News for October 2014

Electronic Culture

The  interactive game I played on was called “Separation,” part of the second collection. The focus of the game is embodying brain injury. It is titled “separation” because the player should try to separate his/herself  as a body from the computer. The game demonstrates the tendency to join the two, meshing us into a “body-machine,” which is the game’s subtitle. It is clearly exemplified when the player overclicks or clicks too quickly, and the game responds with “you do not have the right attitude to continue” (or something to that extent). As you click, more and more words appear to relate you to the situation. But as you get increasingly impatient, clicking more, it is clear that we associate our emotions with the machine because our emotions (which should relate to the text that appears) no longer associate to the text on the screen – we keep clicking, not thinking about what pops up on the screen or caring to relate to it.
This reminded me of Manovich’s piece about automation and how we have shifted to simulating perspectives. To me, this simulation only proved the lack of separation between body and machine when we use them so often. Manovich describes the way perspective can be used in vision now with computers, and that is shown in the video game because we have to be able to see the text on the screen to interact with the game. The lack of separation further proves Manovich’s last point: that demonstrating more and more computer interaction for the purpose of perspective no longer gives it the same emphasis that it used to – it’s no longer exceptional, allowing us to seamlessly integrate it into our body.
Posted: October 24, 2014
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Video Exercises in Genre

Continuity: exercise in continuity

Montage: exercise in montage

Posted: October 24, 2014
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Photography

Susan Sontag analyzes the function of photographs, defining a photograph as a captured experience. She says that to photograph is to place yourself in a certain relation to the world, as if using the photograph as acquired knowledge. We have the choice to take a photograph, honing in on what exactly is worth looking at. This creates a power play as we have the power to freeze a moment, thus possessing it in the form of a photograph.

This is a photo of my cousin Mathiew I took over the summer, in Lebanon. My cousin is 9 years-old and claimed to be a huge Brazil fan for the World Cup, like all his friends.. Lebanon takes after much of the rest of the world and joins in on the World Cup craze, creating huge yet friendly rivalries. Here, he is wearing a Brazil jersey I gifted him and also the Germany jacket his father gave him; his father works abroad and doesn’t get to see his kids much, so they cherish what they can of him when he’s away. Mathiew wanted to support his father, a Germany fan, as Germany was playing a game yet also show his loyalty to Brazil. The irony in the moment was astounding, and I had to capture it.

In insisting on taking a photo, I see Sontag’s article come into play. I exercised my power to capture ethe moment, using it as knowledge from my summer that I can look back on as I have for this assignment. While my cousin put his Germany jacket over the Brazil jersey instinctively and without thinking, by choosing to photograph it, I made an event out of the moment. Sontag also identifies photography as lying between art and truth; in making it an event, perhaps this could be perceived as art, but I see it as a truth of what occurred over the summer, just capturing the moment.

Jack Halberstam exercised queer photography as a way to demonstrate authenticity in identity, capturing identity as a performance. His collection features various people in a raw, real way, giving them authority over what may otherwise be classified as weirdness.

I see the backstory of why my cousin decided to wear what he did as speaking to Halberstam’s point to demonstrate authenticity. To me, the photograph symbolizes Mathiew’s youth – going along with the Brazil hype for the fun of the World cup – as well as his internal struggle to cling to what he can of his father – wearing Germany garb despite claiming he hates the team. Perhaps that cannot be well-represented in the photograph, but this is the meaning I see that helps me relate it to Halberstam’s intentions in his photography.

blog 4 photo

Posted: October 17, 2014
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