Journal articles: 'Drawing-room practice. [from old catalog]' – Grafiati (2024)

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Published: 4 June 2021

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1

Ewals, Leo. "Ary Scheffer, een Nederlandse Fransman." Oud Holland - Quarterly for Dutch Art History 99, no.4 (1985): 271–90. http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/187501785x00134.

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AbstractAry Scheffer (1795-1858) is so generally included in the French School (Note 2)- unsurprisingly, since his career was confined almost entirely to Paris - that the fact that he was born and partly trained in the Netherlands is often overlooked. Yet throughout his life he kept in touch with Dutch colleagues and drew part of his inspiration from Dutch traditions. These Dutch aspects are the subject of this article. The Amsterdam City Academy, 1806-9 Ary Scheffer was enrolled at the Amsterdam Academy on 25 October 1806, his parents falsifying his date of birth in order to get him admitted at the age of eleven (fifteen was the oficial age) . He started in the third class and in order to qualify for the second he had to be one of the winners in the prize drawing contest. Candidates in this were required to submit six drawings made during the months January to March. Although no-one was supposed to enter until he had been at the Academy for four years, Ary Scheffer competed in both 1808 and 1809. Some of his signed drawings are preserved in Dordrecht. (Figs. 1-5 and 7), along with others not made for the contest. These last in particular are interesting not only because they reveal his first prowess, but also because they give some idea of the Academy practice of his day. Although the training at the Academy broadly followed the same lines as that customary in France, Italy and elsewhere (Note 4), our knowledge of its precise content is very patchy, since there was no set curriculum and no separate teachers for each subject. Two of Scheffer's drawings (Figs. 2 and 3) contain extensive notes, which amount to a more or less complete doctrine of proportion. It is not known who his teacher was or what sources were used, but the proportions do not agree with those in Van der Passe's handbook, which came into vogue in the 18th century, or with those of the canon of a Leonardo, Dürer or Lebrun. One gets the impression that what are given here are the exact measurements of a concrete example. Scheffer's drawings show him gradually mastering the rudiments of art. In earlier examples the hatching is sometimes too hasty (Fig. 4) or too rigidly parallel (Fig.5), while his knowledge of anatomy is still inadequate and his observation not careful enough. But right from the start he shows flair and as early as 1807 he made a clever drawing of a relatively complex group (Fig. 6) , while the difficult figure of Marsyas was already well captured in 1808 and clearly evinces his growing knowledge o f anatomy, proportion , foreshortening and the effects of light (Fig. 7). The same development can be observed in his portrait drawings. That of Gerardus Vrolik (1775-1859, Fig.8), a professor at the Atheneum Illustre (the future university) and Scheffer' s teacher, with whom he always kept in touch (Note 6), is still not entirely convincing, but a portrait of 1809, thought to be of his mother (Fig.9, Note 7), shows him working much more systematically. It is not known when he left the Academy, but from the summer of 1809 we find him in France, where he was to live with only a few breaks from 1811 to his death. The first paintings and the Amsterdam exhibitions of 1808 and 1810 Ary Scheffer's earliest known history painting, Hannibal Swearing to Avenge his Brother Hasdrubal's Death (Fig. 10) Notes 8-10) was shown at the first exhibition of living masters in Amsterdam in 1808. Although there was every reason for giving this subject a Neo-Classical treatment, the chiaroscuro, earthy colours and free brushwork show Scheffer opting for the old Dutch tradition rather than the modern French style. This was doubtless on the prompting of his parents,for a comment in a letter from his mother in 1810 (Note 12) indicates that she shared the reservations of the Dutch in general about French Neo-Classicism. (Note 11). As the work of a twelve to thirteen year old, the painting naturally leaves something to be desired: the composition is too crowded and unbalanced and the anatomy of the secondary figures rudimentary. In a watercolour Scheffer made of the same subject, probably in the 1820's, he introduced much more space between the figures (Fig. 11, Note 13). Two portraits are known from this early period. The first, of Johanna Maria Verbeek (Fig. 12, Note 14), was done when the two youngsters were aged twelve. It again shows all the characteristics of an early work, being schematic in its simplicity, with some rather awkward details and inadequate plasticity. On the other hand the hair and earrings are fluently rendered, the colours harmonious and the picture has an undeniable charm. At the second exhibition of works by living masters in 1810, Ary Scheffer showed a 'portrait of a painter' (Fig. 13), who was undoubtedly his uncle Arnoldus Lamme, who also had work in the exhibition as did Scheffer's recently deceased father Johan-Bernard and his mother Cornelia Scheffer-Lamme, an indication of the stimulating surroundings in which he grew up. The work attracted general attention (Note 16) and it does, indeed, show a remarkable amount of progress, the plasticity, effects of light, brushwork and colour all revealing skill and care in their execution. The simple, bourgeois character of the portrait not only fits in with the Dutch tradition which Scheffer had learned from both his parents in Amsterdam, but also has points in common with the recent developments in France, which he could have got to know during his spell in Lille from autumn 1809 onwards. A Dutchman in Paris Empire and Restoration, 1811-30 In Amsterdam Scheffer had also been laught by his mother, a miniature painter, and his father, a portrait and history painter (Note 17). After his father's death in June 1809, his mother, who not only had a great influence on his artistic career, but also gave his Calvinism and a great love of literature (Note 18), wanted him to finish his training in Paris. After getting the promise of a royal grant from Louis Napoleon for this (Note 19) and while waiting for it to materialize, she sent the boy to Lille to perfect his French as well as further his artistic training. In 1811 Scheffer settled in Paris without a royal grant or any hope of one. He may possibly have studied for a short time under Prudhon (Note 20) , but in the autumn of 1811 he was officially contracted as a pupil of Guérin, one of the leading artists of the school of David, under whom he mastered the formulas of NeD-Classicism, witness his Orpheus and Eurydice (Fïg.14), shown in the Salon of 1814. During his first ten years in Paris Scheffer also painted many genre pieces in order, so he said, to earn a living for himself and his mother. Guérin's prophecy that he would make a great career as a history painter (Note 21) soon came true, but not in the way Guérin thought it would, Scheffer participating in the revolution initiated by his friends and fellow-pupils, Géricault and Delacroix, which resulted in the rise of the Romantic Movement. It was not very difficult for him to break with Neo-Classicism, for with his Dutch background he felt no great affinity with it (Note 22). This development is ilustrated by his Gaston de Foix Dying on the Battlefield After his Victory at Ravenna, shown at the Salon of 1824, and The Women of Souli Throwing Themselves into the Abyss (Fig.15), shown at that of 1827-8. The last years of the Restoration and the July Monarchy. Influence of Rembrandt and the Dutch masters In 1829, when he seemed to have become completely assimilated in France and had won wide renown, Scheffer took the remarkable step of returning to the Netherlands to study the methods of Rembrandt and other Dutch old masters (Note 23) . A new orientation in his work is already apparent in the Women of Souli, which is more harmonious and considered in colour than the Gaston dc Foix (Note 24). This is linked on the one hand to developments in France, where numbers of young painters had abandoned extreme Romanticism to find the 'juste milieu', and on the other to Scheffer's Dutch background. Dutch critics were just as wary of French Romanticism as they had been of Neo-Classicism, urging their own painters to revive the traditions of the Golden Age and praising the French painters of the 'juste milieu'. It is notable how many critics commented on the influence of Rembrandt on Scheffer's works, e.g. his Faust, Marguérite, Tempête and portrait of Talleyrand at the Salon of 1851 (Note 26). The last two of these date from 1828 and show that the reorientation and the interest in Rembrandt predate and were the reasons for the return to the Netherlands in 1829. In 1834 Gustave Planche called Le Larmoyeur (Fig. 16) a pastiche of Rembrandt and A. Barbier made a comparable comment on Le Roi de Thule in 1839 (Note 27). However, as Paul Mantz already noted in 1850 (Note 28), Scheffer certainly did not fully adopt Rembrandt's relief and mystic light. His approach was rather an eclectic one and he also often imbued his work with a characteristically 19th-century melancholy. He himself wrote after another visit to the Netherlands in 1849 that he felt he had touched a chord which others had not attempted (Note 29) . Contacts with Dutch artists and writers Scheffer's links with the Netherlands come out equally or even more strongly in the many contacts he maintained there. As early as 1811-12 Sminck-Pitloo visited him on his way to Rome (Note 30), to be followed in the 1820's by J.C. Schotel (Note 31), while after 1830 as his fame increased, so the contacts also became more numerous. He was sought after by and corresponded with various art dealers (Note 33) and also a large number of Dutch painters, who visited him in Paris or came to study under him (Note 32) Numerous poems were published on paintings by him from 1838 onwards, while Jan Wap and Alexander Ver Huell wrote at length about their visits to him (Note 34) and a 'Scheffer Album' was compiled in 1859. Thus he clearly played a significant role in the artistic life of the Netherlands. International orientation As the son of a Dutch mother and a German father, Scheffer had an international orientation right from the start. Contemporary critics and later writers have pointed out the influences from English portrait painting and German religious painting detectable in his work (Note 35). Extracts from various unpublished letters quoted here reveal how acutely aware he was of what was likely to go down well not only in the Netherlands, but also in a country like England, where he enjoyed great fame (Notes 36-9) . July Monarchy and Second Empire. The last decades While most French artists of his generation seemed to have found their definitive style under the July Monarchy, Scheffer continued to search for new forms of expression. In the 1830's, at the same time as he painted his Rembrandtesque works, he also produced his famous Francesca da Rimini (Fig. 17), which is closer to the 'juste milieu' in its dark colours and linear accents. In the 1840's he used a simple and mainly bright palette without any picturesque effects, e.g. in his SS. Augustine and Monica and The Sorrows of the Earth (Note 41), but even this was not his last word. In an incident that must have occurred around 1857 he cried out on coming across some of his earlier works that he had made a mistake since then and wasted his time (Note 42) and in his Calvin of 1858 (Fig. 18) he resumed his former soft chiaroscuro and warm tones. It is characteristic of him that in that same year he painted a last version of The Sorrows of the Earth in the light palette of the 1840's. Despite the difficulty involved in the precise assessment of influences on a painter with such a complex background, it is clear that even in his later period, when his work scored its greatest successes in France, England and Germany, Scheffer always had a strong bond with the Netherlands and that he not only contributed to the artistic life there, but always retained a feeling for the traditions of his first fatherland. Appendix An appendix is devoted to a study of the head of an old man in Dordrecht, which is catalogued as a copy of a 17th-century painting in the style of Rembrandt done by Ary Scheffer at the age of twelve (Fig.19, Note 43). This cannot be correct, as it is much better than the other works by the twelve-year-old painter. Moreover, no mention is made of it in the catalogue of the retrospective exhibition held in Paris in 1859, where the Hannibal is given as his earliest work (Note 44). It was clearly unknown then, as it is not mentioned in any of the obituaries of 1858 and 1859 either. The earliest reference to it occurs in the list made bv Scheffer's daughter in 1897 of the works she was to bequeath to the Dordrecht museum. A clue to its identification may be a closely similar drawing by Cornelia Scheffer-Lamme (Fig. 20, Note 46), which is probably a copy after the head of the old man. She is known to have made copies after contemporary and 17th-century masters. The portrait might thus be attributable to Johan-Bernard Scheffer, for his wife often made copies of his works and he is known from sale catalogues to have painted various portraits of old men (Note 47, cf. Fig.21). Ary Scheffer also knew this. In 1839 his uncle Arnoldus Lamme wrote to him that he would look out for such a work at a sale (Note 48). It may be that he succeeded in finding one and that this portrait came into the possession of the Scheffer family in that way, but Johan-Bernard's work is too little known for us to be certain about this.

2

Kirkpatrick, Helen Beryl, Jennifer Brasch, Jacky Chan, and Shaminderjot Singh Kang. "A Narrative Web-Based Study of Reasons To Go On Living after a Suicide Attempt: Positive Impacts of the Mental Health System." Journal of Mental Health and Addiction Nursing 1, no.1 (February15, 2017): e3-e9. http://dx.doi.org/10.22374/jmhan.v1i1.10.

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Background and Objective: Suicide attempts are 10-20X more common than completed suicide and an important risk factor for death by suicide, yet most people who attempt suicide do not die by suicide. The process of recovering after a suicide attempt has not been well studied. The Reasons to go on Living (RTGOL) Project, a narrative web-based study, focuses on experiences of people who have attempted suicide and made the decision to go on living, a process not well studied. Narrative research is ideally suited to understanding personal experiences critical to recovery following a suicide attempt, including the transition to a state of hopefulness. Voices from people with lived experience can help us plan and conceptualize this work. This paper reports on a secondary research question of the larger study: what stories do participants tell of the positive role/impact of the mental health system. Material and Methods: A website created for The RTGOL Project (www.thereasons.ca) enabled participants to anonymously submit a story about their suicide attempt and recovery, a process which enabled participation from a large and diverse group of participants. The only direction given was “if you have made a suicide attempt or seriously considered suicide and now want to go on living, we want to hear from you.” The unstructured narrative format allowed participants to describe their experiences in their own words, to include and emphasize what they considered important. Over 5 years, data analysis occurred in several phases over the course of the study, resulting in the identification of data that were inputted into an Excel file. This analysis used stories where participants described positive involvement with the mental health system (50 stories). Results: Several participants reflected on experiences many years previous, providing the privilege of learning how their life unfolded, what made a difference. Over a five-year period, 50 of 226 stories identified positive experiences with mental health care with sufficient details to allow analysis, and are the focus of this paper. There were a range of suicidal behaviours in these 50 stories, from suicidal ideation only to medically severe suicide attempts. Most described one or more suicide attempts. Three themes identified included: 1) trust and relationship with a health care professional, 2) the role of friends and family and friends, and 3) a wide range of services. Conclusion: Stories open a window into the experiences of the period after a suicide attempt. This study allowed for an understanding of how mental health professionals might help individuals who have attempted suicide write a different story, a life-affirming story. The stories that participants shared offer some understanding of “how” to provide support at a most-needed critical juncture for people as they interact with health care providers, including immediately after a suicide attempt. Results of this study reinforce that just one caring professional can make a tremendous difference to a person who has survived a suicide attempt. Key Words: web-based; suicide; suicide attempt; mental health system; narrative research Word Count: 478 Introduction My Third (or fourth) Suicide AttemptI laid in the back of the ambulance, the snow of too many doses of ativan dissolving on my tongue.They hadn't even cared enough about meto put someone in the back with me,and so, frustrated,I'd swallowed all the pills I had with me— not enough to do what I wanted it to right then,but more than enough to knock me out for a good 14 hours.I remember very little after that;benzodiazepines like ativan commonly cause pre- and post-amnesia, says Google helpfullyI wake up in a locked rooma woman manically drawing on the windows with crayonsthe colors of light through the glassdiffused into rainbows of joy scattered about the roomas if she were coloring on us all,all of the tattered remnants of humanity in a psych wardmade into a brittle mosaic, a quilt of many hues, a Technicolor dreamcoatand I thoughtI am so glad to be able to see this. (Story 187)The nurse opening that door will have a lasting impact on how this story unfolds and on this person’s life. Each year, almost one million people die from suicide, approximately one death every 40 seconds. Suicide attempts are much more frequent, with up to an estimated 20 attempts for every death by suicide.1 Suicide-related behaviours range from suicidal ideation and self-injury to death by suicide. We are unable to directly study those who die by suicide, but effective intervention after a suicide attempt could reduce the risk of subsequent death by suicide. Near-fatal suicide attempts have been used to explore the boundary with completed suicides. Findings indicated that violent suicide attempters and serious attempters (seriousness of the medical consequences to define near-fatal attempts) were more likely to make repeated, and higher lethality suicide attempts.2 In a case-control study, the medically severe suicide attempts group (78 participants), epidemiologically very similar to those who complete suicide, had significantly higher communication difficulties; the risk for death by suicide multiplied if accompanied by feelings of isolation and alienation.3 Most research in suicidology has been quantitative, focusing almost exclusively on identifying factors that may be predictive of suicidal behaviours, and on explanation rather than understanding.4 Qualitative research, focusing on the lived experiences of individuals who have attempted suicide, may provide a better understanding of how to respond in empathic and helpful ways to prevent future attempts and death by suicide.4,5 Fitzpatrick6 advocates for narrative research as a valuable qualitative method in suicide research, enabling people to construct and make sense of the experiences and their world, and imbue it with meaning. A review of qualitative studies examining the experiences of recovering from or living with suicidal ideation identified 5 interconnected themes: suffering, struggle, connection, turning points, and coping.7 Several additional qualitative studies about attempted suicide have been reported in the literature. Participants have included patients hospitalized for attempting suicide8, and/or suicidal ideation,9 out-patients following a suicide attempt and their caregivers,10 veterans with serious mental illness and at least one hospitalization for a suicide attempt or imminent suicide plan.11 Relationships were a consistent theme in these studies. Interpersonal relationships and an empathic environment were perceived as therapeutic and protective, enabling the expression of thoughts and self-understanding.8 Given the connection to relationship issues, the authors suggested it may be helpful to provide support for the relatives of patients who have attempted suicide. A sheltered, friendly environment and support systems, which included caring by family and friends, and treatment by mental health professionals, helped the suicidal healing process.10 Receiving empathic care led to positive changes and an increased level of insight; just one caring professional could make a tremendous difference.11 Kraft and colleagues9 concluded with the importance of hearing directly from those who are suicidal in order to help them, that only when we understand, “why suicide”, can we help with an alternative, “why life?” In a grounded theory study about help-seeking for self-injury, Long and colleagues12 identified that self-injury was not the problem for their participants, but a panacea, even if temporary, to painful life experiences. Participant narratives reflected a complex journey for those who self-injured: their wish when help-seeking was identified by the theme “to be treated like a person”. There has also been a focus on the role and potential impact of psychiatric/mental health nursing. Through interviews with experienced in-patient nurses, Carlen and Bengtsson13 identified the need to see suicidal patients as subjective human beings with unique experiences. This mirrors research with patients, which concluded that the interaction with personnel who are devoted, hope-mediating and committed may be crucial to a patient’s desire to continue living.14 Interviews with individuals who received mental health care for a suicidal crisis following a serious attempt led to the development of a theory for psychiatric nurses with the central variable, reconnecting the person with humanity across 3 phases: reflecting an image of humanity, guiding the individual back to humanity, and learning to live.15 Other research has identified important roles for nurses working with patients who have attempted suicide by enabling the expression of thoughts and developing self-understanding8, helping to see things differently and reconnecting with others,10 assisting the person in finding meaning from their experience to turn their lives around, and maintain/and develop positive connections with others.16 However, one literature review identified that negative attitudes toward self-harm were common among nurses, with more positive attitudes among mental health nurses than general nurses. The authors concluded that education, both reflective and interactive, could have a positive impact.17 This paper is one part of a larger web-based narrative study, the Reasons to go on Living Project (RTGOL), that seeks to understand the transition from making a suicide attempt to choosing life. When invited to tell their stories anonymously online, what information would people share about their suicide attempts? This paper reports on a secondary research question of the larger study: what stories do participants tell of the positive role/impact of the mental health system. The focus on the positive impact reflects an appreciative inquiry approach which can promote better practice.18 Methods Design and Sample A website created for The RTGOL Project (www.thereasons.ca) enabled participants to anonymously submit a story about their suicide attempt and recovery. Participants were required to read and agree with a consent form before being able to submit their story through a text box or by uploading a file. No demographic information was requested. Text submissions were embedded into an email and sent to an account created for the Project without collecting information about the IP address or other identifying information. The content of the website was reviewed by legal counsel before posting, and the study was approved by the local Research Ethics Board. Stories were collected for 5 years (July 2008-June 2013). The RTGOL Project enabled participation by a large, diverse audience, at their own convenience of time and location, providing they had computer access. The unstructured narrative format allowed participants to describe their experiences in their own words, to include and emphasize what they considered important. Of the 226 submissions to the website, 112 described involvement at some level with the mental health system, and 50 provided sufficient detail about positive experiences with mental health care to permit analysis. There were a range of suicidal behaviours in these 50 stories: 8 described suicidal ideation only; 9 met the criteria of medically severe suicide attempts3; 33 described one or more suicide attempts. For most participants, the last attempt had been some years in the past, even decades, prior to writing. Results Stories of positive experiences with mental health care described the idea of a door opening, a turning point, or helping the person to see their situation differently. Themes identified were: (1) relationship and trust with a Health Care Professional (HCP), (2) the role of family and friends (limited to in-hospital experiences), and (3) the opportunity to access a range of services. The many reflective submissions of experiences told many years after the suicide attempt(s) speaks to the lasting impact of the experience for that individual. Trust and Relationship with a Health Care Professional A trusting relationship with a health professional helped participants to see things in a different way, a more hopeful way and over time. “In that time of crisis, she never talked down to me, kept her promises, didn't panic, didn't give up, and she kept believing in me. I guess I essentially borrowed the hope that she had for me until I found hope for myself.” (Story# 35) My doctor has worked extensively with me. I now realize that this is what will keep me alive. To be able to feel in my heart that my doctor does care about me and truly wants to see me get better.” (Story 34). The writer in Story 150 was a nurse, an honours graduate. The 20 years following graduation included depression, hospitalizations and many suicide attempts. “One day after supper I took an entire bottle of prescription pills, then rode away on my bike. They found me late that night unconscious in a downtown park. My heart threatened to stop in the ICU.” Then later, “I finally found a person who was able to connect with me and help me climb out of the pit I was in. I asked her if anyone as sick as me could get better, and she said, “Yes”, she had seen it happen. Those were the words I had been waiting to hear! I quickly became very motivated to get better. I felt heard and like I had just found a big sister, a guide to help me figure out how to live in the world. This person was a nurse who worked as a trauma therapist.” At the time when the story was submitted, the writer was applying to a graduate program. Role of Family and Friends Several participants described being affected by their family’s response to their suicide attempt. Realizing the impact on their family and friends was, for some, a turning point. The writer in Story 20 told of experiences more than 30 years prior to the writing. She described her family of origin as “truly dysfunctional,” and she suffered from episodes of depression and hospitalization during her teen years. Following the birth of her second child, and many family difficulties, “It was at this point that I became suicidal.” She made a decision to kill herself by jumping off the balcony (6 stories). “At the very last second as I hung onto the railing of the balcony. I did not want to die but it was too late. I landed on the parking lot pavement.” She wrote that the pain was indescribable, due to many broken bones. “The physical pain can be unbearable. Then you get to see the pain and horror in the eyes of someone you love and who loves you. Many people suggested to my husband that he should leave me in the hospital, go on with life and forget about me. During the process of recovery in the hospital, my husband was with me every day…With the help of psychiatrists and a later hospitalization, I was actually diagnosed as bipolar…Since 1983, I have been taking lithium and have never had a recurrence of suicidal thoughts or for that matter any kind of depression.” The writer in Story 62 suffered childhood sexual abuse. When she came forward with it, she felt she was not heard. Self-harm on a regular basis was followed by “numerous overdoses trying to end my life.” Overdoses led to psychiatric hospitalizations that were unhelpful because she was unable to trust staff. “My way of thinking was that ending my life was the only answer. There had been numerous attempts, too many to count. My thoughts were that if I wasn’t alive I wouldn’t have to deal with my problems.” In her final attempt, she plunged over the side of a mountain, dropping 80 feet, resulting in several serious injuries. “I was so angry that I was still alive.” However, “During my hospitalization I began to realize that my family and friends were there by my side continuously, I began to realize that I wasn't only hurting myself. I was hurting all the important people in my life. It was then that I told myself I am going to do whatever it takes.” A turning point is not to say that the difficulties did not continue. The writer of Story 171 tells of a suicide attempt 7 years previous, and the ongoing anguish. She had been depressed for years and had thoughts of suicide on a daily basis. After a serious overdose, she woke up the next day in a hospital bed, her husband and 2 daughters at her bed. “Honestly, I was disappointed to wake up. But, then I saw how scared and hurt they were. Then I was sorry for what I had done to them. Since then I have thought of suicide but know that it is tragic for the family and is a hurt that can never be undone. Today I live with the thought that I am here for a reason and when it is God's time to take me then I will go. I do believe living is harder than dying. I do believe I was born for a purpose and when that is accomplished I will be released. …Until then I try to remind myself of how I am blessed and try to appreciate the wonders of the world and the people in it.” Range of Services The important role of mental health and recovery services was frequently mentioned, including dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT)/cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), recovery group, group therapy, Alcoholics Anonymous, accurate diagnosis, and medications. The writer in Story 30 was 83 years old when she submitted her story, reflecting on a life with both good and bad times. She first attempted suicide at age 10 or 12. A serious post-partum depression followed the birth of her second child, and over the years, she experienced periods of suicidal intent: “Consequently, a few years passed and I got to feeling suicidal again. I had pills in one pocket and a clipping for “The Recovery Group” in the other pocket. As I rode on the bus trying to make up my mind, I decided to go to the Recovery Group first. I could always take the pills later. I found the Recovery Group and yoga helpful; going to meetings sometimes twice a day until I got thinking more clearly and learned how to deal with my problems.” Several participants described the value of CBT or DBT in learning to challenge perceptions. “I have tools now to differentiate myself from the illness. I learned I'm not a bad person but bad things did happen to me and I survived.”(Story 3) “The fact is that we have thoughts that are helpful and thoughts that are destructive….. I knew it was up to me if I was to get better once and for all.” (Story 32): “In the hospital I was introduced to DBT. I saw a nurse (Tanya) every day and attended a group session twice a week, learning the techniques. I worked with the people who wanted to work with me this time. Tanya said the same thing my counselor did “there is no study that can prove whether or not suicide solves problems” and I felt as though I understood it then. If I am dead, then all the people that I kept pushing away and refusing their help would be devastated. If I killed myself with my own hand, my family would be so upset. DBT taught me how to ‘ride my emotional wave’. ……….. DBT has changed my life…….. My life is getting back in order now, thanks to DBT, and I have lots of reasons to go on living.”(Story 19) The writer of Story 67 described the importance of group therapy. “Group therapy was the most helpful for me. It gave me something besides myself to focus on. Empathy is such a powerful emotion and a pathway to love. And it was a huge relief to hear others felt the same and had developed tools of their own that I could try for myself! I think I needed to learn to communicate and recognize when I was piling everything up to build my despair. I don’t think I have found the best ways yet, but I am lifetimes away from that teenage girl.” (Story 67) The author of story 212 reflected on suicidal ideation beginning over 20 years earlier, at age 13. Her first attempt was at 28. “I thought everyone would be better off without me, especially my children, I felt like the worst mum ever, I felt like a burden to my family and I felt like I was a failure at life in general.” She had more suicide attempts, experienced the death of her father by suicide, and then finally found her doctor. “Now I’m on meds for a mood disorder and depression, my family watch me closely, and I see my doctor regularly. For the first time in 20 years, I love being a mum, a sister, a daughter, a friend, a cousin etc.” Discussion The 50 stories that describe positive experiences in the health care system constitute a larger group than most other similar studies, and most participants had made one or more suicide attempts. Several writers reflected back many years, telling stories of long ago, as with the 83-year old participant (Story 30) whose story provided the privilege of learning how the author’s life unfolded. In clinical practice, we often do not know – how did the story turn out? The stories that describe receiving health care speak to the impact of the experience, and the importance of the issues identified in the mental health system. We identified 3 themes, but it was often the combination that participants described in their stories that was powerful, as demonstrated in Story 20, the young new mother who had fallen from a balcony 30 years earlier. Voices from people with lived experience can help us plan and conceptualize our clinical work. Results are consistent with, and add to, the previous work on the importance of therapeutic relationships.8,10,11,14–16 It is from the stories in this study that we come to understand the powerful experience of seeing a family members’ reaction following a participant’s suicide attempt, and how that can be a potent turning point as identified by Lakeman and Fitzgerald.7 Ghio and colleagues8 and Lakeman16 identified the important role for staff/nurses in supporting families due to the connection to relationship issues. This research also calls for support for families to recognize the important role they have in helping the person understand how much they mean to them, and to promote the potential impact of a turning point. The importance of the range of services reflect Lakeman and Fitzgerald’s7 theme of coping, associating positive change by increasing the repertoire of coping strategies. These findings have implications for practice, research and education. Working with individuals who are suicidal can help them develop and tell a different story, help them move from a death-oriented to life-oriented position,15 from “why suicide” to “why life.”9 Hospitalization provides a person with the opportunity to reflect, to take time away from “the real world” to consider oneself, the suicide attempt, connections with family and friends and life goals, and to recover physically and emotionally. Hospitalization is also an opening to involve the family in the recovery process. The intensity of the immediate period following a suicide attempt provides a unique opportunity for nurses to support and coach families, to help both patients and family begin to see things differently and begin to create that different story. In this way, family and friends can be both a support to the person who has attempted suicide, and receive help in their own struggles with this experience. It is also important to recognize that this short period of opportunity is not specific to the nurses in psychiatric units, as the nurses caring for a person after a medically severe suicide attempt will frequently be the nurses in the ICU or Emergency departments. Education, both reflective and interactive, could have a positive impact.17 Helping staff develop the attitudes, skills and approach necessary to be helpful to a person post-suicide attempt is beginning to be reported in the literature.21 Further implications relate to nursing curriculum. Given the extent of suicidal ideation, suicide attempts and deaths by suicide, this merits an important focus. This could include specific scenarios, readings by people affected by suicide, both patients themselves and their families or survivors, and discussions with individuals who have made an attempt(s) and made a decision to go on living. All of this is, of course, not specific to nursing. All members of the interprofessional health care team can support the transition to recovery of a person after a suicide attempt using the strategies suggested in this paper, in addition to other evidence-based interventions and treatments. Findings from this study need to be considered in light of some specific limitations. First, the focus was on those who have made a decision to go on living, and we have only the information the participants included in their stories. No follow-up questions were possible. The nature of the research design meant that participants required access to a computer with Internet and the ability to communicate in English. This study does not provide a comprehensive view of in-patient care. However, it offers important inputs to enhance other aspects of care, such as assessing safety as a critical foundation to care. We consider these limitations were more than balanced by the richness of the many stories that a totally anonymous process allowed. Conclusion Stories open a window into the experiences of a person during the period after a suicide attempt. The RTGOL Project allowed for an understanding of how we might help suicidal individuals change the script, write a different story. The stories that participants shared give us some understanding of “how” to provide support at a most-needed critical juncture for people as they interact with health care providers immediately after a suicide attempt. While we cannot know the experiences of those who did not survive a suicide attempt, results of this study reinforce that just one caring professional can make a crucial difference to a person who has survived a suicide attempt. We end with where we began. Who will open the door? References 1. World Health Organization. Suicide prevention and special programmes. http://www.who.int/mental_health/prevention/suicide/suicideprevent/en/index.html Geneva: Author; 2013.2. Giner L, Jaussent I, Olie E, et al. Violent and serious suicide attempters: One step closer to suicide? J Clin Psychiatry 2014:73(3):3191–197.3. Levi-Belz Y, Gvion Y, Horesh N, et al. Mental pain, communication difficulties, and medically serious suicide attempts: A case-control study. Arch Suicide Res 2014:18:74–87.4. Hjelmeland H and Knizek BL. Why we need qualitative research in suicidology? Suicide Life Threat Behav 2010:40(1):74–80.5. Gunnell D. A population health perspective on suicide research and prevention: What we know, what we need to know, and policy priorities. Crisis 2015:36(3):155–60.6. Fitzpatrick S. Looking beyond the qualitative and quantitative divide: Narrative, ethics and representation in suicidology. Suicidol Online 2011:2:29–37.7. Lakeman R and FitzGerald M. How people live with or get over being suicidal: A review of qualitative studies. J Adv Nurs 2008:64(2):114–26.8. Ghio L, Zanelli E, Gotelli S, et al. Involving patients who attempt suicide in suicide prevention: A focus group study. J Psychiatr Ment Health Nurs 2011:18:510–18.9. Kraft TL, Jobes DA, Lineberry TW., Conrad, A., & Kung, S. Brief report: Why suicide? Perceptions of suicidal inpatients and reflections of clinical researchers. Arch Suicide Res 2010:14(4):375-382.10. Sun F, Long A, Tsao L, et al. The healing process following a suicide attempt: Context and intervening conditions. Arch Psychiatr Nurs 2014:28:66–61.11. Montross Thomas L, Palinkas L, et al. Yearning to be heard: What veterans teach us about suicide risk and effective interventions. Crisis 2014:35(3):161–67.12. Long M, Manktelow R, and Tracey A. The healing journey: Help seeking for self-injury among a community population. Qual Health Res 2015:25(7):932–44.13. Carlen P and Bengtsson A. Suicidal patients as experienced by psychiatric nurses in inpatient care. Int J Ment Health Nurs 2007:16:257–65.14. Samuelsson M, Wiklander M, Asberg M, et al. Psychiatric care as seen by the attempted suicide patient. J Adv Nurs 2000:32(3):635–43.15. Cutcliffe JR, Stevenson C, Jackson S, et al. A modified grounded theory study of how psychiatric nurses work with suicidal people. Int J Nurs Studies 2006:43(7):791–802.16. Lakeman, R. What can qualitative research tell us about helping a person who is suicidal? Nurs Times 2010:106(33):23–26.17. Karman P, Kool N, Poslawsky I, et al. Nurses’ attitudes toward self-harm: a literature review. J Psychiatr Ment Health Nurs 2015:22:65–75.18. Carter B. ‘One expertise among many’ – working appreciatively to make miracles instead of finding problems: Using appreciative inquiry as a way of reframing research. J Res Nurs 2006:11(1): 48–63.19. Lieblich A, Tuval-Mashiach R, Zilber T. Narrative research: Reading, analysis, and interpretation. Sage Publications; 1998.20. Braun V and Clarke V. Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qual Res Psychol 2006:3(2):77–101.21. Kishi Y, Otsuka K, Akiyama K, et al. Effects of a training workshop on suicide prevention among emergency room nurses. Crisis 2014:35(5):357–61.

