-it-is is more than pure objective fact, it includes consciousness" (9, 11). What is our consciousness around the creative image?Individuality is central to Berger's vision of the image in the "specific vision of the image-maker…the result of an increasing consciousness of individuality, accompanying an increasing awareness of history" (10). Yet, as Berger argues "although every image embodies a way of seeing, our perception or appreciation of an image depends also upon our own way of seeing" (10). Later, Berger links the meanings viewers attribute to images as indicating the "historical experience of our relation to the past…the experience of seeking to give meaning to our lives" (33). The seeing and the seeking go hand in hand, and constitute a key reason for Berger's assertion that "the entire art of the past has now become a political issue" (33). This partly reflects the ways in which it is seen, and in which it is presented for view, by whom, where and in which circ*mstances.The creation of stand-out images in the visually-saturated 21st century demands a nuanced understanding of ways in which an idea can be re-presented for consumption in a manner that makes it fresh and arresting. The focus on the individual also entails an understanding of the ways in which others are valuable, or vital, in completing a coherent package of skills to address the creative challenge to hand. It is self-evident that other people see things differently, and can thus enrich the broadened outlook identified as important for "getting it right". Morrison talks about "little core teams, there's four or five of you in a hub… [sometimes] spread all round the world, but because of the Internet and the way things work you can still all be connected". Team work and members' individual personalities are consequently combined, in Morrison's view, with the core requirement of passion. As Morrison argues, "personality will carry you a long way in the creative field".Morrison's key collaborator, senior designer and creative partner/art director Dean Wares lives in Valencia, Spain whereas Morrison is London-based and their clients are globally-dispersed. Although Morrison sees the Internet as a key technology for collaboratively visualising the ways in which to make a visual impact, Berger points to the role of the camera in relation to the quintessential pre-mechanical image: the painting. It is worth acknowledging here that Berger explicitly credits Walter Benjamin, including the use of his image (34), as the foundation for many of Berger's ideas, specifically referencing Benjamin's essay "The work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction". Noting that, prior to the invention of the camera, a painting could never be seen in more than one place at a time, Berger suggests that the camera foments a revolutionary transformation: "its meaning changes. Or, more exactly, its meaning multiplies and fragments into many meanings" (19). This disruption is further fractured once that camera-facilitated image is viewed on a screen, ubiquitous to Morrison's stock in trade, but in Berger's day (1972) particularly associated with the television:The painting enters each viewer's house. There it is surrounded by his wallpaper, his furniture, his mementoes. It enters the atmosphere of his family. It becomes their talking point. It lends its meaning to their meaning. At the same time it enters a million other houses and, in each of them, is seen in a different context. Because of the camera, the painting now travels to the spectator, rather than the spectator to the painting. In its travels, its meaning is diversified. (Berger, 19-20)Even so, that image, travelling through space and time is seen on the screen in a sequential and temporal context: "because a film unfolds in time and a painting does not. In a film the way one image follows another, their succession constructs an argument which becomes irreversible. In a painting all its elements are there to be seen simultaneously." Both these dynamics, the still and the sequence, are key to the work of a visual artist such as Morrison responsible for branding a film, television series or event. But the works also create an unfolding sequence which tells a different story to each recipient according to the perceptions of the viewer/reader. For example, instead of valorising Gilliam's Brazil, Morrison's studio could have been tagged with Annaud's Enemy at the Gates or, even, the contemporary Sky series, Niel Jordan's Riviera. Knowing this sequence, and that the back catalogue begins with The Who's Quadrophenia (1979), changes the way we see what the Morrison Studio is doing now.Ways of WorkingRichard Morrison harnesses an evolutionary metaphor to explain his continuing contribution to the industry: "I've adapted, and not been a dinosaur who's just sunk in the mud". He argues that there is a need to explore where "the next niche is and be prepared for change 'cause the only constant thing in life is change. So as a creative you need to have that known." Effectively, adaptation and embracing innovation has become a key part of the Morrison Studio's brand. It is trumpeted in the decision that Morrison and Ware made when they decided to continue their work together, even after Ware moved to Spain. This demonstrated, in an age of faxes and landlines, that the Morrison Studio could make cross country collaboration work: the multiple locations championed the fact that they were open for business "without boundaries".There was travel, too, and in those early pre-Internet days of remote location Morrison was a frequent visitor to the United States. "I'd be working in Los Angeles and he'd be wherever he was […] we'd use snail mail to actually get stuff across, literally post it by FedEx […]." The intercontinental (as opposed to inter-Europe) collaboration had the added value of offering interlocking working days: "I'd go to sleep, he wakes up […] We were actually doubling our capacity." If anything, these dynamics are more entrenched with better communications. Currah argues that Hollywood attempts to manage the disruptive potential of the internet by "seeking to create a 'closed' sphere of innovation on a global scale […] legitimated, enacted and performed within relational networks" (359). The Morrison Studio's own dispersed existence is one element of these relational networks.The specific challenge of technological vulnerability was always present, however, long before the Internet: "We'd have a case full of D1 tapes" - the professional standard video tape (1986-96) - "and we'd carefully make sure they'd go through the airport so they don't get rubbed […] what we were doing is we were fitting ourselves up for the new change". At the same time, although the communication technologies change, there are constants in the ways that people use them. Throughout Morrison's career, "when I'm working for Americans, which I'm doing a lot, they expect me to be on the telephone at midnight [because of time zones]. […] They think 'Oh I want to speak to Richard now. Oh it's midnight, so what?' They still phone up. That's constant, that never goes away." He argues that American clients are more complex to communicate with than his Scandinavian clients, giving the example that people assume a UK-US consistency because they share the English language. But "although you think they're talking in a tongue that's the same, their meaning and understanding can sometimes be quite a bit different." He uses the example of the A4 sheet of paper. It has different dimensions in the US than in the UK, illustrating those different ways of seeing.Morrison believes that there are four key constants in his company's continuing success: deadlines; the capacity to scope a job so that you know who and how many people to pull in to it to meet the deadline; librarian skills; and insecurity. The deadlines have always been imposed on creative organisations by their clients, but being able to deliver to deadlines involves networks and self-knowledge: "If you can't do it yourself find a friend, find somebody that's good at adding up, find somebody that's good at admin. You know, don't try and take on what you can't do. Put your hand up straight away, call in somebody that can help you". Chapain and Comunian's work on creative and cultural industries (CCIs) also highlights the importance of "a new centrality to the role of individuals and their social networks in understanding the practice of CCIs" (718).Franklin et al. suggest that this approach, adopted by The Morrison Studio, is a microcosm of the independent film sector as a whole. They argue that "the lifecycle of a film is segmented into sequential stages, moving through development, financing, production, sales, distribution and exhibition stages to final consumption. Different companies, each with specialized project tasks, take on responsibility and relative financial risk and reward at each stage" (323). The importance that Morrison places on social networks, however, highlights the importance of flexibility within relationships of trust - to the point where it might be as valid to engage someone on the basis of a history of working with that person as on the basis of that person's prior experience. As Cristopherson notes, "many creative workers are in vaguely defined and rapidly changing fields, seemingly making up their careers as they go along" (543).The skills underlying Morrison's approach to creative collaboration, however, include a clear understanding of one's own strength and weaknesses and a cool evaluation of others, "just quietly research people". This people-based research includes both the capabilities of potential colleagues, in order to deliver the required product in the specified time frame, along with research into creative people whose work is admired and who might provide a blueprint for how to arrive at an individual's dream role. Morrison gives the example of Quentin Tarantino's trajectory to directing: "he started in a video rental and all he did is watch lots and lots of films, particularly westerns and Japanese samurai films and decided 'I can do that'". One of his great pleasures now is to mentor young designers to help them find their way in the industry. That's a strategy that may pay dividends into the future, via Storper and Scott's "traded and untraded interdependencies" which are, according to Gornostaeva, "expressed as the multiple economic and social transactions that the participants ought to conduct if they wish to perpetuate their existence" (39).As for the library skills, he says that they are crucial but a bit comical:It's a bit like being a constant librarian in old-fashioned terms, you know, 'Where is that stuff stored?' Because it's not stored in a plan chest anymore where you open the drawer and there it is. It's now stored in, you know, big computers, in a cloud. 'Where did we put that file? Did we dump it down? Have we marked it up? […] Where's it gone? What did we do it on?'While juggling the demands of technology, people and product The Morrison brand involves both huge confidence and chronic insecurity. The confidence is evident in the low opinion Morrison has of the opportunities offered by professional disruptor sites such as 99designs: "I can't bear anything like that. I can see why it's happening but I think what you're doing is devaluing yourself even before you start […] it would destroy your self-belief in what you're doing". At the same time, Morrison says, his security is his own insecurity: "I'm always out hunting to see what could be next […] the job you finish could be your last job."Ways of BrandingChristopherson argues that there is "considerable variation in the occupational identities of new media workers among advanced economies. In some economies, new media work is evolving in a form that is closer to that of the professional [in contrast to economies where it is] an entrepreneurial activity in which new media workers sell skills and services in a market" (543). For The Morrison Studio, its breadth, history and experience supports their desire to be branded as professional, but their working patterns entirely resonate with, and are integrated within, the entrepreneurial. Seeing their activity in this way is a juxtaposition with the proposition advanced by Berger that:The existing social conditions make the individual feel powerless. He lives in the contradiction between what he is and what he would like to be. Either he then becomes fully conscious of the contradiction and its causes, and so joins the political struggle for a full democracy which entails, among other things, the overthrow of capitalism; or else he lives, continually subject to an envy which, compounded with his sense of powerlessness, dissolves into recurrent day-dreams (148).The role of the brand, and its publicity, is implicated by Berger in both the tension between what an individual is and what s/he would like to be; and in the creation of an envy that subjugates people. For Berger, the brand is about publicity and the commodifying of the future. Referring to publicity images, Berger argues that "they never speak of the present. Often they refer to the past and always they speak of the future". Brands are created and marketed by such publicity images that are often, these days, incorporated within social media and websites. At the same time, Berger argues that "Publicity is about social relationships, not objects [or experiences]. Its promise is not of pleasure, but of happiness: happiness as judged from the outside by others. The happiness of being envied is glamour." It is the dual pressure from the perception of the gap between the individual's actual and potential life, and the daydreaming and envy of that future, that helps construct Berger's powerless individual.Morrison's view, fashioned in part by his success at adapting, at not being a dinosaur that sinks into the mud, is that the authenticity lies in the congruence of the brand and the belief. "A personal brand can help you straight away but as long as you believe it […] You have to be true to what you're about and then it works. And then the thing becomes you [… you] just go for it and, you know, don't worry about failure. Failure will happen anyway".Berger's commentary on publicity is partially divergent from branding. Publicity is generally a managed message, on that is paid for and promoted by the person or entity concerned. A brand is a more holistic construction and is implicated in ways of seeing in that different people will have very different perceptions of the same brand. Morrison's view of his personal brand, and the brand of the Morrison Studio, is that it encompasses much more than design expertise and technical know-how. He lionises the role of passion and talks about the importance of ways of managing deadlines, interlocking skills sets, creative elements and the insecurity of uncertainty.For the producers who hire Morrison, and help build his brand, Berger's observation of the importance of history and the promise for the future remains key to their hiring decisions. Although carefully crafted, creative images are central to the Morrison Studio's work, it is not the surface presentation of those images that determines the way their work is perceived by people in the film industry, it is the labour and networks that underpin those images. While Morrison's outputs form part of the visual environment critiqued in Ways of Seeing, it is informed by the dynamics of international capitalism via global networks and mobility. Although one of myriad small businesses that help make the film industry the complex and productive creative sphere that it is, Morrison Studios does not so much seek to create a public brand as to be known and valued by the small group of industry players upon whom the Studio relies for its existence. Their continued future depends upon the ways in which they are seen.ReferencesBenjamin, Walter. Illuminations: Essays and Reflections. United States of America, 1969.Berger, John. Ways of Seeing. London: Penguin Books, 1972.Brazil. Dir. Terry Gilliam. Universal Pictures. 1985. Film. Chapain, Caroline, and Roberta Comunian. "Enabling and Inhibiting the Creative Economy: The Role of the Local and Regional Dimensions in England." Regional Studies 44.6 (2010): 717-734. Christopherson, Susan. "The Divergent Worlds of New Media: How Policy Shapes Work in the Creative Economy." Review of Policy Research 21.4 (2004): 543-558. Currah, Andrew. "Hollywood, the Internet and the World: A Geography of Disruptive Innovation." Industry and Innovation 14.4 (2007): 359-384. Enemies at the Gates. Dir. Jean-Jacques Annaud. Paramount. 2001. FilmFranklin, Michael, et al. "Innovation in the Application of Digital Tools for Managing Uncertainty: The Case of UK Independent Film." Creativity and Innovation Management 22.3 (2013): 320-333. Gornostaeva, Galina. "The Wolves and Lambs of the Creative City: The Sustainability of Film and Television Producers in London." Geographical Review (2009): 37-60. Jones, Phil, and Saskia Warren. "Time, Rhythm and the Creative Economy." Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 41.3 (2016): 286-296. Morrison, Richard. Personal Interview. 13 Oct 2016.The Morrison Studio. The Morrison Studio, 2017. 16 June 2017 <https://themorrisonstudio.com/>.Quadrophenia. Dir. Franc Roddam. Brent Walker Film Distributing. 1979. Film.Riviera. Dir. Neil Jordan. Sky Atlantic HD. 2017. Film.Storper, Michael, and Scott, Allen. "The Geographical Foundations and Social Regulation of Flexible Production Complexes". The Power of Geography: How Territory Shapes Social Life. Eds. Jennifer Wolch and Michael Dear. New York: Routledge, 1989. 21-40.

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Neilsen Glenn, Lorri. "The Loseable World: Resonance, Creativity, and Resilience." M/C Journal 16, no.1 (March19, 2013). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.600.

