Master’s Thesis Project ~ Narratives of Marginalized Bodies: Exploring Third Space in Contemporary New Media and Digital Art

VCS-posters-Dorothy

FINALLY! My thesis is done. Please click on the symposium poster image above to access the Graduate Thesis Work 2014 site brought to you by the California College of the Arts. You will be able to read my thesis abstract there and learn a bit more about my overall project. If you want further details or read it (goddess bless you because I have NO idea who would want to read it other than my committee and fellow cohort – because they were required to read it!), please feel free to contact me via the contact form on this blog site or the email provided on the CCA grad site. Thank you!!

Under Construction (for Life)

phdcomic1

Hello Family and Friends,

I can’t believe the semester is almost over. My research papers on the other hand have yet to be completed. I’m still working on them. Not to fear, they will get done. Feel free to send me messages of encouragement and a reminder to be kind to myself. I’m sure there will be instances in the next couple of weeks where I start hyperventilating because, sometimes, I do forget to do this thing called breathing. In any case, if you’re interested, these are the titles for my two research papers:

Engendered Rhizome: Explorations of Embodiment through the Machine

On the Margins: Comparative Analysis of Bohemian Paris and American Hacker Culture and the Emergence of New Media Arts and Computational Aesthetics

Good times! I’ll probably post excerpts when I’m done with the papers. This summer, I’ll be blogging a lot more (the good stuff). Promise. Thanks for reading and, again, feel free to ask me, “Ummm, what the hell is a rhizome?” Trust me, if I can explain it to you, I’ll be happy. 🙂

Cheers,

Dorothy

Theorizing the Web 2013 Review published to Creative Applications Network

Theorizing the Web Symposium, Free Speech for Whom with Danah Boyd, Adrian Chen, and Zepnef Tufecki
Theorizing the Web Symposium, Free Speech for Whom with Danah Boyd, Adrian Chen, and Zepnef Tufecki – Photo Credit: Aaron Thompson

A strangeness abounds when people are asked to theorize and elucidate something so untethered and rhizomatic as the Internet. At its basic structure, networks connect us to the images, data and knowledge we draw upon every day. Yet what is at the heart of these connections and what separates or integrates our In Real Life (IRL) and digital personas? This past weekend, the annual Theorizing the Web conference took place in New York’s bustling Midtown district at the City University of New York’s (CUNY) graduate center. Co-founders Nathan Jurgenson and PJ Rey created the conference in the hopes of balancing theory and practice with the diverse set of presenters and contributors while bridging the gap between institution and academia to the general public. Since the theme of this year’s conference dealt primarily with notion of surveillance, many of the panels focused on the different ways surveillance is used, not only to learn behaviors and habits of people, but as a means of creating a self through data or better understanding our connections and interactions online…read the entire review here

Photos of my Studio Visit with Allison Holt

There is SO much going on BUT I had to take the time to share a few photos I took during my studio visit with new media artist, Allison Holt. I’m looking forward to settling down and writing a piece about my conversation and visit with Holt. Her re-telling and artworks of the different energies and hybrid realities through her Fulbright research of Javanese culture is not only fascinating but yet another example of how artists can impact a community and engage in dialogue and discourse across cultures. Again, looking forward to posting parts of my interview with Holt as well as some reflection on her work.

I previously posted videos of the Hypercubes here. They’re extremely meditative, which I will get into during my write-up. For now, enjoy the studio visit photos and videos! If you have any burning questions and/or comments, please feel free to share and comment below. 🙂

The Human Builds the Machine but Ought Not to Become It

In certain types of engineering practices, there’s this idea that the computer and mathematics itself are sort of  a-cultural. That they only exist in their own technical and formal world. Every computer system is built within a social and historical context of its time.

~Professor Fox Harrell

Last year, I delved into work and research of Professor Fox Harrell. He runs the Imagination, Computation, and Expression Laboratory (ICE) Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Click here for an introduction to the ICE lab.

The lab’s most recent work is the AIR Project, which stands for Advanced Identity Representation. This particular project looks at the ways in which end users can actively create a richer, dynamic identity within the virtual world. I’m oversimplifying here but I highly encourage you to visit the project site to read immerse yourself in the details. Although his work is based on computation and artificial intelligence (AI), the focus is on the human condition and our (virtual) interactions. This type of new media art helps shed light on the way we behave, perceive, and inevitably mesh and mold into identities we have created for ourselves. More to follow…

Currently reading: Toward a Theory of Critical Computing: The Case of Social Identity Representation in Digital Media Applications by Dr. Fox Harrell 

The Body Organic: From Language to Image and Interaction – Part II

It is wrong to say that in philosophy we consider an ideal language as opposed to our ordinary one. For this makes it appear as though we thought we could improve on ordinary language. But ordinary language is all right. Whenever we make up ‘ideal languages’ it is not in order to replace our ordinary language by them; but just to remove some trouble cause in someone’s mind by thinking that he has got hold of the exact use of a common word. That is also why our method is not merely to enumerate actual usages of words, but rather deliberately to invent new ones, some of them because of their absurd appearance.

~Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosopher

Revisiting the questions in The Body Organic – Part I, does the new media artist have the ability to divorce language from their work?

The complex, universal, and abstract ideas simplified in Snibbe’s work capture the beauty of nature through beautiful calculation and minimalist design. Physical presence and engagement are integral to the overall experience of the art. Each experience is new. Yet, new media arts seems tethered to language. As Snibbe mentioned the limitations of language during an UpgradeSF artist talk, language is far too intertwined in new media, which presents an unprecedented challenge in redefining highly technological work as fine art. Although the body is a primary part in many new media art works and interactive pieces, the invention of new languages is imperative in the evolution of art and culture. Even with language having played a huge role in Dadaism and the Fluxus movement, the use of language in current new media arts creates an organic experience involving the senses and uses language to create image and interaction. As programmers, developers, and creative coders, the creation of platforms such as Processing enable artists to take language and create visual works but what happens when the limitation of language riddles the next wave of artists? The inescapable reliance on language (i.e., programming and coding) persists.

Originally published to zero1 blog. Please view post here