Journal articles: 'Walter Anderson Museum of Art' – Grafiati (2024)

  • Bibliography
  • Subscribe
  • News
  • Referencing guides Blog Automated transliteration Relevant bibliographies by topics

Log in

Українська Français Italiano Español Polski Português Deutsch

We are proudly a Ukrainian website. Our country was attacked by Russian Armed Forces on Feb. 24, 2022.
You can support the Ukrainian Army by following the link: https://u24.gov.ua/. Even the smallest donation is hugely appreciated!

Relevant bibliographies by topics / Walter Anderson Museum of Art / Journal articles

To see the other types of publications on this topic, follow the link: Walter Anderson Museum of Art.

Author: Grafiati

Published: 4 June 2021

Last updated: 17 February 2022

Create a spot-on reference in APA, MLA, Chicago, Harvard, and other styles

Consult the top 47 journal articles for your research on the topic 'Walter Anderson Museum of Art.'

Next to every source in the list of references, there is an 'Add to bibliography' button. Press on it, and we will generate automatically the bibliographic reference to the chosen work in the citation style you need: APA, MLA, Harvard, Chicago, Vancouver, etc.

You can also download the full text of the academic publication as pdf and read online its abstract whenever available in the metadata.

Browse journal articles on a wide variety of disciplines and organise your bibliography correctly.

1

Mühlberger,R. "The George Walter Smith art museum, Springfield, MA Afterword." Museum Management and Curatorship 6, no.4 (December 1987): 371–72. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0260-4779(87)90018-5.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

2

Rodenhauser, Paul. "Alternative Reality and Art: the creative world of Walter Inglis Anderson." Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 48, no.1 (2005): 124–37. http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/pbm.2005.0016.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

3

Morowitz, Laura. "The Arcades: Contemporary Art and Walter Benjamin by Jewish Museum." Modernism/modernity 24, no.4 (2017): 875–78. http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/mod.2017.0068.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

4

SOMERVILLE, ROSA. "DUTCH PAINTINGS IN THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART BY WALTER LEIDTKE." Art Book 15, no.2 (May 2008): 23–24. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8357.2008.00939_11.x.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

5

Hood, Walter, and Shannon Jackson. "The Inside-Out Museum/The Inside-Out University." Boom 6, no.3 (2016): 110–19. http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/boom.2016.6.3.110.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

From their origins, the University of California, Berkeley and The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) were established in different geographical, cultural, and political contexts. In a course sponsored by the Global Urban Humanities Initiative, artist, designer and Landscape Architecture Professor Walter Hood asks students to examine the museum and its neighborhoods in order to come up with proposals for change. He works on projects ranging from city-scale master plans to site plans to art installations and is known for his focus on the human element in design. UC Berkeley Associate Vice Chancellor for the Arts and Design, Shannon Jackson, recently spoke with Walter Hood at his Oakland studio about how the arts and humanities and design can work together to illuminate urban experience. This is the accounting of the conversation.

6

Henning, Michelle. "ANTHROPOMORPHIC TAXIDERMY AND THE DEATH OF NATURE: THE CURIOUS ART OF HERMANN PLOUCQUET, WALTER POTTER, AND CHARLES WATERTON." Victorian Literature and Culture 35, no.2 (June29, 2007): 663–78. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s1060150307051704.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

MR. POTTER'S MUSEUM OF CURIOSITIESwas a small Victorian museum that contained unique anthropomorphic tableaux made by the taxidermist Walter Potter (1835–1918). Its glass cases were crammed with small “stuffed” or “mounted” animals, such as birds, squirrels, rats, weasels, and rabbits, wearing miniature clothes and placed in models of the human settings of Potter's time. They play sports, get married, fill schoolrooms and clubs, but they also illustrate well known sayings, rhymes, and rural myths. From the 1860s the tableaux were displayed in Bramber, Sussex, in the southeast of England. In 1972 the Museum was sold and relocated to Brighton and two years later to Arundel, in Sussex. In 1985 it was sold again and moved to the Jamaica Inn – a Daphne du Maurier inspired tourist attraction on the edge of the bleak Bodmin Moor in Cornwall. The collection was finally dispersed in an auction sale in 2003. This sale attracted some media attention and several campaigns attempted to preserve the museum intact. The artist Damien Hirst claimed he had offered to buy the entire collection, but the auction went ahead (Hirst). Hirst was perhaps only the most high profile of those campaigning to keep Potter's collection together. Nevertheless, at the time it seemed hardly surprising that this unusual museum stood more chance of being rescued by an artist whose work often uses animal corpses to speak of mortality and the processes of preservation and decay, than it did of being bought by any public museum.

7

Mortimer, Caroline. "The George Walter Vincent Smith art museum, Springfield, MA: I: The building and its decoration." International Journal of Museum Management and Curatorship 6, no.4 (December 1987): 353–70. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09647778709515087.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

8

Mortimer,C. "The George Walter Vincent Smith art museum, Springfield, MA I: The building and its decoration." Museum Management and Curatorship 6, no.4 (December 1987): 353–70. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0260-4779(87)90017-3.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

9

Weingarden, Lauren. "The photographic subversion: Benjamin, Manet and Art(istic) reproduction." Aletria: Revista de Estudos de Literatura 14 (December31, 2006): 224. http://dx.doi.org/10.17851/2317-2096.14.0.224-245.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

Besides referring to museum masterpieces in his 1863 paintings Le déjeuner sur l’herbe and Olympia, Édouard Manet used photography, of both academic and p*rnographic models, new genres of commercial photography that emerged during the early 1850s. I argue that Manet deliberately conflated fine art reproductions and mass media products, a practice that invites discussion in the light of Walter Benjamin’s “The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility”. Since both engaged in a dialogue with Charles Baudelaire’s writings on art, culture, and photography, these writings provide a framework for discerning modernist paradoxes inherent in Manet’s and Benjamin’s critical interpretations of popular and material culture.

10

Weingarden, Lauren. "The photographic subversion: Benjamin, Manet and Art(istic) reproduction." Aletria: Revista de Estudos de Literatura 14, no.2 (December31, 2006): 224–45. http://dx.doi.org/10.17851/2317-2096.14.2.224-245.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

Besides referring to museum masterpieces in his 1863 paintings Le déjeuner sur l’herbe and Olympia, Édouard Manet used photography, of both academic and p*rnographic models, new genres of commercial photography that emerged during the early 1850s. I argue that Manet deliberately conflated fine art reproductions and mass media products, a practice that invites discussion in the light of Walter Benjamin’s “The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility”. Since both engaged in a dialogue with Charles Baudelaire’s writings on art, culture, and photography, these writings provide a framework for discerning modernist paradoxes inherent in Manet’s and Benjamin’s critical interpretations of popular and material culture.

11

Mihailova, Mihaela. "To Dally with Dalí: Deepfake (Inter)faces in the Art Museum." Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies 27, no.4 (July26, 2021): 882–98. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/13548565211029401.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

This essay focuses on the nascent symbiotic relationship between deepfakes and art museums and galleries, as demonstrated by three case studies. The first one, housed at the Dalí Museum in St Petersburg, Florida, is a life-size talking avatar of the artist generated from archival footage. The second one, Warriors by James Coupe, revisits Walter Hill’s 1979 film of the same name using deepfake algorithms to insert visitors’ faces into key scenes, sorting them into gangs based on data-driven analysis of their demographic and economic markers. Finally, Gillian Wearing’s fake ad, Wearing Gillian, uses deepfake technology to enable a series of actors to appear on screen with the artist’s face as a way of interrogating questions of identity in a networked digital world. Based on these works, my article examines museums’ employment of deepfakes for advertising, audience engagement, and educational outreach, and the curatorial, ethical, and creative opportunities and challenges involved therein. While deepfake esthetics will be discussed wherever relevant, this is not a formalist analysis; my goal is not to focus on close readings of the deepfake pieces themselves, however fascinating their esthetics. Instead, I will look at the promotional and critical discourse around them in order to unpack the ways in which the acquisition of creative deepfake works by cultural institutions functions as a legitimizing force that is already shifting the narrative regarding the artistic value and social functions of this technology.

12

Kempf, Katalin, Beatrix Vincze, and András Németh. "Challenges and in Museum Education, Best Practices in Hungary." Rivista di Storia dell’Educazione 7, no.2 (December4, 2020): 121–31. http://dx.doi.org/10.36253/rse-9830.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

The study aims to present the best practices of museum education, art pedagogy and circus pedagogy in Hungary, to highlight their importance and their role as mediators of cultural values and their role in social equal opportunities. It emphasizes the role of non-formal forms of learning that are capable of meeting learners’ needs in a well-defined, differentiated, and experiential way outside the school system. At the same time, the study reflects on current issues in the renewal of museum education. Among other things, for those who want to study, «everything is more interesting outside of school». Changing learning habits and technical opportunities poses a major challenge in sustaining learning motivation. It also emphasizes the potential of informal learning in diverse settings - family, community, informal and supportive of information acquisition and capacity building (Coombs 1969, 1972). It cites examples of good domestic practice as interpreted by the Constructivist Museum (Anderson 2008; Black 2012; Hein 2004 a, b) and refers to programs, projects, and circus pedagogical initiatives for SEN and disadvantaged groups.

13

Leach, Eleanor Winsor. "Pompeian frescoes in the Metropolitan - MAXWELL L. ANDERSON , POMPEIAN FRESCOES IN THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART (offprinted from The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, Winter 1987/88). 56 pp., 58 pls. and color pls." Journal of Roman Archaeology 1 (1988): 104–7. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s1047759400010035.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

14

Moncrieff, Lilian. "In the Air of the Natural History Museum: On Corporate Entanglement and Responsibility in Uncontained Times." Law and Critique 31, no.3 (October21, 2020): 253–73. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10978-020-09280-w.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

Abstract This paper discusses corporate entanglement, impactfulness and responsibility in the Anthropocene, amidst events and conditions that ‘uncontain’ time. It takes its direction of travel from artist Brian Jungen’s ‘Cetology’ (2002), a whalebone sculpture made out of cut-up plastic garden chairs, which conjoins the times of earth and world history, as it hangs in the air of the art gallery, ‘as if’ exhibited in the natural history museum. The paper relates ‘Cetology’s’ engagement with natural history, time, and commodification to matters of corporate entanglement and responsibility within company law and governance. Problems with understanding the comparable imprint of large and multinational companies on matters, places, and communities are identified, after the domination of corporate legal frameworks over nature and the stability and perfection of economic incentives at law. The reading of this (critical-legal) situation is developed through theory and engagement with materialist and critical thinkers, who unite in their concern with distributed human–nature relations and the ‘concreteness’ that attends collisions in time, ruin and affect. Walter Benjamin and Theodor Adorno’s writings are central to this analysis, and strengthen the commentary on ‘natural history’ themes curated by Jungen. The paper contemplates how times’ uncontainment might invoke a change in expectation and method for the company law field, assigning contingency to the corporation and provoking a new mode of reflection about corporate entanglement and responsibility at law.

15

Wrana, Jan. "Cracovian modernists - the 60 ties, 90 ties of the XX century - the returns." Budownictwo i Architektura 4, no.1 (June11, 2009): 125–32. http://dx.doi.org/10.35784/bud-arch.2339.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

The European reaction of the leading architects towards the period of international style, “The idea of style has yet again become up-to-date. The modern style, covering the whole world, is uniform and coherent...” [4], promoted at the exhibition “Modernist architecture” organized in Museum of Art in New York by architects Henry Russell Hitchco*ck and Philips Johnson, was immediate. The leading European architects: a) Walter Gropius wrote: “The aim of Bauhaus was not to promote one particular style...” [4], b) Le Corbusier formulated “Fundamental principles of aesthetics” [4], c) Bruno Taut wrote: “Five assumptions of new architecture” [4]. The message that “The form follows the function” became the very principle of modernism. The year 1972, when the blocks of flats in St. Louis, US were blown up, and the year of the actual end of the ideology originating from CIAM, is the agreed time marked as the end of modernism. It was a few years after Le Corbusier’s death (1965) - the death of the unchallenged spiritual ideologist of modernism.

16

Fitzgerald,OscarP. "Book ReviewsGlenn Adamson with, Gary Michael Dault. Gord Peteran: Furniture Meets Its Maker. Exhibition catalog, Milwaukee Art Museum, October 5, 2006–January 14, 2007; Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, MI, February 3–April 1, 2007; Winterthur, May 12–August 12, 2007; Bellevue Art Museum, Bellevue, WA, September 13–December 9, 2007; VCU Arts Anderson Gallery, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, January 18–March 2, 2008; Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, CA. Milwaukee: Milwaukee Art Museum and Chipstone Foundation, 2006. 92 pp.; 56 color + 13 black‐and‐white photographs, 9 black‐and‐white illustrations. $29.95 (paper)." Winterthur Portfolio 42, no.2/3 (June 2008): 195–96. http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/589608.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

17

Engammare, Max. "James D. Clifton and Walter Melion, eds. Scriptures for the Eyes: Bible Illustration in Netherlandish Prints of the Sixteenth Century. Exhib. cat. New York: Museum of Biblical Art, 2009. 223 pp. index. illus. bibl. $49. ISBN: 978–0–9777839–3–9." Renaissance Quarterly 63, no.2 (2010): 608–10. http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/655272.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

18

Serebrennikov, Nina Eugenia. "Walter S. Gibson. Pieter Bruegel the Elder: Two Studies. (The Franklin D. Murphy Lectures, 11.) Lawrence: Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, 1991. 81 figs. + 95 pp. $12. - Margaret A. Sullivan. Bruegel's Peasants: Art and Audience in the Northern Renaissance. Cambridge, New York and Melbourne: Cambridge University Press, 1994. 74 illus. + x + 198 pp. $60." Renaissance Quarterly 49, no.3 (1996): 678–80. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2863410.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

19

Senelick, Laurence. "On the Edge of Your Seat: Popular Theater and Film in Early Twentieth-Century American Art. By Patricia McDonnell with contributions by Robert C. Allen, C. Lance Brockman, Leo Charney, Walter Murch, David Nasaw, Robert Silberman, Laural Weintraub, Sylvia Yount and Rebecca Zurier. New Haven and London: Yale University Press in association with the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, University of Minnesota, 2002. Pp. xii + 219 + illus. $45/£35 Hb." Theatre Research International 28, no.1 (February17, 2003): 96–121. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s0307883303410171.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

20

Ousterhout, Robert, and Dmitry Shvidkovsky. "Kievan Rus’." Scientific and analytical journal Burganov House. The space of culture 17, no.1 (March10, 2021): 51–67. http://dx.doi.org/10.36340/2071-6818-2021-17-1-51-67.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

Robert Ousterhout, the author of a magnificent book “Eastern Medieval Architecture. The Building Traditions of Bizantium and Neighboring Lands”, published by Oxford University Press in 2019, the remarkable scholar and generous friend, was so kind to mention in his C. V. on the sight of Penn University (Philadelphia, USA) that he had been the Visiting professor of the Moscow architectural Institute (State Academy), as well as simulteniously of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, but he did not say that he had been awarded the degree of professor honoris causa by the academic council of MARHI. Unfortunately, his life in muscovite hostel, nevertheless we tried to do our best to provide the best possible accommodation in a “suit” with two rooms with a bathroom, had been radically different from the wonderful dwelling chosen for the visiting teaching stuff from MARHI in the University of Illinois. And Robert called our hostel “Gulag”. He had been joking probably. It is impossible to overestimate the role of professor Robert Ousterhaut in the studies of the history of Byzantine art. At the present day he is the leader in the world studies of the architecture of Byzantium, the real heir of the great Rihard Krauthaimer and Slobodan Curcic, whom he had left behind in his works. His books are known very well in Russia. R. Ousterhaut graduated in the history of art and architecture at the University of Oregon, the Institute of European Studies in Vienna, Universities of Cincinati and Illinois. Не worked at the department of history of art at the University of Oregon, department of history of architecture at the University of Illinois, had the chair of the history of architecture and preservation at the University of Illinois, which is considered, as we know, one of the twenty best American universities. He always worked hard and with success. When I had finished reading my course of the history of Russian architecture at Illinois, he said: “Yes, next term the students are to be treated well…” Now he is professor emeritus of the history of art in the famous Penn University. He taught the courses of the “History of architecture from Prehistory to 1400” and “Eastern medieval architecture” as well as led remarkable seminars devoted to the different problem of the history of architecture of the Eastern Meditarenian, including the art of Constantinopole, Cappadoce, meaning and identity in medieval art. His remarkable 4-years field work at Cappadoce, which he described in several books, and his efforts of the preservation of the architectural monuments of Constantinopole are very valuable, Among his books one certainly must cite Holy Apostels: Lost Monument and Forgotten Project, (Washingtone, D. C., 2020); Visualizing Community: Art Material Culture, and Settlement in Byzantine Cappadocia, Dumbarton Oaks Studies 46 (Washington, D. C., 2017); Carie Camii (Istambul, 2011); Architecture of the Sacred: Space, Ritual, and Experience from Classical Greece to Byzantium (Cambridge University Press, 2012), ed. with Bonna D. Wescoat; Palmyra 1885: The Wolfe Expedition and the Photographs of John Henry Haynes, with B. Anderson (Istanbul: Cornucopia, 2016) John Henry Haynes: Archaeologist and Photographer in the Ottoman Empire 1881–1900 (2nd revised edition, Istanbul: Cornucopia, 2016). Several of his books were reprinted. He edited Approaches to Architecture and Its Decoration: Festschrift for Slobodan Ćurčić (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2012), with M. Johnson and A. Papalexandrou. His outstanding book Мaster Builders of Byzantium (2nd paperback edition, University of Pennsylvania Museum Publications, 2008) was translated into Russian and Turkish. In this work Robert Ousterhaut for the first time in English speaking tradition is regarding the architecture of Bazantium from the point of view of building art and technology. On the base of the analysis of primary written sources, contemporary archeology data, and careful study of existing monuments the author concludes that the Byzantine architecture was not only exploiting the traditions, but was trying to find new ways of the development of typology and construction techniques, which led to transformation of artistique features. Professor R. Ousterhaut discusses the choice of building materials, structure from foundations to vaults, theoretical problems which solved the master masons of Byzantium. In his recent book Eastern Medieval Architecture: The Building Traditions of Byzantium and Neighboring Lands, (Oxford University Press, 2019) Robert Ousterhaut is going further. He writes in the introduction: “I succeded my mentor at the University of Illinois… I had the privilege and challenge of teaching “Early Christian and Byzantine Architecture” to generations of the architecture students inspired my 1999 book, Master Builders of Byzantium. The work of Robert Ousterhaut, published 2019, is the new and full interpretation of the architectural heritage of Byzantine Commonwealth. The author devoted the first part of his book to Late Antiquity (3–7 centuries), beginning with the relations of Domus Ecclesiastae and Church Basilica, then speaking of Konstantinopole and Jerusalem of the times of St. Constantine the Great, liturgy, inspiration, commemoration and pilgrimage, adoration of relics as ritual factors which influenced the formation of sacred space, methods and materials, chosen by the Bizantine builders with their interaction of the mentality of the East and West. Special attention is given to dwelling, urban planning and fortification Naturally a chapter is devoted to Hagia Sophia and the building programs of Emperor Justinian. The second part speaks of the transition to what is called Middle Byzantine architecture both in the capital and at the edges of the Empire. The third part tells the story of the 9th, 10th and 11th centuries and includes the rise of the monasteries, once more secular and urban architecture, the craft of church builders. Churches of Greece and Macedonia, Anatolia, Armenia and Georgia, as well as of the West of Byzantium – Venice, Southern Italy and Sicily. The chapter is devoted to Slavonic Balkans – Bulgaria and Serbia and Kievan Rus. The last fourth part of the book describes the times of the Latin Empire, difficult for Byzantium, to the novelty of the architecture of Palewologos and the development of Byzantine ideas in the Balkans and especially in the building programs of the great powers of the epoch Ottoman Empire and Russia. There is a lot more to say about the book of professor Robert Ousterhaut, but we have to leave this to the next issue of this magazine, and better give the space to the words of the author – his text on the architecture of Kievan Rus.

21

Terry, Andrea. "Kristina Huneault and Janice Anderson, eds., Rethinking Professionalism: Women and Art in Canada, 1870–1970, Montreal and Kingston, McGill Queen’s University Press, 2012, 472 pp., 140 colour illustrations, $65, ISBN 9780773539662 Lianne McTavish, Defining The Modern Museum: A Case Study of the Challenges of Exchange, (Cultural Spaces), Toronto, University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division, 2013, 240 pp., $50, ISBN 9781442644434." RACAR : Revue d'art canadienne 38, no.1 (2013): 108. http://dx.doi.org/10.7202/1066669ar.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

22

Oleson, John Peter. "Petra and the study of Nabataean and Byzantine culture - PETRA — EZ ZANTUR II. ERGEBNISSE DER SCHWEIZERISCH-LIECHTENSTEINISCHEN AUSGRABUNGEN. Teil 1: S. G. SCHMID, “Die Feinkeramik der Nabatäer. Typologie, Chronologie und Kulturhistorische Hintergründe”; Teil 2: B. KOLB, “Die spätantiken Wohnhausbau in Palästina vom 4.-6. Jh. n. Chr.” (Terra Archaeologica Bd. IV. Monographien der Schweizerisch-Liechtensteinischen Stiftung für Archäologische Forschungen im Ausland; Verlag Philipp von Zabern, Mainz 2000.) S. xi + 311, figs. 438, colour pls. 4 (Teil 1), figs. 138 (Teil 2), 29 separate folding plans, 2 microfiches. ISBN 3-8053-2712-9. - JAAKKO FRÖSÉN and ZBIGNIEW T. FIEMA (edd.), PETRA: A CITY FORGOTTEN AND REDISCOVERED (a volume associated with the exhibition organized by the Amos Anderson Art Museum) (Publications of Amos Anderson Art Museum, new series no. 40; Helsinki University Press 2002). Pp. 283, numerous colour and black-and-white figures, 8 maps and plans. ISBN 952-9531-43-5. ISSN 0788-0139." Journal of Roman Archaeology 16 (2003): 653–58. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s1047759400013635.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

23

Gazda,ElaineK., and AnneE.Haeckl. "Roman portraiture: reflections on the question of context - M. ANDERSON AND L. NISTA, ROMAN PORTRAITS IN CONTEXT: IMPERIAL AND PRIVATE LIKENESSES FROM THE MUSEO NAZIONALE ROMANO.Emory University Museum of Art and Archaeology, Atlanta, Georgia, July 14, 1988 - January 3, 1989 (Roma 1988). Pp. 96, 90 b&w ills., 22 color pls. ISBN 88-7813-138-5 $15.00. - N. BONACASA AND G. RIZZA (eds.), RITRATTO UFFICIALE E RITRATTO PRIVATO: ATTI DEL II CONFERENZA INTERNAZIONALE SUL RITRATTO ROMANO. Rome, September 26-30, 1984 [Quaderni de ‘la ricerca scientifica’ 116] (Rome1988). Pp. 588, 475 b&w ills. ISSN 0556-9664 (paper) Lit.40,000." Journal of Roman Archaeology 6 (1993): 289–302. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s1047759400011636.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

24

Levine, David. "David A. Levine. Review of "Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art" by Walter Liedtke." caa.reviews, January3, 2008. http://dx.doi.org/10.3202/caa.reviews.2008.1.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

25

Weinstein, Mary. "Revisitando a relação entre museu e comunicação." Cadernos de Sociomuseologia, 2017. http://dx.doi.org/10.36572/csm.2017.vol.53.07.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

This work is about the relation between museum and communication, concerning to the publicity of proposals, activities and scheduling of the own institution. It deals with journalism, public opinion and the need for the museum to be newsworthy, among so many issues that are scheduled by the media, to be able to position itself in the media. The museum itself is a scheduler that selects the object of memory, art, or any other nature to publicize, highlight, emphasize and bring forward, and is therefore also a mediator. So, this permeabilization of the media by the selection that the museum makes becomes a meta-schedule that confirms the choices made to approach the reality, to value and to stand out in the society. In order to problematize these aspects, we use the Agenda-Setting Theory, the concept of public opinion of Walter Lippman and the understanding that there is a need to publicize the cultural patrimony. As an empirical universe, we selected ten museums located in Salvador, Bahia. Keywords: Museam, Agenda Setting, Journalism, Cultural Patrimony

26

Gościniak, Eliza. "„Xięga bałwochwalcza” w reprodukcjach." Schulz/Forum, no.12 (December3, 2018). http://dx.doi.org/10.26881/sf.2018.12.15.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

The paper is an attempt to document and acknowledge the reproductions of individual graphic works from Schulz’s Booke of Idolatry. Its main point is that the Booke of Idolatry as we know is just a fantasy, a copy of the original isolated in the dark halls of the museum. It is known only from reproductions made by Schulz’s biographers and Schulz scholars. The reproductions of Schulz’s graphic works have been described in terms suggested by Walter Benjamin in his essay, „The Work of Art in the Age of Technical Reproduction.”

27

Amorim, João Pedro, and Luís Teixeira. "Art in the Digital during and after Covid: Aura and Apparatus of Online Exhibitions." Rupkatha Journal on Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities 12, no.5 (October17, 2020). http://dx.doi.org/10.21659/rupkatha.v12n5.rioc1s1n2.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

The public health measures that were put in place to contain COVID-19 impacted the lives of people and institutions alike. For its global impact and transformation, the pandemic has the potential to be classified as a mega-event. Such radical events have become great opportunities to the testing of new technologies and forms of organisation, (Masi, 2016) that might in the future become prevalent. The impact of the pandemic was particularly felt in the contemporary art world, as the entire cultural activity was suspended. During this period, art institutions and collectives around the world reacted by adapting and providing alternative materials online. This paper aims at reflecting upon the challenges facing the exhibition of contemporary art online. Following Boris Groys’ (2016) actualisation of Walter Benjamin, we problematise how the digital reproduction of art affects the aura of an artwork. Proposing a critique of the apparatus of digital platforms, we analyse how the digital reproduces and enhances ideological structures that overpass the whole of society. For that purpose we analyse how four different organisations (an artist-run space, an art gallery, a museum and an art biennale) have migrated their activity to online platforms. The case-studies will allow a broad understanding of the different approaches available – with some radically taking advantage of the digital environment, and others merely digitising the role taken henceforth by printed catalogues.

28

"“The Poet (Half Past Three)” (1911) by Marc Chagall. Courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art: The Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection." Neurosurgery 45, no.6 (December 1999): 1411. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/00006123-199912000-00027.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

29

"[Photograph]: Walter Inglis Anderson, Page from a Journal of His Trip to the Chandeleur Islands off the Coast of Mississippi, April 22, ca. 1946. Walter Inglis Anderson Papers, Owned by the Department of History and Archives, Jackson, Mississippi, Microfilmed by the Archives of American Art." Archives of American Art Journal 34, no.1 (January 1994). http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/aaa.34.1.1557677.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

30

"Gateway to Heaven: Oriental Prayer Rugs. 1989. 60 minutes. Color VHS. Directed by Walter B. Denny. Columbus Museum of Art, 480 Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215-9990. (614) 221-6801." Middle East Studies Association Bulletin 24, no.1 (July 1990): 116–17. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s0026318400023002.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

31

Williams, Jordan. "The Stigmata or the Tattoo." M/C Journal 7, no.1 (January1, 2004). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2318.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

Don't be afraid - it's only a flesh wound. The organs are intact although there is a threat of amputation, which we all know can easily be tolerated if the remaining bones are plentiful and sound and they are held in place by a tough skin. Where there's a will there's a will not and the National Museum of Australia (NMA) will not lie down in the face of Australian Government attempts to cut off its funding blood and give its guts a good going over. Not yet. Not for eternity. The NMA opened in March 2001 in Canberra, Australia's national capital. The buildings were designed by ARM (Ashton Raggatt McDougall), an architectural firm based in Melbourne, with landscape design by Room 4.1.3. Like other galleries and museums constructed in the last 20 years such as the Gugenheim in Bilbao and Libeskind's Jewish Museum, the NMA buildings and landscape are as much an exhibit as that which they contain. In fact the Jewish Museum first opened without containing anything other than space; the proper concern of architecture, some say. The strong colours and shapes of the NMA stand out in the grey, Modernist-inspired, concrete environment that is Canberra - some say this place is a perversion of Walter and Marion Burley Griffin's original plans for a garden wonderland; others marvel that the spirit of the original plan has even partially survived. I say, good bones and plenty of them. Bernard Tschumi says that society expects architecture to reflect its ideals and domesticate its deeper fears(72). This is certainly the brand of architecture that the Australian government thought it was ordering when it allocated funds for the building of a national museum. Not that Aussies have fears which need domesticating. No fear. A few secrets, some dirty laundry, a scar or two. But it can be argued that ARM have excoriated fear; they have tattooed it across the national forehead and said “read me if you can and if you dare”. ARM have provided a building which appears to be mostly skin. Hide the national scars under a national symbol that is all surface. A skin, but one which encases an undifferentiated body; of work, of nationhood, of stuff. The skin of the NMA is a site for writing; giant Braille dots the surface of the building, a confusion between writing and reading. For most, the dots are impossible to read – too large and too high to touch with human fingers and indecipherable by most who visit even if the scale and location would allow them to be touched. How did they have the nerve ending to write a writing that only hands can read; only hands so big that they have lost the delicate sense of touch, thereby rendering the Braille unreadable. Make a ceiling so high that it takes twenty million to change a light-bulb. Make a statement so clever that no-one gets it. Along with the Braille, the word eternity winds under and over, across and through the guts of the NMA. Howard Raggatt of ARM writes that having designed the shapes of the building forms, they “laid them out like dressmaking patterns, to press upon them this single stencilled script” – using software they superimposed the forms over a graphic of Arthur Stace’s Eternity and wrapped the Museum in it (45). Arthur Stace claimed that he was divinely inspired to write the word in ephemeral chalk an estimated 500,000 times on the footpaths of Sydney over a thirty-year period. He summoned the citizens to acknowledge the power of God. Raggatt says that its use on the outside of the NMA “encourages our hope to read this land”. And the text thickens. Is the writing of eternity on the national skin of the NMA a tattoo or stigmata? Derrida talks of these – tattoo and stigmata - in Writing and Difference in discussing the relationship between critical discourse and clinical discourse and focuses on Antonin Artuad’s “theatre of cruelty” (Artaud also inspired Deleuze and Guattari’s metaphor of the body without organs). Derrida begins with an exploration of the tendency to associate the work of art with the mental state of the artist. However from his specific critique of structuralism, he moves into much broader territory. Artuad’s attempts to make a verbal, not a grammatical theatre, “a graphism which …[is] an incarnation of the letter and a bloody tattoo” are judged by Derrida (and Artaud himself) to have been wanting precisely because such a tattoo “paralyzes gesture and silences the voice … represses the shout and the chance for a still unorganised voice” (235). Where the text (or in Artaud’s terms, breath) is “spirited/stolen…in order to place it in an order” the text is tattoo and it cannot hope to overturn the effects of power because it is on the surface rather than in opposition to it. By contrast, stigmata is a wound that cuts beneath the surface, “substituted for the text” that “undertakes neither a renewal, nor a critique” but “intends the effective, active, and non-theoretical destruction of Western civilization and its religions” (227). Text as stigmata is spirited/inspired rather than spirited/stolen. Granted, this section of Writing and Difference speaks of Artaud’s work in the context of theatre, however the theatrical metaphor is appropriate for the NMA – stand in the middle of the Garden of Australian Dreams surrounded by viewing platforms, and you understand that you are in the middle of a performance. But what does eternity do in this arena, on and under this skin? I have already described the writing of eternity around the NMA’s structure. Within the museum (in its stomach, it seems, when one seeks it out) is the small exhibition space built around the theme of eternity. Of course, it is a permanent exhibition – how could it be anything else. This space speaks to the people aspect of the NMA’s land, nation, people themes through “emotions” of separation, mystery, hope, joy, loneliness, thrill, devotion, fear, chance, and passion. The exhibits here are the stories of individuals. The black dress of Baby Azaria Chamberlain (who is alleged to have been killed by a dingo, a wild Australian native dog) (mystery) and an elaborate costume from the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (thrill) are examples of the representations of Australian individuals. The eternity theme was chosen after the individual stories were selected and the curator realized that the NMA collection included one of the few remaining examples of Stace’s handiwork – one preserved on the back of the door of an outdoor toilet (if only there were space in this article to explore the significance of this in terms of Derrida’s linking of God and sh*t!). Marion Stell, the exhibition curator, writes that she believed this provided a link between the emotions as well as representing a fascinating individual story in its own right. Interestingly, the recentre view of the NMA that recommends the de/recon-struction of the Garden ofAustralian Dreams , a teleological recasting of the Circa multimedia theatre(criticized for presenting too episodic a view of Australian history) and the Horizons gallery (allegedly too limited in its presentation of the stories of migrants), commends the Eternity gallery, despite its depictions of gays and lesbians, those who have taken on the courts and won and other transgressors. The private sphere of individual lives seems too unimportant to take on? And if so, is this a strength of eternity at NMA or a weakness? Eternity slips under the radar as only such a slippery word can. And the review makes no mention of the writing on the outside of the building. How could you miss a word so big, so utterly big? Did the review panel confuse BIG with BenIGn? This word eternity, this script eternity. Inside the museum in the eternity gallery it is the street tattoo, the written surface of the traditional museum which reflects, mirror-like, what the visitor wishes to feel. There, it is Aussie icon-become-cliché. Attached firmly to the maker of the original marks, Arthur Stace, footpath font designer and illiterate messenger of God, it carries the trace of the God on whose behalf he wrote. And who in the current world political climate would dare to take on God’s messenger, no matter whose God. In that gallery it is spirited/stolen and, tattoo-like, it represses the uninhibited shout of difference through imposition of an order; the somewhat transgressive stories of individuals such as Lindy Chamberlain (Azaria’s mother, who was first convicted of her murder and then pardoned) and indeed, Arthur Stace, are rendered “safer” by the direct reproduction of Stace’s script. Originally, in Walter Benjamin’s terms, Stace’s eternity assumed auratic qualities that ironically it acquired, rather than lost, through repetition and reproduction on Sydney’s footpaths. However it’s use more recently– remember it was emblazoned on both the Sydney Harbour Bridge for the Millenium celebrations and in the2000 Sydney Olympic opening ceremony for its ability to call up a trace of the sublime – have turned it into an Australian brand name, designed to re/produce thoughts of a grand and glorious Australia, an Australia which neither Lindy Chamberlain nor Arthur Stace might have experienced. (The City of Sydney has gone so far as to copyright the Stace eternity script). But outside, scarred into the skin, too big to read, too black to ignore, eternity operates paradoxically at a more subtle level. Appearing as if pure ornament, black squiggles on a blatantly referential structure, with this use of Stace’s eternity ARM have tackled the issue of timelessness and architecture through invoking time in its entirety. They have invoked the quasi-religious contemplative response that the Stace rendering of the word engenders when it takes us by surprise. Eternity written on the surface of the NMA is stigmata, Stace’s eternity spirited/inspired rather than spirited/stolen. It is a flow of meaning that invokes the evangelistic incantations of Stace at a size which multiplies the possible meanings through its appeal to illiteracy and illegibility, and with a resilience which refuses to be washed away by reviews and revisions of the Museum. Derrida says that “to overthrow the power of the literal work is not to erase the letter, but only to subordinate it to the incidence of illegibility or at least of illiteracy” (225). Eternity. Legend has it that for a while some larrikin followed in Stace's footsteps changing eternity to maternity. Perhaps in the fullness of eternity a Government-appointed review panel can retrospectively declare the stigmata a harmless word better suited to a bland Australia. Like tomato or cricket or captain cook. For the foreseeable past and future, it remains eternity. Works Cited Benjamin, Walter. The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1993.Deleuze, Gilles and Guattari, Felix. Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. New York: Viking, 1972Derrida, Jacques. Writing and Difference. Trans. Alan Bass. London:Routledge, 2001. Raggatt, Howard. "Rabbits, Dogs and Butterflies." National Museum of Australia: Tangled Destinies. Melbourne: Images, 2002. 44-47. Stell, Marion, ed. Eternity: Stories from the Emotional Heart of Australia. Canberra: National Museum of Australia,2001.Tschumi, Bernard. Architecture and Disjunction. Cambridge: MIT P,1994. Links http://www.a-r-m.com.au/ http://www.daniel-libeskind.com/projects/pro.html?ID=2 http://www.nma.gov.au/ http://www.nma.gov.au/aboutus/council_and_committees/review http://www.room413.com.au/Museum/Museum.html http://www.skewarch.com/architects/gerhy/gerhy-gug.htm Citation reference for this article MLA Style Williams, Jordan. "The Stigmata or the Tattoo" M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture <http://www.media-culture.org.au/0401/06-williams.php>. APA Style Williams, J. (2004, Jan 12). The Stigmata or the Tattoo. M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture, 7, <http://www.media-culture.org.au/0401/06-williams.php>

32

Seale, Kirsten, and Emily Potter. "Wandering and Placemaking in London: Iain Sinclair’s Literary Methodology." M/C Journal 22, no.4 (August14, 2019). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1554.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