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[Editors’ note: this lyric essay was presented as the keynote address at Edith Cowan University’s CREATEC symposium on the theme Catastrophe and Creativity in November 2012, and represents excerpts from the author’s publication Threading Light: Explorations in Loss and Poetry. Regina, SK: Hagios Press, 2011. Reproduced with the author’s permission].Essay and verse and anecdote are the ways I have chosen to apprentice myself to loss, grief, faith, memory, and the stories we use to tie and untie them. Cat’s cradle, Celtic lines, bends and hitches are familiar: however, when I write about loss, I find there are knots I cannot tie or release, challenging both my imagination and my craft. Over the last decade, I have been learning that writing poetry is also the art of tying together light and dark, grief and joy, of grasping and releasing. Language is a hinge that connects us with the flesh of our experience; it is also residue, the ash of memory and imagination. (Threading Light 7) ———Greek katastrophé overturning, sudden turn, from kata down + strophe ‘turning” from strephein to turn.Loss and catastrophe catapult us into the liminal, into a threshold space. We walk between land we have known and the open sea. ———Mnemosyne, the mother of the nine Muses, the personification of memory, makes anthropologists of us all. When Hermes picked up the lyre, it was to her—to Remembrance —that he sang the first song. Without remembrance, oral or written, we have no place to begin. Stone, amulet, photograph, charm bracelet, cufflink, fish story, house, facial expression, tape recorder, verse, or the same old traveling salesman joke—we have places and means to try to store memories. Memories ground us, even as we know they are fleeting and flawed constructions that slip through our consciousness; ghosts of ghosts. One cold winter, I stayed in a guest room in my mother’s apartment complex for three days. Because she had lost her sight, I sat at the table in her overheated and stuffy kitchen with the frozen slider window and tried to describe photographs as she tried to recall names and events. I emptied out the dusty closet she’d ignored since my father left, and we talked about knitting patterns, the cost of her mother’s milk glass bowl, the old clothes she could only know by rubbing the fabric through her fingers. I climbed on a chair to reach a serving dish she wanted me to have, and we laughed hysterically when I read aloud the handwritten note inside: save for Annette, in a script not hers. It’s okay, she said; I want all this gone. To all you kids. Take everything you can. When I pop off, I don’t want any belongings. Our family had moved frequently, and my belongings always fit in a single box; as a student, in the back of a car or inside a backpack. Now, in her ninth decade, my mother wanted to return to the simplicity she, too, recalled from her days on a small farm outside a small town. On her deathbed, she insisted on having her head shaved, and frequently the nursing staff came into the room to find she had stripped off her johnny shirt and her covers. The philosopher Simone Weil said that all we possess in the world is the power to say “I” (Gravity 119).Memory is a cracked bowl, and it fills endlessly as it empties. Memory is what we create out of what we have at hand—other people’s accounts, objects, flawed stories of our own creation, second-hand tales handed down like an old watch. Annie Dillard says as a life’s work, she’d remember everything–everything against loss, and go through life like a plankton net. I prefer the image of the bowl—its capacity to feed us, the humility it suggests, its enduring shape, its rich symbolism. Its hope. To write is to fashion a bowl, perhaps, but we know, finally, the bowl cannot hold everything. (Threading Light 78–80) ———Man is the sire of sorrow, sang Joni Mitchell. Like joy, sorrow begins at birth: we are born into both. The desert fathers believed—in fact, many of certain faiths continue to believe—that penthos is mourning for lost salvation. Penthus was the last god to be given his assignment from Zeus: he was to be responsible for grieving and loss. Eros, the son of Aphrodite, was the god of love and desire. The two can be seen in concert with one another, each mirroring the other’s extreme, each demanding of us the farthest reach of our being. Nietzsche, through Zarathustra, phrased it another way: “Did you ever say Yes to one joy? O my friends, then you have also said Yes to all Woe as well. All things are chained, entwined together, all things are in love.” (Threading Light 92) ———We are that brief crack of light, that cradle rocking. We can aspire to a heaven, or a state of forgiveness; we can ask for redemption and hope for freedom from suffering for ourselves and our loved ones; we may create children or works of art in the vague hope that we will leave something behind when we go. But regardless, we know that there is a wall or a dark curtain or a void against which we direct or redirect our lives. We hide from it, we embrace it; we taunt it; we flout it. We write macabre jokes, we play hide and seek, we walk with bated breath, scream in movies, or howl in the wilderness. We despair when we learn of premature or sudden death; we are reminded daily—an avalanche, an aneurysm, a shocking diagnosis, a child’s bicycle in the intersection—that our illusions of control, that youthful sense of invincibility we have clung to, our last-ditch religious conversions, our versions of Pascal’s bargain, nothing stops the carriage from stopping for us.We are fortunate if our awareness calls forth our humanity. We learn, as Aristotle reminded us, about our capacity for fear and pity. Seeing others as vulnerable in their pain or weakness, we see our own frailties. As I read the poetry of Donne or Rumi, or verse created by the translator of Holocaust stories, Lois Olena, or the work of poet Sharon Olds as she recounts the daily horror of her youth, I can become open to pity, or—to use the more contemporary word—compassion. The philosopher Martha Nussbaum argues that works of art are not only a primary means for an individual to express her humanity through catharsis, as Aristotle claimed, but, because of the attunement to others and to the world that creation invites, the process can sow the seeds of social justice. Art grounds our grief in form; it connects us to one another and to the world. And the more we acquaint ourselves with works of art—in music, painting, theatre, literature—the more we open ourselves to complex and nuanced understandings of our human capacities for grief. Why else do we turn to a stirring poem when we are mourning? Why else do we sing? When my parents died, I came home from the library with stacks of poetry and memoirs about loss. How does your story dovetail with mine? I wanted to know. How large is this room—this country—of grief and how might I see it, feel the texture on its walls, the ice of its waters? I was in a foreign land, knew so little of its language, and wanted to be present and raw and vulnerable in its climate and geography. Writing and reading were my way not to squander my hours of pain. While it was difficult to live inside that country, it was more difficult not to. In learning to know graveyards as places of comfort and perspective, Mnemosyne’s territory with her markers of memory guarded by crow, leaf, and human footfall, with storehouses of vast and deep tapestries of stories whispered, sung, or silent, I am cultivating the practice of walking on common ground. Our losses are really our winter-enduring foliage, Rilke writes. They are place and settlement, foundation and soil, and home. (Threading Light 86–88) ———The loseability of our small and larger worlds allows us to see their gifts, their preciousness.Loseability allows us to pay attention. ———“A faith-based life, a Trappistine nun said to me, aims for transformation of the soul through compunction—not only a state of regret and remorse for our inadequacies before God, but also living inside a deeper sorrow, a yearning for a union with the divine. Compunction, according to a Christian encyclopaedia, is constructive only if it leads to repentance, reconciliation, and sanctification. Would you consider this work you are doing, the Trappistine wrote, to be a spiritual journey?Initially, I ducked her question; it was a good one. Like Neruda, I don’t know where the poetry comes from, a winter or a river. But like many poets, I feel the inadequacy of language to translate pain and beauty, the yearning for an embodied understanding of phenomena that is assensitive and soul-jolting as the contacts of eye-to-eye and skin-to-skin. While I do not worship a god, I do long for an impossible union with the world—a way to acknowledge the gift that is my life. Resonance: a search for the divine in the everyday. And more so. Writing is a full-bodied, sensory, immersive activity that asks me to give myself over to phenomena, that calls forth deep joy and deep sorrow sometimes so profound that I am gutted by my inadequacy. I am pierced, dumbstruck. Lyric language is the crayon I use, and poetry is my secular compunction...Poets—indeed, all writers—are often humbled by what we cannot do, pierced as we are by—what? I suggest mystery, impossibility, wonder, reverence, grief, desire, joy, our simple gratitude and despair. I speak of the soul and seven people rise from their chairs and leave the room, writes Mary Oliver (4). Eros and penthos working in concert. We have to sign on for the whole package, and that’s what both empties us out, and fills us up. The practice of poetry is our inadequate means of seeking the gift of tears. We cultivate awe, wonder, the exquisite pain of seeing and knowing deeply the abundant and the fleeting in our lives. Yes, it is a spiritual path. It has to do with the soul, and the sacred—our venerating the world given to us. Whether we are inside a belief system that has or does not have a god makes no difference. Seven others lean forward to listen. (Threading Light 98–100)———The capacity to give one’s attention to a sufferer is a rare thing; it is almost a miracle; it is a miracle. – Simone Weil (169)I can look at the lines and shades on the page clipped to the easel, deer tracks in the snow, or flecks of light on a summer sidewalk. Or at the moon as it moves from new to full. Or I can read the poetry of Paul Celan.Celan’s poem “Tenebrae” takes its title from high Christian services in which lighting, usually from candles, is gradually extinguished so that by the end of the service, the church is in total darkness. Considering Celan’s—Antschel’s—history as a Romanian Jew whose parents were killed in the Nazi death camps, and his subsequent years tortured by the agony of his grief, we are not surprised to learn he chose German, his mother’s language, to create his poetry: it might have been his act of defiance, his way of using shadow and light against the other. The poet’s deep grief, his profound awareness of loss, looks unflinchingly at the past, at the piles of bodies. The language has become a prism, reflecting penetrating shafts of shadow: in the shine of blood, the darkest of the dark. Enlinked, enlaced, and enamoured. We don’t always have names for the shades of sorrows and joys we live inside, but we know that each defines and depends upon the other. Inside the core shadow of grief we recognise our shared mortality, and only in that recognition—we are not alone—can hope be engendered. In the exquisite pure spot of light we associate with love and joy, we may be temporarily blinded, but if we look beyond, and we draw on what we know, we feel the presence of the shadows that have intensified what appears to us as light. Light and dark—even in what we may think are their purest state—are transitory pauses in the shape of being. Decades ago my well-meaning mother, a nurse, gave me pills to dull the pain of losing my fiancé who had shot himself; now, years later, knowing so many deaths, and more imminent, I would choose the bittersweet tenderness of being fully inside grief—awake, raw, open—feeling its walls, its every rough surface, its every degree of light and dark. It is love/loss, light/dark, a fusion that brings me home to the world. (Threading Light 100–101) ———Loss can trigger and inspire creativity, not only at the individual level but at the public level, whether we are marching in Idle No More demonstrations, re-building a shelter, or re-building a life. We use art to weep, to howl, to reach for something that matters, something that means. And sometimes it may mean that all we learn from it is that nothing lasts. And then, what? What do we do then? ———The wisdom of Epictetus, the Stoic, can offer solace, but I know it will take time to catch up with him. Nothing can be taken from us, he claims, because there is nothing to lose: what we lose—lover, friend, hope, father, dream, keys, faith, mother—has merely been returned to where it (or they) came from. We live in samsara, Zen masters remind us, inside a cycle of suffering that results from a belief in the permanence of self and of others. Our perception of reality is narrow; we must broaden it to include all phenomena, to recognise the interdependence of lives, the planet, and beyond, into galaxies. A lot for a mortal to get her head around. And yet, as so many poets have wondered, is that not where imagination is born—in the struggle and practice of listening, attending, and putting ourselves inside the now that all phenomena share? Can I imagine the rush of air under the loon that passes over my house toward the ocean every morning at dawn? The hot dust under the cracked feet of that child on the outskirts of Darwin? The gut-hauling terror of an Afghan woman whose family’s blood is being spilled? Thich Nhat Hanh says that we are only alive when we live the sufferings and the joys of others. He writes: Having seen the reality of interdependence and entered deeply into its reality, nothing can oppress you any longer. You are liberated. Sit in the lotus position, observe your breath, and ask one who has died for others. (66)Our breath is a delicate thread, and it contains multitudes. I hear an echo, yes. The practice of poetry—my own spiritual and philosophical practice, my own sackcloth and candle—has allowed me a glimpse not only into the lives of others, sentient or not, here, afar, or long dead, but it has deepened and broadened my capacity for breath. Attention to breath grounds me and forces me to attend, pulls me into my body as flesh. When I see my flesh as part of the earth, as part of all flesh, as Morris Berman claims, I come to see myself as part of something larger. (Threading Light 134–135) ———We think of loss as a dark time, and yet it opens us, deepens us.Close attention to loss—our own and others’—cultivates compassion.As artists we’re already predisposed to look and listen closely. We taste things, we touch things, we smell them. We lie on the ground like Mary Oliver looking at that grasshopper. We fill our ears with music that not everyone slows down to hear. We fall in love with ideas, with people, with places, with beauty, with tragedy, and I think we desire some kind of fusion, a deeper connection than everyday allows us. We want to BE that grasshopper, enter that devastation, to honour it. We long, I think, to be present.When we are present, even in catastrophe, we are fully alive. It seems counter-intuitive, but the more fully we engage with our losses—the harder we look, the more we soften into compassion—the more we cultivate resilience. ———Resilience consists of three features—persistence, adaptability transformability—each interacting from local to global scales. – Carl FolkeResilent people and resilient systems find meaning and purpose in loss. We set aside our own egos and we try to learn to listen and to see, to open up. Resilience is fundamentally an act of optimism. This is not the same, however, as being naïve. Optimism is the difference between “why me?” and “why not me?” Optimism is present when we are learning to think larger than ourselves. Resilience asks us to keep moving. Sometimes with loss there is a moment or two—or a month, a year, who knows?—where we, as humans, believe that we are standing still, we’re stuck, we’re in stasis. But we aren’t. Everything is always moving and everything is always in relation. What we mistake for stasis in a system is the system taking stock, transforming, doing things underneath the surface, preparing to rebuild, create, recreate. Leonard Cohen reminded us there’s a crack in everything, and that’s how the light gets in. But what we often don’t realize is that it’s we—the human race, our own possibilities, our own creativity—who are that light. We are resilient when we have agency, support, community we can draw on. When we have hope. ———FortuneFeet to carry you past acres of grapevines, awnings that opento a hall of paperbarks. A dog to circle you, look behind, point ahead. A hip that bends, allows you to slidebetween wire and wooden bars of the fence. A twinge rides with that hip, and sometimes the remnant of a fall bloomsin your right foot. Hands to grip a stick for climbing, to rest your weight when you turn to look below. On your left hand,a story: others see it as a scar. On the other, a newer tale; a bone-white lump. Below, mist disappears; a nichein the world opens to its long green history. Hills furrow into their dark harbours. Horses, snatches of inhale and whiffle.Mutterings of men, a cow’s long bellow, soft thud of feet along the hill. You turn at the sound.The dog swallows a cry. Stays; shakes until the noise recedes. After a time, she walks on three legs,tests the paw of the fourth in the dust. You may never know how she was wounded. She remembers your bodyby scent, voice, perhaps the taste of contraband food at the door of the house. Story of human and dog, you begin—but the wordyour fingers make is god. What last year was her silken newborn fur is now sunbleached, basket dry. Feet, hips, hands, paws, lapwings,mockingbirds, quickening, longing: how eucalypts reach to give shade, and tiny tight grapes cling to vines that align on a slope as smoothlyas the moon follows you, as intention always leans toward good. To know bones of the earth are as true as a point of light: tendernesswhere you bend and press can whisper grace, sorrow’s last line, into all that might have been,so much that is. (Threading Light 115–116) Acknowledgments The author would like to thank Dr. Lekkie Hopkins and Dr. John Ryan for the opportunity to speak (via video) to the 2012 CREATEC Symposium Catastrophe and Creativity, to Dr. Hopkins for her eloquent and memorable paper in response to my work on creativity and research, and to Dr. Ryan for his support. The presentation was recorded and edited by Paul Poirier at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. My thanks go to Edith Cowan and Mount Saint Vincent Universities. ReferencesBerman, Morris. Coming to Our Senses. New York: Bantam, 1990.Dillard, Annie. For the Time Being. New York: Vintage Books, 2000.Felstiner, John. Paul Celan: Poet, Survivor, Jew. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2001.Folke, Carl. "On Resilience." Seed Magazine. 13 Dec. 2010. 22 Mar. 2013 ‹http://seedmagazine.com/content/article/on_resilience›.Franck, Frederick. Zen Seeing, Zen Drawing. New York: Bantam Books, 1993.Hanh, Thich Nhat. The Miracle of Mindfulness. Boston: Beacon Press, 1976.Hausherr, Irenee. Penthos: The Doctrine of Compunction in the Christian East. Kalamazoo, MI: Cistercian Publications, 1982.Neilsen Glenn, Lorri. Threading Light: Explorations in Loss and Poetry. Regina, SK: Hagios Press, 2011. Nietzsche, Frederick. Thus Spake Zarathustra. New York: Penguin, 1978. Nussbaum, Martha. Upheavals of Thought: The Intelligence of Emotions. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001. Oliver, Mary. “The Word.” What Do We Know. Boston: DaCapo Press, 2002.Rilke, Rainer Maria. Duino Elegies and the Sonnets to Orpheus. (Tenth Elegy). Ed. Stephen Mitchell. New York: Random House/Vintage Editions, 2009.Weil, Simone. The Need for Roots. London: Taylor & Francis, 2005 (1952).Weil, Simone. Gravity and Grace. London: Routledge, 2004.Further ReadingChodron, Pema. Practicing Peace in Times of War. Boston: Shambhala, 2006.Cleary, Thomas (trans.) The Essential Tao: An Initiation into the Heart of Taoism through Tao de Ching and the Teachings of Chuang Tzu. Edison, NJ: Castle Books, 1993.Dalai Lama (H H the 14th) and Venerable Chan Master Sheng-yen. Meeting of Minds: A Dialogue on Tibetan and Chinese Buddhism. New York: Dharma Drum Publications, 1999. Hirshfield, Jane. "Language Wakes Up in the Morning: A Meander toward Writing." Alaska Quarterly Review. 21.1 (2003).Hirshfield, Jane. Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry. New York: HarperCollins, 1997. Lao Tzu. Tao Te Ching. Trans. Arthur Waley. Chatham: Wordsworth Editions, 1997. Neilsen, Lorri. "Lyric Inquiry." Handbook of the Arts in Qualitative Research. Eds. J. Gary Knowles and Ardra Cole. Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2008. 88–98. Ross, Maggie. The Fire and the Furnace: The Way of Tears and Fire. York: Paulist Press, 1987.

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Mullen, Mark. "It Was Not Death for I Stood Up…and Fragged the Dumb-Ass MoFo Who'd Wasted Me." M/C Journal 6, no.1 (February1, 2003). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2134.

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I remember the first time I saw a dead body. I spawned just before dawn; around me engines were clattering into life, the dim silhouettes of tanks beginning to move out in a steady grinding rumble. I could dimly make out a few other people, the anonymity of their shadowy outlines belied by the names hanging over their heads in a comforting blue. Suddenly, a stream of tracers arced across the sky; explosions sounded nearby, then closer still; a tank ahead of me stopped, turned sluggishly, and fired off a couple of rounds, rocking slightly against the recoil. The radio was filled with talk of Germans in the town, but I couldn’t even see the town. I ran toward what looked like the shattered hulk of a building and dived into what I hoped was a doorway. It was already occupied by another Tommy and together we waited for it to get lighter, listening to the rattle of machine guns, the sharp ping as shells ricocheted off steel, the sickening, indescribable, but immediately recognisable sound when they didn’t. Eventually, the other soldier moved out, but I waited for the sun to peek over the nearby hills. Once I was able to see where I was going, I made straight for the command post on the edge of town, and came across a group of allied soldiers standing in a circle. In the centre of the circle lay a dead German soldier, face up. “Well I’ll be damned,” I said aloud; no one else said anything, and the body abruptly faded. I remember the first time I killed someone. I had barely got the Spit V up to 4000 feet when out of the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of something below me. I dropped the left wing and saw a Stuka making a bee-line for the base. I made a hash of the turn, almost stalling, but he obviously had no idea I was there. I saddled-up on his six, dropping down low to avoid fire from his gunner, and opened up on him. I must have hit him at perfect convergence because he disintegrated, pieces of dismembered airframe raining down on the field below. I circled the field, putting all my concentration into making the landing that would make the kill count, then switched off the engine and sat in the co*ckpit for a moment, heart pounding. As you can tell, I’ve been in the wars lately. The first example is drawn from the launch of Cornered Rat Software’s WWII Online: Blitzkrieg (2001) while the second is based on a short stint playing Warbirds 3 (2002). Both games are examples of one of the most interesting recent developments in computer and video gaming: the increasing popularity and range of Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs); other notable examples of historical combat simulation MMOGs include HiTech Creations Aces High (2002) and Jaleco Entertainment’s Fighter Ace 3.5 (2002). For a variety of technical reasons, most popular multiplayer games—particularly first-person shooter (FPS) games such as Doom, Quake, and more recently Medal of Honor: Allied Assault (2002) and Return to Castle Wolfenstein (2001)—are played on player-organised servers that are usually limited to 32 or fewer players; terrain maps are small and rotated every couple of hours on average. MMOGs, by contrast, feature anywhere from hundreds to tens of thousands of players hosted on a handful of company-run servers. The shared virtual geography of these worlds is huge, extending across tens of thousands of square miles; these worlds are also persistent in that they respond dynamically to the actions of players and continue to do so while individual players are offline. As my opening anecdotes demonstrate, the experience of dealing and receiving virtual death is central to massively multiplayer simulations as it is to so many forms of computer games. Yet for an experience is that is so ubiquitous in computer games (and, some would say, even constitutes their experiential core) death is under-theorised. Mainstream culture tends to see computer and console game mayhem according to a rigid desensitisation argument: the experience of repeatedly killing other players online leads to a gradual erosion of the individual moral sense which makes players more likely to countenance killing people in the real world. Nowhere was this argument more in evidence that in the wake of the murder of fifteen students by Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado on April 20, 1999. The discovery that the two boys were enthusiastic players of Id Software’s Doom and Quake resulted in an avalanche of hysterical news stories that charged computer games with a number of evils: eroding kids’ ability to distinguish fantasy from reality, encouraging them to imitate the actions represented in the games, and immuring them to the real-world consequences of violence. These claims were hardly new, and had in fact been directed at any number of violent popular entertainment genres over the years. What was new was the claim that the interactive nature of FPS games rendered them a form of simulated weapons training. What was also striking about the discourse surrounding the Littleton shooting was just how little the journalists covering the story knew about computer, console and arcade games. Nevertheless, their approach to the issue encouraged readers to see games as having real life analogs. Media discussion of the event also reinforced the notion of a connection with military training techniques, making extensive use of Lt. Col. (ret) David Grossman, a former Army ranger and psychologist who led the charge in claiming that games were “mass-murder simulators” (Gittrich, AA06). This controversy over the role of violent computer games in the Columbine murders is part of a larger cultural discourse that adopts the logical fallacy characteristic of moral panics: coincidence equals causation. Yet the impoverished discussion of online death and destruction is also due in no small measure to an entrenched hostility toward popular entertainment as a whole, a hostility that is evident even in the work of some academic critics who study popular culture. Andrew Darley, for example, argues that, never has the flattening of meaning or depth in the traditional aesthetic sense of these words been so pronounced as in the action-simulation genres of the computer game: here, aesthetic experience is tied directly to the purely sensational and allied to tests of physical dexterity (143). In this view, the repeated experience of death is merely a part of the overall texture of a form characterised not so much by narrative as by compulsive repetition. More generally, computer games are seen by many critics as the pernicious, paradigmatic instance of the colonisation of individual consciousness by cultural spectacle. According to this Frankfurt school-influenced critique (most frequently associated with the work of Guy Debord), spectacle serves both to mystify and pacify its audience: The more the technology opens up narrative possibilities, the less there is for the audience to do. [. . .]. When the spectacle conceals the practice of the artists who create it, it [announces]…itself as an expression of a universe beyond human volition and effort (Filewood 24). In supposedly sapping its audience’s critical faculties by bombarding them with a technological assault whose only purpose is to instantiate a deterministic worldview, spectacle is seen by its critics as exemplifying the work of capitalist ideology which teaches people not to question the world around them by establishing, in Althusser’s famous phrase, an “imaginary relationship of individuals to their real conditions of their existence” (162). The desensitisation thesis is thus part of a larger discourse that considers computer games paradoxically to be both escapist and as having real-world effects. With regard to online death, neo-Marxism meets neo-Freudianism: players are seen as hooked on the thrill not only of destroying others but also of self-destruction. Death is thus considered the terminus of all narrative possibility, and the participation of individuals in fantasy-death and mayhem is seen to lead inevitably to several kinds of cultural death: the death of “family values,” the death of community, the death of individual responsibility, and—given the characterisation of FPS games in particular as lacking in plot and characterisation—the death of storytelling. However, it is less productive to approach computer, arcade and console games as vehicles for force-feeding content with pre-determined cultural effects than it is to understand them as venues within and around which players stage a variety of theatrical performances. Thus even the bêtes noire of the mainstream media, first-person shooters, serve as vehicles for a variety of interactions ranging from the design of new sounds, graphics and levels, new “skins” for player characters, the formation of “tribes” or “clans” that fight and socialise together, and the creation of elaborate fan fictions. This idea that narrative does not simply “happen” within the immediate experience of playing the game, but is in fact produced by a dynamic interplay of interactions for which the game serves as a focus, also suggests a very different way of looking at the role of death online. Far from being the logical endpoint, the inevitable terminus of all narrative possibility, death becomes the indispensable starting point for narrative. In single-player games, for example, the existence of the simple “save game” function—differing from simply putting the game board to one side in that the save function allows the preservation of the game world in multiple temporal states—generates much of the narrative and dramatic range of computer games. Generally a player saves the game because he or she is facing an obstacle that may result in death; saving the game at that point allows the player to investigate alternatives. Thus, the ever-present possibility of death in the game world becomes the origin of all narratives based on forward investigation. In multiplayer and MMOG environments, where the players have no control over the save game state, it is nevertheless the possibility of a mode of forward projection that gives the experience its dramatic intensity. Flight simulation games in particular are notoriously difficult to master; the experience of serial death, therefore, becomes the necessary condition for honing your flying skills, trying out different tactics in a variety of combat situations, trying similar tactics in different aircraft, and so on. The experience of online death creates a powerful narrative impulse, and not only in those situations where death is serialised and guaranteed. A sizable proportion of the flight sim communities of both Warbirds and Aces High participate in specially designed scenario events that replicate a specific historical air combat event (the Battle of Britain, the Coral Sea, USAAF bomber operations in Europe, etc.) as closely as possible. What makes these scenarios so compelling for many players is that they are generally “one life” events: once the player is dead, they are out for the rest of the event and this creates an intense experience that is completely unlike flying in the everyday free-for-all arenas. The desensitisation thesis notwithstanding, there is little evidence that this narrative investment in death produces a more casual attitude toward real-life death amongst MMOG players. For example, when real-world death intrudes, simulation players often reach for the same rituals of comfort and acknowledgement that are employed offline. Recently, when an Aces High player died unexpectedly of heart failure at the age of 35, his squadron held an elaborate memorial event in his honor. Over a hundred players bailed out over an aerodrome—bailing out is the only way that a player in Aces High can acquire a virtual human body—and lined the edges of the runway as members of the dead player’s squad flew the missing man formation overhead (GrimmCAF). The insistence upon bodily presence in the context of a classic military ceremony marking irrecoverable absence suggests the way in which the connections between real and virtual worlds are experienced by players: as tensions, but also as points where identities are negotiated. This example does not seem to indicate that everyday familiarity with virtual death has dulled the players’ sensibilities to the sorrow and loss accompanying death in the real world. I began this article talking about death in simulation MMOGs for a number of reasons. In the first place, MMOGs are more commonly identified with their role-playing examples (MMORPGs) such as Ultima Online and Everquest, games that focus on virtual community-building and exploration in addition to violence and conquest. By contrast, simulation games tend to be seen as having more in common with first-person shooters like Quake, in the way in which they foreground the experience of serial death. Secondly, it is precisely the connection between simulation and death that makes games in general (as I demonstrated in relation to the media coverage of the Columbine murders) so problematic. In response, I would argue that one of the most interesting aspects of computer games recently has been the degree to which generic distinctions have been breaking down. MMORPGs, which had their roots in the Dungeons and Dragons gaming world, and the text-based world of MUDs and MOOs have since developed sophisticated third-person and even first-person representational styles to facilitate both peaceful character interactions and combat. Likewise, first-person shooters have begun to add role-playing elements (see, for example, Looking Glass Studios’ superb System Shock 2 (1999) or Lucasarts' Jedi Knight series). This trend has also been incorporated into simulation MMOGs: World War II Online includes a rudimentary set of character-tracking features, and Aces High has just announced a more ambitious expansion whose major focus will be the incorporation of role-playing elements. I feel that MMOGs in particular are all evolving towards a state that I would describe as “simulance:” simulations that, while they may be associated with a nominal representational reality, are increasingly about exploring the narrative possibilities, the mechanisms of theatrical engagement for self and community of simulation itself. Increasingly, none of the terms "simulation,” "role-playing" or indeed “game” quite captures the texture of these evolving experiences. In their complex engagement with both scripted and extemporaneous narrative, the players have more in common with period re-enactors; the immersive power of a well-designed flight simulator scenario produces a feeling in players akin to the “period rush” experienced by battlefield re-enactors, the frisson between awareness of playing a role and surrendering completely to the momentary power of its illusory reality. What troubles critics about simulations (and what also blinds them to the narrative complexity in other forms of computer games) is that they are indeed not simply examples of re-enactment —a re-staging of supposedly real events—but a generative form of narrative enactment. Computer games, particularly large-scale online games, provide a powerful set of theatrical tools with which players and player communities can help shape narratives and deepen their own narrative investment. Obviously, they are not isolated from real-world cultural factors that shape and constrain narrative possibility. However, we are starting to see the way in which the games use the idea of virtual death as the generative force for new storytelling frameworks based, in Filewood’s terms, on forward investigation. As games begin to move out of their incunabular state, they may contribute to the re-shaping of culture and consciousness, as other narrative platforms have done. Far from causing the downfall of civilisation, game-based narratives may bring with them a greater cultural awareness of simultaneous narrative possibility, of the past as sets of contingent phenomena, and a greater attention to practical, hands-on experimental problem-solving. It would be ironic, but no great surprise, if a form built around the creative possibilities inherent in serial death in fact made us more attentive to the rich alternative possibilities of living. Works Cited Aces High. HiTech Creations, 2002. http://www.bartleby.com/201/1.html Althusser, Louis. “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses (Notes Toward an Investigation).” Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays. By Louis Althusser, trans. Ben Brewster. New York, 1971. 127-86. Barry, Ellen. “Games Feared as Youths’ Basic Training; Industry, Valued as Aid to Soldiers, on Defensive.” The Boston Globe 29 Apr 1999: A1. LexisNexis. Feb. 7, 2003. Cornered Rat Software. World War II Online: Blitzkrieg. Strategy First, 2001. http://www.wwiionline.com/ Darley, Andrew. Visual Digital Culture: Surface Play and Spectacle in New Media Genres. London: Routledge, 2000. Debord, Guy. The Society of the Spectacle. Donald Nicholson-Smith. New York: Zone Books, 1994. 1967. Der Derian, James. “The Simulation Syndrome: From War Games to Game Wars.” Social Text 8.2 (1990): 187-92. Filewood, Alan. “C:\Games\Dramaturgy: The Cybertheatre of Computer Games.” Canadian Theatre Review 81 (Winter 1994): 24-28. Gittrich, Greg. “Expert Differs with Kids over Video Game Effects.” The Denver Post 27 Apr 1999: AA-06. LexisNexis. Feb. 7 2003. GrimmCAF. “MojoCAF’s Memorial Flight.” Aces High BB, 13 Dec. 2002. http://www.hitechcreations.com/forums/sh... IEntertainment Network. Warbirds III. Simon and Schuster Interactive, 2002.http://www.totalsims.com/index.php?url=w... Jenkins, Henry, comp. “Voices from the Combat Zone: Game Grrlz Talk Back.” From Barbie to Mortal Kombat: Gender and Computer Games. Ed. Justine Cassell and Henry Jenkins. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT P, 1998. 328-41. Lieberman, Joseph I. “The Social Impact of Music Violence.” Statement Before the Governmental Affairs Committee Subcommittee on Oversight, 1997. http://www.senate.gov/member/ct/lieberma... Feb. 7 2003. Murray, Janet H. Hamlet on the Holodeck: The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace. New York: Free, 1997. Poole, Steven. Trigger Happy: Videogames and the Entertainment Revolution. New York: Arcade Publishing, 2000. Pyro. “AH2 FAQ.” Aces High BB, 29 Jan. 2003. Internet. http://www.hitechcreations.com/forums/sh... Feb. 8 2003. Links http://www.wwiionline.com/ http://www.idsoftware.com/games/doom/ http://www.hitechcreations.com/ http://www.totalsims.com/index.php?url=wbiii/content_home.php http://www.hitechcreations.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;threadid=77265 http://www.senate.gov/member/ct/lieberman/releases/r110697c.html http://www.idsoftware.com/games/wolfenstein http://www.idsoftware.com/games/quake/ http://www.ea.com/eagames/official/moh_alliedassault/home.jsp http://www.jaleco.com/fighterace/index.html http://www.bartleby.com/201/1.html http://www.hitechcreations.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;threadid=72560 Citation reference for this article Substitute your date of access for Dn Month Year etc... MLA Style Mullen, Mark. "It Was Not Death for I Stood Up…and Fragged the Dumb-Ass MoFo Who'd Wasted Me" M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 6.1 (2003). Dn Month Year < http://www.media-culture.org.au/0302/03-itwasnotdeath.php>. APA Style Mullen, M., (2003, Feb 26). It Was Not Death for I Stood Up…and Fragged the Dumb-Ass MoFo Who'd Wasted Me. M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture, 6,(1). Retrieved Month Dn, Year, from http://www.media-culture.org.au/0302/03-itwasnotdeath.html

