Here’s the link to my final blog:
This class has taken my on a writing mechanisms roller coaster. Beginning the class with Marshall McLuhan’s work on mediums and our relationship to the machine, and ending with various example of Electronic Literature. This class has not only redefine the way I think about the computer, but how I define literature as well. Instead of passively interacting with the computer, I know think of the progression in writing tools, starting with the pencil, and coming full circle to the computer. Even my definition machines has been reevaluated.
Also, for google wave, I was always one of those old fashion students who likes to have a notebook where I write notes, and initially I was really hesitant about google wave. Turns out it was great. It was a really helpful tool, and wasn’t too distracting either. It added to the structure of the class, and was an additional way for us to engage with the material
So I know we’ve talked a lot about the death of the print novel in class, but something I’ve been thinking about too is the death of the magazine. More so than the novel and other academic forms of texts, I feel like magazines and newspapers have quickly been dying out, and numerous publications have gone out of print. I think this is directly related to the rise blogs. I wrote a post about it for my project, and decided to post it here as well:
Over the past couple of years, various music publications have been forced to downsize or have gone out of business, while music blogs have flourished, expanded, and sprung up all over the internet. How can we view the music blog as a new form of interactive electronic literature – as it builds musical communities, and transfers music based literature to the web. Katherine Hayles opens her book, Electronic Literature, by saying
“Is electronic literature really literature at all? Will the dissemination mechanisms of the internet and the Web, by opening publication to the public to everyone, result in a flood of worthless drivel? Is literary quality possible in digital media or is electronic literature demonstrably inferior to the print canon? What large-scale social and cultural changes are bound up with the spread of digital culture, and what do they portend for the future of writing” (pg 2)
These question correlate directly to my discussion of music blogs, and I argue that it is the audience that serves as the publishing filter. Only those blogs that are well written and that are engaging gain a large readership, and those that are less than are often abandoned. Electronic Literature has lead to the rise of peer review, whereas with print, editors at large judge writers on a set criteria. Now readers have taken on this role. Readers have become active agents in the writing process as the readers comment can relate to anything in the post – ranging from content to typos.
What does this mean for the future of literature? Who knows, but I hope to continue to explore these questions as I read more and more music blogs. I think the engagement of the reader is exciting, if nothing else, and this will shift the way writing is approached. Now writers truly know their audience, and can engage in a direct dialogue with them if they choose to. The possibilities are endless.
Here’s a link to the LA Weekly article discussing the new facebook features, which gives users information to 3rd party websites.
While the motives behind facebook and the other projects are different, what really separates them. In what cases do we allow others to peer into our lives, in contrast to other situations that we consider invasive. Is it the commidification of personal information that we’re uncomfortable with rather than it’s accessibility?
I found both of these mediums really interesting. I agree with Rachel about how they are able to bring into question our ideas of authorship as well. Something I found intriguing was We Feel Fine’s ability to determine the sex of the publisher, and their emotions based on the post. Initally, as I read their description of the project, I was a little uneasy about this assumption, but after reading many of the excerpts, I saw how gendered many of the posts were. I also though the statistics at the bottom of each page were helpful in contextualizing the posts that I was reading.
I think both works also bring up the issue of “the end of the era of privacy.” The people who have created this content are unaware of this outside usage, and some of the authors have posted personal information. People are becoming increasingly comfortable posting personal information on the internet, and this is only highlighted by these two projects. It’s slightly bizarre, but I feel like most of us are guilty of it, assuming that what we are posting can old be read by friends.
Here are some of those mini series I was talking about in class.
The first is called It’s Everybody’s Business, and features an ex-President of GE and his wife as they help businesses out. Of course, it’s all extremely obvious product placement. You have to download this application to watch it, but it’s up to you.
The other series is called Race to the Moment, and it’s sponsored by benadryl. I don’t think it’s aired yet, so I don’t have any links for this one.
Here’s a link to my blog project as of now.
Here’s a link to my blog so far. It’s a work in process, but the first post is meant to serve as an outline.
I’m still working on making to more visually appealing, but that may take me a little bit longer.
I found this really interesting article that interviewed the new co-presidents of myspace and how they’re going to attempt to keep it relevant with new rising social newtorks. I’m not sure if anything will save myspace now, or ever return it to it’s glory days, but they’re trying.
Also, there’s a section where they’re asked if they see facebook, twitter, and similar sites as competitors or if it’s a cooperative effort. I think they’re slightly in denial about the competitive nature between the sites, or at least they’re trying to seem positive in the interview.
Hayles chapter, Contexts for Electronic Literature, grapples with the relationship between technology and the body, and she brings a lot of interesting metaphors into her discussion. The section I found most interesting was her discussion of time and spatiality. Hayles states that “time ceases to be constructed as a universal “now” conceived as a point source moving unambiously forward along a line at a uniform time and place” (pg 97). To try and separate time from a forward linear movement is an interesting idea, especially since technology is often connected to movement into the future, and separation from the past. Her analysis of Global Finance as microcosm for her discussion of technology and the body, where she claims that “the screens function as temporalized “places” traders occupy” and that “time in these circumstances becomes the spatialized parameter in which communities are built and carry out their business” (pg 96). Traders in this case occupy a unique space, where they interact with the screens, which function as an extension of their bodies, as what could almost be consider an alternate reality.
Later in the chapter, Hayles’ discusses the modern human and technology, and how “the evolution of Homo sapiens has co-developed with technologies” and that “modern humans literally would not have come into existence without technology” (pg 112). This argument and her discussion of time are interrelated as we see how development, time, technology, and the human body are all intertwined. The connection between the body and technology is a historical one, but technology has manipulated our conception of not only time, but the body itself. How we define identity and the body is often directly related to technology. As Hayles describes with the traders, their attachment to the screen becomes highly addictive, and part of their self-hood. Even now, I think our identities are often informed by and connected to technologies. This has become increasingly apparent with the rise of the internet. Even beyond the obvious examples of things like myspace and facebook, when you meet a person for the first time, you might ask “what movies do you like, what music do you listen to, etc.” Our interactions with technology have always been connected to our identities, and the formation of the body. I think it’s just become increasingly obvious with the internet, as we have been able to take snap shots of ourselves, and place them on a platform for others to see.