Iain Sinclair is a writer who is synonymous with a city. Sinclair’s sustained literary engagement with London from the mid 1960s has produced a singular account of place in that city (Bond; Baker; Seale “Iain Sinclair”). Sinclair is a leading figure in a resurgent and rebranded psychogeographic literature of the 1990s (Coverley) where on-foot wandering through the city brings forth narrative. Sinclair’s wandering, materialised as walking, is central to the claim of intimacy with the city that underpins his authority as a London writer. Furthermore, embodied encounters with the urban landscape through the experience of “getting lost” in urban environments are key to his literary methodology. Through works such as Lights Out for the Territory (2007), Sinclair has been repeatedly cast as a key chronicler of London, a city focused with capitalist determination on the future while redolent, even weighted, with a past that, as Sinclair says himself, is there for the wanderer to uncover (Dirda).In this essay, we examine how Sinclair’s wandering makes place in London. We are interested not only in Sinclair’s wandering as a spatial or cultural “intervention” in the city, as it is frequently positioned in critiques of his writing (Wolfreys). We are also interested in how Sinclair’s literary methodology of wandering undertakes its own work of placemaking in material ways that are often obscured because of how his work is positioned within particular traditions of wandering, including those of psychogeography and the flâneur. It is our contention that Sinclair’s wandering has an ambivalent relationship with place in London. It belongs to the tradition of the wanderer as a radical outsider with an alternative practice and perspective on place, but also contributes to contemporary placemaking in a global, neo-liberal London.Wandering as Literary MethodologyIain Sinclair’s writing about London is considered both “visionary” and “documentary” in its ambitions and has been praised as “giving voice to lost, erased, or forgotten histories or memories” (Baker 63). Sinclair is the “raging prophet” (Kerr) for a transforming and disappearing city. This perspective is promulgated by Sinclair himself, who in interviews refers to his practice as “bearing witness” to the erasures of particular place cultures, communities, and their histories that a rapidly gentrifying city entails (Sinclair quoted in O’Connell). The critical reception of Sinclair’s perambulation mostly follows Michel de Certeau’s observation that walking is a kind of reading/writing practice that “makes the invisible legible” (Baker 28). Sinclair’s wandering, and the encounters it mobilises, are a form of storytelling, which bring into proximity complex and forgotten narratives of place.Sinclair may “dive in” to the city, yet his work writing and rewriting urban space is usually positioned as representational. London is a text, “a system of signs […], the material city becoming the (non-material) map” (Baker 29). Sinclair’s wandering is understood as writing about urban transformation in London, rather than participating in it through making place. The materiality of Sinclair’s wandering in the city—his walking, excavating, encountering—may be acknowledged, but it is effectively dematerialised by the critical focus on his self-conscious literary treatment of place in London. Simon Perril has called Sinclair a “modernist magpie” (312), both because his mode of intertextuality borrows from Modernist experiments in form, style, and allusion, and because the sources of many of his intertexts are Modernist writers. Sinclair mines a rich seam of literature, Modernist and otherwise, that is produced in and about London, as well as genealogies of other legendary London wanderers. The inventory includes: “the rich midden of London’s sub-cultural fiction, terse proletarian narratives of lives on the criminous margin” (Sinclair Lights Out, 312) in the writing of Alexander Baron and Emanuel Litvinoff; the small magazine poetry of the twentieth century British Poetry Revival; and the forgotten suburban writings of David Gascoyne, “a natural psychogeographer, tracking the heat spores of Rimbaud, from the British Museum to Wapping and Limehouse” (Atkins and Sinclair 146). Sinclair’s intertextual “loiterature” (Chambers), his wayward, aleatory wandering through London’s archives, is one of two interconnected types of wandering in Sinclair’s literary methodology. The other is walking through the city. In a 2017 interview, Sinclair argued that the two were necessarily interconnected in writing about place in London:The idea of writing theoretical books about London burgeoned as a genre. At the same time, the coffee table, touristy books about London emerged—the kinds of books that can be written on Google, rather than books that are written by people of the abyss. I’m interested in someone who arrives and takes this journey into the night side of London in the tradition of Mayhew or Dickens, who goes out there and is constantly wandering and finding and having collisions and bringing back stories and shaping a narrative. There are other people who are doing things in a similar way, perhaps with a more journalistic approach, finding people and interviewing them and taking their stories. But many books about London are very conceptual and just done by doing research sitting at a laptop. I don’t think this challenges the city. It’s making a parallel city of the imagination, of literature. (Sinclair quoted in O'Connell)For Sinclair, then, walking is as much a literary methodology as reading, archival research, or intertextuality is.Wandering as Urban InterventionPerhaps one of Sinclair’s most infamous walks is recorded in London Orbital (2003), where he wandered the 127 miles of London’s M25 ring road. London Orbital is Sinclair’s monumental jeremiad against the realpolitik of late twentieth-century neo-liberalism and the politicised spatialisation and striation of London by successive national and local governments. The closed loop of the M25 motorway recommends itself to governmental bodies as a regulated form that functions as “a prophylactic, […] a tourniquet” (1) controlling the flow (with)in and (with)out of London. Travellers’ movements are impeded when the landscape is cut up by the motorway. Walking becomes a marginalised activity it its wake, and the surveillance and distrust to which Sinclair is subject realises the concerns foreshadowed by Walter Benjamin regarding the wanderings of the flâneur. In the Arcades Project, Benjamin quoted a 1936 newspaper article, pessimistically titled “Le dernier flâneur” [The last flâneur]:A man who goes for a walk ought not to have to concern himself with any hazards he may run into, or with the regulations of a city. […] But he cannot do this today without taking a hundred precautions, without asking the advice of the police department, without mixing with a dazed and breathless herd, for whom the way is marked out in advance by bits of shining metal. If he tries to collect the whimsical thoughts that may have come to mind, very possibly occasioned by sights on the street, he is deafened by car horns, [and] stupefied by loud talkers […]. (Jaloux, quoted in Benjamin 435)Susan Buck-Morss remarks that flâneurs are an endangered species in the contemporary city: “like tigers, or pre-industrial tribes, [they] are cordoned off on reservations, preserved within the artificially created environments of pedestrian streets, parks, and underground passages” (344). To wander from these enclosures, or from delineated paths, is to invite suspicion as the following unexceptional anecdote from London Orbital illustrates:NO PUBLIC RITE [sic] OF WAY. Footpaths, breaking towards the forest, have been closed off. You are obliged to stick to the Lee Navigation, the contaminated ash conglomerate of the Grey Way. Enfield has been laid out in grids; long straight roads, railways, fortified blocks. […] In a canalside pub, they deny all knowledge of the old trace. Who walks? “There used to be a road,” they admit. It’s been swallowed up in this new development, Enfield Island Village. […] The hard hat mercenaries of Fairview New Homes […] are suspicious of our cameras. Hands cover faces. Earth-movers rumble straight at us. A call for instruction muttered into their lapels: “Strangers. Travellers.” (69-70)There is an excess to wandering, leading to incontinent ideas, extreme verbiage, compulsive digression, excessive quotation. De Certeau in his study of the correlation between navigating urban and textual space speaks of “the unlimited diversity” of the walk, highlighting its improvised nature, and the infinite possibilities it proposes. Footsteps are equated with thoughts, multiplying unchecked: “They are myriad, but do not compose a series. […] Their swarming mass is an innumerable collection of singularities” (97). Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the erratic trajectories, digression, and diversion of Sinclair’s wanderings are aligned with a tradition of the flâneur as hom*o ludens (Huizinga) or practitioner of the Situationist derive, as theorised by Guy Debord:The dérive entails playful-constructive behaviour and awareness of psychogeographical effects, which completely distinguishes it from the classical notions of the journey or the stroll. In a dérive one or more persons during a certain period drop their usual motives for movement and action, their relations, their work and leisure activities, and let themselves be drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the encounters they find there. The element of chance is less determinant than one might think: from the dérive point of view, cities have a psychogeographical relief, with constant currents, fixed points and vortexes that strongly discourage entry into or exit from certain zones. (“Theory of the dérive” 50)Like Charles Baudelaire’s painter of modern life, Sinclair is happily susceptible to distraction. The opening essay of Lights Out is a journey through London with the ostensible purpose of diligently researching and reporting on the language he detects on his travels. However, the map for the walk is only ever half-hearted, and Sinclair admits to “hoping for some accident to bring about a final revision” (5). Sinclair’s walks welcome the random and when he finds the detour to disfigure his route, he is content: “Already the purity of the [walk] has been despoiled. Good” (8). Wandering’s Double Agent: Sinclair’s Placemaking in LondonMuch has been made of the flâneur as he appears in Sinclair’s work (Seale “Eye-Swiping”). Nevertheless, Sinclair echoes Walter Benjamin in declaring the flâneur, as previously stereotyped, to be impossible in the contemporary city. The fugeur is one détournement (Debord “Détournement”) of the flâneur that Sinclair proposes. In London Orbital, Sinclair repeatedly refers to his wandering as a fugue. A fugue is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as a “flight from or loss of the awareness of one’s identity, sometimes involving wandering away from home, and often occurring as a reaction to shock or emotional stress.” As Sinclair explains:I found the term fugueur more attractive than the now overworked flâneur. Fugueur had the smack of a swear word […]. Fugueur was the right job description for our walk, our once-a-month episodes of transient mental illness. Madness as a voyage. […] The fugue is both drift and fracture. (London Orbital, 146)Herbert Marcuse observed that to refuse to comply with capitalist behaviour is to be designated irrational, and thus relegate oneself to the periphery of society (9). The neo-liberal city’s enforcement of particular spatial and temporal modalities that align with the logic of purpose, order, and productivity is antagonistic to wandering. The fugue state, then, can rupture the restrictive logic of capitalism’s signifying chains through regaining forcibly expurgated ideas and memories. The walk around the M25 has an unreason to it: the perversity of wandering a thoroughfare designed for cars. In another, oft-quoted passage from Lights Out, Sinclair proposes another avatar of the flâneur:The concept of “strolling”, aimless urban wandering […] had been superseded. We had moved into the age of the stalker; journeys made with intent—sharp-eyed and unsponsored. The stalker was our role model: purposed hiking, not dawdling, nor browsing. No time for the savouring of reflections in shop windows, admiration for Art Nouveau ironwork, attractive matchboxes rescued from the gutter. This was walking with a thesis. With a prey. […] The stalker is a stroller who sweats, a stroller who knows where he is going, but not why or how. (75)Not only has the flâneur evolved into something far more exacting and purposeful, but as we want to illuminate, the flâneur’s wandering has evolved into something more material than transforming urban experience and encounter into art or literature as Baudelaire described. In a recent interview, Sinclair stated: The walker exists in a long tradition, and, for me, it’s really vital to simply be out there every day—not only because it feels good, but because in doing it you contribute to the microclimate of the city. As you withdraw energy from the city, you are also giving energy back. People are noticing you. You’re doing something, you’re there, the species around you absorb your presence into it, and you become part of this animate entity called the city. (Sinclair quoted in O'Connell)Sinclair’s acknowledgement that he is acting upon the city through his wandering is also an acknowledgement of a material, grounded interplay between what Jonathan Raban has called the “soft” and the “hard” city: “The city as we might imagine it, the soft city of illusion, myth, aspiration, nightmare, is as real, maybe more real, than the hard city one can locate in maps and statistics, in monographs on urban sociology and demography and architecture” (quoted in Manley 6). Readers and critics may gravitate to the soft city of Sinclair, but as Donald puts it, “The challenge is to draw the connections between place, archive, and imagination, not only by tracing those links in literary representations of London, but also by observing and describing the social, cultural, and subjective functions of London literature and London imagery” (in Manley, 262).Sinclair’s most recent longform book, The Last London (2017), is bracketed at both beginning and end with the words from the diarist of the Great Fire of 1666, John Evelyn: “London was, but is no more.” Sinclair’s evocation of the disaster that razed seventeenth-century London is a declaration that twenty-first century London, too, has been destroyed. This time by an unsavoury crew of gentrifiers, property developers, politicians, hyper-affluent transplants, and the creative classes. Writers are a sub-category of this latter group. Ambivalence and complicity are always there for Sinclair. On the one hand, his wanderings have attributed cultural value to previously overlooked aspects of London by the very virtue of writing about them. On the other hand, Sinclair argues that the value of these parts of the city hinges on their neglect by the dominant culture, which, of course, is no longer possible when his writing illuminates them. Certainly, wandering the city excavating the secret histories of cities has acquired an elevated cultural currency since Sinclair started writing. In making the East End “so gothically juicy”, Sinclair inaugurated a stream of new imaginings from “young acolyte psychogeographers” (McKay). Moreover, McKay points out that “Sinclair once wryly noted that anywhere he ‘nominated’ soon became an estate agent vision of luxury lifestyle”.Iain Sinclair’s London wanderings, then, call for a recognition that is more-than-literary. They are what we have referred to elsewhere as “worldly texts” (Potter and Seale, forthcoming), texts that have more-than-literary effects and instead are materially entangled in generating transformative conditions of place. Our understanding sits alongside the insights of literary geography, especially Sheila Hones’s concept of the text as a “spatial event”. In this reckoning, texts are spatio-temporal happenings that are neither singular nor have one clear “moment” of emergence. Rather, texts come into being across time and space, and in this sense can be understood as assemblages that include geographical locations, material contexts, and networks of production and reception. Literary effects are materially, collaboratively, and spatially generated in the world and have “territorial consequences”, as Jon Anderson puts it (127). Sinclair’s writings, we contend, can be seen as materialising versions of place that operate outside the assemblage of “literary” production and realise spatial and socio-economic consequence.Sinclair’s work does more than mimetically reproduce a “lost” London, or angrily write against the grain of neo-liberal gentrification. It is, in a sense, a geographic constituent that cannot be disaggregated from the contemporary dynamics of the privileges and exclusions of city. This speaks to the author’s ambivalence about his role as a central figure in London writing. For example, it has been noted that Sinclair is “aware of the charge that he’s been responsible as anyone for the fetishization of London’s decrepitude, contributing to an aesthetic of urban decay that is now ubiquitous” (Day). Walking the East End in what he has claimed to be his “last” London book (2017), Sinclair is horrified by the prevalence of what he calls “poverty chic” at the erstwhile Spitalfields Market: a boutique called “Urban Decay” is selling high-end lipsticks with an optional eye makeover. Next door is the “Brokedown Palace […] offering expensive Patagonia sweaters and pretty colourful rucksacks.” Ironically, the aesthetics of decline and ruin that Sinclair has actively brought to public notice over the last thirty years are contributing to this urban renewal. It could also be argued that Sinclair’s wandering is guilty of “the violence of spokesmanship”, which sublimates the voices of others (Weston 274), and is surely no longer the voice of the wanderer as marginalised outsider. When textual actors become networked with place, there can be extra-textual consequences, such as Sinclair’s implication in the making of place in a globalised and gentrified London. It shifts understanding of Sinclair’s wandering from representational and hermeneutic interpretation towards materialism: from what wandering means to what wandering does. From this perspective, Sinclair’s wandering and writing does not end with the covers of his books. The multiple ontologies of Sinclair’s worldly texts expand and proliferate through the plurality of composing relations, which, in turn, produce continuous and diverse iterations in an actor-network with place in London. Sinclair’s wanderings produce an ongoing archive of the urban that continues to iteratively make place, through multiple texts and narrative engagements, including novels, non-fiction accounts, journalism, interviews, intermedia collaborations, and assembling with the texts of others—from the many other London authors to whom Sinclair refers, to the tour guides who lead Time Out walking tours of “Sinclair’s London”. Place in contemporary London therefore assembles across and through an actor-network in which Sinclair’s wandering participates. Ultimately, Sinclair’s wandering and placemaking affirm Manley’s statement that “the urban environment in which (and in response to which) so much of English literature has been written has itself been constructed in many respects by its representation in that literature—by the ideas, images, and styles created by writers who have experienced or inhabited it” (2).ReferencesAnderson, Jon. “Towards an Assemblage Approach to Literary Geography.” Literary Geographies 1.2 (2015): 120–137.Atkins, Marc and Iain Sinclair. Liquid City. London: Reaktion, 1999.Baker, Brian. Iain Sinclair. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2007.Baudelaire, Charles. The Painter of Modern Life and Other Essays. Trans. and ed. Jonathan Mayne. London and New York: Phaidon, 1995.Benjamin, Walter. The Arcades Project. Trans. Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin. Ed. Rolf Tiedmann. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press, 2002.Bond, Robert. Iain Sinclair. Cambridge: Salt Publishing, 2005.Buck-Morss, Susan. The Dialectics of Seeing: Walter Benjamin and the Arcades Project. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1989.Chambers, Russ. Loiterature. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1999.Coverley, Merlin. Psychogeography. Harpenden: Pocket Essentials, 2005.Day, Jon. “The Last London by Iain Sinclair Review—an Elegy for a City Now Lost.” The Guardian 27 Sep. 2017. 7 July 2017 <https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/sep/27/last-london-iain-sinclair-review>.Debord, Guy. “Theory of the Dérive.” Situationist International Anthology. Trans. and ed. Ken Knabb. Berkeley, Calif.: Bureau of Public Secrets, 1981.———. “Détournement as Negation and Prelude.” Situationist International Anthology. Trans. and ed. Ken Knabb. Berkeley, Calif.: Bureau of Public Secrets, 1981.De Certeau, Michel. The Practice of Everyday Life. Trans. Steven Rendall. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984.Dirda, Michael. “Modern Life, as Seen by a Writer without a Smart Phone.” The Washington Post 17 Jan. 2018. 4 July 2018 <https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/modern-life-as-seen-by-an-artist-without-a-phone/2018/01/17/6d0b779c-fb07-11e7-8f66-2df0b94bb98a_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.9333f36c6212>.Hones, Sheila. “Text as It Happens: Literary Geography.” Geography Compass 2.5 (2008): 301–1307.Huizinga, Johan. hom*o Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element in Culture. Boston: Beacon Press, 1955.Kerr, Joe. “The Habit of Hackney: Joe Kerr on Iain Sinclair.” Architects’ Journal 11 Mar. 2009. 8 July 2017 <https://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/home/the-habit-of-hackney-joe-kerr-on-iain-sinclair/1995066.article>.Manley, Lawrence, ed. The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of London. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011.Marcuse, Herbert. One-Dimensional Man. London and New York: Routledge, 2002.McKay, Sinclair. “Is It Time for All Lovers of London to Pack up?” The Spectator 2 Sep. 2017. 6 July 2018 <https://www.spectator.co.uk/2017/09/is-it-time-for-all-lovers-of-london-to-pack-up/>.O’Connell, Teresa. “Iain Sinclair: Walking Is a Democracy.” Guernica 16 Nov. 2017. 7 July 2018 <https://www.guernicamag.com/iain-sinclair-walking-democracy/>.Perril, Simon. “A Cartography of Absence: The Work of Iain Sinclair.” Comparative Criticism 19 (1997): 309–339.Potter, Emily, and Kirsten Seale. “The Worldly Text and the Production of More-than-Literary Place: Helen Garner’s Monkey Grip and Melbourne’s ‘Inner North’”. Cultural Geographies (forthcoming 2019).Seale, Kirsten. “‘Eye-Swiping’ London: Iain Sinclair, Photography and the Flâneur.” Literary London 3.2 (2005).———. “Iain Sinclair’s Archive.” Sydney Review of Books. 10 Sep. 2018. 12 July 2019 <https://sydneyreviewofbooks.com/sinclair-last-london/>.Sinclair, Iain. Dining on Stones, or, The Middle Ground. London: Hamish Hamilton, 2004.———. Lights Out for the Territory. London: Granta, 1997.———. London Orbital. London: Penguin, 2003.———. The Last London: True Fictions from an Unreal City. London: Oneworld Publications, 2017.Weston, Daniel. “‘Against the Grand Project’: Iain Sinclair’s Local London.” Contemporary Literature 56.2 (2015): 255–280. Wolfreys, Julian. Writing London: Materiality, Memory, Spectrality Volume 2. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004.

33

Radywyl, Natalia. "A Moment's Daydreaming." M/C Journal 12, no.1 (March2, 2009). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.118.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

Drift: An IntroductionEntering into Drift is akin to entering—or becoming ensnared by—a hum. Projected across one wall, the work uses abstract visual forms to draw visitors into its meditational folds. Quadraphonic sound circulates in smooth, heavy pulses, like the steady rumble of a train running over deep-set tracks. A succession of vibrating lines occupy the screen, much like the horizontal static of a poorly-tuned television. Gradually, the ambient timbre darkens, the hum becomes more persistent and atmospheric undulations more frequent, until room and body expand with intensity. Throbbing vibrations connect ground to feet, roll along skin, finding their way into deep interiors until organs and sinew become subsumed by Drift’s thick, heart-gripping drone. The installation’s tight, affective grasp only becomes apparent upon the sudden release of this tension; the room lightens and hum eases as the screen whitens with faint patterns, like a window opening from a darkened room. Drift, by German artist Ulf Langheinrich, appeared in White Noise, an exhibition dedicated to abstract moving image art at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne (ACMI). At the time of this exhibition in 2005, I was undertaking a seven month study of ACMI’s Screen Gallery, also documenting the preceding exhibition, World without End. My research used the Gallery as a site to examine the shifting relationship between visitor experience, digital art and museums, as the space compelled unusual modalities of visitor interaction. Most notable were states of complete stillness. I aimed to investigate how art and technology might mediate visitor agency through such experiences; not only to understand how museum visitation is transforming in new and significant ways, but to also extrapolate a substantial account of an individual’s agency within this era of what Beck, Giddens and Lash have termed ‘reflexive modernisation’. However, existing studies of museum visitation are rarely informed by the subjective modalities of visitor encounter, but rather, detail how experiences are shaped by institutional practices (Bourdieu; Luhmann; Silverman; Falk; Falk and Dierking) or governmental agendas (Bennett; Hooper-Greenhill). A notable exception is Megan Hick’s phenomenological study of Sydney’s Powerhouse museum. Following this example, I developed a phenomenology of museum visitation that could privilege the visitor’s enunciation of experience, whilst also exploring how expressions of agency may be highly subjective, multifarious and nuanced. I used qualitative ethnographic techniques to gather phenomenological material. Firstly, I attended the Gallery on a fortnightly basis to conduct longitudinal participant observations. However, as observation offered no means to interpret quiet faces and still bodies I also undertook visitor interviews. I approached visitors immediately after their visitation, and attempted to capture a wide cross-sample of responses by recruiting on the basis of age, gender and reason for visitation. I undertook ten 45 minute interviews, enquiring into the factors influencing impressions of the Gallery, prior familiarity with museums, and opinions about media art and technology. This ethnographic material was central to my study, as the voices of visitors guided its thematic direction and ensuing analysis. As the first in-depth, qualitative analysis of visitation to the Screen Gallery, my study therefore makes an empirical contribution to existing visitor research by offering an original means of exploring issues of museum visitation and agency, and movement and stillness.For example, visitors often received Drift with complete stillness, lulled into a focused state of attention by the shiftings of light and sound. As interviewee Colleen reveals, this concentration arose because Drift resonated intimately, akin to a meditative encounter:There wasn’t any other emotion or feeling behind it other than feeling relieved and comfortable, and relaxed. It was almost meditative … I was actually trying not to think about anything! … I didn’t want it to be influenced by the morning’s happenings … I just thought ‘this is relaxing’.Colleen has described how stillness and movement are therefore modalities within a broad vocabulary of interaction. While theorists have long noted how the transition from painting to film marked a shift from still to more ‘active’ forms of contemplation (Benjamin), an unanticipated finding of my study reasserted stillness as a dominant modality of active reception. In this article I therefore ask how agency finds expression within states of stillness.I propose that stillness mediates a distinctive form of agency as it is laden with what Brian Massumi calls ‘potential movement.’ I explore this concept with reference to visitors’ experiences of History of a Day, a work in World Without End. I then draw upon Henri Lefebvre’s description of ‘eurrhythmic’ congruence to describe how stillness is characterised by a focused state of attention, reflecting a highly subjective form of agency. I conclude by describing how this spatial awareness enables individuals to realise their own creativity, and inspire new praxes for daily living.1. Stillness: A State of Potential MovementBy dedicating its exhibition space to time-based art, ACMI’s Screen Gallery has cultivated a new temporal paradigm for visitor participation. It mediates both stillness and movement. Visitors described how the task of negotiating multiple time-based screens in a singular space loosened the temporal boundaries of engagement. Visitors were frequently compelled to pause and wait, as there was an absence of ‘entry’ or ‘exit’ points for viewing a piece. This raises questions as to how slower, or ‘still’, forms of participation in the Gallery may elicit agency. If considering stillness as a state that exists as an inverse of movement, rather than a state lacking in movement, it becomes possible to locate agency within the process of maintaining stillness, and as a result, engender what Brian Massumi describes as ‘potential movement’.In his account of architect Lars Spuybroek’s wetGRID design, Massumi describes how Spuybroek compares the experience of viewing images with the spatial experience of moving through buildings. Spuybroek drew from the premise that while movement can be understood as “the actual content of architecture” (322), it is more difficult to draw correlations between the properties of movement and perception of still images. He developed the idea of potential movement to breach a commonality between the two, as paraphrased by Massumi: “potentials for movement are extracted from actual movement, then fed back into it via architecture. We normally think of abstraction as a distancing from the actual, but here potentials are being ‘abstracted into it’” (323). Spuybroek therefore inscribed the idea of ‘tendency’ in his work, an ‘affordance’ that manifests as “a possibility of convergence that unconsciously exerts a pull, drawing the body forward into a movement the body already feels itself performing before it actually stirs” (Gibson in Massumi 324). This idea suggests that the act of sitting and viewing an image, can be reconceived as a state laden with potential movement. As Massumi describes, “sitting still is the performance of a tendency towards movement … It is the pre-performance, in potential, of the movement and its function … It is in intensity” (324).Sitting can therefore be regarded an 'active' state, where 'tendency'—indeed intensity—charges stillness with a potential for movement, actualisation and change. Conventions that invite still forms of participation in an interactive museum are an opportunity to express one’s agency, as one cannot feel the full momentum of tendency if not having at first remained still. At one level, the process of waiting for a work to begin or end generates a potential for movement, as visitors must decide when they will move towards another work. However, the potential for agency is also articulated within a less performative, ‘internal’ shift that arises within stillness, when visitors eschew reflexive forms of interaction to maintain a focused state of attention.2. Focusing Attention in StillnessVisitors’ interaction with Simon Carrol and Martin Friedel's History of a Day (2004) demonstrated how such a focused attention arises. This work comprises five screens arranged in a pentagonal shape. Visitors engage with this work whilst moving or still, seating themselves on an ottoman set within the pentagon or viewing the work while walking around its outside perimeter. The work came to mediate a number of different types of still and playful encounters, as described by Sean:I was aware that there was other stuff going on around the gallery … could see that out the corner of your eye because there’s spaces in-between screens, but at the same time I wasn’t hurried … And Luke who was with me, he sat down and watched one particular screen, whereas I sort of moved around. When I got to the edge I could see two or three screens at once, so I was just trying to work out what the story was. On one hand, the ‘gaps’ between these screens could fragment visitors’ attention and mediate reflexive forms of perception. Sean described how he “moved around”, as he was drawn to these ‘gaps’ as he exchanged peripheries and centres of focus. However, the close arrangement of the five screens also created a veiled, intimate space that confined visitors’ attention within the spatial parameters of the work. Unlike Sean, Luke remained seated. His experience was conditioned by stillness. He sat observing a single screen and maintained a focused state of attention. By focusing their attention in this way, visitors become more receptive towards the affective experience of viewing art. For example, History of a Day flutters with time-lapse images, a soothing rhythm of night turning to day and to night again. On one hand, each screen has been allocated its own narrative, a temporal illustration of a day’s passing within natural and human-made landscapes. A fairground, for example, was shot at night and showed crowds arriving, swarming, alighting rides and departing. However, it is possible to yield to the projection’s visual and aural rhythm, and in doing so abstract the figurative signifier of each scene. Narrative logic recedes as the senses become flooded, and in turn slows the pace of reflexive perception. Without the imposition of a linear narrative the work’s images begin to unfold with a new slowness. The main ride comes to resemble the slowly beating wings of a moth in lamplight, arms lifting, rotating and dropping in the fairground floodlights. People, rides and the dark sky blend into a meditation on colour, rhythm and sound, a palette comprising the many moments that emerge and pass at a night carnival.This form of perception elicits an agency of complex, affective awareness. Sound artist Brian Eno’s account of the role of silence in ambient music provides a close analogy as to how experiences of stillness in the Screen Gallery become dynamic with enhanced affective awareness. He describes how silences—a ‘stillness’ in sound—actually draw attention to the aural experience that preceded it, as the “‘rests’ are invariably filled in by ‘echoes’ of previously heard fragments” (in Tamm 134). In other words, the experience of listening is heightened by silences, for they create a space of reflection that resonates with the impressions of sound passed. The Gallery is an ambient chamber that echoes with affective forms of experiential encounter rather than echoes of sound. The echoes of visitors’ encounters are also intensified by stillness. Stillness focuses attention, so visitors garner an affective awareness of their spatial environment. This awareness constitutes a distinctive form of agency within the museum, for it enables visitors to locate what Henri Lefebvre describes as a ‘rhythmic’ congruence between their subjective experience and conditions of external environment.3. Awareness of Rhythmic CongruenceIn his theory of rhythmnanalysis, Henri Lefebvre (16) describes how an awareness of ‘rhythmic’ congruity and incongruity can be used to inform a politics in daily life. He argues that practices of self-observation and spatial awareness can reveal how our internal and environmental rhythms are a part of a rhythmic landscape, and can be used as a political means for change. Lefebvre (20) delineates between ‘eurhythmia’ and ‘arrhythmia’ as the forms of rhythmic logic that describe states of congruity:What is certain is that harmony sometimes (often) exists: eurhythmia. The eu-rhythmic body, composed of diverse rhythms – each organ, each function, having its own – keeps them in a metastable equilibrium, which is always understood and often recovered, with the exception of disturbances (arrhythmia) that sooner of later becomes illness (the pathological state). But the surroundings of bodies, be they in nature or a social setting, are also bundles, bouquets, garlands of rhythms, to which it is necessary to listen in order to grasp the natural or produced ensembles. While Lefebvre uses these definitions to develop a Marxist critique of modernity, they also show how within the flexible temporal boundaries of stillness, visitors can express a form of agency by using their heightened affective awareness to locate eurhythmic and arrhythmic experiences. By becoming aware of the way we are conditioned by rhythms, we can begin to imprint new rhythms upon the patterns that govern cultural and social practices. Within the Screen Gallery, this rhythmic observation manifests as an attentiveness towards the temporal relationship between internal sensation and external environment.Congruence between internal and external rhythms was often described by visitors as a feeling of relaxation, even meditation. For example, Sean drew comparisons between still encounters with time-based art and his impression of quiet environments: “It’s like having background music while you’re falling asleep, or you turn the radio on so you haven’t caught the start of a song but you catch the end of it”. These associations imply a close environmental relationship between sound and body, where the rich aesthetic presence of art overrides the expectation of narrative continuity. Perhaps most telling is Sean’s analogy of falling asleep to background music, as it suggests that time-based art can maintain an ambient presence while not intruding upon natural bodily ‘rhythms’. It seems that a harmony between body and art environment allows a pull towards a state of relaxation akin to the drift of sleep, which, notably, is a point where both internal and external rhythms synchronise. Falling asleep is a crossing of thresholds into a space dominated by the activities of the unconscious. Occupying the Gallery and surrendering to a state of relaxation can therefore also be understood as crossing a threshold into a deeper, more internal realm of interaction with art.Affective awareness therefore enables visitors to cultivate a greater sensitivity towards their sensory responses. This is a highly-subjective agency, as it arises when visitors develop a keen awareness of the eurrhythmic alignment between the rhythm of external space, and their own, internal rhythm. Stillness therefore draws attention to the complexity of our own subjective experience, and the different ways we are conditioned by our environments. Yet most importantly, these experiences also generated self-reflection and a desire to creatively transform their circ*mstances. Matthew described how his encounter with art aroused creative inspiration: “I go there to experience something new. I would love to be able to do something like that… Maybe it’s something for me, where I wish I was doing something else in terms of my occupation.” Paul noted how expressive potential could be expanded by considering oneself an artist: “you can do it yourself as well, and I suppose that’s what draws people in to the whole thing”. Katrina suggested that aesthetic forms of interaction can challenge the conventional ways of thinking about and responding to our environment: “if it gets somebody to do something different, or, gets someone to do something in a different way maybe, expand their minds in that way, maybe that’s a use for it as well … give them something to think about, and they can see it again in a different light”. These comments show how stillness can enable a realisation of one’s own subjective, creative potential by countering the reflexive speed of the everyday.ConclusionMy study of ACMI’s Screen Gallery has shown how agency finds expression in stillness. The temporal elasticity created by artwork and institution allows visitors to appropriate time and space in a way that slows the pace of movement and focuses attention, in turn enhancing a visitor’s awareness of their presence and spatial environment. Stillness therefore heightens visitors’ awareness of sensation, sentience, the body’s occupation of time and space. This form of encounter elicits a feeling of congruence and awakens the spirit. This transformation was the mainstay of the political project set by Lefebvre, a statement on mobilising individuals to affect change by becoming more attentive towards incongruities between self and environment. In the Gallery it became possible, through immersion in an aesthetic, ambient space, for visitors to cultivate an intuition towards their own rhythms and those of surrounding environments. An important claim is to be staked on creating spaces for stillness in daily life, as opportunities for stillness are becoming increasingly scarce within the dynamics of spatial and temporal compression that characterise this era of globalisation and informationalisation. As Heidi describes, these moments given to daydreaming and reflection can become powerful conduits for realising one’s own potential:[It] gives you a new lease on life. And all the dreams you have – it’s possible … Sometimes you think ‘it’s all a bit out of reach, it’s too difficult,’ whereas you go and see something like that, and … it makes everything clear. And makes everything possible.ReferencesBeck, Ulrich, Anthony Giddens, and Scott Lash. Reflexive Modernization: Politics, Tradition and Aesthetics in the Modern Social Order. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 1994.Benjamin, Walter. “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.” Illuminations. Ed. Hannah Arendt. Great Britain: Fontana/Collins, 1977. 219-253.Bennett, Tony. “Museums and 'the People'.” The Museum Time-Machine: Putting Cultures on Display. London: Routledge, 1988. 63-85.———. “Putting Policy into Cultural Studies.” Cultural Studies. London: Routledge. 1992, 23-37.———. The Birth of the Museum: History, Theory, Politics. London: Routledge, 1995.———. “Consuming Culture, Measuring Access and Audience Development”. Culture and Policy 8.1 (1997): 89-113.———. “Culture and Policy” Culture:a Reformer's Science, St. Leonard's, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 1998. 189-213.———. “Culture and Governmentality.” In J.Z. Bratich, J. Packer & C. McCarthy, eds. Foucault, Cultural Studies and Governmentality. Albany: State U of New York P, 2003. 47-64.Bourdieu, Pierre. “The Economy of Practices.” Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste. Trans. Richard Nice. Cambridge: Harvard U P, 1984. 97-256.———. The Love of Art, Stanford: Stanford U P, 1991.Falk, John. “Museum Recollections.” Visitor Studies - 1988: Theory, Research and Practice. Jacksonville: Center for Social Design, 1988. 60-65.Falk, John, and Lynn Dierking. The Museum Experience. Washington, D.C.: Whalebooks, 1992.Hicks, Megan. "'A Whole New World': The Young Person's Experience of Visiting the Sydney Technological Museum." Museum and Society 3.2 (2005): 66-80. Hooper-Greenhill, Eilean. Museum and Gallery Education. London: Leicester U P, 1991.Lefebvre, Henri. “The Critique of the Thing.” Rhythmnanalysis: Space Time and Everyday Life. London: Continuum, 2004. 5-18.———. “The Rhythmanalyst: A Previsionary Project.” Rhythmanalysis: Space Time and Everyday Life. London: Continuum, 2004. 19-26.Luhmann, Niklas. Art as a Social System, Trans. Eva Knodt. Stanford: U of Stanford P, 2000.Massumi, Brian. “Building Experience: The Architecture of Perception.” NOX: Machining Architecture. London: Thames and Hudson, 2004. 322-331.Silverman, Lois. “Visitor Meaning Making in Museums for a New Age.” Curator 38 (1995): 161-170.Tamm, Eric. “The Ambient Sound.” Brian Eno: His Music and the Vertical Color of Sound. Boston: Faber and Faber, 1989. 131-150.