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Macken, Marian. "And Then We Moved In." M/C Journal 10, no.4 (August1, 2007). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2687.

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Working drawings are produced, when a house is designed, to envisage an imagined building. They are a tangible representation of an object that has no tangible existence. These working drawings act as a manual for constructing the house; they represent that which is to be built. The house comes into being, therefore, via this set of drawings. This is known as documentation. However, these drawings record the house at an ideal moment in time; they capture the house in stasis. They do not represent the future life of the house, the changes and traces the inhabitants make upon a space, nor do they document the path of the person, the arc of their actions, within the space of the house. Other types of documentation of the house allow these elements to be included. Documentation that is produced after-the-event, that interprets ‘the existing’, is absent from discourses on documentation; the realm of post factum documentation is a less examined form of documentation. This paper investigates post factum documentation of the house, and the alternative ways of making, producing and, therefore, thinking about, the house that it offers. This acknowledges the body in the space of architecture, and the inhabitation of space, and as a dynamic process. This then leads to the potential of the‘model of an action’ representing the motion and temporality inherent within the house. Architecture may then be seen as that which encloses the inhabitant. The word ‘document’ refers to a record or evidence of events. It implies a chronological sequence: the document comes after-the-event, that is, it is post factum. Within architecture, however, the use of the word documentation, predominantly, refers to working drawings that are made to ‘get to’ a building, drawings being the dominant representation within architecture. Robin Evans calls this notion, of architecture being brought into existence through drawing, the principle of reversed directionality (Evans 1997, 1989). Although it may be said that these types of drawings document the idea, or document the imagined reality of the building, their main emphasis, and reading, is in getting to something. In this case, the term documentation is used, not due to the documents’ placement within a process, of coming after the subject-object, but in referring to the drawings’ role. Other architectural drawings do exist that are a record of what is seen, but these are not the dominant drawing practice within architecture. Documentation within architecture regards the act of drawing as that process upon which the object is wholly dependent for its coming into existence. Drawing is defined as the pre-eminent methodology for generation of the building; drawings are considered the necessary initial step towards the creation of the 1:1 scale object. During the designing phase, the drawings are primary, setting out an intention. Drawings, therefore, are regarded as having a prescriptive endpoint rather than being part of an open-ended improvisation. Drawings, in getting to a building, draw out something, the act of drawing searches for and uncovers the latent design, drawing it into existence. They are seen as getting to the core of the design. Drawings display a technique of making and are influenced by their medium. Models, in getting to a building, may be described in the same way. The act of modelling, of making manifest two-dimensional sketches into a three-dimensional object, operates similarly in possessing a certain power in assisting the design process to unfurl. Drawing, as recording, alters the object. This act of drawing is used to resolve, and to edit, by excluding and omitting, as much as by including, within its page. Models similarly made after-the-fact are interpretive and consciously aware of their intentions. In encapsulating the subject-object, the model as documentation is equally drawing out meaning. This type of documentation is not neutral, but rather involves interpretation and reflection through representational editing. Working drawings record the house at an ideal moment in time: at the moment the builders leave the site and the owners unlock the front door. These drawings capture the house in stasis. There is often the notion that until the owners of a new house move in, the house has been empty, unlived in. But the life of the house cannot be fixed to any one starting point; rather it has different phases of life from conception to ruin. With working drawings being the dominant representation of the house, they exclude much; both the life of the house before this act of inhabitation, and the life that occurs after it. The transformations that occur at each phase of construction are never shown in a set of working drawings. When a house is built, it separates itself from the space it resides within: the domain of the house is marked off from the rest of the site. The house has a skin of a periphery, that inherently creates an outside and an inside (Kreiser 88). As construction continues, there is a freedom in the structure which closes down; potential becomes prescriptive as choices are made and embodied in material. The undesignedness of the site, that exists before the house is planned, becomes lost once the surveyors’ pegs are in place (Wakely 92). Next, the skeletal frame of open volumes becomes roofed, and then becomes walled, and walking through the frame becomes walking through doorways. One day an interior is created. The interior and exterior of the house are now two different things, and the house has definite edges (Casey 290). At some point, the house becomes lockable, its security assured through this act of sealing. It is this moment that working drawings capture. Photographs comprise the usual documentation of houses once they are built, and yet they show no lived-in-ness, no palimpsest of occupancy. They do not observe the changes and traces the inhabitants make upon a space, nor do they document the path of the person, the arc of their actions, within the space of the house. American architects and artists Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio have written of these traces of the everyday that punctuate floor and wall surfaces: the intersecting rings left by coffee glasses on a tabletop, the dust under a bed that becomes its plan analog when the bed is moved, the swing etched into the floor by a sagging door. (Diller & Scofidio 99) It is these marks, these traces, that are omitted from the conventional documentation of a built house. To examine an alternative way of documenting, and to redress these omissions, a redefinition of the house is needed. A space can be delineated by its form, its edges, or it can be defined by the actions that are performed, and the connections between people that occur, within it. To define the house by what it encapsulates, rather than being seen as an object in space, allows a different type of documentation to be employed. By defining a space as that which accommodates actions, rooms may be delineated by the reach of a person, carved out by the actions of a person, as though they are leaving a trace as they move, a windscreen wiper of living, through the repetition of an act. Reverse directional documentation does not directly show the actions that take place within a house; we must infer these from the rooms’ fittings and fixtures, and the names on the plan. In a similar way, Italo Calvino, in Invisible Cities, defines a city by the relationships between its inhabitants, rather than by its buildings: in Ersilia, to establish the relationships that sustain the city’s life, the inhabitants stretch strings from the corners of the houses, white or black or grey or black-and-white according to whether they mark a relationship of blood, of trade, authority, agency. When the strings become so numerous that you can no longer pass among them, the inhabitants leave: the houses are dismantled; only the strings and their supports remain … Thus, when travelling in the territory of Ersilia, you come upon the ruins of the abandoned cities without the walls which do not last, without the bones of the dead which the wind rolls away: spiderwebs of intricate relationships seeking a form. (Calvino 62) By defining architecture by that which it encapsulates, form or materiality may be given to the ‘spiderwebs of intricate relationships’. Modelling the actions that are performed in the space of architecture, therefore, models the architecture. This is referred to as a model of an action. In examining the model of an action, the possibilities of post factum documentation of the house may be seen. The Shinkenchiku competition The Plan-Less House (2006), explored these ideas of representing a house without using the conventional plan to do so. A suggested alternative was to map the use of the house by its inhabitants, similar to the idea of the model of an action. The house could be described by a technique of scanning: those areas that came into contact with the body would be mapped. Therefore, the representation of the house is not connected with spatial division, that is, by marking the location of walls, but rather with its use by its inhabitants. The work of Diller and Scofidio and Allan Wexler and others explores this realm. One inquiry they share is the modelling of the body in the space of architecture: to them, the body is inseparable from the conception of space. By looking at their work, and that of others, three different ways of representing this inhabitation of space are seen. These are: to represent the objects involved in a particular action, or patterns of movement, that occurs in the space, in a way that highlights the action; to document the action itself; or to document the result of the action. These can all be defined as the model of an action. The first way, the examination of the body in a space via an action’s objects, is explored by American artist Allan Wexler, who defines architecture as ‘choreography without a choreographer, structuring its inhabitant’s movements’ (Galfetti 22). In his project ‘Crate House’ (1981), Wexler examines the notion of the body in a space via an action’s objects. He divided the house into its basic activities: bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living room. Each of these is then defined by their artefacts, contained in their own crate on wheels, which is rolled out when needed. At any point in time, the entire house becomes the activity due to its crate: when a room such as the kitchen is needed, that crate is rolled in through one of the door openings. When the occupant is tired, the entire house becomes a bedroom, and when the occupant is hungry, it becomes a kitchen … I view each crate as if it is a diorama in a natural history museum — the pillow, the spoon, the flashlight, the pot, the nail, the salt. We lose sight of everyday things. These things I isolate, making them sculpture: their use being theatre. (Galfetti 42–6) The work of Andrea Zittel explores similar ideas. ‘A–Z Comfort Unit’ (1994), is made up of five segments, the centrepiece being a couch/bed, which is surrounded by four ancillary units on castors. These offer a library, kitchen, home office and vanity unit. The structure allows the lodger never to need to leave the cocoon-like bed, as all desires are an arm’s reach away. The ritual of eating a meal is examined in Wexler’s ‘Scaffold Furniture’ (1988). This project isolates the components of the dining table without the structure of the table. Instead, the chair, plate, cup, glass, napkin, knife, fork, spoon and lamp are suspended by scaffolding. Their connection, rather than being that of objects sharing a tabletop, is seen to be the (absent) hand that uses them during a meal; the act of eating is highlighted. In these examples, the actions performed within a space are represented by the objects involved in the action. A second way of representing the patterns of movement within a space is to represent the action itself. The Japanese tea ceremony breaks the act of drinking into many parts, separating and dissecting the whole as a way of then reassembling it as though it is one continuous action. Wexler likens this to an Eadweard Muybridge film of a human in motion (Galfetti 31). This one action is then housed in a particular building, so that when devoid of people, the action itself still has a presence. Another way of documenting the inhabitation of architecture, by drawing the actions within the space, is time and motion studies, such as those of Rene W.P. Leanhardt (Diller & Scofidio 40–1). In one series of photographs, lights were attached to a housewife’s wrists, to demonstrate the difference in time and effort required in the preparation of a dinner prepared entirely from scratch in ninety minutes, and a pre-cooked, pre-packaged dinner of the same dish, which took only twelve minutes. These studies are lines of light, recorded as line drawings on a photograph of the kitchen. They record the movement of the person in the room of the action they perform, but they also draw the kitchen in a way conventional documentation does not. A recent example of the documentation of an action was undertaken by Asymptote and the students at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture in their exhibition at the Venice Biennale of Architecture in 2000. A gymnast moving through the interior space of the pavilion was recorded using a process of digitisation and augmentation. Using modelling procedures, the spatial information was then reconstructed to become a full-scale architectural re-enactment of the gymnast’s trajectory through the room (Feireiss 40). This is similar to a recent performance by Australian contemporary dance company Chunky Move, called ‘Glow’. Infra-red video tracking took a picture of the dancer twenty-five times a second. This was used to generate shapes and images based on the movements of a solo dancer, which were projected onto the floor and the dancer herself. In the past, when the company has used DVDs or videos, the dancer has had to match what they were doing to the projection. This shifts the technology to following the dancer (Bibby 3). A third way of representing the inhabitation of architecture is to document the result of an action. Raoul Bunschoten writes of the marks of a knife being the manifestation of the act of cutting, as an analogy: incisions imply the use of a cutting tool. Together, cuts and cutting tool embrace a special condition. The actual movement of the incision is fleeting, the cut or mark stays behind, the knife moves on, creating an apparent discontinuity … The space of the cut is a reminder of the knife, its shape and its movements: the preparation, the swoop through the air, the cutting, withdrawal, the moving away. These movements remain implicitly connected with the cut as its imaginary cause, as a mnemonic programme about a hand holding a knife, incising a surface, severing skin. (Bunschoten 40) As a method of documenting actions, the paintings of Jackson Pollack can be seen as a manifestation of an act. In the late 1940s, Pollack began to drip paint onto a canvas laid flat on the floor; his tools were sticks and old caked brushes. This process clarified his work, allowing him to walk around it and work from all four sides. Robert Hughes describes it as ‘painting “from the hip” … swinging paintstick in flourishes and frisks that required an almost dancelike movement of the body’ (Hughes 154). These paintings made manifest Pollack’s gestures. As his arm swung in space, the dripping paint followed that arc, to be preserved on a flat plane as pictorial space (Hughes 262). Wexler, in another study, recorded the manifestation of an action. He placed a chair in a one-room building. It was attached to lengths of timber that extended outdoors through slots in the walls of the building. As the chair moved inside the building, its projections carved grooves in the ground outside. As the chair moved in a particular pattern, deeper grooves were created: ‘Eventually, the occupant of the chair has no choice in his movement; the architecture moves him.’ (Galfetti 14) The pattern of movement creates a result, which in turn influences the movement. By redefining architecture by what it encapsulates rather than by the enclosure itself, allows architecture to be documented by the post factum model of an action that occurs in that space. This leads to the exploration of architecture, formed by the body within it, since the documentation and representation of architecture starts to affect the reading of architecture. Architecture may then be seen as that which encloses the inhabitant. The documentation of the body and the space it makes concerns the work of the Hungarian architect Imre Makovecz. His exploration is of the body and the space it makes. Makovecz, and a circle of like-minded architects and artists, embarked on a series of experiments analysing the patterns of human motion and subsequently set up a competition based around the search for a minimum existential space. This consisted of mapping human motion in certain spatial conditions and situations. Small light bulbs were attached to points on the limbs and joints and photographed, creating a series of curves and forms. This led to a competition called ‘Minimal Space’ (1971–2), in which architects, artists and designers were invited to consider a minimal space for containing the human body, a new notion of personal containment. Makovecz’s own response took the form of a bell-like capsule composed of a double shell expressing its presence and location in both time and space (Heathcote 120). Vito Acconci, an artist turned architect by virtue of his installation work, explored this notion of enclosure in his work (Feireiss 38). In 1980 Acconci began his series of ‘self-erecting architectures’, vehicles or instruments involving one or more viewers whose operation erected simple buildings (Acconci & Linker 114). In his project ‘Instant House’ (1980), a set of walls lies flat on the floor, forming an open cruciform shape. By sitting in the swing in the centre of this configuration, the visitor activates an apparatus of cables and pulleys causing walls to rise and form a box-like house. It is a work that explores the idea of enclosing, of a space being something that has to be constructed, in the same way for example one builds up meaning (Reed 247–8). This documentation of architecture directly references the inhabitation of architecture. The post factum model of architecture is closely linked to the body in space and the actions it performs. Examining the actions and movement patterns within a space allows the inhabitation process to be seen as a dynamic process. David Owen describes the biological process of ‘ecopoiesis’: the process of a system making a home for itself. He describes the building and its occupants jointly as the new system, in a system of shaping and reshaping themselves until there is a tolerable fit (Brand 164). The definition of architecture as being that which encloses us, interests Edward S. Casey: in standing in my home, I stand here and yet feel surrounded (sheltered, challenged, drawn out, etc.) by the building’s boundaries over there. A person in this situation is not simply in time or simply in space but experiences an event in all its engaging and unpredictable power. In Derrida’s words, ‘this outside engages us in the very thing we are’, and we find ourselves subjected to architecture rather than being the controlling subject that plans or owns, uses or enjoys it; in short architecture ‘comprehends us’. (Casey 314) This shift in relationship between the inhabitant and architecture shifts the documentation and reading of the exhibition of architecture. Casey’s notion of architecture comprehending the inhabitant opens the possibility for an alternate exhibition of architecture, the documentation of that which is beyond the inhabitant’s direction. Conventional documentation shows a quiescence to the house. Rather than attempting to capture the flurry — the palimpsest of occupancy — within the house, it is presented as stilled, inert and dormant. In representing the house this way, a lull is provided, fostering a steadiness of gaze: a pause is created, within which to examine the house. However, the house is then seen as object, rather than that which encapsulates motion and temporality. Defining, and thus documenting, the space of architecture by its actions, extends the perimeter of architecture. No longer is the house bounded by its doors and walls, but rather by the extent of its patterns of movement. Post factum documentation allows this altering of the definition of architecture, as it includes the notion of the model of an action. By appropriating, clarifying and reshaping situations that are relevant to the investigation of post factum documentation, the notion of the inhabitation of the house as a definition of architecture may be examined. This further examines the relationship between architectural representation, the architectural image, and the image of architecture. References Acconci, V., and K. Linker. Vito Acconci. New York: Rizzoli, 1994. Bibby, P. “Dancer in the Dark Is Light Years Ahead.” Sydney Morning Herald 22 March 2007: 3. Brand, S. How Buildings Learn: What Happens after They’re Built. London: Phoenix Illustrated, 1997. Bunschoten, R. “Cutting the Horizon: Two Theses on Architecture.” Forum (Nov. 1992): 40–9. Calvino, I. Invisible Cities. London: Picador, 1979. Casey, E.S. The Fate of Place. California: U of California P, 1998. Diller, E., and R. Scofidio. Flesh: Architectural Probes. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1994. Evans, R. Translations from Drawing to Building and Other Essays. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1997. ———. “Architectural Projection.” Eds. E. Blau and E. Kaufman. Architecture and Its Image: Four Centuries of Architectural Representation: Works from the Collection of the Canadian Center for Architecture. Exhibition catalogue. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1989. 19–35. Feireiss, K., ed. The Art of Architecture Exhibitions. Rotterdam: Netherlands Architecture Institute, 2001. Galfetti, G.G., ed. Allan Wexler. Barcelona: GG Portfolio, 1998. Glanville, R. “An Irregular Dodekahedron and a Lemon Yellow Citroen.” In L. van Schaik, ed., The Practice of Practice: Research in the Medium of Design. Melbourne: RMIT University Press, 2003. 258–265. Heathcote, E. Imre Mackovecz: The Wings of the Soul. West Sussex: Academy Editions, 1997. Hughes, R. The Shock of the New: Art and the Century of Change. London: British Broadcasting Corporation, 1980. Kreiser, C. “On the Loss of (Dark) Inside Space.” Daidalos 36 (June 1990): 88–99. Reed, C. ed. Not at Home: The Suppression of Domesticity in Modern Art and Architecture. London: Thames & Hudson, 1996. “Shinkenchiku Competition 2006: The Plan-Less House.” The Japan Architect 64 (Winter 2007): 7–12. Small, D. Paper John. USA: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1987. Wakely, M. Dream Home. Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin. 2003. Citation reference for this article MLA Style Macken, Marian. "And Then We Moved In: Post Factum Documentation of the House." M/C Journal 10.4 (2007). echo date('d M. Y'); ?> <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0708/04-macken.php>. APA Style Macken, M. (Aug. 2007) "And Then We Moved In: Post Factum Documentation of the House," M/C Journal, 10(4). Retrieved echo date('d M. Y'); ?> from <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0708/04-macken.php>.

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Irwin, Kathleen, and Jeff Morton. "Pianos: Playing, Value, and Augmentation." M/C Journal 16, no.6 (November6, 2013). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.728.

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In rejoinder to a New York Times’s article claiming, “the value of used pianos, especially uprights, has plummeted … Instead of selling them … , donating them … or just passing them along … , owners are far more likely to discard them” (Walkin), artists Kathleen Irwin (scenography) and Jeff Morton (sound/composition) responded to this ignoble passing with an installation playing with the borders delineating music, theatre, digital technology, and economies of value using two upright red pianos, sound and video projection—and the sensibility of relational aesthetics. The installation was a collaboration between two artists who share a common interest in the performative qualities of public space and how technological augmentation is used in identificatory and embodied art processes as a means of extending the human body and enhancing the material space of person-to-person interaction. The title of the installation, PLAY, referenced the etymology of the word itself and how it has been variously understood over time, across artistic disciplines, and in digital and physical environments. Fundamentally, it explored the relative value of a material object (the piano) and how its social and cultural signification persists, shifts, is diminished or augmented by technology. The installation was mounted at the Dunlop Art Gallery, in the Regina Public Library (Saskatchewan, Canada, 14 June - 25 August 2013) and, as such, it illustrated the Library’s mandate to support all forms of literacy through community accessibility and forms of public outreach, social arrangements, and encounters. Indirectly, (as this was not the initial focus), it also exemplified the artists’s gentle probing of the ways, means, claims, and values when layering information and enhancing our visual experience as we interact with (literally, walk through) our physical landscapes and environments—“to see the world for what it is,” as Matt Turbow says “and to see the elements within” (Chapeau). The installation reflected on, among other things, the piano as a still potent cultural signifier, the persistent ability of our imagination to make meaning and codify experience even without digital overlay, and the library as an archive and disseminator of public knowledge. The artists questioned whether old technologies such as the piano will lose their hold on us entirely as technological augmentation develops the means to enhance or colonize the natural world, through graphics, sounds, haptic feedback, smell and, eventually, commodified experiences. This paper intends to reflect on our work and initiate a friendly (playful) interdisciplinary discussion about material objects in the age of physical and digital interactivity, and the terms of augmentation as we chose to understand it through our installation. In response to the call proposed by this journal on the subject of augmentation, we considered: 1. How audio/visual apparatuses in the gallery space augmented the piano’s expressivity; 2. How the piano augmented the social function of its physical situation; 3. How the technology augmented random and fragmentary musical phrases, creating a prolonged musical composition; 4. How each spectator augmented the art through his/her subjective engagement: how there is always meaning generated in excess of the artists’s intention. Image 1: Piano installed outside Dunlop Gallery/ Regina Public Library (photo credit: Jeff Morton) To begin, a brief description of the site of the installation is in order. The first of the red pianos was installed outside the main doors of the Central Library, located in the city’s downtown. The library’s entrance is framed within a two-story glass atrium and the red piano repeated the architecture’s function to open the space by breaking down perceived barriers, and beckoning the passersby inside. Reflecting Irwin’s community-oriented, site-specific practice, this was the relational catalyst of the work—the piano made available for anyone to play and enjoy, day or night, an invitation to respond to an object inserted into the shared space of the sidewalk: to explore, as Nicolas Bourriaud suggests, “the art as a state of encounter” (16). It was the centerpiece of the exhibition's outreach, which included the exhibition’s vernissage featuring new music and performance artists in concert, a costume and prop workshop for a late night public choir procession, and a series of artist talks. This was, arguably, a defining characteristic of the work, underscoring how the work of art, in this case the piano itself, its abjection illustrated by the perfunctory means typically used to dispose of them, is augmented or gains value through its social construction, over-and-above any that is originally ascribed to it. As Bourriaud writes, any kind of production takes on a social form which no longer has anything to do with its original usefulness. It acquires exchange value that partly covers and shrouds its primary “nature”. The fact is that a work of art has no a priori useful function—not that it is socially useless, but because it is available and flexible, and has an “infinite tendency”. (42) In the Dunlop’s press release, curator Blair Fornwald also confers a supplemental value ascribed to the reframed material object. She describes how the public space in front of the library, as a place of social interaction and cultural identification—of “being seen”—is augmented by the red piano: its presence in an unfamiliar setting underscores the multitude of creative and performative possibilities inherent within it, possibilities that may extend far beyond playing a simple melody. By extension, its presence asserts that the every day is a social, cultural, and physical environment rich with potentiality and promise. (Fornwald) Juxtaposed with the first red piano, the second was dramatically staged within the Dunlop gallery. The room, painted black, formally replicated the framing and focusing conventions of the theatre: its intention to propose other ways of “being seen” and to suggest the blurring of lines between “on stage and off,” and by extension, “on line and off.” A camera embedded in the front of the piano and a large projection screen in the space provided a celebrity moment for anyone approaching the instrument and implied, arguably, the ubiquitous surveillance associated with public space. Indeed, a plausible way of reading the red piano in the darkened gallery was as a provocation to think about how the digital and physical are increasingly enmeshed in our daily lives (Jurgenson). Lit by a chandelier and staged on a circular red carpet, this piano was also available to be played. Unlike the one outside of the building, it was augmented by speakers, a microphone, and a webcam. Through a custom-built digital system (using MaxMSP software), it recorded and played back the sound and image of everyone who sat down to perform, then repeated and superimposed these over similar previously captured material. Enhanced by the unusual stark acoustics of the gallery, the sound filled the reverberant space. Affixed to the gallery’s back wall was the projection screen made up of sheet music (Bach, Debussy and Mozart) taken from the Irwin family’s piano bench, a veritable time capsule from the 1950s. Image 2: Piano installed inside Dunlop Gallery (photo credit: Jeff Morton) In addition to the centrally placed piano, a miniature red piano was situated near the gallery entrance. It and a single red chair placed near the screen, repeated the vivid colour and drew the eye into and around the space underscoring its theatrical quality. The toy piano functioned as a lighthearted invitation, as well as a serious citation of other artists—Eikoh Sudoh, Margaret Leng Tan, John Cage, and Charles M. Schulz’s “Schroeder”—who have employed the miniature instrument to great advantage. It was intended as an illustration of the infinite resonances that material objects may provide and the diverse ways they may signify contingent on the viewer. Considered in a historical context, in the golden age of the upright and at the turn of the twentieth-century, piano lessons signified for many, the formation of a modern citizen schooled in European culture and values. Owning one of these intricately engineered and often beautiful machines, as one in five households did, reflected the social aspirations of its owners and marked their upward economic mobility (Canadian Encyclopedia). One hundred years later, pianos are often relegated to the basem*nt or dump. Irretrievably out of tune, their currency as musical instruments largely devalued. Nonetheless, their cultural and social value persists, no longer the pervasive marker of status, but through the ways they are mediated by artists who prepare, deconstruct, and leave them to deteriorate in beautiful ways. They seem to retain their hold on us through the natural impulse to engage them kinetically, ergonomically, and metaphorically. Built to be an extension of the human hand, body, and imagination, they are a sublime human-scale augmentation of a precise musical system of notation, and a mechanism evolved over centuries through physical augmentations meant to increase the expressivity of both instrument and player. In PLAY, the use of the pianos referenced both their traditional role in public life, and our current relationship with forms of digital media that have replaced these instruments as our primary means of being linked, informed, and entertained—an affirmation of the positive attributes of technology and a reminder of what we may have lost. Indeed, while this was not necessarily clear from the written responses in the Gallery’s guest book (Gorgeous!: Neat!; Too, too cool!; etc.), we surmised that memory might have played a key role in the experience of the installation, set in motion by the precise arrangement of the few material objects – red piano, the piano bench, red chair, and toy piano, each object designed to fit the shape of the body and hold the memory of physical contact. These were designed to trigger a chain of recollections, each chasing the next; each actively participating in what follows. In the Gallery’s annual exhibition catalogue, Ellen Moffat suggests that the relationship the piano builds with the player is important: “the piano plays and is played by the performer. Performing the piano assigns a posture for the performer in relation to the keyboard physically and figuratively” (Moffat 80). Technically, the piano is the sum of many parts, understandable finally as a discrete mechanical system, but unbounded in imagination and limited only by our capacity to play it. Functionally, it acts as an affective repository of memory and feeling, a tool to control the variables of physical and expressive interaction. In PLAY, the digital system in the gallery piano captured, delayed and displayed audio and video clips according to a rubric of cause and effect. Controlled by computer software designed by Morton, the installation captured musical phrases played randomly by individuals and augmented these notes by playing them back at variable speeds and superimposing one over another—musical phrases iterated and reiterated. The effect was fugue-like—an indeterminate composition with a determinant structure, achieved by intertwining physical and digital systems with musical content supplied by participants. The camera hidden in the front of the piano recorded individuals as they sat at the instrument and, immediately, they saw themselves projected in extreme close up onto the screen behind. As the individual struck a note, their image faded and the screen was filled again with the image of a previous participant abstracted and in slow motion. The effect, we suggest, was dreamlike—an echo or a fleeting fragment of something barely remembered. Like the infinite variations the piano permits, the software was also capable of expressing immense variety—each sound and image adding to an expanding archive in an ever-changing improvised composition developed through iterative call and response. Drawing on elements of relational aesthetics, scenographic representation, and digital technology, in PLAY we attempted to cross disciplines in ways that distinguished it from the other piano projects seen over the past several years. Indeed, the image of the upright piano has resonated in the zeitgeist of the international art scene with colourful uprights placed in public places in urban centers across Europe and North America. Wherever they are, individuals engage enthusiastically with them and they, in turn, become the centre of attention: this is part of their appeal. The pianos seem to evoke a utopian sense of community, however temporary, providing opportunities to rediscover old neighbours and make new friends. In PLAY, we posed two different social and aesthetic encounters—one analogue, real, “off-line” and one digital, theatrical, and “on-line,” illustrating less a false binary between two possible realities that ascribes more value to one than the other, than a world where the digital and the physical comingle. Working within a public library, this was a germane train of thought considering how these institutes struggle to stay relevant in the age of Google search and the promise of technological augmentation. The piano also represents a dichotomy: both a failure to represent and an excess of meaning. For decades replete with social signification, they have now become an encumbrance, fit only for the bone yard. As these monumental relics come to the end of their mechanical life, there is more money made in their disposal than in musical production, and more value in their recycled metals, solid wooden bodies, and ivory keys then in their tone and function. The industry that supported their commodification collapsed years ago, as has the market for their sale and the popular music publishing industry that accompanied it. Of course, pianos will be with us for a long time in one form or another, but their history, as a culturally potent object, has diverged. The assumption could easily follow that they have been rendered useless as an aesthetic, generative, and social object. What this installation offered was the possibility of an alternative ending to the story of this erstwhile entertainment console even as we seek our amusem*nt by other means and through other devices. Not surprisingly, the title of the installation suggests that the consideration of “play,” as social and recuperative engagement, is significant. In his seminal work, hom*o Ludens, Johan Huizinga discusses the importance of play, suggesting that it is primary to and a necessary condition of the making of culture. He writes, “In play there is something in play, which transcends the immediate needs of life and imparts meaning to the action” (Huizinga 97). According to games theorist Mary Flanagan, playing may serve as a way of creating something beautiful, offering frameworks for new ways of thinking, exploring divergent logic, or for imaging what is possible. She writes, “Games, both digital and analog, offer a space to explore creativity, agency, representation and emergent behaviour” (Flanagan 2010). In reaching out to Regina’s downtown community, the Dunlop Art Gallery dispersed some of the playfulness of PLAY in planned and accidental ways, as the outdoor piano became a daily destination for individuals who live rough or in the city’s hostels, some of whom who have enviable musical skills and considerable stage presence. One man came daily with sheet music in hand to practice on the indoor piano—ignoring the inevitable echo and repeat that the software triggered. Another young woman appeared regularly to perform at the outdoor piano, her umbrella raised against sun and rain, wedged under her arm to keep both hands free. Children invariably drew parents to it as they entered or exited the library—for some it may have been the first time they had touched such an instrument. Overall, in press, blogs, and the visitors’s book, responses to the pianos were enthusiastic and positive. One blogger wrote in response to an online publication, Art, Music, News (Beatty), chapeau June 13, 2013 at 11:51am this is most definitely up and running, and it would be interesting to see/hear all that will go on with that red piano. my two-and-a-half year old daughter and i jammed a bit yesterday morning, while a stranger watched and listened, then insisted that i play the same mostly crappy c-blues again while he sang! so i did, and he did, and my daughter and i learned a bit about what he feels about his dog via his singing. it was the highlight of the day for us—I mean really, jamming outside on a very red upright piano with strangers—good times! (Simpson) As evidence of public approbation, for the better part of the summer it stood unprotected on the sidewalk in front of the library encountering only one minor incident of defacement—a rather fragile tag in white spray paint, someone’s name in proper cursive writing. Once repaired and retuned, it became a dynamic focus for the annual Folk Festival that takes over the area for a week in August. In these ways, PLAY fulfilled the Library’s aim of encouraging literacy and reinforcing a sense of community—a social augmentation, in a manner of speaking. As Moffat writes, it encourages the social dimension of participation through community-engagement and dialogic practices. It blurs distinctions between spectator and participant, professional and amateur. It generates relationships between people or social actions. (Moffat 76) Finally, PLAY toyed with the overtones of the word itself—as verb, noun, and adjective—signifier, and metaphor. The title illustrated its obvious current potential and evoked the piano’s past, referencing the glittering world of the stage. While many may have more memories of seeing pianos in disrepair than in the concert hall, its iconic stage setting is never far from the imagination, although this too changes as people from other cultures and backgrounds recognize little cultural capital in such activity. In current vernacular, the word “play” also implies the re-imagination of ourselves in the digital overlays of the future. So we ask, what will be the fate of the piano and its meme in the 22nd century? Will the augmentation of reality enhance our experience of the world in inverse proportion to a loss of social interaction? Conclusion In her essay, Moffat notes that as digital technology replaces the analog piano, a surplus of second-hand uprights has become available. Citing artists Luke Jerram, Monica Yunus, and Camille Zamora (among others), she argues that the use of them as public art coincides with their disappearance, suggesting a farewell or memorial to a collective cultural icon (Moffat 76). What is there in this piece of furniture that speaks to us in art practice? The answer, it would seem, is potential. In a curatorial interview, Irwin suggested the possibility that beyond the artist’s initial meaning, there is always something more—an augmentation. The pleasure of discovering this supplement is part of the pleasure of the subjective experience of the spectator. Similarly, the aleatoric in music composition, refers to the pursuit of chance as a formal determinant and its openness to individual interpretation at the moment of reception. For Morton, the randomness of memory and affect are key components in composition. They cannot be predicted, controlled or quantified; nor can they be denied. There is no correct interpretation or response to music or, indeed, to relational art practice. Moffat concludes, as a multi-faceted media installation, PLAY proposed “a suite, chorus or a polyphony of things” (Moffat 76). Depending on your point of reference, the installation provided a dynamic venue for considering our relationships with material objects, with each other and with new technologies asking how they may or may not augment our reality in ways that supplement real-time, person-to-person interaction. References Beatty, Gregory. “Exciting Goings-On at Central Library.” Prairie Dog Blog 11 June 2013. Bourriaud, Nicolas. Relational Aesthetics. Trans. Simon Pleasance and Fronza Woods. Paris: Les Presses du Réel, 1998. Canadian Encyclopedia. “Piano Building.” ‹http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/en/article/piano-building-emc/›. Chapeau [David Simpson]. “One Response to ‘Exciting Goings-On at Central Library.’” Prairie Dog Blog 13 June 2013. Fornwald, Blair. PLAY. Regina, Saskatchewan: Dunlop Art Gallery. 2013. Flanagan, Mary. “Creating Critical Play.” In Ruth Catlow, Marc Garret and Corrado Morgana, eds., Artists Rethinking Games. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2010. 49-53. Huizinga, Johan. hom*o Ludens. Boston: Beacon Press, 1995. Jerram, Luke. Play Me, I’m Yours. Site-Specific Piano Installation. Multiple Venues. 2008-2013. Jurgenson, Nathan. “Digital Dualism versus Augmented Reality.” Cybergology: The Society Pages 24 Feb. 2011. 1 Dec. 2013 ‹http://thesocietypages.org/cyborgology/2011/02/24/digital-dualism-versus-augmented-reality/›. Moffat, Ellen. “Stages and Players” in DAG 2 (2013). Regina: Dunlop Art Gallery, 2013. 75-87. Walkin, Daniel J. “For More Pianos, Last Note Is Thud in the Dump.” New York Times 29 June 2012. Yunus, Monica, and Camille Zamora. Sing for Hope Pianos. Site-Specific Piano Installation and Performance. New York City. 2013.

