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VoiceThread Projects April 21, 2009

Posted by animatingthecyborg in art, communication, visual culture, writing.
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Here are the links to the projects we screened and discussed in class today. The Umbrella Group will be submitting their link on Thursday, and hopefully we’ll have time to screen it in class next Tuesday. I haven’t heard from the Handlebar Mustache Group–I hope they are alive and well.

Remember, you have two options: either adding onto the narrative in some way, or adding a substantial comment about the VoiceThread project itself–hopefully these will bring the narratives into a different kind of life, a life of their own outside of the creators’ hands.

I’d like you to make these comments on each others’ by 10pm tonight–I will be checking the links to see the progress. This way you all have enough time to incorporate how the VoiceThreads changed in your Reflective Analysis through the commenting of viewers, and, also, what it is like letting go of a creative work and allowing others to imbue it with a life of its own outside the scope of your original design.

Gender Inversion/Women’s Rights Group
http://voicethread.com/#q.b452147.i2405813

Barbie Group
http://voicethread.com/#q.b453170.i2411441

Polaroid Group
http://voicethread.com/#q.b435351.i2408978

Beatles & Diary Group
http://voicethread.com/#q.b449812.i2391023

Tobacco Group
http://voicethread.com/#u345080.b452926.i2409815

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Inspiration and a Mermaid Tailed Patchwork Girl March 2, 2009

Posted by baimeeker in cyborgs, fsct 301, writing.
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Hey everyone!

While I was working on my narrative, I found a relevant podcast about muses that keep people up at night.  It’s called 3AM and Writing.  I suggest reading it.  You canfind it here: http://www.theseanachai.com/2009/02/27/3-am-and-writing/#more-405

Also, I just found this article.  A woman whose legs were amputated as a child asked for a prosthetic mermaid tail!  Given that she already had prosthetic legs, it may seem a little much, but I honestly wonder how it would be to swim with something like that!  And to have to switch limbs to go swimming!  What do you all think?  Here’s the link: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10171471-1.html?part=rss&tag=feed&subj=Crave

Cyborg Writing February 19, 2009

Posted by slickpig in cyborgs, writing.
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I think that the two readings we had for this week, Jackson’s Patchwork Girl and Haraway’s Cyborg Manifesto, speak in an interesting conversation. Haraway says in the Manifesto- “Writing is pre-eminently the technology of cyborgs, etched surfaces of the late twentieth century. Cyborg politics is the struggle for language and the struggle against perfect communication, against the one code that translates all meaning perfectly, the central dogma of phallogocentrism,” and if anything Patchwork Girl is not a text that allows for easy navigation or translation. There cannot be one perfect explanation or way to read Patchwork Girl, which is probably what Shelly Jackson is trying to achieve through her hypertext novel.

Patchy-work Girl February 18, 2009

Posted by dunemethane in narrative, structure, visual culture, writing.
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At first I was really intrigued by the idea of reading a story that if I clicked on any word would take me to another page like those old-school choose your own adventure books. I started to read and clicked on words and kept going until I realized that I just kept going in circles eventhough I clicked on different words everytime. WTF? I tried this for about a half hour when I eventualy just gave up and accepted that this hypertext business is not as cool as I thought it would be. But I guess it makes sense since it starts with talking about embryo’s and ends talking about the same exact thing (literally).

The communicative February 17, 2009

Posted by saraholsen in art, communication, cyborgs, technology, writing.
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Throughout college, I have been forced to readdress my social, political, and personal views on just about everything in the entire world, which is what I believe part of what college is about. However, this semester has been met with a new challenge that I have not been expecting, and that is the reassessing of technology in my life and how I define it.

When first starting out on our little linoleum carving many of us were in doubt about the technology that would be proceeded. However, I feel that after a bit of contemplation, the reality of technology is painstakingly clear in our lives, and we are simply starting with the most obvious, yet most ignored technology, and that is writing. Writing itself, whether it is formed the way Blake did or the method of typing on a computer, is the technology that has literally come to control our every method of thought and action. If we were not a literate culture, we would not have the 200 pages of reading a assigned a night, and therefore, our entire educational system would be thrown off. How would we learn if we did not read and write? If there were no books to be highlighted and no essays to be written, how would our knowledge be measured. We can of course look at the cultures that did exist and the few that continue to exist today that were oral based. However, it is difficult to wrap our minds around the concept that every thing we do would change if we did not read and write. And not just educaiton but I mean everything.