34

Lukas,ScottA. "Nevermoreprint." M/C Journal 8, no.2 (June1, 2005). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2336.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

Perhaps the supreme quality of print is one that is lost on us, since it has so casual and obvious an existence (McLuhan 160). Print Machine (Thad Donovan, 1995) In the introduction to his book on 9/11, Welcome to the Desert of the Real, Slavoj Zizek uses an analogy of letter writing to emphasize the contingency of post-9/11 reality. In the example, Zizek discusses the efforts of writers to escape the eyes of governmental censors and a system that used blue ink to indicate a message was true, red ink to indicate it was false. The story ends with an individual receiving a letter from the censored country stating that the writer could not find any red ink. The ambiguity and the duplicity of writing, suggested in Zizek’s tale of colored inks, is a condition of the contemporary world, even if we are unaware of it. We exist in an age in which print—the economization of writing—has an increasingly significant and precarious role in our lives. We turn to the Internet chat room for textual interventions in our sexual, political and aesthetic lives. We burn satanic Harry Potter books and issue fatwas against writers like Salman Rushdie. We narrate our lives using pictures, fonts of varying typeface and color, and sound on our personalized homepages. We throw out our printed books and buy audio ones so we can listen to our favorite authors in the car. We place trust of our life savings, personal numbers, and digital identity in the hands of unseen individuals behind computer screens. Decisively, we are a print people, but our very nature of being dependent on the technologies of print in our public and private lives leads to our inability to consider the epistemological, social and existential effects of print on us. In this article, I focus on the current manifestations of print—what I call “newprint”—including their relationships to consumerism, identity formation and the politics of the state. I will then consider the democratic possibilities of print, suggested by the personalization of print through the Internet and home publishing, and conclude with the implications of the end of print that include the possibility of a post-print language and the middle voice. In order to understand the significance of our current print culture, it is important to situate print in the context of the history of communication. In earlier times, writing had magical associations (Harris 10), and commonly these underpinnings led to the stratification of communities. Writing functioned as a type of black box, “the mysterious technology by which any message [could] be concealed from its illiterate bearer” (Harris 16). Plato and Socrates warned against the negative effects of writing on the mind, including the erosion of memory (Ong 81). Though it once supplemented the communicational bases of orality, the written word soon supplanted it and created a dramatic existential shift in people—a separation of “the knower from the known” (Ong 43-44). As writing moved from the inconvenience of illuminated manuscripts and hand-copied texts, it became systemized in Gutenberg print, and writing then took on the signature of the state—messages between people were codified in the technology of print. With the advent of computer technologies in the 1990s, including personal computers, word processing programs, printers, and the Internet, the age of newprint begins. Newprint includes the electronic language of the Internet and other examples of the public alphabet, including billboards, signage and the language of advertising. As much as members of consumer society are led to believe that newprint is the harbinger of positive identity construction and individualism, closer analysis of the mechanisms of newprint leads to a different conclusion. An important context of new print is found in the space of the home computer. The home computer is the workstation of the contemporary discursive culture—people send and receive emails, do their shopping on the Internet, meet friends and even spouses through dating services, conceal their identity on MUDs and MOOs, and produce state-of-the-art publishing projects, even books. The ubiquity of print in the space of the personal computer leads to the vital illusion that this newprint is emancipatory. Some theorists have argued that the Internet exhibits the spirit of communicative action addressed by Juergen Habermas, but such thinkers have neglected the fact that the foundations of newprint, just like those of Gutenberg print, are the state and the corporation. Recent advertising of Hewlett-Packard and other computer companies illustrates this point. One advertisem*nt suggested that consumers could “invent themselves” through HP computer and printer technology: by using the varied media available to them, consumers can make everything from personalized greeting cards to full-fledged books. As Friedrich Kittler illustrates, we should resist the urge to separate the practices of writing from the technologies of their production, what Jay David Bolter (41) denotes as the “writing space”. For as much as we long for new means of democratic and individualistic expression, we should not succumb to the urge to accept newprint because of its immediacy, novelty or efficiency. Doing so will relegate us to a mechanistic existence, what is referenced metaphorically in Thad Donovan’s “print machine.” In multiple contexts, newprint extends the corporate state’s propaganda industry by turning the written word into artifice. Even before newprint, the individual was confronted with the hegemony of writing. Writing creates “context-free language” or “autonomous discourse,” which means an individual cannot directly confront the language or speaker as one could in oral cultures (Ong 78). This further division of the individual from the communicational world is emphasized in newprint’s focus on the aesthetics of the typeface. In word processing programs like Microsoft Word, and specialized ones like TwistType, the consumer can take a word or a sentence and transform it into an aesthetic formation. On the word processing program that is producing this text, I can choose from Blinking Background, Las Vegas Lights, Marching Red or Black Ants, Shimmer, and Sparkle Text. On my campus email system I am confronted with pictorial backgrounds, font selection and animation as an intimate aspect of the communicational system of my college. On my cell phone I can receive text messages, and I can choose to use emoticons (iconic characters and messages) on the Internet. As Walter Ong wrote, “print situates words in space more relentlessly than writing ever did … control of position is everything in print” (Ong 121). In the case of the new culture of print, the control over more functions of the printed page, specifically its presentation, leads some consumers to believe that choice and individuality are the outcomes. Newprint does not free the writer from the constraints imposed by the means of traditional print—the printing press—rather, it furthers them as the individual operates by the logos of a predetermined and programmed electronic print. The capacity to spell and write grammatically correct sentences is abated by the availability of spell- and grammar-checking functions in word processing software. In many ways, the aura of writing is lost in newprint in the same way in which art lost its organic nature as it moved into the age of reproducibility (Benjamin). Just as filters in imaging programs like Photoshop reduce the aesthetic functions of the user to the determinations of the software programmer, the use of automated print technologies—whether spell-checking or fanciful page layout software like QuarkXpress or Page Maker—will further dilute the voice of the writer. Additionally, the new forms of print can lead to a fracturing of community, the opposite intent of Habermas’ communicative action. An example is the recent growth of specialized languages on the Internet. Some of the newer forms of such languages use combinations of alphanumeric characters to create a language that can only be read by those with the code. As Internet print becomes more specialized, a tribal effect may be felt within our communities. Since email began a few years ago, I have noticed that the nature of the emails I receive has been dramatically altered. Today’s emails tend to be short and commonly include short hands (“LOL” = “laugh out loud”), including the elimination of capitalization and punctuation. In surveying students on the reasons behind such alterations of language in email, I am told that these short hands allow for more efficient forms of communication. In my mind, this is the key issue that is at stake in both print and newprint culture—for as long as we rely on print and other communicational systems as a form of efficiency, we are doomed to send and receive inaccurate and potentially dangerous messages. Benedict Anderson and Hannah Arendt addressed the connections of print to nationalistic and fascist urges (Anderson; Arendt), and such tendencies are seen in the post-9/11 discursive formations within the United States. Bumper stickers and Presidential addresses conveyed the same simplistic printed messages: “Either You are with Us or You are with the Terrorists.” Whether dropping leaflets from airplanes or in scrolling text messages on the bottom of the television news screen, the state is dependent on the efficiency of print to maintain control of the citizen. A feature of this efficiency is that newprint be rhetorically immediate in its results, widely available in different forms of technology, and dominated by the notion of individuality and democracy that is envisioned in HP’s “invent yourself” advertsiements. As Marshall McLuhan’s epigram suggests, we have an ambiguous relationship to print. We depend on printed language in our daily lives, for education and for the economic transactions that underpin our consumer world, yet we are unable to confront the rhetoric of the state and mass media that are consequences of the immediacy and magic of both print and new print. Print extends the domination of our consciousness by forms of discourse that privilege representation over experience and the subject over the object. As we look to new means of communicating with one another and of expressing our intimate lives, we must consider altering the discursive foundations of our communication, such as looking to the middle voice. The middle voice erases the distinctions between subjects and objects and instead emphasizes the writer being in the midst of things, as a part of the world as opposed to dominating it (Barthes; Tyler). A few months prior to writing this article, I spent the fall quarter teaching in London. One day I received an email that changed my life. My partner of nearly six years announced that she was leaving me. I was gripped with the fact of my being unable to discuss the situation with her as we were thousands of miles apart and I struggled to understand how such a significant and personal circ*mstance could be communicated with the printed word of email. Welcome to new print! References Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso, 1991. Arendt, Hannah. The Origins of Totalitarianism. San Diego: Harcourt Brace, 1976. Barthes, Roland. “To Write: An Intransitive Verb?” The Languages of Criticism and the Sciences of Man: The Structuralist Controversy. Ed. Richard Macksey and Eugenio Donato. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1970. 134-56. Benjamin, Walter. “The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility: Second Version.” Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings, Volume 3: 1935-1938. Cambridge: Belknap/Harvard, 2002. Bolter, Jay David. Writing Space: The Computer, Hypertext, and the History of Writing. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1991. Habermas, Jürgen. The Theory of Communicative Action. Vol. I. Boston: Beacon Press, 1985. Harris, Roy. The Origin of Writing. La Salle, IL: Open Court, 1986. Kittler, Friedrich A. Discourse Networks 1800/1900. Stanford: Stanford UP, 1990. McLuhan, Marshall. Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. Cambridge: MIT P, 1994. Ong, Walter J. Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word. London: Routledge, 1991. Tyler, Stephen A. “The Middle Voice: The Influence of Post-Modernism on Empirical Research in Anthropology.” Post-modernism and Anthropology. Eds. K. Geuijen, D. Raven, and J. de Wolf. Assen, The Neatherlands: Van Gorcum, 1995. Zizek, Slavoj. Welcome to the Desert of the Real. London: Verso, 2002. Citation reference for this article MLA Style Lukas, Scott A. "Nevermoreprint." M/C Journal 8.2 (2005). echo date('d M. Y'); ?> <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0506/04-lukas.php>. APA Style Lukas, S. (Jun. 2005) "Nevermoreprint," M/C Journal, 8(2). Retrieved echo date('d M. Y'); ?> from <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0506/04-lukas.php>.

35

James, Sarah. "Culture and Complexity." M/C Journal 10, no.3 (June1, 2007). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2670.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

Figure 1 Recently I was walking down a street in The Mission district of San Francisco, which has a high proportion of the city’s Mexican population, when I was struck by a mural on the side of a shop. Vivid and colourful, the mural depicted a large Aztec face surrounded by lush jungle, aesthetically balanced by a carved stone face on the other end of the mural (Figure 1). It was not the beauty, size or colour of the artwork that most impressed me but the way it replicated art I had seen days before walking around Aztec ruins near Mexico City. The paintings I had seen at these pyramids were close to two thousand years old, and this mural, complete with ‘tags’, was created with spray-paint in (probably) the last few years. One was in the ‘traditional home’ of the Aztecs, Mexico, and the other in the Mexican neighbourhood of a neo-colonial American city. However, while one site was celebrating people long since dead, the other a vibrantly alive culture in the cityscape of San Francisco. The migrant, or the diasporic community, is central to many contemporary discussions on the effect of increased globalisation on human cultures and societies (Chambers ). This is not to suggest, however, that globalisation or its impact on human cultures is only a recent phenomenon. Such an assumption implies a sense of amnesia about the processes of migration and diaspora that both instigated, and developed from, processes such as colonisation. San Francisco’s Mexican community do not represent the colonised indigenous people of the United States (US), but they have been affected by a colonial history of their own and the neo-colonialism of the US through processes such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This rendering, while obviously reductionist, indicates the complex nature of the position of Mexican migrants in San Francisco, and the multiple places, events, histories, countries, politics and policies that shape their journey. The picture of an Aztec face, situated within a largely Mexican neighbourhood, fiercely facing San Francisco presents a number of questions around ideas of culture, hybridity and thirdspace that are connected to theories of complexity. The concept of complexity provides a rich framework through which to engage with themes of culture and hybridity, explored through this symbolic painted presence in the urban landscape. Engagement with complexity theories can illustrate the already present, albeit unarticulated, engagement with complexity in concepts such as cultural hybridity, as well as opening up new ways in which to engage with such ideas. In this paper, I seek to illustrate how complexity can develop concepts in humanities, allowing for a greater exploration and sense of adventure of what is and can be. I will explore the idea of culture and its complexity, and how it can be enriched by complexity. It is an exploration of what can be produced and is emerging rather than the (continued) search for the ‘real’ or an uncovering of bedrock ‘truth’ in social science. As a number of commentators have argued, this idea continues to persist in social science research, despite the apparent changes wrought by poststructuralist thought (Crang, “There Is Nothing”; Crang, “New Orthodoxy”; Lorimer). This article seeks to contribute to current dialogues regarding how theories of complexity might enrich social science research using the concept of culture. The limitations of paper size and breadth of topic shape this article as gesturing towards the possibilities of engaging with the notion of complexity in social science, explored using the symbol of a mural and its location within the Mission District of San Francisco. There are a number of theoretical positions that fall under the notion of complexity; these include chaos theory, catastrophe theory, mathematical complexity and fractals (Manson). From the 1970s, there has been an increasing acceptance and application of complexity theories into social science and popular knowledge, in particular from the late 1990s (Nowotny; Thrift; Manson; Urry, Global Complexity). In my discussion of complexity I am drawing on the translations of these ideas into the domain of social science. I am looking at the disjuncture between cause and effect and the concept of emergence (Thrift; Urry, Global Complexity). These concepts, I argue, can be used to develop areas in the social science such as post-colonial theory that may, at first, seem unrelated. As complexity theory is, well, so complex and really an umbrella term or a "scientific amalgam", it is important to clarify how these theories will be interpreted here (Thrift). Emergence, according to Urry, is the way in which things self-organise over time (Urry, “The Complexities” 33). To expand on this, emergence can be described as the process of self-organisation of things (human and non-human) to create a new entity, an assemblage (Urry, Global Complexity). A central idea of emergence is that complexity is more than ‘complicated’, more than simply the coming together of multiple entities or aspects. The relationship between its parts constitute a new set of entities that make the whole more than the sum of its parts (Urry, Global Complexity; Thrift). It is also the process though which new hybrid entities emerge from this assemblage of previously separate entities. To return to the mural, an analysis of this painting (based on the hypothesis that it has been created by the diaspora from Mexico in San Francisco) would suggest it has emerged through an assemblage of processes of migration, issues of cultural heritage, ideas of authentic tradition, resistance, social inequity, difference and (possibly) a shopkeepers desire for a nice wall. All the known (and unknown) elements, human and non-human, that have (hypothetically) influenced this murals creation do not simply fit together in an equation that automatically results in ‘graffiti art’. Instead it has emerged due to a unique coming together of elements, an assemblage, in a particular time and geographical location. The disjuncture between cause and effect highlighted in a complexity perspective is illustrated here as it is possible to see the process of colonisation of Mexico and the United States has started a chain of events that have lead to the creation of this mural. However, there is no direct line of cause and effect that the act of colonisation would lead to the construction of such a mural. While we can begin to unpack this process in hindsight, the emergent processes that have lead to its creation ensure that such an endeavour will not easily or ever produce a simple equation for its occurrence. Cultural Complexity Social science in many ways relies on the notion that things are not easily analysed, not simply quantifiable or knowable (Dwyer and Limb). The actual language of complexity, however, has generally been missing from such discussions. This absence has limited the ability or, perhaps more accurately, the willingness to articulate logically and rationally what it means to gesture to an unknowingness, to processes of which outcomes cannot be fully predicted or explained (Lorimer; Crang, “There Is Nothing”). It is perhaps only now that it has been ‘validated’ through scientific knowledge such as physics, that we can embrace these ideas explicitly in social science. Using the notion of culture I will illustrate how complexity has been part of social science before it was articulated as such, what complexity theory offers in relation to the social world and how it might be engaged in relation to theory such cultural hybridity. The concept of culture in social science has expanded from the notion of fixed, hom*ogenous ‘way of life’ in a specific geographic space, in early anthropological accounts, to a more complex processual view of culture (Ang, Not Speaking; Couldry). The work of Raymond Williams was seminal in the development of this idea of culture, which continues to be a central aspect of disciplines such as cultural geography and cultural studies (Anderson and Gale; Anderson et al.; Anderson; Ang, “Predicament”; Ang, Not Speaking). This work illustrates the complexities of culture as not only porous and shifting at its boundaries but also internally differentiated so that cultural coherence cannot be assumed (Anderson; Ang, “Predicament”). In terms of complexity theory, the entities that together form a ‘culture’ exist outside of the culture and can in turn work to destabilise and change the culture internally (DeLanda). While recognising that there have always been flows of people, trade and ideas around the world, it has been argued that the current epoch sees these flows at an unprecedented rate (Appadurai; Castells). The level of trans-national migration and movement of people, and the disruption of space and time created by processes of globalisation, further challenge conceptions of culture as fixed or hom*ogenous (Couldry). This expansion of the notion of culture has dual connotations for my reading of the mural. The mural depicts a ‘traditional’ image of Mexican culture before it was affected by contemporary globalisation, but this is being depicted from the position of a diasporic subject in downtown San Francisco. In the painting of this mural it is possible to see the tension between idealisations of more traditional conceptions of a fixed, hom*ogenous culture and the changes wrought on this culture by globalisation. The contrast of the painting’s subject and its location conveys the process of emergence of the (imagined) Mexican-American painter’s hybrid identity. Global Complexity These developments in cultural theory present a complex notion of culture, highlighting the influence of globalisation in creating this complexity. The interjection of complexity theory into social science more recently can enrich these readings of the complexity of cultural systems. It provides an overarching framework through which to organise and analyse concepts such as culture, but also can also connect this dynamic and processual ‘culture’ to a broader system of human and non-human entities. According to Urry, the global “comprises a set of emergent systems possessing properties and patterns that are often far from equilibrium. Complexity emphasises that there are diverse networked time-space paths, that there are often massive disproportionalities between cause and effects, and that unpredictable and yet irreversible patterns seem to characterise all social and physical systems.” (Urry, Global Complexity 8). A key notion of global complexity as discussed by Urry is that the ‘global’ is comprised and created through networks, drawing on the work of Appadurai and Castells. This coming together or connection of a multitude of varied human and non-human entities is seen to produce the emergence of things not connected to their cause, highlighting the disconnection between cause and effect. However, while it emphasises a disjuncture between cause and effect in terms of prediction, complexity theory has also been utilised to illustrate how things assemble together and from these things new things are made. Entities such as cultural hybridity can be seen as emerging from complex assemblages – time, place, people – from which unexpected, unpredictable entities emerge. The mural in San Francisco can be seen as one such entity. Thirdspace To complete gesture towards the use of complexity theory in research on culture, I would like to engage with the notion of thirdspace. This concept contributes to discussions of cultural complexity, as it seeks to describe the emergence of new hybrid forms created by the coming together of different cultural entities. The subject of the migrant, that I have sought to discuss in relation to the mural, is perhaps the epitome of the hybrid figure in the ‘in-between space’ as Ian Chambers has discussed. Chambers discusses the migrant as in-between home and the new country, and the processes of change that migrants undergo, taking on from the new but not letting go completely of the ‘old’, and so to become something different again. Homi Bhabha also discusses the idea of the hybrid, but presents the ‘in-between’ space as a product of the colonial encounter. Bhabha uses to the term ‘thirdspace’ to describe the hybridity that arises from the forced co-existence of groups with different histories, from different places, in a shared space. This creates a ‘thirdspace’ that is not of ‘One nor the Other but something else besides, in between” (Bhabha 219). It is this space of emergence that is simultaneously a space of unknowableness that is being presented by these theorists. The concept of thirdspace engenders an understanding of the complexity that social changes bring about as they facilitate or force the interaction of different groups. While complexity may mean that we do not know what the result is of such a coming together or intersection, the concept of a thirdspace allows us to see the intricacies of the complexity that is created illustrated by the case of the mural. A complexity framework also indicates to the assemblage of multiplicity of entities – human and non-human, material and immaterial – that these hybrid subjects have emerged from, enriching the possible field for social science enquiry. While the hybrid – human or non-human entity – is not simply a sum of its parts, or that which came together to produce it, it does provide pointers to follow in uncovering the intricacies of its make up. It is, however, also the unknowableness, the newness, produced that makes it more than a composite that injects both challenge and wonder into intellectual endeavor. Conclusion In attempting to draw common threads through these examples of cultural theory I wish to highlight how the notion of complexity supports theories such as hybridity that seek to outline rather than map certain social processes. The multiple and complex subjectivities and experiences that emerge from the colonial encounter, or process of migration do not lend themselves to easy counting or mapping. To dissect such experiences for greater understanding, to attempt to put it all together like a puzzle to find a true picture surely creates an incomplete picture. Beginning instead from a position of complexity does not deny the need to explore such processes but suggests different methods and different outcomes are sought. It gestures towards a different framework through which to understanding the world. The interjection of complexity theory into the social sciences offers a rich conceptual framework through which to re-look at and develop ideas already central to such research. As a mural on a wall in San Francisco connects to 2000 year old frescos on pyramids at the edge of Mexico City, so too does it speak to us of diaspora, hybridity, and the thirdspaces that arise post-colonially in a globalised world. The effect of these processes on ideas of culture, identity and place, the local and the global are all engaged and enhanced by complexity theories that present ideas of emergence. Urry argues that complexity breaks down any connection between cause and effect. It tells us of the unknowability of things, and so indicates that what we can map or frame within a research project or paper is always incomplete. It opens a space for wonder, for possibility, for change. It breaks down certainty and the idea that there is a process or reality that can be made known through social inquiry. Adopting this approach may seem like an abdication, suggesting a level of futility to research, a giving up or giving in. However, it can instead inspires us to look beyond what we assume is true or the obvious effect from a particular cause, to explore the complexity of the processes through which things come into being. It is this idea that I have attempted to gesture towards in considering the places, people, time and multiple other entities have assembled in the creation of a single piece of graffiti art. It is to say that the greatest value of complexity theory to social science research is perhaps not that it provides answers but that it gestures to (multiple) beginnings. Acknowledgments I would like to thank Jayde Cahir and my two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments on earlier drafts of this article. I would also like to thank the Centre for Cultural Research, University of Western Sydney, for providing the funding to attend the American Association of Geographers Annual Conference in San Francisco. References Anderson, Kay. “Introduction.” Cultural Geographies. Eds. Kay Anderson and Fay Gale. 2nd ed. Australia: Addision Wesley Longman, 1999. 1-21. Anderson, Kay, et al. “A Rough Guide.” Handbook of Cultural Geography. Eds. Kay Anderson et al. London: Sage, 2003. 1-35. Anderson, Kay, and Fay Gale, eds. Inventing Places: Studies in Cultural Geography. Melbourne: Longman Cheshire, 1992. Ang, Ien. On Not Speaking Chinese: Living between Asia and the West. New York: Routledge, 2001. ———. “The Predicament of Diversity: Multiculturalism in Practice at the Art Museum.” ethnicities 5.3 (2005): 305-20. Appadurai, Arjun. Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalisation. Public Worlds, Volume 1. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1996. Bhabha, Homi. The Location of Culture. Routledge, 2004. Castells, Manuel. The Rise of the Network Society. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2000. Chambers, Iain. Migrancy, Culture and Identity. London: Routledge, 1994. Couldry, Nick. Inside Culture: Re-Imagining the Method of Cultural Studies. London: Sage, 2000. Crang, Mike. “Qualitative Methods: The New Orthodoxy?” Progress in Human Geography 26.2 (2002): 647-55. ———. “Qualitative Methods: There Is Nothing outside the Text?” Progress in Human Geography 29.2 (2005): 225-33. DeLanda, Manuel. A New Philosophy of Society: Assemblage Theory and Social Complexity. London and New York: Continuum, 2006. Dwyer, Claire, and Melanie Limb. “Introduction: Doing Qualitative Research in Geography.” Qualitative Methodologies for Geographers: Issues and Debates. Eds. Claire Dwyer and Melanie Limb. London: Arnold, 2001. 1-22. Lorimer, Hayden. “Cultural Geography: The Busyness of Being ‘More-than-Representational’.” Progress in Human Geography 29.1 (2005): 83-94. Manson, Steven M. “Simplifying Complexity: A Review of Complexity Theory.” Geoforum 32 (2001): 405-14. Nowotny, Helga. “The Increase of Complexity and Its Reduction: Emergent Interfaces between the Natural Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences.” Theory, Culture and Society 22.5 (2005): 15-31. Thrift, Nigel. “The Place of Complexity.” Theory, Culture and Society 16.3 (1999): 31-69. Urry, John. “The Complexities of the Global.” Theory, Culture and Society 22.5 (2005): 235-54. ———. Global Complexity. Oxford: Polity, 2003. Williams, Raymond. Culture. Glasgow: Fontanta Paperbacks, 1981. Citation reference for this article MLA Style James, Sarah. "Culture and Complexity: Graffiti on a San Francisco Streetscape." M/C Journal 10.3 (2007). echo date('d M. Y'); ?> <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0706/07-james.php>. APA Style James, S. (Jun. 2007) "Culture and Complexity: Graffiti on a San Francisco Streetscape," M/C Journal, 10(3). Retrieved echo date('d M. Y'); ?> from <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0706/07-james.php>.

36

Leurs, Koen, and Sandra Ponzanesi. "Mediated Crossroads: Youthful Digital Diasporas." M/C Journal 14, no.2 (November17, 2010). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.324.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

What strikes me about the habits of the people who spend so much time on the Net—well, it’s so new that we don't know what will come next—is in fact precisely how niche in character it is. You ask people what nets they are on, and they’re all so specialised! The Argentines on the Argentine Net and so forth. And it’s particularly the Argentines who are not in Argentina. (Anderson, in Gower, par. 5) The preceding quotation, taken from his 1996 interview with Eric Gower, sees Benedict Anderson reflecting on the formation of imagined, transnational communities on the Internet. Anderson is, of course, famous for his work on how nationalism, as an “imagined community,” gets constructed through the shared consumption of print media (6-7, 26-27); although its readers will never all see each other face to face, people consuming a newspaper or novel in a shared language perceive themselves as members of a collective. In this more recent interview, Anderson recognised the specific groupings of people in online communities: Argentines who find themselves outside of Argentina link up online in an imagined diaspora community. Over the course of the last decade and a half since Anderson spoke about Argentinian migrants and diaspora communities, we have witnessed an exponential growth of new forms of digital communication, including social networking sites (e.g. Facebook), Weblogs, micro-blogging (e.g. Twitter), and video-sharing sites (e.g. YouTube). Alongside these new means of communication, our current epoch of globalisation is also characterised by migration flows across, and between, all continents. In his book Modernity at Large, Arjun Appadurai recognised that “the twin forces of mass migration and electronic mediation” have altered the ways the imagination operates. Furthermore, these two pillars, human motion and digital mediation, are in constant “flux” (44). The circulation of people and digitally mediatised content proceeds across and beyond boundaries of the nation-state and provides ground for alternative community and identity formations. Appadurai’s intervention has resulted in increasing awareness of local, transnational, and global networking flows of people, ideas, and culturally hybrid artefacts. In this article, we analyse the various innovative tactics taken up by migrant youth to imagine digital diasporas. Inspired by scholars such as Appadurai, Avtar Brah and Paul Gilroy, we tease out—from a postcolonial perspective—how digital diasporas have evolved over time from a more traditional understanding as constituted either by a vertical relationship to a distant homeland or a horizontal connection to the scattered transnational community (see Safran, Cohen) to move towards a notion of “hypertextual diaspora.” With hypertextual diaspora, these central axes which constitute the understanding of diaspora are reshuffled in favour of more rhizomatic formations where affiliations, locations, and spaces are constantly destabilised and renegotiated. Needless to say, diasporas are not hom*ogeneous and resist generalisation, but in this article we highlight common ways in which young migrant Internet users renew the practices around diaspora connections. Drawing from research on various migrant populations around the globe, we distinguish three common strategies: (1) the forging of transnational public spheres, based on maintaining virtual social relations by people scattered across the globe; (2) new forms of digital diasporic youth branding; and (3) the cultural production of innovative hypertexts in the context of more rhizomatic digital diaspora formations. Before turning to discuss these three strategies, the potential of a postcolonial framework to recognise multiple intersections of diaspora and digital mediation is elaborated. Hypertext as a Postcolonial Figuration Postcolonial scholars, Appadurai, Gilroy, and Brah among others, have been attentive to diasporic experiences, but they have paid little attention to the specificity of digitally mediated diaspora experiences. As Maria Fernández observes, postcolonial studies have been “notoriously absent from electronic media practice, theory, and criticism” (59). Our exploration of what happens when diasporic youth go online is a first step towards addressing this gap. Conceptually, this is clearly an urgent need since diasporas and the digital inform each other in the most profound and dynamic of ways: “the Internet virtually recreates all those sites which have metaphorically been eroded by living in the diaspora” (Ponzanesi, “Diasporic Narratives” 396). Writings on the Internet tend to favour either the “gold-rush” mentality, seeing the Web as a great equaliser and bringer of neoliberal progress for all, or the more pessimistic/technophobic approach, claiming that technologically determined spaces are exclusionary, white by default, masculine-oriented, and heteronormative (Everett 30, Van Doorn and Van Zoonen 261). For example, the recent study by Ito et al. shows that young people are not interested in merely performing a fiction in a parallel online world; rather, the Internet gets embedded in their everyday reality (Ito et al. 19-24). Real-life commercial incentives, power hierarchies, and hegemonies also get extended to the digital realm (Schäfer 167-74). Online interaction remains pre-structured, based on programmers’ decisions and value-laden algorithms: “people do not need a passport to travel in cyberspace but they certainly do need to play by the rules in order to function electronically” (Ponzanesi, “Diasporic Narratives” 405). We began our article with a statement by Benedict Anderson, stressing how people in the Argentinian diaspora find their space on the Internet. Online avenues increasingly allow users to traverse and add hyperlinks to their personal websites in the forms of profile pages, the publishing of preferences, and possibilities of participating in and affiliating with interest-based communities. Online journals, social networking sites, streaming audio/video pages, and online forums are all dynamic hypertexts based on Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) coding. HTML is the protocol of documents that refer to each other, constituting the backbone of the Web; every text that you find on the Internet is connected to a web of other texts through hyperlinks. These links are in essence at equal distance from each other. As well as being a technological device, hypertext is also a metaphor to think with. Figuratively speaking, hypertext can be understood as a non-hierarchical and a-centred modality. Hypertext incorporates multiplicity; different pathways are possible simultaneously, as it has “multiple entryways and exits” and it “connects any point to any other point” (Landow 58-61). Feminist theorist Donna Haraway recognised the dynamic character of hypertext: “the metaphor of hypertext insists on making connections as practice.” However, she adds, “the trope does not suggest which connections make sense for which purposes and which patches we might want to follow or avoid.” We can begin to see the value of approaching the Internet from the perspective of hypertext to make an “inquiry into which connections matter, why, and for whom” (128-30). Postcolonial scholar Jaishree K. Odin theorised how hypertextual webs might benefit subjects “living at the borders.” She describes how subaltern subjects, by weaving their own hypertextual path, can express their multivocality and negotiate cultural differences. She connects the figure of hypertext with that of the postcolonial: The hypertextual and the postcolonial are thus part of the changing topology that maps the constantly shifting, interpenetrating, and folding relations that bodies and texts experience in information culture. Both discourses are characterised by multivocality, multilinearity, openendedness, active encounter, and traversal. (599) These conceptions of cyberspace and its hypertextual foundations coalesce with understandings of “in-between”, “third”, and “diaspora media space” as set out by postcolonial theorists such as Bhabha and Brah. Bhabha elaborates on diaspora as a space where different experiences can be articulated: “These ‘in-between’ spaces provide the terrain for elaborating strategies of selfhood—singular or communal—that initiate new signs of identity, and innovative sites of collaboration, and contestation (4). (Dis-)located between the local and the global, Brah adds: “diaspora space is the point at which boundaries of inclusion and exclusion, of belonging and otherness, of ‘us’ and ‘them,’ are contested” (205). As youths who were born in the diaspora have begun to manifest themselves online, digital diasporas have evolved from transnational public spheres to differential hypertexts. First, we describe how transnational public spheres form one dimension of the mediation of diasporic experiences. Subsequently, we focus on diasporic forms of youth branding and hypertext aesthetics to show how digitally mediated practices can go beyond and transgress traditional formations of diasporas as vertically connected to a homeland and horizontally distributed in the creation of transnational public spheres. Digital Diasporas as Diasporic Public Spheres Mass migration and digital mediation have led to a situation where relationships are maintained over large geographical distances, beyond national boundaries. The Internet is used to create transnational imagined audiences formed by dispersed people, which Appadurai describes as “diasporic public spheres”. He observes that, as digital media “increasingly link producers and audiences across national boundaries, and as these audiences themselves start new conversations between those who move and those who stay, we find a growing number of diasporic public spheres” (22). Media and communication researchers have paid a lot of attention to this transnational dimension of the networking of dispersed people (see Brinkerhoff, Alonso and Oiarzabal). We focus here on three examples from three different continents. Most famously, media ethnographers Daniel Miller and Don Slater focused on the Trinidadian diaspora. They describe how “de Rumshop Lime”, a collective online chat room, is used by young people at home and abroad to “lime”, meaning to chat and hang out. Describing the users of the chat, “the webmaster [a Trini living away] proudly proclaimed them to have come from 40 different countries” (though massively dominated by North America) (88). Writing about people in the Greek diaspora, communication researcher Myria Georgiou traced how its mediation evolved from letters, word of mouth, and bulletins to satellite television, telephone, and the Internet (147). From the introduction of the Web, globally dispersed people went online to get in contact with each other. Meanwhile, feminist film scholar Anna Everett draws on the case of Naijanet, the virtual community of “Nigerians Living Abroad”. She shows how Nigerians living in the diaspora from the 1990s onwards connected in global transnational communities, forging “new black public spheres” (35). These studies point at how diasporic people have turned to the Internet to establish and maintain social relations, give and receive support, and share general concerns. Establishing transnational communicative networks allows users to imagine shared audiences of fellow diasporians. Diasporic imagination, however, goes beyond singular notions of this more traditional idea of the transnational public sphere, as it “has nowadays acquired a great figurative flexibility which mostly refers to practices of transgression and hybridisation” (Ponzanesi, “Diasporic Subjects” 208). Below we recognise another dimension of digital diasporas: the articulation of diasporic attachment for branding oneself. Mocro and Nikkei: Diasporic Attachments as a Way to Brand Oneself In this section, we consider how hybrid cultural practices are carried out over geographical distances. Across spaces on the Web, young migrants express new forms of belonging in their dealing with the oppositional motivations of continuity and change. The generational specificity of this experience can be drawn out on the basis of the distinction between “roots” and “routes” made by Paul Gilroy. In his seminal book The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness, Gilroy writes about black populations on both sides of the Atlantic. The double consciousness of migrant subjects is reflected by affiliating roots and routes as part of a complex cultural identification (19 and 190). As two sides of the same coin, roots refer to the stable and continuing elements of identities, while routes refer to disruption and change. Gilroy criticises those who are “more interested in the relationship of identity to roots and rootedness than in seeing identity as a process of movement and mediation which is more appropriately approached via the hom*onym routes” (19). He stresses the importance of not just focusing on one of either roots or routes but argues for an examination of their interplay. Forming a response to discrimination and exclusion, young migrants in online networks turn to more positive experiences such as identification with one’s heritage inspired by generational specific cultural affiliations. Here, we focus on two examples that cross two continents, showing routed online attachments to “be(com)ing Mocro”, and “be(coming) Nikkei”. Figure 1. “Leipe Mocro Flavour” music video (Ali B) The first example, being and becoming “Mocro”, refers to a local, bi-national consciousness. The term Mocro originated on the streets of the Netherlands during the late 1990s and is now commonly understood as a Dutch honorary nickname for youths with Moroccan roots living in the Netherlands and Belgium. A 2003 song, Leipe mocro flavour (“Crazy Mocro Flavour”) by Moroccan-Dutch rapper Ali B, familiarised a larger group of people with the label (see Figure 1). Ali B’s song is exemplary for a wider community of youngsters who have come to identify themselves as Mocros. One example is the Marokkanen met Brainz – Hyves (Mo), a community page within the Dutch social networking site Hyves. On this page, 2,200 youths who identify as Mocro get together to push against common stereotypes of Moroccan-Dutch boys as troublemakers and thieves and Islamic Moroccan-Dutch girls as veiled carriers of backward traditions (Leurs, forthcoming). Its description reads, “I assume that this Hyves will be the largest [Mocro community]. Because logically Moroccans have brains” (our translation): What can you find here? Discussions about politics, religion, current affairs, history, love and relationships. News about Moroccan/Arabic Parties. And whatever you want to tell others. Use your brains. Second, “Nikkei” directs our attention to Japanese migrants and their descendants. The Discover Nikkei website, set up by the Japanese American National Museum, provides a revealing description of being and becoming Nikkei: As Nikkei communities form in Japan and throughout the world, the process of community formation reveals the ongoing fluidity of Nikkei populations, the evasive nature of Nikkei identity, and the transnational dimensions of their community formations and what it means to be Nikkei. (Japanese American National Museum) This site was set up by the Japanese American National Museum for Nikkei in the global diaspora to connect and share stories. Nikkei youths of course also connect elsewhere. In her ethnographic online study, Shana Aoyama found that the social networking site Hi5 is taken up in Peru by young people of Japanese heritage as an avenue for identity exploration. She found group confirmation based on the performance of Nikkei-ness, as well as expressions of individuality. She writes, “instead of heading in one specific direction, the Internet use of Nikkei creates a starburst shape of identity construction and negotiation” (119). Mocro-ness and Nikkei-ness are common collective identification markers that are not just straightforward nationalisms. They refer back to different homelands, while simultaneously they also clearly mark one’s situation of being routed outside of this homeland. Mocro stems from postcolonial migratory flows from the Global South to the West. Nikkei-ness relates to the interesting case of the Japanese diaspora, which is little accounted for, although there are many Japanese communities present in North and South America from before the Second World War. The context of Peru is revealing, as it was the first South American country to accept Japanese migrants. It now hosts the second largest South American Japanese diaspora after Brazil (Lama), and Peru’s former president, Alberto Fujimoro, is also of Japanese origin. We can see how the importance of the nation-state gets blurred as diasporic youth, through cultural hybridisation of youth culture and ethnic ties, initiates subcultures and offers resistance to mainstream western cultural forms. Digital spaces are used to exert youthful diaspora branding. Networked branding includes expressing cultural identities that are communal and individual but also both local and global, illustrative of how “by virtue of being global the Internet can gift people back their sense of themselves as special and particular” (Miller and Slater 115). In the next section, we set out how youthful diaspora branding is part of a larger, more rhizomatic formation of multivocal hypertext aesthetics. Hypertext Aesthetics In this section, we set out how an in-between, or “liminal”, position, in postcolonial theory terms, can be a source of differential and multivocal cultural production. Appadurai, Bhabha, and Gilroy recognise that liminal positions increasingly leave their mark on the global and local flows of cultural objects, such as food, cinema, music, and fashion. Here, our focus is on how migrant youths turn to hypertextual forms of cultural production for a differential expression of digital diasporas. Hypertexts are textual fields made up of hyperlinks. Odin states that travelling through cyberspace by clicking and forging hypertext links is a form of multivocal digital diaspora aesthetics: The perpetual negotiation of difference that the border subject engages in creates a new space that demands its own aesthetic. This new aesthetic, which I term “hypertext” or “postcolonial,” represents the need to switch from the linear, univocal, closed, authoritative aesthetic involving passive encounters characterising the performance of the same to that of non-linear, multivocal, open, non-hierarchical aesthetic involving active encounters that are marked by repetition of the same with and in difference. (Cited in Landow 356-7) On their profile pages, migrant youth digitally author themselves in distinct ways by linking up to various sites. They craft their personal hypertext. These hypertexts display multivocal diaspora aesthetics which are personal and specific; they display personal intersections of affiliations that are not easily generalisable. In several Dutch-language online spaces, subjects from Dutch-Moroccan backgrounds have taken up the label Mocro as an identity marker. Across social networking sites such as Hyves and Facebook, the term gets included in nicknames and community pages. Think of nicknames such as “My own Mocro styly”, “Mocro-licious”, “Mocro-chick”. The term Mocro itself is often already multilayered, as it is often combined with age, gender, sexual preference, religion, sport, music, and generationally specific cultural affiliations. Furthermore, youths connect to a variety of groups ranging from feminist interests (“Women in Charge”), Dutch nationalism (“I Love Holland”), ethnic affiliations (“The Moroccan Kitchen”) to clothing (the brand H&M), and global junk food (McDonalds). These diverse affiliations—that are advertised online simultaneously—add nuance to the typical, one-dimensional stereotype about migrant youth, integration, and Islam in the context of Europe and Netherlands (Leurs, forthcoming). On the online social networking site Hi5, Nikkei youths in Peru, just like any other teenagers, express their individuality by decorating their personal profile page with texts, audio, photos, and videos. Besides personal information such as age, gender, and school information, Aoyama found that “a starburst” of diverse affiliations is published, including those that signal Japanese-ness such as the Hello Kitty brand, anime videos, Kanji writing, kimonos, and celebrities. Also Nikkei hyperlink to elements that can be identified as “Latino” and “Chino” (Chinese) (104-10). Furthermore, users can show their multiple affiliations by joining different “groups” (after which a hyperlink to the group community appears on the profile page). Aoyama writes “these groups stretch across a large and varied scope of topics, including that of national, racial/ethnic, and cultural identities” (2). These examples illustrate how digital diasporas encompass personalised multivocal hypertexts. With the widely accepted adagio “you are what you link” (Adamic and Adar), hypertextual webs can be understood as productions that reveal how diasporic youths choose to express themselves as individuals through complex sets of non-hom*ogeneous identifications. Migrant youth connects to ethnic origin and global networks in eclectic and creative ways. The concept of “digital diaspora” therefore encapsulates both material and virtual (dis)connections that are identifiable through common traits, strategies, and aesthetics. Yet these hypertextual connections are also highly personalised and unique, offering a testimony to the fluid negotiations and intersections between the local and the global, the rooted and the diasporic. Conclusions In this article, we have argued that migrant youths render digital diasporas more complex by including branding and hypertextual aesthetics in transnational public spheres. Digital diasporas may no longer be understood simply in terms of their vertical relations to a homeland or place of origin or as horizontally connected to a clearly marked transnational community; rather, they must also be seen as engaging in rhizomatic digital practices, which reshuffle traditional understandings of origin and belonging. Contemporary youthful digital diasporas are therefore far more complex in their engagement with digital media than most existing theory allows: connections are hybridised, and affiliations are turned into practices of diasporic branding and becoming. There is a generational specificity to multivocal diaspora aesthetics; this specificity lies in the ways migrant youths show communal recognition and express their individuality through hypertext which combines affiliation to their national/ethnic “roots” with an embrace of other youth subcultures, many of them transnational. These two axes are constantly reshuffled and renegotiated online where, thanks to the technological possibilities of HTML hypertext, a whole range of identities and identifications may be brought together at any given time. We trust that these insights will be of interest in future discussion of online networks, transnational communities, identity formation, and hypertext aesthetics where much urgent and topical work remains to be done. References Adamic, Lada A., and Eytan Adar. “You Are What You Link.” 2001 Tenth International World Wide Web Conference, Hong Kong. 26 Apr. 2010. ‹http://www10.org/program/society/yawyl/YouAreWhatYouLink.htm›. Ali B. “Leipe Mocro Flavour.” ALIB.NL / SPEC Entertainment. 2007. 4 Oct. 2010 ‹http://www3.alib.nl/popupAlibtv.php?catId=42&contentId=544›. Alonso, Andoni, and Pedro J. Oiarzabal. Diasporas in the New Media Age. Reno: U of Nevada P, 2010. Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. Rev. ed. London: Verso, 2006 (1983). Aoyama, Shana. Nikkei-Ness: A Cyber-Ethnographic Exploration of Identity among the Japanese Peruvians of Peru. Unpublished MA thesis. South Hadley: Mount Holyoke, 2007. 1 Feb. 2010 ‹http://hdl.handle.net/10166/736›. Appadurai, Arjun. Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1996. Bhabha, Homi. The Location of Culture. New York: Routledge, 1994. Brah, Avtar. Cartographies of Diaspora: Contesting Identities. London: Routledge, 1996. Brinkerhoff, Jennifer M. Digital Diasporas: Identity and Transnational Engagement. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2009. Cohen, Robin. Global Diasporas: An Introduction. London: U College London P, 1997. Everett, Anna. Digital Diaspora: A Race for Cyberspace. Albany: SUNY, 2009. Fernández, María. “Postcolonial Media Theory.” Art Journal 58.3 (1999): 58-73. Georgiou, Myria. Diaspora, Identity and the Media: Diasporic Transnationalism and Mediated Spatialities. Creskill: Hampton Press, 2006. Gilroy, Paul. The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness. London: Verso, 1993. Gower, Eric. “When the Virtual Becomes the Real: A Talk with Benedict Anderson.” NIRA Review, 1996. 19 Apr. 2010 ‹http://www.nira.or.jp/past/publ/review/96spring/intervi.html›. Haraway, Donna. Modest Witness@Second Millennium. FemaleMan Meets OncoMouse: Feminism and Technoscience. New York: Routledge, 1997. Ito, Mizuko, et al. Hanging Out, Messing Out, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2010. Japanese American National Museum. “Discover Nikkei: Japanese Migrants and Their Descendants.” Discover Nikkei, 2005. 4 Oct. 2010. ‹http://www.discovernikkei.org/en/›. Lama, Abraham. “Home Is Where the Heartbreak Is for Japanese-Peruvians.” Asia Times 16 Oct. 1999. 6 May 2010 ‹http://www.atimes.com/japan-econ/AJ16Dh01.html›. Landow, George P. Hypertext 3.0. Critical Theory and New Media in an Era of Globalization. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 2006. Leurs, Koen. Identity, Migration and Digital Media. Utrecht: Utrecht University. PhD Thesis, forthcoming. Miller, Daniel, and Don Slater. The Internet: An Etnographic Approach. Oxford: Berg, 2000. Mo. “Marokkanen met Brainz.” Hyves, 23 Feb. 2008. 4 Oct. 2010. ‹http://marokkaansehersens.hyves.nl/›. Odin, Jaishree K. “The Edge of Difference: Negotiations between the Hypertextual and the Postcolonial.” Modern Fiction Studies 43.3 (1997): 598-630. Ponzanesi, Sandra. “Diasporic Narratives @ Home Pages: The Future as Virtually Located.” Colonies – Missions – Cultures in the English-Speaking World. Ed. Gerhard Stilz. Tübingen: Stauffenburg, 2001. 396–406. Ponzanesi, Sandra. “Diasporic Subjects and Migration.” Thinking Differently: A Reader in European Women's Studies. Ed. Gabrielle Griffin and Rosi Braidotti. London: Zed Books, 2002. 205–20. Safran, William. “Diasporas in Modern Societies: Myths of Homeland and Return.” Diaspora 1.1 (1991): 83-99. Schäfer, Mirko T. Bastard Culture! How User Participation Transforms Cultural Production. Amsterdam: Amsterdam UP, 2011. Van Doorn, Niels, and Liesbeth van Zoonen. “Theorizing Gender and the Internet: Past, Present, and Future.” Routledge Handbook of Internet Politics. Ed. Andrew Chadwick and Philip N. Howard. London: Routledge. 261-74.