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Darrell, Aaron. "Whose History?" M/C Journal 5, no.2 (May1, 2002). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1954.

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The continual (re)development associated with urban spaces results in the demand that heritage spaces be preserved. This raises a number of questions to be considered such as: which spaces will be preserved, what stories will be associated with these, and how will the embodied experience of these spaces be mediated? Since Foucault, it has been accepted that knowledge, power and truth are inextricably interwoven. There are no golden sands of freedom, there is no transcendent truth free from composing discourses. The construction of truth and history as discursive practice has a strong spatial component in museums. Objects are taken out of their original contexts, placed into knowledge regimes that delimit how these shall be known and then fixed in a stasis that regulates any change or flow in the meanings that might be constructed around these. Figure 1 - Skeleton of a middle age woman on display in the Dublinia MuseumThe body in the museum becomes either an object to be displayed or a nuisance to be excluded from contact with 'artefacts'. The picture above is of the skeleton of a middle age woman who died in Dublin hundreds of years ago and is now on display in the Dublinia Museum. Once the decision is made that this skeleton is no longer a body but an artefact it is placed behind glass so that the living bodies which come to view it may not 'interfere' with its discursive or physical existence. Once 'preserved' in this way, 'she' becomes an 'it', an object translated and removed from the everyday. In this case, the skeleton is placed within a scientific-medical discourse where the fact that it once belonged to an old woman who had worn away teeth tells us that she lived in a time when the people of Dublin had a poor diet. Similar undertakings are accepted practice in the Hyde Park Barracks Museum. All 'real' artefacts are kept behind glass, preserved in carefully controlled conditions that prevent human physical contact. Only replicas or reconstructions are available for everyday handling by the general public. In the example below, the item discussed was kept behind glass, a thing to be observed, revered, a relic to lend authority to the power-knowledge-truth regime of the Hyde Park Barracks Museum. Figure 2 - box containing a lock of Captain James Cook's hair and a rendition of his death scene in Hawaii on display at the Hyde Park Barracks MuseumSo 'precious' was this object that it was kept doubly removed, a small wooden casket within a timber and glass case behind the display panel of the museum. Figure 3 - closer view of box containing a lock of Captain James Cook's hair and a rendition of his death scene in Hawaii on display at the Hyde Park Barracks MuseumThis particular item contains a lock of Captain James Cook's hair and a rendition of his death scene in Hawaii. The case is made from the wood of the Resolution (his ship at the time of his death) and the entire item was a memento given to his widow upon the Resolution's return to Britain. This 'relic' is iconic of the approach adopted by the presentation of the Barracks as a museum. But what happens when the history being 'preserved' is the fabric of a built space? The spatial process of 'encasing', 'preserving' and physically removing 'artefacts' from everyday contact is an ongoing aspect of the presentation of the Barracks. In 1996, not long after I began my employ with the Barracks as part of an extended engagement with the embodied experience of cityspace, the curator decided that each guide should have their skills at presenting the Barracks in an appropriate light assessed. The result was that each guide was required to prepare and present a 'wall talk'. The 'wall talk' was literally that. Each guide was assigned a physical section of the museum to research and then discuss for ten minutes to an audience composed of other guides, the curator, the manager and education staff. The aims were to get each guide to re-assess their lecture presentation technique and to spread awareness amongst the guides that each physical section of the museum held its own unique part in the story of the Barracks. My assignment was a piece of wall on the second floor directly above the reception area. Deep into the persona I created so that I could 'pass' in this environment, I began by examining the wall. It was constructed of the convict made brick laid down in 1818 held together by Aboriginal midden material that dated back thousands of years, overlaid with whitewash applied in 1848 when the men moved out and the women moved in, the whitewash was overlaid with plaster held in place by cows hair in 1887 when the building was converted to a courts complex which was topped with remnants of wall paper that dated back to 1952 when the room was renovated as a Judge's chambers. On a section of the wall that had once been covered by this wallpaper was a pencil drawn outline of a pair of scissors, the name Max Fry and the date 1952 was written next to these. Both the floor and ceiling above and below the wall had sections that had been replaced when air conditioning was installed in the first incarnation of the building as a museum under the management of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences. A red builders' chalk mark showing where this was to installed remained even though the ducting had been removed in a later enactment of this museum space under the auspices of the Historic Houses Trust. In the rebated corner closest to this wall, out of sight to any but the closest inspection, there was a pencil drawing of a boxer shaping up to an unseen opponent. The skirting board was two inches higher than in the next room and of an Edwardian rather than a Victorian style. 'Ghosts' from zinc tiles were etched upon the ceiling and scratch marks from the iron beds used by the immigrant women remained upon the floors. I considered the wall carefully and even more carefully thought about the discourses of this institution, the personality of the curator and the predilections of the manager and other guides. If I was to continue 'passing', which story should I tell? How should it be told? What emphasis should be made and, most importantly of all, what must be elided? I considered raising the awareness that anthrax spores had been found in similar cow-hair reinforced plaster in the London Tube system but this somehow seemed irreverent. Starting with an statement about the mortar, Aboriginal land claims and how the entire Historic Houses Trust functioned to legitimate European seizure of Aboriginal land and that this was reflected by the way in which Aboriginal artefacts were ignored seemed equally inadvisable. Perhaps a discussion of the judge who inspired the boxer was in order. Rumour had it that he used to pay 'taxi-drivers' to join him in his rooms and engage in a little 'wrestling' and 'boxing'. This was reputedly such a physical activity that grunts, groans and cries of pain (?) were heard throughout the building. I could talk about the rats that had infested the ceilings above and below the room from the time that false ceilings were put in place during the renovation of the building into a courts complex and perhaps even display some of the 'artefacts' that had been stolen by the rats and hidden under the floor or in the ceiling space. A straight 'history' of the wall that simply discussed its physical composition would have 'passed', but that was perhaps more superficial than I felt the material warranted. Instead, set to a background audio tape of Tracey Chapman singing "Talking Bout a Revolution", a selection from Pink Floyd's The Wall and The Beatles Revolution 9, I told a story about the scissors. The scissors tale began by introducing Max Fry as a humble paperhanger working in the chambers of a powerful Judge in the 1950's. Oppressed, voiceless, the only impact he could make within the Barracks was to trace his scissors, sign his name, date it and then paper over this minor act of rebellion. For nearly thirty years his legacy remained hidden under the paper as judge after judge used the room to write the judgements that ordered the lives of those unfortunate enough to pass before them. In 1979 this legacy was unveiled but ignored, covered over by an air-conditioning system decreed necessary to preserve the artefacts displayed in the building. This oversight was rectified (so my story went) by the current generation of carers for the heritage of the building when the air conditioning was removed and the slice of social history and iniquitous power relations that Max Fry's rebellion illustrated was put on display for all to see. The talk was received well by all except for the chief guide who felt the music was distracting. He wanted me to do another wall some other time and 'get it right this time'. The curator was delighted and over-ruled the chief guide and the wall talks were over as far as I was concerned. A few months later, I was surprised to discover that on one of my 'time in lieu' breaks from the Barracks, that the wall had been encased in glass. The original scissors whose outline was traced upon the now preserved wall had been 'rescued' from Max's tool shed and hung behind the glass along with a picture of himself and some other of his tools. A story panel iterated a simplified version of the story I had told that elided any reference to class inequality or the powerlessness of his position. History's truth and permanence was now safely assured and no meddling fingers would ever again touch the pencilled scissored outline or smudge the bleary red chalk-line. The boxer, however, remains un-encased, a few hands-breadths from Max's sanitised and now unapproachable history, awaiting the right 'story' to bring it to prominence and preservation. Citation reference for this article MLA Style Darrell, Aaron. "Whose History?" M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 5.2 (2002). [your date of access] < http://www.media-culture.org.au/0205/history.php>. Chicago Style Darrell, Aaron, "Whose History?" M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 5, no. 2 (2002), < http://www.media-culture.org.au/0205/history.php> ([your date of access]). APA Style Darrell, Aaron. (2002) Whose History?. M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 5(2). < http://www.media-culture.org.au/0205/history.php> ([your date of access]).

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Karl, Irmi. "Domesticating the Lesbian?" M/C Journal 10, no.4 (August1, 2007). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2692.

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Introduction There is much to be said about house and home and about our media’s role in defining, enabling, as well as undermining it. […] For we can no longer think about home, any longer than we can live at home, without our media. (Silverstone, “Why Study the Media” 88) For lesbians, inhabiting the queer slant may be a matter of everyday negotiation. This is not about the romance of being off line or the joy of radical politics (though it can be), but rather the everyday work of dealing with the perception of others, with the “straightening devices” and the violence that might follow when such perceptions congeal into social forms. (Ahmed 107) Picture this. Once or twice a week a small, black, portable TV set goes on a journey; down from the lofty heights of the top shelf of the built in storage cupboard into the far corner of the living room. A few hours later, it is being stuffed back into the closet. Not far away across town, another small TV set sits firmly in the corner of a living room. Yet, it remains inanimate for days on end. What do you see? The techno-stories conveyed in this paper are presented through – and anchored to – the idea of the cultural biography of things (Kopytoff 1986), revealing how objects (more specifically media technologies) produce and become part of an articulation of particular and conflicting moral economies of households (Silverstone, “Domesticating Domestication”; Silverstone, Hirsch and Morley, “Information and Communication”; Green). In this context, the concept of the domestication of ICTs has been widely applied in Media Studies during the 1990s and, more recently, been updated to account for the changes in technology, household composition, media regulation, and in fact the dislocation of domesticity itself (Berker, Hartmann, Punie and Ward). Remarkable as these mainstream techno-stories are in their elucidation of contemporary techno-practices, what is still absent is the consideration of how gender and sexuality intersect and are being done through ICT consumption at home, work and during leisure practices in alternative or queer households and families. Do lesbians ‘make’ house and home and in what ways are media and ICTs implicated in the everyday work of queer home-making strategies? As writings on queer subjects and cyberspace have proliferated in recent years, we can now follow a move to contextualize queer virtualities across on and offline experiences, mapping ‘complex geographies of un/belonging’ (Bryson, MacIntosh, Jordan and Lin) and a return to consider online media as part of a bigger ICT package that constitutes our queer everyday life-worlds (Karl). At the same time, fresh perspectives are now being developed with regards to the reconfiguration of domestic values by gay men and lesbians, demonstrating the ongoing processes of probing and negotiation of ‘home’ and the questioning of domesticity itself (Gorman-Murray). By aligning ideas and concepts developed by media theorists in the field of media domestication and consumption as well as (sexual) geographers, this paper makes a contribution towards our understanding of a queer sense of home and domesticity through the technological and more specifically television. It is based on two case studies, part of a larger longitudinal ethnographic study of women-centred households in Brighton, UK. Gill Valentine has identified the home and workplaces as spaces, which are encoded as heterosexual. Sexual identities are being constrained by ‘regulatory regimes’, promoting the normalcy of heterosexuality (4). By recounting the techno-stories of lesbian women, we can re-examine notions of the home as a stable, safe, given entity; the home as a particular feminine sphere as well as the leaky boundaries between public and private. As media and ICTs are also part of a (hetero)sexual economy where they, in their materiality as well as textual significance become markers of sexual difference, we can to a certain extent perceive them as ‘straightening devices’, to borrow a phrase from Sara Ahmed. Here, we will find the articulation of a host of struggles to ‘fight the norms’, but not necessarily ‘step outside the system completely, full-time’ (Ben, personal interview [all the names of the interviewees have been changed to protect their anonymity]). In this sense, the struggle is not only to counter perceived heterosexual home-making and techno-practices, but also to question what kinds of practices to adopt and repeat as ‘fitting in’ mechanism. Significantly, these practices leave neither ‘hom*onormative’ nor ‘heteronormative’ imaginaries untouched and remind us that: In the case of sexual orientation, it is not simply that we have it. To become straight means that we not only have to turn towards the objects that are given to us by heterosexual culture, but also that we must “turn away” from objects that take us off this line. (Ahmed 21) In this sense then, we are all part of drawing and re-drawing the lines of belonging and un-belonging within the confines of a less than equal power-economy. Locating Dys-Location – Is There a Lesbian in the Home? In his effort to re-situate the perspective of media domestication in the 21st century, David Morley points us to ‘the process of the technologically mediated dislocation of domesticity itself’ (“What’s ‘home’” 22). He argues that ‘under the impact of new technologies and global cultural flows, the home nowadays is not so much a local, particular “self-enclosed” space, but rather, as Zygmunt Bauman puts it, more and more a “phantasmagoric” place, as electronic means of communication allow the radical intrusion of what he calls the “realm of the far” (traditionally, the realm of the strange and potentially troubling) into the “realm of the near” (the traditional “safe space” of ontological security) (23). The juxtaposition of home as a safe, ‘given’ place of ontological security vis a vis the more virtual and mediated realm of the far and potentially intrusive is itself called into question, if we re-consider the concepts of home and (dis)location in the light of lesbian geographies and ‘the production and regulation of heterosexual space’ (Valentine 1). The dislocation of home and domesticity experienced through consumption of (mobile) media technologies has always already been under-written by the potential feeling of dys-location and ‘trouble’ by lesbians on the grounds of sexual orientation. The lesbian experience disrupts the traditionally modern and notably western ideal of home as a safe haven and refuge by making visible the leaky boundaries between private seclusion and public surveillance, as much as it may (re)invest in the production of ideas and ideals of home-making and domesticity. This is illustrated for example by the way in which the heterosexuality of a parental home ‘can inscribe the lesbian body by restricting the performative aspects of a lesbian identity’, which may be subverted by covert acts of resistance (Johnston and Valentine 111; Elwood) as well as by the potentially greater freedoms of lesbian identity within a ‘lesbian home’, which may nevertheless come under scrutiny and ‘surveillance of others, especially close family, friends and neighbours’ (112). Nevertheless, more recently it has also been demonstrated how even overarching structures of familial heteronormativity are opportune to fissures and thereby queered, as Andrew Gorman-Murray illustrates in his study of Australian gay, lesbian and bisexual youth in supportive family homes. So what is, or rather, what can constitute a ‘lesbian home’ and how is it negotiated through everyday techno-practices? In and Out of the Closet – The Straight-Speaking ‘Telly’ As places go, the city of Brighton and Hove in the south-east of England fetches the prize for the highest ratio of LGBT people amongst its population in the UK, sitting at about 15%. In this sense, the home-making stories to which I will refer, of a white, lesbian single mother in her early 40s from a working-class background and a white lesbian/dyke couple in their 30s (from middle-/working-class backgrounds), are already engendered in the sense that Brighton (to them) represented in part a kind of ‘home-coming’ in itself. Helen and Ben, a lesbian butch-femme couple (‘when it takes our fancy’, Helen), had recently bought a terraced 1930s three-bedroom house with a sizeable garden in a soon to be up and coming residential area of Brighton. The neighbours are a mix of elderly, long-standing residents and ‘hetero’ families, or ‘breeders’, as Ben sometimes referred to them. Although they had lived together before, the new house constituted their first purchase together. This was significant especially for Helen, as it made their lives more ‘equal’ in terms of what goes where and the input on the overall interior decoration. Ben had shifted from London to Brighton a few years previously for a ‘quieter life’, but wished to remain connected to a queer community. Helen had made the move to Brighton from Germany – to study and enjoy the queer feel, and never left. Both full-time professionals, Helen worked in the publishing industry and Ben as a social worker. Already considering Brighton their ‘home’ town, the house purchase itself constituted another home-making challenge: as a lesbian/dyke couple on equal footing they were prepared to accept to live in a pre-dominantly straight neighbourhood, as it afforded them more space for money compared to the more visibly gay male living areas in the centre of town. The relative invisibility of queer women (and their neighbourhoods) compared to queer men in Brighton may, as it does elsewhere, be connected to issues of safety (Elwood) as well as the comparative lack of financial capacity (Bell and Valentine). Walking up to this house on the first night of my stay with them, I am struck by just how inconspicuous it appears – one of many in a long street, up a steep hill: ‘Most housing in contemporary western societies is “designed, built, financed and intended for nuclear families”’ (Bell in Bell and Valentine 7). I cannot help but think – more as a reflection on myself than of what I am about to experience – is this it? Is this the ‘domesticated lesbian’? What I see appears ‘familiar’, ‘tamed’, re-tracing the straight lines of heterosexual culture. Helen opens the door and orders me directly into the kitchen. She says ‘Ben is in the living room, watching television… Ben takes great pleasure in watching “You’ve been Framed”’. (Fieldnotes) In this context, it is appropriate to focus on the television and its place within their home-making strategies. Television, in its historical and symbolic significance, could be deemed the technological co-terminus to the ideal nuclear family home. Lynn Spigel has shown through her examination of the cultural history of TV’s formative years in post World War America how television became central to providing representations of family life, but also how the technology itself, as an object, informed material and symbolic transformations within the domestic sphere and beyond. Over the past fifty years as Morley points out, the TV has moved from its fixed place in the living room to become more personalised and encroach on other spaces in house and home and has now, in fact, re-entered the public realm (see airports and shopping malls) where it originated. At present, ‘the home itself can seen as having become … the “last vehicle”, where comfort, safety and stability can happily coexist with the possibility of instantaneous digitalised “flight” to elsewhere – and the instantaneous importation of desired elements of the “elsewhere” into the home’ (Morley, “Media, Modernity” 200). Importantly, as Morley confirms, today’s high-tech discourse is often still framed by a nostalgic vision of ‘family values’. There was only one TV set in Helen and Ben’s house: a black plastic cube with a 16” screen. It was decidedly ‘unglamorous’ as Helen pointed out. During the first round of ‘home-making’ efforts, it had found its way into a corner in the front room, with the sofa and armchair arranged in viewing distance. It was a very ‘traditional’ living room set-up. During my weeklong stay and for some weeks after, it was mostly Ben on her own ‘watching the telly’ in the early evenings ‘vegging out’ after work. Helen, meanwhile, was in the kitchen with the radio on or a CD playing, or in her ‘ICT free’ bedroom, reading. Then, suddenly, the TV had disappeared. During one of our ‘long conversations’ (Silverstone, Hirsch and Morley, “Listening”, 204) it transpired that it was now housed for most of the time on the top shelf of a storage cupboard and only ‘allowed out’ ever so often. As a material object, it had easily found its place as a small, but nevertheless quite central feature in the living room. Imbued with the cultural memory of their parents’ and that of many other living rooms, it was ‘tempting’ and easy for them to ‘accept’ it as part of a setting up home as a couple. Ben explained that they both fell into a habit, an everyday routine, to sit around it. However, settling into their new home with too much ‘ease’, they began to question their techno-practice around the TV. For Helen in particular, the aesthetics of the TV set did not fit in with her plans to re-decorate the house loosely in art deco style, tethered to her femme identity. They did not envisage creating a home that would potentially signal that a family with 2.4 children lives here. ‘The “normality” of [working] 9-5’ (Ben), was sufficient. Establishing a perceived visual difference in their living room, partly by removing the TV set, Helen and Ben aimed to ‘draw a line’ around their home and private sphere vis a vis the rest of the street and, metaphorically speaking, the straight world. The boundaries between the public and private are nevertheless porous, as it is exactly that the public perceptions of a mostly private, domesticated media technology prevent Helen and Ben from feeling entirely comfortable in its presence. It was not only the TV set’s symbolic function as a material object that made them restrict and consciously control the presence of the TV in their home space. One of Helen and Ben’s concerns in this context was that TV, as a broadcast medium, is utterly ‘conservative’ in its content and as such, very much ‘straight speaking’. To paraphrase Helen – you can only read so much between the lines and shout at the telly, it can get tiring. ‘I like watching nature programmes, but they somehow manage even here to make it sound like a hetero narrative’. Ben: ‘yeah – mind the lesbian swans’. The employment of the VCR and renting movies helps them to partly re-dress this perceived imbalance. At the same time, TV’s ‘water-cooler’ effect helps them to stay in tune with what is going on around them and enables them, for example, to participate and intervene in conversations at work. In this sense, watching TV can turn into home-work, which affords a kind of entry ticket to shared life-worlds outside the home and as such can be controlled, but not necessarily abandoned altogether. TV as a ‘straightening device’ may afford the (dis)comfort of a sense of participation in mainstream discourses and the (dis)comfort of serving as a reminder of difference at the same time. ‘It just sits there … apart from Sundays’ – and when the girls come round… Single-parent households are on the rise in the US (Russo Lemor) as well as in the UK. However, the attention given to single-parent families so far focuses pre-dominantly on single mothers and fathers after separation or divorce from a heterosexual marriage (Russo Lemor; Silverstone, “Beneath the Bottom Line”). As (queer) sociologists have began to map the field of ‘families of choice and other life experiments’ (Weeks, Heaphy and Donovan), a more concerted effort to bring together the literatures and to shed more light on the queer techno-practices of alternative families seems necessary. Liz and her young son Tim had moved to Brighton from London. As a lesbian working single mother, she raises Tim pre-dominantly on her own: ‘we are a small family, and that’s fine’. Liz’s home-making narrative is very much driven by her awareness of what she sees as her responsibilities as a mother, a lesbian mother. The move to Brighton was assessed by being able to keep her clients in London (she worked as a self-employed communication and PR person for various London councils) – ‘this is what feeds us’, and the fact that she did not want Tim to go to a ‘badly performing’ school in London. The terraced three-bedroom house she found was in a residential area, not too far from the station and in need of updating and re-decorating. The result of the combined efforts of builders, her dad (‘for some of the DIY’) and herself produced a ‘conventional’ set-up with a living room, a kitchen-diner, a small home-office (for tele-working) and Tim’s and her bedroom. Inconspicuous in its appearance, it was clearly child-oriented with a ‘real jelly bean arch’ in the hallway. The living room is relatively bare, with a big sofa, table and chairs, ‘an ancient stereo-system’ and a ‘battered TV and Video-recorder’ in the corner. ‘We hardly use it’, Liz exclaims. ‘We much rather spend time out and about if there is a chance … quality time, rather than watching TV … or I read him stories in bed. I hate the idea of TV as a baby sitter … I have very deliberately chosen to have Tim and I want to make the most of it’. For Liz, the living room with the TV set in it appears as a kind of gesture to what family homes ‘look like’. As such, the TV and furniture set-up function as a signal and symbol of ‘normality’ in a queer household – perhaps a form of ‘passing’ for visitors and guests. The concern for the welfare of her son in this context is a sign and reflection of a constant negotiation process within a pre-dominantly heterosexual system of cultural symbols and values, which he, of course, is already able to ‘compare’ and evaluate when he is out and about at school or visiting friends in their homes. Unlike in Helen and Ben’s home, the TV is therefore allowed to stay out of the closet. Still, Liz rarely watches TV at all, for reasons not dissimilar to those of Helen and Ben. Apart from this, she shares a lack of spare time with many other single parents. Significantly, the living room and TV do receive a queer ‘make-over’ now and then, when Tim is in bed or with his father on a weekend and ‘the girls’ come over for a drink, chat and video viewing (noticeably, the living room furniture and TV get pushed around and re-arranged to accommodate the crowd). In this sense, Liz, in her home-making practices, carefully manages and performs ‘object relationships’ that allow her and her son to ‘fit in’ as much as to advocate ‘difference’ within the construction of ‘normalcy’. The pressures of this negotiation process are clearly visible. Conclusion – Re-Engendering Home and Techno-Practices As women as much as lesbians, Helen, Ben and Liz are, like so many others, part of a historical and much wider struggle regarding visibility, equality and justice. If this article had been dedicated to gay/queer men and their techno- and home-making sensibilities, it would have read somewhat differently to be sure. Of course, questions of gender and sexual identities would have remained equally paramount, as they always should, enfolding questions of class, race and ethnicity (Pink 2004). The concept and practice of home have a deeply engendered history. Queer practices ‘at home’ are always already tied up with knowledges of gendered practices and spaces. As Morley has observed, ‘space is gendered on a variety of scales … the local is often associated with femininity and seen as the natural basis of home and community, into which an implicitly masculine realm intrudes’ (“Home Territories” 59). As the public and private realms have been gendered masculine and feminine respectively, so have media and ICTs. Although traditional ideas of home and gender relations are beginning to break down and the increasing personalization and mobilization of ICTs blur perceptions of the public and private, certain (idealized, heterosexualized and gendered) images of home, domesticity and family life seem to be recurring in popular discourse as well as mainstream academic writing. As feminist theorists have illustrated the ways in which gender needs to be seen as performative, feminist and queer theorists also ought to work further on finding vocabularies and discourses that capture and highlight diversity, without re-invoking the spectre of the nuclear family (home) itself (Weeks, Heaphy and Donovan). What I found was not the ‘domesticated’ lesbian ‘at home’ in a traditional feminine sphere. Rather, I experienced a complex set of re-negotiations and re-inscriptions of the domestic, of gender and sexual values and identities as well as techno-practices, leaving a trace, a mark on the system no matter how small (Helen: ‘I do wonder what the neighbours make of us’). The pressure and indeed desire to ‘fit in’ is often enormous and therefore affords the re-tracing of certain trodden paths of domesticity and ICT consumption. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to the day when even Liz can put that old telly into the closet as it has lost its meaning as a cultural signifier of a particular kind. References Ahmed, Sara. Queer Phenomenology – Orientations, Objects, Others. Durham and London: Duke UP, 2006. Bell, David, and Gill Valentine. “Introduction: Orientations.” mapping desire. Eds. David Bell and Gill Valentine. London: Routledge, 1995. 1-27. Berker, Thomas, Maren Hartmann, Yves Punie and Katie J. Ward, eds. Domestication of Media and Technology. Maidenhead: Open UP, 2006. Bryson, Mary, Lori MacIntosh, Sharalyn Jordan, Hui-Ling Lin. “Virtually Queer?: Homing Devices, Mobility, and Un/Belongings.” Canadian Journal of Communication 31.3 (2006). Elwood, Sarah A.. “Lesbian Living Spaces: Multiple Meanings of Home.” From Nowhere to Everywhere – Lesbian Geographies. Ed. Gill Valentine. New York and London: Harrington Park Press, 2000. 11-27. Eves, Alison. “Queer Theory, Butch/Femme Identities and Lesbian Space.” Sexualities 7.4 (2004): 480-496. Gorman-Murray, Andrew. “Reconfiguring Domestic Values: Meanings of Home for Gay Men and Lesbians.” Housing, Theory and Society 24.3 (2007). [in press]. ———. “Queering Home or Domesticating Deviance? Interrogating Gay Domesticity through Lifestyle Television.” International Journal of Cultural Studies 9.2 (2006): 227-247. ———. “Queering the Family Home: Narratives from Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Youth Coming Out in Supportive Family Homes in Australia.” Gender, Place and Culture 15.1 (2008). [in press]. Green, Eileen. “Technology, Leisure and Everyday Practices.” Virtual Gender – Technology and Consumption. Eds. Eileen Green and Alison Adam. London: Routledge, 2001. 173-188. Johnston, Lynda, and Gill Valentine. “Wherever I Lay My Girlfriend, That’s My Home – The Performance and Surveillance of Lesbian Identities in Domestic Environments.” mapping desire. Eds. David Bell and Gill Valentine. London: Routledge, 1995. 99-113. Karl, Irmi. “On/Offline: Gender, Sexuality, and the Techno-Politics of Everyday Life.” Queer Online – Media, Technology & Sexuality. Kate O’Riordan and David J Phillips. New York: Peter Lang, 2007. 45-64. Kopytoff, Igor. “The Cultural Biography of Things: Commoditization as Process.” The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspective. Ed. Arjun Appadurai. New York: Cambridge UP, 1986. 64-91. Morley, David. Family Television – Cultural Power and Domestic Leisure. London: Routledge, 1986/2005. ———. Home Territories – Media, Mobility and Identity. London: Routledge, 2000. ———. “What’s ‘Home’ Got to Do with It? Contradictory Dynamics in the Domestication of Technology and the Dislocation of Domesticity.” Domestication of Media and Technology. Eds. Thomas Berker, Maren Hartmann, Yves Punie and Katie J. Ward. Maidenhead: Open UP, 2006. 21-39. ———. Media, Modernity and Technology – The Geography of the New. London: Routledge, 2007. Pink, Sarah. Home Truths – Gender, Domestic Objects and Everyday Life. Oxford and New York: Berg, 2004. Russo Lemor, Anna Maria. “Making a ‘Home’. The Domestication of Information and Communication Technologies in Single Parents’ Households.” Domestication of Media and Technology. Eds. Thomas Berker, Maren Hartmann, Yves Punie and Katie J. Ward. Maidenhead: Open UP, 2006. 165-184. Silverstone, Roger. “Beneath the Bottom Line: Households and Information and Communication Technologies in an Age of the Consumer.” PICT Policy Papers 17. Swindon: ESRC, 1991. ———. Television and Everyday Life. London: Routledge, 1994. ———. Why Study the Media. London: Sage, 1999. ———. “Domesticating Domestication: Reflections on the Life of a Concept.” Domestication of Media and Technology. Eds. Thomas Berker, Maren Hartmann, Yves Punie and Katie J. Ward. Maidenhead: Open UP, 2006. 229-48. Silverstone, Roger, Eric Hirsch and David Morley. “Listening to a Long Conversation: An Ethnographic Approach to the Study of Information and Communication Technologies in the Home.” Cultural Studies 5.2 (1991): 204-27. ———. “Information and Communication Technologies and the Moral Economy of the Household.” Consuming Technologies – Media and Information in Domestic Spaces. Eds. Roger Silverstone and Eric Hirsch. London: Routledge, 1992. 15-31. Spigel, Lynn. Make Room for TV: Television and the Family Ideal in Post-War America. Chicago: Chicago UP, 1992. UK Office for National Statistics. July 2005. 21 Aug. 2007http://www.statistics.gov.uk/focuson/families>. Valentine, Gill. “Introduction.” From Nowhere to Everywhere: Lesbian Geographies. Ed. Gill Valentine. Binghampton, NY: Harrington Park Press, 2000. 1-9. Weeks, Jeffrey, Brian Heaphy, and Catherine Donovan. Same Sex Intimacies – Families of Choice and Other Life Experiments. London: Routledge, 2001. Citation reference for this article MLA Style Karl, Irmi. "Domesticating the Lesbian?: Queer Strategies and Technologies of Home-Making." M/C Journal 10.4 (2007). echo date('d M. Y'); ?> <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0708/06-karl.php>. APA Style Karl, I. (Aug. 2007) "Domesticating the Lesbian?: Queer Strategies and Technologies of Home-Making," M/C Journal, 10(4). Retrieved echo date('d M. Y'); ?> from <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0708/06-karl.php>.