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Mudie, Ella. "Disaster and Renewal: The Praxis of Shock in the Surrealist City Novel." M/C Journal 16, no.1 (January22, 2013). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.587.

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Introduction In the wake of the disaster of World War I, the Surrealists formulated a hostile critique of the novel that identified its limitations in expressing the depth of the mind's faculties and the fragmentation of the psyche after catastrophic events. From this position of crisis, the Surrealists undertook a series of experimental innovations in form, structure, and style in an attempt to renew the genre. This article examines how the praxis of shock is deployed in a number of Surrealist city novels as a conduit for revolt against a society that grew increasingly mechanised in the climate of post-war regeneration. It seeks to counter the contemporary view that Surrealist city dérives (drifts) represent an intriguing yet ultimately benign method of urban research. By reconsidering its origins in response to a world catastrophe, this article emphasises the Surrealist novel’s binding of the affective properties of shock to the dream-awakening dialectic at the heart of the political position of Surrealism. The Surrealist City Novel Today it has almost become a truism to assert that there is a causal link between the catastrophic devastation wrought by the events of the two World Wars and the ideology of rupture that characterised the iconoclasms of the Modernist avant-gardes. Yet, as we progress into the twenty-first century, it is timely to recognise that new generations are rediscovering canonical and peripheral texts of this era and refracting them through a prism of contemporary preoccupations. In many ways, the revisions of today’s encounters with that past era suggest we have travelled some distance from the rawness of such catastrophic events. One post-war body of work recently subjected to view via an unexpected route is the remarkable array of Surrealist city novels set in Paris in the 1920s and 1930s, representing a spectrum of experimental texts by such authors as André Breton, Louis Aragon, Robert Desnos, Philippe Soupault, and Michel Leiris. Over the past decade, these works have become recuperated in the Anglophone context as exemplary instances of ludic engagement with the city. This is due in large part to the growing surge of interest in psychogeography, an urban research method concerned with the influence that geographical environments exert over the emotions and behaviours of individuals, and a concern for tracing the literary genealogies of walking and writing in broad sweeping encyclopaedic histories and guidebook style accounts (for prominent examples see Rebecca Solnit’s Wanderlust and Merlin Coverley’s Psychogeography). Yet as Surrealist novels continue to garner renewed interest for their erotic intrigue, their strolling encounters with the unconscious or hidden facets of the city, and as precursors to the apparently more radical practice of Situationist psychogeography, this article suggests that something vital is missing. By neglecting the revolutionary significance that the Surrealists placed upon the street and its inextricable connection to the shock of the marvellous, I suggest that we have arrived at a point of diminished appreciation of the praxis of the dream-awakening dialectic at the heart of Surrealist politics. With the movement firmly lodged in the popular imagination as concerned merely with the art of play and surprise, the Surrealists’ sensorial conception of the city as embedded within a much larger critique of the creators of “a sterile and dead world” (Rasmussen 372) is lost. This calls into question to what extent we can now relate to the urgency with which avant-gardes like the Surrealists responded to the disaster of war in their call for “the revolution of the subject, a revolution that destroyed identity and released the fantastic” (372). At the same time, a re-evaluation of the Surrealist city novel as a significant precursor to the psychogeograhical dérive (drift) can prove instructive in locating the potential of walking, in order to function as a form of praxis (defined here as lived practice in opposition to theory) that goes beyond its more benign construction as the “gentle art” of getting lost. The Great Shock To return to the origins of Surrealism is to illuminate the radical intentions of the movement. The enormous shock that followed the Great War represented, according to Roger Shattuck, “a profound organic reaction that convulsed the entire system with vomiting, manic attacks, and semi-collapse” (9). David Gascoyne considers 1919, the inaugural year of Surrealist activity, as “a year of liquidation, the end of everything but also of paroxysmic death-birth, incubating seeds of renewal” (17). It was at this time that André Breton and his collaborator Philippe Soupault came together at the Hôtel des Grands Hommes in Paris to conduct their early experimental research. As the authors took poetic license with the psychoanalytical method of automatic writing, their desire to unsettle the latent content of the unconscious as it manifests in the spontaneous outpourings of dream-like recollections resulted in the first collection of Surrealist texts, The Magnetic Fields (1920). As Breton recalls: Completely occupied as I still was with Freud at that time, and familiar with his methods of examination which I had had some slight occasion to use on some patients during the war, I resolved to obtain from myself what we were trying to obtain from them, namely, a monologue spoken as rapidly as possible without any intervention on the part of critical faculties, a monologue consequently unencumbered by the slightest inhibition and which was, as closely as possible, akin to spoken thought. (Breton, Manifesto 22–23) Despite their debts to psychoanalytical methods, the Surrealists sought radically different ends from therapeutic goals in their application. Rather than using analysis to mitigate the pathologies of the psyche, Breton argued that such methods should instead be employed to liberate consciousness in ways that released the individual from “the reign of logic” (Breton, Manifesto 11) and the alienating forces of a mechanised society. In the same manifesto, Breton links his critique to a denunciation of the novel, principally the realist novel which dominated the literary landscape of the nineteenth-century, for its limitations in conveying the power of the imagination and the depths of the mind’s faculties. Despite these protestations, the Surrealists were unable to completely jettison the novel and instead launched a series of innovations in form, structure, and style in an attempt to renew the genre. As J.H. Matthews suggests, “Being then, as all creative surrealism must be, the expression of a mood of experimentation, the Surrealist novel probes not only the potentialities of feeling and imagination, but also those of novelistic form” (Matthews 6). When Nadja appeared in 1928, Breton was not the first Surrealist to publish a novel. However, this work remains the most well-known example of its type in the Anglophone context. Largely drawn from the author’s autobiographical experiences, it recounts the narrator’s (André’s) obsessive infatuation with a mysterious, impoverished and unstable young woman who goes by the name of Nadja. The pair’s haunted and uncanny romance unfolds during their undirected walks, or dérives, through the streets of Paris, the city acting as an affective register of their encounters. The “intellectual seduction” comes to an abrupt halt (Breton, Nadja 108), however, when Nadja does in fact go truly mad, disappearing from the narrator’s life when she is committed to an asylum. André makes no effort to seek her out and after launching into a diatribe vehemently attacking the institutions that administer psychiatric treatment, nonchalantly resumes the usual concerns of his everyday life. At a formal level, Breton’s unconventional prose indeed stirs many minor shocks and tremors in the reader. The insertion of temporally off-kilter photographs and surreal drawings are intended to supersede naturalistic description. However, their effect is to create a form of “negative indexicality” (Masschelein) that subtly undermines the truth claims of the novel. Random coincidences charged through with the attractive force of desire determine the plot while the compressed dream-like narrative strives to recount only those facts of “violently fortuitous character” (Breton, Nadja 19). Strikingly candid revelations perpetually catch the reader off guard. But it is in the novel’s treatment of the city, most specifically, in which we can recognise the evolution of Surrealism’s initial concern for the radically subversive and liberatory potential of the dream into a form of praxis that binds the shock of the marvellous to the historical materialism of Marx and Engels. This praxis unfolds in the novel on a number of levels. By placing its events firmly at the level of the street, Breton privileges the anti-heroic realm of everyday life over the socially hierarchical domain of the bourgeois domestic interior favoured in realist literature. More significantly, the sites of the city encountered in the novel act as repositories of collective memory with the power to rupture the present. As Margaret Cohen comprehensively demonstrates in her impressive study Profane Illumination, the great majority of sites that the narrator traverses in Nadja reveal connections in previous centuries to instances of bohemian activity, violent insurrection or revolutionary events. The enigmatic statue of Étienne Dolet, for example, to which André is inexplicably drawn on his city walks and which produces a sensation of “unbearable discomfort” (25), commemorates a sixteenth-century scholar and writer of love poetry condemned as a heretic and burned at the Place Maubert for his non-conformist attitudes. When Nadja is suddenly gripped by hallucinations and imagines herself among the entourage of Marie-Antoinette, “multiple ghosts of revolutionary violence descend on the Place Dauphine from all sides” (Cohen 101). Similarly, a critique of capitalism emerges in the traversal of those marginal and derelict zones of the city, such as the Saint-Ouen flea market, which become revelatory of the historical cycles of decay and ruination that modernity seeks to repress through its faith in progress. It was this poetic intuition of the machinations of historical materialism, in particular, that captured the attention of Walter Benjamin in his 1929 “Surrealism” essay, in which he says of Breton that: He can boast an extraordinary discovery: he was the first to perceive the revolutionary energies that appear in the “outmoded”—in the first iron constructions, the first factory buildings, the earliest photos, objects that have begun to be extinct, grand pianos, the dresses of five years ago, fashionable restaurants when the vogue has begun to ebb from them. The relation of these things to revolution—no one can have a more exact concept of it than these authors. (210) In the same passage, Benjamin makes passing reference to the Passage de l’Opéra, the nineteenth-century Parisian arcade threatened with demolition and eulogised by Louis Aragon in his Surrealist anti-novel Paris Peasant (published in 1926, two years earlier than Nadja). Loosely structured around a series of walks, Aragon’s book subverts the popular guidebook literature of the period by inventorying the arcade’s quotidian attractions in highly lyrical and imagistic prose. As in Nadja, a concern for the “outmoded” underpins the praxis which informs the politics of the novel although here it functions somewhat differently. As transitional zones on the cusp of redevelopment, the disappearing arcades attract Aragon for their liminal status, becoming malleable dreamscapes where an ontological instability renders them ripe for eruptions of the marvellous. Such sites emerge as “secret repositories of several modern myths,” and “the true sanctuaries of a cult of the ephemeral”. (Aragon 14) City as Dreamscape Contemporary literature increasingly reads Paris Peasant through the lens of psychogeography, and not unproblematically. In his brief guide to psychogeography, British writer Merlin Coverley stresses Aragon’s apparent documentary or ethnographical intentions in describing the arcades. He suggests that the author “rails against the destruction of the city” (75), positing the novel as “a handbook for today’s breed of psychogeographer” (76). The nuances of Aragon’s dream-awakening dialectic, however, are too easily effaced in such an assessment which overlooks the novel’s vertiginous and hyperbolic prose as it consistently approaches an unreality in its ambivalent treatment of the arcades. What is arguably more significant than any documentary concern is Aragon’s commitment to the broader Surrealist quest to transform reality by undermining binary oppositions between waking life and the realm of dreams. As Hal Foster’s reading of the arcades in Surrealism insists: This gaze is not melancholic; the surrealists do not cling obsessively to the relics of the nineteenth-century. Rather it uncovers them for the purposes of resistance through re-enchantment. If we can grasp this dialectic of ruination, recovery, and resistance, we will grasp the intimated ambition of the surrealist practice of history. (166) Unlike Aragon, Breton defended the political position of Surrealism throughout the ebbs and flows of the movement. This notion of “resistance through re-enchantment” retained its significance for Breton as he clung to the radical importance of dreams and the imagination, creative autonomy, and individual freedom over blind obedience to revolutionary parties. Aragon’s allegiance to communism led him to surrender the poetic intoxications of Surrealist prose in favour of the more sombre and austere tone of social realism. By contrast, other early Surrealists like Philippe Soupault contributed novels which deployed the praxis of shock in a less explicitly dialectical fashion. Soupault’s Last Nights of Paris (1928), in particular, responds to the influence of the war in producing a crisis of identity among a generation of young men, a crisis projected or transferred onto the city streets in ways that are revelatory of the author’s attunement to how “places and environment have a profound influence on memory and imagination” (Soupault 91). All the early Surrealists served in the war in varying capacities. In Soupault’s case, the writer “was called up in 1916, used as a guinea pig for a new typhoid vaccine, and spent the rest of the war in and out of hospital. His close friend and cousin, René Deschamps, was killed in action” (Read 22). Memories of the disaster of war assume a submerged presence in Soupault’s novel, buried deep in the psyche of the narrator. Typically, it is the places and sites of the city that act as revenants, stimulating disturbing memories to drift back to the surface which then suffuse the narrator in an atmosphere of melancholy. During the novel’s numerous dérives, the narrator’s detective-like pursuit of his elusive love-object, the young streetwalker Georgette, the tracking of her near-mute artist brother Octave, and the following of the ringleader of a criminal gang, all appear as instances of compensation. Each chase invokes a desire to recover a more significant earlier loss that persistently eludes the narrator. When Soupault’s narrator shadows Octave on a walk that ventures into the city’s industrial zone, recollections of the disaster of war gradually impinge upon his aleatory perambulations. His description evokes two men moving through the trenches together: The least noise was a catastrophe, the least breath a great terror. We walked in the eternal mud. Step by step we sank into the thickness of night, lost as if forever. I turned around several times to look at the way we had come but night alone was behind us. (80) In an article published in 2012, Catherine Howell identifies Last Nights of Paris as “a lyric celebration of the city as spectacle” (67). At times, the narrator indeed surrenders himself to the ocular pleasures of modernity. Observing the Eiffel Tower, he finds delight in “indefinitely varying her silhouette as if I were examining her through a kaleidoscope” (Soupault 30). Yet it is important to stress the role that shock plays in fissuring this veneer of spectacle, especially those evocations of the city that reveal an unnerving desensitisation to the more violent manifestations of the metropolis. Reading a newspaper, the narrator remarks that “the discovery of bags full of limbs, carefully sawed and chopped up” (23) signifies little more than “a commonplace crime” (22). Passing the banks of the Seine provokes “recollection of an evening I had spent lying on the parapet of the Pont Marie watching several lifesavers trying in vain to recover the body of an unfortunate suicide” (10). In his sensitivity to the unassimilable nature of trauma, Soupault intuits a phenomenon which literary trauma theory argues profoundly limits the text’s claim to representation, knowledge, and an autonomous subject. In this sense, Soupault appears less committed than Breton to the idea that the after-effects of shock might be consciously distilled into a form of praxis. Yet this prolongation of an unintegrated trauma still posits shock as a powerful vehicle to critique a society attempting to heal its wounds without addressing their underlying causes. This is typical of Surrealism’s efforts to “dramatize the physical and psychological trauma of a war that everyone wanted to forget so that it would not be swept away too quickly” (Lyford 4). Woman and Radical Madness In her 2007 study, Surrealist Masculinities, Amy Lyford focuses upon the regeneration and nation building project that characterised post-war France and argues that Surrealist tactics sought to dismantle an official discourse that promoted ideals of “robust manhood and female maternity” (4). Viewed against this backdrop, the trope of madness in Surrealism is central to the movement’s disruptive strategies. In Last Nights of Paris, a lingering madness simmers beneath the surface of the text like an undertow, while in other Surrealist texts the lauding of madness, specifically female hysteria, is much more explicit. Indeed, the objectification of the madwoman in Surrealism is among the most problematic aspects of its praxis of shock and one that raises questions over to what extent, if at all, Surrealism and feminism can be reconciled, leading some critics to define the movement as inherently misogynistic. While certainly not unfounded, this critique fails to answer why a broad spectrum of women artists have been drawn to the movement. By contrast, a growing body of work nuances the complexities of the “blinds spots” (Lusty 2) in Surrealism’s relationship with women. Contemporary studies like Natalya Lusty’s Surrealism, Feminism, Psychoanalysis and Katharine Conley’s earlier Automatic Woman both afford greater credit to Surrealism’s female practitioners in redefining their subject position in ways that trouble and unsettle the conventional understanding of women’s role in the movement. The creative and self-reflexive manipulation of madness, for example, proved pivotal to the achievements of Surrealist women. In her short autobiographical novella, Down Below (1944), Leonora Carrington recounts the disturbing true experience of her voyage into madness sparked by the internment of her partner and muse, fellow Surrealist Max Ernst, in a concentration camp in 1940. Committed to a sanatorium in Santander, Spain, Carrington was treated with the seizure inducing drug Cardiazol. Her text presents a startling case study of therapeutic maltreatment that is consistent with Bretonian Surrealism’s critique of the use of psycho-medical methods for the purposes of regulating and disciplining the individual. As well as vividly recalling her intense and frightening hallucinations, Down Below details the author’s descent into a highly paranoid state which, somewhat perversely, heightens her sense of agency and control over her environment. Unable to discern boundaries between her internal reality and that of the external world, Carrington develops a delusional and inflated sense of her ability to influence the city of Madrid: In the political confusion and the torrid heat, I convinced myself that Madrid was the world’s stomach and that I had been chosen for the task of restoring that digestive organ to health […] I believed that I was capable of bearing that dreadful weight and of drawing from it a solution for the world. The dysentery I suffered from later was nothing but the illness of Madrid taking shape in my intestinal tract. (12–13) In this way, Carrington’s extraordinarily visceral memoir embodies what can be described as the Surrealist woman’s “double allegiance” (Suleiman 5) to the praxis of shock. On the one hand, Down Below subversively harnesses the affective qualities of madness in order to manifest textual disturbances and to convey the author’s fierce rebellion against societal constraints. At the same time, the work reveals a more complex and often painful representational struggle inherent in occupying the position of both the subject experiencing madness and the narrator objectively recalling its events, displaying a tension not present in the work of the male Surrealists. The memoir concludes on an ambivalent note as Carrington describes finally becoming “disoccultized” of her madness, awakening to “the mystery with which I was surrounded and which they all seemed to take pleasure in deepening around me” (53). Notwithstanding its ambivalence, Down Below typifies the political and historical dimensions of Surrealism’s struggle against internal and external limits. Yet as early as 1966, Surrealist scholar J.H. Matthews was already cautioning against reaching that point where the term Surrealist “loses any meaning and becomes, as it is for too many, synonymous with ‘strange,’ ‘weird,’ or even ‘fanciful’” (5–6). To re-evaluate the praxis of shock in the Surrealist novel, then, is to seek to reinstate Surrealism as a movement that cannot be reduced to vague adjectives or to mere aesthetic principles. It is to view it as an active force passionately engaged with the pressing social, cultural, and political problems of its time. While the frequent nods to Surrealist methods in contemporary literary genealogies and creative urban research practices such as psychogeography are a testament to its continued allure, the growing failure to read Surrealism as political is one of the more contradictory symptoms of the expanding temporal distance from the catastrophic events from which the movement emerged. As it becomes increasingly common to draw links between disaster, creativity, and renewal, the shifting sands of the reception of Surrealism are a reminder of the need to resist domesticating movements born from such circ*mstances in ways that blunt their critical faculties and dull the awakening power of their praxis of shock. To do otherwise is to be left with little more than cheap thrills. References Aragon, Louis. Paris Peasant (1926). Trans. Simon Watson Taylor. Boston: Exact Change, 1994. Benjamin, Walter. “Surrealism: The Last Snapshot of the European Intelligentsia” (1929). Trans. Edmund Jephcott. Walter Benjamin Selected Writings, Volume 2, Part I, 1927–1930. Eds. Michael W. Jennings, Howard Eiland, and Gary Smith. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap P, 2005. Breton, André. “Manifesto of Surrealism” (1924). Manifestoes of Surrealism. Trans. Richard Seaver and Helen R. Lane. Ann Arbor, MI: U of Michigan P, 1990. ———. Nadja (1928). Trans. Richard Howard. New York: Grove P, 1960. Breton, André, and Philippe Soupault. The Magnetic Fields (1920). Trans. David Gascoyne. London: Atlas P, 1985. Carrington, Leonora. Down Below (1944). Chicago: Black Swan P, 1983. Cohen, Margaret. Profane Illumination: Walter Benjamin and the Paris of Surrealist Revolution. Berkeley, CA: U of California P, 1993. Conley, Katharine. Automatic Woman: The Representation of Woman in Surrealism. Lincoln, NE: U of Nebraska P, 1996. Coverley, Merlin. Psychogeography. Harpenden: Pocket Essentials, 2010. Foster, Hal. Compulsive Beauty. Cambridge, MA: MIT P, 1993. Gascoyne, David. “Introduction.” The Magnetic Fields (1920) by André Breton and Philippe Soupault. Trans. David Gascoyne. London: Atlas P, 1985. Howell, Catherine. “City of Night: Parisian Explorations.” Public: Civic Spectacle 45 (2012): 64–77. Lusty, Natalya. Surrealism, Feminism, Psychoanalysis. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2007. Lyford, Amy. Surrealist Masculinities: Gender Anxiety and the Aesthetics of Post-World War I Reconstruction in France. Berkeley, CA: U of California P, 2007. Masschelein, Anneleen. “Hand in Glove: Negative Indexicality in André Breton’s Nadja and W.G. Sebald’s Austerlitz.” Searching for Sebald: Photography after W.G. Sebald. Ed. Lise Patt. Los Angeles, CA: ICI P, 2007. 360–87. Matthews, J.H. Surrealism and the Novel. Ann Arbor, MI: U of Michigan P, 1996. Rasmussen, Mikkel Bolt. “The Situationist International, Surrealism and the Difficult Fusion of Art and Politics.” Oxford Art Journal 27.3 (2004): 365–87. Read, Peter. “Poets out of Uniform.” Book Review. The Times Literary Supplement. 15 Mar. 2002: 22. Shattuck, Roger. “Love and Laughter: Surrealism Reappraised.” The History of Surrealism. Ed. Maurice Nadeau. Trans. Richard Howard. New York: Penguin Books, 1978. 11–34. Solnit, Rebecca. Wanderlust: A History of Walking. London: Verso, 2002. Soupault, Philippe. Last Nights of Paris (1928). Trans. William Carlos Williams. Boston: Exact Change, 1992. Suleiman, Susan Robin. “Surrealist Black Humour: Masculine/Feminine.” Papers of Surrealism 1 (2003): 1–11. 20 Feb. 2013 ‹http://www.surrealismcentre.ac.uk/papersofsurrealism/journal1›.

