Korsaconfusing – a term I coined today after meticulously uploading and linking all clips with intense concentration only to find that a mere three clips uploaded of the twelve. Indeed dear reader, it was not a good day. What arouse from this situation was not only neglect for an hour but rather a surge of inspiration directly after this hour. From this situation I immediately turned to Seth’s workshop and attempted to organise to meet with peers for a serious intervention. Alas, who would have known that a few of my video files were not actually compressed using the H.264 codec. Hopefully this will resolve the issue when I deal with it tomorrow. Future posts pending.
Monthly Archives: March 2012
March 29, 2012 – 9:21 pm
At last, a recognisable distinction between tactics and strategies! After re-reading de Certeau’s chapter post lecture the understandings came thick and fast especially in regards to comprehending what exactly a tactic is. According to de Certeau, what matters is what people do with power using tactical and strategical methods..
A tactic makes do in a society governed by power by neglecting to formally engage with rules posed by institutions that govern power. De Certeau uses two contrasting sentences to convey this. The first sentence is that “the space of a tactic is the space of the other” and secondarily, “a tactic is an art of the weak”. The space of a tactic is the space of the other suggests that strategical institutions employ a social process whereby their dominant status defines the existence of those in an inferior group. In this case it can be inferred that tactics occur in a contrived and limited space to make do. Comparatively, the sentence, “a tactic is an art of the weak” implies that inferior groups (although ‘othered’) are not disempowered against dominant institutions, but rather subtly rebel, possessing a number of opportunities to create ‘art’ or ways of operating/making do within the restricted space available.
Strategies according to de Certeau are the “manipulation of power relationships that become possible as soon as a subject with will and power (a business, an army, a city, a scientific institution) can be isolated.” These strategies are rule governed and are contextualised through traditional institutions that are defined by a place where power can be expelled such as at a University or a law court etc. What is interesting in regards to this subject is how strategy now has less dominance over our lives due to the undermining nature of the network. As a system that refutes traditional hierarchical structure, traditional institutions of power are undergoing changes and challenges as I expressed earlier in this blog entry.
More points to come on de Certeau.
March 29, 2012 – 7:59 pm
Our position as vicious consumers in society is not a passive process but rather an active mode of making. We have transcended the mass media’s one way stream and flick things right back in its face, such as fandom clips, subcultures, parody features and other appropriated material usually found in online environments and usually concerning Star Trek. With the goods, services and stuff that exist in society we make do by utilising our autonomy to construct identities of ourselves, exemplifying Adrian’s well elucidated point that consumption is a form of making. Although perhaps a touch old school but all of this talk gets me drawing parallels between the lecture material and The Mighty Boosh. In particular the subcultural identities that we make in opposition to larger institutions telling us what to do in our approach to things, especially things such as fashion.
Alot of The Boosh draws on the themes of subcultural style and resistance in regards to the minimal options that we have available to construct an appropriate image of ourselves. It stereotypes the Mod, the Hipster, the Punk, the Consumerist and the Anti-Consumerist, all of our favourite clichéd characters whom we poke fun and laugh at but ultimately become in the end. In particular, it is the character Vince within the show that exerts tactics by using fashion trends to construct an image of himself and thereby interact with consumption. And he does it well. In each episode he plays with his identity, using fashion from both the “past and the future and combining the two to make something not quite as good as either”. Vince fluctuates between styles influenced by Cheekbone magazine delivered every three hours by ninjas. Most notably, it is his transitions from hipster to punk to mod and back again that pinpoints the swift rise and fall of subcultural trends, using Topshop to expel the irony of subcultural capital. This is especially noticeable in hipster culture that pervades at the moment, particularly hipster attempts at being individual through fashion, by playing synth, riding a sweet fixed gear bike, rolling tailored cigarettes with no shoes and helmet, all at the same time down Gertrude Street. Whilst this initial subculture broke away from the mainstream revealing themselves as artistic intellectuals with a fashion sense not even The Sartorialist could comprehend, it simultaneously became mainstream and produced many of the clichéd characters we see pervading New York, I mean, Melbourne today.
Despite the identity manipulation that we endure in society, The Boosh hilariously suggests the idea that ways in which we construct ourselves through commodities is pleasurable. It offers us agency to formulate our own identity amongst the commodities presented to us, just makin do.