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Ryan, Robin Ann. "Forest as Place in the Album "Canopy": Culturalising Nature or Naturalising Culture?" M/C Journal 19, no.3 (June22, 2016). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1096.

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Every act of art is able to reveal, balance and revive the relations between a territory and its inhabitants (François Davin, Southern Forest Sculpture Walk Catalogue)Introducing the Understory Art in Nature TrailIn February 2015, a colossal wildfire destroyed 98,300 hectares of farm and bushland surrounding the town of Northcliffe, located 365 km south of Perth, Western Australia (WA). As the largest fire in the recorded history of the southwest region (Southern Forest Arts, After the Burn 8), the disaster attracted national attention however the extraordinary contribution of local knowledge in saving a town considered by authorities to be “undefendable” (Kennedy) is yet to be widely appreciated. In accounting for a creative scene that survived the conflagration, this case study sees culture mobilised as a socioeconomic resource for conservation and the healing of community spirit.Northcliffe (population 850) sits on a coastal plain that hosts majestic old-growth forest and lush bushland. In 2006, Southern Forest Arts (SFA) dedicated a Southern Forest Sculpture Walk for creative professionals to develop artworks along a 1.2 km walk trail through pristine native forest. It was re-branded “Understory—Art in Nature” in 2009; then “Understory Art in Nature Trail” in 2015, the understory vegetation layer beneath the canopy being symbolic of Northcliffe’s deeply layered caché of memories, including “the awe, love, fear, and even the hatred that these trees have provoked among the settlers” (Davin in SFA Catalogue). In the words of the SFA Trailguide, “Every place (no matter how small) has ‘understories’—secrets, songs, dreams—that help us connect with the spirit of place.”In the view of forest arts ecologist Kumi Kato, “It is a sense of place that underlies the commitment to a place’s conservation by its community, broadly embracing those who identify with the place for various reasons, both geographical and conceptual” (149). In bioregional terms such communities form a terrain of consciousness (Berg and Dasmann 218), extending responsibility for conservation across cultures, time and space (Kato 150). A sustainable thematic of place must also include livelihood as the third party between culture and nature that establishes the relationship between them (Giblett 240). With these concepts in mind I gauge creative impact on forest as place, and, in turn, (altered) forest’s impact on people. My abstraction of physical place is inclusive of humankind moving in dialogic engagement with forest. A mapping of Understory’s creative activities sheds light on how artists express physical environments in situated creative practices, clusters, and networks. These, it is argued, constitute unique types of community operating within (and beyond) a foundational scene of inspiration and mystification that is metaphorically “rising from the ashes.” In transcending disconnectedness between humankind and landscape, Understory may be understood to both culturalise nature (as an aesthetic system), and naturalise culture (as an ecologically modelled system), to build on a trope introduced by Feld (199). Arguably when the bush is cultured in this way it attracts consumers who may otherwise disconnect from nature.The trail (henceforth Understory) broaches the histories of human relations with Northcliffe’s natural systems of place. Sub-groups of the Noongar nation have inhabited the southwest for an estimated 50,000 years and their association with the Northcliffe region extends back at least 6,000 years (SFA Catalogue; see also Crawford and Crawford). An indigenous sense of the spirit of forest is manifest in Understory sculpture, literature, and—for the purpose of this article—the compilation CD Canopy: Songs for the Southern Forests (henceforth Canopy, Figure 1).As a cultural and environmental construction of place, Canopy sustains the land with acts of seeing, listening to, and interpreting nature; of remembering indigenous people in the forest; and of recalling the hardships of the early settlers. I acknowledge SFA coordinator and Understory custodian Fiona Sinclair for authorising this investigation; Peter Hill for conservation conversations; Robyn Johnston for her Canopy CD sleeve notes; Della Rae Morrison for permissions; and David Pye for discussions. Figure 1. Canopy: Songs for the Southern Forests (CD, 2006). Cover image by Raku Pitt, 2002. Courtesy Southern Forest Arts, Northcliffe, WA.Forest Ecology, Emotion, and ActionEstablished in 1924, Northcliffe’s ill-founded Group Settlement Scheme resulted in frontier hardship and heartbreak, and deforestation of the southwest region for little economic return. An historic forest controversy (1992-2001) attracted media to Northcliffe when protesters attempting to disrupt logging chained themselves to tree trunks and suspended themselves from branches. The signing of the Western Australian Regional Forest Agreement in 1999 was followed, in 2001, by deregulation of the dairy industry and a sharp decline in area population.Moved by the gravity of this situation, Fiona Sinclair won her pitch to the Manjimup Council for a sound alternative industry for Northcliffe with projections of jobs: a forest where artists could work collectively and sustainably to reveal the beauty of natural dimensions. A 12-acre pocket of allocated Crown Land adjacent to the town was leased as an A-Class Reserve vested for Education and Recreation, for which SFA secured unified community ownership and grants. Conservation protocols stipulated that no biomass could be removed from the forest and that predominantly raw, natural materials were to be used (F. Sinclair and P. Hill, personal interview, 26 Sep. 2014). With forest as prescribed image (wider than the bounded chunk of earth), Sinclair invited the artists to consider the themes of spirituality, creativity, history, dichotomy, and sensory as a basis for work that was to be “fresh, intimate, and grounded in place.” Her brief encouraged artists to work with humanity and imagination to counteract residual community divisiveness and resentment. Sinclair describes this form of implicit environmentalism as an “around the back” approach that avoids lapsing into political commentary or judgement: “The trail is a love letter from those of us who live here to our visitors, to connect with grace” (F. Sinclair, telephone interview, 6 Apr. 2014). Renewing community connections to local place is essential if our lives and societies are to become more sustainable (Pedelty 128). To define Northcliffe’s new community phase, artists respected differing associations between people and forest. A structure on a karri tree by Indigenous artist Norma MacDonald presents an Aboriginal man standing tall and proud on a rock to become one with the tree and the forest: as it was for thousands of years before European settlement (MacDonald in SFA Catalogue). As Feld observes, “It is the stabilizing persistence of place as a container of experiences that contributes so powerfully to its intrinsic memorability” (201).Adhering to the philosophy that nature should not be used or abused for the sake of art, the works resonate with the biorhythms of the forest, e.g. functional seats and shelters and a cascading retainer that directs rainwater back to the resident fauna. Some sculptures function as receivers for picking up wavelengths of ancient forest. Forest Folk lurk around the understory, while mysterious stone art represents a life-shaping force of planet history. To represent the reality of bushfire, Natalie Williamson’s sculpture wraps itself around a burnt-out stump. The work plays with scale as small native sundew flowers are enlarged and a subtle beauty, easily overlooked, becomes apparent (Figure 2). The sculptor hopes that “spiders will spin their webs about it, incorporating it into the landscape” (SFA Catalogue).Figure 2. Sundew. Sculpture by Natalie Williamson, 2006. Understory Art in Nature Trail, Northcliffe, WA. Image by the author, 2014.Memory is naturally place-oriented or at least place-supported (Feld 201). Topaesthesia (sense of place) denotes movement that connects our biography with our route. This is resonant for the experience of regional character, including the tactile, olfactory, gustatory, visual, and auditory qualities of a place (Ryan 307). By walking, we are in a dialogue with the environment; both literally and figuratively, we re-situate ourselves into our story (Schine 100). For example, during a summer exploration of the trail (5 Jan. 2014), I intuited a personal attachment based on my grandfather’s small bush home being razed by fire, and his struggle to support seven children.Understory’s survival depends on vigilant controlled (cool) burns around its perimeter (Figure 3), organised by volunteer Peter Hill. These burns also hone the forest. On 27 Sept. 2014, the charred vegetation spoke a spring language of opportunity for nature to reassert itself as seedpods burst and continue the cycle; while an autumn walk (17 Mar. 2016) yielded a fresh view of forest colour, patterning, light, shade, and sound.Figure 3. Understory Art in Nature Trail. Map Created by Fiona Sinclair for Southern Forest Sculpture Walk Catalogue (2006). Courtesy Southern Forest Arts, Northcliffe, WA.Understory and the Melody of CanopyForest resilience is celebrated in five MP3 audio tours produced for visitors to dialogue with the trail in sensory contexts of music, poetry, sculptures and stories that name or interpret the setting. The trail starts in heathland and includes three creek crossings. A zone of acacias gives way to stands of the southwest signature trees karri (Eucalyptus diversicolor), jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata), and marri (Corymbia calophylla). Following a sheoak grove, a riverine environment re-enters heathland. Birds, insects, mammals, and reptiles reside around and between the sculptures, rendering the earth-embedded art a fusion of human and natural orders (concept after Relph 141). On Audio Tour 3, Songs for the Southern Forests, the musician-composers reflect on their regionally focused items, each having been birthed according to a personal musical concept (the manner in which an individual artist holds the totality of a composition in cultural context). Arguably the music in question, its composers, performers, audiences, and settings, all have a role to play in defining the processes and effects of forest arts ecology. Local musician Ann Rice billeted a cluster of musicians (mostly from Perth) at her Windy Harbour shack. The energy of the production experience was palpable as all participated in on-site forest workshops, and supported each other’s items as a musical collective (A. Rice, telephone interview, 2 Oct. 2014). Collaborating under producer Lee Buddle’s direction, they orchestrated rich timbres (tone colours) to evoke different musical atmospheres (Table 1). Composer/Performer Title of TrackInstrumentation1. Ann RiceMy Placevocals/guitars/accordion 2. David PyeCicadan Rhythmsangklung/violin/cello/woodblocks/temple blocks/clarinet/tapes 3. Mel RobinsonSheltervocal/cello/double bass 4. DjivaNgank Boodjakvocals/acoustic, electric and slide guitars/drums/percussion 5. Cathie TraversLamentaccordion/vocals/guitar/piano/violin/drums/programming 6. Brendon Humphries and Kevin SmithWhen the Wind First Blewvocals/guitars/dobro/drums/piano/percussion 7. Libby HammerThe Gladevocal/guitar/soprano sax/cello/double bass/drums 8. Pete and Dave JeavonsSanctuaryguitars/percussion/talking drum/cowbell/soprano sax 9. Tomás FordWhite Hazevocal/programming/guitar 10. David HyamsAwakening /Shaking the Tree /When the Light Comes guitar/mandolin/dobro/bodhran/rainstick/cello/accordion/flute 11. Bernard CarneyThe Destiny Waltzvocal/guitar/accordion/drums/recording of The Destiny Waltz 12. Joel BarkerSomething for Everyonevocal/guitars/percussion Table 1. Music Composed for Canopy: Songs for the Southern Forests.Source: CD sleeve and http://www.understory.com.au/art.php. Composing out of their own strengths, the musicians transformed the geographic region into a living myth. As Pedelty has observed of similar musicians, “their sounds resonate because they so profoundly reflect our living sense of place” (83-84). The remainder of this essay evidences the capacity of indigenous song, art music, electronica, folk, and jazz-blues to celebrate, historicise, or re-imagine place. Firstly, two items represent the phenomenological approach of site-specific sensitivity to acoustic, biological, and cultural presence/loss, including the materiality of forest as a living process.“Singing Up the Land”In Aboriginal Australia “there is no place that has not been imaginatively grasped through song, dance and design, no place where traditional owners cannot see the imprint of sacred creation” (Rose 18). Canopy’s part-Noongar language song thus repositions the ancient Murrum-Noongar people within their life-sustaining natural habitat and spiritual landscape.Noongar Yorga woman Della Rae Morrison of the Bibbulmun and Wilman nations co-founded The Western Australian Nuclear Free Alliance to campaign against the uranium mining industry threatening Ngank Boodjak (her country, “Mother Earth”) (D.R. Morrison, e-mail, 15 July 2014). In 2004, Morrison formed the duo Djiva (meaning seed power or life force) with Jessie Lloyd, a Murri woman of the Guugu Yimidhirr Nation from North Queensland. After discerning the fundamental qualities of the Understory site, Djiva created the song Ngank Boodjak: “This was inspired by walking the trail […] feeling the energy of the land and the beautiful trees and hearing the birds. When I find a spot that I love, I try to feel out the lay-lines, which feel like vortexes of energy coming out of the ground; it’s pretty amazing” (Morrison in SFA Canopy sleeve) Stanza 1 points to the possibilities of being more fully “in country”:Ssh!Ni dabarkarn kooliny, ngank boodja kookoorninyListen, walk slowly, beautiful Mother EarthThe inclusion of indigenous language powerfully implements an indigenous interpretation of forest: “My elders believe that when we leave this life from our physical bodies that our spirit is earthbound and is living in the rocks or the trees and if you listen carefully you might hear their voices and maybe you will get some answers to your questions” (Morrison in SFA Catalogue).Cicadan Rhythms, by composer David Pye, echoes forest as a lively “more-than-human” world. Pye took his cue from the ambient pulsing of male cicadas communicating in plenum (full assembly) by means of airborne sound. The species were sounding together in tempo with individual rhythm patterns that interlocked to create one fantastic rhythm (Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Composer David Pye). The cicada chorus (the loudest known lovesong in the insect world) is the unique summer soundmark (term coined by Truax Handbook, Website) of the southern forests. Pye chased various cicadas through Understory until he was able to notate the rhythms of some individuals in a patch of low-lying scrub.To simulate cicada clicking, the composer set pointillist patterns for Indonesian anklung (joint bamboo tubes suspended within a frame to produce notes when the frame is shaken or tapped). Using instruments made of wood to enhance the rich forest imagery, Pye created all parts using sampled instrumental sounds placed against layers of pre-recorded ambient sounds (D. Pye, telephone interview, 3 Sept. 2014). He takes the listener through a “geographical linear representation” of the trail: “I walked around it with a stopwatch and noted how long it took to get through each section of the forest, and that became the musical timing of the various parts of the work” (Pye in SFA Canopy sleeve). That Understory is a place where reciprocity between nature and culture thrives is, likewise, evident in the remaining tracks.Musicalising Forest History and EnvironmentThree tracks distinguish Canopy as an integrative site for memory. Bernard Carney’s waltz honours the Group Settlers who battled insurmountable terrain without any idea of their destiny, men who, having migrated with a promise of owning their own dairy farms, had to clear trees bare-handedly and build furniture from kerosene tins and gelignite cases. Carney illuminates the culture of Saturday night dancing in the schoolroom to popular tunes like The Destiny Waltz (performed on the Titanic in 1912). His original song fades to strains of the Victor Military Band (1914), to “pay tribute to the era where the inspiration of the song came from” (Carney in SFA Canopy sleeve). Likewise Cathie Travers’s Lament is an evocation of remote settler history that creates a “feeling of being in another location, other timezone, almost like an endless loop” (Travers in SFA Canopy sleeve).An instrumental medley by David Hyams opens with Awakening: the morning sun streaming through tall trees, and the nostalgic sound of an accordion waltz. Shaking the Tree, an Irish jig, recalls humankind’s struggle with forest and the forces of nature. A final title, When the Light Comes, defers to the saying by conservationist John Muir that “The wrongs done to trees, wrongs of every sort, are done in the darkness of ignorance and unbelief, for when the light comes the heart of the people is always right” (quoted by Hyams in SFA Canopy sleeve). Local musician Joel Barker wrote Something for Everyone to personify the old-growth karri as a king with a crown, with “wisdom in his bones.”Kevin Smith’s father was born in Northcliffe in 1924. He and Brendon Humphries fantasise the untouchability of a maiden (pre-human) moment in a forest in their song, When the Wind First Blew. In Libby Hammer’s The Glade (a lover’s lament), instrumental timbres project their own affective languages. The jazz singer intended the accompanying double bass to speak resonantly of old-growth forest; the cello to express suppleness and renewal; a soprano saxophone to impersonate a bird; and the drums to imitate the insect community’s polyrhythmic undercurrent (after Hammer in SFA Canopy sleeve).A hybrid aural environment of synthetic and natural forest sounds contrasts collision with harmony in Sanctuary. The Jeavons Brothers sampled rustling wind on nearby Mt Chudalup to absorb into the track’s opening, and crafted a snare groove for the quirky eco-jazz/trip-hop by banging logs together, and banging rocks against logs. This imaginative use of percussive found objects enhanced their portrayal of forest as “a living, breathing entity.”In dealing with recent history in My Place, Ann Rice cameos a happy childhood growing up on a southwest farm, “damming creeks, climbing trees, breaking bones and skinning knees.” The rich string harmonies of Mel Robinson’s Shelter sculpt the shifting environment of a brewing storm, while White Haze by Tomás Ford describes a smoky controlled burn as “a kind of metaphor for the beautiful mystical healing nature of Northcliffe”: Someone’s burning off the scrubSomeone’s making sure it’s safeSomeone’s whiting out the fearSomeone’s letting me breathe clearAs Sinclair illuminates in a post-fire interview with Sharon Kennedy (Website):When your map, your personal map of life involves a place, and then you think that that place might be gone…” Fiona doesn't finish the sentence. “We all had to face the fact that our little place might disappear." Ultimately, only one house was lost. Pasture and fences, sheds and forest are gone. Yet, says Fiona, “We still have our town. As part of SFA’s ongoing commission, forest rhythm workshops explore different sound properties of potential materials for installing sound sculptures mimicking the surrounding flora and fauna. In 2015, SFA mounted After the Burn (a touring photographic exhibition) and Out of the Ashes (paintings and woodwork featuring ash, charcoal, and resin) (SFA, After the Burn 116). The forthcoming community project Rising From the Ashes will commemorate the fire and allow residents to connect and create as they heal and move forward—ten years on from the foundation of Understory.ConclusionThe Understory Art in Nature Trail stimulates curiosity. It clearly illustrates links between place-based social, economic and material conditions and creative practices and products within a forest that has both given shelter and “done people in.” The trail is an experimental field, a transformative locus in which dedicated physical space frees artists to culturalise forest through varied aesthetic modalities. Conversely, forest possesses agency for naturalising art as a symbol of place. Djiva’s song Ngank Boodjak “sings up the land” to revitalise the timelessness of prior occupation, while David Pye’s Cicadan Rhythms foregrounds the seasonal cycle of entomological music.In drawing out the richness and significance of place, the ecologically inspired album Canopy suggests that the community identity of a forested place may be informed by cultural, economic, geographical, and historical factors as well as endemic flora and fauna. Finally, the musical representation of place is not contingent upon blatant forms of environmentalism. The portrayals of Northcliffe respectfully associate Western Australian people and forests, yet as a place, the town has become an enduring icon for the plight of the Universal Old-growth Forest in all its natural glory, diverse human uses, and (real or perceived) abuses.ReferencesAustralian Broadcasting Commission. “Canopy: Songs for the Southern Forests.” Into the Music. Prod. Robyn Johnston. Radio National, 5 May 2007. 12 Aug. 2014 <http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/intothemusic/canopy-songs-for-the-southern-forests/3396338>.———. “Composer David Pye.” Interview with Andrew Ford. The Music Show, Radio National, 12 Sep. 2009. 30 Jan. 2015 <http://canadapodcasts.ca/podcasts/MusicShowThe/1225021>.Berg, Peter, and Raymond Dasmann. “Reinhabiting California.” Reinhabiting a Separate Country: A Bioregional Anthology of Northern California. Ed. Peter Berg. San Francisco: Planet Drum, 1978. 217-20.Crawford, Patricia, and Ian Crawford. Contested Country: A History of the Northcliffe Area, Western Australia. Perth: UWA P, 2003.Feld, Steven. 2001. “Lift-Up-Over Sounding.” The Book of Music and Nature: An Anthology of Sounds, Words, Thoughts. Ed. David Rothenberg and Marta Ulvaeus. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan UP, 2001. 193-206.Giblett, Rod. People and Places of Nature and Culture. Bristol: Intellect, 2011.Kato, Kumi. “Addressing Global Responsibility for Conservation through Cross-Cultural Collaboration: Kodama Forest, a Forest of Tree Spirits.” The Environmentalist 28.2 (2008): 148-54. 15 Apr. 2014 <http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10669-007-9051-6#page-1>.Kennedy, Sharon. “Local Knowledge Builds Vital Support Networks in Emergencies.” ABC South West WA, 10 Mar. 2015. 26 Mar. 2015 <http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2015/03/09/4193981.htm?site=southwestwa>.Morrison, Della Rae. E-mail. 15 July 2014.Pedelty, Mark. Ecomusicology: Rock, Folk, and the Environment. Philadelphia, PA: Temple UP, 2012.Pye, David. Telephone interview. 3 Sep. 2014.Relph, Edward. Place and Placelessness. London: Pion, 1976.Rice, Ann. Telephone interview. 2 Oct. 2014.Rose, Deborah Bird. Nourishing Terrains: Australian Aboriginal Views of Landscape and Wilderness. Australian Heritage Commission, 1996.Ryan, John C. Green Sense: The Aesthetics of Plants, Place and Language. Oxford: Trueheart Academic, 2012.Schine, Jennifer. “Movement, Memory and the Senses in Soundscape Studies.” Canadian Acoustics: Journal of the Canadian Acoustical Association 38.3 (2010): 100-01. 12 Apr. 2016 <http://jcaa.caa-aca.ca/index.php/jcaa/article/view/2264>.Sinclair, Fiona. Telephone interview. 6 Apr. 2014.Sinclair, Fiona, and Peter Hill. Personal Interview. 26 Sep. 2014.Southern Forest Arts. Canopy: Songs for the Southern Forests. CD coordinated by Fiona Sinclair. Recorded and produced by Lee Buddle. Sleeve notes by Robyn Johnston. West Perth: Sound Mine Studios, 2006.———. Southern Forest Sculpture Walk Catalogue. Northcliffe, WA, 2006. Unpaginated booklet.———. Understory—Art in Nature. 2009. 12 Apr. 2016 <http://www.understory.com.au/>.———. Trailguide. Understory. Presented by Southern Forest Arts, n.d.———. After the Burn: Stories, Poems and Photos Shared by the Local Community in Response to the 2015 Northcliffe and Windy Harbour Bushfire. 2nd ed. Ed. Fiona Sinclair. Northcliffe, WA., 2016.Truax, Barry, ed. Handbook for Acoustic Ecology. 2nd ed. Cambridge Street Publishing, 1999. 10 Apr. 2016 <http://www.sfu.ca/sonic-studio/handbook/Soundmark.html>.

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Allen, Rob. "Lost and Now Found: The Search for the Hidden and Forgotten." M/C Journal 20, no.5 (October13, 2017). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1290.

