Week Twelve (week beginning May 23): “But is it Art?”—the new dynamism of art

This week, we look at art – if you look at art, you might see what is happening else where or the future.

I want to focus on the ecologies of sensation where “The shifting aesthetic ecologies that are formed by different media, old and new (telephones, electricity, video, tv, film, computers…). What difference do these different aesthetics make to culture and society, or to sense of self?”

Art is an expression, and through art the audience feels that expression, that emotion that the artist is trying to portray. If art, mainly, contemporary art, use different forms of media, and we sense something from that, how does it effect us?

Ethico aesthetics is the practices we might choose to have in relation to how we organize the world – an aesthetic experience and a different way of looking at the world in media social change.

Does media art direct our future?

The idea of the future drives what happens in media change. Media constantly re-organizes the future.

Well I can say that technology may definately give us a sneak preview of our future. When we look at new age robots in Japan and even the “mobile phone culture” that changes and shapes their society it is possible as we are now able to connect things up that couldn’t be done before.


Armstrong, Keith (2005) ‘Intimate Transactions: The Evolution of an Ecosophical Networked Practice’, the Fibreculture Journal 7, <http://seven.fibreculturejournal.org/fcj-047-intimate-transactions-the-evolution-of-an-ecosophical-networked-practice/>

Whitelaw, Mitchell (2009) ‘Transduction, Transmateriality and Expanded Computing’, The Teeming Void <http://teemingvoid.blogspot.com/2009/01/transduction-transmateriality-and.html>

and watch some of the video material for the Chunky Moves dance production Mortal Engine, at <http://www.chunkymove.com/Our-Works/Current-Productions/Mortal-Engine.aspx> (some very mild nudity is involved) [If you’re interested, you can check out Frieder Weiss, the software developer’s site, at <http://frieder-weiss.de/>]

Shalom, Gabriel (2011) The Future of Art Transmediale <http://www.emergence.cc/2011/02/the-future-of-art/>

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Week 10 – The generosity of new media: science technology and innovation

We as individuals on the web right now have access to the kind of visual information that would have been amazing for scientists not so long ago.

Science – a very different set of practices; innovation and technologies – these areas are all colliding. We talk about transversals and frames, these areas are colliding with each other quite dramatically and there’s really a need in the world like communications and media particularly to develop a better relationship with science and vice versa.

Shifts in social organization are one of the things that transform science, technology and innovation. And they are also one of the main things that we have to embrace and work with as we work into the future and as concepts of the future is change.

“Science can be used to fix frames etc, but in that it constantly challenges what we think we know, it becomes transversal”.

Starting with transversality to pan things out, its’ enemy- framing, the key to social organization is largely thinking about transversality: thinking of spam, unread blogs etc (Murphie 2011).

Glen Fuller makes two key points that are very valuable regarding transversality. Transversals go across everything – hierarchy etc. But that’s not all they do. They don’t just move across this but move down the hierarchy. They connect things in all kinds of directions in all different ways. Secondly, transversality is a kind of field effect. It spreads across, a whole relation of different dimensions.

Second point Glen mentions is that transversality has 2 different sides. The “concept” or an “idea” or a set of practical or strategic things that you do. Transversality also goes across potentials, across what quite hasn’t happened yet as much as what has happened yet.

The development of new media technologies allows us to interact with science and innovations that assist the way in which we interact and also support data management, development of infrastructure and resources for curation of data (Pisani 2011).

New accessibility such as google satellite maps or climate change graphs – change us as a society and the ways in which they affect the way we organize ourselves as it works as a transversal of what we know.