37

Redden, Guy. "Packaging the Gifts of Nation." M/C Journal 2, no.7 (October1, 1999). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1800.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

The contemporary supermarket is a work of classification and cataloguing as marvellous as any museum. Barcodes are hallmarks by which its computer systems could know, in their own electronic language, every possible product of a certain kind afoot in the nation. It is a rather special institution in this respect -- a huge fund of contemporary synchronic cultural memory, a database and storehouse of collected human tastes to which individuals turn to seek out their own. However, this means that just as Wittgenstein demonstrated the impossibility of a purely private language, there can be no such thing as a purely private taste. Taste is demonstrated by choosing from a range of public items, that is, products. Therefore let's bracket the liberal concept of sovereign personal taste for now and beat a different track: the supermarket is the site of aggregation of multiple discourses by which the individual is sewn into and sews the fabric of collective life. Techniques used to sell food today, such as freebies (like plastic toys), free offers, forms of gambling, and images of healthiness, convenience, celebrity and enhanced relationships, appeal to -- must appeal to for commercial reasons -- shared values. It is inviting to view the supermarket as an emblem of a postmodern condition. The gaggle of images and words that line its aisles defy unity, play fast and loose with reality, create a simulacral space of copied quotes and sight bites that is coterminous with radically decentred selves. It conforms to the Jamesonian topography of a culture that has lost it -- that sense of real placed history that identity used to be tied up with. But my aim in this essay is to critique such a rhetoric of loss. Discourse remains the province of the self-imaginings of social groups in spite of the diversity of images in circulation. And although the media through which group solidarity is transmitted change with technological developments, the fact of such transmission does not. Hence, by looking at the imagery used on food packets, I will analyse the way that one rhetorical strategy used to sell the food we find on supermarket shelves -- nationalism -- is part of a longstanding cultural trajectory by which citizens of a nation imagine their relationship with their land. This, however, involves the equation of 'the nation' with the ethnic imagery of the group that dominates its political apparatus and territory, a process of circ*mscription that I shall ultimately suggest has political ramifications, especially in the context of nations like Australia which were formed by largely European settler colonisation of the land. Nationalism, then, is a strand of marketing rhetoric used most often, but not exclusively, for the promotion of products in the country of their origin. As such it grafts a tradition of art commemorating place and ethnic identity into the seemingly unlikely genre of the product label. Indeed, for Benedict Anderson the sociopolitical sentiment of nationalism requires forums and images through which to articulate itself, or more accurately, to imaginatively create its auratic object of adoration -- as nationalism is itself innovative (Anderson 15). It also depends upon technologies that can produce a sense of simultaneity between dispersed people who will never meet each other. The distribution of the packaged 'gifts' of a land to 'its people' provides one such opportunity for the transmission of sacralised images of land and the solidarity of its inhabitants. So the genre of the label that comes with a specific distribution and selling system provides the technical medium, and the land, its produce, its people and their relationships in ecosocial community, form the imagery. A limit case example of pride in the gifts of the land can be found on the label of New Zealand's Steinlager: "New Zealand's Finest ... World's Best Lager ... Brewed with the finest New Zealand Hops, Yeast, Barley and Pure Water ... Since 1854". It embodies a series of associations found in other examples: the products of the land are associated with firstly, high quality, and secondly, natural purity. New Zealand seems to be repeated with two slightly different senses. In its juxtaposition with "the world", the two places centre on the finished product of lager, which is presented as a literally world-beating national product. The last line of the label reads "Brewed and Bottled by New Zealand Breweries Limited", the company name both emphasising the agency of New Zealand people in processing ingredients taken from their land's soil, and the legally New Zealandian status of their enterprise. The second sense implies the physical basis for all this: the giftedness of the land which subtends an economy and a culture. "Since 1854" brings these components together on the axis of continuity, making the origination of national production temporal as well as spatial. In other words this benign relationship of production becomes part of national heritage. A certain double sense is in play. Land is both a nation comprising citizens and physical resource; the word that perfectly fuses the sense of the former's political proprietary relationship with the latter into a working unity. Accordingly many packets transfigure the legal requirement to mention the place of production into an attention-grabbing declaration of country of origin whilst also referring to the physical land. The latter may be parsed into two general categories: imagery of animals, plants, landscapes, the elements, etc, and rustic images of human management of the land. So Bulla ice cream advertises its Australianness to a pastoral backdrop; Saxa salt, which has been "Australia's own ... Since 1911", is being hauled by a hat-wearing Aussie man and loyal horse; Bundaberg caster sugar is both "pure Australian" and "Australian made" thanks to the blessing of the (Australian) sun. And other products, such as Australian Natural Foods Non Dairy Soy Mango Smoothie and Pureland Organic Tofu make links between nation and nature through 'land-based' company names similarly buttressed by images of Australian agricultural landscape and the Australian made hallmark respectively. The three conceptual categories often found in correlation with the concrete particulars of 'the land' -- healthiness, purity and naturalness -- are well represented in the packets analysed here. A series of metonymic implications is set up between the terms. They are all potential qualities of the land that are realised in the products it yields. Pureland and Australian Natural Foods juxtapose nation and healthiness closely and the pastoral visions of Bürgen and Dairy Vale have the approval of the National Heart Foundation. Bundaberg and Pureland make the most direct appeals to purity, but concepts such as Bulla's "Australian made real dairy" and Devondale's "choice grade" and "premium Australian" also convey a certain sense of uncorrupted pedigree in their products' provenance. Most products seem to evoke naturalness pictorially, with green rolling landscapes and cows feeding on the verdure featuring particularly highly. Thus at this point a critique of capitalist industrial culture is possible. The missing links are the contemporary factory and office: the places of the processing and assembly of the product physically and discursively; the places where the fruits of the land meet their packaging and are primed for the marketplace. The gifts of nature become commodities but are inscribed as the gifts of nature still, such that the point of sale obfuscates the point of production: profit. The whole enterprise seems to be based on a principle of distantiation. Because of urbanisation, the vast majority of people live away from farm land, and because most food is not consumed by the local communities that produce it, but is produced for larger markets, it is packed and written upon for transport to strangers who will buy it and perhaps also an idealisation of the land. Yet they aren't strangers. This mediation of group solidarity by food-as-commodity does not tear social bonds apart, it forms them. It forms ecosocial community just as it provides a projection of one. And the very invocation of group loyalty as the reason for buying means we should question, as John Frow has done, whether the commodity is always simply a token of abstraction in conceptual opposition to 'the gift' (Frow, "Gift and Commodity"). It is not simply the case that capitalists dupe consumers into thinking of commodities in gift-like terms. Indeed, the discourses of the land we find on supermarket shelves go back a long way in Western culture. As Raymond Williams says: "in English, 'country' is both a nation and a part of a 'land'; 'the country' can be the whole society or its rural area. In the long history of human settlements, this connection between the land from which directly or indirectly we all get our living and the achievements of human society has been deeply known" (1). The majority of the packets analysed extend the pastoral tradition of European art, a tradition which determines the "innate bounty" (33) of the land as the province of benign, 'total' social relations as reflected in the "timeless rhythm" of the authentic agrarian life (10). But the pastoral tradition is itself a media technical one. Williams points out that "a working country is hardly ever a landscape. The very idea of landscape implies separation and observation" (120). The same is true of pastoral in its nationalistic guise. It is transmitted by books, paintings and packets, is predicated on such a 'separation and observation'. The idealisation of the common land that subtends 'us' may be an attempt to bridge that distance, yet it is, ironically, transmitted through inscribed objects that create bonds between spatially and temporally dispersed people. It achieves what Anderson calls "unisonance", "a special kind of contemporaneous community which language alone suggests -- above all in the form of poetry and songs" (132). So, if the supermarket turns inner desire outward to the realm of public items that provides its possibilities, nationalistic desire moves in the same way, both inside and outside the supermarket context. There is no purely internal or purely external nation, just as there is no private language. Rather cultural memory, whether transmitted by a food packet or a poem is a thread transmitted through selves, language, technological milieux, and groups of people. Thus as Thongchai Winichakul succinctly states, "a nation is not a given reality. Rather it is the effect of imagining about it" (14). "We can know about it as long as we employ certain technologies to inscribe the possible sphere. In turn, such technologies create the knowledge of it, create a fact of it, and the entity comes into existence." (15). The contemporary food packet is one such media technology as certainly as a book or a song, and all media inscriptions of the possible sphere of 'the land' are lived ecosocial experience of the land. They make the land a unity by fusing its first physical sense with its second sociopolitical one. Invocation of the land as a prior given that subtends and provides the continuity of a sociopolitical group that has power over its resources, nests the historical contingency of that power relationship into a secure vision of the provenance of nation with the self-origination of 'its' land. That natural element, free, pure and healthy, is the one in which the group's ownership rights are rooted and legitimated. However, in fact, any nation is itself an historical innovation, an inherently unstable ideological product of strategy, technique, rhetorical and material. Nation-states are not naturally correlative with the land, nor are the ethnic groups that politically dominate the nation. They arise where other socio-economic political organisations existed before; they emerge. In The City and the Country Williams's main concern was to point out an alternative class-based history of the real and largely exploitative management of the land, a history that is actively occluded by idealised renderings of the countryside. Here in a parallel way but without room for explication, I want to suggest an alternative history of the management of the land that is indissociable from the emergence of the modern Australian nation -- a race-based history. Thus, here's the rub: the totems of pastoral that are equated with Australianness in the packets I have referred to, are European. The 'food packet' pastoral idealises group totems such as to transform historically contingent relationships of certain ethnic groups with the land into naturalised ones. The cows of Bulla and Devondale, the pastures of Dairy Vale, Bürgen's wheat, the agricultural infrastructure, the men imaged and their modes of management of the land, are European in lineage, and so is most of the food they sacralise as 'Australian'. These things are not natural to the land but were introduced, as was a related political and economic infrastructure that created 'Australia'. And there is a whole history to this appropriation of the land that is not active in the rhetorical force field of the European Australian pastoral, just as the living cultural memories of Aboriginal peoples disposed by the creation of the Australian nation-state are not. ... In "Australia Day at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy", Felicia Fletcher and John Leonard mention how representatives of Aboriginal countries in Australia assembled at Parliament House eat food to sustain themselves in their bid to right this dispossession: "vegetables are cooked in the coals, bread is toasted over the fire, endless cups of tea are poured, pots of three dozen eggs are boiled again and again to keep up the strengths and spirits of the people" (16). However, they add, quoting the group rather than a specific individual: "'It's nice, but at home we'd have a nice bit of kangaroo tail in the fire -- you've got to know how to do it properly -- and damper'": a different memory of and relationship with 'the land' (in both its senses). To conclude, the memories of the land create it at the time of commemoration. How we commemorate it is a present-day matter of great communal and political significance. Plates 1 Ducks Nuts 7 Bürgen High-Bake Heritage White bread 2 Steinlager Beer 8 Devondale Extra Soft margarine 3 Bulla Real Dairy Ice Cream 9 Bundaberg Caster Sugar 4 Saxa Table Salt 10 Dairy Vale Skim Milk 5 Pureland Organic Tofu 11 Devondale Cheese 6 So Natural Mango Smoothie 12 Edgell References Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso, 1983. Fletcher, Felicia, and John Leonard. "Australia Day at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy." Meanjin 58.1 (1999): 10-17. Frow, John. "Gift and Commodity." Time and Commodity Culture: Essays in Cultural Theory and Postmodernity. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1997. ---. "Toute la Mémoire du Monde: Repetition and Forgetting." Time and Commodity Culture: Essays in Cultural Theory and Postmodernity. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1997. Williams, Raymond. The Country and the City. London: Chatto & Windus, 1973. Winichakul, Thongchai. Siam Mapped: A History of the Geo-Body of a Nation. Chiang Mai: Silkworm Books, 1994. Citation reference for this article MLA style: Guy Redden. "Packaging the Gifts of Nation." M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 2.7 (1999). [your date of access] <http://www.uq.edu.au/mc/9910/gifts.php>. Chicago style: Guy Redden, "Packaging the Gifts of Nation," M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 2, no. 7 (1999), <http://www.uq.edu.au/mc/9910/gifts.php> ([your date of access]). APA style: Guy Redden. (1999) Packaging the gifts of nation. M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 2(7). <http://www.uq.edu.au/mc/9910/gifts.php> ([your date of access]).

38

Abrahamsson, Sebastian. "Between Motion and Rest: Encountering Bodies in/on Display." M/C Journal 12, no.1 (January19, 2009). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.109.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

The German anatomist and artist Gunther von Hagens’s exhibition Body Worlds has toured Europe, Asia and the US several times, provoking both interest and dismay, fascination and disgust. This “original exhibition of real human bodies” features whole cadavers as well as specific body parts and it is organized thematically around specific bodily functions such as the respiratory system, blood circulation, skeletal materials and brain and nervous system. In each segment of the exhibition these themes are illustrated using parts of the body, presented in glass cases that are associated with each function. Next to these cases are the full body cadavers—the so-called “plastinates”. The Body Worlds exhibition is all about perception-in-motion: it is about circumnavigating bodies, stopping in front of a plastinate and in-corporating it, leaning over an arm or reaching towards a face, pointing towards a discrete blood vessel, drawing an abstract line between two organs. Experiencing here is above all a matter of reaching-towards and incorporeally touching bodies (Manning, Politics of Touch). These bodies are dead, still, motionless, “frozen in time between death and decay” (von Hagens, Body Worlds). Dead and still eerily animate, just as the surface of a freeze-frame photograph would seem to capture spatially a movement in its unfolding becoming, plastinates do not simply appear as dead matter used to represent vitality, but rather [...] as persons who managed to survive together with their bodies. What “inner quality” makes them appear alive? In what way is someone present, when what is conserved is not opinions (in writing), actions (in stories) or voice (on tape) but the body? (Hirschauer 41—42) Through the corporeal transformation—the plastination process—that these bodies have gone through, and the designed space of the exhibition—a space that makes possible both innovative and restrictive movements—these seemingly dead bodies come alive. There is a movement within these bodies, a movement that resonates with-in the exhibition space and mobilises visitors.Two ways of thinking movement in relation to stillness come out of this. The first one is concerned with the ordering and designing of space by means of visual cues, things or texts. This relates to stillness and slowness as suggestive, imposed and enforced upon bodies so that the possibilities of movement are reduced due to the way an environment is designed. Think for example of the way that an escalator moulds movements and speeds, or how signs such as “No walking on the grass” suggest a given pattern of walking. The second one is concerned with how movement is linked up with and implies continuous change. If a body’s movement and exaltation is reduced or slowed down, does the body then become immobile and still? Take ice, water and steam: these states give expression to three different attributes or conditions of what is considered to be one and the same chemical body. But in the transformation from one to the other, there is also an incorporeal transformation related to the possibilities of movement and change—between motion and rest—of what a body can do (Deleuze, Spinoza).Slowing Down Ever since the first exhibition Body Worlds has been under attack from critics, ethicists, journalists and religious groups, who claim that the public exhibition of dead bodies should, for various reasons, be banned. In 2004, in response to such criticism, the Californian Science Centre commissioned an ethical review of the exhibition before taking the decision on whether and how to host Body Worlds. One of the more interesting points in this review was the proposition that “the exhibition is powerful, and guests need time to acclimate themselves” (6). As a consequence, it was suggested that the Science Center arrange an entrance that would “slow people down and foster a reverential and respectful mood” (5). The exhibition space was to be organized in such a way that skeletons, historical contexts and images would be placed in the beginning of the exhibition, the whole body plastinates should only be introduced later in the exhibition. Before my first visit to the exhibition, I wasn’t sure how I would react when confronted with these dead bodies. To be perfectly honest, the moments before entering, I panicked. Crossing the asphalt between the Manchester Museum of Science and the exhibition hall, I felt dizzy; heart pounding in my chest and a sensation of nausea spreading throughout my body. Ascending a staircase that would take me to the entrance, located on the third floor in the exhibition hall, I thought I had detected an odour—rotten flesh or foul meat mixed with chemicals. Upon entering I was greeted by a young man to whom I presented my ticket. Without knowing in advance that this first room had been structured in such a way as to “slow people down”, I immediately felt relieved as I realized that the previously detected smell must have been psychosomatic: the room was perfectly odourless and the atmosphere was calm and tempered. Dimmed lights and pointed spotlights filled the space with an inviting and warm ambience. Images and texts on death and anatomical art were spread over the walls and in the back corners of the room two skeletons had been placed. Two glass cases containing bones and tendons had been placed in the middle of the room and next to these a case with a whole body, positioned upright in ‘anatomically correct’ position with arms, hands and legs down. There was nothing gruesome or spectacular about this room; I had visited anatomical collections, such as that of the Hunterian Museum in London or Medical Museion in Copenhagen, which in comparison far surpassed the alleged gruesomeness and voyeurism. And so I realized that the room had effectively slowed me down as my initial state of exaltation had been altered and stalled by the relative familiarity of images, texts and bare bones, all presented in a tempered and respectful way.Visitors are slowed down, but they are not still. There is no degree zero of movement, only different relations of speeds and slowness. Here I think it is useful to think of movement and change as it is expressed in Henri Bergson’s writings on temporality. Bergson frequently argued that the problem of Western metaphysics had been to spatialise movement, as in the famous example with Zeno’s arrow that—given that we think of movement as spatial—never reaches the tree towards which it has been shot. Bergson however did not refute the importance and practical dimensions of thinking through immobility; rather, immobility is the “prerequisite for our action” (Creative Mind 120). The problem occurs when we think away movement on behalf of that which we think of as still or immobile.We need immobility, and the more we succeed in imagining movement as coinciding with the immobilities of the points of space through which it passes, the better we think we understand it. To tell the truth, there never is real immobility, if we understand by that an absence of movement. Movement is reality itself (Bergson, Creative Mind 119).This notion of movement as primary, and immobility as secondary, gives expression to the proposition that immobility, solids and stillness are not given but have to be achieved. This can be done in several ways: external forces that act upon a body and transform it, as when water crystallizes into ice; certain therapeutic practices—yoga or relaxation exercises—that focus and concentrate attention and perception; spatial and architectural designs such as museums, art galleries or churches that induce and invoke certain moods and slow people down. Obviously there are other kinds of situations when bodies become excited and start moving more rapidly. Such situations could be, to name a few, when water starts to boil; when people use drugs like nicotine or caffeine in order to heighten alertness; or when bodies occupy spaces where movement is amplified by means of increased sensual stimuli, for example in the extreme conditions that characterize a natural catastrophe or a war.Speeding Up After the Body Worlds visitor had been slowed down and acclimatised in and through the first room, the full body plastinates were introduced. These bodies laid bare muscles, tissues, nerves, brain, heart, kidneys, and lungs. Some of these were “exploded views” of the body—in these, the body and its parts have been separated and drawn out from the position that they occupy in the living body, in some cases resulting in two discrete plastinates—e.g. one skeleton and one muscle-plastinate—that come from the same anatomical body. Congruent with the renaissance anatomical art of Vesalius, all plastinates are positioned in lifelike poses (Benthien, Skin). Some are placed inside a protective glass case while others are either standing, lying on the ground or hanging from the ceiling.As the exhibition unfolds, the plastinates themselves wipe away the calmness and stillness intended with the spatial design. Whereas a skeleton seems mute and dumb these plastinates come alive as visitors circle and navigate between them. Most visitors would merely point and whisper, some would reach towards and lean over a plastinate. Others however noticed that jumping up and down created a resonating effect in the plastinates so that a plastinate’s hand, leg or arm moved. At times the rooms were literally filled with hordes of excited and energized school children. Then the exhibition space was overtaken with laughter, loud voices, running feet, comments about the gruesome von Hagens and repeated remarks on the plastinates’ genitalia. The former mood of respectfulness and reverence has been replaced by the fascinating and idiosyncratic presence of animated and still, plastinated bodies. Animated and still? So what is a plastinate?Movement and Form Through plastination, the body undergoes a radical and irreversible transformation which turns the organic body into an “inorganic organism”, a hybrid of plastic and flesh (Hirschauer 36). Before this happens however the living body has to face another phase of transition by which it turns into a dead cadaver. From the point of view of an individual body that lives, breathes and evolves, this transformation implies turning into a decomposing and rotting piece of flesh, tissue and bones. Any corpse will sooner or later turn into something else, ashes, dust or earth. This process can be slowed down using various techniques and chemicals such as mummification or formaldehyde, but this will merely slow down the process of decomposition, and not terminate it.The plastination technique is rather different in several respects. Firstly the specimen is soaked in acetone and the liquids in the corpse—water and fat—are displaced. This displacement prepares the specimen for the next step in the process which is the forced vacuum impregnation. Here the specimen is placed in a polymer mixture with silicone rubber or epoxy resin. This process is undertaken in vacuum which allows for the plastic to enter each and every cell of the specimen, thus replacing the acetone (von Hagens, Body Worlds). Later on, when this transformation has finished, the specimen is modelled according to a concept, a “gestalt plastinate”, such as “the runner”, “the badminton player” or “the skin man”. The concept expresses a dynamic and life-like pose—referred to as the gestalt—that exceeds the individual parts of which it is formed. This would suggest that form is in itself immobility and that perception is what is needed to make form mobile; as gestalt the plastinated body is spatially immobilised, yet it gives birth to a body that comes alive in perception-movement. Once again I think that Bergson could help us to think through this relation, a relation that is conceived here as a difference between form-as-stillness and formation-as-movement:Life is an evolution. We concentrate a period of this evolution in a stable view which we call a form, and, when the change has become considerable enough to overcome the fortunate inertia of our perception, we say that the body has changed its form. But in reality the body is changing form at every moment; or rather, there is no form, since form is immobile and the reality is movement. What is real is the continual change of form; form is only a snapshot view of a transition (Bergson, Creative Evolution 328, emphasis in original).In other words there is a form that is relative to human perception, but there is “underneath” this form nothing but a continuous formation or becoming as Bergson would have it. For our purposes the formation of the gestalt plastinate is an achievement that makes perceptible the possibility of divergent or co-existent durations; the plastinate belongs to a temporal rhythm that even though it coincides with ours is not identical to it.Movement and Trans-formation So what kind of a strange entity is it that emerges out of this transformation, through which organic materials are partly replaced with plastic? Compared with a living body or a mourned cadaver, it is first and foremost an entity that no longer is subject to the continuous evolution of time. In this sense the plastinate is similar to cryogenetical bodies (Doyle, Wetwares), or to Ötzi the ice man (Spindler, Man in the ice)—bodies that resist the temporal logic according to which things are in constant motion. The processes of composition and decomposition that every living organism undergoes at every instant have been radically interrupted.However, plastinates are not forever fixed, motionless and eternally enduring objects. As Walter points out, plastinated cadavers are expected to “remain stable” for approximately 4000 years (606). Thus, the plastinate has become solidified and stabilized according to a different pattern of duration than that of the decaying human body. There is a tension here between permanence and change, between bodies that endure and a body that decomposes. Maybe as when summer, which is full of life and energy, turns into winter, which is still and seemingly without life. It reminds us of Nietzsche's Zarathustra and the winter doctrine: When the water is spanned by planks, when bridges and railings leap over the river, verily those are believed who say, “everything is in flux. . .” But when the winter comes . . . , then verily, not only the blockheads say, “Does not everything stand still?” “At bottom everything stands still.”—that is truly a winter doctrine (Bennett and Connolly 150). So we encounter the paradox of how to accommodate motion within stillness and stillness within motion: if everything is in continuous movement, how can there be stillness and regularity (and vice versa)? An interesting example of such temporal interruption is described by Giorgio Agamben who invokes an example with a tick that was kept alive, in a state of hibernation, for 18 years without nourishment (47). During those years this tick had ceased to exist in time, it existed only in extended space. There are of course differences between the tick and von Hagens’s plastinates—one difference being that the plastinates are not only dead but also plastic and inorganic—but the analogy points us to the idea of producing the conditions of possibility for eternal, timeless (and, by implication, motionless) bodies. If movement and change are thought of as spatial, as in Zeno’s paradox, here they have become temporal: movement happens in and because of time and not in space. The technique of plastination and the plastinates themselves emerge as processes of a-temporalisation and re-spatialisation of the body. The body is displaced—pulled out of time and history—and becomes a Cartesian body located entirely in the coordinates of extended space. As Ian Hacking suggests, plastinates are “Cartesian, extended, occupying space. Plastinated organs and corpses are odourless: like the Cartesian body, they can be seen but not smelt” (15).Interestingly, Body Worlds purports to show the inner workings of the human body. However, what visitors experience is not the working but the being. They do not see what the body does, its activities over time; rather, they see what it is, in space. Conversely, von Hagens wishes to “make us aware of our physical nature, our nature within us” (Kuppers 127), but the nature that we become aware of is not the messy, smelly and fluid nature of bodily interiors. Rather we encounter the still nature of Zarathustra’s winter landscape, a landscape in which the passage of time has come to a halt. As Walter concludes “the Body Worlds experience is primarily visual, spatial, static and odourless” (619).Still in Constant MotionAnd yet...Body Worlds moves us. If not for the fact that these plastinates and their creator strike us as gruesome, horrific and controversial, then because these bodies that we encounter touch us and we them. The sensation of movement, in and through the exhibition, is about this tension between being struck, touched or moved by a body that is radically foreign and yet strangely familiar to us. The resonant and reverberating movement that connects us with it is expressed through that (in)ability to accommodate motion in stillness, and stillness in motion. For whereas the plastinates are immobilised in space, they move in time and in experience. As Nigel Thrift puts it The body is in constant motion. Even at rest, the body is never still. As bodies move they trace out a path from one location to another. These paths constantly intersect with those of others in a complex web of biographies. These others are not just human bodies but also all other objects that can be described as trajectories in time-space: animals, machines, trees, dwellings, and so on (Thrift 8).This understanding of the body as being in constant motion stretches beyond the idea of a body that literally moves in physical space; it stresses the processual intertwining of subjects and objects through space-times that are enduring and evolving. The paradoxical nature of the relation between bodies in motion and bodies at rest is obviously far from exhausted through the brief exemplification that I have tried to provide here. Therefore I must end here and let someone else, better suited for this task, explain what it is that I wish to have said. We are hardly conscious of anything metaphorical when we say of one picture or of a story that it is dead, and of another that it has life. To explain just what we mean when we say this, is not easy. Yet the consciousness that one thing is limp, that another one has the heavy inertness of inanimate things, while another seems to move from within arises spontaneously. There must be something in the object that instigates it (Dewey 182). References Agamben, Giorgio. The Open. Trans. Kevin Attell. Stanford: Stanford U P, 2004.Bennett, Jane, and William Connolly. “Contesting Nature/Culture.” Journal of Nietzsche Studies 24 (2002) 148-163.Benthien, Claudia. Skin: On the Cultural Border Between Self and the World. Trans. Thomas Dunlap. New York: Columbia U P, 2002. California Science Center. “Summary of Ethical Review.” 10 Jan. 2009.Bergson, Henri. The Creative Mind. Trans. Mabelle Andison. Mineola: Dover, 2007. –––. Creative Evolution. Trans. Arthur Mitchell. New York: Cosimo Classics, 2005Deleuze, Gilles. Spinoza: Practical Philosophy. Trans. Robert Hurley. San Francisco: City Lights, 1988.Dewey, John. Art as Experience. New York: Perigee, 2005.Doyle, Richard. Wetwares. Minnesota: Minnesota U P, 2003.Hacking, Ian. “The Cartesian Body.” Biosocieties 1 (2006) 13-15.Hirschauer, Stefan. “Animated Corpses: Communicating with Post Mortals in an Anatomical Exhibition.” Body & Society 12.4 (2006) 25-52.Kuppers, Petra. “Visions of Anatomy: Exhibitions and Dense Bodies.” differences 15.3 (2004) 123-156.Manning, Erin. Politics of Touch: Sense, Movement, Sovereignty. Minnesota: Minnesota UP, 2007. Spindler, Konrad. The Man in the Ice. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1994.Thrift, Nigel. Spatial Formations. London: Sage, 1996.Von Hagens, Gunther, and Angelina Whalley. Body Worlds: The Original Exhibition of Real Human Bodies. Heidelberg: Institute for Plastination, 2008.Walter, Tony. “Plastination for Display: A New Way to Dispose of the Dead.” Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 10.3 (2004) 603-627.

