[-empyre-] Week 3 on empyre: Thinking and Tinkering

Selmin Kara selminkara at gmail.com
Wed Feb 18 03:59:31 AEDT 2015

Thanks to Renate and the participants of the past two weeks' discussions.
Several colleagues in Toronto are actively engaged in the FemTechNet
network so this gives me another opportunity to follow their important and
inspiring initiatives. My entry to the conversation about new tools will be
from a teaching angle. I am a film scholar and for the last two winters, I
have been teaching a course titled "Future Cinema," which predominantly
deals with the technological, aesthetic, and narrative shifts in
post-cinema, at OCAD University. My other film theory courses (in film
studies or contemporary documentary) follow a more or less traditional
approach; the class starts with a screening, followed by a lecture and
discussion. The topic of future cinema, however, requires one to engage
with new/networked modes of film scholarship as well as filmmaking itself.
In the first semester that I taught the course, I mixed articles by key
theorists with video essays, podcasts, and "making of style" deconstructive
clips, and it came as a surprise to my students responded most to
scholarship that were annotational. Instead of the video essays, which I
thought would appeal to students at an art and design college most, they
appreciated Steve Shaviro's formula of podcast + annotational slides in his
analysis of Harmony Korine's *Spring Breakers *(
http://www.shaviro.com/Blog/?p=1178). I assigned the link to the students
and we went over the slides (which embed excerpted videos as well) in
class, which was a resounding success in the second semester too. When
Steve was in town for a conference two weeks ago, we were chatting about
the challenges of preparing an effective multimedia presentation that also
cites and annotates excerpts properly and Nic Sammond brought up Scalar (
http://scalar.usc.edu/learning_scalar/guided-tour/). Scalar is a platform
for preparing webinars as many of you know I am sure but it offers a great
template for networked film scholarship (with its affordances for making
metadata and annotations accessible) too. Especially when one has to
navigate diverse media like clips, images, audio, text, softwares, and
websites in a short amount of time (I have students interested in diverse
aspects of digital filmmaking like credit sequences, typography, graphic
design, animation, camera mapping, etc. so I need a flexible networked
structure that facilitates my switching between such examples without
losing the annotations), the database structure becomes significant.
Another advantage of it is that such presentations are easily
shareable (hoping that we'll all push for open access publishing and give
it credit, of course) and make film scholarship relevant for practitioners
too. I am wondering what others think. It might be an old question but what
platforms (or blends of platforms) do you feel comfortable with?


On Tue, Feb 17, 2015 at 7:51 AM, Renate Terese Ferro <rferro at cornell.edu>

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Thanks to Anne Balsamo for joining us yesterday. I think it is important
> to recognize and support the places and spaces where feminist inspired
> technology has converged. Just within the last two weeks Helen, Ana, Anne,
> and Tracey have highlighted a few:  the Eclectic Tech Carnival, the Trans
> Hack Feminist Camp, the transmediale event  "commoning the networks:
> feminist methodology,² the FemTechNet network and the affiliated Fembot
> Collective (that
> I don¹t think Anne had a chance to mention yesterday).  Additionally
> earlier Tracey Benson mentioned the ADA Camp she had attended in India and
> the mother and daughter team from Kerala who facilitated a Wiki-thon on
> International Women's Day to include entries on prominent women into
> Wikipedia.
>  Anne also mentioned the wiki-storming initiative that FemTechNet has
> spearheaded.
> A few years ago at Harvestwork in New York City, Stefanie Wuschitz  from
> Vienna collaborated with Harvestwork¹s 2010 Artist In Residence Lesley
> Flanigan to
> host a two day workshop for  women artists on interactive tools.  I
> attended that event and though the mission of the workshop was to
> demystify the tools of technology, I recognized that to teach or share
> only the technology was not addressing the complicated and embedded layers
> of social, cultural and
> political values that are inscribed in these tools. Many of our
> technological innovations originated from our military industrial complex.
> Unless critically
> dissected and understood  these  patriarchal systems simply remain
> unchecked.  I have been a proponent since I began working in digital
> culture and technology to create and teach from a critical perspective,
> one that is cross-disciplinary where tools and technology do not exist in
> the void of the workshop or lab but where they were understood as a ways
> and means to be thought through via other disciplines and modes of
> communication.
> Thanks to all of you including Anne Balsamo and others of you
> participating in simultaneous threads this month.  We all seem to agree
> that thinking through technology is just as important as tinkering with
> it. Selmin Kara and Patrick Keilty are joining us for the next couple of
> days.  Both
> Patrick and Selmin are -empyre moderators and I have included their
> biographies below.
> Renate
> Originally from Turkey, Selmin Kara is an Assistant Professor of Film and
> New Media at OCAD University in Toronto, Canada. She has critical
> interests in the
> use of new technologies, tactical media, and sound in documentary, as well
> as post-cinematic aesthetics and new materialist approaches in film. Her
> work has
> appeared and is forthcoming in Studies in Documentary Film, Poiesis: A
> Journal of the Arts & Communication, Sequence, the Oxford Handbook of
> Sound and
> Image in Listening. Selmin is currently co-editing an anthology on
> contemporary documentary media and working on her book project
> Reassembling Documentary: From Actuality to Virtuality, which proposes a
> new materialist framework for understanding the sound and image
> relationships in documentary in the age of networks.
> Patrick Keilty is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Information at
> the University of Toronto. His primary teaching and research fields are
> new media studies, with a particular focus on digital theory, technology
> studies, visual culture, gender, sexuality, and critical theory.
> He is co-editor of Feminist and Queer Information Studies Reader (2013).
> His monograph project, provisionally titled Database Desire, engages the
> question of how our embodied engagements with labyrinthine qualities of
> database design mediate aesthetic objects and structure sexual desire in
> ways that abound with expressive possibilities and new narrative and
> temporal structures. Recently, he has published and presented his
> SSHRC-funded research on a wide variety of topics, including embodiment
> and technology, algorithmic display, the history of information retrieval,
> technology and transformations
> of gendered labor, women in computing, design and experience, compulsion
> and control, metadata and the creation of fetishistic networks, new forms
> of sexual nomenclature as taxonomies for navigating pornographic
> databases, and feminist and queer new media and techno-science issues
> generally.
> Renate Ferro
> Visiting Assistant Professor of Art,Cornell University
> Department of Art, Tjaden Hall Office:  306
> Ithaca, NY  14853
> Email:   <rferro at cornell.edu <mailto:rtf9 at cornell.edu>>
> URL:  http://www.renateferro.net <http://www.renateferro.net/>
>       http://www.privatesecretspubliclies.net
> <http://www.privatesecretspubliclies.net/>
> Lab:  http://www.tinkerfactory.net <http://www.tinkerfactory.net/>
> Managing Co-moderator of -empyre- soft skinned space
> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu/
> On 2/17/15, 4:32 AM, "helen varley jamieson" <helen at creative-catalyst.com>
> wrote:
> >----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu
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