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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in my reflection on the MOOC, I questioned the position of the ‘author’ in the context of academic discourse, extended to the visual authorship in case of images.

Commenting on Steph’s post regarding the Scottish Clan, I quoted Roland Barthes, whose article THE DEATH OF THE AUTHOR  offers an interesting perspective.

‘We know that a text does not consist of a line of words, releasing a single “theological” meaning (the “message” of the Author-God), but is a space of many dimensions, in which are wedded and contested various kinds of writing, no one of which is original: the text is a tissue of citations, resulting from the thousand sources of culture’

The diffuse nature of the internet offers a challenge and opportunities for authenticity and originality.

For the Pinterest board I did not feel particularly strongly  associated with the contents, both visual and textual. However, some good metaphors appeared. For instance the metaphor of digital agora or the idea of grasshopping are very strong ones. If I were to use this metaphor in any further writing, how could I refer to it? How would I refer to the original forum entry?

Could I use the Pinboard reference? Is this academically stable? is this of a scholarly content? Does it matter?

(to follow)

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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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