Chocolate (… and rhizome)

Gough, N. (2004). RhizomANTically becoming-cyborg: performing posthuman pedagogiesEducational Philosophy and Theory, vol 36, no 3, 253-265

I just read this paper (twice now) and it has the same effect on me as dark chocolate: I can only eat it in small quantities, it taste very pure, like an indulging substance and it will probably keep me awake tonight….







I had already lifted a quote by Noel Gouch, in last week’s reading of Pederson’s article. It struck me this quote would make a good definition that I personally would associate with art.




However, I realise now that something is missing from the Penderson article. The full quote, from Gouch’s original papers, should be:

‘Now, the idea of rhizomANTically becoming-cyborg signifies my desire to imagine teaching and learning as material-semiotic assemblages of sociotechnical relations embedded in and performed by shifting connections and interactions among a variety of organic, ‘natural’ and textual materials’

In the paper, Gouch connects Deleuze & Guattari, Haraway and Bruno Latour as a ‘rhizomANTic’ theory for learning and teaching.

The paper reflects my attempt at developing the ‘Love Sick’ story.


(what is also weirdly connected here is the ‘ant bashing game’ my cat was fascinated with, ANT referring here to the Actor Network theory of Bruno Latour (and others) )


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aesthetics and the new mobilities paradigm – Sheller and Urry

Is it possible to move away from a ‘sedentarist’ aesthetics (based on fixed artworks, such as on walls in galleries, or projected, displayed, staged in theaters  cinemas, musea)  to a mobility (liquid? nomadic? fluid? )  aesthetics, which reflects situated space, place and in networks? An aesthetics beyond boundaries and disciplines with meanings and narratives assembled and reassembled? The exchange of material and immaterial cultures.

In this paper, there are some suggestions that link to the above

(p. 7) the new mobilities paradigm posits that activities occur while on the move, that being on the move can involve sets of `occasioned’ activities (Lyons and Urry, 2005).

and thus moving applies to both networked and physical moves:

(p. 8) Not only does a mobilities perspective lead us to discard our usual notions of spatiality and scale, but it also undermines existing linear assumptions about temporality and timing, which often assume that actors are able to do only one thing at a time, and that events follow each other in a linear order [see Callon et al (2004) on how the apparently absent can yet in effect be present].

(p. 8) The new mobility paradigm argues against this ontology of distinct `places’ and `people’. Rather, there is a complex relationality of places and persons connected through performances. (…) Places are indeed dynamic  - `places of movement’ (…)   Places are about relationships, about the placing of peoples, materials, images, and the systems of difference that they perform

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love sick – dis/connect

I was unable to add a sound to the vuvox artifact, will need to investigate, but the one above is a found one I greatly enjoyed and thought fitted neatly.

Click on sound above and then click/visit vuvox below, get my drift….?







‘Making visible that interdependence—in general, rather than in this single instance—is, I think, the primary pay-off of the posthumanist shift in the unit of analysis.’

‘…the reciprocal production of subjects and objects, the coupled becoming of the human and the nonhuman.’

Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari (1987) -a heterogeneous assemblage  with a certain kind of inner unity… zones of intersection and interference

from the Pickering readings


There seems a vast potential in connecting, disconnecting a heterogenous assemblage of multi-modality, that creates meaning, temporal meaning which is pushing forward a narrative.

Here I let the image seek connection, the underlying intuitive story, the internet tools of things, opens up:

tracking through spaces of performativity and agency, always becoming (Deleuze)

‘the smallest unit of analysis is the relation’ (Haraway, quoted by Hayles), in ‘Unfinished Work: From Cyborg to Cognisphere’

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When information and communication technology is cast into the world, and moist life breathed into its brittle, dry circuitry, it turns out that it is used to manifest culture and build community.
Robert V. Kozinets (2010)
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Looking for Mark Rothko – part 7

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Looking for Mark Rothko – part 6

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Looking for Mark Rothko – part 5

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Looking for Mark Rothko – part 4

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Looking for Mark Rothko – part 3

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Looking for Mark Rothko – part 2

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Looking for Mark Rothko part 1

























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Michela Clari (a Flick’r ethnography)

I was particularly taken by Michela’s chapter and how she approached her ethnography (Library of Congress’ collection of Abraham Lincoln portraits)

In particular, her questions with regards to my potential study are worth considering in the task ahead:

1. Is this a good place to study given the overall cultural themes we are tackling?
2. Can the individuals we see interacting here be described as a culture-sharing group?
3. What might be the main themes emerging from the investigation of this group and how does one go about identifying them?
4. What level of involvement is to be justifiably expected of the researcher? How will the participants’ perspective be given an appropriate voice? What are the ethical
issues at stake?
5. How does the personal experience of the researcher come to bear on the analysis and the proposed interpretation?
6. How transferable to different sites is an approach which might work here?

