Nothing like a bit of rhyming in the morning…
I finally finished the Michel de Certeau extract this morning and although I soon have to rush off, I just wanted to jot down a few points I can come back to later on.
- He speaks about trajectory (a path or course) and how time and movement can be reduced by a single line drawn on a map or graph. “this flattening out transforms the temporal articulation of places into a spacial sequence of points…it takes the place of operation”. Is he talking about the way consumers move through space and time? Im confused. He goes on to speak about being able to go back in time and seize missed opportunities, this reminds me of the way we can navigate through the web and revisit old paths and take new directions. I might be totally off there though.
- Quid pro quo – never heard of this term before, it means a favour granted with the expectation of something in return. So, does plotting all our movements give us the right to take them back?
- Points to the distinction between strategies and tactics – I found this part to be very readable, though quite long winded.
I Googled tactics and strategies Michel de Certeau, and found this blog post
which I think sums up the main points and contextualises this part of the reading really well:
Michel De Certeau’s Strategies versus Tactics attempts to put into context the purpose of a process with in a system. Open source Initiatives of companies like IBM and their use of Linux programming can now be comparable to a strategy. Strategies are a carefully devised plan of action to achieve a goal. Strategies demand locations of power, require competition, define legitimate modes of research, and establish the boundaries of acceptable practice. This can be seen in the Open Source Initiative. Strategies are the institutional processes that set norms and conventions. Strategies harvest finite ideas that become concrete, and essentially remain conclusive. On the opposite side of strategies is tactics: a course of action followed in order to achieve an immediate or short-term aim. Tactics lack a specific location, survive through improvisation, and use the advantages of the weak against the strong. Tactics are the modes of creative opportunity that operate within the gaps and slips of conventional thought and the patterns of everyday life. (Lewis, Tsurumaki, Lewis, 1998)
- I like this quote – “the space of the tactic is the space of the other…what it wins it cannot keep”. I’m not entirely sure what it means though…A tactic is created in the absence of power?
- I also thought that this point could be relating to the tactics/strategies of the consumer – “…clever tricks of the “weak” within the order established by the”strong”, an art of putting one over on the adversary on his own turf…” (Pg40)
Taylah picked this quote out of the Michel de Certeau extract and it reminded me of something Adrian picked up on in class the other day – and that’s about making media which on an appropriate scale. Click here for Taylah’s full post, it’s awesome.
Michel de Certeau talks about changes in use and consumption of products, and the way we – creators and people - impose on spaces; use them and assimilate them to other practices.
Okay, i’ll explain. So the brief for our sketch videos is basic, they are 30 seconds and we can use whatever we like to film them, but they should be informal, not fancy, they should blend in with the everyday and don’t ask to be perfect or polished. The way I see it, they should ask more questions than they answer.
Anyway, we were showing our videos and a few of the class members put their videos in full screen, obviously habitually thinking it would make them easier to perceive. Adrian started to ask why we felt the need to put our work in fullscreen when it didn’t ask us too, and often, would distort the quality.
We have to start thinking less about ourselves in our work, and give more voice to the work and allow it to exist where it should, without the fear it is inferior or insignificant. Adrian sums up this point on the IM blog, we are not award winning directors, so why act like we are? Perhaps we all need to take a leaf out of Ned’s book and stop crafting these videos and just allow them to evolve as part of our day…
…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.
This week’s reading is fairly lengthy, so I have decided to make notes as I go along so I don’t have to re-read it 1000000000 times to remember the parts I liked or didn’t understand.
It’s about life, so I thought of the Tree of Life and decided to find a picture of a Tree.
So, this reading if from the chapter of a book, I should probably look into that and get the gist of what the rest of the book is about, oh and about the author.
Thats the cover and the author, both pretty snazzy looking i guess….
First a definition of la perruque would help
What is la perruque?
Michel de Certeau describes the concept of la perruque in his book originally published in English in 1984, The Practice of Everyday Life, a French word meaning “wig,” but colloquially used to describe a diversionary practice of using an employers resources for personal use.
……the worker’s own work disguised as work for his employer. It differs from pilfering (minor theft) in that nothing of material value is stolen. It differs from absenteeism in that the worker is officially on the job. …The worker who indulges in la perruque actually diverts time (not goods, since he uses only scraps) from the factory for work that is free, creative, and precisely not directed toward profit. In the very place where the machine he must serve reigns supreme, he cunningly takes pleasure in finding a way to create gratuitous products whose sole purpose is to signify his own capabilities through his work and to confirm his solidarity with other workers or his family. (1984, pp. 24-26)
- I’m struggling to understand exactly what the first section is trying to say – is it saying that we no longer understand the difference between work and leisure because of the way we choose to use the media, or that the media has blurred the line in an attempt to conflate the two things together for their own gain? Or is it examining the way people individualise media culture to create their own meanings?
- “Making Do” Implies working with what you have and moulding the things around you to make something for yourself, even if it’s not under the best circumstances or with the best available materials – a good example from the readings is the one which foregrounds assimilation via the example of a North African living in Paris – “…creates for himself a space in which he can find ways of using the constraining order…” (PG30)
- How do consumers ‘make do’ with their cultural artefacts/commodities – “what do they make of what they absorb, receive and pay for?”
- Consumers as increasingly enigmatic due to the networks framing them becoming tightly woven, they no longer have ‘space’ to provide feedback or craft their own uses or way of interacting. TV as a good example of consumers being dislodged from their products.
- Uses language as another example as a weapon of control which we still have the power to impose back upon our controllers – “…metaphorized the dominant order: they made it function in another register”. Language as a “privileged terrain” which people can “operate on”.
- Artistic tricks and competitions of accomplices into a system that reproduces and partitions through work or leisure? (PG29) Could an example of this be using Facebook at work to bitch about your boss behind thier back?
- Modalities of action to the formalities of practice? (PG29)
- Bricolage (in art or literature) construction or creation from a diverse range of available things.
- Operational Schemes – Refer to conventions, regulations, ways of operating within certain contexts etc.
- Semiotics plays a huge role and he compares it to a study of consumerism which I think is totally interesting and cool. He says “production furnishes the capital that users aquire the right to operate on”. So we in effect use language freely, but under the convention of semiotics, because if we didn’t follow the rules of semiotics, language would be useless because nobody would understand. Certeau suggests enunciation is the key to this, as something as simple as pronouncing a word clearly shows an acknowledgement of the system behind it.
- Compares the combined acts of realising, appropriating and relating with language can be applied to non linguistic operations such as consumerism and the formation of power relationships to define networks and how the ‘weaker’ side can use operations to find strength.
- I think perhaps Certeau is referring to online networks subverting the very conventions of advertising and consumerism to enter into a dialogue with the mass media. I will seek out some examples at some point.
Okay, I’m up to page 34 and think I have perhaps understood about 50% of what this guy is trying to say. 8 pages to go!