Pisani, Elizabeth (2011) ‘Medical science will benefit from the research of crowds’, The Guardian, January 11, <http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jan/11/medical-research-data-sharing>

Wilbanks, John (2011) ‘On Science Publishing’, Seed, <http://seedmagazine.com/content/article/on_science_publishing>

Seed (20110 ‘On Science Transfer’, Seed <http://seedmagazine.com/content/print/on_science_transfer>

Kelly, Kevin (2010 ‘Evolving the Scientific Method: Technology is changing the way we conduct science’, The Scientist <http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/57831/>

Fish, Greg (2009) ‘why your dna is nothing like a database’, Weird Things <http://worldofweirdthings.com/2009/10/21/why-your-dna-is-nothing-like-a-database/>

Sample, Ian (2010) ‘Craig Venter Creates Synthetic Life Form’, The Guardian May 2, <http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/may/20/craig-venter-synthetic-life-form>

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WEEK 9: Social Organization—Micropolitics, Networks, Swarms, Designing for and Living in New Communities. Collaboration

“Can we all govern?”

Today, new media that reforms the new society brings together a community and ecologies of practice. Social organizations such as the “Coalition of the Willing” take on the key concept of individual participation through an “online network dedicated to open culture climate solutions”.

Organizations like this is a clear example of how society can rebuild themselves together, online, share ideas and thoughts, share talent, share anything and create or change something without having to persuade the government or organization – taking matters into our own hands. And it works! I’ve been seeing posters everywhere around the city to support the issues of global warming and they weren’t from the government!

I guess you can see this form of social organization as dangerous and illegal at times – where music is shared, and there can be issues with intellectual property – but stepping aside from that we begin a whole new development of ideas and change of things that matter to us.

So, no longer do we have to rely on big organizations with power to frame our participation in society – we have now created our own “bottom up organisation” (Terranova), based on open source collaborative system. Free softwares, or anything that you don’t have to purchase to participate in something makes a much better collaboration where there are better resources in the commons to participate in social forms of society.

This open collaboration knocks own any frames that forces us to look only one way, making it a transversal relation. If you break these frames you can see other possibilities that are now happening through new social organizations that challenge the old ecologies.

“Blinkers prevent transversal relations; they focus by severely circumscribing a visual field. The adjustment of them releases the existing, but blinkered, quantity of transversality”. (Genosko)

So this is us NOW.

A society filled with micropolitics. A society where online users are able to transform and govern the state. No longer do we have to wait around for an issue to be discussed by the powerful – its more about freedom and communication.

If I were to make a change in this world, right now. It would be about parking tickets. I seriously have maybe 6 stuck in my diary right now. Adding up to about 500 dollars. But I have 30 dollars in my bank account and if I tell my parents they will never let me drive again. It’s unfair. Let’s do something about it. Even if its discount parking ticket vouchers.


Coalition of the Willing, (n.d) Wikipedia, accessed 29 April 2011 <http://cotw.cc/wiki/Coalition_of_the_Willing>

Knife Party and Rayner, Tim and Robson, Simon (2010) Coalition of the Willing, accessed 29 April 2011 <http://coalitionofthewilling.org.uk/>

Jellis, T (2009) ‘Disorientation and micropolitics: a response’, spacesof[aesthetic]experimentation, accessed 29 April 2011 <http://www.spacesofexperimentation.net/montreal/disorientation-and-micropolitics-a-response/>

Terranova, T (2004) ‘From Organisms to Multitudes’ In Network Culture: Politics for the Information Age London: Pluto: 101-106.

Manning, Erin (2009) ‘From Biopolitics to the Biogram, or How Leni Riefenstahl Moves through Fascism’ in Relationscapes

Anon. (2010) ‘Elinor Ostrom’, p2p foundation <http://p2pfoundation.net/Elinor_Ostrom>

Anon. (n.d.) ‘Elinor Ostrom’, Wikipedia <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elinor_Ostrom>

Bauwens, Michel (2011) ‘Book of the Week: Umair Haque’s New Capitalist Manifesto’, P2P Foundation: Researching, documenting and promoting peer to peer practices<http://blog.p2pfoundation.net/book-of-the-week-umair-haques-new-capitalist-manifesto/2011/02/13>

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ARTS3091 – WEEK 7, FRAMING VERSUS “TRANSVERSALITY” – music, journalism and other ecologies of practice

This week’s topic is about framing and transversality – what they are, how they work, and how they can work together in media issues and events.