With this being said, moving forward into the fact that technology and writing has developed to the point where this blog post is possible, I must say there is something about it that I do not like. There is something slightly complicated, but moreover, there is not the interaction that should be prominent in our learning. The ideas that people bring about on this blog post are stupendous, to be sure. However, my connection to who is even posting what has become completely lost and I would therefore prefer to have a class discussion about these ideas. I have come full circle to understand what technology is and how it employs are lives and creates the cyborg in all of us, however, there seems to be a line that is crossed that I am not comfortable with, though I am not sure comfortable is the right word.

Response to readings February 17, 2009

Posted by jr4024 in cyborgs, monstrosity, poetry, technology, writing.
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The readings for this week were from Evocative Objects. The first story was about a woman and her bracelet. She discussed that her jewelry box is set up into different sections based on properties and categories. For example, she had shells and stones in their own separate spaces. When I first read this, I automatically made a metaphor connecting with society and how we categorize and group different people based on similar stereotypes of identities and characteristics. In addition, within these different groups lies the same definition for each “member”. We can relate this labeling to societal notions about monsters/deviants and why they are placed in the “Other” group based on appearance and with no correlation to what is considered normal. Her bracelet also had a past, which can be linked to the history of what monsters look like and are supposed to “be”. If we consider ourselves cyborgs, then why does that not make us a monster?  

            The second reading was about a man and his yellow raincoat. I found this story very interesting because I immediately linked some of the author’s ideas to those of William Blake. In the story, the yellow raincoat symbolizes his protection from the outer world and creates a sort of barrier from which he created binaries. As we have read, Blake uses this system of binaries to contrast Songs and Experience. He states, “These conflicting denials of life and death are attached to the coat.” In addition to this binary, the author mentions: self and external world, rocks and people, playing an active and inactive role, and order and chaos. His binaries also tend to have a childhood vs. adulthood aspect to them because he analyzes his raincoat as an adult looking back on what it meant to him.

Blake vs. Cyborgs February 17, 2009

Posted by ml7142 in poetry, technology, writing.
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When discussing the two contrasting works o Blake, the Lamb and the Tyger, I started to question his reasoning in writing two songs that could share so much meaning yet be so blatently apart. The binaries of a lamb and the tyger are symbolistic of good and evil yet blake is obvious in noting as well as questioning how the lamb and the tyger are created from the same. From reading these two songs, I started to realize how the exact thing that Blake questions in these songs are represented in a cyborg or cybernetic organism. A cyborg is a combination of binaries that come together for its creation. Whether these may be human/machine, good/evil etc, the toery of being created by “man” is all the same. In Blake’s song’s the innocent lamb and the aggressive tyger theoretically share a creator. The case can then be made the same for human and cyborg. Technically speaking the human and the cyborg, regardless of how endless their differences can be, share the same creator; a “man”. Since the other topic about these opposing poems talked about was the prophecy and experience piece, I also found a correlation to a cyborg within this idea. A cyborg or cybernetic organism is built upon hte idea of a functioning human. The human being though it has various different stories for how it is created, has a religious connotation for being created as a prophetic organism meant to live and prosper. The cyborg then is much like the tyger in that often times it is an aggressive afterthought that is created or understood as something that is the afterthought of the lamb. This thought process kind of made me question my original point although I hope you can try and understand what it is exactly that I am trying to say.

Technology is life January 29, 2009

Posted by saraholsen in communication, technology, writing.
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The first few days of class have been extremely eye opening. As it stands now, we are constantly surrounded by various things of technology. I think it is, in fact, safe to say that in everyday life we are never without it. We rely on it to communicate, travel, learn, and even solve our small dilemmas such as telling the time. However, I had never truly deeply considered how each technology I came into contact with differentiated from each other. Or how it truly affected me. I am often surprised when I realize just how much I rely on technology to get home for breaks and stay in touch with people all around the world, including my oldest sister who has been traveling Asia for the last several months and stayed in touch through face book. It truly makes me reconsider who I am as a person. I am being represented via computer. When people look at me on a blog or web page, they are seeing it as me. It leads me to a deep consideration of how much the term cyborg can be applied to everyday people, like myself. I also am often reminded of the reaction women have while technology is encountered during their pregnancy. Many women say it makes them sad and disconnected from their child, because it is not something they are capable of doing or knowing by themselves. Therefore, I am also curious about the disconnection that technology can build by breaking down simple intimacies.