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Fahey, Tracy. "A Taste for the Transgressive: Pushing Body Limits in Contemporary Performance Art." M/C Journal 17, no.1 (March16, 2014). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.781.

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Years have come and gone and Bob is still around He’s tied up by his ankles and he’s hanging upside downA lifetime of infection and his lungs all filled with phlegmThe CF would’ve killed him if it weren’t for S&M Supermasoch*stic Bob has Cystic Fibrosis by Bob Flanagan. Soundtrack from 1997 documentary, Sick: The Life & Death of Bob Flanagan In the 1997 film, Sick: The Life & Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasoch*st, artist Bob Flanagan quite literally lays himself bare to the viewer. This is a wrenching documentary which charts the dying Flanagan’s battles with cystic fibrosis (CF), and also explores the impact of this on his art and life. Sick also explores to an explicit degree the sadomasoch*st practices that permeated Flanagan’s private life and performance art practice, and which he used as a means of asserting control of the chronic pain and infirmity of his medical condition. Sick is not an easy watch. The film evokes feelings of fear, empathy, and horror. It challenges notions of taste and bad taste. It subjects the viewer to witness the vulnerability of the repeatedly tortured and invaded body of the artist, and of his eventual confrontation with death. As performance pieces go, this is an extreme example of body-based art. Where does this extraordinary piece stem from? From which traditions in art does it draw? To answer these questions, it is necessary to examine the framework of disability art, transgressive art, and also the tradition of medical Gothic, or the history of the Gothic body as a site of art—art that involves reading the body as carnivalesque, as degenerate, as ab-human, as abject entity. The Gothic Body as Site of Art The body has long been a site of exploration in medical practice and in artistic practice. The body has been displayed and examined in various forms, as subject, object, or abject entity through ossories, medical collections, museums of pathology, and freak shows. Paintings of crucifixions and martyrdoms, and practices of flagellation have glorified the tortured body of Christians as physical reminders of extreme piety. The abnormal or monstrous body has been a trope in art since the medieval period, often identified with ideas of evil or sin. Anatomical bodies have been referenced and explored by artists since the Renaissance. With the popular explosion of performance art in the 1960’s, bodily practices have been incorporated into site specific art. Artists’ bodies are offered for our gaze, and sometimes for interaction with, all within the context of performance. Although performance art originates in the early 20th century, it was exponents of the 1960’s that firmly aligned this practice with the site of the artist’s body. At this time, the body became a new focus of culture, with the rise in sexual freedom and the accepted use of nudity in performances and happenings. This resulted in the performance of body-based pieces such as Carolee Schneemann’s Meat Joy (1964) and Interior Scroll (1975), Hermann Nitsch and the Viennese Actionists and their Theatre of Orgies and Mysteries (1962), and Vito Acconci’s Seedbed (1971). This legacy of sexual, violent, or abject performances results in the creation of provocative and disturbing contemporary pieces such as Sick that confront the spectator with the vulnerabilities and limits of the living body. Today, contemporary culture is suffused with images of the body, both the idealised bodies of advertising and music videos, and the grotesque and transfigured bodies of contemporary art. Spooner has commented, “Contemporary Gothic is more obsessed with bodies than in any of its previous phases: bodies become spectacle, provoking disgust, modified, reconstructed and artificially augmented” (63). Today, culture’s preoccupation with the body runs the gamut from horror films obsessed with the penetrated body, to subcultural style and body manipulation, and the increasing popularity of plastic surgery makeovers on mainstream television. The body has never been so exposed, so open to the audience’s gaze. Key artists such as Damien Hirst, Mat Collishaw, the Chapman Brothers, Gabriela Friðriksdóttir, and Sue de Beer respond to this contemporary preoccupation by exploring the body in its manifold Gothic forms. This is a rich body of work that uses abject materials, references slasher movies, and plays with notions of identity, societal violence, body-horror, and the grotesque. This article looks specifically at works by contemporary transgressive artists that utilise their own bodies as site of performance, and the challenges to accepted tastes that this work poses. Performances by Bob Flanagan, Ron Athey, and Marina Abramovic are analysed in terms of boundaries, identity, and other implications in using the body of the artist as the site of art. Tropes of torture, pain. and body modification are examined as contesting the parameters of what body limits and of what is acceptable in contemporary art practice. An Intimate Canvas: The Artist’s Body as Site So what does it mean to use your own body as site of exploration? The work of artists who use their own bodies as a site of spectacle, as a medium of art, has several interesting implications. By its very nature, such an act is transgressive. It blurs the boundaries between artwork and artist. This creates an interesting tension between self and other and, indeed, arguably explores the notion of self as other. This work has an autobiographical function, in that it not only reveals universal themes of significance to the artist but, given the intimacy of the canvas, it also betrays personal preoccupations, and signifies the artist’s own relationship with the body and bodily practices. The use of the human body as canvas brings an intense physical and emotional proximity to the piece. The bodily traumas that are witnessed via performance art—whether it is Chris Burden being nailed to a Volkswagen (Trans-fixed, 1974) or Marina Abramović and Ulay collapsing, unconscious, lungs filled with carbon dioxide from reciprocal exchange of breaths (Breathing In/Breathing Out, 1977)—constitute an intimate link with the audience that arises from the shock of witnessing these transgressive acts. The body of the artist exposed in this way—a body normally only viewed by a partner, doctor or close family member—creates immediacy, giving the individual spectator in an intimate connection with the artist. Francesca Gavin, in her introductory essay to Hellbound: New Gothic Art, cites this voyeurism as essential to the experience of viewing Gothic art: “By looking at the violence or horror we become complicit in its creation, part of the cause—hence part of the discomfort in looking” (7). The first of these areas of discomfort to consider is the association of the body with pain, torture and mutilation, and the use of the artist’s body to explore this theme. Pushing the Limits: The Artist’s Body as Site of Pain The work of Marina Abramović has had a powerful effect on the contemporary landscape of body-based performance art that tests the limits of endurance of the corporeal body. Her past projects have focused on the uneasy power exchange between audience and performer. In Rhythm 0 (1974), her first long durational performance, Abramović offered her audience a choice of 72 objects including a gun, a hammer, sugar, and scissors, to be used on her own body, without any limitations on their deployment. This six-hour performance featured a motionless Abramović offering her body passively to the spectators to interact with. The intensity of the resulting video piece is remarkable; the recording of the performance captures the potential dissolution of the societal contract between artist and audience, a mutable discourse of agency and power. Abramović spoke of the sense of fear she experienced during this performance— “I felt really violated: they cut up my clothes, stuck rose thorns in my stomach, one person aimed the gun at my head, and another took it away. It created an aggressive atmosphere” (quoted, Danieri 30). Her work plays constantly with the idea of boundaries and limits, often pushing her physical self past extraordinary barriers of pain and exertion, as in Rhythm 5 (1974) where she lost consciousness as a result of smoke inhalation and had to be rescued by the spectators. Amelia Jones has analysed these performances of pain as central to the artist’s desire to establish a connection with the audience during performances: “While pain cannot be shared, its effects can be projected onto others such that they become the site of suffering […] and the original sufferer can attain some semblance of self-containment (paradoxically, through the very penetration and violation of the body” (230). One could also argue that this sharing of experience also effectively normalises the abnormal body by establishing a common bond between viewer and performer. However, this work raises questions for the viewer. Is what these artists do self-harm, presented on a public stage? Is this ethical? And, importantly, is it within the bounds of taste? The answer, it would seem, lies in issues of agency and control and, of course, in the separation of art from life that occurs due to the act of performing itself. As Coogan puts it “[t]he performance frame is contingent and temporary, holding the performer in a liminal, provisional and suspended place” (1). While Abramović’s work experiments with bodily endurance and performative limits, other artists who produce autobiographical, body-based performance can be located within the world of medical discourse and performed disability. An artist who subverts the boundaries of the body, and taste alike, is Ron Athey, the HIV-positive artist who makes performance work based on blood rituals, torture, and cutting. His use of blood is central to his practice, and the fact that this blood, which is let through performances, contains the HIV virus, gives it a doubly abject aspect. His performance Excerpted Rites Transformation (1995) which took place at the Walker Art Museum in Minneapolis caused an extreme reaction. During this performance Athey pierced own his skin with needles, and also cut into the skin of black artist Daryl Carlton in a mimicry of tribal scarification rituals that highlighted issues of race, then hung handkerchiefs dipped in Carlton’s blood on clotheslines that ran over the heads of the audience. Mary Abbe, an art critic with the Minneapolis Star Tribune who had not attended the performance, wrote an article about the danger posed to the audience by what she wrongly termed Athey’s blood. (Carlton is not HIV positive). It is clear from the tone of this response that such disease causes a profound dis-ease in the beholder. Bob Flanagan’s oeuvre also locates him in this tradition of artists who perform their disability on a public stage. Critics such as Kuppers consider Athey and Flanagan as artists who subvert the medical gaze (Foucault), refusing to accept the passive role of ‘patient’, and defiantly flaunting their abnormal bodies in the public arena. These bodies can also be considered as modified bodies. Sandahl has contextualised Athey’s performance as going beyond the parameters of the human body: “Athey’s radical cyborg identity is a temporary mode of survival, an alternative way of being in there here and now. A body not interested solely in cure nor submissive to medical interventions” (59). Kuppers, in The Scar of Visibility: Medical Performances and Contemporary Art, reflects on Flanagan and Athey’s careers as disabled artists. She examines how Flanagan constructs his identity as a chronically ill artist, and his pain performances that allowed him to avoid attracting the sentimental pity associated with illness; replacing audience empathy with shock and often revulsion. Kuppers highlights Flanagan’s use of dark humour in his performances through songs like Fun to be Dead (1997), which work to subvert the dominance of his illness. In fact, Flanagan’s work often asserts his central belief that his relative longevity (he lived to be 43, a decade longer than most CF sufferers) was achieved by his ability to counter the pain of his chronic condition with the pain of his masoch*stic suffering. The stereotype that the masoch*st is snivelling and weak is actually not true. The masoch*st has to know his or her own body perfectly well and be in full control of their body, in order to give control to somebody else or to give control to pain. So the masoch*st is actually a very strong person. I think some of that strength is what I use to combat the illness. (Dick) Athey’s description of his relief at the act of cutting echoes Flanagan’s identification of these rites as way of asserting control over a dysfunctional body: “The sight of your own blood, brought forth from your own hand, spells an almost immediate relief, a release to the pressure valve. It’s a violation that you yourself now control.” What effect does this painful and masoch*stic art have on the audience? On the act of viewing? On taste itself? Taste and Transgression: Beyond the Parameters of the Body The notion of taste is a hotly debated area in contemporary art practice—arguments rage as to what constitutes good or bad taste. Woodward argues that “[B]ad taste often passes for avant-garde taste these days—so long as the artist signals ‘transgressive’ intent” (1). Grunenberg (1997) has addressed the problematic notion of the audience engagement with this mode of Gothic art, asking whether it has ilost its power to shock. He contends that with the contemporary saturation of all media with violent and shocking imagery, “the ability to be shocked and moved by real or fictitious images of horror has been showing positive signs of attrition.” Nevertheless, the proximity of performance, the immediacy of the artist’s body as canvas, the feelings of horror, empathy, and even wonder occasioned by the manipulation and excesses of the body, continue to draw audiences. The artist’s body as site of performance becomes a space in which the audience may inscribe their own narratives. The body is a locus of projection, almost ab-human, “a not-quite-human subject, characterised by its morphic variability, continually in danger of becoming not-itself, becoming other” (Hurley 3–4). As the artist’s body becomes ever more manipulated and pushed beyond boundaries of taste and pain, it forces artist and audience alike to ask what lies beyond the parameters of the body. Experimentation with torture methods, with cutting, with abject materials, seems to lead back inevitably to the notion of Gothic, othered body, and a desire to pass beyond the boundaries of the repeatedly invaded and wracked body. Once you transgress the boundaries of the body, the logical locus that lies beyond is death. Dick’s Sick documents Bob Flanagan’s death, which formed part of the agreement between documentary maker and artist before shooting. Flanagan hoped his body art would continue beyond death: “I want a wealthy collector to finance an installation in which a video camera will be placed in the coffin with my body, connected to a screen on the wall, and whenever he wants to, the patron can see how I’m coming along” (Dick). Playing with the shadow of death becomes a mode of performance itself. Abramović recalls her acceptance of this fact in her early performance pieces: “When I was in Yugoslavia I was always thinking that art was a kind of question between life and death and some of my performances really included the possibility of dying, you know, during the piece, it could happen” (quoted in McEvilley 15). She also records her fear experienced during Rhythm 0 (1974), stating “What I learned was that [... ]if you leave it up to the audience, they can kill you” (quoted in Danieri 29). Death has receded from us in the 21st century. Death happens in hospitals, in the antiseptic confines of the Intensive Care Unit, it is medicated and mediated by medical staff. Traditional rituals of deathbed conversations and posthumous wakes are gradually disappearing. The discourse of death has grown silent except through the medium of the Gothic and especially the Gothic body, as the Gothic “consistently attempts to speak about the unspeakable—that is, death” (McGrath 154). Artists such as Abramović, Flanagan, and Athey function within this Gothic tradition. By insistently presenting their Gothic bodies, they force the audience to acknowledge death, transgression, and decay as realities. With collaborative partners, they mediate the process of surgery, torture, dying, and even the moment of death through photography and lens-based media. This use of media in capturing the moment also functions in a contemporary post-religious society as a mode of replication and, even, perhaps, of immortality. Bold, provocative, and challenging, the work of these transgressive artists continues to challenge the idea of bodily limits and boundaries and highlight the notion of the body as site of transformation. They continue to challenge our taste, our definition of art, and our comfort as audience. The words of Gavin come again to mind: “By looking at the violence or horror we become complicit in its creation, part of the cause—hence part of the discomfort in looking” (7). Using the artist’s body as site of performance forces us to challenge our conception of art, illness, life and death and leads to a reappraisal of taste itself. References Abbe, Mary. “Bloody Performance Draws Criticism.” Star Tribune 24 Mar. 1994. 1A. Abramovic, Marina. [website] 4 Feb. 2014. ‹http://www.marinaabramovicinstitute.org›. Athey, Ron. [website] 4 Feb. 2014. ‹http://ronatheynews.blogspot.ie›. Coogan, Amanda. “What is Performance Art?.” Irish Museum of Modern Art [website] (2011). 4 Feb. 2014 ‹http://www.imma.ie/en/page_212496.htm›. Daneri, Anna, Giacinto Di Pietrantonio, L. Hegyi, SR Sanzio, & A. Vettese. Eds. Marina Abramović. Milan: Charta, 2002. Dick, Kirby. Sick: The Life & Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasoch*st. Dir. Kirby Dick. 1997. Flanagan, Bob. [website] 4 Feb. 2014. ‹http://vv.arts.ucla.edu/terminals/flanagan/flanagan.html›. Gavin, Francesca. Hellbound: New Gothic Art. London: Laurence King Publishing, 2008. Grunenberg, Christoph. “Unsolved Mysteries: Gothic Tales from Frankenstein to the Hair Eating Doll.” Gothic: Transmutations of Horror in Late Twentieth Century Art. Ed. Christoph Grunenberg. Boston: MIT Press, 1997. Hurley, Kelly. The Gothic Body: Sexuality, Materialism, and Degeneration at the Fin de Siècle. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1997. 160–212. Kuppers, Petra. The Scar of Visibility: Medical Performances and Contemporary Art. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2007. Mc Grath, Patrick. “Transgression and Decay.” Gothic: Transmutations of Horror in Late Twentieth Century Art. Ed. Christoph Grunenberg. Boston: MIT Press, 1997. 153–58. Spooner, Catherine. Contemporary Gothic. London: Reaktion Books, 2006. Sandahl, Carrie. “Performing Metaphors: Aids, Disability and Technology.” Contemporary Theatre Review 11.3–4 (2001): 49–60. Woodward, Richard B. “When Bad is Good.” ARTnews [website] (2012). 4 Feb. 2014. ‹http://www.artnews.com/2012/04/12/when-bad-is-good›. Zylinska, Joanna. The Cyborg Experiments: The Extensions of the Body in the Media Age. London: Continuum, 2002.