In addition:

As a passing visitor after the (media) event, all areas of ‘activity’ struck me as useful –i.e. exchanges about the picture, about the tools, about the purpose of it all – and gave me pause for thought as I found myself looking at the picture in different ways, sharing in some of the notes-related irritation, and reflecting on rights and duties of participants (to conclude, for my part, that no one should really tell others ‘how to do thing’). Interestingly, Rose (2007, p 23) suggests that the social is perhaps the most important modality for understanding the audiencing of images: the ‘meta-discussion’ on the purpose of the place, on ways of making things work better and on what participants do or not do, definitely heightens the experience of coming into contact with the photograph. For sure, the experience here feels very different from one of staring at a picture on a museum wall, or just admiring it on the Library website: something else is happening, something that engages all concerned, observers like me included, and prompts the asking of new and different questions.

in addition, Clari  mentions the ‘metaphor of the stage’:

Returning to the theatrical metaphor I touched on earlier, this environment strikes me as fitting in well with the idea of a stage: like a stage this place very much exists and can be traced through an address – its url; like a stage, however, it is also an invention, and as such potentially temporary, created by a designer to enable a performance: as Hine says, the production of a web page ‘is made meaningful primarily through the imagining of an audience and the seeking of recognition from that audience’ (2000, p 136).

I believe the conditions surrounding creating dialogue (textual and visual), as well as the role of metaphors will play an important part in how we perceive aesthetic expereinces.

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Medieval website

Some medieval paintings are like webpages, with writing and images, rich in stories and symbols. The painting has to be ‘read’ and one has be familiar with  its symbolism in order to understand the meaning. Many interpretations have been given, and for Bosch’s contemporaries it must have been one of the rare opportunities to see a visual representation of morals and beliefs.

Scholarly viewing of the painting would determine a  certain order to ‘enter’ the artefact. Viewing for pleasure allows the eye to ‘visit’  its distinct parts, similarly to visiting webpages.

This image above is by Hieronymous Bosch who was born circa 1450

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from Google Art Project: Starry Night, Vincent Van Gogh

(from the Rebecca Johnston article)

Metaphors … are lenses which refract current cultural beliefs and values. They not only provide a prism through which to understand consumption behavior but, in their use/instantiation by individuals, are creative ways of seeing.

I think that is a good starter for describing how an aesthetic experience may be defined in an online context

and furthermore

The primary (or conceptual) metaphors that were used repeatedly in the editorials were those of physical space, physical speed, destruction, and salvation.

Steven Jones (1997) discussed the tendency to view intangible ideas as tangible spaces. “We have a tendency to understand mainly in spatial terms, observing it as if visually, through the use of visual metaphors, as if it were indeed a highway being constructed through our backyard.”  The Internet is a physical space metaphors appeared in multiple ways, but these were not the only, nor even the most dominant, type of metaphors in the corpus.

in this respect I think aesthetic online experiences will be linked to the metaphor of space.

would the other categories (speed, destruction, and salvation) also play a role?

more questions for the dissertation. A great article for mindmapping…

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The digital life of paintings

The French artist Yves Klein 1928-1962 produced a set of monochrome paintings – a photo of one of them is shown on the left (downloaded from the Tate website) and is entitled IKB 79 1959

Following Amy’s post ‘What is real‘, I thought I would like to ask a number of related questions. Some of these have been on my mind since the first IDEL module and are also part of my dissertation considerations.

  1. Can we have an aesthetic experience from this image?
  2. How does the experience differ from seeing the painting in a gallery, or indeed on other digital devices (phone, PC, tablet…)

The Tate website explains:

‘The letters IKB stand for International Klein Blue, a distinctive ultramarine which Klein registered as a trademark colour in 1957. He considered that this colour had a quality close to pure space and he associated it with immaterial values beyond what can be seen or touched.’

This digital image also represents the immaterial. But a different kind of immaterial. Can the immaterial of the internet help us understand different interpretations of ‘immaterial’?

I am currently reading around the topic of Deleuze’s ‘Rhizome‘ and hope to find more theoretical support.


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sound geography

I was thinking a little bit more in the context of Sterne’s article and how he laments how little ‘sound’ has been considered as a topic of research in the context of digital cultures.

The manipulation of sound, sound sampling for instance, is turning sound into a physical or ‘measured’ object therefore giving it a spacial representation, similar to architecture.In that sense, sounds extends digital geographies.

I would like to use this clip I found on You Tube as an example

YouTube Preview Image


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Are these artefacts only digital?

YouTube Preview Image

The “WAG” is a mini 3-dimensional, single room gallery that fits into your pocket ’cause I’ve developed it for IPhone, IPod Touch and I Pad. Every month, directly on your mobile, The “WAG” hosts a solo digital art exhibition related to the dynamic site-specific contest. So, the Widget Art Gallery works both as a sort of ‘kunsthall’ showing temporary exhibitions and as a permanent collection museum because conserves all the past exhibitions inside an online archive.

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A story

Today I had a walk to the library. On the way down I noticed this graffiti on the wall of the art college and I took a photo.

Here it is…

The author of this anonymous piece of artwork is not connected to me. Our paths crossed by chance, in an asynchronous mode…  By taking the photo I turned it into an object, a mediated artefact taken out of the physical context, placed into a digital context.

I re-appropriated the image, I now entitle it ‘love sick’, I can make it into a narrative, I made it public.

Now I can start thinking of a story….

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"As everything becomes aesthetic, the debasement of value that typifies modernity proceeds apace, as does the ubiquity of the spectacle that typifies the postmodern age."
Vito Campanelli, 2010

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