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The Digital TurnMuch of the 19th century disappeared from public view during the 20th century. Historians recovered what they could from archives and libraries, with the easy pickings-the famous and the fortunate-coming first. Latterly, social and political historians of different hues determinedly sought out the more hidden, forgotten, and marginalised. However, there were always limitations to resources-time, money, location, as well as purpose, opportunity, and permission. 'History' was principally a professionalised and privileged activity dominated by academics who had preferential access to, and significant control over, the resources, technologies and skills required, as well as the social, economic and cultural framework within which history was recovered, interpreted, approved and disseminated.Digitisation and the broader development of new communication technologies has, however, transformed historical research processes and practice dramatically, removing many constraints, opening up many opportunities, and allowing many others than the professional historian to trace and track what would have remained hidden, forgotten, or difficult to find, as well as verify (or otherwise), what has already been claimed and concluded. In the 21st century, the SEARCH button has become a dominant tool of research. This, along with other technological and media developments, has altered the practice of historians-professional or 'public'-who can now range deep and wide in the collection, portrayal and dissemination of historical information, in and out of the confines of the traditional institutional walls of retained information, academia, location, and national boundaries.This incorporation of digital technologies into academic historical practice generally, has raised, as Cohen and Rosenzweig, in their book Digital History, identified a decade ago, not just promises, but perils. For the historian, there has been the move, through digitisation, from the relative scarcity and inaccessibility of historical material to its (over) abundance, but also the emerging acceptance that, out of both necessity and preference, a hybridity of sources will be the foreseeable way forward. There has also been a significant shift, as De Groot notes in his book Consuming History, in the often conflicted relationship between popular/public history and academic history, and the professional and the 'amateur' historian. This has brought a potentially beneficial democratization of historical practice but also an associated set of concerns around the loss of control of both practice and product of the professional historian. Additionally, the development of digital tools for the collection and dissemination of 'history' has raised fears around the commercialised development of the subject's brand, products and commodities. This article considers the significance and implications of some of these changes through one protracted act of recovery and reclamation in which the digital made the difference: the life of a notorious 19th century professional agitator on both sides of the Atlantic, John De Morgan. A man thought lost, but now found."Who Is John De Morgan?" The search began in 1981, linked to the study of contemporary "race riots" in South East London. The initial purpose was to determine whether there was a history of rioting in the area. In the Local History Library, a calm and dusty backwater, an early find was a fading, but evocative and puzzling, photograph of "The Plumstead Common Riots" of 1876. It showed a group of men and women, posing for the photographer on a hillside-the technology required stillness, even in the middle of a riot-spades in hand, filling in a Mr. Jacob's sandpits, illegally dug from what was supposed to be common land. The leader of this, and other similar riots around England, was John De Morgan. A local journalist who covered the riots commented: "Of Mr. De Morgan little is known before or since the period in which he flashed meteorlike through our section of the atmosphere, but he was indisputably a remarkable man" (Vincent 588). Thus began a trek, much interrupted, sometimes unmapped and haphazard, to discover more about this 'remarkable man'. "Who is John De Morgan" was a question frequently asked by his many contemporary antagonists, and by subsequent historians, and one to which De Morgan deliberately gave few answers. The obvious place to start the search was the British Museum Reading Room, resplendent in its Victorian grandeur, the huge card catalogue still in the 1980s the dominating technology. Together with the Library's newspaper branch at Colindale, this was likely to be the repository of all that might then easily be known about De Morgan.From 1869, at the age of 21, it appeared that De Morgan had embarked on a life of radical politics that took him through the UK, made him notorious, lead to accusations of treasonable activities, sent him to jail twice, before he departed unexpectedly to the USA in 1880. During that period, he was involved with virtually every imaginable radical cause, at various times a temperance advocate, a spiritualist, a First Internationalist, a Republican, a Tichbornite, a Commoner, an anti-vaccinator, an advanced Liberal, a parliamentary candidate, a Home Ruler. As a radical, he, like many radicals of the period, "zigzagged nomadically through the mayhem of nineteenth century politics fighting various foes in the press, the clubs, the halls, the pulpit and on the street" (Kazin 202). He promoted himself as the "People's Advocate, Champion and Friend" (Allen). Never a joiner or follower, he established a variety of organizations, became a professional agitator and orator, and supported himself and his politics through lecturing and journalism. Able to attract huge crowds to "monster meetings", he achieved fame, or more correctly notoriety. And then, in 1880, broke and in despair, he disappeared from public view by emigrating to the USA.LostThe view of De Morgan as a "flashing meteor" was held by many in the 1870s. Historians of the 20th century took a similar position and, while considering him intriguing and culturally interesting, normally dispatched him to the footnotes. By the latter part of the 20th century, he was described as "one of the most notorious radicals of the 1870s yet remains a shadowy figure" and was generally dismissed as "a swashbuckling demagogue," a "democratic messiah," and" if not a bandit … at least an adventurer" (Allen 684). His politics were deemed to be reactionary, peripheral, and, worst of all, populist. He was certainly not of sufficient interest to pursue across the Atlantic. In this dismissal, he fell foul of the highly politicised professional culture of mid-to-late 20th-century academic historians. In particular, the lack of any significant direct linkage to the story of the rise of a working class, and specifically the British Labour party, left individuals like De Morgan in the margins and footnotes. However, in terms of historical practice, it was also the case that his mysterious entry into public life, his rapid rise to brief notability and notoriety, and his sudden disappearance, made the investigation of his career too technically difficult to be worthwhile.The footprints of the forgotten may occasionally turn up in the archived papers of the important, or in distant public archives and records, but the primary sources are the newspapers of the time. De Morgan was a regular, almost daily, visitor to the pages of the multitude of newspapers, local and national, that were published in Victorian Britain and Gilded Age USA. He also published his own, usually short-lived and sometimes eponymous, newspapers: De Morgan's Monthly and De Morgan's Weekly as well as the splendidly titled People's Advocate and National Vindicator of Right versus Wrong and the deceptively titled, highly radical, House and Home. He was highly mobile: he noted, without too much hyperbole, that in the 404 days between his English prison sentences in the mid-1870s, he had 465 meetings, travelled 32,000 miles, and addressed 500,000 people. Thus the newspapers of the time are littered with often detailed and vibrant accounts of his speeches, demonstrations, and riots.Nonetheless, the 20th-century technologies of access and retrieval continued to limit discovery. The white gloves, cradles, pencils and paper of the library or archive, sometimes supplemented by the century-old 'new' technology of the microfilm, all enveloped in a culture of hallowed (and pleasurable) silence, restricted the researcher looking to move into the lesser known and certainly the unknown. The fact that most of De Morgan's life was spent, it was thought, outside of England, and outside the purview of the British Library, only exacerbated the problem. At a time when a historian had to travel to the sources and then work directly on them, pencil in hand, it needed more than curiosity to keep searching. Even as many historians in the late part of the century shifted their centre of gravity from the known to the unknown and from the great to the ordinary, in any form of intellectual or resource cost-benefit analysis, De Morgan was a non-starter.UnknownOn the subject of his early life, De Morgan was tantalisingly and deliberately vague. In his speeches and newspapers, he often leaked his personal and emotional struggles as well as his political battles. However, when it came to his biographical story, he veered between the untruthful, the denial, and the obscure. To the twentieth century observer, his life began in 1869 at the age of 21 and ended at the age of 32. His various political campaign "biographies" gave some hints, but what little he did give away was often vague, coy and/or unlikely. His name was actually John Francis Morgan, but he never formally acknowledged it. He claimed, and was very proud, to be Irish and to have been educated in London and at Cambridge University (possible but untrue), and also to have been "for the first twenty years of his life directly or indirectly a railway servant," and to have been a "boy orator" from the age of ten (unlikely but true). He promised that "Some day-nay any day-that the public desire it, I am ready to tell the story of my strange life from earliest recollection to the present time" (St. Clair 4). He never did and the 20th century could unearth little evidence in relation to any of his claims.The blend of the vague, the unlikely and the unverifiable-combined with an inclination to self-glorification and hyperbole-surrounded De Morgan with an aura, for historians as well as contemporaries, of the self-seeking, untrustworthy charlatan with something to hide and little to say. Therefore, as the 20th century moved to closure, the search for John De Morgan did so as well. Though interesting, he gave most value in contextualising the lives of Victorian radicals more generally. He headed back to the footnotes.Now FoundMeanwhile, the technologies underpinning academic practice generally, and history specifically, had changed. The photocopier, personal computer, Internet, and mobile device, had arrived. They formed the basis for both resistance and revolution in academic practices. For a while, the analytical skills of the academic community were concentrated on the perils as much as the promises of a "digital history" (Cohen and Rosenzweig Digital).But as the Millennium turned, and the academic community itself spawned, inter alia, Google, the practical advantages of digitisation for history forced themselves on people. Google enabled the confident searching from a neutral place for things known and unknown; information moved to the user more easily in both time and space. The culture and technologies of gathering, retrieval, analysis, presentation and preservation altered dramatically and, as a result, the traditional powers of gatekeepers, institutions and professional historians was redistributed (De Groot). Access and abundance, arguably over-abundance, became the platform for the management of historical information. For the search for De Morgan, the door reopened. The increased global electronic access to extensive databases, catalogues, archives, and public records, as well as people who knew, or wanted to know, something, opened up opportunities that have been rapidly utilised and expanded over the last decade. Both professional and "amateur" historians moved into a space that made the previously difficult to know or unknowable now accessible.Inevitably, the development of digital newspaper archives was particularly crucial to seeking and finding John De Morgan. After some faulty starts in the early 2000s, characterised as a "wild west" and a "gold rush" (Fyfe 566), comprehensive digitised newspaper archives became available. While still not perfect, in terms of coverage and quality, it is a transforming technology. In the UK, the British Newspaper Archive (BNA)-in pursuit of the goal of the digitising of all UK newspapers-now has over 20 million pages. Each month presents some more of De Morgan. Similarly, in the US, Fulton History, a free newspaper archive run by retired computer engineer Tom Tryniski, now has nearly 40 million pages of New York newspapers. The almost daily footprints of De Morgan's radical life can now be seen, and the lives of the social networks within which he worked on both sides of the Atlantic, come easily into view even from a desk in New Zealand.The Internet also allows connections between researchers, both academic and 'public', bringing into reach resources not otherwise knowable: a Scottish genealogist with a mass of data on De Morgan's family; a Californian with the historian's pot of gold, a collection of over 200 letters received by De Morgan over a 50 year period; a Leeds Public Library blogger uncovering spectacular, but rarely seen, Victorian electoral cartoons which explain De Morgan's precipitate departure to the USA. These discoveries would not have happened without the infrastructure of the Internet, web site, blog, and e-mail. Just how different searching is can be seen in the following recent scenario, one of many now occurring. An addition in 2017 to the BNA shows a Master J.F. Morgan, aged 13, giving lectures on temperance in Ledbury in 1861, luckily a census year. A check of the census through Ancestry shows that Master Morgan was born in Lincolnshire in England, and a quick look at the 1851 census shows him living on an isolated blustery hill in Yorkshire in a railway encampment, along with 250 navvies, as his father, James, works on the construction of a tunnel. Suddenly, literally within the hour, the 20-year search for the childhood of John De Morgan, the supposedly Irish-born "gentleman who repudiated his class," has taken a significant turn.At the end of the 20th century, despite many efforts, John De Morgan was therefore a partial character bounded by what he said and didn't say, what others believed, and the intellectual and historiographical priorities, technologies, tools and processes of that century. In effect, he "lived" historically for a less than a quarter of his life. Without digitisation, much would have remained hidden; with it there has been, and will still be, much to find. De Morgan hid himself and the 20th century forgot him. But as the technologies have changed, and with it the structures of historical practice, the question that even De Morgan himself posed – "Who is John De Morgan?" – can now be addressed.SearchingDigitisation brings undoubted benefits, but its impact goes a long way beyond the improved search and detection capabilities, into a range of technological developments of communication and media that impact on practice, practitioners, institutions, and 'history' itself. A dominant issue for the academic community is the control of "history." De Groot, in his book Consuming History, considers how history now works in contemporary popular culture and, in particular, examines the development of the sometimes conflicted relationship between popular/public history and academic history, and the professional and the 'amateur' historian.The traditional legitimacy of professional historians has, many argue, been eroded by shifts in technology and access with the power of traditional cultural gatekeepers being undermined, bypassing the established control of institutions and professional historian. While most academics now embrace the primary tools of so-called "digital history," they remain, De Groot argues, worried that "history" is in danger of becoming part of a discourse of leisure, not a professionalized arena (18). An additional concern is the role of the global capitalist market, which is developing, or even taking over, 'history' as a brand, product and commodity with overt fiscal value. Here the huge impact of newspaper archives and genealogical software (sometimes owned in tandem) is of particular concern.There is also the new challenge of "navigating the chaos of abundance in online resources" (De Groot 68). By 2005, it had become clear that:the digital era seems likely to confront historians-who were more likely in the past to worry about the scarcity of surviving evidence from the past-with a new 'problem' of abundance. A much deeper and denser historical record, especially one in digital form seems like an incredible opportunity and a gift. But its overwhelming size means that we will have to spend a lot of time looking at this particular gift horse in mouth. (Cohen and Rosenzweig, Web).This easily accessible abundance imposes much higher standards of evidence on the historian. The acceptance within the traditional model that much could simply not be done or known with the resources available meant that there was a greater allowance for not knowing. But with a search button and public access, democratizing the process, the consumer as well as the producer can see, and find, for themselves.Taking on some of these challenges, Zaagsma, having reminded us that the history of digital humanities goes back at least 60 years, notes the need to get rid of the "myth that historical practice can be uncoupled from technological, and thus methodological developments, and that going digital is a choice, which, I cannot emphasis strongly enough, it is not" (14). There is no longer a digital history which is separate from history, and with digital technologies that are now ubiquitous and pervasive, historians have accepted or must quickly face a fundamental break with past practices. However, also noting that the great majority of archival material is not digitised and is unlikely to be so, Zaagsma concludes that hybridity will be the "new normal," combining "traditional/analogue and new/digital practices at least in information gathering" (17).ConclusionA decade on from Cohen and Rozenzweig's "Perils and Promises," the digital is a given. Both historical practice and historians have changed, though it is a work in progress. An early pioneer of the use of computers in the humanities, Robert Busa wrote in 1980 that "the principal aim is the enhancement of the quality, depth and extension of research and not merely the lessening of human effort and time" (89). Twenty years later, as Google was launched, Jordanov, taking on those who would dismiss public history as "mere" popularization, entertainment or propaganda, argued for the "need to develop coherent positions on the relationships between academic history, the media, institutions…and popular culture" (149). As the digital turn continues, and the SEARCH button is just one part of that, all historians-professional or "amateur"-will take advantage of opportunities that technologies have opened up. Looking across the whole range of transformations in recent decades, De Groot concludes: "Increasingly users of history are accessing the past through complex and innovative media and this is reconfiguring their sense of themselves, the world they live in and what history itself might be about" (310). ReferencesAllen, Rob. "'The People's Advocate, Champion and Friend': The Transatlantic Career of Citizen John De Morgan (1848-1926)." Historical Research 86.234 (2013): 684-711.Busa, Roberto. "The Annals of Humanities Computing: The Index Thomisticus." Computers and the Humanities 14.2 (1980): 83-90.Cohen, Daniel J., and Roy Rosenzweig. Digital History: A Guide to Gathering, Preserving, and Presenting the Past on the Web. Philadelphia, PA: U Pennsylvania P, 2005.———. "Web of Lies? Historical Knowledge on the Internet." First Monday 10.12 (2005).De Groot, Jerome. Consuming History: Historians and Heritage in Contemporary Popular Culture. 2nd ed. Abingdon: Routledge, 2016.De Morgan, John. Who Is John De Morgan? A Few Words of Explanation, with Portrait. By a Free and Independent Elector of Leicester. London, 1877.Fyfe, Paul. "An Archaeology of Victorian Newspapers." Victorian Periodicals Review 49.4 (2016): 546-77."Interchange: The Promise of Digital History." Journal of American History 95.2 (2008): 452-91.Johnston, Leslie. "Before You Were Born, We Were Digitizing Texts." The Signal 9 Dec. 2012, Library of Congress. <https://blogs.loc.gov/thesignal/292/12/before-you-were-born-we-were-digitizing-texts>.Jordanova, Ludmilla. History in Practice. 2nd ed. London: Arnold, 2000.Kazin, Michael. A Godly Hero: The Life of William Jennings Bryan. New York: Anchor Books, 2006.Saint-Clair, Sylvester. Sketch of the Life and Labours of J. De Morgan, Elocutionist, and Tribune of the People. Leeds: De Morgan & Co., 1880.Vincent, William T. The Records of the Woolwich District, Vol. II. Woolwich: J.P. Jackson, 1890.Zaagsma, Gerban. "On Digital History." BMGN-Low Countries Historical Review 128.4 (2013): 3-29.

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McGuire, Mark. "Ordered Communities." M/C Journal 7, no.6 (January1, 2005). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2474.

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A rhetoric of freedom characterises much of the literature dealing with online communities: freedom from fixed identity and appearance, from the confines of geographic space, and from control. The prevailing view, a combination of futurism and utopianism, is that the lack of order in cyberspace enables the creation of social spaces that will enhance personal freedom and advance the common good. Sherry Turkle argues that computer-mediated communication allows us to create a new form of community, in which identity is multiple and fluid (15-17). Marcos Novak celebrates the possibilities of a dematerialized, ethereal virtual architecture in which the relationships between abstract elements are in a constant state of flux (250). John Perry Barlow employs the frontier metaphor to frame cyberspace as an unmapped, ungoverned territory in which a romantic and a peculiarly American form of individualism can be enjoyed by rough and ready pioneers (“Crime” 460). In his 1993 account as an active participant in The WELL (Whole Earth ‘Lectronic Link), one of the earliest efforts to construct a social space online, Howard Rheingold celebrates the freedom to create a “new kind of culture” and an “authentic community” in the “electronic frontier.” He worries, however, that the freedom enjoyed by early homesteaders may be short lived, because “big power and big money” might soon find ways to control the Internet, just as they have come to dominate and direct other communications media. “The Net,” he states, “is still out of control in fundamental ways, but it might not stay that way for long” (Virtual Community 2-5). The uses of order and disorder Some theorists have identified disorder as a necessary condition for the development of healthy communities. In The Uses of Disorder (1970), Richard Sennett argues that “the freedom to accept and to live with disorder” is integral to our search for community (xviii). In his 1989 study of social space, Ray Oldenburg maintains that public hangouts, which constitute the heart of vibrant communities, support sociability best when activities are unplanned, unorganized, and unrestricted (33). He claims that without the constraints of preplanned control we will be more in control of ourselves and more aware of one another (198). More recently, Charles Landry suggests that “structured instability” and “controlled disruption,” resulting from competition, conflict, crisis, and debate, make cities less comfortable but more exciting. Further, he argues that “endemic structural disorder” requiring ongoing adjustments can generate healthy creative activity and stimulate continual innovation (156-58). Kevin Robins, too, believes that any viable social system must be prepared to accept a level of uncertainty, disorder, and fear. He observes, however, that techno-communities are “driven by the compulsion to neutralize,” and they therefore exclude these possibilities in favour of order and security (90-91). Indeed, order and security are the dominant characteristics that less idealistic observers have identified with cyberspace. Alexander Galloway explains how, despite its potential as a liberating development, the Internet is based on technologies of control. This control is exercised at the code level through technical protocols, such as TCP/IP, DNS, and HTM, that determine disconnections as well as connections (Galloway). Lawrence Lessig suggests that in our examination of the ownership, regulation, and governance of the virtual commons, we must take into account three distinct layers. As well as the “logical” or “code” layer that Galloway foregrounds, we should also consider the “physical” layer, consisting of the computers and wires that carry Internet communications, and the “content” layer, which includes everything that we see and hear over the network. In principle, each of these layers could be free and unorganized, or privately owned and controlled (Lessig 23). Dan Schiller documents the increasing privatization of the Net and argues that corporate cyberspace extends the reach of the market, enabling it to penetrate into areas that have previously been considered to be part of the public domain. For Schiller, the Internet now serves as the main production and control mechanism of a global market system (xiv). Checking into Habbo Hotel Habbo Hotel is an example of a highly ordered and controlled online social space that uses community and game metaphors to suggest something much more open and playful. Designed to attract the teenage market, this graphically intensive cartoon-like hotel is like an interactive Legoland, in which participants assemble a toy-like “Habbo” character and chat, play games, and construct personal environments. The first Habbo Hotel opened its doors in the United Kingdom in 2000, and, by September 2004, localized sites were based in a dozen countries, including Canada, the Unites States, Finland, Japan, Switzerland and Spain, with further expansion planned. At that time, there were more than seventeen million registered Habbo characters worldwide with 2.3 million unique visitors each month (“Strong Growth”). The hotel contains thousands of private rooms and twenty-two public spaces, including a welcome lounge, three lobbies, cinema, game hall, café, pub, and an extensive hallway. Anyone can go to the Room-O-Matic and instantly create a free guest room. However, there are a limited number of layouts to choose from and the furnishings, which must be purchased, have be chosen from a catalog of fixed offerings. All rooms are located on one of five floors, which categorize them according to use (parties, games, models, mazes, and trading). Paradoxically, the so-called public spaces are more restricted and less public than the private guest quarters. The limited capacity of the rooms means that all of the public spaces are full most of the time. Priority is given to paying Habbo Club members and others are denied entry or are unceremoniously ejected from a room when it becomes full. Most visitors never make it into the front lobby. This rigid and restricted construction is far from Novak’s vision of a “liquid architecture” without barriers, that morphs in response to the constantly changing desires of individual inhabitants (Novak 250). Before entering the virtual hotel, individuals must first create a Lego-like avatar. Users choose a unique name for their Habbo (no foul language is allowed) and construct their online persona from a limited selection and colour of body parts. One of two different wardrobes is available, depending on whether “Boy” or “Girl” is chosen. The gender of every Habbo is easily recognizable and the restricted wardrobe results in remarkably similar looking young characters. The lack of differentiation encourages participants to treat other Habbos as generic “Boys” or “Girls” and it encourages limited and predictable conversations that fit the stereotype of male-female interactions in most chat sites. Contrary to Turkle’s contention that computer mediated communication technologies expose the fallacy of a single, fixed, identity, and free participants to experiment with alternative selves (15-17), Habbo characters are permitted just one unchangeable name, and are capable of only limited visual transformations. A fixed link between each Habbo character and its registered user (information that is not available to other participants) allows the hotel management to track members through the site and monitor their behavior. Habbo movements are limited to walking, waving, dancing and drinking virtual alcohol-free beverages. Movement between spaces is accomplished by entering a teleport booth, or by selecting a location by name from the hotel Navigator. Habbos cannot jump, fly or walk through objects or other Habbos. They have no special powers and only a limited ability to interact with objects in their environment. They cannot be hurt or otherwise affected by anything in their surroundings, including other Habbos. The emphasis is on safety and avoidance of conflict. Text chat in Habbo Hotel is limited to one sixty-one-character line, which appears above the Habbo, floats upward, and quickly disappears off the top of the screen. Text must be typed in real time while reading on-going conversations and it is not possible to archive a chat sessions or view past exchanges. There is no way of posting a message on a public board. Using the Habbo Console, shorter messages can also be exchanged between Habbos who may be occupying different rooms. The only other narratives available on the site are in the form of official news and promotions. Before checking into the hotel, Habbos can stop to read Habbo Today, which promotes current offers and activities, and HabboHood Happenings, which offers safety tips, information about membership benefits, jobs (paid in furniture), contest winners, and polls. According to Rheingold, a virtual community can form online when enough people participate in meaningful public discussions over an extended period of time and develop “webs of personal relationships” (Virtual Community 5). By restricting communication to short, fleeting messages between individual Habbos, the hotel frustrates efforts by members to engage in significant dialogue and create a viable social group. Although “community” is an important part of the Habbo Hotel brand, it is unlikely to be a substantial part of the actual experience. The virtual hotel is promoted as a safe, non-threatening environment suitable for the teenagers is designed to attract. Parents’ concerns about the dangers of an unregulated chat space provide the hotel management with a justification for creating a highly controlled social space. The hotel is patrolled twenty-four hours a day by professional moderators backed-up by a team of 180 volunteer “Hobbas,” or guides, who can issue warnings to misbehaving Habbos, or temporarily ban them from the site. All text keyed in by Habbos passes through an automated “Bobba Filter” that removes swearing, racist words, explicit sexual comments and “anything that goes against the “Habbo Way” (“Bad Language”). Stick to the rules and you’ll have fun, Habbos are told, “break them and you’ll get yourself banned” (“Habbo Way”). In Big Brother fashion, messages are displayed throughought the hotel advising members to “Stay safe, read the Habbohood Watch,” “Never give out your details!” and “Obey the Habbo way and you’ll be OK.” This miniature surveillance society contradicts Barlow’s observation that cyberspace serves as “a perfect breeding ground for both outlaws and new ideas about liberty” (“Crime” 460). In his manifesto declaring the independence of cyberspace from government control, he maintains that the state has no authority in the electronic “global social space,” where, he asserts, “[w]e are forming our own Social Contract” based on the Golden Rule (“Declaration”). However, Habbo Hotel shows how the rule of the marketplace, which values profits more than social practices, can limit the freedoms of online civil society just as effectively as the most draconian government regulation. Place your order Far from permitting the “controlled disruption” advocated by Landry, the hotel management ensures that nothing is allowed to disrupt their control over the participants. Without conflict and debate, there are few triggers for creative activity in the site, which is designed to encourage consumption, not community. Timo Soininen, the managing director of the company that designed the hotel, states that, because teenagers like to showcase their own personal style, “self-expression is the key to our whole concept.” However, since it isn’t possible to create a Habbo from scratch, or to import clothing or other objects from outside the site, the only way for members to effectively express themselves is by decorating and furnishing their room with items purchased from the Habbo Catalogue. “You see, this,” admits Soininen, “is where our revenue model kicks in” (Shalit). Real-world products and services are also marketed through ads and promotions that are integrated into chat, news, and games. The result, according to Habbo Ltd, is “the ideal vehicle for third party brands to reach this highly desired 12-18 year-old market in a cost-effective and creative manner” (“Habbo Company Profile”). Habbo Hotel is a good example of what Herbert Schiller describes as the corporate capture of sites of public expression. He notes that, when put at the service of growing corporate power, new technologies “provide the instrumentation for organizing and channeling expression” (5-6). In an afterword to a revised edition of The Virtual Community, published in 2000, Rheingold reports on the sale of the WELL to a privately owned corporation, and its decline as a lively social space when order was imposed from the top down. Although he believes that there is a place for commercial virtual communities on the Net, he acknowledges that as economic forces become more entrenched, “more controls will be instituted because there is more at stake.” While remaining hopeful that activists can leverage the power of many-to-many communications for the public good, he wonders what will happen when “the decentralized network infrastructure and freewheeling network economy collides with the continuing growth of mammoth, global, communication empires” (Virtual Community Rev. 375-7). Although the company that built Habbo Hotel is far from achieving global empire status, their project illustrates how the dominant ethos of privatization and the increasing emphasis on consumption results in gated virtual communities that are highly ordered, restricted, and controlled. The popularity of the hotel reflects the desire of millions of Habbos to express their identities and ideas in a playful environment that they are free to create and manipulate. However, they soon find that the rules are stacked against them. Restricted design options, severe communication limitations, and fixed architectural constraints mean that the only freedom left is the freedom to choose from a narrow range of provided options. In private cyberspaces like Habbo Hotel, the logic of the market rules out unrestrained many-to-many communications in favour of controlled commercial relationships. The liberating potential of the Internet that was recognized by Rheingold and others has been diminished as the forces of globalized commerce impose their order on the electronic frontier. References “Bad Language.” Habbo Hotel. 2004. Sulake UK Ltd. 15 Apr. 2004 http://www.habbohotel.co.uk/habbo/en/help/safety/badlanguage/>. Barlow, John Perry. “Crime and Puzzlement.” High Noon on the Electronic Frontier: Conceptual Issues in Cyberspace. Ed. Peter Ludlow. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT P, 1996. 459-86. ———. “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace.” 8 Feb. 1996. 3 July 2004 http://www.eff.org/~barlow/Declaration-Final.html>. Galloway, Alexander R. Protocol: How Control Exists after Decentralization. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT P, 2004. “Habbo Company Profile.” Habbo Hotel. 2002. Habbo Ltd. 20 Jan. 2003 http://www.habbogroup.com>. “The Habbo Way.” Habbo Hotel. 2004. Sulake UK Ltd. 15 Apr. 2004 http://www.habbohotel.co.uk/habbo/en/help/safety/habboway/>. Landry, Charles. The Creative City: A Toolkit for Urban Innovators. London: Earthscan, 2000. Lessig, Lawrence. The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Commons in a Connected World. New York: Random, 2001. Novak, Marcos. “Liquid Architecture in Cyberspace.” Cyberspace: First Steps. Ed. Michael Benedikt. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT P, 1991. 225-54. Oldenburg, Ray. The Great Good Place: Cafés, Coffee Shops, Community Centers, Beauty Parlors, General Stores, Bars, Hangouts and How They Get You through the Day. New York: Paragon, 1989. Rheingold, Howard. The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier. New York: Harper, 1993. ———. The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier. Rev. ed. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT P, 2000. Robins, Kevin. “Cyberspace and the World We Live In.” The Cybercultures Reader. Eds. David Bell and Barbara M. Kennedy. London: Routledge, 2000. 77-95. Schiller, Dan. Digital Capitalism: Networking the Global Market System. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT P, 1999. Schiller, Herbert I. Culture Inc.: The Corporate Takeover of Public Expression. New York: Oxford UP, 1991. Sennett, Richard. The Uses of Disorder: Personal Identity & City Life. New York: Vintage, 1970. Shalit, Ruth. “Welcome to the Habbo Hotel.” mpulse Magazine. Mar. 2002. Hewlett-Packard. 1 Apr. 2004 http://www.cooltown.com/cooltown/mpulse/0302-habbo.asp>. “Strong Growth in Sulake’s Revenues and Profit – Habbo Hotel Online Game Will Launch in the US in September.” 3 Sept. 2004. Sulake. Sulake Corp. 9 Jan. 2005 http://www.sulake.com/>. Turkle, Sherry. Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet. New York: Simon, 1997. Citation reference for this article MLA Style McGuire, Mark. "Ordered Communities." M/C Journal 7.6 (2005). echo date('d M. Y'); ?> <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0501/06-mcguire.php>. APA Style McGuire, M. (Jan. 2005) "Ordered Communities," M/C Journal, 7(6). Retrieved echo date('d M. Y'); ?> from <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0501/06-mcguire.php>.

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Subramanian, Shreerekha Pillai. "Malayalee Diaspora in the Age of Satellite Television." M/C Journal 14, no.2 (May1, 2011). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.351.

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This article proposes that the growing popularity of reality television in the southernmost state of India, Kerala – disseminated locally and throughout the Indian diaspora – is not the product of an innocuous nostalgia for a fast-disappearing regional identity but rather a spectacular example of an emergent ideology that displaces cultural memory, collective identity, and secular nationalism with new, globalised forms of public sentiment. Further, it is arguable that this g/local media culture also displaces hard-won secular feminist constructions of gender and the contemporary modern “Indian woman.” Shows like Idea Star Singer (hereafter ISS) (Malayalam [the language spoken in Kerala] television’s most popular reality television series), based closely on American Idol, is broadcast worldwide to dozens of nations including the US, the UK, China, Russia, Sri Lanka, and several nations in the Middle East and the discussion that follows attempts both to account for this g/local phenomenon and to problematise it. ISS concentrates on staging the diversity and talent of Malayalee youth and, in particular, their ability to sing ‘pitch-perfect’, by inviting them to perform the vast catalogue of traditional Malayalam songs. However, inasmuch as it is aimed at both a regional and diasporic audience, ISS also allows for a diversity of singing styles displayed through the inclusion of a variety of other songs: some sung in Tamil, some Hindi, and some even English. This leads us to ask a number of questions: in what ways are performers who subscribe to regional or global models of televisual style rewarded or punished? In what ways are performers who exemplify differences in terms of gender, sexuality, religion, class, or ability punished? Further, it is arguable that this show—packaged as the “must-see” spectacle for the Indian diaspora—re-imagines a traditional past and translates it (under the rubric of “reality” television) into a vulgar commodification of both “classical” and “folk” India: an India excised of radical reform, feminists, activists, and any voices of multiplicity clamouring for change. Indeed, it is my contention that, although such shows claim to promote women’s liberation by encouraging women to realise their talents and ambitions, the commodification of the “stars” as televisual celebrities points rather to an anti-feminist imperial agenda of control and domination. Normalising Art: Presenting the Juridical as Natural Following Foucault, we can, indeed, read ISS as an apparatus of “normalisation.” While ISS purports to be “about” music, celebration, and art—an encouragement of art for art’s sake—it nevertheless advocates the practice of teaching as critiqued by Foucault: “the acquisition and knowledge by the very practice of the pedagogical activity and a reciprocal, hierarchised observation” (176), so that self-surveillance is built into the process. What appears on the screen is, in effect, the presentation of a juridically governed body as natural: the capitalist production of art through intense practice, performance, and corrective measures that valorise discipline and, at the end, produce ‘good’ and ‘bad’ subjects. The Foucauldian isomorphism of punishment with obligation, exercise with repetition, and enactment of the law is magnified in the traditional practice of music, especially Carnatic, or the occasional Hindustani refrain that separates those who come out of years of training in the Gury–Shishya mode (teacher–student mode, primarily Hindu and privileged) from those who do not (Muslims, working-class, and perhaps disabled students). In the context of a reality television show sponsored by Idea Cellular Ltd (a phone company with global outposts), the systems of discipline are strictly in line with the capitalist economy. Since this show depends upon the vast back-catalogue of film songs sung by playback singers from the era of big studio film-making, it may be seen to advocate a mimetic rigidity that ossifies artistic production, rather than offering encouragement to a new generation of artists who might wish to take the songs and make them their own. ISS, indeed, compares and differentiates the participants’ talents through an “opaque” system of evaluations which the show presents as transparent, merit-based and “fair”: as Foucault observes, “the perpetual penalty that traverses all points and supervises every instant in the disciplinary institutions compares, differentiates, hierarchizes, hom*ogenizes, excludes. In short, it normalizes” (183). On ISS, this evaluation process (a panel of judges who are renowned singers and composers, along with a rotating guest star, such as an actor) may be seen as a scopophilic institution where training and knowledge are brought together, transforming “the economy of visibility into the exercise of power” (187). The contestants, largely insignificant as individuals but seen together, at times, upon the stage, dancing and singing and performing practised routines, represent a socius constituting the body politic. The judges, enthroned on prominent and lush seats above the young contestants, the studio audience and, in effect, the show’s televised transnational audience, deliver judgements that “normalise” these artists into submissive subjectivity. In fact, despite the incoherence of the average judgement, audiences are so engrossed in the narrative of “marks” (a clear vestige of the education and civilising mission of the colonial subject under British rule) that, even in the glamorous setting of vibrating music, artificial lights, and corporate capital, Indians can still be found disciplining themselves according to the values of the West. Enacting Keraleeyatham for Malayalee Diaspora Ritty Lukose’s study on youth and gender in Kerala frames identity formations under colonialism, nationalism, and capitalism as she teases out ideas of resistance and agency by addressing the complex mediations of consumption or consumptive practices. Lukose reads “consumer culture as a complex site of female participation and constraint, enjoyment and objectification” (917), and finds the young, westernised female as a particular site of consumer agency. According to this theory, the performers on ISS and the show’s MC, Renjini Haridas, embody this body politic. The young performers all dress in the garb of “authentic identity”, sporting saris, pawaadu-blouse, mundum-neertha, salwaar-kameez, lehenga-choli, skirts, pants, and so on. This sartorial diversity is deeply gendered and discursively rich; the men have one of two options: kurta-mundu or some such variation and the pant–shirt combination. The women, especially Renjini (educated at St Theresa’s College in Kochi and former winner of Ms Kerala beauty contest) evoke the MTV DJs of the mid-1990s and affect a pidgin-Malayalam spliced with English: Renjini’s cool “touching” of the contestants and airy gestures remove her from the regional masses; and yet, for Onam (festival of Kerala), she dresses in the traditional cream and gold sari; for Id (high holy day for Muslims), she dresses in some glittery salwaar-kameez with a wrap on her head; and for Christmas, she wears a long dress. This is clearly meant to show her ability to embody different socio-religious spheres simultaneously. Yet, both she and all the young female contestants speak proudly about their authentic Kerala identity. Ritty Lukose spells this out as “Keraleeyatham.” In the vein of beauty pageants, and the first-world practice of indoctrinating all bodies into one model of beauty, the youngsters engage in exuberant performances yet, once their act is over, revert back to the coy, submissive docility that is the face of the student in the traditional educational apparatus. Both left-wing feminists and BJP activists write their ballads on the surface of women’s bodies; however, in enacting the chethu or, to be more accurate, “ash-push” (colloquialism akin to “hip”) lifestyle advocated by the show (interrupted at least half a dozen times by lengthy sequences of commercials for jewellery, clothing, toilet cleaners, nutritious chocolate bars, hair oil, and home products), the participants in this show become the unwitting sites of a large number of competing ideologies. Lukose observes the remarkable development from the peasant labor-centered Kerala of the 1970s to today’s simulacrum: “Keraleeyatham.” When discussing the beauty contests staged in Kerala in the 1990s, she discovers (through analysis of the dress and Sanskrit-centred questions) that: “Miss Kerala must be a naden pennu [a girl of the native/rural land] in her dress, comportment, and knowledge. Written onto the female bodies of a proliferation of Miss Keralas, the nadu, locality itself, becomes transportable and transposable” (929). Lukose observes that these women have room to enact their passions and artistry only within the metadiegetic space of the “song and dance” spectacle; once they leave it, they return to a modest, Kerala-gendered space in which the young female performers are quiet to the point of inarticulate, stuttering silence (930). However, while Lukose’s term, Keraleeyatham, is useful as a sociological compass, I contend that it has even more complex connotations. Its ethos of “Nair-ism” (Nayar was the dominant caste identity in Kerala), which could have been a site of resistance and identity formation, instead becomes a site of nationalist, regional linguistic supremacy arising out of Hindu imaginary. Second, this ideology could not have been developed in the era of pre-globalised state-run television but now, in the wake of globalisation and satellite television, we see this spectacle of “discipline and punish” enacted on the world stage. Thus, although I do see a possibility for a more positive Keraleeyatham that is organic, inclusive, and radical, for the moment we have a hegemonic, exclusive, and hierarchical statist approach to regional identity that needs to be re-evaluated. Articulating the Authentic via the Simulacrum Welcome to the Malayalee matrix. Jean Baudrillard’s simulacrum is our entry point into visualising the code of reality television. In a state noted for its distinctly left-leaning politics and Communist Party history which underwent radical reversal in the 1990s, the political front in Kerala is still dominated by the LDF (Left Democratic Front), and resistance to the state is an institutionalised and satirised daily event, as marked by the marchers who gather and stop traffic at Palayam in the capital city daily at noon. Issues of poverty and corporate disenfranchisem*nt plague the farming and fishing communities while people suffer transportation tragedies, failures of road development and ferry upkeep on a daily basis. Writers and activists rail against imminent aerial bombing of Maoists insurgent groups, reading in such statist violence repression of the Adivasi (indigenous) peoples scattered across many states of eastern and southern India. Alongside energy and ration supply issues, politics light up the average Keralaite, and yet the most popular “reality” television show reflects none of it. Other than paying faux multicultural tribute to all the festivals that come and go (such as Id, Diwaali, Christmas, and Kerala Piravi [Kerala Day on 1 November]), mainly through Renjini’s dress and chatter, ISS does all it can to remove itself from the turmoil of the everyday. Much in the same way that Bollywood cinema has allowed the masses to escape the oppressions of “the everyday,” reality television promises speculative pleasure produced on the backs of young performers who do not even have to be paid for their labour. Unlike Malayalam cinema’s penchant for hard-hitting politics and narratives of unaccounted for, everyday lives in neo-realist style, today’s reality television—with its excessive sound and light effects, glittering stages and bejewelled participants, repeat zooms, frontal shots, and artificial enhancements—exploits the paradox of hyper-authenticity (Rose and Wood 295). In her useful account of America’s top reality show, American Idol, Katherine Meizel investigates the fascination with the show’s winners and the losers, and the drama of an American “ideal” of diligence and ambition that is seen to be at the heart of the show. She writes, “It is about selling the Dream—regardless of whether it results in success or failure—and about the enactment of ideology that hovers at the edges of any discourse about American morality. It is the potential of great ambition, rather than of great talent, that drives these hopefuls and inspires their fans” (486). In enacting the global via the site of the local (Malayalam and Tamil songs primarily), ISS assumes the mantle of Americanism through the plain-spoken, direct commentaries of the singers who, like their US counterparts, routinely tell us how all of it has changed their lives. In other words, this retrospective meta-narrative becomes more important than the show itself. True to Baudrillard’s theory, ISS blurs the line between actual need and the “need” fabricated by the media and multinational corporations like Idea Cellular and Confident Group (which builds luxury homes, primarily for the new bourgeoisie and nostalgic “returnees” from the diaspora). The “New Kerala” is marked, for the locals, by extravagant (mostly unoccupied) constructions of photogenic homes in garish colours, located in the middle of chaos: the traditional nattumparathu (countryside) wooden homes, and traffic congestion. The homes, promised at the end of these shows, have a “value” based on the hyper-real economy of the show rather than an actual utility value. Yet those who move from the “old” world to the “new” do not always fare well. In local papers, the young artists are often criticised for their new-found haughtiness and disinclination to visit ill relatives in hospital: a veritable sin in a culture that places the nadu and kin above all narratives of progress. In other words, nothing quite adds up: the language and ideologies of the show, espoused most succinctly by its inarticulate host, is a language that obscures its distance from reality. ISS maps onto its audience the emblematic difference between “citizen” and “population”. Through the chaotic, state-sanctioned paralegal devices that allow the slum-dwellers and other property-less people to dwell in the cities, the voices of the labourers (such as the unions) have been silenced. It is a nation ever more geographically divided between the middle-classes which retreat into their gated neighbourhoods, and the shanty-town denizens who are represented by the rising class of religio-fundamentalist leaders. While the poor vote in the Hindu hegemony, the middle classes text in their votes to reality shows like ISS. Partha Chatterjee speaks of the “new segregated and exclusive spaces for the managerial and technocratic elite” (143) which is obsessed by media images, international travel, suburbanisation, and high technology. I wish to add to this list the artificially created community of ISS performers and stars; these are, indeed, the virtual and global extension of Chatterjee’s exclusive, elite communities, decrying the new bourgeois order of Indian urbanity, repackaged as Malayalee, moneyed, and Nayar. Meanwhile, the Hindu Right flexes its muscle under the show’s glittery surface: neither menacing nor fundamentalist, it is now “hip” to be Hindu. Thus while, on the surface, ISS operates according to the cliché, musicinu mathamilla (“music has no religion”), I would contend that it perpetuates a colonising space of Hindu-nationalist hegemony which standardises music appreciation, flattens music performance into an “art” developed solely to serve commercial cinema, and produces a dialectic of Keraleeyatham that erases the multiplicities of its “real.” This ideology, meanwhile, colonises from within. The public performance plays out in the private sphere where the show is consumed; at the same time, the private is inserted into the public with SMS calls that ultimately help seal the juridicality of the show and give the impression of “democracy.” Like the many networks that bring the sentiments of melody and melancholy to our dinner table, I would like to offer you this alternative account of ISS as part of a bid for a more vociferous, and critical, engagement with reality television and its modes of production. Somehow we need to find a way to savour, once again, the non-mimetic aspects of art and to salvage our darkness from the glitter of the “normalising” popular media. References Baudrillard, Jean. The Mirror of Production. Trans. Mark Poster. New York: Telos, 1975. ———. Selected Writings. Ed. Mark Poster. California: Stanford UP, 1988. Chatterjee, Partha. The Politics of the Governed: Reflections on Popular Politics in Most of the World. Delhi: Permanent Black, 2004. Foucault, Michel. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. Trans. Alan Sheridan. New York: Vintage, 1995. Lukose, Ritty. “Consuming Globalization: Youth and Gender in Kerala, India.” Journal of Social History 38.4 (Summer 2005): 915-35. Meizel, Katherine. “Making the Dream a Reality (Show): The Celebration of Failure in American Idol.” Popular Music and Society 32.4 (Oct. 2009): 475-88. Rose, Randall L., and Stacy L. Wood. “Paradox and the Consumption of Authenticity through Reality Television.” Journal of Consumer Research 32 (Sep. 2005): 284-96.