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Ludewig, Alexandra. "Home Meets Heimat." M/C Journal 10, no.4 (August1, 2007). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2698.

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Abstract:

Home is the place where one knows oneself best; it is where one belongs, a space one longs to be. Indeed, the longing for home seems to be grounded in an anthropological need for anchorage. Although in English the German loanword ‘Heimat’ is often used synonymously with ‘home’, many would have claimed up till now that it has been a word particularly ill equipped for use outside the German speaking community, owing to its specific cultural baggage. However, I would like to argue that – not least due to the political dimension of home (such as in homeland security and homeland affairs) – the yearning for a home has experienced a semantic shift, which aligns it more closely with Heimat, a term imbued with the ambivalence of home and homeland intertwined (Morley 32). I will outline the German specificities below and invite an Australian analogy. A resoundingly positive understanding of the German term ‘Heimat’ likens it to “an intoxicant, a medium of transport; it makes people feel giddy and spirits them to pleasant places. To contemplate Heimat means to imagine an uncontaminated space, a realm of innocence and immediacy.“ (Rentschler 37) While this description of Heimat may raise expectations of an all-encompassing idyll, for most German speakers “…there is hardly a more ambivalent feeling, hardly a more painful mixture of happiness and bitterness than the experience vested in the word ‘Heimat’.” (Reitz 139) The emotional charge of the idiom is of quite recent origin. Traditionally, Heimat stimulates connotations of ‘origin’, ‘birth place, of oneself and one’s ancestors’ and even of ‘original area of settlement and homeland’. This corresponds most neatly with such English terms as ‘native land’, ‘land of my birth’, ‘land of my forefathers’ or ‘native shores’. Added to the German conception of Heimat are its sensitive associations relating, on the one hand, to Romanticism and its idolisation of the fatherland, and on the other, to the Nazi blood-and-soil propaganda, which brought Heimat into disrepute for many and added to the difficulties of translating the German word. A comparison with similar terms in Romance languages makes this clear. Speakers of those tongues have an understanding of home and homeland, which is strongly associated with the father-figure: the Greek “patra”, Latin and Italian “patria” and the French “patrie”, as well as patriarch, patrimony, patriot, and patricide. The French come closest to sharing the concept to which Heimat’s Germanic root of “heima” refers. For the Teutons “heima” denoted the traditional space and place of a clan, society or individual. However, centuries of migration, often following expulsion, have imbued Heimat with ambivalent notions; feelings of belonging and feelings of loss find expression in the term. Despite its semantic opaqueness, Heimat expresses a “longing for a wholeness and unity” (Strzelczyk 109) which for many seems lost, especially following experiences of alienation, exile, diaspora or ‘simply’ migration. Yet, it is in those circ*mstances, when Heimat becomes a thing of the past, that it seems to manifest itself most clearly. In the German context, the need for Heimat arose particularly after World War Two, when experiences of loss and scenes of devastation, as well as displacement and expulsion found compensation of sorts in the popular media. Going to the cinema was the top pastime in Germany in the 1950s, and escapist Heimat films, which showed idyllic country scenery, instead of rubble-strewn cityscapes, were the most well-liked of all. The industry pumped out kitsch films in quick succession to service this demand and created sugar-coated, colour-rich Heimat experiences on celluloid that captured the audience’s imagination. Most recently, the genre experienced something of a renaissance in the wake of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent accession of the German Democratic Republic (GDR, also referred to as East Germany) to the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG or West Germany) in 1990. Described as one of the most seminal moments in modern history, the events led to large-scale change; in world politics, strategic alliances, but were most closely felt at the personal and societal level, reshaping community and belonging. Feelings of disbelief and euphoria occupied the hearts and minds of people all around the world in the days following the night of the 9 November 1989. However, the fall of the Wall created within weeks what the Soviet Union had been unable to manage in the previous 40 years; the sense of a distinctly Eastern identity (cf. Heneghan 148). Most of the initial positive perceptions slowly gave way to a hangover when the consequences of the drastic societal changes became apparent in their effects on populace. Feelings of disenchantment and disillusionment followed the jubilation and dominated the second phase of socio-cultural unification, when individuals were faced with economic and emotional hardship or were forced to relocate, as companies folded, politically tainted degrees and professions were abolished and entire industry sectors disappeared. This reassessment of almost every aspect of people’s lifestyles led many to feel that their familiar world had dissipated and their Heimat had been lost, resulting in a rhetoric of “us” versus “them”. This conceptual divide persisted and was cemented by the perceived difficulties in integration that had emerged, manifesting a consciousness of difference that expressed itself metaphorically in the references to the ‘Wall in the mind’. Partly as a reaction to these feelings and partly also as a concession to the new citizens from the East, Western backed and produced unification films utilised the soothing cosmos of the Heimat genre – so well rehearsed in the 1950s – as a framework for tales about unification. Peter Timm’s Go, Trabi, Go (1991) and Wolfgang Büld’s sequel Go, Trabi, Go 2. Das war der Wilde Osten [That Was the Wild East, 1992] are two such films which revive “Heimat as a central cultural construct through which aspects of life in the new Germany could be sketched and grasped.” (Naughton 125) The films’ references to Eastern and Western identity served as a powerful guarantor of feelings of belonging, re-assuring audiences on both sides of the mental divide of their idiosyncrasies, while also showing a way to overcome separation. These Heimat films thus united in spirit, emotion and consumer behaviour that which had otherwise not yet “grown together” (cf. Brandt). The renaissance of the Heimat genre in the 1990s gained further momentum in the media with new Heimat film releases as well as TV screenings of 1950s classics. Indeed Heimat films of old and new were generally well received, as they responded to a fragile psychological predisposition at a time of change and general uncertainty. Similar feelings were shared by many in the post-war society of the 1950s and the post-Wall Europe of the 1990s. After the Second World War and following the restructure after Nazism it was necessary to integrate large expellee groups into the young nation of the FRG. In the 1990s the integration of similarly displaced people was required, though this time they were having to cope less with territorial loss than with ideological implosions. Then and now, Heimat films sought to aid integration and “transcend those differences” (Naughton 125) – whilst not disputing their existence – particularly in view of the fact that Germany had 16 million new citizens, who clearly had a different cultural background, many of whom were struggling with perceptions of otherness as popularly expressed in the stereotypical ethnographies of “Easterners” and “Westerners”. The rediscovery of the concept of Heimat in the years following unification therefore not only mirrored the status quo but further to that allowed “for the delineation of a common heritage, shared priorities, and values with which Germans in the old and new states could identify.” (Naughton 125) Closely copying the optimism of the 1950s which promised audiences prosperity and pride, as well as a sense of belonging and homecoming into a larger community, the films produced in the early 1990s anticipated prosperity for a mobile and flexible people. Like their 1950s counterparts, “unification films ‘made in West Germany’ imagined a German Heimat as a place of social cohesion, opportunity, and prosperity” (Naughton 126). Following the unification comedies of the early 1990s, which were set in the period following the fall of the Wall, another wave of German film production shifted the focus onto the past, sacrificing the future dimension of the unification films. Leander Haußmann’s Sonnenallee (1999) is set in the 1970s and subscribes to a re-invention of one’s childhood, while Wolfgang Becker’s Goodbye Lenin (2003) in which the GDR is preserved on 79 square metres in a private parallel world, advocates a revival of aspects of the socialist past. Referred to as “Ostalgia”; a nostalgia for the old East, “a ‘GDR revival’ or the ‘renaissance of a GDR Heimatgefühl’” (Berdahl 197), the films achieved popular success. Ostalgia films utilised the formula of ‘walking down memory lane’ in varying degrees; thematising pleasing aspects of an imagined collective past and tempting audiences to revel in a sense of unity and hom*ogeneous identity (cf. Walsh 6). Ostalgia was soon transformed from emotional and imaginary reflection into an entire industry, manifesting itself in the “recuperation, (re)production, marketing, and merchandising of GDR products as well as the ‘museumification’ of GDR everyday life” (Berdahl 192). This trend found further expression in a culture of exhibitions, books, films and cabaret acts, in fashion and theme parties, as well as in Trabi-rallies which celebrated or sent up the German Democratic Republic in response to the perceived public humiliation at the hands of West German media outlets, historians and economists. The dismissal of anything associated with the communist East in mainstream Germany and the realisation that their consumer products – like their national history – were disappearing in the face of the ‘Helmut Kohl-onisation’ sparked this retro-Heimat cult. Indeed, the reaction to the disappearance of GDR culture and the ensuing nostalgia bear all the hallmarks of Heimat appreciation, a sense of bereavement that only manifests itself once the Heimat has been lost. Ironically, however, the revival of the past led to the emergence of a “new” GDR (Rutschky 851), an “imaginary country put together from the remnants of a country in ruins and from the hopes and anxieties of a new world” (Hell et al. 86), a fictional construct rather than a historical reality. In contrast to the fundamental social and psychological changes affecting former GDR citizens from the end of 1989, their Western counterparts were initially able to look on without a sense of deep personal involvement. Their perspective has been likened to that of an impartial observer following the events of a historical play (cf. Gaschke 22). Many saw German unification as an enlargement of the West; as soon as they had exported their currency, democracy, capitalism and freedom to the East, “blossoming landscapes” were sure to follow (Kohl). At first political events did not seem to cause a major disruption to the lives of most people in the old FRG, except perhaps the need to pay higher tax. This understanding proved a major underestimation of the transformation process that had gripped all of Germany, not just the Eastern part. Nevertheless, few predicted the impact that far-reaching changes would have on the West; immigration and new minorities alter the status quo of any society, and with Germany’s increase in size and population, its citizens in both East and West had to adapt and adjust to a new image and to new expectations placed on them from within and without. As a result a certain unease began to be felt by many an otherwise self-assured individual. Slower and less obvious than the transition phase experienced by most East Germans, the changes in West German society and consciousness were nevertheless similar in their psychological effects; resulting in a subtle feeling of displacement. Indeed, it was soon noted that “the end of German division has given rise to a sense of crisis in the West, particularly within the sphere of West German culture, engendering a Western nostalgica for the old FRG” (Cooke 35), also referred to as Westalgia. Not too dissimilar to the historical rehabilitation of the East played out in Ostalgic fashion, films appeared which revisit moments worthy of celebration in West German history, such as the 1954 Soccer World Championship status which is at the centre of the narrative in Sönke Wortmann’s Das Wunder von Bern [Miracle of Bern, 2003]. Hommages to the 1968 generation (Hans Weingartner’s Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei [The Educators, 2004]) and requiems for West Berlin’s subculture (Leander Haußmann’s Herr Lehmann [Mr Lehmann, 2003]) were similar manifestations of this development. Ostalgic and Westalgic practices coexisted for several years after the turn of the millennium, and are a tribute to the highly complex interrelationship that exists between personal histories and public memories. Both narratives reveal “the politics, ambiguities, and paradoxes of memory, nostalgia, and resistance” (Berdahl 207). In their nostalgic contemplation of the good old days, Ostalgic and Westalgic films alike express a longing to return to familiar and trusted values. Both post-hoc constructions of a heimatesque cosmos demonstrate a very real reinvention of Heimat. Their deliberate reconstruction and reinterpretation of history, as well as the references to and glorification of personal memory and identity fulfil the task of imbuing history – in particular personal history – with dignity. As such these Heimat films work in a similar fashion to myths in the way they explain the world. The heimatesque element of Ostalgic and Westalgic films which allows for the potential to overcome crises reveals a great deal about the workings of myths in general. Irrespective of their content, whether they are cosmogonic (about the beginning of time), eschatological (about the end of time) or etiologic myths (about the origins of peoples and societal order), all serve as a means to cope with change. According to Hans Blumenberg, myth making may be seen as an attempt to counter the absolutism of reality (cf. Blumenberg 9), by providing a response to its seemingly overriding arbitrariness. Myths become a means of endowing life with meaning through art and thus aid positive self-assurance and the constructive usage of past experiences in the present and the future. Judging from the popular success of both Ostalgic and Westalgic films in unified Germany, one hopes that communication is taking place across the perceived ethnic divide of Eastern and Western identities. At the very least, people of quite different backgrounds have access to the constructions and fictions relating to one another pasts. By allowing each other insight into the most intimate recesses of their respective psychological make-up, understanding can be fostered. Through the re-activation of one’s own memory and the acknowledgment of differences these diverging narratives may constitute the foundation of a common Heimat. It is thus possible for Westalgic and Ostalgic films to fulfil individual and societal functions which can act as a core of cohesion and an aid for mutual understanding. At the same time these films revive the past, not as a liveable but rather as a readable alternative to the present. As such, the utilisation of myths should not be rejected as ideological misuse, as suggested by Barthes (7), nor should it allow for the cementing of pseudo-ethnic differences dating back to mythological times; instead myths can form the basis for a common narrative and a self-confident affirmation of history in order to prepare for a future in harmony. Just like myths in general, Heimat tales do not attempt to revise history, or to present the real facts. By foregrounding the evidence of their wilful construction and fictitious invention, it is possible to arrive at a spiritual, psychological and symbolic truth. Nevertheless, it is a truth that is essential for a positive experience of Heimat and an optimistic existence. What can the German situation reveal in an Australian or a wider context? Explorations of Heimat aid the socio-historical investigation of any society, as repositories of memory and history, escape and confrontation inscribed in Heimat can be read as signifiers of continuity and disruption, reorientation and return, and as such, ever-changing notions of Heimat mirror values and social change. Currently, a transition in meaning is underway which alters the concept of ‘home’ as an idyllic sphere of belonging and attachment to that of a threatened space; a space under siege from a range of perils in the areas of safety and security, whether due to natural disasters, terrorism or conventional warfare. The geographical understanding of home is increasingly taking second place to an emotional imaginary that is fed by an “exclusionary and contested distinction between the ‘domestic’ and the ‘foreign’ (Blunt and Dowling 168). As such home becomes ever more closely aligned with the semantics of Heimat, i.e. with an emotional experience, which is progressively less grounded in feelings of security and comfort, yet even more so in those of ambivalence and, in particular, insecurity and hysteria. This paranoia informs as much as it is informed by government policies and interventions and emerges from concerns for national security. In this context, home and homeland have become overused entities in discussions relating to the safeguarding of Australia, such as with the establishment of a homeland security unit in 2003 and annual conferences such as “The Homeland Security Summit” deemed necessary since 9/11, even in the Antipodes. However, these global connotations of home and Heimat overshadow the necessity of a reclaimation of the home/land debate at the national and local levels. In addressing the dispossession of indigenous peoples and the removal and dislocation of Aboriginal children from their homes and families, the political nature of a home-grown Heimat debate cannot be ignored. “Bringing them Home”, an oral history project initiated by the National Library of Australia in Canberra, is one of many attempts at listening to and preserving the memories of Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders who, as children, were forcibly taken away from their families and homelands. To ensure healing and rapprochement any reconciliation process necessitates coming to terms with one’s own past as much as respecting the polyphonic nature of historical discourse. By encouraging the inclusion of diverse homeland and dreamtime narratives and juxtaposing these with the perceptions and constructions of home of the subsequent immigrant generations of Australians, a rich text, full of contradictions, may help generate a shared, if ambivalent, sense of a common Heimat in Australia; one that is fed not by homeland insecurity but one resting in a heimatesque knowledge of self. References Barthes, Roland. Mythen des Alltags. Frankfurt a.M.: Suhrkamp, 1964 Berdahl, Daphne. “‘(N)ostalgie’ for the Present: Memory, Longing, and East German Things.” Ethnos 64.2 (1999): 192-207. Blumenberg, Hans. Arbeit am Mythos. Frankfurt a.M.: Suhrkamp Verlag, 1979. Blunt, Alison, and Robyn Dowling. Home. London: Routledge, 2006. Brandt, Willy. “Jetzt kann zusammenwachsen, was zusammengehört [Now that which belongs together, can now grow together].” From his speech on 10 Nov. 1989 in front of the Rathaus Schöneberg, transcript available from http://www.bwbs.de/Brandt/9.html>. Cooke, Paul. “Whatever Happened to Veronika Voss? Rehabilitating the ‘68ers’ and the Problem of Westalgie in Oskar Roehler’s Die Unberührbare (2000).” German Studies Review 27.1 (2004): 33-44. Gaschke, Susanne. “Neues Deutschland. Sind wir eine Wirtschaftsgesellschaft?” Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte B1-2 (2000): 22-27. Hell, Julia, and Johannes von Moltke. “Unification Effects: Imaginary Landscapes of the Berlin Republic.” The Germanic Review 80.1 (Winter 2005): 74-95. Heneghan, Tom. Unchained Eagle: Germany after the Wall. London: Reuters, 2000. Kohl, Helmut. “Debatte im Bundestag um den Staatsvertrag.” 21 June 1990. Morley, David. Home Territories: Media, Mobility and Identity. London: Routledge, 2000. Naughton, Leonie. That Was the Wild East. Film Culture, Unification, and the “New” Germany. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 2002. Rentschler, Eric. “There’s No Place Like Home: Luis Trenker’s The Prodigal Son (1934).” New German Critique 60 (Special Issue on German Film History, Autumn 1993): 33-56. Reitz, Edgar. “The Camera Is Not a Clock (1979).” In Eric Rentschler, ed. West German Filmmakers on Film: Visions and Voices. New York: Holmes and Meier, 1988. 137-141. Rutschky, Michael. “Wie erst jetzt die DDR entsteht.” Merkur 49.9-10 (Sep./Oct. 1995): 851-64. Strzelczyk, Florentine. “Far Away, So Close: Carl Froelich’s Heimat.” In Robert C. Reimer, ed., Cultural History through the National Socialist Lens. Essays on the Cinema of the Third Reich. Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2000. 109-132. Walsh, Michael. “National Cinema, National Imaginary.” Film History 8 (1996): 5-17. Citation reference for this article MLA Style Ludewig, Alexandra. "Home Meets Heimat." M/C Journal 10.4 (2007). echo date('d M. Y'); ?> <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0708/12-ludewig.php>. APA Style Ludewig, A. (Aug. 2007) "Home Meets Heimat," M/C Journal, 10(4). Retrieved echo date('d M. Y'); ?> from <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0708/12-ludewig.php>.