39

Maras, Steven. "Reflections on Adobe Corporation, Bill Viola, and Peter Ramus while Printing Lecture Notes." M/C Journal 8, no.2 (June1, 2005). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2338.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

In March 2002, I was visiting the University of Southern California. One night, as sometimes happens on a vibrant campus, two interesting but very different public lectures were scheduled against one another. The first was by the co-chairman and co-founder of Adobe Systems Inc., Dr. John E. Warnock, talking about books. The second was a lecture by acclaimed video artist Bill Viola. The first event was clearly designed as a networking forum for faculty and entrepreneurs. The general student population was conspicuously absent. Warnock spoke of the future of Adobe, shared stories of his love of books, and in an embodiment of the democratising potential of Adobe software (and no doubt to the horror of archivists in the room) he invited the audience to handle extremely rare copies of early printed works from his personal library. In the lecture theatre where Viola was to speak the atmosphere was different. Students were everywhere; even at the price of ten dollars a head. Viola spoke of time and memory in the information age, of consciousness and existence, to an enraptured audience—and showed his latest work. The juxtaposition of these two events says something about our cultural moment, caught between a paradigm modelled on reverence toward the page, and a still emergent sense of medium, intensity and experimentation. But, the juxtaposition yields more. At one point in Warnock’s speech, in a demonstration of the ultra-high resolution possible in the next generation of Adobe products, he presented a scan of a manuscript, two pages, two columns per page, overflowing with detail. Fig. 1. Dr John E. Warnock at the Annenberg Symposium. Photo courtesy of http://www.annenberg.edu/symposia/annenberg/2002/photos.php Later, in Viola’s presentation, a fragment of a video work, Silent Mountain (2001) splits the screen in two columns, matching Warnock’s text: inside each a human figure struggles with intense emotion, and the challenges of bridging the relational gap. Fig. 2. Images from Bill Viola, Silent Mountain (2001). From Bill Viola, THE PASSIONS. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles in Association with The National Gallery, London. Ed. John Walsh. p. 44. Both events are, of course, lectures. And although they are different in style and content, a ‘columnular’ scheme informs and underpins both, as a way of presenting and illustrating the lecture. Here, it is worth thinking about Pierre de la Ramée or Petrus (Peter) Ramus (1515-1572), the 16th century educational reformer who in the words of Frances Yates ‘abolished memory as a part of rhetoric’ (229). Ramus was famous for transforming rhetoric through the introduction of his method or dialectic. For Walter J. Ong, whose discussion of Ramism we are indebted to here, Ramus produced the paradigm of the textbook genre. But it is his method that is more noteworthy for us here, organised through definitions and divisions, the distribution of parts, ‘presented in dichotomized outlines or charts that showed exactly how the material was organised spatially in itself and in the mind’ (Ong, Orality 134-135). Fig. 3. Ramus inspired study of Medicine. Ong, Ramus 301. Ong discusses Ramus in more detail in his book Ramus: Method, and the Decay of Dialogue. Elsewhere, Sutton, Benjamin, and I have tried to capture the sense of Ong’s argument, which goes something like the following. In Ramus, Ong traces the origins of our modern, diagrammatic understanding of argument and structure to the 16th century, and especially the work of Ramus. Ong’s interest in Ramus is not as a great philosopher, nor a great scholar—indeed Ong sees Ramus’s work as a triumph of mediocrity of sorts. Rather, his was a ‘reformation’ in method and pedagogy. The Ramist dialectic ‘represented a drive toward thinking not only of the universe but of thought itself in terms of spatial models apprehended by sight’ (Ong, Ramus 9). The world becomes thought of ‘as an assemblage of the sort of things which vision apprehends—objects or surfaces’. Ramus’s teachings and doctrines regarding ‘discoursing’ are distinctive for the way they draw on geometrical figures, diagrams or lecture outlines, and the organization of categories through dichotomies. This sets learning up on a visual paradigm of ‘study’ (Ong, Orality 8-9). Ramus introduces a new organization for discourse. Prior to Ramus, the rhetorical tradition maintained and privileged an auditory understanding of the production of content in speech. Central to this practice was deployment of the ‘seats’, ‘images’ and ‘common places’ (loci communes), stock arguments and structures that had accumulated through centuries of use (Ong, Orality 111). These common places were supported by a complex art of memory: techniques that nourished the practice of rhetoric. By contrast, Ramism sought to map the flow and structure of arguments in tables and diagrams. Localised memory, based on dividing and composing, became crucial (Yates 230). For Ramus, content was structured in a set of visible or sight-oriented relations on the page. Ramism transformed the conditions of visualisation. In our present age, where ‘content’ is supposedly ‘king’, an archaeology of content bears thinking about. In it, Ramism would have a prominent place. With Ramus, content could be mapped within a diagrammatic page-based understanding of meaning. A container understanding of content arises. ‘In the post-Gutenberg age where Ramism flourished, the term “content”, as applied to what is “in” literary productions, acquires a status which it had never known before’ (Ong, Ramus 313). ‘In lieu of merely telling the truth, books would now in common estimation “contain” the truth, like boxes’ (313). For Ramus, ‘analysis opened ideas like boxes’ (315). The Ramist move was, as Ong points out, about privileging the visual over the audible. Alongside the rise of the printing press and page-based approaches to the word, the Ramist revolution sought to re-work rhetoric according to a new scheme. Although spatial metaphors had always had a ‘place’ in the arts of memory—other systems were, however, phonetically based—the notion of place changed. Specific figures such as ‘scheme’, ‘plan’, and ‘table’, rose to prominence in the now-textualised imagination. ‘Structure’ became an abstract diagram on the page disconnected from the total performance of the rhetor. This brings us to another key aspect of the Ramist reformation: that alongside a spatialised organisation of thought Ramus re-works style as presentation and embellishment (Brummett 449). A kind of separation of conception and execution is introduced in relation to performance. In Ramus’ separation of reason and rhetoric, arrangement and memory are distinct from style and delivery (Brummett 464). While both dialectic and rhetoric are re-worked by Ramus in light of divisions and definitions (see Ong, Ramus Chs. XI-XII), and dialectic remains a ‘rhetorical instrument’ (Ramus 290), rhetoric becomes a unique site for simplification in the name of classroom practicality. Dialectic circ*mscribes the space of learning of rhetoric; invention and arrangement (positioning) occur in advance (289). Ong’s work on the technologisation of the word is strongly focused on identifying the impact of literacy on consciousness. What Ong’s work on Ramus shows is that alongside the so-called printing revolution the Ramist reformation enacts an equally if not more powerful transformation of pedagogic space. Any serious consideration of print must not only look at the technologisation of the word, and the shifting patterns of literacy produced alongside it, but also a particular tying together of pedagogy and method that Ong traces back to Ramus. If, as is canvassed in the call for papers of this issue of M/C Journal, ‘the transitions in print culture are uneven and incomplete at this point’, then could it be in part due to the way Ramism endures and is extended in electronic and hypermedia contexts? Powerpoint presentations, outlining tools (Heim 139-141), and the scourge of bullet points, are the most obvious evidence of greater institutionalization of Ramist knowledge architecture. Communication, and the teaching of communication, is now embedded in a Ramist logic of opening up content like a box. Theories of communication draw on so-called ‘models’ that draw on the representation of the communication process through boxes that divide and define. Perhaps in a less obvious way, ‘spatialized processes of thought and communication’ (Ong, Ramus 314) are essential to the logic of flowcharting and tracking new information structures, and even teaching hypertext (see the diagram in Nielsen 7): a link puts the popular notion that hypertext is close to the way we truly think into an interesting perspective. The notion that we are embedded in print culture is not in itself new, even if the forms of our continual reintegration into print culture can be surprising. In the experience of printing, of the act of pressing the ‘Print’ button, we find ourselves re-integrated into page space. A mini-preview of the page re-assures me of an actuality behind the actualizations on the screen, of ink on paper. As I write in my word processing software, the removal of writing from the ‘element of inscription’ (Heim 136) —the frictionless ‘immediacy’ of the flow of text (152) — is conditioned by a representation called the ‘Page Layout’, the dark borders around the page signalling a kind of structures abyss, a no-go zone, a place, beyond ‘Normal’, from which where there is no ‘Return’. At the same time, however, never before has the technological manipulation of the document been so complex, a part of a docuverse that exists in three dimensions. It is a world that is increasingly virtualised by photocopiers that ‘scan to file’ or ‘scan to email’ rather than good old ‘xeroxing’ style copying. Printing gives way to scanning. In a perverse extension of printing (but also residually film and photography), some video software has a function called ‘Print to Video’. That these super-functions of scanning to file or email are disabled on my department photocopier says something about budgets, but also the comfort with which academics inhabit Ramist space. As I stand here printing my lecture plan, the printer stands defiantly separate from the photocopier, resisting its colonizing convergence even though it is dwarfed in size. Meanwhile, the printer demurely dispenses pages, one at a time, face down, in a gesture of discretion or perhaps embarrassment. For in the focus on the pristine page there is a Puritanism surrounding printing: a morality of blemishes, smudges, and stains; of structure, format and order; and a failure to match that immaculate, perfect argument or totality. (Ong suggests that ‘the term “method” was appropriated from the Ramist coffers and used to form the term “methodists” to designate first enthusiastic preachers who made an issue of their adherence to “logic”’ (Ramus 304).) But perhaps this avoidance of multi-functionality is less of a Ludditism than an understanding that the technological assemblage of printing today exists peripherally to the ideality of the Ramist scheme. A change in technological means does not necessarily challenge the visile language that informs our very understanding of our respective ‘fields’, or the ideals of competency embodied in academic performance and expression, or the notions of content we adopt. This is why I would argue some consideration of Ramism and print culture is crucial. Any ‘true’ breaking out of print involves, as I suggest, a challenge to some fundamental principles of pedagogy and method, and the link between the two. And of course, the very prospect of breaking out of print raises the issue of its desirability at a time when these forms of academic performance are culturally valued. On the surface, academic culture has been a strange inheritor of the Ramist legacy, radically furthering its ambitions, but also it would seem strongly tempering it with an investment in orality, and other ideas of performance, that resist submission to the Ramist ideal. Ong is pessimistic here, however. Ramism was after all born as a pedagogic movement, central to the purveying ‘knowledge as a commodity’ (Ong, Ramus 306). Academic discourse remains an odd mixture of ‘dialogue in the give-and-take Socratic form’ and the scheduled lecture (151). The scholastic dispute is at best a ‘manifestation of concern with real dialogue’ (154). As Ong notes, the ideals of dialogue have been difficult to sustain, and the dominant practice leans towards ‘the visile pole with its typical ideals of “clarity”, “precision”, “distinctness”, and “explanation” itself—all best conceivable in terms of some analogy with vision and a spatial field’ (151). Assessing the importance and after-effects of the Ramist reformation today is difficult. Ong describes it an ‘elusive study’ (Ramus 296). Perhaps Viola’s video, with its figures struggling in a column-like organization of space, structured in a kind of dichotomy, can be read as a glimpse of our existence in or under a Ramist scheme (interestingly, from memory, these figures emote in silence, deprived of auditory expression). My own view is that while it is possible to explore learning environments in a range of ways, and thus move beyond the enclosed mode of study of Ramism, Ramism nevertheless comprises an important default architecture of pedagogy that also informs some higher level assumptions about assessment and knowledge of the field. Software training, based on a process of working through or mimicking a linked series of screenshots and commands is a direct inheritor of what Ong calls Ramism’s ‘corpuscular epistemology’, a ‘one to one correspondence between concept, word and referent’ (Ong, Orality 168). My lecture plan, providing an at a glance view of my presentation, is another. The default architecture of the Ramist scheme impacts on our organisation of knowledge, and the place of performance with in it. Perhaps this is another area where Ong’s fascinating account of secondary orality—that orality that comes into being with television and radio—becomes important (Orality 136). Not only does secondary orality enable group-mindedness and communal exchange, it also provides a way to resist the closure of print and the Ramist scheme, adapting knowledge to new environments and story frameworks. Ong’s work in Orality and Literacy could thus usefully be taken up to discuss Ramism. But this raises another issue, which has to do with the relationship between Ong’s two books. In Orality and Literacy, Ong is careful to trace distinctions between oral, chirographic, manuscript, and print culture. In Ramus this progression is not as prominent— partly because Ong is tracking Ramus’ numerous influences in detail —and we find a more clear-cut distinction between the visile and audile worlds. Yates seems to support this observation, suggesting contra Ong that it is not the connection between Ramus and print that is important, but between Ramus and manuscript culture (230). The interconnections but also lack of fit between the two books suggests a range of fascinating questions about the impact of Ramism across different media/technological contexts, beyond print, but also the status of visualisation in both rhetorical and print cultures. References Brummett, Barry. Reading Rhetorical Theory. Fort Worth: Harcourt, 2000. Heim, Michael. Electric Language: A Philosophical Study of Word Processing. New Haven: Yale UP, 1987. Maras, Steven, David Sutton, and with Marion Benjamin. “Multimedia Communication: An Interdisciplinary Approach.” Information Technology, Education and Society 2.1 (2001): 25-49. Nielsen, Jakob. Multimedia and Hypertext: The Internet and Beyond. Boston: AP Professional, 1995. Ong, Walter J. Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word. London: Methuen, 1982. —. Ramus: Method, and the Decay of Dialogue. New York: Octagon, 1974. The Second Annual Walter H. Annenberg Symposium. 20 March 2002. http://www.annenberg.edu/symposia/annenberg/2002/photos.php> USC Annenberg Center of Communication and USC Annenberg School for Communication. 22 March 2005. Viola, Bill. Bill Viola: The Passions. Ed. John Walsh. London: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles in Association with The National Gallery, 2003. Yates, Frances A. The Art of Memory. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1969. Citation reference for this article MLA Style Maras, Steven. "Reflections on Adobe Corporation, Bill Viola, and Peter Ramus while Printing Lecture Notes." M/C Journal 8.2 (2005). echo date('d M. Y'); ?> <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0506/05-maras.php>. APA Style Maras, S. (Jun. 2005) "Reflections on Adobe Corporation, Bill Viola, and Peter Ramus while Printing Lecture Notes," M/C Journal, 8(2). Retrieved echo date('d M. Y'); ?> from <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0506/05-maras.php>.

40

Mudie, Ella. "Unbuilding the City: Writing Demolition." M/C Journal 20, no.2 (April26, 2017). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1219.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

IntroductionUtopian and forward looking in tenor, official narratives of urban renewal and development implicitly promote normative ideals of progress and necessary civic improvement. Yet an underlying condition of such renewal is frequently the very opposite of building: the demolition of existing urban fabric. Taking as its starting point the large-scale demolition of buildings proposed for the NSW Government’s Sydney Metro rail project, this article interrogates the role of literary treatments of demolition in mediating complex, and often contradictory, responses to transformations of the built environment. Case studies are drawn from literary texts in which demolition and infrastructure development are key preoccupations, notably Louis Aragon’s 1926 Surrealist document of a threatened Parisian arcade, Paris Peasant, and the non-fiction accounts of the redevelopment of London’s East End by British writer Iain Sinclair. Sydney UnbuiltPresently, Australia’s biggest public transport project according to the NSW Government website, the Sydney Metro is set to revolutionise Sydney’s rail future with more than 30 metro stations and a fleet of fully-automated driverless trains. Its impetus extends at least as far back as the Liberal-National Coalition’s landslide win at the 2011 New South Wales state election when Barry O’Farrell, then party leader, declared “NSW has to be rebuilt” (qtd in Aston). Infrastructure upgrades became one of the Coalition’s key priorities upon forming government. Following a second Coalition win at the 2015 election, the state of NSW, or the city of Sydney more accurately, remains today deep amidst widespread building works with an unprecedented number of infrastructure, development and urban renewal projects simultaneously underway.From an historical perspective, Sydney is certainly no stranger to demolition. This was in evidence in Demolished Sydney, an exhibition at the Museum of Sydney that captured the zeitgeist of 2016 with its historical survey of Sydney’s demolished architecture. As the exhibition media release pointed out: “Since 1788 Sydney has been built, unbuilt and rebuilt as it has grown from Georgian town to Victorian city to the global urban centre it is today” (Museum of Sydney). What this evolutionist narrative glosses over, however, is the extent to which the impact of Sydney’s significant reinventions of itself through large-scale redevelopment are often not properly registered until well after such changes have taken place. With the imminent commencement of Sydney Metro Stage 2 CBD works, the city similarly stands to lose a number of buildings that embody the civic urban ideals of an earlier era, the effects of which are unlikely to be fully appreciated until the project’s post-demolition phase. The revelation, over the past year, of the full extent of demolition required to build Sydney Metro casts a spotlight on the project and raises questions about its likely impact in reconfiguring the character of Sydney’s inner city. An Environmental Impact Statement Summary (EISS) released by the NSW Government in May 2016 confirms that 79 buildings in the CBD and surrounding suburbs are slated for demolition as part of station development plans for the Stage 2 Chatswood to Sydenham line (Transport for NSW). Initial assurances were that the large majority of acquisitions would be commercial buildings. Yet, the mix also comprises some locally-heritage listed structures including, most notably, 7 Elizabeth Street Sydney (Image 1), a residential apartment tower of 54 studio flats located at the top end of the Sydney central business district.Image 1: 7 Elizabeth Street Sydney apartment towers (middle). Architect: Emil Sodersten. Image credit: Ella Mudie.As the sole surviving block of CBD flats constructed during the 1930s, 7 Elizabeth Street had been identified by the Australian Institute of Architects as an example of historically significant twentieth-century residential architecture. Furthermore, the modernist block is aesthetically significant as the work of prominent Art Deco architect Emil Sodersten (1899-1961) and interior designer Marion Hall Best (1905-1988). Disregarding recommendations that the building should be retained and conserved, Transport for NSW compulsorily acquired the block, evicting residents in late 2016 from one of the few remaining sources of affordable housing in the inner-city. Meanwhile, a few blocks down at 302 Pitt Street the more than century-old Druids House (Image 2) is also set to be demolished for the Metro development. Prior to purchase by Transport for NSW, the property had been slated for a state-of-the-art adaptive reuse as a boutique hotel which would have preserved the building’s façade and windows. In North Sydney, a locally heritage listed shopfront at 187 Miller Street, one of the few examples of the Victorian Italianate style remaining on the street, faces a similar fate. Image 2. Druids House, 302 Pitt Street Sydney. Image credit: Ella Mudie.Beyond the bureaucratic accounting of the numbers and locations of demolitions outlined in the NSW Government’s EISS, this survey of disappearing structures highlights to what extent, large-scale transport infrastructure projects like Sydney Metro, can reshape what the Situationists termed the “psychogeography” of a city; the critical manner in which places and environments affect our emotions and behaviour. With their tendency to erase traces of the city’s past and to smooth over its textures, those variegations in the urban fabric that emerge from the interrelationship of the built environment with the lived experience of a space, the changes wrought by infrastructure and development thus manifest a certain anguish of urban dynamism that is connected to broader anxieties over modernity’s “speed of change and the ever-changing horizons of time and space” (Huyssen 23). Indeed, just as startling as the disappearance of older and more idiosyncratic structures is the demolition of newer building stock which, in the case of Sydney Metro, includes the slated demolition of a well-maintained 22-storey commercial office tower at 39 Martin Place (Image 3). Completed in just 1972, the fact that the lifespan of this tower will amount to less than fifty years points to the rapid obsolescence, and sheer disposability, of commercial building stock in the twenty first-century. It is also indicative of the drive towards destruction that operates within the project of modernism itself. Pondering the relationship of modernist architecture to time, Guiliana Bruno asks: can we really speak of a modernist ruin? Unlike the porous, permeable stone of ancient building, the material of modernism does not ‘ruin.’ Concrete does not decay. It does not slowly erode and corrode, fade out or fade away. It cannot monumentally disintegrate. In some way, modernist architecture does not absorb the passing of time. Adverse to deterioration, it does not age easily, gracefully or elegantly. (80)In its resistance to organic ruination, Bruno’s comment thus implies it is demolition that will be the fate of the large majority of the urban building stock of the twentieth century and beyond. In this way, Sydney Metro is symptomatic of far broader cycles of replenishment and renewal at play in cities around the world, bringing to the fore timely questions about demolition and modernity, the conflict between economic development and the civic good, and social justice concerns over the public’s right to the city. Image 3: 39 Martin Place Sydney. Image credit: Ella Mudie.In the second part of this article, I turn to literary treatments of demolition in order to consider what role the writer might play in giving expression to some of the conflicts and tensions, as exemplified by Sydney Metro, that manifest in ‘unbuilding’ the city. How might literature, I ask, be uniquely placed to mobilise critique? And to what extent does the writer—as both a detached observer and engaged participant in the city—occupy an ambivalent stance especially sensitive to the inherent contradictions and paradoxes of the built environment’s relationship to modernity?Iain Sinclair: Calling Time on the Grand Projects For more than two decades, British author Iain Sinclair has been mapping the shifting terrain of London and its edgelands across a spectrum of experimental fiction and non-fiction works. In addition to the thematic attention paid to neoliberal capitalist processes of urban renewal and their tendency to implode established ties between place, memory and identity, Sinclair’s hybrid documentary-novels are especially pertinent to the analysis of “writing demolition” for their distinct writerly approach. Two recent texts, Ghost Milk: Calling Time on the Grand Project (2011) and London Overground: A Day’s Walk around the Ginger Line (2015), highlight an intensification of interest on Sinclair’s part in the growing influence exerted by global finance, hyper consumerism and security fears on the reterritorialisation of the English capital. Written in the lead up to the 2012 London Olympics, Ghost Milk is Sinclair’s scathing indictment of the corporate greed that fuelled the large-scale redevelopment of Stratford and its surrounds ahead of the Games. It is an angry and vocal response to urban transformation, a sustained polemic intensified by the author’s local perspective. A long-term resident of East London, in the 1970s Sinclair worked as a labourer at Chobham Farm and thus feels a personal assault in how Stratford “abdicated its fixed identity and willingly prostituted itself as a backdrop for experimental malls, rail hubs and computer generated Olympic parks” (28). For Sinclair, the bulldozing of the Stratford and Hackney boroughs was performed in the name of a so-called civic legacy beyond the Olympic spectacle that failed to culminate in anything more than a “long march towards a theme park without a theme” (11), a site emblematic of the bland shopping mall architecture of what Sinclair derisorily terms “the GP [Grand Project] era” (125).As a literary treatment of demolition Ghost Milk is particularly concerned with the compromised role of language in urban planning rhetoric. The redevelopment required for the Olympics is backed by a “fraudulent narrative” (99), says Sinclair, a conspiratorial co-optation of language made to bend in the service of urban gentrification. “In many ways,” he writes, “the essential literature of the GP era is the proposal, the bullet-point pitch, the perversion of natural language into weasel forms of not-saying” (125). This impoverishment and simplification of language, Sinclair argues, weakens the critical thinking required to recognise the propagandising tendencies underlying so many urban renewal programs.The author’s vocal admonishment of the London Olympics did not go unnoticed. In 2008 a reading from his forthcoming book Hackney, That Rose-Red Empire (2009), at a local library was cancelled out of fear of providing a public platform for his negative views. In Ghost Milk Sinclair reflects upon the treatment of his not yet published docu-novel as “found guilty, with no right of reply, of being political but somehow outside politics” (115). Confronted with the type of large-scale change that underpins such projects as the Olympic Games, or the Sydney Metro closer to home, Sinclair’s predicament points to the ambiguous position of influence occupied by writers. On the one hand, influence is limited in so far as authors play no formal part in the political process. Yet, when outspoken critique resonates words can become suddenly powerful, radically undermining the authority of slick environmental impact statements and sanctioned public consultation findings. In a more poetic sense, Sinclair’s texts are further influential for the way in which they offer a subjective mythologising of the city as a counterpoint to the banal narratives of bureaucratised urbanism. This is especially apparent in London Overground: A Day’s Walk around the Ginger Line (2015), in which Sinclair recounts a single-day street-level pedestrian exploration of the 35-mile and 33-station circuit of the new London Overground railway line. Surveying with disapproval the “new bridges, artisan bakeries, blue-bike racks and coffee shops” (20) that have sprung up along the route of the elevated railway, the initial gambit of the text appears to be to critique the London Overground as a “device for boosting property values” (23). Rail zone as “generator for investment” (31), and driver of the political emasculation of suburbs like Hackney and Shoreditch. Yet as the text develops the narrator appears increasingly drawn to the curious manner in which the Overground line performs an “accidental re-mapping of London” (24). He drifts, then, in search of: a site in which to confront one’s shadow. In a degraded form, this was the ambition behind our orbital tramp. To be attentive to the voices; to walk beside our shadow selves. To reverse the polarity of incomprehensible public schemes, the secret motors of capital defended and promoted by professionally mendacious politicians capable of justifying anything. (London Overground 127)Summoning the oneiric qualities of the railway and its inclination to dreaming and reverie, Sinclair reimagines it as divine oracle, a “ladder of initiation” (47) bisecting resonant zones animated by traces of the visionary artists and novelists whose sensitivity to place have shaped the perception of the London boroughs in the urban imaginary. It is in this manner that Sinclair’s walks generate “an oppositional perspective against the grand projects of centralized planning and management of space” (Weston 261). In a kind of poetic re-enchantment of urban space, texts like Ghost Milk and London Overground shatter the thin veneer of present-day capitalist urbanism challenging the reader to conceive of alternative visions of the city as heterogeneous and imbued with deep historical time.Louis Aragon: Demolition and ModernityWhile London Overground was composed after the construction of the new railway circuit, the pre-demolition phase of a project is, by comparison, a threshold moment. Literary responses to impending demolition are thus shaped in an unstable context as the landscape of a city becomes subject to unpredictable changes that can unfold at a very swift pace. Declan Tan suggests that the writing of Ghost Milk in the lead up to the London Olympics marks Sinclair’s disapproval as “futile, Ghost Milk is knowingly written as a documentary of near-history, an archival treatment of 2012 now, before it happens.” Yet, paradoxically it is the very futility of Sinclair’s project that intensifies the urgency to record, sharpening his polemic. This notion of writing a “documentary of near-history” also suggests a certain breach in time, which in the case of Louis Aragon’s Paris Peasant is mined for its revolutionary energies.First published in book form in 1926, Paris Peasant is an experimental Surrealist novel comprising four collage-like fragments including Aragon’s famous panegyric on the Passage de l’Opéra, a nineteenth-century Parisian arcade slated for demolition to make way for a new access road to the Boulevard Haussmann. Reading the text in the present era of Sydney Metro works, the predicament of the disappearing Opera Arcade resonates with the fate of the threatened Art Deco tower at 7 Elizabeth Street, soon to be razed to build a new metro station. Critical of the media’s overall neglect of the redevelopment, Aragon’s text pays sympathetic attention to the plight of the arcade’s business owners, railing against the injustices of their imminent eviction whilst mourning the disappearance of one of the last vestiges of the more organic configuration of the city that preceded the Haussmann renovation of Paris:the great American passion for city planning, imported into Paris by a prefect of police during the Second Empire and now being applied to the task of redrawing the map of our capital in straight lines, will soon spell the doom of these human aquariums. (Aragon 14)In light of these concerns it is tempting to cast Paris Peasant as a classic anti-development polemic. However, closer interrogation of the narrator’s ambivalent stance points to a more complicated attitude towards urban renewal. For, as he casts a forensic eye across the arcade’s shops it becomes apparent that these threatened sites hold a certain lure of attraction for the Surrealist author. The explanatory genre of the guide-book is subverted in a highly imaginative inventory of the arcade interiors. Touring its baths, brothels and hair salon, shoe shine parlour, run-down theatre, and the Café Certa—meeting place of the Surrealists—the narrator’s perambulation provides a launching point for intoxicated reveries and effervescent flights of fancy. Finally, the narrator concedes: “I would never have thought of myself as an observer. I like to let the winds and the rain blow through me: chance is my only experience, hazard my sole experiment” (88). Neither a journalist nor an historian, Paris Peasant’s narrator is not concerned merely to document the Opera Arcade for posterity. Rather, his interest in the site resides in its liminal state. On the cusp of being transformed into something else, the ontological instability of the arcade provides a dramatic illustration of the myth of architecture’s permanency. Aragon’s novel is concerned then, Abigail Susik notes, with the “insatiable momentum of progress,” and how it “renders all the more visible what could be called the radical remainders of modernity: the recently ruined, lately depleted, presently-passé entities that, for better and for worse, multiply and accumulate in the wake of accelerated production and consumption in industrial society” (34). Drawing comparison with Walter Benjamin’s sprawling Arcades Project, a kaleidoscopic critique of commodity culture, Paris Vaclav similarly characterises Paris Peasant as manifesting a distinct form of “political affect: one of melancholy for the destruction of the arcades yet also of a decidedly non-conservative devotion to aesthetic innovation” (24).Sensitive to the contradictory nature of progress under late capitalist modernity, Paris Peasant thus recognises destruction as an underlying condition of change and innovation as was typical of avant-garde texts of the early twentieth century. Yet Aragon resists fatalism in his simultaneous alertness to the radical potential of the marvellous in the everyday, searching for the fault lines in ordinary reality beneath which poetic re-enchantment challenges the status quo of modern life. In this way, Aragon’s experimental novel sketches the textures and psychogeographies of the city, tracing its detours and shifts in ambience, the relationship of architecture to dreams, memory and fantasy; those composite layers of a city that official documents and masterplans rarely ascribe value to and which literary authors are uniquely placed to capture in their writings on cities. ConclusionUnable to respond within the swift publication timeframes of journalistic articles, the novelist is admittedly not well-placed to halt the demolition of buildings. In this article, I have sought to argue that the power and agency of the literary response resides, rather, in its long view and the subjective perspective of the author. At the time of writing, Sydney Metro is poised to involve a scale of demolition that has not been seen in Sydney for several decades and which will transform the city in a manner that, to date, has largely passed uncritiqued. The works of Iain Sinclair and Louis Aragon’s Paris Peasant point to the capacity of literary texts to deconstruct those broader forces that increasingly reshape the city without proper consideration; exposing the seductive ideology of urban renewal and the false promises of grand projects that transform multifaceted cityscapes into hom*ogenous non-places. The literary text thus makes visible what is easily missed in the experience of everyday life, forcing us to consider the losses that haunt every gain in the building and rebuilding of the city.ReferencesAragon, Louis. Paris Peasant. Trans. Simon Taylor Watson. Boston: Exact Change, 1994. Aston, Heath. “We’ll Govern for All.” Sydney Morning Herald 27 Mar. 2011. 23 Feb. 2017 <http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/state-election-2011/well-govern-for-all-20110326-1cbbf.html>. Bruno, Guiliana. “Modernist Ruins, Filmic Archaeologies.” Ruins. Ed. Brian Dillon. London: Whitechapel Gallery, 2011. 76-81.Huyssen, Andreas. Present Pasts: Urban Palimpsests and the Politics of Memory. Stanford: Stanford UP, 2003.Museum of Sydney. Demolished Sydney Media Release. Sydney: Sydney Living Museums 20 Oct. 2016. 25 Feb. 2017 <http://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/2016/12/05/new-exhibition-demolished-sydney>.Paris, Vaclav. “Uncreative Influence: Louis Aragon’s Paysan de Paris and Walter Benjamin’s Passagen-Werk.” Journal of Modern Literature 37.1 (Autumn 2013): 21-39.Sinclair, Iain. Ghost Milk: Calling Time on the Grand Project. London: Penguin, 2012. ———. Hackney, That Rose Red Empire. London: Hamish Hamilton, 2009.———. London Overground: A Day’s Walk around the Ginger Line. London: Hamish Hamilton, 2015.Susik, Abigail. “Paris 1924: Aragon, Le Corbusier, and the Question of the Outmoded.” Wreck: Graduate Journal of Art History, Visual Art, and Theory 2.2 (2008): 29-44.Tan, Declan. “Review of Ghost Milk: Calling Time on the Grand Project by Iain Sinclair.” Huffington Post 15 Dec. 2011; updated 14 Feb. 2012. 21 Feb 2017 <http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/declan-tan/ghost-milk-ian-sinclair-review_b_1145692.html>. Transport for NSW, Chatswood to Sydenham: Environmental Impact Statement Summary. 25 Mar. 2017 <http://www.sydneymetro.info>. Sydney: NSW Government, May-June 2016.Weston, David. “Against the Grand Project: Iain Sinclair’s Local London.” Contemporary Literature 56.2 (Summer 2015): 255-79.

41

Lisle, Debbie. "The 'Potential Mobilities' of Photography." M/C Journal 12, no.1 (February27, 2009). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.125.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

In the summer of 1944, American Sergeant Paul Dorsey was hired by the Naval Aviation Photography Unit (NAPU) to capture “the Marines’ bitter struggle against their determined foe” in the Pacific islands (Philips 43). Dorsey had been a photographer and photojournalist before enlisting in the Marines, and was thus well placed to fulfil the NAPU’s remit of creating positive images of American forces in the Pacific. Under the editorial and professional guidance of Edward Steichen, NAPU photographers like Dorsey provided epic images of battle (especially from the air and sea), and also showed American forces at ease – sunbathing, swimming, drinking and relaxing together (Bachner At Ease; Bachner Men of WWII). Steichen – by now a lieutenant commander – oversaw the entire NAPU project by developing, choosing and editing the images, and also providing captions for their reproduction in popular newspapers and magazines such as LIFE. Under his guidance, selected NAPU images were displayed at the famous Power in the Pacific exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York at the end of the war, and distributed in the popular U.S. Navy War Photographs memorial book which sold over 6 million copies in 1945.While the original NAPU photographers (Steichen himself, Charles Kerlee, Horace Bristol, Wayne Miller, Charles Fenno Jacobs, Victor Jorgensen and Dwight Long) had been at work in the Pacific since the summer of 1942, Dorsey was hired specifically to document the advance of American Marines through the Marianas and Volcano Islands. In line with the NAPU’s remit, Dorsey provided a number of famous rear view shots of combat action on Guam, Saipan and Iwo Jima. However, there are a number of his photographs that do not fit easily within that vision of war – images of wounded Marines and dead Japanese soldiers, as well as shots of abject Japanese POWs with their heads bowed and faces averted. It is this last group of enemy images that proves the most interesting, for not only do they trouble NAPU’s explicit propaganda framework, they also challenge our traditional assumption that photography is an inert form of representation.It is not hard to imagine that photographs of abject Japanese POWs reinforced feelings of triumph, conquest and justice that circulated in America’s post-war victory culture. Indeed, images of emaciated and incarcerated Japanese soldiers provided the perfect contrast to the hyper-masculine, hard-bodied, beefcake figures that populated the NAPU photographs and symbolized American power in the Pacific. However, once Japan was rehabilitated into a powerful American ally, and the decision to drop the atomic bomb was questioned once again in America’s Culture Wars of the 1980s and 90s, it was no longer acceptable to feel triumphant in the face of Japanese abjection and suffering. Instead, these images helped foster a new kind of belated patriotism – and a new global disposition – in which Americans generated their own magnanimity by expressing pity, compassion and sympathy for victims of their previous foreign policy decisions (Lisle).While that patriotic interpretive framework tells us much about how dominant formations of American identity are secured by the production – especially the visual production – of enemy others, it cannot account for images or viewer interpretations that exceed, unwork, or disrupt war’s foundational logics of friend/enemy and perpetrator/victim. I focus on Dorsey because he offers one such ‘deviant’ image: This photograph was taken by Dorsey on Guam in July 1944, and its caption tells us that the Japanese prisoner “waits to be questioned by intelligence officers” (Philips 189). As the POW looks into Dorsey’s camera lens (and therefore at us, the viewers), he is subject to the collective gaze of the American marines situated behind him, and presumably others that lay out of the frame, behind Dorsey. What is fascinating about this particular image is the prisoner’s refusal to obey the trope of abjection so readily assumed by other Japanese POWs documented in the NAPU archive and in other popular war-time imagery. Indeed, when I first encountered this image I immediately framed the POW’s return gaze as defiant – a challenging, bold, and forceful reply to American aggression in the Pacific. The problem, of course, was that this resistant gaze soon became reductive; that is, by replicating war’s foundational logics of difference it effaced a number of other dispositions at work in the photograph. What I find compelling about the POW’s return gaze is its refusal to be contained within the available subject positions of either ‘abject POW’ or ‘defiant resistor’. Indeed, this unruliness is what keeps me coming back to Dorsey’s image, for it teaches us that photography itself always exceeds the conventional assumption that it is a static form of visual representation.Photography, Animation, MovementThe connections between movement, stillness and photography have two important starting points. The first, and more general, is Walter Benjamin’s concept of the dialectic image in which the past and the present come together “in a flash” and constitute what he calls “dialectics at a standstill” (N3.1; 463). Unlike Theodore Adorno, who lamented Benjamin’s Medusa-like tendency to turn the world to stone, I read Benjamin’s concept of standstill – of stillness in general – as something fizzing and pulsating with “political electricity” (Adorno 227-42; Buck-Morss 219). This is to deny our most basic assumption about photography: that it is an inert visual form that freezes and captures discrete moments in time and space. My central argument is that photography’s assumed stillness is always constituted by a number of potential and actual mobilities that continually suture and re-suture viewing subjects and images into one another.Developing Benjamin’s idea of a the past and present coming together “in a flash”, Roland Barthes provides the second starting point with his notion of the punctum of photography: “this element which rises from the scene, shoots out of it like an arrow, and pierces me” (25). Conventional understandings of the punctum frame it as a static moment – so powerful that it freezes the viewer, stops them in their tracks, and captures their attention. My point is that the affective punch of the photograph is not a frozen moment at all; rather, the punctum – like the dialectic image – is fizzing with political electricity. Therefore, to suggest that a viewing subject is arrested in the moment of perception – that they are somehow captured by a photograph’s meaning – is to mistakenly understand the act of looking as a static behaviour.I want to use Dorsey’s image of the POW to push these theoretical starting points and explore the mobile dispositions that are generated when a viewing subject encounters a photograph. What most interests me about Dorsey’s photograph is the level of animation it produces. The POW’s return gaze is actually rather blank: it is unclear whether he is angry, weary, bored, insane or none of the above. But it is the viewing subject’s anxiety at such ambivalence – such unknowability – that provokes a powerful desire to name it. The visceral sensations and emotional responses provoked in viewers (are we taken aback? Do we sympathize with the POW? Are we equally blank?) very quickly become settled interpretations, for example, “his defiant gaze resists American power.” What I want to do is explore the pre-interpretive moment when images like Dorsey’s reach out and grab us – for it is in that moment that photography’s “political electricity” reveals itself most clearly.Production, Signification, InterpretationThe mobility inherent in the photograph has an important antecedent at the level of production. Since the Brownie camera was introduced in WWI, photographers have carried their mode of representation with them – in Dorsey’s case, his portable camera was carried with him as he travelled with the Marines through the Pacific (Philips 29). It is the photographer’s itinerary – his or her movement prior to clicking the camera’s shutter – that shapes and determines a photograph’s content. More to the point, the action of clicking the camera’s shutter is never an isolated moment; rather, it is punctured by all of the previous clicks and moments leading up to it – especially on a long photographic assignment like Dorsey’s – and contains within it all of the subsequent clicks and moments that potentially come after it. In this sense, the photographer’s click recalls Benjamin: it is a “charged force field of past and present” (Buck-Morss 219). That complicated temporality is also manifested in the photographer’s contact sheet (or, more recently, computer file) which operates as a visual travelogue of discrete moments that bleed into one another.The mobility inherent in photography extends itself into the level of signification; that is, the arrangements of signs depicted within the frame of each discrete image. Critic Gilberto Perez gives us a clue to this mobility in his comments about Eugène Atget’s famous ‘painterly’ photographs of Paris:A photograph begins with the mobility, or at least potential mobility, of the world’s materials, of the things reproduced from reality, and turns that into a still image. More readily than in a painting, we see things in a photograph, even statues, as being on the point of movement, for these things belong to the world of flux from which the image has been extracted (328).I agree that the origin point of a photograph is potential mobility, but that mobility is never completely vanquished when it is turned into a still image. For me, photographs – no matter what they depict – are always saturated with the “potential mobility of the world’s materials”, and in this sense they are never still. Indeed, the world of flux out of which the image is extracted includes the image itself, and in that sense, an image can never be isolated from the world it is derived from. If we follow Perez and characterize the world as one of flux, but then insist that the photograph can never be extracted from that world, it follows that the photograph, too, is characterized by fluctuation and change – in short, by mobility. The point, here, is to read a photograph counter intuitively – not as an arrest of movement or a freezing of time, but as a collection of signs that is always potentially mobile. This is what Roland Barthes was hinting at when he suggested that a photograph is “a mad image, chafed by reality”: any photograph is haunted by absence because the depicted object is no longer present, but it is also full of certainty that the depicted object did exist at a previous time and place (113-15). This is precisely Benjamin’s point as well, that “what has been comes together with the now” (N3.1; 463). Following on from Barthes and Benjamin, I want to argue that photographs don’t freeze a moment in time, but instead set in motion a continual journey between feelings of absence in the present (i.e. “it is not there”) and present imaginings of the past (i.e. “but it has indeed been”).As Barthes’ notion of the punctum reveals, the most powerful register at which photography’s inherent mobility operates is in the sensations, responses and feelings provoked in viewers. This is why we say that a photograph has the capacity to move us: the best images take us from one emotional state (e.g. passive, curious, bored) and carry us into another (e.g. shocked, sad, amused). It is this emotional terrain of our responses to photography that both Roland Barthes and Susan Sontag have explored in depth. Why are we moved by some images and not others? Are documentary or artistic photographs more likely to reach out and prick us? What is the most appropriate or ethical response to pictures of another’s suffering?Sontag suggests a different connection between photography and mobility in that it enables a particular touristification of the world; that is, cameras help “convert the world into a department store or museum-without-walls in which every subject is depreciated into an article of consumption, promoted to an item for aesthetic appreciation” (On Photography 110). While Sontag’s political economy of photography (with its Frankfurt School echo) continues to be explored by anthropologists and scholars in Tourism Studies, I want to argue that it offers a particularly reductive account of photography’s potential mobilities. While Sontag does address photography’s constitutive and rather complex relationship with reality, she still conceives of photographs themselves as static and inert representations. Indeed, what she wrestled with in On Photography was the “insolent, poignant stasis of each photograph”, and the photograph’s capacity to make reality “stand still” (111-12; 163). The problem with such a view is that it limits our account of interpretation; in short, it suggests that viewers either accept a photograph’s static message (and are thus moved), or reject it (and remain unmoved). But the moving, here, is the sole prerogative of the viewer: there is no sense in which the photograph and its contents are themselves mobile. I want to argue that the relationships established in the act of looking between viewing subjects and the objects contained within an image are much more complex and varied than Sontag’s framework suggests. Photography’s Affective MobilityTo reveal the mobilities underscoring photography’s affective punch, we must redistribute its more familiar power relations through W.J.T. Mitchell’s important question: what do pictures want? Such a question subverts our usual approach to photographs (i.e. what do we want from photographs?) by redeploying the privileged agency of the viewer into the image itself. In other words, it is the image that demands something of the viewer rather than the other way around. What it demands, of course, is a response. Certainly this is an emotional response, for even being bored by a photograph is a response of sorts. But an emotional response is also an affective response, which means that the punch carried by a photograph is as physical as it is metaphorical or visual. Indeed, it is precisely in the act of perception, where the emotional and the affective fuse, that photography’s assumed stillness is powerfully subverted.If Mitchell animates the picture by affording it some of the viewer’s agency, then Gilles Deleuze goes one step further by exploring what happens to agency in the act of perception. For Deleuze, a work of art – for our purposes, a photograph – is not an inert or still document, but rather a “block of sensations” (Deleuze; Deleuze & Guattari; Bogue). It is not a finished object produced by an autonomous artist or beheld in its entirety by an autonomous viewer; rather, it is a combination of precepts (initial perceptions) and affects (physical intensities) that passes through all subjects at the point of visual perception. This kind of relational encounter with an image not only deconstructs Modernity’s foundational distinction between the subject and the object, it also opens up an affective connection between all subjects engaged in the act of looking; in this case, the photographer, the subjects and objects within the photograph and the viewer.From Deleuze, we know that perception is characterized by common physical responses in all subjects: the movement of the optic nerve, the dilation of the pupil, the squint of the eyelid, the craning of the neck to see up close. However small, however imperceptible, these physical sensations are all still movements; indeed, they are movements repeated by all seeing subjects. My point is that these imperceptible modes of attention are consistently engaged in the act of viewing photographs. What this suggests is that taking account of the affective level of perception changes our traditional understandings of interpretation; indeed, even if a photograph fails to move us emotionally, it certainly moves us physically, though we may not be conscious of it.Drawing from Mitchell and Deleuze, then, we can say that a photograph’s “insolent, poignant stasis” makes no sense. A photograph is constantly animated not just by the potentials inherent in its enframed subjects and objects, but more importantly, in the acts of perception undertaken by viewers. Certainly some photographs move us emotionally – to tears, to laughter, to rage – and indeed, this emotional terrain is where Barthes and Sontag offer important insights. My point is that all photographs, no matter what they depict, move us physically through the act of perception. If we take Mitchell’s question seriously and extend agency to the photograph, then it is in the affective register that we can discern a more relational encounter between subjects and objects because both are in a constant state of mobility.Ambivalence and ParalysisHow might Mitchell’s question apply to Dorsey’s photograph? What does this image want from us? What does it demand from our acts of looking? The dispersed account of agency put forward by Mitchell suggests that the act of looking can never be contained within the subject; indeed, what is produced in each act of looking is some kind of subject-object-world assemblage in which each component is characterised by its potential and actual mobilities. With respect to Dorsey’s image, then, the multiple lines of sight at work in the photograph indicate multiple – and mobile – relationalities. Primarily, there is the relationship between the viewer – any potential viewer – and the photograph. If we follow Mitchell’s line of questioning, however, we need to ask how the photograph itself shapes the emotive and affective experience of visual interpretation – how the photograph’s demand is transmitted to the viewer.Firstly, this demand is channelled through Dorsey’s line of sight that extends through his camera’s viewfinder and into the formal elements of the photograph: the focused POW in the foreground, the blurred figures in the background, the light and shade on the subjects’ clothing and skin, the battle scarred terrain, and the position of these elements within the viewfinder’s frame. As viewers we cannot see Dorsey, but his presence fills – and indeed constitutes – the photograph. Secondly, the photograph’s demand is channelled through the POW’s line of sight that extends to Dorsey (who is both photographer and marine Sergeant), and potentially through his camera to imagined viewers. It is precisely the return gaze of the POW that packs such an affective punch – not because of what it means, but rather because of how it makes us feel emotionally and physically. While a conventional account would understand this affective punch as shocking, stopping or capturing the viewer, I want to argue it does the opposite – it suddenly reveals the fizzing, vibrant mobilities that transmit the picture to us, and us to the picture.There are, I think, important lessons for us in Dorsey’s photograph. It is a powerful antecedent to Judith Butler’s exploration of the Abu Graib images, and her repetition of Sontag’s question of “whether the tortured can and do look back, and what do they see when they look at us” (966). The POW’s gaze provides an answer to the first part of this question – they certainly do look back. But as to what they see when they look back at us, that question can only be answered if we redistribute both agency and mobility into the photograph to empower and mobilize the tortured, the abject, and the objectified.That leaves us with Sontag’s much more vexing question of what we do after we look at photographs. As Butler explains, Sontag has denounced the photograph “precisely because it enrages without directing the rage, and so excites our moral sentiments at the same time that it confirms our political paralysis” (966). This sets up an important challenge for us: in refusing conventional understandings of photography as a still visual art, how can we use more dispersed accounts of agency and mobility to work through the political paralysis that Sontag identifies. AcknowledgementsPaul Dorsey’s photograph of the Japanese POW is # 80-G-475166 in the NAPU archive, and is reproduced here courtesy of the United States National Archives.ReferencesAdorno, Theodore. Prisms. Cambridge: MIT P, 1997.Bachner, Evan. Men of WWII: Fighting Men at Ease. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 2007.———. At Ease: Navy Men of WWII. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 2004.Barthes, Roland. Camera Lucida. London: Vintage, 2000.Benjamin, Walter. “On the Theory of Knowledge, Theory of Progress.” In The Arcardes Project. Trans. Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin. Cambridge: Harvard U P, 1999. 456-488.Bogue, Ronald. Deleuze on Music, Painting and the Arts. London: Routledge, 2003.Buck-Morss, Susan. The Dialectics of Seeing: Walter Benjamin and the Arcades Project. Cambridge: MIT P, 1997.Butler, Judith. “Torture and the Ethics of Photography.” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 25.6 (2007): 951-66.Deleuze, Gilles. Francis Bacon: The Logic of Sensation. Trans. Daniel W. Smith. London: Continuum, 2003.Deleuze, Gilles and Felix Guattari. What is Philosophy? Trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Graham Burchill. New York: Columbia U P, 1994.Lisle, Debbie. “Benevolent Patriotism: Art, Dissent and The American Effect.” Security Dialogue 38.2 (2007): 233-50.Mitchell, William.J.T. What Do Pictures Want? The Lives and Loves of Images. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2004.Perez, Gilberto. “Atget’s Stillness.” The Hudson Review 36.2 (1983): 328-37. Philips, Christopher. Steichen at War. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1981.Sontag, Susan. Regarding the Pain of Others. London: Penguin, 2004.———. On Photography. London: Penguin, 1971Steichen, Edward. U.S. Navy War Photographs. New York: U.S. Camera, 1945.