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Neilsen Glenn, Lorri. "The Loseable World: Resonance, Creativity, and Resilience." M/C Journal 16, no.1 (March19, 2013). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.600.

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[Editors’ note: this lyric essay was presented as the keynote address at Edith Cowan University’s CREATEC symposium on the theme Catastrophe and Creativity in November 2012, and represents excerpts from the author’s publication Threading Light: Explorations in Loss and Poetry. Regina, SK: Hagios Press, 2011. Reproduced with the author’s permission].Essay and verse and anecdote are the ways I have chosen to apprentice myself to loss, grief, faith, memory, and the stories we use to tie and untie them. Cat’s cradle, Celtic lines, bends and hitches are familiar: however, when I write about loss, I find there are knots I cannot tie or release, challenging both my imagination and my craft. Over the last decade, I have been learning that writing poetry is also the art of tying together light and dark, grief and joy, of grasping and releasing. Language is a hinge that connects us with the flesh of our experience; it is also residue, the ash of memory and imagination. (Threading Light 7) ———Greek katastrophé overturning, sudden turn, from kata down + strophe ‘turning” from strephein to turn.Loss and catastrophe catapult us into the liminal, into a threshold space. We walk between land we have known and the open sea. ———Mnemosyne, the mother of the nine Muses, the personification of memory, makes anthropologists of us all. When Hermes picked up the lyre, it was to her—to Remembrance —that he sang the first song. Without remembrance, oral or written, we have no place to begin. Stone, amulet, photograph, charm bracelet, cufflink, fish story, house, facial expression, tape recorder, verse, or the same old traveling salesman joke—we have places and means to try to store memories. Memories ground us, even as we know they are fleeting and flawed constructions that slip through our consciousness; ghosts of ghosts. One cold winter, I stayed in a guest room in my mother’s apartment complex for three days. Because she had lost her sight, I sat at the table in her overheated and stuffy kitchen with the frozen slider window and tried to describe photographs as she tried to recall names and events. I emptied out the dusty closet she’d ignored since my father left, and we talked about knitting patterns, the cost of her mother’s milk glass bowl, the old clothes she could only know by rubbing the fabric through her fingers. I climbed on a chair to reach a serving dish she wanted me to have, and we laughed hysterically when I read aloud the handwritten note inside: save for Annette, in a script not hers. It’s okay, she said; I want all this gone. To all you kids. Take everything you can. When I pop off, I don’t want any belongings. Our family had moved frequently, and my belongings always fit in a single box; as a student, in the back of a car or inside a backpack. Now, in her ninth decade, my mother wanted to return to the simplicity she, too, recalled from her days on a small farm outside a small town. On her deathbed, she insisted on having her head shaved, and frequently the nursing staff came into the room to find she had stripped off her johnny shirt and her covers. The philosopher Simone Weil said that all we possess in the world is the power to say “I” (Gravity 119).Memory is a cracked bowl, and it fills endlessly as it empties. Memory is what we create out of what we have at hand—other people’s accounts, objects, flawed stories of our own creation, second-hand tales handed down like an old watch. Annie Dillard says as a life’s work, she’d remember everything–everything against loss, and go through life like a plankton net. I prefer the image of the bowl—its capacity to feed us, the humility it suggests, its enduring shape, its rich symbolism. Its hope. To write is to fashion a bowl, perhaps, but we know, finally, the bowl cannot hold everything. (Threading Light 78–80) ———Man is the sire of sorrow, sang Joni Mitchell. Like joy, sorrow begins at birth: we are born into both. The desert fathers believed—in fact, many of certain faiths continue to believe—that penthos is mourning for lost salvation. Penthus was the last god to be given his assignment from Zeus: he was to be responsible for grieving and loss. Eros, the son of Aphrodite, was the god of love and desire. The two can be seen in concert with one another, each mirroring the other’s extreme, each demanding of us the farthest reach of our being. Nietzsche, through Zarathustra, phrased it another way: “Did you ever say Yes to one joy? O my friends, then you have also said Yes to all Woe as well. All things are chained, entwined together, all things are in love.” (Threading Light 92) ———We are that brief crack of light, that cradle rocking. We can aspire to a heaven, or a state of forgiveness; we can ask for redemption and hope for freedom from suffering for ourselves and our loved ones; we may create children or works of art in the vague hope that we will leave something behind when we go. But regardless, we know that there is a wall or a dark curtain or a void against which we direct or redirect our lives. We hide from it, we embrace it; we taunt it; we flout it. We write macabre jokes, we play hide and seek, we walk with bated breath, scream in movies, or howl in the wilderness. We despair when we learn of premature or sudden death; we are reminded daily—an avalanche, an aneurysm, a shocking diagnosis, a child’s bicycle in the intersection—that our illusions of control, that youthful sense of invincibility we have clung to, our last-ditch religious conversions, our versions of Pascal’s bargain, nothing stops the carriage from stopping for us.We are fortunate if our awareness calls forth our humanity. We learn, as Aristotle reminded us, about our capacity for fear and pity. Seeing others as vulnerable in their pain or weakness, we see our own frailties. As I read the poetry of Donne or Rumi, or verse created by the translator of Holocaust stories, Lois Olena, or the work of poet Sharon Olds as she recounts the daily horror of her youth, I can become open to pity, or—to use the more contemporary word—compassion. The philosopher Martha Nussbaum argues that works of art are not only a primary means for an individual to express her humanity through catharsis, as Aristotle claimed, but, because of the attunement to others and to the world that creation invites, the process can sow the seeds of social justice. Art grounds our grief in form; it connects us to one another and to the world. And the more we acquaint ourselves with works of art—in music, painting, theatre, literature—the more we open ourselves to complex and nuanced understandings of our human capacities for grief. Why else do we turn to a stirring poem when we are mourning? Why else do we sing? When my parents died, I came home from the library with stacks of poetry and memoirs about loss. How does your story dovetail with mine? I wanted to know. How large is this room—this country—of grief and how might I see it, feel the texture on its walls, the ice of its waters? I was in a foreign land, knew so little of its language, and wanted to be present and raw and vulnerable in its climate and geography. Writing and reading were my way not to squander my hours of pain. While it was difficult to live inside that country, it was more difficult not to. In learning to know graveyards as places of comfort and perspective, Mnemosyne’s territory with her markers of memory guarded by crow, leaf, and human footfall, with storehouses of vast and deep tapestries of stories whispered, sung, or silent, I am cultivating the practice of walking on common ground. Our losses are really our winter-enduring foliage, Rilke writes. They are place and settlement, foundation and soil, and home. (Threading Light 86–88) ———The loseability of our small and larger worlds allows us to see their gifts, their preciousness.Loseability allows us to pay attention. ———“A faith-based life, a Trappistine nun said to me, aims for transformation of the soul through compunction—not only a state of regret and remorse for our inadequacies before God, but also living inside a deeper sorrow, a yearning for a union with the divine. Compunction, according to a Christian encyclopaedia, is constructive only if it leads to repentance, reconciliation, and sanctification. Would you consider this work you are doing, the Trappistine wrote, to be a spiritual journey?Initially, I ducked her question; it was a good one. Like Neruda, I don’t know where the poetry comes from, a winter or a river. But like many poets, I feel the inadequacy of language to translate pain and beauty, the yearning for an embodied understanding of phenomena that is assensitive and soul-jolting as the contacts of eye-to-eye and skin-to-skin. While I do not worship a god, I do long for an impossible union with the world—a way to acknowledge the gift that is my life. Resonance: a search for the divine in the everyday. And more so. Writing is a full-bodied, sensory, immersive activity that asks me to give myself over to phenomena, that calls forth deep joy and deep sorrow sometimes so profound that I am gutted by my inadequacy. I am pierced, dumbstruck. Lyric language is the crayon I use, and poetry is my secular compunction...Poets—indeed, all writers—are often humbled by what we cannot do, pierced as we are by—what? I suggest mystery, impossibility, wonder, reverence, grief, desire, joy, our simple gratitude and despair. I speak of the soul and seven people rise from their chairs and leave the room, writes Mary Oliver (4). Eros and penthos working in concert. We have to sign on for the whole package, and that’s what both empties us out, and fills us up. The practice of poetry is our inadequate means of seeking the gift of tears. We cultivate awe, wonder, the exquisite pain of seeing and knowing deeply the abundant and the fleeting in our lives. Yes, it is a spiritual path. It has to do with the soul, and the sacred—our venerating the world given to us. Whether we are inside a belief system that has or does not have a god makes no difference. Seven others lean forward to listen. (Threading Light 98–100)———The capacity to give one’s attention to a sufferer is a rare thing; it is almost a miracle; it is a miracle. – Simone Weil (169)I can look at the lines and shades on the page clipped to the easel, deer tracks in the snow, or flecks of light on a summer sidewalk. Or at the moon as it moves from new to full. Or I can read the poetry of Paul Celan.Celan’s poem “Tenebrae” takes its title from high Christian services in which lighting, usually from candles, is gradually extinguished so that by the end of the service, the church is in total darkness. Considering Celan’s—Antschel’s—history as a Romanian Jew whose parents were killed in the Nazi death camps, and his subsequent years tortured by the agony of his grief, we are not surprised to learn he chose German, his mother’s language, to create his poetry: it might have been his act of defiance, his way of using shadow and light against the other. The poet’s deep grief, his profound awareness of loss, looks unflinchingly at the past, at the piles of bodies. The language has become a prism, reflecting penetrating shafts of shadow: in the shine of blood, the darkest of the dark. Enlinked, enlaced, and enamoured. We don’t always have names for the shades of sorrows and joys we live inside, but we know that each defines and depends upon the other. Inside the core shadow of grief we recognise our shared mortality, and only in that recognition—we are not alone—can hope be engendered. In the exquisite pure spot of light we associate with love and joy, we may be temporarily blinded, but if we look beyond, and we draw on what we know, we feel the presence of the shadows that have intensified what appears to us as light. Light and dark—even in what we may think are their purest state—are transitory pauses in the shape of being. Decades ago my well-meaning mother, a nurse, gave me pills to dull the pain of losing my fiancé who had shot himself; now, years later, knowing so many deaths, and more imminent, I would choose the bittersweet tenderness of being fully inside grief—awake, raw, open—feeling its walls, its every rough surface, its every degree of light and dark. It is love/loss, light/dark, a fusion that brings me home to the world. (Threading Light 100–101) ———Loss can trigger and inspire creativity, not only at the individual level but at the public level, whether we are marching in Idle No More demonstrations, re-building a shelter, or re-building a life. We use art to weep, to howl, to reach for something that matters, something that means. And sometimes it may mean that all we learn from it is that nothing lasts. And then, what? What do we do then? ———The wisdom of Epictetus, the Stoic, can offer solace, but I know it will take time to catch up with him. Nothing can be taken from us, he claims, because there is nothing to lose: what we lose—lover, friend, hope, father, dream, keys, faith, mother—has merely been returned to where it (or they) came from. We live in samsara, Zen masters remind us, inside a cycle of suffering that results from a belief in the permanence of self and of others. Our perception of reality is narrow; we must broaden it to include all phenomena, to recognise the interdependence of lives, the planet, and beyond, into galaxies. A lot for a mortal to get her head around. And yet, as so many poets have wondered, is that not where imagination is born—in the struggle and practice of listening, attending, and putting ourselves inside the now that all phenomena share? Can I imagine the rush of air under the loon that passes over my house toward the ocean every morning at dawn? The hot dust under the cracked feet of that child on the outskirts of Darwin? The gut-hauling terror of an Afghan woman whose family’s blood is being spilled? Thich Nhat Hanh says that we are only alive when we live the sufferings and the joys of others. He writes: Having seen the reality of interdependence and entered deeply into its reality, nothing can oppress you any longer. You are liberated. Sit in the lotus position, observe your breath, and ask one who has died for others. (66)Our breath is a delicate thread, and it contains multitudes. I hear an echo, yes. The practice of poetry—my own spiritual and philosophical practice, my own sackcloth and candle—has allowed me a glimpse not only into the lives of others, sentient or not, here, afar, or long dead, but it has deepened and broadened my capacity for breath. Attention to breath grounds me and forces me to attend, pulls me into my body as flesh. When I see my flesh as part of the earth, as part of all flesh, as Morris Berman claims, I come to see myself as part of something larger. (Threading Light 134–135) ———We think of loss as a dark time, and yet it opens us, deepens us.Close attention to loss—our own and others’—cultivates compassion.As artists we’re already predisposed to look and listen closely. We taste things, we touch things, we smell them. We lie on the ground like Mary Oliver looking at that grasshopper. We fill our ears with music that not everyone slows down to hear. We fall in love with ideas, with people, with places, with beauty, with tragedy, and I think we desire some kind of fusion, a deeper connection than everyday allows us. We want to BE that grasshopper, enter that devastation, to honour it. We long, I think, to be present.When we are present, even in catastrophe, we are fully alive. It seems counter-intuitive, but the more fully we engage with our losses—the harder we look, the more we soften into compassion—the more we cultivate resilience. ———Resilience consists of three features—persistence, adaptability transformability—each interacting from local to global scales. – Carl FolkeResilent people and resilient systems find meaning and purpose in loss. We set aside our own egos and we try to learn to listen and to see, to open up. Resilience is fundamentally an act of optimism. This is not the same, however, as being naïve. Optimism is the difference between “why me?” and “why not me?” Optimism is present when we are learning to think larger than ourselves. Resilience asks us to keep moving. Sometimes with loss there is a moment or two—or a month, a year, who knows?—where we, as humans, believe that we are standing still, we’re stuck, we’re in stasis. But we aren’t. Everything is always moving and everything is always in relation. What we mistake for stasis in a system is the system taking stock, transforming, doing things underneath the surface, preparing to rebuild, create, recreate. Leonard Cohen reminded us there’s a crack in everything, and that’s how the light gets in. But what we often don’t realize is that it’s we—the human race, our own possibilities, our own creativity—who are that light. We are resilient when we have agency, support, community we can draw on. When we have hope. ———FortuneFeet to carry you past acres of grapevines, awnings that opento a hall of paperbarks. A dog to circle you, look behind, point ahead. A hip that bends, allows you to slidebetween wire and wooden bars of the fence. A twinge rides with that hip, and sometimes the remnant of a fall bloomsin your right foot. Hands to grip a stick for climbing, to rest your weight when you turn to look below. On your left hand,a story: others see it as a scar. On the other, a newer tale; a bone-white lump. Below, mist disappears; a nichein the world opens to its long green history. Hills furrow into their dark harbours. Horses, snatches of inhale and whiffle.Mutterings of men, a cow’s long bellow, soft thud of feet along the hill. You turn at the sound.The dog swallows a cry. Stays; shakes until the noise recedes. After a time, she walks on three legs,tests the paw of the fourth in the dust. You may never know how she was wounded. She remembers your bodyby scent, voice, perhaps the taste of contraband food at the door of the house. Story of human and dog, you begin—but the wordyour fingers make is god. What last year was her silken newborn fur is now sunbleached, basket dry. Feet, hips, hands, paws, lapwings,mockingbirds, quickening, longing: how eucalypts reach to give shade, and tiny tight grapes cling to vines that align on a slope as smoothlyas the moon follows you, as intention always leans toward good. To know bones of the earth are as true as a point of light: tendernesswhere you bend and press can whisper grace, sorrow’s last line, into all that might have been,so much that is. (Threading Light 115–116) Acknowledgments The author would like to thank Dr. Lekkie Hopkins and Dr. John Ryan for the opportunity to speak (via video) to the 2012 CREATEC Symposium Catastrophe and Creativity, to Dr. Hopkins for her eloquent and memorable paper in response to my work on creativity and research, and to Dr. Ryan for his support. The presentation was recorded and edited by Paul Poirier at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. My thanks go to Edith Cowan and Mount Saint Vincent Universities. ReferencesBerman, Morris. Coming to Our Senses. New York: Bantam, 1990.Dillard, Annie. For the Time Being. New York: Vintage Books, 2000.Felstiner, John. Paul Celan: Poet, Survivor, Jew. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2001.Folke, Carl. "On Resilience." Seed Magazine. 13 Dec. 2010. 22 Mar. 2013 ‹http://seedmagazine.com/content/article/on_resilience›.Franck, Frederick. Zen Seeing, Zen Drawing. New York: Bantam Books, 1993.Hanh, Thich Nhat. The Miracle of Mindfulness. Boston: Beacon Press, 1976.Hausherr, Irenee. Penthos: The Doctrine of Compunction in the Christian East. Kalamazoo, MI: Cistercian Publications, 1982.Neilsen Glenn, Lorri. Threading Light: Explorations in Loss and Poetry. Regina, SK: Hagios Press, 2011. Nietzsche, Frederick. Thus Spake Zarathustra. New York: Penguin, 1978. Nussbaum, Martha. Upheavals of Thought: The Intelligence of Emotions. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001. Oliver, Mary. “The Word.” What Do We Know. Boston: DaCapo Press, 2002.Rilke, Rainer Maria. Duino Elegies and the Sonnets to Orpheus. (Tenth Elegy). Ed. Stephen Mitchell. New York: Random House/Vintage Editions, 2009.Weil, Simone. The Need for Roots. London: Taylor & Francis, 2005 (1952).Weil, Simone. Gravity and Grace. London: Routledge, 2004.Further ReadingChodron, Pema. Practicing Peace in Times of War. Boston: Shambhala, 2006.Cleary, Thomas (trans.) The Essential Tao: An Initiation into the Heart of Taoism through Tao de Ching and the Teachings of Chuang Tzu. Edison, NJ: Castle Books, 1993.Dalai Lama (H H the 14th) and Venerable Chan Master Sheng-yen. Meeting of Minds: A Dialogue on Tibetan and Chinese Buddhism. New York: Dharma Drum Publications, 1999. Hirshfield, Jane. "Language Wakes Up in the Morning: A Meander toward Writing." Alaska Quarterly Review. 21.1 (2003).Hirshfield, Jane. Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry. New York: HarperCollins, 1997. Lao Tzu. Tao Te Ching. Trans. Arthur Waley. Chatham: Wordsworth Editions, 1997. Neilsen, Lorri. "Lyric Inquiry." Handbook of the Arts in Qualitative Research. Eds. J. Gary Knowles and Ardra Cole. Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2008. 88–98. Ross, Maggie. The Fire and the Furnace: The Way of Tears and Fire. York: Paulist Press, 1987.

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Highmore, Ben. "Listlessness in the Archive." M/C Journal 15, no.5 (October11, 2012). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.546.

