Only one reading this week to be completed by Monday, 2nd February. It’s a bit dense so be sure to take your time with it.
Galloway, Alexander R. Protocol: How Control Exists after Decentralization. The MIT Press, 2006. Print. (Extract from Introduction, PDF)
Have a look at these two different news articles about the same story. While neither goes particularly far towards either side of bias, have a think about the ways in which information is prioritised and what the respective focus of each article implies.
From The Australian:
Julie Bishop meets new Afghan president
Although in some distant, or not-so-distant, future all individual texts will electronically link to one another, thus creating metatexts and metametatexts of a kind only partly imaginable at present, less far-reaching forms of hypertextuality have already appeared. (69)
One of the great strengths of hypertext, after all, lies in its ability to provide access to materials regardless of how they are classified and (hence) how and where they are stored. From the Nelsonian point of view, hypertext does not so much violate classifications as supplement them, making up for inevitable shortcomings. (108-9)
The concepts of beginning and ending imply linearity. What happens to them in a form of textuality not governed by linearity? (110)
One may argue that, in fact, all the hypertext linking of such texts does is embody the way one actually experiences texts in the act of reading; but if so, the act of reading has in some way gotten much closer to the electronic embodiment of text and in doing so begun to change its nature.” (116)
Due: Friday, 19th February at 5pm
This task can be completed in pairs or individually. If a complete draft of the writing (minimum 1200 words) is submitted to your teacher by Monday, 9th February you will receive a bonus 5 marks. Work that is done in pairs is expected to be more sophisticated (writing, ideas, use of media, references) than work that is done individually.
Email the URL of your essay with a screen capture of all pages included in a .pdf attachment by 5pm on the due date.
Network literacy is not merely knowing about this, it is doing it. It is in this doing that we can understand that literacy is an applied knowing, or if you prefer a knowing through doing.… It is being comfortable with change and flow as the day to day conditions of knowledge production and dissemination, and recognising that all of this may change, and appear differently in six months. What underlies such change, however, are the principles of distributed content production and sharing, folksonomies, trust networks and having access to skills that let you collate and build with these varieties of content and knowledge….. Network literacy means recognising that there are no longer canonical sources and having the skills to find what it is you think you want, of being able to judge it, and then of being able to incorporate this, in turn, into your knowledge flows. Finally, networked literacies are marked by your participation as a peer in these flows and networks — you contribute to them and in turn can share what others provide.
Miles, Adrian. “Network Literacy: The New Path to Knowledge.” Screen Education Autumn.45 (2007): 24–30.
Your task is to compose and pursue a research question that will enhance your understanding of a topic area that is of key interest to you and will have direct relevance to your future career. This should be explored in the context of Networked Media and must include a variety of different media. The essay can exist across multiple webpages.
Take any of the ideas/concepts/arguments in the above quote to investigate and think about the possible implications of this for you as a future professional media maker. For example, what might you need to know about? How might this affect how you make media? Consume it? How it get used? Distributed? Could the media in itself (what sort of thing we currently mean when we say ‘media’) change? In other words take something from this to think about what it might mean for you as someone who will influence our future media.
This essay is to be published as a page or pages on your blog or as a standalone web page/s published via themediastudents.net website.
It is to include:
- image (photos or drawings)
- video and/or audio
The essay is to be around 1,500 words in length. It does not have to conform to traditional academic requirements and so can be
- use “I”
- finish with questions rather than answers
- be exploratory in its thinking and argument/s
However, it is still an essay which means the work must:
- make an argument
- explore or think about an idea or ideas
- use evidence
- appropriately cite that evidence
An essay is not an opinion piece, it is informed by research and thinking. This makes an essay critical, which doesn’t mean it criticises something negatively but that it interrogates ideas and assumptions to see what they are, what they are made of, and where they might take you. An essay is then a place in which you think through something, rather than reporting on what you already know or understand. This task is inviting you to treat your writing and making as more like a laboratory, where you state something, then think about what it means, its consequences or implications. In other words follow the idea where it leads you.
The essay can consist of more than a single page. The image/s and video/s and/or audio that you use are expected to contribute to the ideas being explored. They might reflect an idea, reinforce or endorse it, or provide a prompt or point of departure for your own thinking.
