[-empyre-] Re: Reply to Andrew Burrell

I'm sitting here think about construction vs.
negotiation.  I guess "construction" for me implies
make something from scratch,  building from the ground
up. "Negotiation" is more about working with what's on
the table, moving it around, reordering it, and, yes,
creating something new out of the material. Here's a
definition I found that fits what I mean: "The way in
which people match their understanding of the world,
their aspirations, and their interpretation of their
place in it with social reality and what their senses
tell them." But I don't like the legal sense of the
word that implies you come to a final agreement.
"Negotiation" is a discussion, while "construction"
has a specifc plan of action.

So "play" of any kind is an ongoing negotiation of
values that can yield self-awareness. My favorite
thing about talking television (Buffy being the most
ideal text that I have found for this) with my friends
is that we're really talking about ourselves. When we
talk about the ethics of killing vampires or the
problematic portrayal of race on the show or Xander's
alternative masculinity or even which of Buffy's love
interests is best for her, we are defining our own
values. This is one of the places that I see a
parallel between fandom and the Art World. Art, like
Buffy, is a tool for the kind of negotiation I'm
talking about.

When I play Sims (and I'm projecting that this probaby
happens for other players), I become aware of my own
reactions to what happens in the game. I realize that
I'm behaving exactly as I would in "real" life. Why do
I feel bad cheating on my virtual boyfriend. Intially
I couldn't bring myself to hurt him. Then later, I set
out to sleep with as many people as I could, and I got
stressed out about the difficulty of maintaining all
those relationships. To me, this is way more than
"just a game." 

 Because the videos and photographs I make are results
of gameplay, I hope that they always imply that
negotiation in their making. When I look at art, part
of my read of a piece is always tied to who I imagine
the maker is. Not everyone looks at art that way, I
know. But I always make art that is evidence of it's
process, that points to the maker, the gamer, the fan
behind it.

--- "Meziane, Tracey"
<Tracey.Meziane@environment.gov.au> wrote:

> Message forwarded from Andrew Burrell
> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
> Hi Stacia and all,
> I am very much drawn to your statement that opens
> your 'everybody hurts'
> project site: "It's true. Everybody does hurt, at
> one point or another.
> And sometimes we need to know that other people feel
> what we feel. So
> what if those "people" are sometimes fictional
> characters from
> television. It doesn't make them any less real." 
> On the level where I interact with my own narrative
> (which is a
> construct of my own memory/imagination), there is
> really no discernable
> difference between my experience, of say, the death
> of Buffy Sommers (my
> narrative tells me that she dies three time) and the
> death of Dianna,
> Princess of Wales. Obviously I can use my intellect
> to deduce (from
> narratives outside of my own, that I then include in
> my own) that it is
> evidentially more likely that Dianna 'lived' her own
> narrative, while
> Buffy had hers limited by her writers. Then again,
> surly in the
> 'consensual hallucination' of millions of Buffy
> viewers provides Buffy -
> from within this collectively constructed narrative
> - with her own
> autonomous hopes, dreams and fears: as real (at
> least as far as my own
> deductive path allows) as those of Dianna. And I
> agree with you totally
> that the same thing goes for any text - this is not
> about a particular
> recent technological advancements, it is about
> narrative constructions,
> fiction or otherwise. (I would argue that Perec's
> 'Life A User's Manual'
> remains one of the most successful 'virtual' spaces
> ever created) 
> Anyway, I do have a question; in 'finding and
> creating meaning' through
> the construction of your alternate self-narrative in
> the sims, are you
> not only involved in an 'ongoing *negotiation* of
> the self' but also in
> an ongoing *construction* of the self?
> cheers
> andrew
> ___________________________________
> Tracey Meziane 
> Centre for New Media Arts 
> The Australian National University 
> http://www.byte-time.net 
> http://swipezone.blogspot.com 
> http://www.anu.edu.au/newmedia/pages/postgrad.html 
> skype: byte-time 
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