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1. Make a list of things to do2. Copy list of things left undone from previous list3. Add items to list of new things needing to be done4. Add some of the things already done from previous list and immediately cross off so as to put off the feeling of an interminable list of never accomplishable tasks5. Finish writing list and sit back feeling an overwhelming sense of listlessnessIt started so well. Get up: make list: get on. But lists can breed listlessness. It can’t always be helped. The word “list” referring to a sequence of items comes from the Italian and French words for “strip”—as in a strip of material. The word “list” that you find in the compound “listlessness” comes from the old English word for pleasing (to list is to please and to desire). To be listless is to be without desire, without the desire to please. The etymologies of list and listless don’t correspond but they might seem to conspire in other ways. Oh, and by the way, ships can list when their balance is off.I list, like a ship, itemising my obligations to job, to work, to colleagues, to parenting, to family: write a reference for such and such; buy birthday present for eighty-year-old dad; finish article about lists – and so on. I forget to add to the list my necessary requirements for achieving any of this: keep breathing; eat and drink regularly; visit toilet when required. Lists make visible. Lists hide. I forget to add to my list all my worries that underscore my sense that these lists (or any list) might require an optimism that is always something of a leap of faith: I hope that electricity continues to exist; I hope my computer will still work; I hope that my sore toe isn’t the first sign of bodily paralysis; I hope that this heart will still keep beating.I was brought up on lists: the hit parade (the top one hundred “hit” singles); football leagues (not that I ever really got the hang of them); lists of kings and queens; lists of dates; lists of states; lists of elements (the periodic table). There are lists and there are lists. Some lists are really rankings. These are clearly the important lists. Where do you stand on the list? How near the bottom are you? Where is your university in the list of top universities? Have you gone down or up? To list, then, for some at least is to rank, to prioritise, to value. Is it this that produces listlessness? The sense that while you might want to rank your ten favourite films in a list, listing is something that is constantly happening to you, happening around you; you are always in amongst lists, never on top of them. To hang around the middle of lists might be all that you can hope for: no possibility of sudden lurching from the top spot; no urgent worries that you might be heading for demotion too quickly.But ranking is only one aspect of listing. Sometimes listing has a more flattening effect. I once worked as a cash-in-hand auditor (in this case a posh name for someone who counts things). A group of us (many of whom were seriously stoned) were bussed to factories and warehouses where we had to count the stock. We had to make lists of items and simply count what there was: for large items this was relatively easy, but for the myriad of miniscule parts this seemed a task for Sisyphus. In a power-tool factory in some unprepossessing town on the outskirts of London (was it Slough or Croydon or somewhere else?) we had to count bolts, nuts, washers, flex, rivets, and so on. Of course after a while we just made it up—guesstimates—as they say. A box of thousands of 6mm metal washers is a hom*ogenous set in a list of heterogeneous parts that itself starts looking hom*ogenous as it takes its part in the list. Listing dedifferentiates in the act of differentiating.The task of making lists, of filling-in lists, of having a list of tasks to complete encourages listlessness because to list lists towards exhaustiveness and exhaustion. Archives are lists and lists are often archives and archived. Those that work on lists and on archives constantly battle the fatigue of too many lists, of too much exhaustiveness. But could exhaustion be embraced as a necessary mood with which to deal with lists and archives? Might listlessness be something of a methodological orientation that has its own productivity in the face of so many lists?At my university there resides an archive that can appear to be a list of lists. It is the Mass-Observation archive, begun at the end of 1936 and, with a sizeable hiatus in the 1960s and 1970s, is still going today. (For a full account of Mass-Observation, see Highmore, Everyday Life chapter 6, and Hubble; for examples of Mass-Observation material, see Calder and Sheridan, and Highmore, Ordinary chapter 4; for analysis of Mass-Observation from the point of view of the observer, see Sheridan, Street, and Bloome. The flavour of the project as it emerges in the late 1930s is best conveyed by consulting Mass-Observation, Mass-Observation, First Year’s Work, and Britain.) It was begun by three men: the filmmaker Humphrey Jennings, the poet and sociologist Charles Madge, and the ornithologist and anthropologist-of-the-near Tom Harrisson. Both Jennings and Madge were heavily involved in promoting a form of social surrealism that might see buried forces in the coincidences of daily life as well as in the machinations and contingency of large political and social events (the abdication crisis, the burning of the Crystal Palace—both in late 1936). Harrisson brought a form of amateur anthropology with him that would scour football crowds, pub clientele, and cinema queues for ritualistic and symbolic forms. Mass-Observation quickly recruited a large group of voluntary observers (about a thousand) who would be “the meteorological stations from whose reports a weather-map of popular feeling can be compiled” (Mass-Observation, Mass-Observation 30). Mass-Observation combined the social survey with a relentless interest in the irrational and in what the world felt like to those who lived in it. As a consequence the file reports often seem banal and bizarre in equal measure (accounts of nightmares, housework routines, betting activities). When Mass-Observation restarted in the 1980s the surrealistic impetus became less pronounced, but it was still there, implicit in the methodology. Today, both as an on-going project and as an archive of previous observational reports, Mass-Observation lives in archival boxes. You can find a list of what topics are addressed in each box; you can also find lists of the contributors, the voluntary Mass-Observers whose observations are recorded in the boxes. What better way to give you a flavour of these boxes than to offer you a sample of their listing activities. Here are observers, observing in 1983 the objects that reside on their mantelpieces. Here’s one:champagne cork, rubber band, drawing pin, two hearing aid batteries, appointment card for chiropodist, piece of dog biscuit.Does this conjure up a world? Do we have a set of clues, of material evidence, a small cosmology of relics, a reduced Wunderkammer, out of which we can construct not the exotic but something else, something more ordinary? Do you smell camphor and imagine antimacassars? Do you hear conversations with lots of mishearing? Are the hearing aid batteries shared? Is this a single person living with a dog, or do we imagine an assembly of chiropodist-goers, dog-owners, hearing aid-users, rubber band-pingers, champagne-drinkers?But don’t get caught imagining a life out of these fragments. Don’t get stuck on this list: there are hundreds to get through. After all, what sort of an archive would it be if it included a single list? We need more lists.Here’s another mantelpiece: three penknives, a tube of cement [which I assume is the sort of rubber cement that you get in bicycle puncture repair kits], a pocket microscope, a clinical thermometer.Who is this? A hypochondriacal explorer? Or a grown-up boy-scout, botanising on the asphalt? Why so many penknives? But on, on... And another:1 letter awaiting postage stamp1 diet book1 pair of spare spectacles1 recipe for daughter’s home economics1 notepad1 pen1 bottle of indigestion tablets1 envelope containing 13 pence which is owed a friend1 pair of stick-on heels for home shoe repairing session3 letters in day’s post1 envelope containing money for week’s milk bill1 recipe cut from magazine2 out of date letters from schoolWhat is the connection between the daughter’s home economics recipe and the indigestion tablets? Is the homework gastronomy not quite going to plan? Or is the diet book causing side-effects? And what sort of financial stickler remembers that they owe 13p; even in 1983 this was hardly much money? Or is it the friend who is the stickler? Perhaps this is just prying...?But you need more. Here’s yet another:an ashtray, a pipe, pipe tamper and tobacco pouch, one decorated stone and one plain stone, a painted clay model of an alien, an enamelled metal egg from Hong Kong, a copper bracelet, a polished shell, a snowstorm of Father Christmas in his sleigh...Ah, a pipe smoker, this much is clear. But apart from this the display sounds ritualistic – one stone decorated the other not. What sort of religion is this? What sort of magic? An alien and Santa. An egg, a shell, a bracelet. A riddle.And another:Two 12 gauge shotgun cartridges live 0 spread Rubber plantBrass carriage clockInternational press clock1950s cigarette dispenser Model of Panzer MKIV tankWWI shell fuseWWI shell case ash tray containing an acorn, twelve .22 rounds of ammunition, a .455 Eley round and a drawing pinPhoto of Eric Liddell (Chariots of Fire)Souvenir of Algerian ash tray containing marbles and beach stonesThree 1930s plastic duck clothes brushesLetter holder containing postcards and invitations. Holder in shape of a cow1970s Whizzwheels toy carWooden box of jeweller’s rottenstone (Victorian)Incense holderWorld war one German fuse (used)Jim Beam bottle with candle thereinSol beer bottle with candle therein I’m getting worried now. Who are these people who write for Mass-Observation? Why so much military paraphernalia? Why such detail as to the calibrations? Should I concern myself that small militias are holding out behind the net curtains and aspidistra plants of suburban England?And another:1930s AA BadgeAvocado PlantWooden cat from Mexico*kahlua bottle with candle there in1950s matchbook with “merry widow” co*cktail printed thereonTwo Britain’s model cannonOne brass “Carronade” from the Carron Iron Works factory shopPhotography pass from Parkhead 12/11/88Grouse foot kilt pinBrass incense holderPheasant featherNovitake cupBlack ash tray with beach pebbles there inFull packet of Mary Long cigarettes from HollandPewter co*cktail shaker made in ShanghaiI’m feeling distance. Who says “there in” and “there on?” What is a Novitake cup? Perhaps I wrote it down incorrectly? An avocado plant stirs memories of trying to grow one from an avocado stone skewered in a cup with one “point” dunked in a bit of water. Did it ever grow, or just rot? I’m getting distracted now, drifting off, feeling sleepy...Some more then – let’s feed the listlessness of the list:Wood sculpture (Tenerife)A Rubber bandBirdJunior aspirinToy dinosaur Small photo of daughterSmall paint brushAh yes the banal bizarreness of ordinary life: dinosaurs and aspirins, paint brushes and rubber bands.But then a list comes along and pierces you:Six inch piece of grey eyeliner1 pair of nail clippers1 large box of matches1 Rubber band2 large hair gripsHalf a piece of cough candy1 screwed up tissue1 small bottle with tranquillizers in1 dead (but still in good condition) butterfly (which I intended to draw but placed it now to rest in the garden) it was already dead when I found it.The dead butterfly, the tranquillizers, the insistence that the mantelpiece user didn’t actually kill the butterfly, the half piece of cough candy, the screwed up tissue. In amongst the rubber bands and matches, signs of something desperate. Or maybe not: a holding on (the truly desperate haven’t found their way to the giant tranquillizer cupboard), a keeping a lid on it, a desire (to draw, to place a dead butterfly at rest in the garden)...And here is the methodology emerging: the lists works on the reader, listing them, and making them listless. After a while the lists (and there are hundreds of these lists of mantle-shelf items) begin to merge. One giant mantle shelf filled with small stacks of foreign coins, rubber bands and dead insects. They invite you to be both magical ethnographer and deadpan sociologist at one and the same time (for example, see Hurdley). The “Martian” ethnographer imagines the mantelpiece as a shrine where this culture worships the lone rubber band and itinerant button. Clearly a place of reliquary—on this planet the residents set up altars where they place their sacred objects: clocks and clippers; ammunition and amulets; coins and pills; candles and cosmetics. Or else something more sober, more sombre: late twentieth century petite-bourgeois taste required the mantelpiece to hold the signs of aspirant propriety in the form of emblems of tradition (forget the coins and the dead insects and weaponry: focus on the carriage clocks). And yet, either way, it is the final shelf that gets me every time. But it only got me, I think, because the archive had worked its magic: ransacked my will, my need to please, my desire. It had, for a while at least, made me listless, and listless enough to be touched by something that was really a minor catalogue of remainders. This sense of listlessness is the way that the archive productively defeats the “desire for the archive.” It is hard to visit an archive without an expectation, without an “image repertoire,” already in mind. This could be thought of as the apperception-schema of archival searching: the desire to see patterns already imagined; the desire to find the evidence for the thought whose shape has already formed. Such apperception is hard to avoid (probably impossible), but the boredom of the archive, its ceaselessness, has a way of undoing it, of emptying it. It corresponds to two aesthetic positions and propositions. One is well-known: it is Barthes’s distinction between “studium” and “punctum.” For Barthes, studium refers to a sort of social interest that is always, to some degree, satisfied by a document (his concern, of course, is with photographs). The punctum, on the other hand, spills out from the photograph as a sort of metonymical excess, quite distinct from social interest (but for all that, not asocial). While Barthes is clearly offering a phenomenology of viewing photographs, he isn’t overly interested (here at any rate) with the sort of perceptional-state the viewer might need to be in to be pierced by the puntum of an image. My sense, though, is that boredom, listlessness, tiredness, a sort of aching indifference, a mood of inattentiveness, a sense of satiated interest (but not the sort of disinterest of Kantian aesthetics), could all be beneficial to a punctum-like experience. The second aesthetic position is not so well-known. The Austrian dye-technician, lawyer and art-educationalist Anton Ehrenzweig wrote, during the 1950s and 1960s, about a form of inattentive-attention, and a form of afocal-rendering (eye-repelling rather than eye-catching), that encouraged eye-wandering, scanning, and the “‘full’ emptiness of attention” (Ehrenzweig, The Hidden Order 39). His was an aesthetics attuned to the kind of art produced by Paul Klee, but it was also an aesthetic propensity useful for making wallpaper and for productively connecting to unconscious processes. Like Barthes, Ehrenzweig doesn’t pursue the sort of affective state of being that might enhance such inattentive-attention, but it is not hard to imagine that the sort of library-tiredness of the archive would be a fitting preparation for “full emptiness.” Ehrenzweig and Barthes can be useful for exploring this archival mood, this orientation and attunement, which is also a disorientation and mis-attunement. Trawling through lists encourages scanning: your sensibilities are prepared; your attention is being trained. After a while, though, the lists blur, concentration starts to loosen its grip. The lists are not innocent recipients here. Shrapnel shards pull at you. You start to notice the patterns but also the spaces in-between that don’t seem to fit sociological categorisations. The strangeness of the patterns hypnotises you and while the effect can generate a sense of sociological-anthropological hom*ogeneity-with-difference, sometimes the singularity of an item leaps out catching you unawares. An archive is an orchestration of order and disorder: however contained and constrained it appears it is always spilling out beyond its organisational structures (amongst the many accounts of archives in terms of their orderings, see Sekula, and Stoler, Race and Along). Like “Probate Inventories,” the mantelpiece archive presents material objects that connect us (however indirectly) to embodied practices and living spaces (Evans). The Mass-Observation archive, especially in its mantelpiece collection, is an accretion of temporalities and spaces. More crucially, it is an accumulation of temporalities materialised in a mass of spaces. A thousand mantelpieces in a thousand rooms scattered across the United Kingdom. Each shelf is syncopated to the rhythms of diverse durations, while being synchronised to the perpetual now of the shelf: a carriage clock, for instance, inherited from a deceased parent, its brass detailing relating to a different age, its mechanism perpetually telling you that the time of this space is now. The archive carries you away to a thousand living rooms filled with the momentary (dead insects) and the eternal (pebbles) and everything in-between. Its centrifugal force propels you out to a vast accrual of things: ashtrays, rubber bands, military paraphernalia, toy dinosaurs; a thousand living museums of the incidental and the memorial. This vertiginous archive threatens to undo you; each shelf a montage of times held materially together in space. It is too much. It pushes me towards the mantelshelves I know, the ones I’ve had a hand in. Each one an archive in itself: my grandfather’s green glass paperweight holding a fragile silver foil flower in its eternal grasp; the potions and lotions that feed my hypochondria; used train tickets. Each item pushes outwards to other times, other spaces, other people, other things. It is hard to focus, hard to cling onto anything. Was it the dead butterfly, or the tranquillizers, or both, that finally nailed me? Or was it the half a cough-candy? I know what she means by leaving the remnants of this sweet. You remember the taste, you think you loved them as a child, they have such a distinctive candy twist and colour, but actually their taste is harsh, challenging, bitter. There is nothing as ephemeral and as “useless” as a sweet; and yet few things are similarly evocative of times past, of times lost. Yes, I think I’d leave half a cough-candy on a shelf, gathering dust.[All these lists of mantelpiece items are taken from the Mass-Observation archive at the University of Sussex. Mass-Observation is a registered charity. For more information about Mass-Observation go to http://www.massobs.org.uk/]ReferencesBarthes, Roland. Camera Lucida. Translated by Richard Howard. London: Fontana, 1984.Calder, Angus, and Dorothy Sheridan, eds. Speak for Yourself: A Mass-Observation Anthology 1937–1949. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1985.Ehrenzweig, Anton. The Psychoanalysis of Artistic Vision and Hearing: An Introduction to a Theory of Unconscious Perception. Third edition. London: Sheldon Press, 1965. [Originally published in 1953.]---. The Hidden Order of Art. London: Paladin, 1970.Evans, Adrian. “Enlivening the Archive: Glimpsing Embodied Consumption Practices in Probate Inventories of Household Possessions.” Historical Geography 36 (2008): 40-72.Highmore, Ben. Everyday Life and Cultural Theory. London: Routledge, 2002.---. Ordinary Lives: Studies in the Everyday. Abingdon: Routledge, 2011.Hubble, Nick. Mass-Observation and Everyday Life: Culture, History, Theory, Houndmills and New York: Palgrave, 2006.Hurdley, Rachel. “Dismantling Mantelpieces: Narrating Identities and Materializing Culture in the Home.” Sociology 40, 4 (2006): 717-733Mass-Observation. Mass-Observation. London: Fredrick Muller, 1937.---. First Year’s Work 1937-38. London: Lindsay Drummond, 1938.---. Britain. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1939.Sekula, Allan. “The Body and the Archive.” October 39 (1986): 3-64.Sheridan, Dorothy, Brian Street, and David Bloome. Writing Ourselves: Mass-Observation and Literary Practices. Cresskill, New Jersey: Hampton Press, 2000.Stoler, Ann Laura. Race and the Education of Desire: Foucault’s History of Sexuality and the Colonial Order of Things. Durham and London: Duke UP, 1995. Stoler, Ann Laura. Along the Archival Grain: Epistemic Anxieties and Colonial Common Sense. Princeton: Princeton UP, 2009.

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Kuppers, Petra. "“your darkness also/rich and beyond fear”: Community Performance, Somatic Poetics and the Vessels of Self and Other." M/C Journal 12, no.5 (December13, 2009). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.203.

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“Communicating deep feeling in linear solid blocks of print felt arcane, a method beyond me” — Audre Lorde in an interview with Adrienne Rich (Lorde 87) How do you disclose? In writing, in spoken words, in movements, in sounds, in the quiet energetic vibration and its trace in discourse? Is disclosure a narrative account of a self, or a poetic fragment, sent into the world outside the sanction of a story or another recognisable form (see fig. 1)?These are the questions that guide my exploration in this essay. I meditate on them from the vantage point of my own self-narrative, as a community performance practitioner and writer, a poet whose artistry, in many ways, relies on the willingness of others to disclose, to open themselves, and yet who feels ambivalent about narrative disclosures. What I share with you, reader, are my thoughts on what some may call compassion fatigue, on boredom, on burn-out, on the inability to be moved by someone’s hard-won right to story her life, to tell his narrative, to disclose her pain. I find it ironic that for as long as I can remember, my attention has often wandered when someone tells me their story—how this cancer was diagnosed, what the doctors did, how she coped, how she garnered support, how she survived, how that person died, how she lived. The story of how addiction took over her life, how she craved, how she hated, how someone sponsored her, listened to her, how she is making amends, how she copes, how she gets on with her life. The story of being born this way, being prodded this way, being paraded in front of doctors just like this, being operated on, being photographed, being inappropriately touched, being neglected, being forgotten, being unloved, being lonely. Listening to these accounts, my attention does wander, even though this is the heart blood of my chosen life—these are the people whose company I seek, with whom I feel comfortable, with whom I make art, with whom I make a life, to whom I disclose my own stories. But somehow, when we rehearse these stories in each others’s company (for rehearsal, polishing, is how I think of storytelling), I drift. In this performance-as-research essay about disclosure, I want to draw attention to what does draw my attention in community art situations, what halts my drift, and allows me to find connection beyond a story that is unique and so special to this individual, but which I feel I have heard so many times. What grabs me, again and again, lies beyond the words, beyond the “I did this… and that… and they did this… and that,” beyond the story of hardship and injury, recovery and overcoming. My moment of connection tends to happen in the warmth of this hand in mine. It occurs in the material connection that seems to well up between these gray eyes and my own deep gaze. I can feel the skin change its electric tonus as I am listening to the uncoiling account. There’s a timbre in the voice that I follow, even as I lose the words. In the moment of verbal disclosure, physical intimacy changes the time and space of encounter. And I know that the people I sit with are well aware of this—it is not lost on them that my attention isn’t wholly focused on the story they are telling, that I will have forgotten core details when next we work together. But they are also aware, I believe, of those moments of energetic connect that happen through, beyond and underneath the narrative disclosure. There is a physical opening occurring here, right now, when I tell this account to you, when you sit by my side and I confess that I can’t always keep the stories of my current community participants straight, that I forget names all the time, that I do not really wish to put together a show with lots of testimony, that I’d rather have single power words floating in space.Figure 1. Image: Keira Heu-Jwyn Chang. Performer: Neil Marcus.”water burns sun”. Burning. 2009. Orientation towards the Frame: A Poetics of VibrationThis essay speaks about how I witness the uncapturable in performance, how the limits of sharing fuel my performance practice. I also look at the artistic processes of community performance projects, and point out traces of this other attention, this poetics of vibration. One of the frames through which I construct this essay is a focus on the formal in practice: on an attention to the shapes of narratives, and on the ways that formal experimentation can open up spaces beyond and beneath the narratives that can sound so familiar. An attention to the formal in community practice is often confused with an elitist drive towards quality, towards a modern or post-modern play with forms that stands somehow in opposition to how “ordinary people” construct their lives. But there are other ways to think about “the formal,” ways to question the naturalness with which stories are told, poems are written, the ease of an “I”, the separation between self and those others (who hurt, or love, or persecute, or free), the embedment of the experience of thought in institutions of thinking. Elizabeth St. Pierre frames her own struggle with burn-out, falling silent, and the need to just keep going even if the ethical issues involved in continuing her research overwhelm her. She charts out her thinking in reference to Michel Foucault’s comments on how to transgress into a realm of knowing that stretches a self, allows it “get free of oneself.”Getting free of oneself involves an attempt to understand the ‘structures of intelligibility’ (Britzman, 1995, p. 156) that limit thought. Foucault (1984/1985) explaining the urgency of such labor, says, ‘There are times in life when the question of knowing if one can think differently than one thinks, and perceive differently than one sees, is absolutely necessary if one is to go on looking and reflecting at all’ (p. 8). (St. Pierre 204)Can we think outside the structure of story, outside the habits of thought that make us sense and position ourselves in time and space, in power and knowledge? Is there a way to change the frame, into a different format, to “change our mind”? And even if there is not, if the structures of legibility always contain what we can think, there might be riches in that borderland, the bordercountry towards the intelligible, the places where difference presses close in an uncontained, unstoried way. To think differently, to get free of oneself: all these concerns resonate deeply with me, and with the ways that I wish to engage in community art practice. Like St. Pierre, I try to embrace Deleuzian, post-structuralist approaches to story and self:The collective assemblage is always like the murmur from which I take my proper name, the constellation of voices, concordant or not, from which I draw my voice. […] To write is perhaps to bring this assemblage of the unconscious to the light of day, to select the whispering voices, to gather the tribes and secret idioms from which I extract something I call myself (moi). I is an order word. (Deleuze and Guattari 84).“I” wish to perform and to write at the moment when the chorus of the voices that make up my “I” press against my skin, from the inside and the outside, query the notion of ‘skin’ as barrier. But can “I” stay in that vibrational moment? This essay will not be an exercise in quotation marks, but it is an essay of many I’s, and—imagine you see this essay performed—I invite the vibration of the hand gestures that mark small breaches in the air next to my head as I speak.Like St. Pierre, I get thrown off those particular theory horses again and again. But curiosity drives me on, and it is a curiosity nourished not by the absence of (language) connection, by isolation, but by the fullness of those movements of touch and density I described above. That materiality of the tearful eye gaze, the electricity of those fine skin hairs, the voice shivering me: these are not essentialist connections that somehow reveal or disclose a person to me, but these matters make the boundaries of “me” and “person” vibrate. Disclose here becomes the density of living itself, the flowing, non-essential process of shaping lives together. Deleuze and Guattari (1987) have called this bordering “deterritorialization,” always already bound to the reterritorialisation that allows the naming of the experience. Breath-touch on the limits of territories.This is not a shift from verbal to a privileging of non-verbal communication, finding richness and truth in one and less in the other. Non-verbal communication can be just as conventional as spoken language. When someone’s hand reaches out to touch someone who is upset, that gesture can feel ingrained and predictable, and the chain of caretaking that is initiated by the gesture can even hinder the flow of disclosure the crying or upset person might be engaged in. Likewise, I believe the common form of the circle, one I use in nearly every community session I lead, does not really create more community than another format would engender. The repetition of the circle just has something very comforting, it can allow all participants to drop into a certain kind of ease that is different from the everyday, but the rules of that ease are not open—circles territorialise as much as they de-territorialise: here is an inside, here an outside. There is nothing inherently radical in them. But circles might create a radical shift in communication situations when they break open other encrusted forms—an orientation to a leader, a group versus individual arrangement, or the singularity of islands out in space. Circles brings lots of multiples into contact, they “gather the tribes.” What provisional I’s we extract from them in each instance is our ethical challenge.Bodily Fantasies on the Limit: BurningEven deeply felt inner experiences do not escape the generic, and there is lift available in the vibration between the shared fantasy and the personal fantasy. I lead an artists’ collective, The Olimpias, and in 2008/2009, we created Burning, a workshop and performance series that investigated cell imagery, cancer imagery, environmental sensitivity and healing journeys through ritual-based happenings infused with poetry, dramatic scenes, Butoh and Contact Improvisation dances, and live drawing (see: http://www.olimpias.org/).Performance sites included the Subterranean Arthouse, Berkeley, July and October 2009, the Earth Matters on Stage Festival, Eugene, Oregon, May 2009, and Fort Worden, Port Townsend, Washington State, August 2009. Participants for each installation varied, but always included a good percentage of disabled artists.(see fig. 2).Figure 2. Image: Linda Townsend. Performers: Participants in the Burning project. “Burning Action on the Beach”. Burning. 2009. In the last part of these evening-long performance happenings, we use meditation techniques to shift the space and time of participants. We invite people to lie down or otherwise become comfortable (or to observe in quiet). I then begin to lead the part of the evening that most closely dovetails with my personal research exploration. With a slow and reaching voice, I ask people to breathe, to become aware of the movement of breath through their bodies, and of the hollows filled by the luxuriating breath. Once participants are deeply relaxed, I take them on journeys which activate bodily fantasies. I ask them to breathe in colored lights (and leave the specific nature of the colors to them). I invite participants to become cell bodies—heart cells, liver cells, skin cells—and to explore the properties and sensations of these cell environments, through both internal and external movement. “What is the surface, what is deep inside, what does the granular space of the cell feel like? How does the cell membrane move?” When deeply involved in these explorations, I move through the room and give people individual encounters by whispering to them, one by one—letting them respond bodily to the idea that their cell encounters alchemical elements like gold and silver, lead or mercury, or other deeply culturally laden substances like oil or blood. When I am finished with my individual instruction to each participant, all around me, people are moving gently, undulating, contracting and expanding, their eyes closed and their face full of concentration and openness. Some have dropped out of the meditation and are sitting quietly against a wall, observing what is going on around them. Some move more than others, some whisper quietly to themselves.When people are back in spoken-language-time, in sitting-upright-time, we all talk about the experiences, and about the cultural body knowledges, half-forgotten healing practices, that seem to emerge like Jungian archetypes in these movement journeys. During the meditative/slow movement sequence, some long-standing Olimpias performers in the room had imagined themselves as cancer cells, and gently moved with the physical imagery this brought to them. In my meditation invitations during the participatory performance, I do not invite community participants to move as cancer cells—it seems to me to require a more careful approach, a longer developmental period, to enter this darkly signified state, even though Olimpias performers do by no means all move tragically, darkly, or despairing when entering “cancer movement.” In workshops in the weeks leading up to the participatory performances, Olimpias collaborators entered these experiences of cell movement, different organ parts, and cancerous movement many times, and had time to debrief and reflect on their experiences.After the immersion exercise of cell movement, we ask people how it felt like to lie and move in a space that also held cancer cells, and if they noticed different movement patterns, different imaginaries of cell movement, around them, and how that felt. This leads to rich discussions, testimonies of poetic embodiment, snippets of disclosures, glimpses of personal stories, but the echo of embodiment seems to keep the full, long stories at bay, and outside of the immediacy of our sharing. As I look around myself while listening, I see some hands intertwined, some gentle touches, as people rock in the memory of their meditations.nowyour light shines very brightlybut I want youto knowyour darkness alsorichand beyond fear (Lorde 87)My research aim with these movement meditation sequences is not to find essential truths about human bodily imagination, but to explore the limits of somatic experience and cultural expression, to make artful life experiential and to hence create new tools for living in the chemically saturated world we all inhabit.I need to add here that these are my personal aims for Burning—all associated artists have their own journey, their own reasons for being involved, and there is no necessary consensus—just a shared interest in transformation, the cultural images of disease, disability and addiction, the effects of invasion and touch in our lives, and how embodied poetry can help us live. (see fig. 3). For example, a number of collaborators worked together in the participatory Burning performances at the Subterranean Arthouse, a small Butoh performance space in Berkeley, located in an old shop, complete with an open membrane into the urban space—a shop-window and glass door. Lots of things happen with and through us during these evenings, not just my movement meditations.One of my colleagues, Sadie Wilcox, sets up live drawing scenarios, sketching the space between people. Another artist, Harold Burns, engages participants in contact dance, and invites a crossing of boundaries in and through presence. Neil Marcus invites people to move with him, gently, and blindfolded, and to feel his spastic embodiment and his facility with tender touch. Amber diPietra’s poem about cell movement and the journeys from one to another sounds out in the space, set to music by Mindy Dillard. What I am writing about here is my personal account of the actions I engage in, one facet of these evenings—choreographing participants’ inner experiences.Figure 3. Image: Keira Heu-Jwyn Chang. Performers: Artists in the Burning project. “water burns sun”. Burning. 2009. My desires echo Lorde’s poem: “I want you”—there’s a sensual desire in me when I set up these movement meditation scenes, a delight in an erotic language and voice touch that is not predicated on sexual contact, but on intimacy, and on the borderlines, the membranes of the ear and the skin; ‘to know’—I continue to be intrigued and obsessed, as an artist and as a critic, by the way people envision what goes on inside them, and find agency, poetic lift, in mobilising these knowledges, in reaching from the images of bodies to the life of bodies in the world. ‘your darkness also’—not just the bright light, no, but also the fears and the strengths that hide in the blood and muscle, in the living pulsing shadow of the heart muscle pumping away, in the dark purple lobe of the liver wrapping itself around my middle and purifying, detoxifying, sifting, whatever sweeps through this body.These meditative slow practices can destabilise people. Some report that they experience something quite real, quite deep, and that there is transformation to be gained in these dream journeys. But the framing within which the Burning workshops take place question immediately the “authentic” of this experiential disclosure. The shared, the cultural, the heritage and hidden knowledge of being encultured quickly complicate any essence. This is where the element of formal enframing enters into the immediacy of experience, and into the narration of a stable, autonomous “I.” Our deepest cellular experience, the sounds and movements we listen to when we are deeply relaxed, are still cultured, are still shared, come to us in genres and stable image complexes.This form of presentation also questions practices of self-disclosure that participate in trauma narratives through what Canadian sociologist Erving Goffman has called “impression management” (208). Goffman researched the ways we play ourselves as roles in specific contexts, how we manage acts of disclosure and knowledge, how we deal with stigma and stereotype. Impression management refers to the ways people present themselves to others, using conscious or unconscious techniques to shape their image. In Goffman’s framing of these acts of self-presentation, performance and dramaturgical choices are foregrounded: impression management is an interactive, dynamic process. Disclosure becomes a semiotic act, not a “natural,” unfiltered display of an “authentic” self, but a complex engagement with choices. The naming and claiming of bodily trauma can be part of the repertoire of self-representation, a (stock-)narrative that enables recognition and hence communication. The full traumatic narrative arc (injury, reaction, overcoming) can here be a way to manage the discomfort of others, to navigate potential stigma.In Burning, by-passing verbal self-disclosure and the recitation of experience, by encountering ourselves in dialogue with our insides and with foreign elements in this experiential way, there is less space for people to speak managed, filtered personal truths. I find that these truths tend to either close down communication if raw and direct, or become told as a story in its complete, polished arc. Either form leaves little space for dialogue. After each journey through bodies, cells, through liver and heart, breath and membrane, audience members need to unfold for themselves what they felt, and how that felt, and how that relates to the stories of cancer, environmental toxins and invasion that they know.It is not fair. We should be able to have dialogues about “I am poisoned, I live with environmental sensitivities, and they constrict my life,” “I survived cancer,” “I have multiple sclerosis,” “I am autistic,” “I am addicted to certain substances,” “I am injured by certain substances.” But tragedy tugs at these stories, puts their narrators into the realm of the inviolate, as a community quickly feel sorry for these persons, or else feels attacked by them, in particular if one does not know how to help. Yes, we know this story: we can manage her identity for her, and his social role can click into fixity. The cultural weight of these narratives hinders flow, become heavily stigmatised. Many contemporary writers on the subjects of cancer and personhood recognise the (not always negative) aspects of this stigma, and mobilise them in their narratives. As Marisa Acocella Marchetto in the Cancer-Vixen: A True Story puts it: ‘Play the cancer card!’ (107). The cancer card appears in this graphic novel memoir in the form of a full-page spoof advertisem*nt, and the card is presented as a way to get out of unwanted social obligations. The cancer card is perfectly designed to create the communal cringe and the hasty retreat. If you have cancer, you are beyond the pale, and ordinary rules of behavior do no longer apply. People who experience these life-changing transformational diagnoses often know very well how isolating it can be to name one’s personal story, and many are very careful about how they manage disclosure, and know that if they choose to disclose, they have to manage other people’s discomfort. In Burning, stories of injury and hurt swing in the room with us, all of these stories are mentioned in our performance program, but none of them are specifically given individual voice in our performance (although some participants chose to come out in the sharing circle at the end of the event). No one owns the diagnoses, the identity of “survivor,” and the presence of these disease complexes are instead dispersed, performatively enacted and brought in experiential contact with all members of our temporary group. When you leave our round, you most likely still do not know who has multiple sclerosis, who has substance addiction issues, who is sensitive to environmental toxins.Communication demands territorialisation, and formal experimentation alone, unanchored in lived experience, easily alienates. So how can disclosure and the storytelling self find some lift, and yet some connection, too? How can the Burning cell imaginary become both deep, emotionally rich and formal, pointing to its constructed nature? That’s the question that each of the Olimpias’ community performance experiments begins with.How to Host a Past Collective: Setting Up a CirclePreceding Burning, one of our recent performance investigations was the Anarcha Project. In this multi-year, multi-site project, we revisited gynecological experiments performed on slave women in Montgomery, Alabama, in the 1840s, by J. Marion Sims, the “father of American gynecology.” We did so not to revictimise historical women as suffering ciphers, or stand helpless at the site of historical injury. Instead, we used art-based methods to investigate the heritage of slavery medicine in contemporary health care inequalities and women’s health care. As part of the project, thousands of participants in multiple residencies across the U.S. shared their stories with the project leaders—myself, Aimee Meredith Cox, Carrie Sandahl, Anita Gonzalez and Tiye Giraud. We collected about two hundred of these fragments in the Anarcha Anti-Archive, a website that tries, frustratingly, to undo the logic of the ordered archive (Cox et al. n.p).The project closed in 2008, but I still give presentations with the material we generated. But what formal methods can I select, ethically and responsibly, to present the multivocal nature of the Anarcha Project, given that it is now just me in the conference room, given that the point of the project was the intersection of multiple stories, not the fetishisation of individual ones? In a number of recent presentations, I used a circle exercise to engage in fragmented, shrouded disclosure, to keep privacies safe, and to find material contact with one another. In these Anarcha rounds, we all take words into our mouths, and try to stay conscious to the nature of this act—taking something into our mouth, rather than acting out words, normalising them into spoken language. Take this into your mouth—transgression, sacrament, ritual, entrainment, from one body to another.So before an Anarcha presentation, I print out random pages from our Anarcha Anti-Archive. A number of the links in the website pull up material through chance procedures (a process implemented by Olimpias collaborator Jay Steichmann, who is interested in digital literacies). So whenever you click that particular link, you get to a different page in the anti-archive, and you can not retrace your step, or mark you place in an unfolding narrative. What comes up are poems, story fragments, images, all sent in in response to cyber Anarcha prompts. We sent these prompts during residencies to long-distance participants who could not physically be with us, and many people, from Wales to Malaysia, sent in responses. I pull up a good number of these pages, combined with some of the pages written by the core collaborators of our project. In the sharing that follows, I do not speak about the heart of the project, but I mark that I leave things unsaid. Here is what I do not say in the moment of the presentation—those medical experiments were gynecological operations without anesthesia, executed to close vagin*l fistula that were leaking piss and sh*t, executed without anesthesia not because it was not available, but because the doctor did not believe that black women felt pain. I can write this down, here, in this essay, as you can now stop for a minute if you need to collect yourself, as you listen to what this narrative does to your inside. You might feel a clench deep down in your torso, like many of us did, a kinesthetic empathy that translates itself across text, time and space, and which became a core choreographic element in our Anarcha poetics.I do not speak about the medical facts directly in a face-to-face presentation where there is no place to hide, no place to turn away. Instead, I point to a secret at the heart of the Anarcha Project, and explain where all the medical and historical data can be found (in the Anarcha Project essay, “Remembering Anarcha,” in the on-line performance studies journal Liminalities site, free and accessible to all without subscription, now frequently used in bioethics education (see: http://www.liminalities.net/4-2). The people in the round, then, have only a vague sense of what the project is about, and I explain why this formal frame appears instead of open disclosure. I ask their permission to proceed. They either give it to me, or else our circle becomes something else, and we speak about performance practices and formal means of speaking about trauma instead.Having marked the space as one in which we agree on a specific framework or rule, having set up a space apart, we begin. One by one, raw and without preamble, people in the circle read what they have been given. The meaning of what they are reading only comes to them as they are reading—they have had little time to familiarise themselves with the words beforehand. Someone reads a poem about being held as a baby by one’s mother, being accepted, even through the writer’s body is so different. Someone reads about the persistence of shame. Someone reads about how incontinence is so often the borderline for independent living in contemporary cultures—up to here, freedom; past this point, at the point of leakage, the nursing home. Someone reads about her mother’s upset about digging up that awful past again. Someone reads about fibroid tumors in African-American women. Someone reads about the Venus Hottentott. Someone begins to cry (most recently at a Feminisms and Rhetorics conference), crying softly, and there is no knowing about why, but there is companionship, and quiet contemplation, and it is ok. These presentations start with low-key chatting, setting up the circle, and end the same way—once we have made our way around, once our fragments are read out, we just sit and talk, no “presentation-mode” emerges, and no one gets up into high drama. We’ve all taken strange things into our mouths, talked of piss and sh*t and blood and race and oppression and love and survival. Did we get free of ourselves, of the inevitability of narrative, in the attention to articulation, elocution, the performance of words, even if just for a moment? Did we taste the words on our tongues, material physical traces of a different form of embodiment? Container/ConclusionThe poet Anne Carson attended one of our Anarcha presentations, and her comments to us that evening helped to frame our subsequent work for me—she called our work creating a container, a vessel for experience, without sharing the specifics of that experience. I have since explored this image further, thought about amphorae as commemorative vases, thought of earth and clay as materials, thought of the illustrations on ancient vessels, on pattern and form, flow and movement. The vessel as matter: deterritorialising and reterritorialising, familiar and strange, shaping into form, and shaped out of formlessness, fired in the light and baked in the earth’s darkness, hardened only to crumble and crack again with the ages, returning to dust. These disclosures are in time and space—they are not narratives that create an archive or a body of knowledge. They breathe, and vibrate, and press against skin. What can be contained, what leaks, what finds its way through the membrane?These disclosures are traces of life, and I can touch them. I never get bored by them. Come and sit by my side, and we share in this river flow border vessel cell life.ReferencesBritzman, Deborah P. "Is There a Queer Pedagogy? Or, Stop Reading Straight." Educational Theory 45:2 (1995): 151–165. Burning. The Olimpias Project. Berkley; Eugene; Fort Worden. May-October, 2009Deleuze, Gilles, and Felix Guattari. A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Trans. Brian Massumi. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987.Foucault, Michel. The History of Sexuality: Vol. 2. The Use of Pleasure. Trans. Robert Hurley. New York: Vintage, 1985.Goffman, Erving. Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. New York: Anchor, 1969Kuppers, Petra. “Remembering Anarcha: Objection in the Medical Archive.” Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies 4.2 (2006): n.p. 24 July 2009 < http://liminalities.net/4-2 >.Cox, Aimee Meredith, Tiye Giraud, Anita Gonzales, Petra Kuppers, and Carrie Sandahl. “The Anarcha-Anti-Archive.” Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies 4.2 (2006): n.p. 24 July 2009 < http://liminalities.net/4-2 >.Lorde, Audre. Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches. Berkeley: The Crossing Press, 1984.Marchetto, Marisa Acocella. Cancer Vixen: A True Story. New York: Knopf, 2006.St. Pierre, Elizabeth Adams. “Circling the Text: Nomadic Writing Practices.” Qualitative Inquiry 3.4 (1997): 403–18.