42

Adams, Craig. "The Taste of Terroir in “The Gastronomic Meal of the French”: France’s Submission to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List." M/C Journal 17, no.1 (March18, 2014). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.762.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

Introduction What French food is would seem to be an unproblematic idea. Depending on one’s taste and familiarity, a croissant, or snails, might spring to mind. Those who are a little more intimate with French cuisine might suggest the taste of a coq au vin or ratatouille, and fewer still might suggest tarte flambée or cancoillotte. Whatever the relative popularity of the dish or food, the French culinary tradition is arguably so familiar and, indeed, loved around the world that almost everyone could name one or two French culinary objects. Moreover, as the (self-proclaimed) leader of Western cuisine, the style and taste epitomised by French cuisine and the associated dining experience are also arguably some of the most attractive aspects of French gastronomy. From this perspective, where French cuisine appears to be so familiar to the non-French, seeking to define what constitutes a French meal could seem to be an inane exercise. Nonetheless, in 2010, the Mission Française du Patrimoine et des Cultures Alimentaires (not officially translated), under the aegis of the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, put forward the nomination file “The Gastronomic Meal of the French” to UNESCO, defining in clear terms a particular image of French taste, in a bid to have the meal recognised as part of the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. With the number of specifically culinary elements protected by UNESCO more than doubling with the 2013 session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, and with a further two in line for protection in the 2014 session, it would seem that an examination of these protected culinary traditions is in order. Rather than focusing on the problems associated with creating an intangible heritage list (Kurin; Smith and Akagawa), this article proposes an analysis of one nomination file, “The Gastronomic Meal of the French,” and the ideas which structure it. More specifically, this article will investigate how the idea of taste is deployed in the document from two different yet interconnected points of view. That is, taste as the faculty of discerning what is aesthetically excellent, and taste in its more literal gustative sense. This study will demonstrate how these two ideas of taste are used to create a problematic notion of French culinary identity, which by focusing on the framework of local (terroir) taste seeks to define national taste. By specifically citing local food stuffs (produits du terroir) and practices as well as French Republicanism in the formation of this identity, I argue that the nomination file eschews problems of cultural difference. As a result, “non-French food” and the associated identities it embodies, inherent in contemporary multicultural societies such as France with its large immigrant population, are incorporated into a cohesive, singular, culinary identity. French taste, then, is represented as uniform and embodied by the shared love of the French “art of good eating and drinking”. “Intangible” Versus “Tangible” Cultural Heritage: A Brief Overview The Intangible Cultural Heritage list was created to compliment UNESCO’s Tangible Cultural Heritage, that is, the famous World Heritage, list, which focuses on places of unique heritage. The Intangible Cultural Heritage list, for its part, concentrates on: traditions or living expressions inherited from our ancestors and passed on to our descendants, such as oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe or the knowledge and skills to produce traditional crafts (“What is Intangible Cultural Heritage?”) An examination of the elements which have been admitted to UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage shows that there is a clear preference for traditional dances and songs. The culinary plays a very small role in the almost 300 elements currently protected by UNESCO. With the recent inscription of several additional, specifically culinary elements in December 2013, the number has more doubled but still remains low at ten elements. Out of the ten, only two of them seek to protect a cooking style: the “Mediterranean Diet” and “Traditional Mexican cuisine—ancestral, ongoing community culture, the Michoacán paradigm.” The other elements are specific culinary objects, such as Gingerbread from Northern Croatia, or culinary events, for instance the “Commemoration feast of the finding of the True Holy Cross of Christ in Ethiopia.” “The Gastronomic Meal of the French” belongs to the latter category, however is somewhat different since it is not an annual event and can take place at any time of the year as it is not related to a season or historical event. What really distinguishes the French document from the others on the list, however, is its emphasis on the idea of taste, which connects it to a long history of writing about taste in French cuisine, including of course Brillat-Savarin’s Physiology of Taste. In order to describe exactly what constitutes “The Gastronomic Meal of the French,” the authors refer frequently to two coextensive conceptions of taste, proposing that the taste of the meal is both a question of flavor and the aesthetic qualities of the diner as a whole. Whilst these ideas concerning the place of taste in French gastronomy appear to share numerous similarities to those elaborated in Brillat-Savarin’s work, I will focus on the way the conceptions of taste discussed in the dossier are used to formulate French identity. Taste: An Aesthetic Judgment, An Art When considering “The Gastronomic Meal of the French,” the closeness of the two ideas of aesthetic taste and gustative taste is perhaps clearer in French: the French verb dresser can be used to describe setting the table, an important aspect of the gastronomic meal, and arranging food on a plate. This link to aesthetics is important and in the nomination file the Gastronomic Meal of the French is taken as representative of the height of the French “art of good eating and drinking.” In the terms of the document the authors define the meal as “a festive meal bringing people together for an occasion to enjoy the art of good eating and drinking” (“Nomination file” 3). In evoking art here, they stress the importance that aesthetics play in the design of this meal. For them, the culinary art of the gastronomic meal involves both aesthetic and gustative concerns, since in order for the guests to savour the meal, the hosts must think as much about the delectability of their dishes as the classic French taste they must demonstrate in their table decoration and discussion about the food which they prepare. The participants’ conversation about the food during the meal and their comportment at the table are important elements of this taste, since they reinforce and aestheticize the dining experience. Moreover, both the host and guests must use “codified gestures” and certain expressions to discuss what they are eating and drinking so as to display by means of specific vocabulary that they are enjoying the meal (5). The art of conversation, then, is important in accomplishing one of the goals of the gastronomic meal, that being to share “the pleasure of taste” (8). The nomination file lists the gastronomic meal’s specific rites as involving the “setting [of] a beautiful table, the order of courses, food and wine pairing, [and] conversation about the dishes” (3). By listing these elements in this order, the authors highlight that aesthetic and gustative concerns are interrelated and equally important. What is more, just as the decoration of a table and conversing about the dishes could be seen to be arts in the largest sense of the term, so too should “the order of the courses” and the “food and wine pairing” be understood to be a question of aesthetic judgment. In other words, the role of these rites in the gastronomic meal is as much to reinforce the sophisticated aesthetics of the hosts’ meal as to delight the taste buds of the guests. The prominent role of the aestheticization of taste in the gastronomic meal is made even clearer elsewhere in the document when the authors specify how the table should be laid for a gastronomic meal. They write that this should be done according to the: classic French taste, based on symmetry that fans out from the centre and including a tablecloth, artistically folded napkins, objects whose shapes are appropriate for each course and designed to enhance tastes; and, depending on the circ*mstance, between two and five glasses, several plates and utensils, and sometimes a written menu. (5) Here the aesthetics of the table are not simply meant to be appreciated visually, but supposed to support and “enhance tastes”. The two forms of taste, then, are clearly complementary ingredients in the successful hosting of a gastronomic meal and hosts should pay equal attention to both. The authors state that the extra care paid to the aesthetics of the meal is meant to honour the guests and differentiate the meal from a standard, everyday meal (5). Since the two ideas of taste intersect, it naturally follows that the choice of the culinary products for the meal also contributes to the goal of creating a special dining experience. Taste as Gustative Experience, The Terroir For the authors, the French palate is not unified by a canon of specific dishes, but a shared “vision of eating well” (3). This collective vision encompasses several different ideas, including the structure of the meal, the recipes used and the choice of products. Just as with the aesthetic concerns above regarding table arrangements, the authors are quite particular about the configuration of the meal. For them, the gastronomic meal must respect the same structure: beginning with the apéritif (drinks before the meal) and ending with liqueurs, containing in between at least four successive courses, namely a starter, fish and/or meat with vegetables, cheese and dessert, the courses possibly numbering five or six depending on the occasion. (5) The structure of the meal is supposed to highlight the quality of the good products that the host has obtained and exhibit how their flavours go well together (5). In terms of the exact recipes used in the meal, the host might call upon a “repertoire of codified recipes” (3) in order to honour the shared “vision of eating well”. So deeply ingrained is this shared vision in the French psyche that the authors do not need to specify what the recipes are, and even go so far as to claim that the unknown list is “constantly growing” (5). This undefined catalogue of recipes and shared “vision of eating well,” then, arguably represent a banal form of national culinary identity, since these culinary practices constitute a “form of life, which is daily lived” (Billig 69) by the nation without being specified. More important than the recipes, however, is the “search for good products” (3). The hunt for good products begins with seeking out “local food products available at markets […] since they have a high cultural value” (6). The authors argue that the importance attached to these products symbolises the French commitment to non-standardised food products and “quality in terms of taste, nutrition and food safety” (6). The height of gustative taste is represented by the use of these local food products (produits du terroir) since they provide evidence of the hosts’ “knowledge of the characteristics of local production areas” (2). Just as above with the aesthetic concerns of the meal, when discussing one idea of taste, the other is never far away. In this case, the hosts’ knowledge of the local products, used in crafting the gustative experience, is meant to contribute the art of conversation which takes place during the meal. The hosts’ gustative and aesthetic tastes are on display and under analysis at every point in the meal. For the authors of the nomination file, then, French gustative taste is ruled by the idea of terroir. Successfully holding a gastronomic meal means that the hosts must be intimately familiar with France’s geography and the local products of France and use this knowledge to choose the right products. All of these very specific ideas concerning the aesthetic and gustative tastes illustrated in the document, then, raise interesting questions about inclusion and exclusion in the notion of French culinary identity they embody. Whose Taste Is It? So far I have argued that taste is the central preoccupation of the nomination file, which governs both aesthetic and gustative choices a host makes when organizing and holding a gastronomic meal. This discussion has elided some of the questions raised by the document’s definitions of taste, most notably the problem of whose taste is defined by the document. One possible response to this question is provided in quite clear terms by the document itself, when the authors talk about the antecedent of the current meal. For them, the meal evolved out of the values exemplified by “the high-society meal, transmitted through revolutionary France [and which] inspired working-class practices” (5). This reference to revolutionary French values reveals how the authors’ arguments about taste are informed by the values of the French Republic, a powerful notion in discussions about French national identity. As numerous critics have contended, the status of France as a republic significantly impacts on how national identity is constructed (McCaffrey), since it is conceived of through the idea of citizenship. Put simply, being a French citizen means that, for the state, one’s position as a citizen takes precedence over any cultural particularisms or clan and family solidarities (Jennings). To put it another way, whilst the individual person displays specificities, the citizen demonstrates the universal values held by all citizens of the French state (Schnapper). Citizenship is a political matter and any aspect of one’s private life is irrelevant to the state’s treatment of its citizens. In ignoring any particularisms that a citizen may have, French Republicanism seeks to universalise all values held by its citizens, simultaneously providing a common shared identity and a means to exclude anyone who fails to commit to these ideals. As Jennings has pointed out elsewhere, these Republican ideals have an interesting effect on how one considers French national identity in the contemporary diverse society that is France, since “despite an astonishing level of cultural and ethnic diversity, France has seen itself as and has sought to become a monocultural society” (575). In terms of the French culinary practices discussed here the associated problems with French Republicanism are clear, for such a “mono-culinary” representation of French foodways would potentially lead to significant portions of the population being left out of any such definition. Given the document’s reference to the Republic, the universalizing force displayed in the nomination file cannot simply be considered the result of the structure of UNESCO’s bureaucratic file, but should instead be understood as the expression of French Republican ideas of identity. Here it is the quality of local ingredients (produits du terroir) which characterise the universal pleasure of taste and the appreciation of local farming practices (terroirs) that the authors seek to elevate in the face of any imported tastes concurrently practised in France. The fact that the universal claims made in the French document are specific to it, and not inherent of UNESCO’s form, is evident when examining other nomination files, such as the traditional Mexican cuisine dossier. Whilst the Mexican dossier argues that the cuisine offers a “comprehensive cultural model” (4), its authors talk instead of communities whose identities display “distinct yet shared features, all of them together [making] for a flourishing cuisine throughout the country” (12). The Mexican file, thus, recognises that diversity is an integral part of its culinary model. For the French dossier, on the other hand, the Republican ideas are made patent by the authors’ insistence upon the hom*ogenous nature of these culinary practices and tastes. They assert, for instance, that the meal is a “very popular practice, with which all French people are familiar” (3); that it displays a “hom*ogeneity in the whole community” (3); that it embodies a “social practice […] associated with a shared vision of eating well” (3); and that it is part of a “shared history and that it carries the values on which French culture is based” (5). The authors also reference a small survey to support this supposition in which an incredible 95.7 per cent of respondents consider “the gastronomic meal to be part of their heritage and identity” (10). Furthermore they claim that the gastronomic meal transcends local customs, generations, social class and opinions, and adapts to religious and philosophical beliefs. Its values take in diversity and strengthen feelings of belonging for participants in the gastronomic meal. (5) This quotation demonstrates the Republic’s ability to transform the particular into the general, the individual into citizen. Here this transformative ability is seen in the authors’ assertion that the Gastronomic Meal of the French cuts across “local customs” and “social classes” to bring people together and reinforce the sense of a united nation. With this insistent discourse that the meal is unanimously accepted, understood, and practised by the entire nation, despite one’s particularisms, the authors of the file demonstrate how they seek to universalise the meal. The meal should no longer be considered as an object, for the authors seek to promote it to the status of a national myth which is deeply rooted in the national psyche, echoing the nation’s motto of “One Republic/cuisine united and indivisible for everyone.” The Republican nature of the universal tastes represented in the document is further reinforced when the authors emphasise the role of the State and its education system in ensuring that the right taste prevails. Just as many critics discussing the Republic regard the French education system’s role as one which constructs citizens (Janey), equipping them with the appropriate national values, the authors of nomination file argue that good taste is of national significance and ought to be taught in the education system. For them, this taste should be imparted to students in primary schools by regularly preparing and consuming meals so as to instruct them in “the rites of the gastronomic meal, including the choice of the right products” (8). The idea of the right taste is further impressed upon students through the annual “Taste Week” in which “educational activities on nutrition and the development of taste […] essential to maintaining the rites of the element [take place in schools]” (7). These activities include instruction in “the combining of flavours, pleasure of taste, choice of the right product, conversation and gastronomic discourse” (7). For those not at school, the “choice of the right product” (14) mentioned here is facilitated through yet another state sanctioned source of taste, the Inventory of Traditional Food and Agricultural Know-how. Conclusion The “Gastronomic Meal of the French” defines national culinary identity by combining several different ideas together. On one level, the authors draw together Benedict Anderson’s concept of “imagined communities” and Michael Billig’s notion of “banal nationalism.” They argue that there exists a state approved, written form this identity which is intimately linked to the French Republic and its history (Anderson), whilst also contending that the food practices are so well-known that they are banal facets of everyday lived experience (Billig). On another level, they draw these assertions regarding national identity together through the notion of taste, which the authors stress is integral to French culinary identity. In terms of gustative taste, the preference for terroir in the document points to how the local is used as a “conduit toward national self-understanding” (Gerson 215). Yet this approach leads to a problematic relationship between local and national concerns, which ought to be seen as part of a larger issue concerning the link between Republican values and the disciplining of French culinary identity and space. What it is tempting to ask—and the present paper is just the beginning—is how do state sanctioned bodies, like the Mission Française du Patrimoine et des Cultures Alimentaires combined with brotherhoods (confréries) and local organisations mentioned in the nomination file as well as the system of Appellations d’Origine Contrôlée, come together to discipline French culinary identity and taste? The examination of the present document seems to suggest that Republican Universalism is one key ingredient in this act of discipline. The hesitation between asserting a cohesive, national culinary identity whilst at the same time recognising the “diversity of traditions foods and cuisines” (5), appears to be representative of the hesitation in political discourse apparent in the modern Republic. The tensions exposed in this document are being played out in the policies concerning decentralisation and recognition to a certain extent of regional minorities in France. As Schnapper puts it, the great problem which the Republic currently faces is how can the state reconcile “the absolute of citizenship—the Republic—with the legitimate expression of particularistic allegiances in conformity with democratic values” (quoted, Jennings 152). Ultimately, what “The Gastronomic Meal of the French” shows is how pertinent Republican ideas still are in France, since, despite claims of a crisis in Republican values and the current debates in French parliament, they remain important in any consideration of French identity, not only in the political spectrum, but also in everyday cultural objects like food. References Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origins and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso, 1983. Billig, Michael. Banal Nationalism. London: Sage, 1995. Gerson, Stéphane. “The Local.” The French Republic: History, Values, Debate. Eds. Edward Berensen, Vincent Duclert, and Christophe Prochasson. London: Cornell UP, 2011. 213–20. Janey, Brigitte. “Frenchness in Perspective(s).” Hexagonal Varitations: Diversity, Plurality and Reinvention in Contemporary France. Eds Jo McCormack, Murray Pratt, and Alistair Rolls. Amsterdam: Editions Rodopi, 2011. 57–78. Jennings, Jeremy. “Citizenship, Republicanism and Multiculturalism in Contemporary France.” British Journal of Political Science 30 (2000): 575–98. Jennings, Jeremy. “Universalism.” The French Republic: History, Values, Debate. Eds. Edward Berensen, Vincent Duclert, and Christophe Prochasson. London: Cornell UP, 2011. Kurin, Richard, “Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage in the 2003 UNESCO Convention: A Critical Appraisal.” Museum International 56.1/2 (2004): 66–77. McCaffrey, Edna. The Gay Republic: Sexuality, Citizenship and Subversion in France. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005. Schnapper, Domonique. La Communauté des Citoyens. Paris: Gallimard, 1994. Smith, Laurajane, and Natsuko Akagawa. Intangible Heritage. New York: Routledge, 2008. UNESCO. “Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage.” UNESCO, Culture Section 17 Oct. 2003. 12 Jun. 2013 ‹http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/en/convention›. UNESCO. “Dossier de Candidature : Le Repas Gastronomique des Français.” UNESCO, Culture Section. Nov. 2010. 12 Jun 2013 ‹http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/en/RL/00437›. UNESCO. “Nomination File: The Gastronomic Meal of the French.” UNESCO, Culture Section Nov. 2010. 12 Jun. 2013 ‹http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/en/RL/00437›. UNESCO. “Nomination File: Traditional Mexican Cuisine—Ancestral, Ongoing Community Culture, the Michoacán Paradigm.” UNESCO, Culture Section Nov. 2010. 12 Jun. 2013 ‹http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/en/RL/00400›. UNESCO. “What is Intangible Cultural Heritage?” UNESCO, Culture Section n.d. 12 Jun. 2013 ‹http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/index.php?lg=en&pg=00002›.

43

Thompson, Jason, KenS.McAllister, and Judd Ethan Ruggill. "Onward Through the Fog: Computer Game Collection and the Play of Obsolescence." M/C Journal 12, no.3 (July15, 2009). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.155.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

In Mardi and a Voyage Thither, novelist Herman Melville writes of the peculiar and startling confluence of memory, objects, valuation, and disfigurement that mark the collector of obsoletia. The story’s antiquary is the picture of perverse depletion, with a body “crooked, and dwarfed, and surmounted by a hump, that sat on his back like a burden” (328), his hut in shambles, and “the precious antiques, and curios, and obsoletes”—the objects of his collection—“strewn about, all dusty and disordered” (329). This unkempt display cum impromptu museum turns out to present a mere fraction of the curator’s collection, the rest of which is host to countless subtle molds and ravenous worms in a vast catacomb below ground. Traversing this darkened vault, one visitor says, is “like going down to posterity” (332). As inveterate accumulators ourselves, we can certainly relate to Mardi’s "extraordinary antiquarian": pursuing obsolete things has transformed us too (though hopefully not quite so hideously), as well as the work we do and the spaces we do it in. Since 1999, we have been collecting—and subsequently lending out to scholars the world over—computer games, systems, and game-related paraphernalia. By recent estimates, our Learning Games Initiative Archive contains more than 20,000 artifacts, from Venezuelan Pong clones to Mario-themed lollipops. Archival work at this scale and with this diversity is not easy, and it constantly butts up against a host of intractable questions. For example, what does it mean to isolate a thing that no longer has its original value but has taken on a new one? When researchers hold such transmuted artifacts up for inspection, what are they looking for and how might archivists help them to find it? Is the primary work of computer game archivists (and indeed archivists of all types) to protect artifacts from the elements, to enjoin them upon their kin, and to guard over the collection for the sake of some abstract posterity, or is it something more collaborative and communal? Finally, is it possible for research-oriented collectors to engage the process of collection without suffering the deformations of skin and soul (not to mention pocketbook) that often plague the more solipsistic acquirer? We offer this article as an entrée to these questions, as a way to begin to attend to some of the theoretical and practical complexities of obsolescence and its negotiation. We do so primarily by focusing on where those complexities intersect with computer games, the new media we collect and study. Circuitous Obsolescence Melville finished Mardi in 1849, almost fifty years after Joseph Marie Jacquard invented the programmable loom and twelve years after Charles Babbage theorised the possibility of a programmable mechanical computer. The subsequent history of the development of the modern computer and its applications (including computer games) typically gets told as a narrative of technological novelty followed by ineluctable obsolescence—Herman Hollerith’s tabulator to Konrad Zuse’s Z3 to the US Army’s Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC) and so on. This kind of monumentalised and narrativised history exemplifies an onward march much fetishised by the marketplace: once introduced, a given technology will be developed then updated, upgraded, and improved, inevitably producing a staggering wake of tired-and-true archaeological assemblages. These cast-offs, however, are only useless to those who prefer to consume at the cutting edge, and even that is an illusory experience. Like a well-designed knife whose business end is supported by the stout spine behind it, the edgiest of today’s computer games and peripherals—from the most non-directive sandbox titles to the most obscene add-ons—are merely vanguards to a half-century of industrial history. In etymological terms, “obsolete” captures the conundrum well. A combination of ob (away) and solere (to be used to, accustomed), the word “obsolete” has at least four distinct meanings: “no longer used or practiced”; “worn away, dilapidated, atrophied”; “indistinct, hardly perceptible, vestigial”; and as a noun, “A thing which is out of date or has fallen into disuse.” In each usage, present and past are both integral and palpable. As archivists, we appreciate this temporal distillation because it illustrates how seamless yet discernable is the paradoxical binding between old and new. “Obsolescence” thus functions like a rhetorical ouroboros, ensuring that reflection on the antique reveals the avant-garde and vice-versa. Consider, for example, the Atari 2600 paddle. Compared to a PlayStation 3 controller, with its variety of buttons, sticks, and pads—and the re-mapability of all these input elements—the single potentiometer and button of the paddle seem downright antiquated. Moreover, because Atari hardware in general has largely faded from mainstream use (though it has a remarkable half-life in collectible markets), the paddle is mostly neglected by contemporary players and pundits alike, in the process revealing another obsolescence: the static state that accompanies disuse—the waiting nonlife of discarded technology. The paddle's first obsolescence—the supplantation of the state of the art—signifies a moment of loss. An obsolete computer game controller is one that no longer holds or is capable of provoking the novelty necessary to stake a claim on wonder, or at least that part of wonder engendered in the playing of the newest game on the newest console—the farthest distance from technological obsolescence. The paddle's second obsolescence—disuse—signifies potential: when a newer system (e.g., PlayStation 3) supersedes an older one (e.g., Atari 2600), the older one will often sit like a fact in benighted spaces such as attics, thrift stores, garages, and closets—all prime hunting grounds for computer game collectors. The ephemera that for most people drift toward oblivion get picked up by archivists and cleaned off, catalogued, stored, studied, used, and reused. Trash becomes treasure, obsolescence newness and utility. And yet, obsolescence is not solely in the eye of the beholder, as it were; it is also in the hand, which further complicates the concept. Because obsolescence calls on the familiar in a pejorative sense—the obsolete thing has become too familiar (it now lacks novelty and surprise)—it is easy to overlook the necessity of familiarity (and thus obsolescence) to computer game development and play. After all, play demands familiarity as well as novelty; deeply complex and satisfying tasks—the kind the best play sets out and rewards generously—can only be accomplished with a level of mastery, of skill born of familiarity born of practice. Just as metaphors, in order to be successful, must merge the known with the unknown in an instantaneous insight that reveals fresh understanding, so too must computer games blend the tried and true with a twist to provoke profound and prolonged play. Computer games must always be the same, only different, familiar enough to be recognisable as forms, but new enough to create wonder as ludica. In the elegant prose of game scholar Roger Caillois, [games] must be like the leaves on the trees which survive from one season to the next and remain identical. Games must be ever similar to animal skins, the design on butterfly wings, and the spiral curves of shell fish which are transmitted unchanged from generation to generation. However, games do not have this hereditary sameness. They are innumerable and changeable. They are clad in thousands of unequally distributed shapes, just as vegetable species are, but infinitely more adaptable, spreading and acclimating themselves with disconcerting ease. (81) All this is what makes computer games so difficult to collect and study, to preserve and produce. They are always already both obsolete and pioneering. Memory as the Arbiter of Obsolescence Despite its plasticity, the concept of obsolescence offers a kind of security to its invoker: in theory, functionality and use follow a clean, linear progression. Accordingly, obsolescence can be seen not only as a thin pretext to justify a rabid consumerist desire for newness, but also as a brief memorial, a marker of passing, one that reaffirms an orderly universe and transfers a degree of security to those who witness its passing. As Aristotle explains, “the criterion of ‘security’ is the ownership of property in such places and under such conditions that the use of it is in our power; and it is ‘our own’ if it is in our power to dispose of it or keep it” (1341). Security is thus the power of alienation, and calling on the concept of obsolescence encourages the exercise of that power. Indeed, as theorist and collector Walter Benjamin argues, “The most profound enchantment for the collector is the locking of individual items within a magic circle in which they are fixed as the final thrill, the thrill of acquisition, passes over them” (62). This magic circle is really no different from the one play sociologist Johann Huizinga uses to describe the “temporary worlds” that can be carved out of the workaday one, worlds created and encapsulated by the rules and possibilities of play. There is, in fact, a powerful parallel between play and collecting, with each territorialising and deterritorialising the practice of materiality and its pleasures. For the collector, the magic circle not only encompasses the library or archive, but potentially the world, harboring as it does the possibility of a "complete collection," however obscured or damaged such a collection might be. This magic circle can also be constructed anywhere, and out of anything because the collector is a playful, nearly absurd, hunter of things whose best work occurs on the road: “I have made my most memorable purchases on trips, as a transient. Property and possession belong to the tactical sphere” (Benjamin 64). For computer game collectors especially, the circumference of the magic circle grows not with the size of a collection but with the imaginative ability to learn how to unsee what she or he has been taught to see as obsolete by industry and popular culture both: industrial, ludic, aesthetic, narratological, and ideological design. It is thus memory—in its alembic ability to make and unmake, to be made and unmade—that is the ultimate arbiter of obsolescence. From this perspective, all that is obsolete fashions a kind of infinite immemorial compendium of “what has been” that makes “what is” possible. Benjamin calls this a “magic encyclopedia,” an expansive tome for the archivist that contains “The period, the region, the craftsmanship, the former ownership—for a true collector the whole background of an item” that constitutes its being both in and beyond its present time and place (62). Vivacious Obsolescence Memory notwithstanding, the crux of computer game collection—the problematic that makes both body and mind “crooked and dwarfed”—is the timelessness of play itself. What is "old" play, for example? The kind found in Missile Command (Atari, 1980) or other golden age arcade game? Perhaps, but is this play still old when it is brought to a new platform and new audiences (e.g., http://macmost.com/iphonegames/MissileCommand.html)? What of the computer game consoles that facilitate play? Surely they grow obsolete, replaced every several years by newer, more advanced incarnations. And yet in the homebrew, retro, and collectible markets, it is the new things, the new playables that are strangely obsolete and undesirable. They are merely extant, whereas reconfigurations of old machines require imaginative new remediations in order to work and to satisfy. Older technologies and the play they enable are what are very much alive and on the cusp; these things, not their newer cousins, are the source of interest, value, experimentation, discourse, and play, that is, they are the cutting edge. So what, then, does it mean to collect and study obsoletia when the play intrinsic to them thwarts obsolescence at every turn? For computer game collectors, the answer is that ultimately there can be no difference between fad and fashion, prototype and stereotype. Obsolescence is a dynamic and incomplete designation because computer games do not age in quite the same way as do other things. The power and potential of a game archive is therefore overwhelming as well as invigorating, offering the rare but challenging chance not only to tame something wild (temporarily at least), but also to perform resurrections, bringing the old dead into new life. Computer game archivists thus trade daily in vivacious obsolescence, reveling in the defiance of moribundity in which their artifacts partake. Still, this liveliness creates other problems. How, for instance, does one organise the contents of an archive that can be categorised in so many ways (e.g., age, developer, play styles, content genres, system, audio-visual aesthetic, and so on)? What is the appropriate taxonomic way of seeing technological and ludic history when the artifacts that embody this history are constantly being made and remade, not only by scholars and historians, but also by subcultures, franchise agents, and myriad avenues of pop culture reappropriation? What does it mean for knowledge work when newness and obsolescence persist in equal measure in the same artifact? The answers to such questions are, of course, only ever temporary and never more than rickety. In the words of Benjamin, “[T]his or any other procedure is merely a dam against the springtide of memories which surges toward any collector as he contemplates his possessions” (61). The art of collection itself is one of defiance in the face of insurmountable complexity and multiplying articulations, which in the end is perhaps the real pleasure of collecting. The trial before computer game collectors is to have a sturdy boat at the ready, one capable of enduring that surging springtide to which Benjamin refers, when the well-disciplined dam of categorical judgments and explanatory structures—itself always already obsolete—inevitably breaks apart.References Aristotle. Rhetoric. Trans. W. Rhys Roberts. In The Basic Works of Aristotle. Ed. Richard McKeon. New York: Random House, 2001. 1325-1451. Benjamin, Walter. Illuminations. London: Pimlico: 1999. Caillois, Roger. Man, Play and Games. Urbana: University of Illinois, 2001. Huizinga, Johan. hom*o Ludens: A Study of the Play Element in Culture. Boston: Beacon, 1955. Melville, Herbert. Mardi and a Voyage Thither. Ed. Nathalia Wright. Putney: Hendricks House, 1990.