In the US income from music streaming passes income from CD sales…
This is a site that has just garnered a lot of attention. It is presenting itself as an alternative to FaceBook and Twitter (app.net is also promoting itself as a Twitter alternative). The main difference is the desire to not sell you stuff, or sell your social profile to others. What Does Ethical Social Networking Software Look Like? — The Message — Medium.
However, this post, on Ello, points out some of the problems with these claims.
In last week’s symposium I mentioned, in passing, Bruno Latour and actor-network theory. These are complex areas, but in that long messy (they’re always messy if you actually want to deal with what is rather than imaginary ‘forces’) conversation I’m going to try to join some dots.
Latour writes, “To be a realistic whole is not an undisputed starting point but the provisional achievement of a composite assemblage.” Fancy words. This is in many ways similar to Shield’s “plots are for dead people”. What I take Latour to mean is that we aren’t really ‘whole’ (and neither really is anything else). For instance as I sat in the symposium I was simultaneously a (1) teacher, (2) pontificate, (3) employee, (4) sort of employer (I asked Betty, Elliot and Jason to teach the subject), (5) supervisor (I am Jason’s PhD supervisor), (5) colleague, I’ve also (6) taught Elliot in media and in honours, (7) friend (my child has played with Betty’s children). I have not chosen any of these things deliberately, and some of them precede me. For instance simply because I’m in a lecture room and at the front of the room there is, by virtue of history, institutional processes, and your own experience as students, a role and authority conferred on me automatically just by being the one who gets to stand at the front.
That’s me, and just a description of my social relations as I sit for 50 minutes in one room on one afternoon. For Latour (and Shields) there’s an interest in thinking about the world as like this, as wondering what happens when we realise that things are what they are not because they sort of lie there by themselves being what they are but they are always in these relations that really matter (my example of something as banal as a hammer – and I’d argue on what basis do we even grant ourselves the privilege to say that a hammer is a banal, simple thing anyway?). So plots, and the way we narrate and present knowledge (the Ted Nelson and Vannevar Bush readings are making exactly the same arguments) are, according to these people, at odds, a mismatch, with how the world really is.
Now, network media, where does this fit here? Well, in digital network media we can develop, and are very slowly beginning to develop, ways of making and telling stories (fiction and nonfiction) that can begin to acknowledge, make with, and think with and about, the world as, well, these sorts of inter-related complicated things. So we can write and argue not with generalisations but with specific things. We can include that bit of that film we are writing about, or link to that essay, and not make some general comment about that doesn’t really have to be right because, well, who’s going to go read the original anyway? But when I can link or include that in my work, so now it is near, right there, what I say, how I say it, can change.
For example, in a hypertext it is very trivial for me to write a sentence like “As I sat in the lecture I noticed I was surrounded by social relations” and then literally make seven different links to seven different places/bits of content that then begins to discuss each of these seven social relations (and by now you should notice the relations create the roles, not the other way round, stand in front of a classroom you are a teacher). I can do this without having to make a list, without having to make it be sequential which is simply has to be if it is on paper, or even in most cases even HTML. This is a small step, but it does dramatically change how we can make academic arguments and how we think what they are.
Now, step acros so stories, and similar things can happen. We can make stories that are collections of pieces that keep changing. They are still stories. The think we keep coming back to is how, and what sort of are. We are literally still learning this, and one of the things getting in the way of this learning is to keep thinking a story equals what is has been for the last 400 hundred years. It doesn’t (I’m reminded of the line in Welles‘ The Magnificent Ambersons where Joseph Cotton sneers at the motor car as “a useless nuisance”).
Academically and personally, particular with the rise of informal documentary media (Instagram, Vine, even FaceBook) I’m interested in what’s next, and how we tell nonfiction stories in this space. Nonfiction stories that engage with the world as it is and let us understand it more intimately, and deeply. I think these tools begin to do this, but they are still deeply constrained by old forms. On the other hand something creative like We Feel Fine, Cowbird, and even Wilderness Downtown are all provocative in relation to story and the network in their own ways….
Mark Deuze is a key academic in the area of media and labour. I haven’t read this yet but suspect it is a good pointer of the sort of precarious labour that creative professionals very much find themselves within in contemporary media industries. (This is also one of the reasons why many of our graduates end up as reasonably high level managers in production houses, government agencies and so on – there’s a guaranteed salary each week.)