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Hopkins, Lekkie. "Articulating Everyday Catastrophes: Reflections on the Research Literacies of Lorri Neilsen." M/C Journal 16, no.1 (March19, 2013). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.602.

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Lorri Neilsen, whose feature article appears in this edition of M/C Journal, is Professor of Education at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Neilsen has been teaching and researching in literacy studies for more than four decades. She is internationally recognised as a poet and as an arts-based research methodologist specialising in lyric inquiry. In the latter half of this last decade she was appointed for a five year term to be the Poet Laureate for Nova Scotia. As an academic, she has published widely under the name of Lorri Neilsen; as a poet, she uses Lorri Neilsen Glenn. In this article I refer to her as Neilsen. This article reflects specifically on the poetics and the politics of the work of poet-scholar Lorri Neilsen. In doing so, it explores the theme of catastrophe in several senses. Firstly, it introduces the reader to the poetic articulations of the everyday catastrophes of grief and loss found in Neilsen’s recent work. Secondly, it uses Neilsen’s work on grief and loss to draw attention to a rarely recognised scholarly catastrophe: the catastrophe of the methodological divide between the humanities and the social sciences that runs the risk of creating, for the social sciences, a limiting and limited approach to research project design, knowledge production, and relationships between researchers and subjects, to which Lorri Neilsen’s ground-breaking use of lyric inquiry is a response. And thirdly, it alerts us to the need to fight to retain the arts and humanities within universities, in order to avoid a scholarly catastrophe of a different order. In undertaking this exploration, the article uses several terms with which some readers of M/C Journal might not be familiar. Research literacies is a term used to signal capacity and fluency in the understanding and use of research methodologies. Arts-based inquiry is the umbrella term used by researchers using their creative practice in the arts—in writing, theatre performance, visual arts, music, dance, movement—to lead them into new insights into the topic under investigation. This work is frequently embodied and sensuous. So, for example, the understanding of anorexia might be deepened by a dance performance or a series of paintings or a musical score devised in response to work with research participants; or, as I argue here, understandings of the everyday catastrophes of grief and loss might be deepened by the writing of poetry or expressive prose that uncovers nuance and sheds light in ways not possible using the more traditional research methodologies available to social scientists. Lyric inquiry, a sub-set of arts-based inquiry, is Neilsen’s own term for a research methodology that uses writing itself as the research tool, and whose hallmark is embodied language expressed as poem, song, or poetic prose, to “create the possibility of a resonant, ethical, engaged relationship between the knower and the known” (Handbook 94).This article, then, reflects on the research work of Lorri Neilsen. In this article I use Neilsen’s responses to grief and loss as the starting point to follow her journey from the early days of her involvement in literacy research to her present enchantment with arts-based inquiry in literacy and social science research. I outline her writing on research literacies, explore her notion of lyric inquiry as a crucial facet of arts-based research, and conclude with examples of her poetry born of creative reflection on what we might call everyday catastrophes. Ultimately I argue the need to avoid a scholarly catastrophe of a different order from those Neilsen explores, through the continued recognition of the crucial place of the arts in academic institutions.I open with excerpts from a piece in Lorri Neilsen’s collection, Threading Light, published in 2011. This piece, The Sea, written out of the grief of losing her aged mother, is one I find most moving. It begins: Days later—a week, a month, hard to tell—sun comes out of drizzle and ice and fog and snow showers, ripping open a bright day. Snow-mounded. If you were a kid, you’d look for your sled. He is sure the box of wrenches is in the cabin, and you know a drive to the country is better than another day in bed with Kleenex and a hacking cough, hiding a flayed heart, and pouring CBC into your ears around the clock. (104) The two figures in the piece, he and she, head south to their seaside cabin. They take a walk beside an ice-covered seashore.Today, you step carefully because of ice, and what you find catches your breath. For a brief moment you have escaped the grizzly claws of grief ripping at your chest. You are kneeling on the ice, touching the frosted edges of kelp and weeds, slimy umber and sienna, and putrid green growths that slurp in and out most of the year, but here, now, are stunned, immobile, impaled on the rocks by the cold. Desire is a feral animal; let it loose, it will seek beauty. You point out to each other tableaus: rimming white, translucent blues and greens, coppered plants flash-frozen, fringed by crystalline tatters. A Burtynsky, you think, but not man-made. This is life’s ebb, as Tu Fu wrote. The ocean’s winter verge. Death’s magnificent intaglio. Your fingers follow the lines of kelp: these things once lived, and moved. Take the long view, maybe they still do. You pause to sit on a cold rock and look at the sky; for a moment you are back beside her body, that last morning, your fingers on cooling flesh. Then, water, the sound of waves. Presence. You look up. He has found one periwinkle fused to a rock, then another. Several more. He places them in your hand, one by one, each dark brown ball with its own scurf of ice that gives off the smallest breath of mist as it touches the heat of your palm. Each a small jolt. This is what the sea creates while you are busy with your own tides: precise cups of glossy perfection with curves like a blues howl that open your heart, craning for light. (Threading Light 104–5)One of the things I appreciate most about Lorri Neilsen’s lyric work is her capacity to hold the miniscule simultaneously with the universal; a flash of insight under the arc of a timeless sky. “Smaller than small; larger than large,” write the Hindu prophets (Upanishads). “This is what the sea creates while you are busy with your own tides,” she writes, and in that moment of reading I am jolted into an awareness of the contours of grief that no amount of social scientific observation could provide: an awareness of the nature of self-absorption and inward focus so intense that even the most inevitable of natural rhythms—the ocean’s tides—are forgotten: forgotten, that is, until the protagonist is shaken awake again, by exquisite beauty, into a new kind of response-ability to the world. Lorri Neilsen’s feature article in this edition of M/C creates layer upon layer of insights exploring the notion that loss, an everyday catastrophe, involves a turning inside-out, a jolting into a new sense of self, or a propulsion out of an old, restrictive one; and that inevitably it propels us headlong into a state of living in the moment, of being present to what is, rather than distantly taking stock of what we have. As I ponder this experience, as a reader of her work, I re-experience that moment of stasis:physiologically we all know that experience of time suspended after shock, time inexplicably, irrationally, standing still. But what Neilsen has done so successfully as a poet-scholar, in my view, is not simply find words to express this turning inside out as poetry. Additionally, she has claimed the moment of poetic insight as a crucial form of knowledge-making that has a central and necessary place in illuminating our social worlds. This claim has far-reaching political significance for social science researchers, introducing, as it does, a re-invigorated understanding of the very concept of research:Research [she tells us] is not only the creation of products to market at the academic fair; research is the process of learning through the words, actions and revisionings of our daily life. […] Research is the attuned mind/body working purposefully to explore, to listen, to support, to transgress, to gather with care, to create, to disrupt, to offer back, to contribute, sometimes all at once […] Inquiry is praxis that cannot be boxed up and delivered: it is a story with no ending. (Knowing 264) Neilsen’s particular fascination is with lyric inquiry which she claims as political, poetic, and sustaining of the individual and the larger world: It has the capacity to develop voice and agency in both researcher and participant; it foregrounds conceptual and philosophical processes marked by metaphor, resonance and liminality; and it reunites us with the vivifying effects of imagination and beauty – those long-forgotten qualities that add grace and wisdom to public discourse. (Knowing 101)So what has led her here, to that place where lyric inquiry forms the basis of her engagement with the knowledge-making endeavour in the academy and beyond? As a feminist scholar fascinated by biography, by life writing and story, I find myself drawn as much towards the story of Neilsen’s evolution as a poet-scholar as to the work itself. How has she come to an awareness of the need to create new ways of doing research? What has she uncovered here about the ethics and the politics of doing research in the social world? As I read her work I become aware that her current desire to dance at the edge of the conventional research world has been driven as much by a series of professional catastrophes as by an underpinning desire for methodological innovation. Neilsen herself explores these issues in her 1998 collection of academic essays, called Knowing Her Place: Research Literacies and Feminist Occasions. There are several threads weaving their way through this account of a young academic researcher and scholar finding her way into a larger, wiser, more resonant space: there’s the story of the young graduate student learning the language of and experiencing the perpetual isolation of disembodied fact-finding statistically resonant research into literacy; there’s the story of the young mother juggling academic life and research and parenting, wanting to make sense to the teaching research participants she is working with, wanting to close the gap between the public and the private worlds, wanting to spend time with her partner and her two sons, especially her second son whose birth could have been a catastrophe but whose gentle ways of being in the world gifted them all with the desire to slow down, to see afresh; and, later, there’s the story of the mature woman whose impulse is to community and to solitude, to living with a generosity of spirit that takes seriously the intertwining of her poetic life and her academic and everyday worlds. Interwoven with these stories is the story of writing itself: here we find the formal disembodied writing of Western scientific research practices; here now is collectivist writing generated at kitchen tables, in community centres, in schools; here now is every mode of writing that evokes nuance and explores the senses; and here now too is the research writing that privileges response-ability, scholartistry, bodily sensation, reciprocity, engagement with the world.Neilsen’s account of this journey begins when, as a young postgraduate student doing research into literacy, she learned the language of statistical significance to measure syntactic complexity, noting, as she wrote up her MA, the distance between the language she had learned and the everyday language of the classroom teachers the research was meant to inform. The emphasis of this early research was on removing language from its context, isolating components of language for scrutiny, making findings that were replicable. In time she came to see this kind of knowledge-making as dry, limited, rule-bound, androcentric. From this disengaged, disembodied place she moved, over decades, into a space where compassion, wisdom, humility, and wonder combine to locate her as researcher who understands, alongside researcher David Smith, that “writing is a holy act, an articulation of limited understanding” (qtd. in Neilsen, Knowing 119). In an echo of Luce Irigaray’s insistence that the research and writing we do as fully alive feminist scholars will link the celestial and the terrestrial, the horizontal, and the vertical, and in a further echo of Helene Cixous’ claim that when writing from the body, “an opera inhabits me” (Cixous 53), Neilsen writes unabashedly of the metaphysical nature of her research world: Artful living, artful writing, connecting with a purpose to help each other transcend and grow through inquiry. Connection, embodiment, transformation, transcendence. All these expressions tap spiritual chords […] But if inquiry is to transcend the destructive circ*mstances of our lifeworlds, if its purpose is to make a difference, not a career, we cannot avoid using words such as vision, spirit, humanity, soul. Interest in metaphysical perspectives is not new in feminist circles, but is IS new in conventional research communities where the intangible, the deeply disturbing and consciousness-awakening dimensions of life are compartmentalized, reserved […] for a walk by the ocean, for the rare meditative times of our lives, if we find them at all […] But (she concludes) the awareness that we know when we live in the eternal present […] is an awareness full of tremendous power, and, ultimately, hope. (Knowing 280)In the final chapter of this 1998 text outlining her journey into research literacies, called Notes on Painting Ghosts and Writing the Poetry Report: Some Things I know But Not For Certain, Lorri Neilsen writes confidently against the grain of what she sees as the limits of androcentric research practices: Everything we know is at once out there and in here […] My place is to apprentice myself to the world, to paraphrase Merleau-Ponty, not in subservience and compliance, as the androcentric practices we have followed would keep me, but in reciprocity, curiosity and response-ability. What we must seek are the transgressive experiences and the fresh words which reveal us, in Annie Dillard’s words, ‘startlingly to ourselves as creatures set down bewildered’. (qtd. in Neilsen, Knowing 261)And in a gesture that I find heartwarming, she writes of the impact of being scooped up into a collective research-making endeavour, of belonging to a community of scholars (including poet-sociologists Laurel Richardson and Trinh T. Minh-ha) whose research agenda is to expand the ways we might know, to reflect the fullness and richness and complexity of the research endeavour itself, and, in so doing, of human experience: Time and enculturation have combined to make inquiry a terrain where I live, rather than a place I visit on occasion.Inquiry is less a stance and more an intentional gesture, a re-bodied approach to working with people, particularly women, on projects which matter to them locally and globally. Inquiry is a conspiracy, a breathing together, for which we need the conditions of being together and sharing a climate, or air, for breathing. Inquiry values difference, rather than fearing it, sees contiguity or complementarity as necessary for working together without suppressing our diversity. (Knowing 262) Hers is no airy-fairy disengaged mood-making endeavour. It is decidedly political: the inclination is to openness and growth, to take risks, to create critical spaces[…] When we make the assumptions of the norms of research problematic, we make the assumptions and the norms of life together on this planet problematic as well. We begin to dismantle the Western knowledge project, and we begin to learn a fundamental humility. Expanding our research literacies keeps us full of wonder, in spite of the shakey ground and the shadows. We can learn more when our pen is a tool of discovery, not domination.And her focus is ever on the artistry of research practices: The ontological and epistemological waters in which these [research] literacies continue to develop are social, political, ecological [...] Re-imagining inquiry is re-imagining ways to work with people and ideas which keep us, like the painter, the dancer, and the performance artist, watchfully poised, momentarily still, and yet fluidly in motion. (Knowing 263)In summary, then, the kind of writing that accompanies the research methodology that Lorri Neilsen has created cuts across the notion of knowledge as product, commodity, trump card. Knowing [for Neilsen] is an experience of immersion and expression rather than one of gathering data only to advance an argument […] A reader does not take away three key points or five examples. A reader comes away with the resonance of another’s world…our senses stimulated, our spirit and emotions affected. (Knowing 96) This kind of writing emerges from her desires to create a resonant, embodied, ethical, activist, feminist-honouring, and collaborative way to grapple with the nuance of human experience. This she calls lyric inquiry. Lyric inquiry sits on the margins, inhabits the liminal spaces, “places where we perceive patterns in new ways, find sensuous openings into new understandings, fresh concepts, wild possibilities” (Knowing 98). In her chapter on lyric inquiry in the 2008 Sage Handbook of the Arts in Qualitative Research, Neilsen argues that lyric inquiry leans on no other mode of enquiry: it stands on its own, resonant and expressive, inviting fresh ways to see, read, consider experience. Unlike the narrative enquiry that currently popularly accompanies much social science research in order to bolster an argument, or illustrate a point being made in policy formulation or discussion (Hopkins), lyric inquiry adopts its own mode, its own performative spaces. It’s a heady concept and, I would argue, a brave contribution to the repertoire of qualitative arts-based research methodologies.For me Lorri Neilsen’s stance as poet, writer, researcher, woman, is beautifully captured in her piece from Threading Light which she has titled Writing has always felt like praying. Here we glimpse the lives of four figures: the Buddha, Muhammad, Jesus Christ, and the poet herself, each responding to catastrophe of sorts: Gotama saw the face of his infant son and sleeping wife,shaved his head and beard, put on his yellow robe, andleft without saying good-bye. Duties, possessions,ties of the heart: all dustweighing down his soul. He walked and walked,seeking a life wide open, complete and pure as polished shell.In a cave away from the fray of Mecca, vendettas,and a world soured by commerce, Muhammadshook as the words of a new scripturecame to him. Surrendered himselfto its beauty, singing and weeping verse by verse, year by yearfor twenty-one years.Of course you remember the man from Galileewho carried on his back the very wood on whichhis blood was spilled. How he pushed back the rockfrom the front of the cave and – this is gospel –ascended, emptied of self and full of god, returningnow in offerings of bread and wine.I pace back and forth on a cliff above the unknowable, luredby slippery and maverick tales that call forth terror, crackthe earth, shatter my bones with light. I have no needto verify old brown marks of stigmata, translate Coptic fragments.A burlap robe on display in the cold stone air of the Church of Santa Croceis inscrutable: it tells me only that my body is a ragged garmentand will be discarded too.But here, now, I am ready as a tuned stringto witness what is ravenous, mythic. Here I am holy, misbegotten,gossip on the lips of the gods, forgotten by the time the cupsare washed and put away. So I start as I start every day,cobbling a makeshift pulpit, casting for truths as they are given me:Man, woman, child, sun, moon, breath, tears,Stone, sand, sea. (Threading Light 102–3) It is ironic that the kind of research that Neilsen advocates, research that draws specifically on the arts to create new methodologies for the uncovering of topics traditionally explored by the social sciences, is being developed at precisely that moment when university arts departments around the world are being dismantled, and their value questioned (See Cohen, NY Times; Donoghue, Chronicle of Higher Education; Kitcher, Republic). As I indicated at the beginning of the article, I use this homage to Lorri Neilsen and her work to make the broader point that we lose the arts and the humanities in our universities at our peril. It’s not just that the arts are a pleasant addition, a ruffle on the edge of the serious straight-tailored cut of the research garment: rather, as Neilsen has argued throughout her research and writing career, the arts are central to our survival as a response-able, interactive, creative, thoughtful species. To turn our back on the arts in contemporary research practices is already a dangerous erosion, a research and knowledge-making catastrophe which Neilsen’s lyric inquiry seeks to address: to lose the arts from universities altogether would be a catastrophe of a much higher order. References Cohen, Patricia. “In Tough Times, the Humanities Must Justify Their Worth”. New York Times. 24 Feb. 2009. Cixous, Helene. Coming to Writing and Other Essays. Ed. Deborah Jensen. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1991.Dillard, Annie. The Writing Life. New York: Harper & Row, 1993. Donoghue, Frank. “Can the Humanities Survive the 21st Century?” The Chronicle of Higher Education. 5 Sep. 2010. Hopkins, Lekkie. “Why Narrative? Reflections on the Politics and Processes of Using Narrative in Refugee Research.” Tamara Journal for Critical Organisation and Inquiry 8.2 (2009): 135-45.Irigaray, Luce. “Sexual Difference.” The Irigaray Reader. Ed. Margaret Whitford. Oxford: Blackwell, 1987. 165-77. Kitcher, Philip. “The Trouble with Scientism”. New Republic. 4 May 2012.Muller, M. (trans.). The Upanishads. Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1879.Neilsen Glenn, Lorri. Threading Light. Explorations in Loss and Poetry. Regina, SK: Hagios Press, 2011. Neilsen, Lorri. “Lyric Inquiry.” Handbook of the Arts in Qualitative Research. Eds. J. Gary Knowles and Ardra Cole. Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2008. 88-98. Neilsen, Lorri. Knowing Her Place: Research Literacies and Feminist Occasions. San Francisco: Caddo Gap Press, and Halifax, NS: Backalong Books, 2008. Richardson, Laurel. “The Consequences of Poetic Representation: Writing the Self and Writing the Other.” Investigating Subjectivity: Windows on Lived Experience. Eds. Carolyn Ellis and Michael Flaherty. Newbury Park: Sage, 1992. 125-140. Richardson, Laurel. “Writing: A Method of Inquiry.” Handbook of Qualitative Research. Eds. Norman K. Denzin and Yvonna. S. Lincoln. Thousand Oaks: Sage, 1994. 959-978.Trinh, T. Minh-ha. Woman, Native, Other. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1989.