44

Mesch, Claudia. "Racing Berlin." M/C Journal 3, no.3 (June1, 2000). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1845.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

Bracketed by a quotation from famed 1950s West German soccer coach S. Herberger and the word "Ende", the running length of the 1998 film Run Lola Run, directed by Tom Tykwer, is 9 minutes short of the official duration of a soccer match. Berlin has often been represented, in visual art and in cinematic imagery, as the modern metropolis: the Expressionist and Dadaist painters, Walter Ruttmann, Fritz Lang and Rainer Werner Fassbinder all depicted it as the modernising city. Since the '60s artists have staged artworks and performances in the public space of the city which critiqued the cold war order of that space, its institutions, and the hysterical attempt by the German government to erase a divided past after 1990. Run Lola Run depicts its setting, Berlin, as a cyberspace obstacle course or environment usually associated with interactive video and computer games. The eerie emptiness of the Berlin of Run Lola Run -- a fantasy projected onto a city which has been called the single biggest construction site in Europe -- is necessary to keep the protagonist Lola moving at high speed from the West to the East part of town and back again -- another fantasy which is only possible when the city is recast as a virtual environment. In Run Lola Run Berlin is represented as an idealised space of bodily and psychic mobility where the instantaneous technology of cyberspace is physically realised as a utopia of speed. The setting of Run Lola Run is not a playing field but a playing level, to use the parlance of video game technology. Underscored by other filmic devices and technologies, Run Lola Run emulates the kinetics and structures of a virtual, quasi-interactive environment: the Berlin setting of the film is paradoxically rendered as an indeterminate, but also site specific, entertainment complex which hinges upon the high-speed functioning of multiple networks of auto-mobility. Urban mobility as circuitry is performed by the film's super-athletic Lola. Lola is a cyber character; she recalls the 'cyberbabe' Lara Croft, heroine of the Sega Tomb Raider video game series. In Tomb Raider the Croft figure is controlled and manipulated by the interactive player to go through as many levels of play, or virtual environments, as possible. In order for the cyber figure to get to the next level of play she must successfully negotiate as many trap and puzzle mechanisms as possible. Speed in this interactive virtual game results from the skill of an experienced player who has practiced coordinating keyboard commands with figure movements and who is familiar with the obstacles the various environments can present. As is the case with Lara Croft, the figure of Lola in Run Lola Run reverses the traditional gender relations of the action/adventure game and of 'damsel in distress' narratives. Run Lola Run focusses on Lola's race to save her boyfriend from a certain death by obtaining DM 100,000 and delivering it across town in twenty minutes. The film adds the element of the race to the game, a variable not included in Tomb Raider. Tykwer repeats Lola's trajectory from home to the location of her boyfriend Manni thrice in the film, each time ending her quest with a different outcome. As in a video game, Lola can therefore be killed as the game unwinds during one turn of play, and on the next attempt she, and also we as viewers or would-be interactive players, would have learned from her previous 'mistakes' and adjust her actions accordingly. The soundtrack of Run Lola Run underscores the speed and mobility of Berlin by means of the fast/slow/fast rhythm of the film, which proceeds primarily at the pace of techno music. This quick rhythm is syncopated with pauses in the forward-moving action brought on by Lola's superhuman screams or by the death of a protagonist. These events mark the end of one turn of 'play' and the restart of Lola's route. Tykwer visually contrasts Lola's linear mobility and her physical and mental capacity for speed with her boyfriend Manni's centripetal fixity, a marker of his helplessness, throughout the film. Manni, a bagman-in-training for a local mafioso, has to make his desperate phone calls from a single phone booth in the borough of Charlottenburg after he bungles a hand-off of payment money by forgetting it on the U-Bahn (the subway). In a black and white flashback sequence, viewers learn about Manni's ill-fated trip to the Polish border with a shipment of stolen cars. In contrast to his earlier mobility, Manni becomes entrapped in the phone booth as a result of his ineptitude. A spiral store sign close to the phone booth symbolizes Manni's entrapment. Tykwer contrasts this circular form with the lines and grids Lola transverses throughout the film. Where at first Lola is also immobilised after her moped is stolen by an 'unbelieveably fast' thief, her quasi-cybernetic thought process soon restores her movement. Tykwer visualizes Lola's frantic thinking in a series of photographic portraits which indicates her consideration of who she can contact to supply a large sum of money. Lola not only moves but thinks with the fast, even pace of a computer working through a database. Tykwer then repeats overhead shots of gridded pavement which Lola follows as she runs through the filmic frame. The grid, emblem of modernity and structure of the metropolis, the semiconductor, and the puzzles of a virtual environment, is necessary for mobility and speed, and is performed by the figure of Lola. The grid is also apparent in the trajectories of traffic of speeding bikes, subway trains,and airplanes passing overhead, which all parallel Lola's movements in the film. The city/virtual environment is thus an idealised nexus of local, national and global lines of mobility and communication.: -- OR -- Tykwer emphasised the arbitrariness of the setting of Run Lola Run, insisting it could easily have been set in any other urban centre such as New York City or Beijing. At no point does the film make explicit that the space of action is Berlin; in fact the setting of the film is far less significant than the filmic self-reflexivity Tykwer explores in Run Lola Run. Berlin becomes a postmodernist filmic text in which earlier films by Lang, Schlöndorff, von Sternberg and Wenders are cited in intertextual fashion. It is not by chance that the protagonist of Run Lola Run shares the name of Marlene Dietrich's legendary character in von Sternberg's The Blue Angel. The running, late-20th-century Lola reconnects with and gains power from the originary Lola Lola as ur-Star of German cinema. The high overhead shots of Run Lola Run technologically exceed those used by Lang in M in 1931 but still quote his filmic text; the spiral form, placed in a shop window in M, becomes a central image of Run Lola Run in marking the immobile spot that Manni occupies. Repeated several times in the film, Lola's scream bends events, characters and chance to her will and slows the relentless pace of the narrative. This vocal punctuation recalls the equally willful vocalisations of Oskar Matzerath in Schlöndorff's Tin Drum (1979). Tykwer's radical expansions and compressions of time in Run Lola Run rely on the temporal exploitation of the filmic medium. The film stretches 20 minutes of 'real time' in the lives of its two protagonists into the 84 minutes of the film. Tykwer also distills the lives of the film's incidental or secondary characters into a few still images and a few seconds of filmic time in the 'und dann...' [and then...] sequences of all three episodes. For example, Lola's momentary encounter with an employee of her father's bank spins off into two completely different life stories for this woman, both of which are told through four or five staged 'snapshots' which are edited together into a rapid sequence. The higher-speed photography of the snapshot keeps up the frenetic pace of Run Lola Run and causes the narrative to move forward even faster, if only for a few seconds. Tykwer also celebrates the technology of 35 mm film in juxtaposing it to the fuzzy imprecision of video in Run Lola Run. The viewer not only notes how scenes shot on video are less visually beautiful than the 35 mm scenes which feature Lola or Manni, but also that they seem to move at a snail's pace. For example, the video-shot scene in Lola's banker-father's office also represents the boredom of his well-paid but stagnant life; another video sequence visually parallels the slow, shuffling movement of the homeless man Norbert as he discovers Manni's forgotten moneybag on the U-Bahn. Comically, he breaks into a run when he realises what he's found. Where Wim Wenders's Wings of Desire made beautiful cinematographic use of Berlin landmarks like the Siegessäule in black and white 35 mm, Tykwer relegates black and white to flashback sequences within the narrative and rejects the relatively meandering contemplation of Wenders's film in favour of the linear dynamism of urban space in Run Lola Run. -- OR -- Tykwer emphasised the arbitrariness of the setting of Run Lola Run, insisting it could easily have been set in any other urban centre such as New York City or Beijing. Nevertheless he establishes the united Berlin as the specific setting of the film. While Run Lola Run does not explicitly indicate that the space of action is Berlin, viewers are clear of the setting: a repeated establishing shot of the Friedrichstrasse U-Bahn stop, a central commuting street near the Brandenburg Gate in the former East Berlin which has undergone extensive reconstruction since 1990, begins each episode of the film. The play between the locality of Berlin and its role as the universal modernist metropolis is a trope of German cinema famously deployed by Fritz Lang in M, where the setting is also never explicitly revealed but implied by means of the use of the Berlin dialect in the dialogue of the film1. The soundtrack of Run Lola Run underscores the speed and mobility of Berlin by means of the fast/slow/fast rhythm of the film which proceeds primarily at the pace of techno music. Techno is also closely identified with the city of Berlin through its annual Techno Festival, which seems to grow larger with each passing year. Quick techno rhythm is syncopated with pauses in the forward-moving action brought on by Lola's superhuman screams or by the death of a protagonist. Berlin is also made explicit as Tykwer often stages scenes at clearly-marked street intersections which identify particular locations or boroughs thoughout east and west Berlin. The viewer notes that Lola escapes her father's bank during one episode and faces Unter den Linden; several scenes unfold on the banks of the river Spree; Lola sprints between the Altes Museum and the Berlin Cathedral. Manni's participation in a car-theft ring points to the Berlin-focussed activity of actual Eastern European and Russian crime syndicates; the film features an interlude at the Polish border where Manni delivers a shipment of stolen Mercedes to underworld buyers, which has to do with the actual geographic proximity of Berlin to Eastern European countries. Tykwer emphasised the arbitrariness of the setting of Run Lola Run, insisting it could easily have been set in any other urban centre such as New York City or Beijing. Nevertheless he establishes the united Berlin as the specific setting of the film. While Run Lola Run does not explicitly indicate that the space of action is Berlin, viewers are clear of the setting: a repeated establishing shot of the Friedrichstrasse U-Bahn stop, a central commuting street near the Brandenburg Gate in the former East Berlin which has undergone extensive reconstruction since 1990, begins each episode of the film. The play between the locality of Berlin and its role as the universal modernist metropolis is a trope of German cinema famously deployed by Fritz Lang in M, where the setting is also never explicitly revealed but implied by means of the use of the Berlin dialect in the dialogue of the film1. The soundtrack of Run Lola Run underscores the speed and mobility of Berlin by means of the fast/slow/fast rhythm of the film which proceeds primarily at the pace of techno music. Techno is also closely identified with the city of Berlin through its annual Techno Festival, which seems to grow larger with each passing year. Quick techno rhythm is syncopated with pauses in the forward-moving action brought on by Lola's superhuman screams or by the death of a protagonist. Berlin is also made explicit as Tykwer often stages scenes at clearly-marked street intersections which identify particular locations or boroughs thoughout east and west Berlin. The viewer notes that Lola escapes her father's bank during one episode and faces Unter den Linden; several scenes unfold on the banks of the river Spree; Lola sprints between the Altes Museum and the Berlin Cathedral. Manni's participation in a car-theft ring points to the Berlin-focussed activity of actual Eastern European and Russian crime syndicates; the film features an interlude at the Polish border where Manni delivers a shipment of stolen Mercedes to underworld buyers, which has to do with the actual geographic proximity of Berlin to Eastern European countries. Yet the speed of purposeful mobility is demanded in the contemporary united and globalised Berlin; lines of action or direction must be chosen and followed and chance encounters become traps or interruptions. Chance must therefore be minimised in the pursuit of urban speed, mobility, and commications access. In the globalised Berlin, Tykwer compresses chance encounters into individual snapshots of visual data which are viewed in quick succession by the viewer. Where artists such Christo and Sophie Calle had investigated the initial chaos of German reunification in Berlin, Run Lola Run rejects the hyper-contemplative and past-obsessed mood demanded by Christo's wrapping of the Reichstag, or Calle's documentation of the artistic destructions of unification3. Run Lola Run recasts Berlin as a network of fast connections, lines of uninterrupted movement, and productive output. It is therefore perhaps not surprising that Tykwer's idealised and embodied representation of Berlin as Lola has been politically appropriated as a convenient icon by the city's status quo: an icon of the successful reconstruction and rewiring of a united Berlin into a fast global broadband digital telecommunications network4. Footnotes See Edward Dimendberg's excellent discussion of filmic representations of the metropolis in "From Berlin to Bunker Hill: Urban Space, Late Modernity, and Film Noir in Fritz Lang's and Joseph Losey's M." Wide Angle 19.4 (1997): 62-93. This is despite the fact that the temporal parameters of the plot of Run Lola Run forbid the aimlessness central to spazieren (strolling). See Walter Benjamin, "A Berlin Chronicle", in Reflections. Ed. Peter Demetz. Trans. Edmund Jephcott. New York: Schocken, 1986. 3-60. See Sophie Calle, The Detachment. London: G+B Arts International and Arndt & Partner Gallery, n.d. The huge success of Tykwer's film in Germany spawned many red-hair-coiffed Lola imitators in the Berlin populace. The mayor of Berlin sported Lola-esque red hair in a poster which imitated the one for the film, but legal intercession put an end to this trendy political statement. Brian Pendreigh. "The Lolaness of the Long-Distance Runner." The Guardian 15 Oct. 1999. I've relied on William J. Mitchell's cultural history of the late 20th century 'rebuilding' of major cities into connection points in the global telecommunications network, City of Bits: Space, Place, and the Infobahn. Cambridge: MIT P, 1995. Citation reference for this article MLA style: Claudia Mesch. "Racing Berlin: The Games of Run Lola Run." M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 3.3 (2000). [your date of access] <http://www.api-network.com/mc/0006/speed.php>. Chicago style: Claudia Mesch, "Racing Berlin: The Games of Run Lola Run," M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 3, no. 3 (2000), <http://www.api-network.com/mc/0006/speed.php> ([your date of access]). APA style: Claudia Mesch. (2000) Racing Berlin: the games of Run Lola run. M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 3(3). <http://www.api-network.com/mc/0006/speed.php> ([your date of access]).

45

Brien, Donna Lee. "From Waste to Superbrand: The Uneasy Relationship between Vegemite and Its Origins." M/C Journal 13, no.4 (August18, 2010). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.245.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

This article investigates the possibilities for understanding waste as a resource, with a particular focus on understanding food waste as a food resource. It considers the popular yeast spread Vegemite within this frame. The spread’s origins in waste product, and how it has achieved and sustained its status as a popular symbol of Australia despite half a century of Australian gastro-multiculturalism and a marked public resistance to other recycling and reuse of food products, have not yet been a focus of study. The process of producing Vegemite from waste would seem to align with contemporary moves towards recycling food waste, and ensuring environmental sustainability and food security, yet even during times of austerity and environmental concern this has not provided the company with a viable marketing strategy. Instead, advertising copywriting and a recurrent cycle of product memorialisation have created a superbrand through focusing on Vegemite’s nutrient and nostalgic value.John Scanlan notes that producing waste is a core feature of modern life, and what we dispose of as surplus to our requirements—whether this comprises material objects or more abstract products such as knowledge—reveals much about our society. In observing this, Scanlan asks us to consider the quite radical idea that waste is central to everything of significance to us: the “possibility that the surprising core of all we value results from (and creates even more) garbage (both the material and the metaphorical)” (9). Others have noted the ambivalent relationship we have with the waste we produce. C. T. Anderson notes that we are both creator and agent of its disposal. It is our ambivalence towards waste, coupled with its ubiquity, that allows waste materials to be described so variously: negatively as garbage, trash and rubbish, or more positively as by-products, leftovers, offcuts, trimmings, and recycled.This ambivalence is also crucial to understanding the affectionate relationship the Australian public have with Vegemite, a relationship that appears to exist in spite of the product’s unpalatable origins in waste. A study of Vegemite reveals that consumers can be comfortable with waste, even to the point of eating recycled waste, as long as that fact remains hidden and unmentioned. In Vegemite’s case not only has the product’s connection to waste been rendered invisible, it has been largely kept out of sight despite considerable media and other attention focusing on the product. Recycling Food Waste into Food ProductRecent work such as Elizabeth Royte’s Garbage Land and Tristram Stuart’s Waste make waste uncomfortably visible, outlining how much waste, and food waste in particular, the Western world generates and how profligately this is disposed of. Their aim is clear: a call to less extravagant and more sustainable practices. The relatively recent interest in reducing our food waste has, of course, introduced more complexity into a simple linear movement from the creation of a food product, to its acquisition or purchase, and then to its consumption and/or its disposal. Moreover, the recycling, reuse and repurposing of what has previously been discarded as waste is reconfiguring the whole idea of what waste is, as well as what value it has. The initiatives that seem to offer the most promise are those that reconfigure the way waste is understood. However, it is not only the process of transforming waste from an abject nuisance into a valued product that is central here. It is also necessary to reconfigure people’s acculturated perceptions of, and reactions to waste. Food waste is generated during all stages of the food cycle: while the raw materials are being grown; while these are being processed; when the resulting food products are being sold; when they are prepared in the home or other kitchen; and when they are only partly consumed. Until recently, the food industry in the West almost universally produced large volumes of solid and liquid waste that not only posed problems of disposal and pollution for the companies involved, but also represented a reckless squandering of total food resources in terms of both nutrient content and valuable biomass for society at large. While this is currently changing, albeit slowly, the by-products of food processing were, and often are, dumped (Stuart). In best-case scenarios, various gardening, farming and industrial processes gather household and commercial food waste for use as animal feed or as components in fertilisers (Delgado et al; Wang et al). This might, on the surface, appear a responsible application of waste, yet the reality is that such food waste often includes perfectly good fruit and vegetables that are not quite the required size, shape or colour, meat trimmings and products (such as offal) that are completely edible but extraneous to processing need, and other high grade product that does not meet certain specifications—such as the mountains of bread crusts sandwich producers discard (Hickman), or food that is still edible but past its ‘sell by date.’ In the last few years, however, mounting public awareness over the issues of world hunger, resource conservation, and the environmental and economic costs associated with food waste has accelerated efforts to make sustainable use of available food supplies and to more efficiently recycle, recover and utilise such needlessly wasted food product. This has fed into and led to multiple new policies, instances of research into, and resultant methods for waste handling and treatment (Laufenberg et al). Most straightforwardly, this involves the use or sale of offcuts, trimmings and unwanted ingredients that are “often of prime quality and are only rejected from the production line as a result of standardisation requirements or retailer specification” from one process for use in another, in such processed foods as soups, baby food or fast food products (Henningsson et al. 505). At a higher level, such recycling seeks to reclaim any reusable substances of significant food value from what could otherwise be thought of as a non-usable waste product. Enacting this is largely dependent on two elements: an available technology and being able to obtain a price or other value for the resultant product that makes the process worthwhile for the recycler to engage in it (Laufenberg et al). An example of the latter is the use of dehydrated restaurant food waste as a feedstuff for finishing pigs, a reuse process with added value for all involved as this process produces both a nutritious food substance as well as a viable way of disposing of restaurant waste (Myer et al). In Japan, laws regarding food waste recycling, which are separate from those governing other organic waste, are ensuring that at least some of food waste is being converted into animal feed, especially for the pigs who are destined for human tables (Stuart). Other recycling/reuse is more complex and involves more lateral thinking, with the by-products from some food processing able to be utilised, for instance, in the production of dyes, toiletries and cosmetics (Henningsson et al), although many argue for the privileging of food production in the recycling of foodstuffs.Brewing is one such process that has been in the reuse spotlight recently as large companies seek to minimise their waste product so as to be able to market their processes as sustainable. In 2009, for example, the giant Foster’s Group (with over 150 brands of beer, wine, spirits and ciders) proudly claimed that it recycled or reused some 91.23% of 171,000 tonnes of operational waste, with only 8.77% of this going to landfill (Foster’s Group). The treatment and recycling of the massive amounts of water used for brewing, rinsing and cooling purposes (Braeken et al.; Fillaudeaua et al.) is of significant interest, and is leading to research into areas as diverse as the development microbial fuel cells—where added bacteria consume the water-soluble brewing wastes, thereby cleaning the water as well as releasing chemical energy that is then converted into electricity (Lagan)—to using nutrient-rich wastewater as the carbon source for creating bioplastics (Yu et al.).In order for the waste-recycling-reuse loop to be closed in the best way for securing food supplies, any new product salvaged and created from food waste has to be both usable, and used, as food (Stuart)—and preferably as a food source for people to consume. There is, however, considerable consumer resistance to such reuse. Resistance to reusing recycled water in Australia has been documented by the CSIRO, which identified negative consumer perception as one of the two primary impediments to water reuse, the other being the fundamental economics of the process (MacDonald & Dyack). This consumer aversion operates even in times of severe water shortages, and despite proof of the cleanliness and safety of the resulting treated water. There was higher consumer acceptance levels for using stormwater rather than recycled water, despite the treated stormwater being shown to have higher concentrations of contaminants (MacDonald & Dyack). This reveals the extent of public resistance to the potential consumption of recycled waste product when it is labelled as such, even when this consumption appears to benefit that public. Vegemite: From Waste Product to Australian IconIn this context, the savoury yeast spread Vegemite provides an example of how food processing waste can be repurposed into a new food product that can gain a high level of consumer acceptability. It has been able to retain this status despite half a century of Australian gastronomic multiculturalism and the wide embrace of a much broader range of foodstuffs. Indeed, Vegemite is so ubiquitous in Australian foodways that it is recognised as an international superbrand, a standing it has been able to maintain despite most consumers from outside Australasia finding it unpalatable (Rozin & Siegal). However, Vegemite’s long product history is one in which its origin as recycled waste has been omitted, or at the very least, consistently marginalised.Vegemite’s history as a consumer product is narrated in a number of accounts, including one on the Kraft website, where the apocryphal and actual blend. What all these narratives agree on is that in the early 1920s Fred Walker—of Fred Walker and Company, Melbourne, canners of meat for export and Australian manufacturers of Bonox branded beef stock beverage—asked his company chemist to emulate Marmite yeast extract (Farrer). The imitation product was based, as was Marmite, on the residue from spent brewer’s yeast. This waste was initially sourced from Melbourne-based Carlton & United Breweries, and flavoured with vegetables, spices and salt (Creswell & Trenoweth). Today, the yeast left after Foster Group’s Australian commercial beer making processes is collected, put through a sieve to remove hop resins, washed to remove any bitterness, then mixed with warm water. The yeast dies from the lack of nutrients in this environment, and enzymes then break down the yeast proteins with the effect that vitamins and minerals are released into the resulting solution. Using centrifugal force, the yeast cell walls are removed, leaving behind a nutrient-rich brown liquid, which is then concentrated into a dark, thick paste using a vacuum process. This is seasoned with significant amounts of salt—although less today than before—and flavoured with vegetable extracts (Richardson).Given its popularity—Vegemite was found in 2009 to be the third most popular brand in Australia (Brand Asset Consulting)—it is unsurprising to find that the product has a significant history as an object of study in popular culture (Fiske et al; White), as a marker of national identity (Ivory; Renne; Rozin & Siegal; Richardson; Harper & White) and as an iconic Australian food, brand and product (Cozzolino; Luck; Khamis; Symons). Jars, packaging and product advertising are collected by Australian institutions such as Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum and the National Museum of Australia in Canberra, and are regularly included in permanent and travelling exhibitions profiling Australian brands and investigating how a sense of national identity is expressed through identification with these brands. All of this significant study largely focuses on how, when and by whom the product has been taken up, and how it has been consumed, rather than its links to waste, and what this circ*mstance could add to current thinking about recycling of food waste into other food products.It is worth noting that Vegemite was not an initial success in the Australian marketplace, but this does not seem due to an adverse public perception to waste. Indeed, when it was first produced it was in imitation of an already popular product well-known to be made from brewery by-products, hence this origin was not an issue. It was also introduced during a time when consumer relationships to waste were quite unlike today, and thrifty re-use of was a common feature of household behaviour. Despite a national competition mounted to name the product (Richardson), Marmite continued to attract more purchasers after Vegemite’s launch in 1923, so much so that in 1928, in an attempt to differentiate itself from Marmite, Vegemite was renamed “Parwill—the all Australian product” (punning on the idea that “Ma-might” but “Pa-will”) (White 16). When this campaign was unsuccessful, the original, consumer-suggested name was reinstated, but sales still lagged behind its UK-owned prototype. It was only after remaining in production for more than a decade, and after two successful marketing campaigns in the second half of the 1930s that the Vegemite brand gained some market traction. The first of these was in 1935 and 1936, when a free jar of Vegemite was offered with every sale of an item from the relatively extensive Kraft-Walker product list (after Walker’s company merged with Kraft) (White). The second was an attention-grabbing contest held in 1937, which invited consumers to compose Vegemite-inspired limericks. However, it was not the nature of the product itself or even the task set by the competition which captured mass attention, but the prize of a desirable, exotic and valuable imported Pontiac car (Richardson 61; Superbrands).Since that time, multinational media company, J Walter Thompson (now rebranded as JWT) has continued to manage Vegemite’s marketing. JWT’s marketing has never looked to Vegemite’s status as a thrifty recycler of waste as a viable marketing strategy, even in periods of austerity (such as the Depression years and the Second World War) or in more recent times of environmental concern. Instead, advertising copywriting and a recurrent cycle of cultural/media memorialisation have created a superbrand by focusing on two factors: its nutrient value and, as the brand became more established, its status as national icon. Throughout the regular noting and celebration of anniversaries of its initial invention and launch, with various commemorative events and products marking each of these product ‘birthdays,’ Vegemite’s status as recycled waste product has never been more than mentioned. Even when its 60th anniversary was marked in 1983 with the laying of a permanent plaque in Kerferd Road, South Melbourne, opposite Walker’s original factory, there was only the most passing reference to how, and from what, the product manufactured at the site was made. This remained the case when the site itself was prioritised for heritage listing almost twenty years later in 2001 (City of Port Phillip).Shying away from the reality of this successful example of recycling food waste into food was still the case in 1990, when Kraft Foods held a nationwide public campaign to recover past styles of Vegemite containers and packaging, and then donated their collection to Powerhouse Museum. The Powerhouse then held an exhibition of the receptacles and the historical promotional material in 1991, tracing the development of the product’s presentation (Powerhouse Museum), an occasion that dovetailed with other nostalgic commemorative activities around the product’s 70th birthday. Although the production process was noted in the exhibition, it is noteworthy that the possibilities for recycling a number of the styles of jars, as either containers with reusable lids or as drinking glasses, were given considerably more notice than the product’s origins as a recycled product. By this time, it seems, Vegemite had become so incorporated into Australian popular memory as a product in its own right, and with such a rich nostalgic history, that its origins were no longer of any significant interest or relevance.This disregard continued in the commemorative volume, The Vegemite Cookbook. With some ninety recipes and recipe ideas, the collection contains an almost unimaginably wide range of ways to use Vegemite as an ingredient. There are recipes on how to make the definitive Vegemite toast soldiers and Vegemite crumpets, as well as adaptations of foreign cuisines including pastas and risottos, stroganoffs, tacos, chilli con carne, frijole dip, marinated beef “souvlaki style,” “Indian-style” chicken wings, curries, Asian stir-fries, Indonesian gado-gado and a number of Chinese inspired dishes. Although the cookbook includes a timeline of product history illustrated with images from the major advertising campaigns that runs across 30 pages of the book, this timeline history emphasises the technological achievement of Vegemite’s creation, as opposed to the matter from which it orginated: “In a Spartan room in Albert Park Melbourne, 20 year-old food technologist Cyril P. Callister employed by Fred Walker, conducted initial experiments with yeast. His workplace was neither kitchen nor laboratory. … It was not long before this rather ordinary room yielded an extra-ordinary substance” (2). The Big Vegemite Party Book, described on its cover as “a great book for the Vegemite fan … with lots of old advertisem*nts from magazines and newspapers,” is even more openly nostalgic, but similarly includes very little regarding Vegemite’s obviously potentially unpalatable genesis in waste.Such commemorations have continued into the new century, each one becoming more self-referential and more obviously a marketing strategy. In 2003, Vegemite celebrated its 80th birthday with the launch of the “Spread the Smile” campaign, seeking to record the childhood reminisces of adults who loved Vegemite. After this, the commemorative anniversaries broke free from even the date of its original invention and launch, and began to celebrate other major dates in the product’s life. In this way, Kraft made major news headlines when it announced that it was trying to locate the children who featured in the 1954 “Happy little Vegemites” campaign as part of the company’s celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the television advertisem*nt. In October 2006, these once child actors joined a number of past and current Kraft employees to celebrate the supposed production of the one-billionth jar of Vegemite (Rood, "Vegemite Spreads" & "Vegemite Toasts") but, once again, little about the actual production process was discussed. In 2007, the then iconic marching band image was resituated into a contemporary setting—presumably to mobilise both the original messages (nutritious wholesomeness in an Australian domestic context) as well as its heritage appeal. Despite the real interest at this time in recycling and waste reduction, the silence over Vegemite’s status as recycled, repurposed food waste product continued.Concluding Remarks: Towards Considering Waste as a ResourceIn most parts of the Western world, including Australia, food waste is formally (in policy) and informally (by consumers) classified, disposed of, or otherwise treated alongside garden waste and other organic materials. Disposal by individuals, industry or local governments includes a range of options, from dumping to composting or breaking down in anaerobic digestion systems into materials for fertiliser, with food waste given no special status or priority. Despite current concerns regarding the security of food supplies in the West and decades of recognising that there are sections of all societies where people do not have enough to eat, it seems that recycling food waste into food that people can consume remains one of the last and least palatable solutions to these problems. This brief study of Vegemite has attempted to show how, despite the growing interest in recycling and sustainability, the focus in both the marketing of, and public interest in, this iconic and popular product appears to remain rooted in Vegemite’s nutrient and nostalgic value and its status as a brand, and firmly away from any suggestion of innovative and prudent reuse of waste product. That this is so for an already popular product suggests that any initiatives that wish to move in this direction must first reconfigure not only the way waste itself is seen—as a valuable product to be used, rather than as a troublesome nuisance to be disposed of—but also our own understandings of, and reactions to, waste itself.Acknowledgements Many thanks to the reviewers for their perceptive, useful, and generous comments on this article. All errors are, of course, my own. The research for this work was carried out with funding from the Faculty of Arts, Business, Informatics and Education, CQUniversity, Australia.ReferencesAnderson, C. T. “Sacred Waste: Ecology, Spirit, and the American Garbage Poem.” Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment 17 (2010): 35-60.Blake, J. The Vegemite Cookbook: Delicious Recipe Ideas. Melbourne: Ark Publishing, 1992.Braeken, L., B. Van der Bruggen and C. Vandecasteele. “Regeneration of Brewery Waste Water Using Nanofiltration.” Water Research 38.13 (July 2004): 3075-82.City of Port Phillip. “Heritage Recognition Strategy”. Community and Services Development Committee Agenda, 20 Aug. 2001.Cozzolino, M. Symbols of Australia. Ringwood: Penguin, 1980.Creswell, T., and S. Trenoweth. “Cyril Callister: The Happiest Little Vegemite”. 1001 Australians You Should Know. North Melbourne: Pluto Press, 2006. 353-4.Delgado, C. L., M. Rosegrant, H. Steinfled, S. Ehui, and C. Courbois. Livestock to 2020: The Next Food Revolution. Food, Agriculture, and the Environment Discussion Paper, 28. Washington, D. C.: International Food Policy Research Institute, 2009.Farrer, K. T. H. “Callister, Cyril Percy (1893-1949)”. Australian Dictionary of Biography 7. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1979. 527-8.Fillaudeaua, L., P. Blanpain-Avetb and G. Daufinc. “Water, Wastewater and Waste Management in Brewing Industries”. Journal of Cleaner Production 14.5 (2006): 463-71.Fiske, J., B. Hodge and G. Turner. Myths of Oz: Reading Australian Popular Culture. Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 1987.Foster’s Group Limited. Transforming Fosters: Sustainability Report 2009.16 June 2010 ‹http://fosters.ice4.interactiveinvestor.com.au/Fosters0902/2009SustainabilityReport/EN/body.aspx?z=1&p=-1&v=2&uid›.George Patterson Young and Rubicam (GPYR). Brand Asset Valuator, 2009. 6 Aug. 2010 ‹http://www.brandassetconsulting.com/›.Harper, M., and R. White. Symbols of Australia. UNSW, Sydney: UNSW Press, 2010.Henningsson, S., K. Hyde, A. Smith, and M. Campbell. “The Value of Resource Efficiency in the Food Industry: A Waste Minimisation Project in East Anglia, UK”. Journal of Cleaner Production 12.5 (June 2004): 505-12.Hickman, M. “Exposed: The Big Waste Scandal”. The Independent, 9 July 2009. 18 June 2010 ‹http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/features/exposed-the-big-waste-scandal-1737712.html›.Ivory, K. “Australia’s Vegemite”. Hemispheres (Jan. 1998): 83-5.Khamis, S. “Buy Australiana: Diggers, Drovers and Vegemite”. Write/Up. Eds. E. Hartrick, R. Hogg and S. Supski. St Lucia: API Network and UQP, 2004. 121-30.Lagan, B. “Australia Finds a New Power Source—Beer”. The Times 5 May 2007. 18 June 2010 ‹http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/science/article1749835.ece›.Laufenberg, G., B. Kunz and M. Nystroem. “Transformation of Vegetable Waste into Value Added Products: (A) The Upgrading Concept; (B) Practical Implementations [review paper].” Bioresource Technology 87 (2003): 167-98.Luck, P. Australian Icons: Things That Make Us What We Are. Melbourne: William Heinemann Australia, 1992.MacDonald, D. H., and B. Dyack. Exploring the Institutional Impediments to Conservation and Water Reuse—National Issues: Report for the Australian Water Conservation and Reuse Research Program. March. CSIRO Land and Water, 2004.Myer, R. O., J. H. Brendemuhl, and D. D. Johnson. “Evaluation of Dehydrated Restaurant Food Waste Products as Feedstuffs for Finishing Pigs”. Journal of Animal Science 77.3 (1999): 685-92.Pittaway, M. The Big Vegemite Party Book. Melbourne: Hill of Content, 1992. Powerhouse Museum. Collection & Research. 16 June 2010.Renne, E. P. “All Right, Vegemite!: The Everyday Constitution of an Australian National Identity”. Visual Anthropology 6.2 (1993): 139-55.Richardson, K. “Vegemite, Soldiers, and Rosy Cheeks”. Gastronomica 3.4 (Fall 2003): 60-2.Rood, D. “Vegemite Spreads the News of a Happy Little Milestone”. Sydney Morning Herald 6 Oct. 2008. 16 March 2010 ‹http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/vegemite-spreads-the-news-of-a-happy-little-milestone/2008/10/05/1223145175371.html›.———. “Vegemite Toasts a Billion Jars”. The Age 6 Oct. 2008. 16 March 2010 ‹http://www.theage.com.au/national/vegemite-toasts-a-billion-jars-20081005-4uc1.html›.Royte, E. Garbage Land: On the Secret Trail of Trash. New York: Back Bay Books, 2006.Rozin, P., and M. Siegal “Vegemite as a Marker of National Identity”. Gastronomica 3.4 (Fall 2003): 63-7.Scanlan, J. On Garbage. London: Reaktion Books, 2005.Stuart, T. Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2009.Superbrands. Superbrands: An Insight into Many of Australia’s Most Trusted Brands. Vol IV. Ingleside, NSW: Superbrands, 2004.Symons, M. One Continuous Picnic: A History of Eating in Australia. Ringwood: Penguin Books, 1982.Wang, J., O. Stabnikova, V. Ivanov, S. T. Tay, and J. Tay. “Intensive Aerobic Bioconversion of Sewage Sludge and Food Waste into Fertiliser”. Waste Management & Research 21 (2003): 405-15.White, R. S. “Popular Culture as the Everyday: A Brief Cultural History of Vegemite”. Australian Popular Culture. Ed. I. Craven. Cambridge UP, 1994. 15-21.Yu, P. H., H. Chua, A. L. Huang, W. Lo, and G. Q. Chen. “Conversion of Food Industrial Wastes into Bioplastics”. Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology 70-72.1 (March 1998): 603-14.

46

Kim, Chi-Hoon. "The Power of Fake Food: Plastic Food Models as Tastemakers in South Korea." M/C Journal 17, no.1 (March16, 2014). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.778.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