Framing is basically what we know.
And how we know – our knowledge, and how that may come together.
Murphie(2011) describes frames as “the combination of beliefs, values, attitudes, mental models and so on which we use to perceive a situation”.
Transversality, in mathematical terms is the idea of an intersecting line.
Therefore how framing and transversality work together in the media is the breaking down of frames or “frameworks”, making media issues and events “more alive, complex, unpredictable than framing.”
“In a sense, events are more than a “state of affairs” in that they are dynamic, not static things we can easily describe, measure etc”.
In the lecture, Andrew gave us an example of the zoo. “If framing is the attempt to build a zoo, transversality is when the Animals are set free”.
Understanding this, we can use this idea of framing versus transversality with music, education and journalism.
With these three being “framed” by government and social organizations, we see media change as well as social and cultural changes within them.
We can now see, using this model that media piracy – such as ‘limewire’ and ‘Napster’, breakdown the “framework” of what the organization or government have set for society.
So is the music industry takes on the role of the “zoo”, then transversality is when music is “set free”.
However, this brings up many social issues and problems of crime.
We can see organizations such as Apple, tries to establish a framework for users by developing the itunes store. What they have hoped for was a easier way for users to download music – legally.
I guess Apple have maybe succeeded a little bit as I sometimes do purchase music off the itunes store because I simply cannot be bothered to search for music online for free. But I guess it wouldn’t work for people that download in masses – making it too expensive, just for a download.
This brings us to the perspective of transversality and how it brings media change and social/cultural changes in the sense that no longer do we have to pay for music, news or education. With such changes in the media, it’s so much easier for individuals to get what they want, for free.
This raises the issue of the idea of traditional forms of media practices that are vanishing.
Music and newspaper industries are at great loss because of the broken framework at this point of time, but doesn’t it open up bigger opportunities for individuals in society?

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This week’s reading focuses on the idea of making global data using Paul Edwards’ “A vast machine”.

The idea of Global data is working together with the world as a whole rather than one country alone.

One thing effects another rather than it being effected alone.

Paul Edwards investigates how and what we know about Global warming and calls the efforts it involves “Data friction”.

There is a complex method as to predicting the weather and climate that are built up of networks. Not only that, there are all these different aspects that effect the outcome and what has to be monitored.

“Models we use to project the future of climate are not pure theories, ungrounded in observation. Instead, they are data – data that bind the models to measurable realities.” – trace its past and model it future;

This reminded me of what we learnt previously about memory.

We have all these memories inside of our heads, and we project our past experiences into action.

But the method of monitoring weather is much more complex.

Main ideas within “data and media” are also focused this week.

Transduction; “A transformation of forces” – which lead me to think, can our minds be transducers?

We can see, smell and feel things and transform that into knowledge.

OR, we can regurgitate that knowledge and transform it into something else.

“Inputs and output devices all contain transducers: the keyboard transduces motion into voltage; the screen transforms voltage into light; the hard drive mediates between voltage and electromagnetic fields. A printer takes in patterns of voltage and emits patterns of ink on a page. Strictly transduction only refers to transformations between different energy types; here I want to extend it to talk about all the propagating matter and energy within something like a computer, as well as those between that system and the rest of the world. From this transmaterial  perspective a computer is a cluster of linked mechanisms and substrates; a machine for shifting patterns through time and space.”


[in course reader] Edwards, Paul N. (2010) ‘Introduction’ in A Vast Machine: Computer Models, Climate Data, and the Politics of Global Warming Cambridge, MA: MIT Press: xiii-xvii (note that you can download sample chapters at <http://mitpress.mit.edu/catalog/item/default.asp?ttype=2&tid=12080> and it’s a book worth buying, covering many of the issues on the course)

Rheingold, Howard (2011) ‘A mini-course on infotention’ <http://howardrheingold.posterous.com/a-mini-course-on-infotention> (Howard Rheingold is literally one of the pioneers of the web, one of its more generous people, and a great educator).