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Pedersen, Isabel, and Kirsten Ellison. "Startling Starts: Smart Contact Lenses and Technogenesis." M/C Journal 18, no.5 (October14, 2015). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1018.

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On 17 January 2013, Wired chose the smart contact lens as one of “7 Massive Ideas That Could Change the World” describing a Google-led research project. Wired explains that the inventor, Dr. Babak Parviz, wants to build a microsystem on a contact lens: “Using radios no wider than a few human hairs, he thinks these lenses can augment reality and incidentally eliminate the need for displays on phones, PCs, and widescreen TVs”. Explained further in other sources, the technology entails an antenna, circuits embedded into a contact lens, GPS, and an LED to project images on the eye, creating a virtual display (Solve for X). Wi-Fi would stream content through a transparent screen over the eye. One patent describes a camera embedded in the lens (Etherington). Another mentions medical sensing, such as glucose monitoring of tears (Goldman). In other words, Google proposes an imagined future when we use contact lenses to search the Internet (and be searched by it), shop online, communicate with friends, work, navigate maps, swipe through Tinder, monitor our health, watch television, and, by that time, probably engage in a host of activities not yet invented. Often referred to as a bionic contact, the smart contact lens would signal a weighty shift in the way we work, socialize, and frame our online identities. However, speculative discussion over this radical shift in personal computing, rarely if ever, includes consideration of how the body, acting as a host to digital information, will manage to assimilate not only significant affordances, but also significant constraints and vulnerabilities. At this point, for most people, the smart contact lens is just an idea. Is a new medium of communication started when it is launched in an advertising campaign? When we Like it on Facebook? If we chat about it during a party amongst friends? Or, do a critical mass of people actually have to be using it to say it has started? One might say that Apple’s Macintosh computer started as a media platform when the world heard about the famous 1984 television advertisem*nt aired during the American NFL Super Bowl of that year. Directed by Ridley Scott, the ad entails an athlete running down a passageway and hurling a hammer at a massive screen depicting cold war style rulers expounding state propaganda. The screen explodes freeing those imprisoned from their concentration camp existence. The direct reference to Orwell’s 1984 serves as a metaphor for IBM in 1984. PC users were made analogous to political prisoners and IBM served to represent the totalitarian government. The Mac became a something that, at the time, challenged IBM, and suggested an alternative use for the desktop computer that had previously been relegated for work rather than life. Not everyone bought a Mac, but the polemical ad fostered the idea that Mac was certainly the start of new expectations, civic identities, value-systems, and personal uses for computers. The smart contact lens is another startling start. News of it shocks us, initiates social media clicks and forwards, and instigates dialogue. But, it also indicates the start of a new media paradigm that is already undergoing popular adoption as it is announced in mainstream news and circulated algorithmically across media channels. Since 2008, news outlets like CNN, The New York Times, The Globe and Mail, Asian International News, United News of India, The Times of London and The Washington Post have carried it, feeding the buzz in circulation that Google intends. Attached to the wave of current popular interest generated around any technology claiming to be “wearable,” a smart contact lens also seems surreptitious. We would no longer hold smartphones, but hide all of that digital functionality beneath our eyelids. Its emergence reveals the way commercial models have dramatically changed. The smart contact lens is a futuristic invention imagined for us and about us, but also a sensationalized idea socializing us to a future that includes it. It is also a real device that Parviz (with Google) has been inventing, promoting, and patenting for commercial applications. All of these workings speak to a broader digital culture phenomenon. We argue that the smart contact lens discloses a process of nascent posthuman adaptation, launched in an era that celebrates wearable media as simultaneously astonishing and banal. More specifically, we adopt technology based on our adaptation to it within our personal, political, medial, social, and biological contexts, which also function in a state of flux. N. Katherine Hayles writes that “Contemporary technogenesis, like evolution in general, is not about progress ... rather, contemporary technogenesis is about adaptation, the fit between organisms and their environments, recognizing that both sides of the engagement (human and technologies) are undergoing coordinated transformations” (81). This article attends to the idea that in these early stages, symbolic acts of adaptation signal an emergent medium through rhetorical processes that society both draws from and contributes to. In terms of project scope, this article contributes a focused analysis to a much larger ongoing digital rhetoric project. For the larger project, we conducted a discourse analysis on a collection of international publications concerning Babak Parviz and the invention. We searched for and collected newspaper stories, news broadcasts, YouTube videos from various sources, academic journal publications, inventors’ conference presentations, and advertising, all published between January 2008 and May 2014, generating a corpus of more than 600 relevant artifacts. Shortly after this time, Dr. Parviz, a Professor at the University of Washington, left the secretive GoogleX lab and joined Amazon.com (Mac). For this article we focus specifically on the idea of beginnings or genesis and how digital spaces increasingly serve as the grounds for emergent digital cultural phenomena that are rarely recognized as starting points. We searched through the corpus to identify a few exemplary international mainstream news stories to foreground predominant tropes in support of the claim we make that smart contacts lenses are a startling idea. Content producers deliberately use astonishment as a persuasive device. We characterize the idea of a smart contact lens cast in rhetorical terms in order to reveal how its allure works as a process of adaptation. Rhetorician and philosopher, Kenneth Burke writes that “rhetorical language is inducement to action (or to attitude)” (42). A rhetorical approach is instrumental because it offers a model to explain how we deploy, often times, manipulative meaning as senders and receivers while negotiating highly complex constellations of resources and contexts. Burke’s rhetorical theory can show how messages influence and become influenced by powerful hierarchies in discourse that seem transparent or neutral, ones that seem to fade into the background of our consciousness. For this article, we also concentrate on rhetorical devices such as ethos and the inventor’s own appeals through different modes of communication. Ethos was originally proposed by Aristotle to identify speaker credibility as a persuasive tactic. Addressed by scholars of rhetoric for centuries, ethos has been reconfigured by many critical theorists (Burke; Baumlin Ethos; Hyde). Baumlin and Baumlin suggest that “ethos describes an audience’s projection of authority and trustworthiness onto the speaker ... ethos suggests that the ethical appeal to be a radically psychological event situated in the mental processes of the audience – as belonging as much to the audience as to the actual character of a speaker” (Psychology 99). Discussed in the next section, our impression of Parviz and his position as inventor plays a dramatic role in the surfacing of the smart contact lens. Digital Rhetoric is an “emerging scholarly discipline concerned with the interpretation of computer-generated media as objects of study” (Losh 48). In an era when machine-learning algorithms become the messengers for our messages, which have become commodity items operating across globalized, capitalist networks, digital rhetoric provides a stable model for our approach. It leads us to demonstrate how this emergent medium and invention, the smart contact lens, is born amid new digital genres of speculative communication circulated in the everyday forums we engage on a daily basis. Smart Contact Lenses, Sensationalism, and Identity One relevant site for exploration into how an invention gains ethos is through writing or video penned or produced by the inventor. An article authored by Parviz in 2009 discusses his invention and the technical advancements that need to be made before the smart contact lens could work. He opens the article using a fictional and sensationalized analogy to encourage the adoption of his invention: The human eye is a perceptual powerhouse. It can see millions of colors, adjust easily to shifting light conditions, and transmit information to the brain at a rate exceeding that of a high-speed Internet connection.But why stop there?In the Terminator movies, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character sees the world with data superimposed on his visual field—virtual captions that enhance the cyborg’s scan of a scene. In stories by the science fiction author Vernor Vinge, characters rely on electronic contact lenses, rather than smartphones or brain implants, for seamless access to information that appears right before their eyes. Identity building is made to correlate with smart contact lenses in a manner that frames them as exciting. Coming to terms with them often involves casting us as superhumans, wielding abilities that we do not currently possess. One reason for embellishment is because we do not need digital displays on the eyes, so the motive to use them must always be geared to transcending our assumed present condition as humans and society members. Consequently, imagination is used to justify a shift in human identity along a future trajectory.This passage above also instantiates a transformation from humanist to posthumanist posturing (i.e. “the cyborg”) in order to incent the adoption of smart contact lenses. It begins with the bold declarative statement, “The human eye is a perceptual powerhouse,” which is a comforting claim about our seemingly human superiority. Indexing abstract humanist values, Parviz emphasizes skills we already possess, including seeing a plethora of colours, adjusting to light on the fly, and thinking fast, indeed faster than “a high-speed Internet connection”. However, the text goes on to summon the Terminator character and his optic feats from the franchise of films. Filmic cyborg characters fulfill the excitement that posthuman rhetoric often seems to demand, but there is more here than sensationalism. Parviz raises the issue of augmenting human vision using science fiction as his contextualizing vehicle because he lacks another way to imbricate the idea. Most interesting in this passage is the inventor’s query “But why stop there?” to yoke the two claims, one biological (i.e., “The human eye is a perceptual powerhouse”) and one fictional (i.e. Terminator, Vernor Vinge characters). The query suggests, Why stop with human superiority, we may as well progress to the next level and embrace a smart contact lens just as fictional cyborgs do. The non-threatening use of fiction makes the concept seem simultaneously exciting and banal, especially because the inventor follows with a clear description of the necessary scientific engineering in the rest of the article. This rhetorical act signifies the voice of a technoelite, a heavily-funded cohort responding to global capitalist imperatives armed with a team of technologists who can access technological advancements and imbue comments with an authority that may extend beyond their fields of expertise, such as communication studies, sociology, psychology, or medicine. The result is a powerful ethos. The idea behind the smart contact lens maintains a degree of respectability long before a public is invited to use it.Parviz exhumes much cultural baggage when he brings to life the Terminator character to pitch smart contact lenses. The Terminator series of films has established the “Arnold Schwarzenegger” character a cultural mainstay. Each new film reinvented him, but ultimately promoted him within a convincing dystopian future across the whole series: The Terminator (Cameron), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (Cameron), Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (Mostow), Terminator Salvation (McG) and Terminator Genisys (Taylor) (which appeared in 2015 after Parviz’s article). Recently, several writers have addressed how cyborg characters figure significantly in our cultural psyche (Haraway, Bukatman; Leaver). Tama Leaver’s Artificial Culture explores the way popular, contemporary, cinematic, science fiction depictions of embodied Artificial Intelligence, such as the Terminator cyborgs, “can act as a matrix which, rather than separating or demarcating minds and bodies or humanity and the digital, reinforce the symbiotic connection between people, bodies, and technologies” (31). Pointing out the violent and ultimately technophobic motive of The Terminator films, Leaver reads across them to conclude nevertheless that science fiction “proves an extremely fertile context in which to address the significance of representations of Artificial Intelligence” (63).Posthumanism and TechnogenesisOne reason this invention enters the public’s consciousness is its announcement alongside a host of other technologies, which seem like parts of a whole. We argue that this constant grouping of technologies in the news is one process indicative of technogenesis. For example, City A.M., London’s largest free commuter daily newspaper, reports on the future of business technology as a hodgepodge of what ifs: As Facebook turns ten, and with Bill Gates stepping down as Microsoft chairman, it feels like something is drawing to an end. But if so, it is only the end of the technological revolution’s beginning ... Try to look ahead ten years from now and the future is dark. Not because it is bleak, but because the sheer profusion of potential is blinding. Smartphones are set to outnumber PCs within months. After just a few more years, there are likely to be 3bn in use across the planet. In ten years, who knows – wearables? smart contact lenses? implants? And that’s just the start. The Internet of Things is projected to be a $300bn (£183bn) industry by 2020. (Sidwell) This reporting is a common means to frame the commodification of technology in globalized business news that seeks circulation as much as it does readership. But as a text, it also posits how individuals frame the future and their participation with it (Pedersen). Smart contacts appear to move along this exciting, unstoppable trajectory where the “potential is blinding”. The motive is to excite and scare. However, simultaneously, the effect is predictable. We are quite accustomed to this march of innovations that appears everyday in the morning paper. We are asked to adapt rather than question, consequently, we never separate the parts from the whole (e.g., “wearables? smart contact lenses? Implants”) in order to look at them critically.In coming to terms with Cary Wolf’s definition of posthumanism, Greg Pollock writes that posthumanism is the questioning that goes on “when we can no longer rely on ‘the human’ as an autonomous, rational being who provides an Archimedean point for knowing about the world (in contrast to “humanism,” which uses such a figure to ground further claims)” (208). With similar intent, N. Katherine Hayles formulating the term technogenesis suggests that we are not really progressing to another level of autonomous human existence when we adopt media, we are in effect, adapting to media and media are also in a process of adapting to us. She writes: As digital media, including networked and programmable desktop stations, mobile devices, and other computational media embedded in the environment, become more pervasive, they push us in the direction of faster communication, more intense and varied information streams, more integration of humans and intelligent machines, and more interactions of language with code. These environmental changes have significant neurological consequences, many of which are now becoming evident in young people and to a lesser degree in almost everyone who interacts with digital media on a regular basis. (11) Following Hayles, three actions or traits characterize adaptation in a manner germane to the technogenesis of media like smart contact lenses. The first is “media embedded in the environment”. The trait of embedding technology in the form of sensors and chips into external spaces evokes the onset of The Internet of Things (IoT) foundations. Extensive data-gathering sensors, wireless technologies, mobile and wearable components integrated with the Internet, all contribute to the IoT. Emerging from cloud computing infrastructures and data models, The IoT, in its most extreme, involves a scenario whereby people, places, animals, and objects are given unique “embedded” identifiers so that they can embark on constant data transfer over a network. In a sense, the lenses are adapted artifacts responding to a world that expects ubiquitous networked access for both humans and machines. Smart contact lenses will essentially be attached to the user who must adapt to these dynamic and heavily mediated contexts.Following closely on the first, the second point Hayles makes is “integration of humans and intelligent machines”. The camera embedded in the smart contact lens, really an adapted smartphone camera, turns the eye itself into an image capture device. By incorporating them under the eyelids, smart contact lenses signify integration in complex ways. Human-machine amalgamation follows biological, cognitive, and social contexts. Third, Hayles points to “more interactions of language with code.” We assert that with smart contact lenses, code will eventually govern interaction between countless agents in accordance with other smart devices, such as: (1) exchanges of code between people and external nonhuman networks of actors through machine algorithms and massive amalgamations of big data distributed on the Internet;(2) exchanges of code amongst people, human social actors in direct communication with each other over social media; and (3) exchanges of coding and decoding between people and their own biological processes (e.g. monitoring breathing, consuming nutrients, translating brainwaves) and phenomenological (but no less material) practices (e.g., remembering, grieving, or celebrating). The allure of the smart contact lens is the quietly pressing proposition that communication models such as these will be radically transformed because they will have to be adapted to use with the human eye, as the method of input and output of information. Focusing on genetic engineering, Eugene Thacker fittingly defines biomedia as “entail[ing] the informatic recontextualization of biological components and processes, for ends that may be medical or nonmedical (economic, technical) and with effects that are as much cultural, social, and political as they are scientific” (123). He specifies, “biomedia are not computers that simply work on or manipulate biological compounds. Rather, the aim is to provide the right conditions, such that biological life is able to demonstrate or express itself in a particular way” (123). Smart contact lenses sit on the cusp of emergence as a biomedia device that will enable us to decode bodily processes in significant new ways. The bold, technical discourse that announces it however, has not yet begun to attend to the seemingly dramatic “cultural, social, and political” effects percolating under the surface. Through technogenesis, media acclimatizes rapidly to change without establishing a logic of the consequences, nor a design plan for emergence. Following from this, we should mention issues such as the intrusion of surveillance algorithms deployed by corporations, governments, and other hegemonic entities that this invention risks. If smart contact lenses are biomedia devices inspiring us to decode bodily processes and communicate that data for analysis, for ourselves, and others in our trust (e.g., doctors, family, friends), we also need to be wary of them. David Lyon warns: Surveillance has spilled out of its old nation-state containers to become a feature of everyday life, at work, at home, at play, on the move. So far from the single all-seeing eye of Big Brother, myriad agencies now trace and track mundane activities for a plethora of purposes. Abstract data, now including video, biometric, and genetic as well as computerized administrative files, are manipulated to produce profiles and risk categories in a liquid, networked system. The point is to plan, predict, and prevent by classifying and assessing those profiles and risks. (13) In simple terms, the smart contact lens might disclose the most intimate information we possess and leave us vulnerable to profiling, tracking, and theft. Irma van der Ploeg presupposed this predicament when she wrote: “The capacity of certain technologies to change the boundary, not just between what is public and private information but, on top of that, between what is inside and outside the human body, appears to leave our normative concepts wanting” (71). The smart contact lens, with its implied motive to encode and disclose internal bodily information, needs considerations on many levels. Conclusion The smart contact lens has made a digital beginning. We accept it through the mass consumption of the idea, which acts as a rhetorical motivator for media adoption, taking place long before the device materializes in the marketplace. This occurrence may also be a sign of our “posthuman predicament” (Braidotti). We have argued that the smart contact lens concept reveals our posthuman adaptation to media rather than our reasoned acceptance or agreement with it as a logical proposition. By the time we actually squabble over the price, express fears for our privacy, and buy them, smart contact lenses will long be part of our everyday culture. References Baumlin, James S., and Tita F. Baumlin. “On the Psychology of the Pisteis: Mapping the Terrains of Mind and Rhetoric.” Ethos: New Essays in Rhetorical and Critical Theory. Eds. James S. Baumlin and Tita F. Baumlin. Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1994. 91-112. Baumlin, James S., and Tita F. Baumlin, eds. Ethos: New Essays in Rhetorical and Critical Theory. Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1994. Bilton, Nick. “A Rose-Colored View May Come Standard.” The New York Times, 4 Apr. 2012. Braidotti, Rosi. The Posthuman. Cambridge: Polity, 2013. Bukatman, Scott. Terminal Identity: The Virtual Subject in Postmodern Science Fiction. Durham: Duke University Press, 1993. Burke, Kenneth. A Rhetoric of Motives. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1950. Cameron, James, dir. The Terminator. Orion Pictures, 1984. DVD. Cameron, James, dir. Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Artisan Home Entertainment, 2003. DVD. Etherington, Darrell. “Google Patents Tiny Cameras Embedded in Contact Lenses.” TechCrunch, 14 Apr. 2014. Goldman, David. “Google to Make Smart Contact Lenses.” CNN Money 17 Jan. 2014. Haraway, Donna. Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature. London: Free Association Books, 1991. Hayles, N. Katherine. How We Think: Digital Media and Contemporary Technogenesis. Chicago: University of Chicago, 2012. Hyde, Michael. The Ethos of Rhetoric. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2004. Leaver, Tama. Artificial Culture: Identity, Technology, and Bodies. New York: Routledge, 2012. Losh, Elizabeth. Virtualpolitik: An Electronic History of Government Media-Making in a Time of War, Scandal, Disaster, Miscommunication, and Mistakes. Boston: MIT Press. 2009. Lyon, David, ed. Surveillance as Social Sorting: Privacy, Risk and Digital Discrimination. New York: Routledge, 2003. Mac, Ryan. “Amazon Lures Google Glass Creator Following Phone Launch.” Forbes.com, 14 July 2014. McG, dir. Terminator Salvation. Warner Brothers, 2009. DVD. Mostow, Jonathan, dir. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. Warner Brothers, 2003. DVD. Parviz, Babak A. “Augmented Reality in a Contact Lens.” IEEE Spectrum, 1 Sep. 2009. Pedersen, Isabel. Ready to Wear: A Rhetoric of Wearable Computers and Reality-Shifting Media. Anderson, South Carolina: Parlor Press, 2013. Pollock, Greg. “What Is Posthumanism by Cary Wolfe (2009).” Rev. of What is Posthumanism?, by Cary Wolfe. Journal for Critical Animal Studies 9.1/2 (2011): 235-241. Sidwell, Marc. “The Long View: Bill Gates Is Gone and the Dot-com Era Is Over: It's Only the End of the Beginning.” City A.M., 7 Feb. 2014. “Solve for X: Babak Parviz on Building Microsystems on the Eye.” YouTube, 7 Feb. 2012. Taylor, Alan, dir. Terminator: Genisys. Paramount Pictures, 2015. DVD. Thacker, Eugene “Biomedia.” Critical Terms for Media Studies. Eds. W.J.T Mitchell and Mark Hansen, Chicago: Chicago Press, 2010. 117-130. Van der Ploeg, Irma. “Biometrics and the Body as Information.” Surveillance as Social Sorting: Privacy, Risk and Digital Discrimination. Ed. David Lyon. New York: Routledge, 2003. 57-73. Wired Staff. “7 Massive Ideas That Could Change the World.” Wired.com, 17 Jan. 2013.