March 26, 2012 – 7:17 am
My three video sketches for this week include, Inside, Outside and In-between. Both Outside and In-between are definitely my favourites this week but one can only be chosen so I’m going with Outside primarily due to the spontaneous creative process that went into making it. This video required no crafting when filming and ideas seemed to come to me later when editing in iMovie. The natural cliched outdoor sounds that accompanied the images were excellent as well as the recently saturated trees that enhanced their green tones. Overall I liked how I conveyed the crisp/fresh feeling associated with being outside after it has rained, particularly when contrasted against the dank/simple, and colourless images of a bored house. Moreover, I enjoyed creating comparisons between the small elements of trees and juxtaposing these shots against wide, scenic shots to emphasise the vastness of outside as opposed to inside.
March 23, 2012 – 4:30 pm
Four reads later and still unable to understand not much of Michel de Certeau’s reading; desperate times call for desperate measures in this blog post. Having only just grappled with his notion of “la perruque” and “the art of being in-between,” I seek solace in this comment made by Adrian “de Certeau is emphasising the consumer of media as an active user where they ‘make do’ and take from what is presented. This is an empowering of the consumer away from what was thought to be more or less monolithic, one way media flows. They say, we listen. In this subject we shift this further. People still think you can only make and be heard if you are on the TV, the radio, the newspaper, if you use a Red camera, or whatever. Those days are gone. They are not coming back”.
If only I could pretend that I had written these sentences. Alas, I can only elaborate on it and demonstrate my understanding. Within the realm of a traditional consumer oriented society exposed to media, individuals are grafted to perceive that they have no choice but to comprehend standards in ways that traditional media lay down for them. “Within the restrictions of these standards individuals establish a degree of plurality and creativity, by an art of being in between, they draw unexpected results from their situation…and make do”. This idea of “making do” expressed by de Certeau has been altered significantly in regards to the consumption of traditional forms of media. This subject has exposed that the development of the network forms as an example of how individuals are now empowered consumers, possessing a number of possible online outlets (blogs, Facebook) to make themselves heard against and in retaliation to traditional media forms such as newspapers, TV, radio etc. In addition to this argument, the quote “the consumer cannot be identified or qualified by the newspapers or commercial products she assimliates: between the person (who uses them) and these products (indexes of the order which is imposed on her), there is a gap of varying proportions opened by the use that she makes of them,” succeeds in reinforcing that the network/online communication assists in filling the gap of varying proportion, offering a space in which the consumer can express whatever she makes of the products and/or traditional media forms presented to her.
March 21, 2012 – 10:24 am
In the context of media practice, the Wisdom model discussed in our previous reading is a touch off track. From what I inferred from the lecture, perhaps knowledge should be positioned above understanding, information and data. Or, perhaps, it shouldn’t be confined to a pyramid at all, but rather to a wide, boundary free, fluid network. When acquiring knowledge we now no longer rely upon traditional knowledge institutions such as newpapers, books and Universities. We now rely upon filtered information contributed by many people online as opposed to manually filtered information done by authoritative institutions who define things for themselves. This is most notably exemplified by Wikipedia, a site that utilises everyones expertise online and is ten times more convenient than searching through a tangible Encyclopaedia.
The quote, “knowledge has been about reducing what we need to know” reinforces the notion that prior to the network, knowledge had been controlled and constrained by traditional institutions. But now that the network exists, we are exposed to knowledge that is not only academic but also related to our specific interests and can be contributed by any expert. Furthermore, Adrian’s reference to the theory of technological determinism is an appropriate theory to apply to our perceptions of the network. The notion that we are defined by technology is both inviting and constraining as noted by Adrian. For example, where would the Internet be had Google not been founded? In this sense we are very much reliant on and defined by technology, and this could make for disastrous outcomes as demonstrated by popular Hollywood films by David Cronenberg. Alternatively, our reliance upon technology can only lead to enhancing and influencing society positively as demonstrated through a film like Iron Man. My reference to knowledge, technological determinism, a director and an action film emphasises Adrian’s point concerning this subject and how is seeks to prove that connections in networks emerge to create structure, demonstrating that all things are deeply intertwined (just look at the hypertext on Wikipedia). This brings me to my finishing point concerning knowledge as a flat and fluid structure that can be navigated through the many connections that are established.