“Oh, look at the size of that abalone!”“The beef looks really tasty!”“I really want to eat some!” I am standing in front of a glass case framing the entrance of a food court at Incheon International Airport, South Korea (henceforth Korea). I overhear these exclamations as I watch three teenage girls swarm around me to press their faces against the glass. The case is filled with Korean dishes served in the adjacent food court with brief descriptions and prices. My mouth waters as I lay my eyes on dishes such as bibimbap (rice mixed with meat, vegetables, and a spicy pepper paste called gochujang) and bulgogi (thinly sliced marinated beef) over the teenagers’ shoulders. But alas, we are all deceived. The dishes we have been salivating over are not edible. They are in fact fake, made from plastic. Why have inedible replicas become normalized to stand in for real food? What are the consequences of the proliferation of fake food models in the culinary landscape? And more importantly, why do plastic foods that fall outside the food cycle of production, preparation, consumption, and waste have authority over the way we produce, prepare, and consume food? This paper examines Korean plastic food models as tastemakers that standardize food production and consumption practices. Plastic food both literally and figuratively orders gustatory and aesthetic taste and serves as a tool for social distinction within Korean culinary culture. Firstly, I will explore theoretical approaches to conceptualizing plastic food models as tastemakers. Then, I will examine plastic food models within the political economy of taste in Korea since the 1980s. Finally, I will take a close look into three manufacturers’ techniques and approaches to understand how plastic foods are made. This analysis of the Korean plastic food model industry is based on a total of eight months of fieldwork research and semi-structured interviews conducted from December 2011 to January 2012 with three of the twelve manufacturers in Seoul, South Korea. To protect the identity of my informants, I refer to them as the Pioneer (37 years of experience), Exporter (20 years of experience), and Franchisor (10 years of experience). The Pioneer, a leading food model specialist, was one of the first Korean manufactures who produced Korean models for domestic consumption. His models can be found in major museums and airports across the country. The Exporter is famous for inventing techniques and also producing for a global market. Many of her Korean models are displayed in restaurants in North America and Europe. The Franchisor is one of the largest producers for mid-range chain restaurants and cafes around the nation. His models are up-to-date with current food trends and are showcased at popular franchises. These three professionals not only have gained public recognition as plastic food experts through public competitions, mass media coverage, and government commissioned work but also are known to produce high-quality replicas by hand. Therefore, these three were not randomly selected but chosen to consider various production approaches, capture generational difference, and trace the development of the industry since the late 1970s. Plastic Food Models as Objects of Inquiry Plastic foods are created explicitly for the purpose of not being eaten, however, they impart “taste” in two major ways. Firstly, food models regulate the perception of gustatory and aesthetic taste by communicating flavors, mouth-feel, and visual properties of food through precise replicas. Secondly, models influence social behavior by defining what is culturally and politically appropriate. Food models are made with a variety of materials found in nature (wood, metal, precious stones, and cloth), edible matter (sugar, marzipan, chocolate, and butter), and inedible substances (plastic and wax). Among these materials, plastic is ideal because it creates the most durable and vivid three-dimensional models. Plastic can be manipulated freely with the application of heat and requires very little maintenance over time. Plastic allows for more precise molding and coloring, producing replicas that look more real than the original. Some may argue that fake models are mere hyper-real objects since the real and the simulation are seamlessly melded together and reproductions hold more power over the way reality is experienced (Baudrillard). Post-modern scholars such as Jean Baudrillard and Umberto Eco argue that the production of an absolute fake to satisfy the need for the real results in the rise of simulacra, which are representations that never existed or no longer have an original. I, however, argue that plastic foods within the Korean context rely heavily on originals and reinforce the authority of the original. The analysis of plastic food models can be conceptualized within the broader theoretical framework of uneaten food. This category encompasses food that is elaborately prepared for ritual but discarded, and foods that are considered inedible in different cultural contexts due to religion, customs, politics, and social norms (Douglas; Gewertz and Errington; Harris et al.; Messer; Rath). Analyzing plastic food models as a part of the uneaten food economy opens up analysis of the interrelationship between the physical and conceptual realms of food production and consumption. Although plastic models fall outside the bounds of the conventional food cycle, they influence each stage of this cycle. Food models can act as tools to inform the appropriate aesthetic characteristics of food that guide production. The color and shape can indicate ripeness to inform farming and harvesting methods. Models also act as reference points that ultimately standardize recipes and cooking techniques during food preparation. In restaurants displaying plastic food, kitchen staff use the models to ensure consistency and uniform presentation of dishes. Models often facilitate food choice by offering information on portion size and ingredients. Finally, as food models become the gold standard in the production, preparation, and consumption of food, they also dictate when to discard the “incorrect” looking food. The primary power of plastic food models as tastemakers lies in their ability to seamlessly stand in for the original. Only fake models that are spitting images of the real have the ability to completely deceive the viewer. In “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” Walter Benjamin asserts that for reproduction to invoke the authentic, the presence of the original is necessary. However, an exact replication is impossible since the original is transformed in the process of reproduction. Benjamin argues, “The technique of reproduction detaches the reproduced object from the domain of tradition. By making many reproductions it substitutes a plurality of copies for a unique existence and, in permitting the reproduction to meet the beholder or listener in his own particular situation, it reactivates the object reproduced” (221). Similarly, plastic models of Korean food are removed from the realm of culinary tradition because they deviate from the conventional food cycle but reinforce culinary culture by regulating aesthetic values and food related practices. The notion of authenticity becomes central in determining the strength of plastic food models to order culinary culture by setting visual and social standards. Plastic food models step in to meet the beholder on various occasions, which in turn solidifies and even expands the power of the original. Despite their inability to impart taste and smell, plastic models remain persuasive in their ability to reinforce the materiality of the original food or dish. Plastic Food Models and the Political Economy of Taste in South Korea While plastic models are prevalent all around the world, the degree to which they hold authority in influencing production and consumption practices varies. For example, in many parts of the world, toys are made to resemble food for children to play with or even as joke objects to trick others. In America and Europe, plastic food models are mainly used as decorative elements in historical sites, to recreate ambiance in dining rooms, or as props at deli counters to convey freshness. Plastic food models in Korea go beyond these informative, decorative, and playful functions by visually ordering culinary properties and standardizing food choice. Food models were first made out of wax in Japan in the early 20th century. In 1932, Takizo Iwasaki founded Iwasaki Bei-I, arguably the first plastic food model company in the world. As the plastic food model industry flourished in Japan, some of the production was outsourced to Korea to decrease costs. In the late 1970s, a handful of Japanese-trained Korean manufacturers opened companies in Korea and began producing for the domestic market (Pioneer). Their businesses did not flourish until their products became identified as a tool to promote Korean cuisine to a global audience. Two major international sporting events triggered the growth of the plastic food model industry in Korea. The first was the 1988 Seoul Olympics and the second was the 2002 World Cup. Leading up to these two high-profile international events, the Korean government made major efforts to spruce up the country’s image for tourists and familiarize them with all aspects of Korean culture (Walraven). For example, the designation of kimchi (fermented pickled vegetable) as the national dish for the 1988 Olympics explicitly opened up an opportunity for plastic food models to represent the aesthetic values of Korean cuisine. In 1983, in preparation for showcasing approximately 200 varieties of kimchi to the international community, the government commissioned food experts and plastic model manufacturers to produce plastic replicas of each type. After these models were showcased in public they were used as displays for the Kimchi Field Museum and remain as part of the exhibit today. The government also designated approximately 100 tourist-friendly restaurants across the country, requiring them to display food models during the games. This marked the first large-scale production of Korean plastic food. The second wave of food models occurred in the early 2000s in response to the government’s renewed interest to facilitate international tourists’ navigation of Korean culinary culture during the 2002 World Cup. According to plastic food manufacturers, the government was less involved in regulating the use of plastic models this time, but offered subsidies to businesses to encourage their display for tourists (Exporter; Franchisor). After the World Cup, the plastic food industry continued to grow with demand from businesses, as models become staple objects in public places. Plastic models are now fully incorporated into, and even expected at, mid-range restaurants, fast food chains, and major transportation terminals. Businesses actively display plastic models to increase competition and communicate what they are selling at one glance for tourists and non-tourists alike (Exporter). These increased efforts to reassert Korean culinary culture in public spaces have normalized plastic models in everyday life. The persuasive and authoritative qualities of plastic foods regulate consumption practices in Korea. There are four major ways that plastic food models influence food choice and consumption behavior. First, plastic food models mediate between consumer expectation and reality by facilitating decision-making processes of what and how much to eat. Just by looking at the model, the consumer can experience the sensory qualities of eating the dish, allowing decisions to be made within 30 seconds (Franchisor). Second, plastic models guide what types of foods are suitable for social and cultural occasions. These include during Chuseok (the harvest festival) and Seollal (New Year), when high-end department stores display holiday gift sets containing plastic models of beef, abalone, and pine mushrooms. These sets align consumer expectation and experience by showing consumers the exact dimension and content of the gift. They also define the propriety of holiday gifts. These types of models therefore direct how food is bought, exchanged, and consumed during holidays and reassert a social code. Third, food models become educational tools to communicate health recommendations by solidifying types of dishes and portions appropriate for individuals based on health status, age, and gender. This helps disseminate a definition of a healthful diet and adequate nutrition to guide food choice and consumption. Fourth, plastic food models act as a boundary marker of what constitutes Korean food. Applying Mary Douglas’s notion of food as a boundary marker of ethnicity and identity, plastic food models effectively mark Koreanness to reinforce a certain set of ingredients and presentation as authentic. Plastic models create the ideal visual representation of Korean cuisine that becomes the golden standard, by which dishes are compared, judged, and reproduced as Korean. Plastic models are essentially objects that socially construct the perception of gustatory, aesthetic, and social taste. Plastic foods discipline and define taste by directing the gaze of the beholder, conjuring up social protocol or associations. Sociologist John Urry’s notion of the tourist gaze lends insight to considering the implication of the intentional placement and use of plastic models in the Korean urban landscape. Urry argues that people do not gaze by chance but are taught when, where, and how to gaze by clear markers, objects, events, and experiences. Therefore, plastic models construct the gaze on Korean food to teach consumers when, where, and how to experience and practice Korean culinary culture. The Production Process of Plastic Food Models Analysis of plastic models must also consider who gets to define and reproduce the aesthetic and social taste of food. This approach follows the call to examine the knowledge and power of technical and aesthetic experts responsible for producing and authorizing certain discourses as legitimate and representative of the nation (Boyer and Lomnitz; Krishenblatt-Gimblett; Smith). Since plastic model manufacturers are the main technical and aesthetic experts responsible for disseminating standards of taste through the production of fake food, it is necessary to examine their approaches and methods. High-quality food models begin with original food to be reproduced. For single food items such as an apple or a shrimp, liquid plastic is poured into pre-formed molds. In the case of food with multiple components such as a noodle soup, the actual food is first covered with liquid plastic to replicate its exact shape and then elements are added on top. Next, the mold goes through various heat and chemical treatments before the application of color. The factors that determine the preciseness of the model are the quality of the paint, the skill of the painter, and the producer’s interpretation of the original. In the case of duplicating a dish with multiple ingredients, individual elements are made separately according to the process described above and assembled and presented in the same dishware as that of the original. The producers’ studios look more like test kitchens than industrial factories. Making food models require techniques resembling conventional cooking procedures. The Pioneer, for instance, enrolled in Korean cooking classes when he realized that to produce convincing replicas he needed to understand how certain dishes are made. The main mission for plastic food producers is to visually whet the appetite by creating replicas that look tastier than the original. Since the notion of taste is highly subjective, the objective for plastic food producers is to translate the essence of the food using imagination and artistic expression to appeal to universal taste. A fake model is more than just the sum of its parts because some ingredients are highlighted to increase its approximation of the real. For example, the Pioneer highlights certain characteristics of the food that he believes to be central to the dish while minimizing or even neglecting other aspects. When making models of cabbage kimchi, he focuses on prominently depicting the outer layers of neatly stacked kimchi without emphasizing the radish, peppers, fermented shrimp paste, ginger, and garlic that are tucked between each layer of the cabbage. Although the models are three-dimensional, they only show the top or exterior of the dishes from the viewer’s perspective. Translating dishes that have complex flavor profile and ingredients are challenging and require painstaking editing. The Exporter notes that assembling a dish and putting the final touches on a plate are similar to what a food stylist does because her aim, too, is to make the viewer’s mouth water. To communicate crispy breaded shrimp, she dunks pre-molded plastic shrimp into a thin plastic paste and uses an air gun to make the “batter” swirl into crunchy flakes before coloring it to a perfect golden brown. Manufacturers need to realistically capture the natural properties of food to help consumers imagine the taste of a dish. For instance, the Franchisor confesses that one of the hardest dishes to make is honey bread (a popular dessert at Korean cafes), a thick cut of buttered white toast served piping hot with a scoop of ice cream on top. Convincingly portraying a scoop of ice cream slowly melting over the steaming bread is challenging because it requires the ice cream pooling on the top and running down the sides to look natural. Making artificial material look natural is impossible without meticulous skill and artistic expression. These manufacturers bring plastic models to life by injecting them with their interpretations of the food’s essence, which facilitates food practices by allowing the viewer to imagine and indulge in the taste of the real. Conclusion Deception runs deep in the Korean urban landscape, as plastic models are omnipresent but their fakeness is difficult to discern without conscious effort. While the government’s desire to introduce Korean cuisine to an international audience fueled the increase in displays of plastic food, the enthusiastic adoption of fake food as a tool to regulate and communicate food practices has enabled integration of fake models into everyday life. The plastic models’ authority over daily food practices is rooted in its ability to seamlessly stand in for the real to influence the production and consumption of food. Rather than taking plastic food models at face value, I argued that deeper analysis of the power and agency of manufacturers is necessary. It is through the manufacturers’ expertise and artistic vision that plastic models become tools to articulate notions of taste. As models produced by these manufacturers proliferate both locally and globally, their authority solidifies in defining and reinforcing social norms and taste of Korean culture. Therefore, the Pioneer, Exporter, and Franchisor, are the true tastemakers who translate the essence of food to guide food preference and practices. References Baudrillard, Jean. Simulacra and Simulation. Anne Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1995. Benjamin, Walter. The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. New York: Penguin, 1968. Boyer, Dominic, and Claudio Lomnitz. “Intellectuals and Nationalism: Anthropological Engagements.” Annual Review of Anthropology 34 (2005): 105–20. Douglas, Mary. Purity and Danger. London: Routledge, 1966. Eco, Umberto. Travels in Hyperreality. Orlando, FL: Harcourt Bruce & Company, 1983. Exporter, The. Personal Communication. Seoul, South Korea, 11 Jan. 2012. Franchisor, The. Personal Communication. Seoul, South Korea, 9 Jan. 2012. Gewertz, Deborah, and Frederick Errington. Cheap Meat: Flap Food Nations in the Pacific Islands. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010. Han, Kyung-Koo. “Some Foods Are Good to Think: Kimchi and the Epitomization of National Character.” Korean Social Science Journal 27.1 (2000): 221–35. Harris, Marvin, Nirmal K. Bose, Morton Klass, Joan P. Mencher, Kalervo Oberg, Marvin K. Opler, Wayne Suttles, and Andrew P. Vayda. “The Cultural Ecology of India’s Sacred Cattle [and Comments and Replies].” Current Anthropology (1966): 51–66. Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Barbara. “Theorizing Heritage.” Ethnomusicology 39.3 (1995): 367–80. Messer, Ellen. “Food Definitions and Boundaries.” Consuming the Inedible: Neglected Dimensions of Food Choice. Eds. Jeremy MacClancy, C. Jeya Henry and Helen Macbeth. New York: Berghahn Books, 2007. 53–65. Pioneer, The. Personal Communication. Incheon, South Korea. 19 Dec. 2011. Rath, Eric. Food and Fantasy in Early Modern Japan. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010. Smith, Laura Jane. Uses of Heritage. London: Routledge, 2006. Urry, John. The Tourist Gaze: Leisure and Travel in Contemporary Societies. London: Sage Publications, 2002.Walraven, Boudewijn. “Bardot Soup and Confucians’ Meat: Food and Korean Identity in Global Context”. Asian Food: The Global and Local. Eds. Katarzyna Cwiertka, and Boudewijn Walraven. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2001. 95–115.

47

Brien, Donna Lee. "“Porky Times”: A Brief Gastrobiography of New York’s The Spotted Pig." M/C Journal 13, no.5 (October18, 2010). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.290.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

Introduction With a deluge of mouthwatering pre-publicity, the opening of The Spotted Pig, the USA’s first self-identified British-styled gastropub, in Manhattan in February 2004 was much anticipated. The late Australian chef, food writer and restauranteur Mietta O’Donnell has noted how “taking over a building or business which has a long established reputation can be a mixed blessing” because of the way that memories “can enrich the experience of being in a place or they can just make people nostalgic”. Bistro Le Zoo, the previous eatery on the site, had been very popular when it opened almost a decade earlier, and its closure was mourned by some diners (Young; Kaminsky “Feeding Time”; Steinhauer & McGinty). This regret did not, however, appear to affect The Spotted Pig’s success. As esteemed New York Times reviewer Frank Bruni noted in his 2006 review: “Almost immediately after it opened […] the throngs started to descend, and they have never stopped”. The following year, The Spotted Pig was awarded a Michelin star—the first year that Michelin ranked New York—and has kept this star in the subsequent annual rankings. Writing Restaurant Biography Detailed studies have been published of almost every type of contemporary organisation including public institutions such as schools, hospitals, museums and universities, as well as non-profit organisations such as charities and professional associations. These are often written to mark a major milestone, or some significant change, development or the demise of the organisation under consideration (Brien). Detailed studies have also recently been published of businesses as diverse as general stores (Woody), art galleries (Fossi), fashion labels (Koda et al.), record stores (Southern & Branson), airlines (Byrnes; Jones), confectionary companies (Chinn) and builders (Garden). In terms of attracting mainstream readerships, however, few such studies seem able to capture popular reader interest as those about eating establishments including restaurants and cafés. This form of restaurant life history is, moreover, not restricted to ‘quality’ establishments. Fast food restaurant chains have attracted their share of studies (see, for example Love; Jakle & Sculle), ranging from business-economic analyses (Liu), socio-cultural political analyses (Watson), and memoirs (Kroc & Anderson), to criticism around their conduct and effects (Striffler). Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal is the most well-known published critique of the fast food industry and its effects with, famously, the Rolling Stone article on which it was based generating more reader mail than any other piece run in the 1990s. The book itself (researched narrative creative nonfiction), moreover, made a fascinating transition to the screen, transformed into a fictionalised drama (co-written by Schlosser) that narrates the content of the book from the point of view of a series of fictional/composite characters involved in the industry, rather than in a documentary format. Akin to the range of studies of fast food restaurants, there are also a variety of studies of eateries in US motels, caravan parks, diners and service station restaurants (see, for example, Baeder). Although there has been little study of this sub-genre of food and drink publishing, their popularity can be explained, at least in part, because such volumes cater to the significant readership for writing about food related topics of all kinds, with food writing recently identified as mainstream literary fare in the USA and UK (Hughes) and an entire “publishing subculture” in Australia (Dunstan & Chaitman). Although no exact tally exists, an informed estimate by the founder of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards and president of the Paris Cookbook Fair, Edouard Cointreau, has more than 26,000 volumes on food and wine related topics currently published around the world annually (ctd. in Andriani “Gourmand Awards”). The readership for publications about restaurants can also perhaps be attributed to the wide range of information that can be included a single study. My study of a selection of these texts from the UK, USA and Australia indicates that this can include narratives of place and architecture dealing with the restaurant’s location, locale and design; narratives of directly food-related subject matter such as menus, recipes and dining trends; and narratives of people, in the stories of its proprietors, staff and patrons. Detailed studies of contemporary individual establishments commonly take the form of authorised narratives either written by the owners, chefs or other staff with the help of a food journalist, historian or other professional writer, or produced largely by that writer with the assistance of the premise’s staff. These studies are often extensively illustrated with photographs and, sometimes, drawings or reproductions of other artworks, and almost always include recipes. Two examples of these from my own collection include a centennial history of a famous New Orleans eatery that survived Hurricane Katrina, Galatoire’s Cookbook. Written by employees—the chief operating officer/general manager (Melvin Rodrigue) and publicist (Jyl Benson)—this incorporates reminiscences from both other staff and patrons. The second is another study of a New Orleans’ restaurant, this one by the late broadcaster and celebrity local historian Mel Leavitt. The Court of Two Sisters Cookbook: With a History of the French Quarter and the Restaurant, compiled with the assistance of the Two Sisters’ proprietor, Joseph Fein Joseph III, was first published in 1992 and has been so enduringly popular that it is in its eighth printing. These texts, in common with many others of this type, trace a triumph-over-adversity company history that incorporates a series of mildly scintillating anecdotes, lists of famous chefs and diners, and signature recipes. Although obviously focused on an external readership, they can also be characterised as an instance of what David M. Boje calls an organisation’s “story performance” (106) as the process of creating these narratives mobilises an organisation’s (in these cases, a commercial enterprise’s) internal information processing and narrative building activities. Studies of contemporary restaurants are much more rarely written without any involvement from the eatery’s personnel. When these are, the results tend to have much in common with more critical studies such as Fast Food Nation, as well as so-called architectural ‘building biographies’ which attempt to narrate the historical and social forces that “explain the shapes and uses” (Ellis, Chao & Parrish 70) of the physical structures we create. Examples of this would include Harding’s study of the importance of the Boeuf sur le Toit in Parisian life in the 1920s and Middlebrook’s social history of London’s Strand Corner House. Such work agrees with Kopytoff’s assertion—following Appadurai’s proposal that objects possess their own ‘biographies’ which need to be researched and expressed—that such inquiry can reveal not only information about the objects under consideration, but also about readers as we examine our “cultural […] aesthetic, historical, and even political” responses to these narratives (67). The life story of a restaurant will necessarily be entangled with those of the figures who have been involved in its establishment and development, as well as the narratives they create around the business. This following brief study of The Spotted Pig, however, written without the assistance of the establishment’s personnel, aims to outline a life story for this eatery in order to reflect upon the pig’s place in contemporary dining practice in New York as raw foodstuff, fashionable comestible, product, brand, symbol and marketing tool, as well as, at times, purely as an animal identity. The Spotted Pig Widely profiled before it even opened, The Spotted Pig is reportedly one of the city’s “most popular” restaurants (Michelin 349). It is profiled in all the city guidebooks I could locate in print and online, featuring in some of these as a key stop on recommended itineraries (see, for instance, Otis 39). A number of these proclaim it to be the USA’s first ‘gastropub’—the term first used in 1991 in the UK to describe a casual hotel/bar with good food and reasonable prices (Farley). The Spotted Pig is thus styled on a shabby-chic version of a traditional British hotel, featuring a cluttered-but-well arranged use of pig-themed objects and illustrations that is described by latest Michelin Green Guide of New York City as “a country-cute décor that still manages to be hip” (Michelin 349). From the three-dimensional carved pig hanging above the entrance in a homage to the shingles of traditional British hotels, to the use of its image on the menu, website and souvenir tee-shirts, the pig as motif proceeds its use as a foodstuff menu item. So much so, that the restaurant is often (affectionately) referred to by patrons and reviewers simply as ‘The Pig’. The restaurant has become so well known in New York in the relatively brief time it has been operating that it has not only featured in a number of novels and memoirs, but, moreover, little or no explanation has been deemed necessary as the signifier of “The Spotted Pig” appears to convey everything that needs to be said about an eatery of quality and fashion. In the thriller Lethal Experiment: A Donovan Creed Novel, when John Locke’s hero has to leave the restaurant and becomes involved in a series of dangerous escapades, he wants nothing more but to get back to his dinner (107, 115). The restaurant is also mentioned a number of times in Sex and the City author Candace Bushnell’s Lipstick Jungle in relation to a (fictional) new movie of the same name. The joke in the book is that the character doesn’t know of the restaurant (26). In David Goodwillie’s American Subversive, the story of a journalist-turned-blogger and a homegrown terrorist set in New York, the narrator refers to “Scarlett Johansson, for instance, and the hostess at the Spotted Pig” (203-4) as the epitome of attractiveness. The Spotted Pig is also mentioned in Suzanne Guillette’s memoir, Much to Your Chagrin, when the narrator is on a dinner date but fears running into her ex-boyfriend: ‘Jack lives somewhere in this vicinity […] Vaguely, you recall him telling you he was not too far from the Spotted Pig on Greenwich—now, was it Greenwich Avenue or Greenwich Street?’ (361). The author presumes readers know the right answer in order to build tension in this scene. Although this success is usually credited to the joint efforts of backer, music executive turned restaurateur Ken Friedman, his partner, well-known chef, restaurateur, author and television personality Mario Batali, and their UK-born and trained chef, April Bloomfield (see, for instance, Batali), a significant part has been built on Bloomfield’s pork cookery. The very idea of a “spotted pig” itself raises a central tenet of Bloomfield’s pork/food philosophy which is sustainable and organic. That is, not the mass produced, industrially farmed pig which produces a leaner meat, but the fatty, tastier varieties of pig such as the heritage six-spotted Berkshire which is “darker, more heavily marbled with fat, juicier and richer-tasting than most pork” (Fabricant). Bloomfield has, indeed, made pig’s ears—long a Chinese restaurant staple in the city and a key ingredient of Southern US soul food as well as some traditional Japanese and Spanish dishes—fashionable fare in the city, and her current incarnation, a crispy pig’s ear salad with lemon caper dressing (TSP 2010) is much acclaimed by reviewers. This approach to ingredients—using the ‘whole beast’, local whenever possible, and the concentration on pork—has been underlined and enhanced by a continuing relationship with UK chef Fergus Henderson. In his series of London restaurants under the banner of “St. John”, Henderson is famed for the approach to pork cookery outlined in his two books Nose to Tail Eating: A Kind of British Cooking, published in 1999 (re-published both in the UK and the US as The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating), and Beyond Nose to Tail: A Kind of British Cooking: Part II (coauthored with Justin Piers Gellatly in 2007). Henderson has indeed been identified as starting a trend in dining and food publishing, focusing on sustainably using as food the entirety of any animal killed for this purpose, but which mostly focuses on using all parts of pigs. In publishing, this includes Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s The River Cottage Meat Book, Peter Kaminsky’s Pig Perfect, subtitled Encounters with Some Remarkable Swine and Some Great Ways to Cook Them, John Barlow’s Everything but the Squeal: Eating the Whole Hog in Northern Spain and Jennifer McLagan’s Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes (2008). In restaurants, it certainly includes The Spotted Pig. So pervasive has embrace of whole beast pork consumption been in New York that, by 2007, Bruni could write that these are: “porky times, fatty times, which is to say very good times indeed. Any new logo for the city could justifiably place the Big Apple in the mouth of a spit-roasted pig” (Bruni). This demand set the stage perfectly for, in October 2007, Henderson to travel to New York to cook pork-rich menus at The Spotted Pig in tandem with Bloomfield (Royer). He followed this again in 2008 and, by 2009, this annual event had become known as “FergusStock” and was covered by local as well as UK media, and a range of US food weblogs. By 2009, it had grown to become a dinner at the Spotted Pig with half the dishes on the menu by Henderson and half by Bloomfield, and a dinner the next night at David Chang’s acclaimed Michelin-starred Momof*cku Noodle Bar, which is famed for its Cantonese-style steamed pork belly buns. A third dinner (and then breakfast/brunch) followed at Friedman/Bloomfield’s Breslin Bar and Dining Room (discussed below) (Rose). The Spotted Pig dinners have become famed for Henderson’s pig’s head and pork trotter dishes with the chef himself recognising that although his wasn’t “the most obvious food to cook for America”, it was the case that “at St John, if a couple share a pig’s head, they tend to be American” (qtd. in Rose). In 2009, the pigs’ head were presented in pies which Henderson has described as “puff pastry casing, with layers of chopped, cooked pig’s head and potato, so all the lovely, bubbly pig’s head juices go into the potato” (qtd. in Rose). Bloomfield was aged only 28 when, in 2003, with a recommendation from Jamie Oliver, she interviewed for, and won, the position of executive chef of The Spotted Pig (Fabricant; Q&A). Following this introduction to the US, her reputation as a chef has grown based on the strength of her pork expertise. Among a host of awards, she was named one of US Food & Wine magazine’s ten annual Best New Chefs in 2007. In 2009, she was a featured solo session titled “Pig, Pig, Pig” at the fourth Annual International Chefs Congress, a prestigious New York City based event where “the world’s most influential and innovative chefs, pastry chefs, mixologists, and sommeliers present the latest techniques and culinary concepts to their peers” (Starchefs.com). Bloomfield demonstrated breaking down a whole suckling St. Canut milk raised piglet, after which she butterflied, rolled and slow-poached the belly, and fried the ears. As well as such demonstrations of expertise, she is also often called upon to provide expert comment on pork-related news stories, with The Spotted Pig regularly the subject of that food news. For example, when a rare, heritage Hungarian pig was profiled as a “new” New York pork source in 2009, this story arose because Bloomfield had served a Mangalitsa/Berkshire crossbreed pig belly and trotter dish with Agen prunes (Sanders) at The Spotted Pig. Bloomfield was quoted as the authority on the breed’s flavour and heritage authenticity: “it took me back to my grandmother’s kitchen on a Sunday afternoon, windows steaming from the roasting pork in the oven […] This pork has that same authentic taste” (qtd. in Sanders). Bloomfield has also used this expert profile to support a series of pork-related causes. These include the Thanksgiving Farm in the Catskill area, which produces free range pork for its resident special needs children and adults, and helps them gain meaningful work-related skills in working with these pigs. Bloomfield not only cooks for the project’s fundraisers, but also purchases any excess pigs for The Spotted Pig (Estrine 103). This strong focus on pork is not, however, exclusive. The Spotted Pig is also one of a number of American restaurants involved in the Meatless Monday campaign, whereby at least one vegetarian option is included on menus in order to draw attention to the benefits of a plant-based diet. When, in 2008, Bloomfield beat the Iron Chef in the sixth season of the US version of the eponymous television program, the central ingredient was nothing to do with pork—it was olives. Diversifying from this focus on ‘pig’ can, however, be dangerous. Friedman and Bloomfield’s next enterprise after The Spotted Pig was The John Dory seafood restaurant at the corner of 10th Avenue and 16th Street. This opened in November 2008 to reviews that its food was “uncomplicated and nearly perfect” (Andrews 22), won Bloomfield Time Out New York’s 2009 “Best New Hand at Seafood” award, but was not a success. The John Dory was a more formal, but smaller, restaurant that was more expensive at a time when the financial crisis was just biting, and was closed the following August. Friedman blamed the layout, size and neighbourhood (Stein) and its reservation system, which limited walk-in diners (ctd. in Vallis), but did not mention its non-pork, seafood orientation. When, almost immediately, another Friedman/Bloomfield project was announced, the Breslin Bar & Dining Room (which opened in October 2009 in the Ace Hotel at 20 West 29th Street and Broadway), the enterprise was closely modeled on the The Spotted Pig. In preparation, its senior management—Bloomfield, Friedman and sous-chefs, Nate Smith and Peter Cho (who was to become the Breslin’s head chef)—undertook a tasting tour of the UK that included Henderson’s St. John Bread & Wine Bar (Leventhal). Following this, the Breslin’s menu highlighted a series of pork dishes such as terrines, sausages, ham and potted styles (Rosenberg & McCarthy), with even Bloomfield’s pork scratchings (crispy pork rinds) bar snacks garnering glowing reviews (see, for example, Severson; Ghorbani). Reviewers, moreover, waxed lyrically about the menu’s pig-based dishes, the New York Times reviewer identifying this focus as catering to New York diners’ “fetish for pork fat” (Sifton). This representative review details not only “an entree of gently smoked pork belly that’s been roasted to tender goo, for instance, over a drift of buttery mashed potatoes, with cabbage and bacon on the side” but also a pig’s foot “in gravy made of reduced braising liquid, thick with pillowy shallots and green flecks of deconstructed brussels sprouts” (Sifton). Sifton concluded with the proclamation that this style of pork was “very good: meat that is fat; fat that is meat”. Concluding remarks Bloomfield has listed Michael Ruhlman’s Charcuterie as among her favourite food books. Publishers Weekly reviewer called Ruhlman “a food poet, and the pig is his muse” (Q&A). In August 2009, it was reported that Bloomfield had always wanted to write a cookbook (Marx) and, in July 2010, HarperCollins imprint Ecco publisher and foodbook editor Dan Halpern announced that he was planning a book with her, tentatively titled, A Girl and Her Pig (Andriani “Ecco Expands”). As a “cookbook with memoir running throughout” (Maurer), this will discuss the influence of the pig on her life as well as how to cook pork. This text will obviously also add to the data known about The Spotted Pig, but until then, this brief gastrobiography has attempted to outline some of the human, and in this case, animal, stories that lie behind all businesses. References Andrews, Colman. “Its Up To You, New York, New York.” Gourmet Apr. (2009): 18-22, 111. Andriani, Lynn. “Ecco Expands Cookbook Program: HC Imprint Signs Up Seven New Titles.” Publishers Weekly 12 Jul. (2010) 3 Sep. 2010 http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/book-news/cooking/article/43803-ecco-expands-cookbook-program.html Andriani, Lynn. “Gourmand Awards Receive Record Number of Cookbook Entries.” Publishers Weekly 27 Sep. 2010 http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/book-news/cooking/article/44573-gourmand-awards-receive-record-number-of-cookbook-entries.html Appadurai, Arjun. The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspectives. Cambridge (UK): Cambridge University Press, 2003. First pub. 1986. Baeder, John. Gas, Food, and Lodging. New York: Abbeville Press, 1982. Barlow, John. Everything But the Squeal: Eating the Whole Hog in Northern Spain. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008. Batali, Mario. “The Spotted Pig.” Mario Batali 2010. 3 Sep. 2010 http://www.mariobatali.com/restaurants_spottedpig.cfm Boje, David M. “The Storytelling Organization: A Study of Story Performance in an Office-Supply Firm.” Administrative Science Quarterly 36.1 (1991): 106-126. Brien, Donna Lee. “Writing to Understand Ourselves: An Organisational History of the Australian Association of Writing Programs 1996–2010.” TEXT: Journal of Writing and Writing Courses Apr. 2010 http://www.textjournal.com.au/april10/brien.htm Bruni, Frank. “Fat, Glorious Fat, Moves to the Center of the Plate.” New York Times 13 Jun. 2007. 3 Sep. 2010 http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/13/dining/13glut.html Bruni, Frank. “Stuffed Pork.” New York Times 25 Jan. 2006. 4 Sep. 2010 http://events.nytimes.com/2006/01/25/dining/reviews/25rest.html Bushnell, Candace. Lipstick Jungle. New York: Hyperion Books, 2008. Byrnes, Paul. Qantas by George!: The Remarkable Story of George Roberts. Sydney: Watermark, 2000. Chinn, Carl. The Cadbury Story: A Short History. Studley, Warwickshire: Brewin Books, 1998. Dunstan, David and Chaitman, Annette. “Food and Drink: The Appearance of a Publishing Subculture.” Ed. David Carter and Anne Galligan. Making Books: Contemporary Australian Publishing. St Lucia: U of Queensland P, 2007: 333-351. Ellis, W. Russell, Tonia Chao and Janet Parrish. “Levi’s Place: A Building Biography.” Places 2.1 (1985): 57-70. Estrine, Darryl. Harvest to Heat: Cooking with America’s Best Chefs, Farmers, and Artisans. Newton CT: The Taunton Press, 2010 Fabricant, Florence. “Food stuff: Off the Menu.” New York Times 26 Nov. 2003. 3 Sep. 2010 http://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/26/dining/food-stuff-off-the-menu.html?ref=april_bloomfield Fabricant, Florence. “Food Stuff: Fit for an Emperor, Now Raised in America.” New York Times 23 Jun. 2004. 2 Sep. 2010 http://www.nytimes.com/2004/06/23/dining/food-stuff-fit-for-an-emperor-now-raised-in-america.html Farley, David. “In N.Y., An Appetite for Gastropubs.” The Washington Post 24 May 2009. 1 Sep. 2010 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/22/AR2009052201105.html Fearnley-Whittingstall, Hugh. The River Cottage Meat Book. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2004. Food & Wine Magazine. “Food & Wine Magazine Names 19th Annual Best New Chefs.” Food & Wine 4 Apr. 2007. 3 Sep. 2010 http://www.foodandwine.com/articles/2007-best-new-chefs Fossi, Gloria. Uffizi Gallery: Art, History, Collections. 4th ed. Florence Italy: Giunti Editore, 2001. Garden, Don. Builders to the Nation: The A.V. Jennings Story. Carlton: Melbourne U P, 1992. Ghorbani, Liza. “Boîte: In NoMad, a Bar With a Pub Vibe.” New York Times 26 Mar. 2010. 3 Sep. 2010 http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/28/fashion/28Boite.html Goodwillie, David. American Subversive. New York: Scribner, 2010. Guillette, Suzanne. Much to Your Chagrin: A Memoir of Embarrassment. New York, Atria Books, 2009. Henderson, Fergus. Nose to Tail Eating: A Kind of British Cooking. London: Pan Macmillan, 1999 Henderson, Fergus and Justin Piers Gellatly. Beyond Nose to Tail: A Kind of British Cooking: Part I1. London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2007. Hughes, Kathryn. “Food Writing Moves from Kitchen to bookshelf.” The Guardian 19 Jun. 2010. 1 Sep. 2010 http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/jun/19/anthony-bourdain-food-writing Jakle, John A. and Keith A. Sculle. Fast Food: Roadside Restaurants in the Automobile Age. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins U P, 1999. Jones, Lois. EasyJet: The Story of Britain's Biggest Low-cost Airline. London: Aurum, 2005. Kaminsky, Peter. “Feeding Time at Le Zoo.” New York Magazine 12 Jun. 1995: 65. Kaminsky, Peter. Pig Perfect: Encounters with Some Remarkable Swine and Some Great Ways To Cook Them. New York: Hyperion 2005. Koda, Harold, Andrew Bolton and Rhonda K. Garelick. Chanel. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005. Kopytoff, Igor. “The Cultural Biography of Things: Commoditization as Process.” The Social Life of things: Commodities in Cultural Perspectives. Ed. Arjun Appadurai. Cambridge (UK): Cambridge U P, 2003. 64-94. (First pub. 1986). Kroc, Ray and Robert Anderson. Grinding It Out: The Making of McDonald’s, Chicago: H. Regnery, 1977 Leavitt, Mel. The Court of Two Sisters Cookbook: With a History of the French Quarter and the Restaurant. Gretna, LA: Pelican Publishing, 2005. Pub. 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003. Leventhal, Ben. “April Bloomfield & Co. Take U.K. Field Trip to Prep for Ace Debut.” Grub Street 14 Apr. 2009. 3 Sep. 2010 http://newyork.grubstreet.com/2009/04/april_bloomfield_co_take_uk_field_trip_to_prep_for_ace_debut.html Fast Food Nation. R. Linklater (Dir.). Fox Searchlight Pictures, 2006. Liu, Warren K. KFC in China: Secret Recipe for Success. Singapore & Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley (Asia), 2008. Locke, John. Lethal Experiment: A Donovan Creed Novel. Bloomington: iUniverse, 2009. Love, John F. McDonald’s: Behind the Arches. Toronto & New York: Bantam, 1986. Marx, Rebecca. “Beyond the Breslin: April Bloomfield is Thinking Tea, Bakeries, Cookbook.” 28 Aug. 2009. 3 Sep. 2010 http://blogs.villagevoice.com/forkintheroad/archives/2009/08/beyond_the_bres.php Maurer, Daniel. “Meatball Shop, April Bloomfield Plan Cookbooks.” Grub Street 12 Jul. 2010. 3 Sep. 2010 http://newyork.grubstreet.com/2010/07/meatball_shop_april_bloomfield.html McLagan, Jennifer. Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press, 2008. Michelin. Michelin Green Guide New York City. Michelin Travel Publications, 2010. O’Donnell, Mietta. “Burying and Celebrating Ghosts.” Herald Sun 1 Dec. 1998. 3 Sep. 2010 http://www.miettas.com.au/restaurants/rest_96-00/buryingghosts.html Otis, Ginger Adams. New York Encounter. Melbourne: Lonely Planet, 2007. “Q and A: April Bloomfield.” New York Times 18 Apr. 2008. 3 Sep. 2010 http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/04/18/q-and-a-april-bloomfield Rodrigue, Melvin and Jyl Benson. Galatoire’s Cookbook: Recipes and Family History from the Time-Honored New Orleans Restaurant. New York: Clarkson Potter, 2005. Rose, Hilary. “Fergus Henderson in New York.” The Times (London) Online, 5 Dec. 2009. 23 Aug. 2010 http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/food_and_drink/recipes/article6937550.ece Rosenberg, Sarah & Tom McCarthy. “Platelist: The Breslin’s April Bloomfield.” ABC News/Nightline 4 Dec. 2009. 23 Aug. 2010 http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/april-bloomfield-spotted-pig-interview/story?id=9242079 Royer, Blake. “Table for Two: Fergus Henderson at The Spotted Pig.” The Paupered Chef 11 Oct. 2007. 23 Aug. 2010 http://thepauperedchef.com/2007/10/table-for-two-f.html Ruhlman, Michael and Brian Polcyn. Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing. New York: W. Norton, 2005. Sanders, Michael S. “An Old Breed of Hungarian Pig Is Back in Favor.” New York Times 26 Mar. 2009. 23 Aug. 2010 http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/01/dining/01pigs.html?ref=april_bloomfield Schlosser, Eric. “Fast Food Nation: The True History of the America’s Diet.” Rolling Stone Magazine 794 3 Sep. 1998: 58-72. Schlosser, Eric. Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2001. Severson, Kim. “From the Pig Directly to the Fish.” New York Times 2 Sep. 2008. 23 Aug. 2010 http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/03/dining/03bloom.html Severson, Kim. “For the Big Game? Why, Pigskins.” New York Times 3 Feb. 2010. 23 Aug. 2010 http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9502E2DB143DF930A35751C0A9669D8B63&ref=april_bloomfield Sifton, Sam. “The Breslin Bar and Dining Room.” New York Times 12 Jan. 2010. 3 Sep. 2010 http://events.nytimes.com/2010/01/13/dining/reviews/13rest.htm Southern, Terry & Richard Branson. Virgin: A History of Virgin Records. London: A. Publishing, 1996. Starchefs.com. 4th Annual StarChefs.com International Chefs Congress. 2009. 1 Sep. 2010 http://www.starchefs.com/cook/icc-2009 Stein, Joshua David. “Exit Interview: Ken Friedman on the Demise of the John Dory.” Grub Street 15 Sep. 2009. 1 Sep. 2010 http://newyork.grubstreet.com/2009/09/exit_interview_ken_friedman_on.html Steinhauer, Jennifer & Jo Craven McGinty. “Yesterday’s Special: Good, Cheap Dining.” New York Times 26 Jun. 2005. 1 Sep. 2010 http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/26/nyregion/26restaurant.html Striffler, Steve. Chicken: The Dangerous Transformation of America’s Favorite Food. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005. The Spotted Pig (TSP) 2010 The Spotted Pig website http://www.thespottedpig.com Time Out New York. “Eat Out Awards 2009. Best New Hand at Seafood: April Bloomfield, the John Dory”. Time Out New York 706, 9-15 Apr. 2009. 10 Sep. 2010 http://newyork.timeout.com/articles/eat-out-awards/73170/eat-out-awards-2009-best-new-hand-at-seafood-a-april-bloomfield-the-john-dory Vallis, Alexandra. “Ken Friedman on the Virtues of No Reservations.” Grub Street 27 Aug. 2009. 10 Sep. 2010 http://newyork.grubstreet.com/2009/08/ken_friedman_on_the_virtues_of.html Watson, James L. Ed. Golden Arches East: McDonald’s in East Asia. Stanford: Stanford U P, 1997.Woody, Londa L. All in a Day's Work: Historic General Stores of Macon and Surrounding North Carolina Counties. Boone, North Carolina: Parkway Publishers, 2001. Young, Daniel. “Bon Appetit! It’s Feeding Time at Le Zoo.” New York Daily News 28 May 1995. 2 Sep. 2010 http://www.nydailynews.com/archives/lifestyle/1995/05/28/1995-05-28_bon_appetit__it_s_feeding_ti.html

You might also be interested in the bibliographies on the topic 'Walter Anderson Museum of Art' for other source types:

Books

To the bibliography
Journal articles: 'Walter Anderson Museum of Art' – Grafiati (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Terrell Hackett

Last Updated:

Views: 6668

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (72 voted)

Reviews: 87% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Terrell Hackett

Birthday: 1992-03-17

Address: Suite 453 459 Gibson Squares, East Adriane, AK 71925-5692

Phone: +21811810803470

Job: Chief Representative

Hobby: Board games, Rock climbing, Ghost hunting, Origami, Kabaddi, Mushroom hunting, Gaming

Introduction: My name is Terrell Hackett, I am a gleaming, brainy, courageous, helpful, healthy, cooperative, graceful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.