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Petzke, Ingo. "Alternative Entrances: Phillip Noyce and Sydney’s Counterculture." M/C Journal 17, no.6 (August7, 2014). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.863.

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Phillip Noyce is one of Australia’s most prominent film makers—a successful feature film director with both iconic Australian narratives and many a Hollywood blockbuster under his belt. Still, his beginnings were quite humble and far from his role today when he grew up in the midst of the counterculture of the late sixties. Millions of young people his age joined the various ‘movements’ of the day after experiences that changed their lives—mostly music but also drugs or fashion. The counterculture was a turbulent time in Sydney artistic circles as elsewhere. Everything looked possible, you simply had to “Do It!”—and Noyce did. He dived head-on into these times and with a voracious appetite for its many aspects—film, theatre, rallies, music, art and politics in general. In fact he often was the driving force behind such activities. Noyce described his personal epiphany occurring in 1968: A few months before I was due to graduate from high school, […] I saw a poster on a telegraph pole advertising American 'underground' movies. There was a mesmerising, beautiful blue-coloured drawing on the poster that I later discovered had been designed by an Australian filmmaker called David Perry. The word 'underground' conjured up all sorts of delights to an eighteen-year-old in the late Sixties: in an era of censorship it promised erotica, perhaps; in an era of drug-taking it promised some clandestine place where marijuana, or even something stronger, might be consumed; in an era of confrontation between conservative parents and their affluent post-war baby-boomer children, it promised a place where one could get together with other like-minded youth and plan to undermine the establishment, which at that time seemed to be the aim of just about everyone aged under 30. (Petzke 8) What the poster referred to was a new, highly different type of film. In the US these films were usually called “underground”. This term originates from film critic Manny Farber who used it in his 1957 essay Underground Films. Farber used the label for films whose directors today would be associated with independent and art house feature films. More directly, film historian Lewis Jacobs referred to experimental films when he used the words “film which for most of its life has led an underground existence” (8). The term is used interchangeably with New American Cinema. It was based on a New York group—the Film-Makers’ Co-operative—that started in 1960 with mostly low-budget filmmakers under the guidance of Jonas Mekas. When in 1962 the group was formally organised as a means for new, improved ways of distributing their works, experimental filmmakers were the dominant faction. They were filmmakers working in a more artistic vein, slightly influenced by the European Avant-garde of the 1920s and by attempts in the late 1940s and early 1950s. In film history, this era is also known as the Third Avant-garde. In their First Statement of the New American Cinema Group, the group drew connections to both the British Free Cinema and the French Nouvelle Vague. They also claimed that contemporary cinema was “morally corrupt, aesthetically obsolete, thematically superficial, temperamentally boring” (80). An all-encompassing definition of Underground Film never was available. Sheldon Renan lists some of the problems: There are underground films in which there is no movement and films in which there is nothing but movement. There are films about people and films about light. There are short, short underground films and long, long underground films. There are some that have been banned, and there is one that was nominated for an Academy Award. There are sexy films and sexless films, political films and poetical films, film epigrams and film epics … underground film is nothing less than an explosion of cinematic styles, forms and directions. (Renan 17) No wonder that propelled by frequent serious articles in the press—notably Jonas Mekas in the Village Voice—and regular screenings at other venues like the Film-makers’ Cinemathèque and the Gallery of Modern Art in New York, these films proved increasingly popular in the United States and almost immediately spread like bush fires around the world. So in early September 1968 Noyce joined a sold-out crowd at the Union Theatre in Sydney, watching 17 shorts assembled by Ubu Films, the premier experimental and underground film collective in 1960s Australia (Milesago). And on that night his whole attitude to art, his whole attitude to movies—in fact, his whole life—changed. He remembered: I left the cinema that night thinking, "I’m gonna make movies like that. I can do it." Here was a style of cinema that seemed to speak to me. It was immediate, it was direct, it was personal, and it wasn’t industrial. It was executed for personal expression, not for profit; it was individual as opposed to corporate, it was stylistically free; it seemed to require very little expenditure, innovation being the key note. It was a completely un-Hollywood-like aesthetic; it was operating on a visceral level that was often non-linear and was akin to the psychedelic images that were in vogue at the time—whether it was in music, in art or just in the patterns on your multi-coloured shirt. These movies spoke to me. (Petzke 9) Generally speaking, therefore, these films were the equivalent of counterculture in the area of film. Theodore Roszak railed against “technocracy” and underground films were just the opposite, often almost do-it-yourself in production and distribution. They were objecting to middle-class culture and values. And like counterculture they aimed at doing away with repression and to depict a utopian lifestyle feeling at ease with each imaginable form of liberality (Doggett 469). Underground films transgressed any Hollywood rule and convention in content, form and technique. Mobile hand-held cameras, narrow-gauge or outright home movies, shaky and wobbly, rapid cutting, out of focus, non-narrative, disparate continuity—you name it. This type of experimental film was used to express the individual consciousness of the “maker”—no longer calling themselves directors—a cinematic equivalent of the first person in literature. Just as in modern visual art, both the material and the process of making became part of these artworks. Music often was a dominant factor, particularly Eastern influences or the new Beat Music that was virtually non-existent in feature films. Drug experiences were reflected in imagery and structure. Some of the first comings-out of gay men can be found as well as films that were shown at the appropriately named “Wet Dreams Festival” in Amsterdam. Noyce commented: I worked out that the leading lights in this Ubu Films seemed to be three guys — Aggy Read, Albie Thoms and David Perry […They] all had beards and […] seemed to come from the basem*nt of a terrace house in Redfern. Watching those movies that night, picking up all this information, I was immediately seized by three great ambitions. First of all, I wanted to grow a beard; secondly, I wanted to live in a terrace house in the inner city; and thirdly, I wanted to be a filmmaker. (Ubu Films) Noyce soon discovered there were a lot of people like him who wanted to make short films for personal expression, but also as a form of nationalism. They wanted to make Australian movies. Noyce remembered: “Aggy, Albie and David encouraged everyone to go and make a film for themselves” (Petzke 11). This was easy enough to do as these films—not only in Australia—were often made for next to nothing and did not require any prior education or training. And the target audience group existed in a subculture of people willing to pay money even for extreme entertainment as long as it was advertised in an appealing way—which meant: in the way of the rampaging Zeitgeist. Noyce—smitten by the virus—would from then on regularly attend the weekly meetings organised by the young filmmakers. And in line with Jerry Rubin’s contemporary adage “Do it!” he would immediately embark on a string of films with enthusiasm and determination—qualities soon to become his trademark. All his films were experimental in nature, shot on 16mm and were so well received that Albie Thoms was convinced that Noyce had a great career ahead of him as an experimental filmmaker. Truly alternative was Noyce’s way to finally finance Better to Reign in Hell, his first film, made at age 18 and with a total budget of $600. Noyce said on reflection: I had approached some friends and told them that if they invested in my film, they could have an acting role. Unfortunately, the guy whose dad had the most money — he was a doctor’s son — was also maybe the worst actor that was ever put in front of a camera. But he had invested four hundred dollars, so I had to give him the lead. (Petzke 13) The title was taken from Milton’s poem Paradise Lost (“better to reign in hell than serve in heaven”). It was a film very much inspired by the images, montage and narrative techniques of the underground movies watched at Ubu. Essentially the film is about a young man’s obsession with a woman he sees repeatedly in advertising and the hallucinogenic dreams he has about her. Despite its later reputation, the film was relatively mundane. Being shot in black and white, it lacks the typical psychedelic ingredients of the time and is more reminiscent of the surrealistic precursors to underground film. Some contempt for the prevailing consumer society is thrown in for good measure. In the film, “A youth is persecuted by the haunting reappearance of a girl’s image in various commercial outlets. He finds escape from this commercial brainwashing only in his own confused sexual hallucinations” (Sydney Filmmakers Co-operative). But despite this advertising, so convincingly capturing the “hint! hint!” mood of the time, Noyce’s first film isn’t really outstanding even in terms of experimental film. Noyce continued to make short experimental films. There was not even the pretence of a story in any of them. He was just experimenting with his gear and finding his own way to use the techniques of the underground cinema. Megan was made at Sydney University Law School to be projected as part of the law students’ revue. It was a three-minute silent film that featured a woman called Megan, who he had a crush on. Intersection was 2 minutes 44 seconds in length and shot in the middle of a five-way or four-way intersection in North Sydney. The camera was walked into the intersection and spun around in a continuous circle from the beginning of the roll of film to the end. It was an experiment with disorientation and possibly a comment about urban development. Memories was a seven-minute short in colour about childhood and the bush, accompanied by a smell-track created in the cinema by burning eucalyptus leaves. Sun lasted 90 seconds in colour and examined the pulsating winter sun by way of 100 single frame shots. And finally, Home was a one-and-a-half-minute single frame camera exploration of the filmmaker’s home, inside and out, including its inhabitants and pets. As a true experimental filmmaker, Noyce had a deep interest in technical aspects. It was recommended that Sun “be projected through a special five image lens”, Memories and Intersection with “an anamorphic lens” (Sydney Filmmakers Co-operative). The double projection for Better to Reign in Hell and the two screens required for Good Afternoon, as well as the addition of the smell of burning leaves in Memories, were inroads into the subgenre of so-called Expanded Cinema. As filmmaking in those days was not an isolated enterprise but an integral part of the all-encompassing Counterculture, Noyce followed suit and became more and more involved and politiced. He started becoming a driving force of the movement. Besides selling Ubu News, he organised film screenings. He also wrote film articles for both Honi Soit and National U, the Sydney University and Canberra University newspapers—articles more opinionated than sophisticated. He was also involved in Ubu’s Underground Festival held in August and in other activities of the time, particularly anti-war protests. When Ubu Films went out of business after the lack of audience interest in Thoms’s long Marinetti film in 1969, Aggy Read suggested that Ubu be reinvented as a co-operative for tax reasons and because they might benefit from their stock of 250 Australian and foreign films. On 28 May 1970 the reinvention began at the first general meeting of the Sydney Filmmakers Cooperative where Noyce volunteered and was elected their part-time manager. He transferred the 250 prints to his parents’ home in Wahroonga where he was still living he said he “used to sit there day after day just screening those movies for myself” (Petzke 18). The Sydney University Film Society screened feature films to students at lunchtime. Noyce soon discovered they had money nobody was spending and equipment no one was using, which seemed to be made especially for him. In the university cinema he would often screen his own and other shorts from the Co-op’s library. The entry fee was 50 cents. He remembered: “If I handed out the leaflets in the morning, particularly concentrating on the fact that these films were uncensored and a little risqué, then usually there would be 600 people in the cinema […] One or two screenings per semester would usually give me all the pocket money I needed to live” (Petzke 19). Libertine and risqué films were obviously popular as they were hard to come by. Noyce said: We suffered the worst censorship of almost any Western country in the world, even worse than South Africa. Books would be seized by customs officers at the airports and when ships docked. Customs would be looking for Lady Chatterley’s Lover. We were very censored in literature and films and plays, and my film [Better to Reign in Hell] was banned from export. I tried to send it to a film festival in Holland and it was denied an export permit, but because it had been shot in Australia, until someone in the audience complained it could still be screened locally. (Castaway's Choice) No wonder clashes with the law happened frequently and were worn like medals of honour in those days of fighting the system, proving that one was fighting in the front line against the conservative values of law and order. Noyce encountered three brushes with the law. The first occurred when selling Ubu Films’ alternative culture newspaper Ubu News, Australia’s first underground newspaper (Milesago). One of the issues contained an advertisem*nt—a small drawing—for Levi’s jeans, showing a guy trying to put his Levis on his head, so that his penis was showing. That was judged by the police to be obscene. Noyce was found guilty and given a suspended sentence for publishing an indecent publication. There had been another incident including Phil’s Pill, his own publication of six or eight issues. After one day reprinting some erotic poems from The Penguin Collection of Erotic Poetry he was found guilty and released on a good behaviour bond without a conviction being recorded. For the sake of historical truth it should be remembered, though, that provocation was a genuine part of the game. How else could one seriously advertise Better to Reign in Hell as “a sex-fantasy film which includes a daring rape scene”—and be surprised when the police came in after screening this “p*rnographic film” (Stratton 202) at the Newcastle Law Students Ball? The Newcastle incident also throws light on the fact that Noyce organised screenings wherever possible, constantly driving prints and projectors around in his Mini Minor. Likewise, he is remembered as having been extremely helpful in trying to encourage other people with their own ideas—anyone could make films and could make them about anything they liked. He helped Jan Chapman, a fellow student who became his (first) wife in December 1971, to shoot and edit Just a Little Note, a documentary about a moratorium march and a guerrilla theatre group run by their friend George Shevtsov. Noyce also helped on I Happened to Be a Girl, a documentary about four women, friends of Chapman. There is no denying that being a filmmaker was a hobby, a full-time job and an obsessive religion for Noyce. He was on the organising committee of the First Australian Filmmakers’ Festival in August 1971. He performed in the agit-prop acting troupe run by George Shevtsov (later depicted in Renegades) that featured prominently at one of Sydney’s rock festival that year. In the latter part of 1971 and early 1972 he worked on Good Afternoon, a documentary about the Combined Universities’ Aquarius Arts Festival in Canberra, which arguably was the first major manifestation of counterculture in Australia. For this the Aquarius Foundation—the cultural arm of the Australian Union of Students—had contracted him. This became a two-screen movie à la Woodstock. Together with Thoms, Read and Ian Stocks, in 1972 he participated in cataloguing the complete set of films in distribution by the Co-op (see Sydney Filmmakers Cooperative). As can be seen, Noyce was at home in many manifestations of the Sydney counterculture. His own films had slowly become more politicised and bent towards documentary. He even started a newsreel that he used to screen at the Filmmakers’ Cooperative Cinema with a live commentary. One in 1971, Springboks Protest, was about the demonstrations at the Sydney Cricket Ground against the South African rugby tour. There were more but Noyce doesn’t remember them and no prints seem to have survived. Renegades was a diary film; a combination of poetic images and reportage on the street demonstrations. Noyce’s experimental films had been met with interest in the—limited—audience and among publications. His more political films and particularly Good Afternoon, however, reached out to a much wider audience, now including even the undogmatic left and hard-core documentarists of the times. In exchange, and for the first time, there were opposing reactions—but as always a great discussion at the Filmmakers’ Cinema, the main venue for independent productions. This cinema began with those initial screenings at Sydney University in the union room next to the Union Theatre. But once the Experimental Film Fund started operating in 1970, more and more films were submitted for the screenings and consequently a new venue was needed. Albie Thoms started a forum in the Yellow House in Kings Cross in May 1970. Next came—at least briefly—a restaurant in Glebe before the Co-op took over a space on the top floor of the socialist Third World Bookshop in Goulburn Street that was a firetrap. Bob Gould, the owner, was convinced that by first passing through his bookshop the audience would buy his books on the way upstairs. Sundays for him were otherwise dead from a commercial point of view. Noyce recollected that: The audience at this Filmmakers’ Cinema were mightily enthusiastic about seeing themselves up on the screen. And there was always a great discussion. So, generally the screenings were a huge success, with many full houses. The screenings grew from once a week, to three times on Sunday, to all weekend, and then seven days a week at several locations. One program could play in three different illegal cinemas around the city. (Petzke 26) A filmmakers’ cinema also started in Melbourne and the groups of filmmakers would visit each other and screen their respective films. But especially after the election of the Whitlam Labor government in December 1972 there was a shift in interest from risqué underground films to the concept of Australian Cinema. The audience started coming now for a dose of Australian culture. Funding of all kind was soon freely available and with such a fund the film co-op was able to set up a really good licensed cinema in St. Peters Lane in Darlinghurst, running seven days a week. But, Noyce said, “the move to St. Peters Lane was sort of the end of an era, because initially the cinema was self-funded, but once it became government sponsored everything changed” (Petzke 29). With money now readily available, egotism set in and the prevailing “we”-feeling rather quickly dissipated. But by the time of this move and the resulting developments, everything for Noyce had already changed again. He had been accepted into the first intake of the Interim Australian Film & TV School, another one of the nation-awareness-building projects of the Whitlam government. He was on his “long march through the institutions”—as this was frequently called throughout Europe—that would bring him to documentaries, TV and eventually even Hollywood (and return). Noyce didn’t linger once the alternative scene started fading away. Everything those few, wild years in the counterculture had taught him also put him right on track to become one of the major players in Hollywood. He never looked back—but he remembers fondly…References Castaway’s Choice. Radio broadcast by KCRW. 1990. Doggett, Peter. There’s a Riot Going On: Revolutionaries, Rock Stars and the Rise and Fall of ’60s Counter-Culture. Edinburgh: Canongate, 2007. Farber, Manny. “Underground Films.” Negative Space: Manny Farber on the Movies. Ed. Manny Farber. New York: Da Capo, 1998. 12–24. Jacobs, Lewis. “Morning for the Experimental Film”. Film Culture 19 (1959): 6–9. Milesago. “Ubu Films”. n.d. 26 Nov. 2014 ‹http://www.milesago.com/visual/ubu.htm›. New American Cinema Group. “First Statement of the New American Cinema Group.” Film Culture Reader. Ed. P. Adams Sitney. New York: Praeger, 1970. 73–75. Petzke, Ingo. Phillip Noyce: Backroads to Hollywood. Sydney: Pan McMillan, 2004. Renan, Sheldon. The Underground Film: An Introduction to Its Development in America. London: Studio Vista, 1968. Roszak, Theodore. The Making of Counter Culture. New York: Anchor, 1969. Stratton, David. The Last New Wave: The Australian Film Revival. Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1980. Sydney Filmmakers Co-operative. Film Catalogue. Sydney: Sydney Filmmakers Co-operative, 1972. Ubu Films. Unreleased five-minute video for the promotion of Mudie, Peter. Ubu Films: Sydney Underground Movies 1965-1970. Sydney: UNSW Press, 1997.

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Journal articles: 'Consciousness exploration book' – Grafiati (2024)

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