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How do media/social change interact with out memories, habits, perceptions and sensations (including vision, but also hearing, touching, proprioception), thinking and activity, attention and protention? How do all these come together; along with the shifting world? (Murphie 2011).

These questions from the subject in relation to media ecologies found to match a lot of processes that exist today with media technology platforms that serves as a kind of external hard drive that backs up our memory.

That being said, memory can be in different forms through all sensors. There’s, ‘protension’ which is when the experience of the past is played/projected into the future. Simple things like remembering how to sit on a chair – your experiences of the past of when you first sat in a chair is played into the present where the memory shifts the action from the past to present.

Extended memory, also called the hypomesis memory can be portrayed through media forms such as writing. It helps us to remember – what Stielger calls, mnemotechnologies. An example of this can be seen through the use of the navigation system for when you drive. The GPS can be seen as the extended memory, where it helps you recall the directions to a certain location – or may provide a new experience.

Stielger also describes 3 kinds of memories. Firstly, Primary, is the ongoing and continuous experience, memory. Secondary, is what most people might know as “memory” – the store and recall. And finally the “image consciousness”, that interfere with primary and secondary.

So how does memory and perception relate? These all relate in the sense that it becomes a cycle. Our bodies are action potential. Whether it is unconscious actions, or conscious ones, or whether the movement is by the world, or from the future.




Wikipedia – the extended mind

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This week’s topic in Advanced Media Issues was about Media Ecologies and it’s way of how media changes cultural contexts – how do our models enter into the practical development and use of media?

Firstly, what is Media Ecologies? What is Ecologies?

In the readings for this week, it had informed me that there were two separate meanings of this. One, which is the North American definition, and the second, being the European – The first being the older style of meaning, and the other being the developed understanding.

The North American Media Ecology, “founded” by Neil Postman defines “Ecology” as the environment. That said, this concept tends to focus on how codes of communication play a leading role in society.

Other theorists such as McLuhan, Harold Innis and Paul Levinson shed new light onto how Media Ecologies are.

  • “… Means arranging various media to help each other so they won’t cancel each other out, to buttress one medium with another. You might say, for example, that radio is bigger help to literacy than television, but television might be a very wonderful aid to teach languages. And so you can do some things on some media that you cannot do on others. And, therefore, if you watch the whole field, you can prevent this waste that comes by one cancelling the other out”. – McLuhan


There are the similarities of Technical determinism that lingers within this theory, as Neil Postman was inspired by McLuhan – He thought, how media of communication affect human perception and understanding.

Paul Levinson, in the “First digital Media”, also conveys a similar understanding. Here are some notes about the reading I have compiled:

Reading #3:

Paul Levinson, “The first digital medium”

–       Paul Levinson (North American media ecology)

–       While reading this text, the north American meaning of media ecology must be in mind


–       Ancient Egypt Hieroglyphics was a dominant medium to preserve the spoken word other than natural medium

–       Hieroglyphics failed because it came direct from literal things: such as to write “human being” would be a stick figure. This became too long of a process and took too long to read, write and learn.

–       Instead later, the Hebrew alphabet system was a success – they were letters with no visual connection to anything

–       Harold Innis: “Monopolies of knowledge” means that people that know more of rare information have sort of more of an advantage in knowledge.

  • Jargon

–       The reading was basically about a Pharaoh that tried to make his own religion; the “sun”. He basically forced it onto people, and forced the priests to write it so it can be preserved for later and later years. Although the priests didn’t want to they had to because the Pharaoh was the strongest person. However, when this pharaoh died, so did his “sun” religion. The main religion went back to the old one.

–       But compared to the Jewish writings, with Moses being able to write books and the 10 commandments – that religion lasted much longer.

–       This shows that new media excessively dominates the old and how it is used affects our culture.





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