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Hanscombe, Elisabeth. "A Plea for Doubt in the Subjectivity of Method." M/C Journal 14, no.1 (January24, 2011). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.335.

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Photograph by Gonzalo Echeverria (2010)Doubt has been my closest companion for several years as I struggle to make sense of certain hidden events from within my family’s history. The actual nature of such events, although now lost to us, can nevertheless be explored through the distorting lens of memory and academic research. I base such explorations in part on my intuition and sensitivity to emotional experience, which are inevitably riddled with doubt. I write from the position of a psychoanalytic psychologist who is also a creative writer and my doubts increase further when I use the autobiographical impulse as a driving force. I am not alone with such uncertainties. Ross Gibson, an historian and filmmaker, uses his doubts to explore empty spaces in the Australian landscape. He looks to see “what’s gone missing” as he endeavours with a team of colleagues to build up some “systematic comprehension in response to fragments” (Gibson, “Places” 1). How can anyone be certain as to what has transpired with no “facts” to go on? he asks. What can we do with our doubts? To this end, Gibson has collected a series of crime scene photographs, taken in post war Sydney, and created a display – a photographic slide show with a minimalist musical score, mostly of drumming and percussion, coupled with a few tight, poetic words, in the form of haiku, splattered across the screen. The notes accompanying the photographic negatives were lost. The only details “known” include the place, the date and the image. Of some two thousand photos, Gibson selected only fifty for display, by hunch, by nuance, or by whatever it was that stirred in him when he first glimpsed them. He describes each photo as “the imprint of a scream”, a gut reaction riddled with doubt (Gibson and Richards, Wartime). In this type of research, creative imaginative flair is essential, Gibson argues. “We need to propose ‘what if’ scenarios that help us account for what has happened…so that we can better envisage what might happen. We need to apprehend the past” (Gibson, “Places” 2). To do this we need imagination, which involves “a readiness to incorporate the unknown…when one encounters evidence that’s in smithereens”, the evidence of the past that lies rooted in a seedbed of doubt (Gibson, “Places” 2). The sociologist, Avery Gordon, also argues in favour of the imaginative impulse. “Fiction is getting pretty close to sociology,” she suggests as she begins her research into the business of ghosts and haunting (Gordon 38). As we entertain our doubts we tune in with our uncertain imaginations. “The places where our discourse is unauthorised by virtue of its unruliness…take us away from abstract questions of method, from bloodless professionalised questions, toward the materiality of institutionalised storytelling, with all its uncanny repetitions” (Gordon 39). If we are to dig deeper, to understand more about the emotional truth of our “fictional” pasts we must look to “the living traces, the memories of the lost and disappeared” (Gordon ix). According to Janice Radway, Gordon seeks a new way of knowing…a knowing that is more a listening than a seeing, a practice of being attuned to the echoes and murmurs of that which has been lost but which is still present among us in the form of intimations, hints, suggestions and portents … ghostly matters … . To be haunted is to be tied to historical and social effects. (x) And to be tied to such effects is to live constantly in the shadow of doubt. A photograph of my dead baby sister haunts me still. As a child I took this photo to school one day. I had peeled it from its corners in the family album. There were two almost identical pictures, side by side. I hoped no one would notice the space left behind. “She’s dead,” I said. I held the photo out to a group of girls in the playground. My fingers had smeared the photo’s surface. The children peered at the image. They wanted to stare at the picture of a dead baby. Not one had seen a dead body before, and not one had been able to imagine the stillness, a photographic image without life, without breath that I passed around on the asphalt playground one spring morning in 1962 when I was ten years old. I have the photo still—my dead sister who bears the same name as my older sister, still living. The dead one has wispy fine black hair. In the photo there are dark shadows underneath her closed eyes. She looks to be asleep. I do not emphasise grief at the loss of my mother’s first-born daughter. My mother felt it briefly, she told me later. But things like that happened all the time during the war. Babies were born and died regularly. Now, all these years later, these same unmourned babies hover restlessly in the nurseries of generations of survivors. There is no way we can be absolute in our interpretations, Gibson argues, but in the first instance there is some basic knowledge to be generated from viewing the crime scene photographs, as in viewing my death photo (Gibson, "Address"). For example, we can reflect on the décor and how people in those days organised their spaces. We can reflect on the way people stood and walked, got on and off vehicles, as well as examine something of the lives of the investigative police, including those whose job it was to take these photographs. Gibson interviewed some of the now elderly men from the Sydney police force who had photographed the crime scenes he displays. He asked questions to deal with his doubts. He now has a very different appreciation of the life of a “copper”, he says. His detective work probing into these empty spaces, digging into his doubts, has reduced his preconceptions and prejudices (Gibson, "Address"). Preconception and prejudice cannot tolerate doubt. In order to bear witness, Gibson says we need to be speculative, to be loose, but not glib, “narrativising” but not inventive, with an eye to the real world (Gibson, "Address"). Gibson’s interest in an interpretation of life after wartime in Sydney is to gather a sense of the world that led to these pictures. His interpretations derive from his hunches, but hunches, he argues, also need to be tested for plausibility (Gibson, Address). Like Gibson, I hope that the didactic trend from the past—to shut up and listen—has been replaced by one that involves “discovery based learning”, learning that is guided by someone who knows “just a little more”, in a common sense, forensic, investigative mode (Gibson, “Address”). Doubt is central to this heuristic trend. Likewise, my doubts give me permission to explore my family’s past without the paralysis of intentionality and certainty. “What method have you adopted for your research?” Gordon asks, as she considers Luce Irigaray’s thoughts on the same question. It is “a delicate question. For isn’t it the method, the path to knowledge, that has always also led us away, led us astray, by fraud and artifice” (Gordon 38). So what is my methodology? I use storytelling meshed with theory and the autobiographical. But what do you think you’re doing? my critics ask. You call this research? I must therefore look to literary theorists on biography and autobiography for support. Nancy Miller writes about the denigration of the autobiographical, particularly in academic circles, where the tendency has been to see the genre as “self indulgent” in its apparent failure to maintain standards of objectivity, of scrutiny and theoretical distance (Miller 421). However, the autobiographical, Miller argues, rather than separating and dividing us through self-interests can “narrow the degree of separation” by operating as an aid to remembering (425). We recognise ourselves in another’s memoir, however fleetingly, and the recognition makes our “own experience feel more meaningful: not ‘merely’ personal but part of the bigger picture of cultural memory” (Miller 426). I speak with some hesitation about my family of origin yet it frames my story and hence my methodology. For many years I have had a horror of what writers and academics call “structure”. I considered myself lacking any ability to create a structure within my writing. I write intuitively. I have some idea of what I wish to explore and then I wait for ideas to enter my mind. They rise to the surface much like air bubbles from a fish. I wait till the fish joggles my bait. Often I write as I wait for a fish to bite. This writing, which is closely informed by my reading, occurs in an intuitive way, as if by instinct. I follow the associations that erupt in my mind, even as I explore another’s theory, and if it is at all possible, if I can get hold of these associations, what I, too, call hunches, then I follow them, much as Gibson and Gordon advocate. Like Gordon, I take my “distractions” seriously (Gordon, 31-60). Gordon follows ghosts. She looks for the things behind the things, the things that haunt her. I, too, look for what lies beneath, what is unconscious, unclear. This writing does not come easily and it takes many drafts before a pattern can emerge, before I, who have always imagined I could not develop a structure, begin to see one—an outline in bold where the central ideas accrue and onto which other thoughts can attach. This structure is not static. It begins with the spark of desire, the intercourse of opposing feelings, for me the desire to untangle family secrets from the past, to unpack one form, namely the history as presented within my family and then to re-assemble it through a written re-construction that attempts to make sense of the empty spaces left out of the family narrative, where no record, verbal or written, has been provided. This operates against pressure from certain members of my family to leave the family past unexplored. My methodology is subjective. Any objectivity I glean in exploring the work and theories of others comes through my own perspective. I read the works of academics in the literary field, and academics from psychoanalysis interested in infant development and personality theory. They consider these issues in different ways from the way in which I, as a psychotherapist, a doubt-filled researcher, and writer, read and experience them. To my clinician self, these ideas evolve in practice. I do not see them as mere abstractions. To me they are living ideas, they pulse and flow, and yet there are some who would seek to tie them down or throw them out. Recently I asked my mother about the photo of her dead baby, her first-born daughter who had died during the Hongerwinter (Hunger winter) of 1945 in Heilo, Holland. I was curious to know how the photo had come about. My curiosity had been flamed by Jay Ruby’s Secure the Shadow: Death and Photography in America, a transcript on the nature of post-mortem photography, which includes several photos of dead people. The book I found by chance in a second-hand books store. I could not leave these photographs behind. Ruby is concerned to ask questions about why we have become so afraid of death, at least in the western world, that we no longer take photographs of our loved ones after death as mementos, or if we take such photos, they are kept private, not shared with the public, for fear that the owners might be considered ghoulish (Ruby 161). I follow in Gordon’s footsteps. She describes how one day, on her way to a conference to present a paper, she had found herself distracted from her conference topic by thoughts of a woman whose image she had discovered was “missing” from a photo taken in Berlin in 1901. According to Gordon’s research, the woman, Sabina Spielrein, should have been present in this photo, but was not. Spielrein is a little known psychoanalyst, little known despite the fact that she was the first to hypothesise on the nature of the death instinct, an unconscious drive towards death and oblivion (Gordon 40). Gordon’s “search” for this missing woman overtook her initial research. My mother could not remember who took her dead baby’s photograph, but suspected it was a neighbour of her cousin in whose house she had stayed. She told me again the story she has told me many times before, and always at my instigation. When I was little I wondered that my mother could stay dry-eyed in the telling. She seemed so calm, when I had imagined that were I the mother of a dead baby I would find it hard to go on. “It is harder,” my mother said, to lose an older child. “When a child dies so young, you have fewer memories. It takes less time to get over it.” Ruby concludes that after World War Two, postmortem photographs were less likely to be kept in the family album, as they would have been in earlier times. “Those who possess death-related family pictures regard them as very private pictures to be shown only to selected people” (Ruby 161). When I look at the images in Ruby’s book, particularly those of the young, the children and babies, I am struck again at the unspoken. The idea of the dead person, seemingly alive in the photograph, propped up in a chair, on a mother’s lap, or resting on a bed, lifeless. To my contemporary sensibility it seems wrong. To look upon these dead people, their identities often unknown, and to imagine the grief for others in that loss—for grief there must have been such that the people remaining felt it necessary to preserve the memory—becomes almost unbearable. It is tempting to judge the past by present standards. In 1999, while writing her historical novel Year of Wonders, Geraldine Brooks came across a letter Henry James had written ninety eight years earlier to a young Sarah Orne Jewett who had previously sent him a manuscript of her historical novel for comment. In his letter, James condemns the notion of the historical novel as an impossibility: “the invention, the representation of the old consciousness, the soul, the sense of horizon, the vision of individuals in whose minds half the things that make ours, that make the modern world,” are all impossible, he insisted (Brooks 3). Despite Brooks’s initial disquiet at James’s words, she realised later that she had heard similar ideas uttered in different contexts before. Brooks had worked as a journalist in the Middle East and Africa: “They don’t think like us,” white Africans would say of their black neighbours, or Israelis of Arabs or upper class Palestinians about their desperately poor refugee-camp brethren … . “They don’t value life as we do. They don’t care if their kids get killed—they have so many of them”. (Brookes 3) But Brooks argues, “a woman keening for a dead child sounds exactly as raw in an earth-floored hovel as it does in a silk-carpeted drawing room” (3). Brooks is concerned to get beyond the certainties of our pre-conceived ideas: “It is human nature to put yourself in another’s shoes. The past may be another country. But the only passport required is empathy”(3). And empathy again requires the capacity to tolerate doubt. Later I asked my mother yet again about what it was like for her when her baby died, and why she had chosen to have her dead baby photographed. She did not ask for the photograph to be taken, she told me. But she was glad to have it now; otherwise nothing would remain of this baby, buried in an unfamiliar cemetery on the other side of the world. Why am I haunted by this image of my dead baby sister and how does it connect with my family’s secrets? The links are still in doubt. Gibson’s creative flair, Gordon’s ideas on ghostly matters and haunting, the things behind the things, my preoccupation with my mother’s dead baby and a sense that this sister might mean less to me did I not have the image of her photograph planted in my memory from childhood, all come together through parataxis if we can bear our doubts. Certainty is the enemy of introspection of imagination and of creativity. Yet too much doubt can paralyse. Here I write about tolerable levels of doubt tempered with an inquisitive mind that can land on hunches and an imagination that allows the researcher to follow such hunches and then seek evidence that corroborates or disproves them. As Gibson writes elsewhere, I tried to use all these scrappy details to help people think about the absences and silences between all the pinpointed examples that made up the scenarios that I presented in prose that was designed to spur rigorous speculation rather than lock down singular conclusions. (“Extractive” 2) Ours is a positive doubt, one that expects to find something, however “unexpected”, rather than a negative doubt that expects nothing. For doubt in large doses can paralyse a person into inaction. Furthermore, a balanced state of doubt fosters connectivity. As John Patrick Shanley’s character, the parish priest, Father Flynn, in the film Doubt, observes, “there are these times in our life when we feel lost. It happens and it’s a bond” (Shanley). References Brooks, Geraldine. "Timeless Tact Helps Sustain a Literary Time Traveller." New York Times, 2001. 14 Jan. 2011 ‹http://www.nytimes.com/2001/07/02/arts/writers-on-writing-timeless-tact-helps-sustain-a-literary-time-traveler.html?pagewanted=3&src=pm›. Doubt. Shanley, Dir. J. P. Shanley. Miramax Films, 2008. Gibson, Ross, and Kate Richards. “Life after Wartime.” N.d. 25 Feb. 2011. ‹http://www.lifeafterwartime.com/›. Gibson, Ross. “The Art of the Real Conference.” Keynote address. U Newcastle, 2008. Gibson, Ross. “Places past Disappearance.” Transformations 13-1 (2006). 22 Feb. 2007 ‹http://www.transformationsjournal.org/journal/issue_13/article_01.shtml›. ———. “Extractive Realism.” Australian Humanities Review 47 (2009). 25 Feb. 2011 ‹http://www.australianhumanitiesreview.org/archive/Issue-November-2009/gibson.html›. Gordon, Avery F. Ghostly Matters: Haunting and the Sociological Imagination. Minneapolis: U Minnesota P, 2008. Miller, Nancy K. “But Enough about Me, What Do You Think of My Memoir?” The Yale Journal of Criticism 13.2 (2000): 421-536. Ruby, Jay. Secure the Shadow: Death and Photography in America. Cambridge, MA: MIT P, 1995.

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Quinan,C.L., and Hannah Pezzack. "A Biometric Logic of Revelation: Zach Blas’s SANCTUM (2018)." M/C Journal 23, no.4 (August12, 2020). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1664.

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Ubiquitous in airports, border checkpoints, and other securitised spaces throughout the world, full-body imaging scanners claim to read bodies in order to identify if they pose security threats. Millimetre-wave body imaging machines—the most common type of body scanner—display to the operating security agent a screen with a generic body outline. If an anomaly is found or if an individual does not align with the machine’s understanding of an “average” body, a small box is highlighted and placed around the “problem” area, prompting further inspection in the form of pat-downs or questioning. In this complex security regime governed by such biometric, body-based technologies, it could be argued that nonalignment with bodily normativity as well as an attendant failure to reveal oneself—to become “transparent” (Hall 295)—marks a body as dangerous. As these algorithmic technologies become more pervasive, so too does the imperative to critically examine their purported neutrality and operative logic of revelation and readability.Biometric technologies are marketed as excavators of truth, with their optic potency claiming to demask masquerading bodies. Failure and bias are, however, an inescapable aspect of such technologies that work with narrow parameters of human morphology. Indeed, surveillance technologies have been taken to task for their inherent racial and gender biases (Browne; Pugliese). Facial recognition has, for example, been critiqued for its inability to read darker skin tones (Buolamwini and Gebru), while body scanners have been shown to target transgender bodies (Keyes; Magnet and Rodgers; Quinan). Critical security studies scholar Shoshana Magnet argues that error is endemic to the technological functioning of biometrics, particularly since they operate according to the faulty notion that bodies are “stable” and unchanging repositories of information that can be reified into code (Magnet 2).Although body scanners are presented as being able to reliably expose concealed weapons, they are riddled with incompetencies that misidentify and over-select certain demographics as suspect. Full-body scanners have, for example, caused considerable difficulties for transgender travellers, breast cancer patients, and people who use prosthetics, such as artificial limbs, colonoscopy bags, binders, or prosthetic genitalia (Clarkson; Quinan; Spalding). While it is not in the scope of this article to detail the workings of body imaging technologies and their inconsistencies, a growing body of scholarship has substantiated the claim that these machines unfairly impact those identifying as transgender and non-binary (see, e.g., Beauchamp; Currah and Mulqueen; Magnet and Rogers; Sjoberg). Moreover, they are constructed according to a logic of binary gender: before each person enters the scanner, transportation security officers must make a quick assessment of their gender/sex by pressing either a blue (corresponding to “male”) or pink (corresponding to “female”) button. In this sense, biometric, computerised security systems control and monitor the boundaries between male and female.The ability to “reveal” oneself is henceforth predicated on having a body free of “abnormalities” and fitting neatly into one of the two sex categorisations that the machine demands. Transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals, particularly those who do not have a binary gender presentation or whose presentation does not correspond to the sex marker in their documentation, also face difficulties if the machine flags anomalies (Quinan and Bresser). Drawing on a Foucauldian analysis of power as productive, Toby Beauchamp similarly illustrates how surveillance technologies not only identify but also create and reshape the figure of the dangerous subject in relation to normative configurations of gender, race, and able-bodiedness. By mobilizing narratives of concealment and disguise, heightened security measures frame gender nonconformity as dangerous (Beauchamp, Going Stealth). Although national and supranational authorities market biometric scanning technologies as scientifically neutral and exact methods of identification and verification and as an infallible solution to security risks, such tools of surveillance are clearly shaped by preconceptions and prejudgements about race, gender, and bodily normativity. Not only are they encoded with “prototypical whiteness” (Browne) but they are also built on “grossly stereotypical” configurations of gender (Clarkson).Amongst this increasingly securitised landscape, creative forms of artistic resistance can offer up a means of subverting discriminatory policing and surveillance practices by posing alternate visualisations that reveal and challenge their supposed objectivity. In his 2018 audio-video artwork installation entitled SANCTUM, UK-based American artist Zach Blas delves into how biometric technologies, like those described above, both reveal and (re)shape ontology by utilising the affectual resonance of sexual submission. Evoking the contradictory notions of oppression and pleasure, Blas describes SANCTUM as “a mystical environment that perverts sex dungeons with the apparatuses and procedures of airport body scans, biometric analysis, and predictive policing” (see full description at https://zachblas.info/works/sanctum/).Depicting generic mannequins that stand in for the digitalised rendering of the human forms that pass through body scanners, the installation transports the scanners out of the airport and into a queer environment that collapses sex, security, and weaponry; an environment that is “at once a prison-house of algorithmic capture, a sex dungeon with no genitals, a weapons factory, and a temple to security.” This artistic reframing gestures towards full-body scanning technology’s germination in the military, prisons, and other disciplinary systems, highlighting how its development and use has originated from punitive—rather than protective—contexts.In what follows, we adopt a methodological approach that applies visual analysis and close reading to scrutinise a selection of scenes from SANCTUM that underscore the sadomasoch*stic power inherent in surveillance technologies. Analysing visual and aural elements of the artistic intervention allows us to complicate the relationship between transparency and recognition and to problematise the dynamic of mandatory complicity and revelation that body scanners warrant. In contrast to a discourse of visibility that characterises algorithmically driven surveillance technology, Blas suggests opacity as a resistance strategy to biometrics' standardisation of identity. Taking an approach informed by critical security studies and queer theory, we also argue that SANCTUM highlights the violence inherent to the practice of reducing the body to a flat, inert surface that purports to align with some sort of “core” identity, a notion that contradicts feminist and queer approaches to identity and corporeality as fluid and changing. In close reading this artistic installation alongside emerging scholarship on the discriminatory effects of biometric technology, this article aims to highlight the potential of art to queer the supposed objectivity and neutrality of biometric surveillance and to critically challenge normative logics of revelation and readability.Corporeal Fetishism and Body HorrorThroughout both his artistic practice and scholarly work, Blas has been critical of the above narrative of biometrics as objective extractors of information. Rather than looking to dominant forms of representation as a means for recognition and social change, Blas’s work asks that we strive for creative techniques that precisely queer biometric and legal systems in order to make oneself unaccounted for. For him, “transparency, visibility, and representation to the state should be used tactically, they are never the end goal for a transformative politics but are, ultimately, a trap” (Blas and Gaboury 158). While we would simultaneously argue that invisibility is itself a privilege that is unevenly distributed, his creative work attempts to refuse a politics of visibility and to embrace an “informatic opacity” that is attuned to differences in bodies and identities (Blas).In particular, Blas’s artistic interventions titled Facial Weaponization Suite (2011-14) and Face Cages (2013-16) protest against biometric recognition and the inequalities that these technologies propagate by making masks and wearable metal objects that cannot be detected as human faces. This artistic-activist project contests biometric facial recognition and their attendant inequalities by, as detailed on the artist’s website,making ‘collective masks’ in workshops that are modelled from the aggregated facial data of participants, resulting in amorphous masks that cannot be detected as human faces by biometric facial recognition technologies. The masks are used for public interventions and performances.One mask explores blackness and the racist implications that undergird biometric technologies’ inability to detect dark skin. Meanwhile another mask, which he calls the “fa*g Face Mask”, points to the heteronormative underpinnings of facial recognition. Created from the aggregated facial data of queer men, this amorphous pink mask implicitly references—and contests—scientific studies that have attempted to link the identification of sexual orientation through rapid facial recognition techniques.Building on this body of creative work that has advocated for opacity as a tool of social and political transformation, SANCTUM resists the revelatory impulses of biometric technology by turning to the use and abuse of full-body imaging. The installation opens with a shot of a large, dark industrial space. At the far end of a red, spotlighted corridor, a black mask flickers on a screen. A shimmering, oscillating sound reverberates—the opening bars of a techno track—that breaks down in rhythm while the mask evaporates into a cloud of smoke. The camera swivels, and a white figure—the generic mannequin of the body scanner screen—is pummelled by invisible forces as if in a wind tunnel. These ghostly silhouettes appear and reappear in different positions, with some being whipped and others stretched and penetrated by a steel anal hook. Rather than conjuring a traditional horror trope of the body’s terrifying, bloody interior, SANCTUM evokes a new kind of feared and fetishized trope that is endemic to the current era of surveillance capitalism: the abstracted body, standardised and datafied, created through the supposedly objective and efficient gaze of AI-driven machinery.Resting on the floor in front of the ominous animated mask are neon fragments arranged in an occultist formation—hands or half a face. By breaking the body down into component parts— “from retina to fingerprints”—biometric technologies “purport to make individual bodies endlessly replicable, segmentable and transmissible in the transnational spaces of global capital” (Magnet 8). The notion that bodies can be seamlessly turned into blueprints extracted from biological and cultural contexts has been described by Donna Haraway as “corporeal fetishism” (Haraway, Modest). In the context of SANCTUM, Blas illustrates the dangers of mistaking a model for a “concrete entity” (Haraway, “Situated” 147). Indeed, the digital cartography of the generic mannequin becomes no longer a mode of representation but instead a technoscientific truth.Several scenes in SANCTUM also illustrate a process whereby substances are extracted from the mannequins and used as tools to enact violence. In one such instance, a silver webbing is generated over a kneeling figure. Upon closer inspection, this geometric structure, which is reminiscent of Blas’s earlier Face Cages project, is a replication of the triangulated patterns produced by facial recognition software in its mapping of distance between eyes, nose, and mouth. In the next scene, this “map” breaks apart into singular shapes that float and transform into a metallic whip, before eventually reconstituting themselves as a penetrative douche hose that causes the mannequin to spasm and vomit a pixelated liquid. Its secretions levitate and become the webbing, and then the sequence begins anew.In another scene, a mannequin is held upside-down and force-fed a bubbling liquid that is being pumped through tubes from its arms, legs, and stomach. These depictions visualise Magnet’s argument that biometric renderings of bodies are understood not to be “tropic” or “historically specific” but are instead presented as “plumbing individual depths in order to extract core identity” (5). In this sense, this visual representation calls to mind biometrics’ reification of body and identity, obfuscating what Haraway would describe as the “situatedness of knowledge”. Blas’s work, however, forces a critique of these very systems, as the materials extracted from the bodies of the mannequins in SANCTUM allude to how biometric cartographies drawn from travellers are utilised to justify detainment. These security technologies employ what Magnet has referred to as “surveillant scopophilia,” that is, new ways and forms of looking at the human body “disassembled into component parts while simultaneously working to assuage individual anxieties about safety and security through the promise of surveillance” (17). The transparent body—the body that can submit and reveal itself—is ironically represented by the distinctly genderless translucent mannequins. Although the generic mannequins are seemingly blank slates, the installation simultaneously forces a conversation about the ways in which biometrics draw upon and perpetuate assumptions about gender, race, and sexuality.Biometric SubjugationOn her 2016 critically acclaimed album HOPELESSNESS, openly transgender singer, composer, and visual artist Anohni performs a deviant subjectivity that highlights the above dynamics that mark the contemporary surveillance discourse. To an imagined “daddy” technocrat, she sings:Watch me… I know you love me'Cause you're always watching me'Case I'm involved in evil'Case I'm involved in terrorism'Case I'm involved in child molestersEvoking a queer sexual frisson, Anohni describes how, as a trans woman, she is hyper-visible to state institutions. She narrates a voyeuristic relation where trans bodies are policed as threats to public safety rather than protected from systemic discrimination. Through the seemingly benevolent “daddy” character and the play on ‘cause (i.e., because) and ‘case (i.e., in case), she highlights how gender-nonconforming individuals are predictively surveilled and assumed to already be guilty. Reflecting on daddy-boy sexual paradigms, Jack Halberstam reads the “sideways” relations of queer practices as an enactment of “rupture as substitution” to create a new project that “holds on to vestiges of the old but distorts” (226). Upending power and control, queer art has the capacity to both reveal and undermine hegemonic structures while simultaneously allowing for the distortion of the old to create something new.Employing the sublimatory relations of bondage, discipline, sadism, and masochism (BDSM), Blas’s queer installation similarly creates a sideways representation that re-orientates the logic of the biometric scanners, thereby unveiling the always already sexualised relations of scrutiny and interrogation as well as the submissive complicity they demand. Replacing the airport environment with a dark and foreboding mise-en-scène allows Blas to focus on capture rather than mobility, highlighting the ways in which border checkpoints (including those instantiated by the airport) encourage free travel for some while foreclosing movement for others. Building on Sara Ahmed’s “phenomenology of being stopped”, Magnet considers what happens when we turn our gaze to those “who fail to pass the checkpoint” (107). In SANCTUM, the same actions are played out again and again on spectral beings who are trapped in various states: they shudder in cages, are chained to the floor, or are projected against the parameters of mounted screens. One ghostly figure, for instance, lies pinned down by metallic grappling hooks, arms raised above the head in a recognisable stance of surrender, conjuring up the now-familiar image of a traveller standing in the cylindrical scanner machine, waiting to be screened. In portraying this extended moment of immobility, Blas lays bare the deep contradictions in the rhetoric of “freedom of movement” that underlies such spaces.On a global level, media reporting, scientific studies, and policy documents proclaim that biometrics are essential to ensuring personal safety and national security. Within the public imagination, these technologies become seductive because of their marked ability to identify terrorist attackers—to reveal threatening bodies—thereby appealing to the anxious citizen’s fear of the disguised suicide bomber. Yet for marginalised identities prefigured as criminal or deceptive—including transgender and black and brown bodies—the inability to perform such acts of revelation via submission to screening can result in humiliation and further discrimination, public shaming, and even tortuous inquiry – acts that are played out in SANCTUM.Masked GenitalsFeminist surveillance studies scholar Rachel Hall has referred to the impetus for revelation in the post-9/11 era as a desire for a universal “aesthetics of transparency” in which the world and the body is turned inside-out so that there are no longer “secrets or interiors … in which terrorists or terrorist threats might find refuge” (127). Hall takes up the case study of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (infamously known as “the Underwear Bomber”) who attempted to detonate plastic explosives hidden in his underwear while onboard a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on 25 December 2009. Hall argues that this event signified a coalescence of fears surrounding bodies of colour, genitalia, and terrorism. News reports following the incident stated that Abdulmutallab tucked his penis to make room for the explosive, thereby “queer[ing] the aspiring terrorist by indirectly referencing his willingness … to make room for a substitute phallus” (Hall 289). Overtly manifested in the Underwear Bomber incident is also a desire to voyeuristically expose a hidden, threatening interiority, which is inherently implicated with anxieties surrounding gender deviance. Beauchamp elaborates on how gender deviance and transgression have coalesced with terrorism, which was exemplified in the wake of the 9/11 attacks when the United States Department of Homeland Security issued a memo that male terrorists “may dress as females in order to discourage scrutiny” (“Artful” 359). Although this advisory did not explicitly reference transgender populations, it linked “deviant” gender presentation—to which we could also add Abdulmutallab’s tucking of his penis—with threats to national security (Beauchamp, Going Stealth). This also calls to mind a broader discussion of the ways in which genitalia feature in the screening process. Prior to the introduction of millimetre-wave body scanning technology, the most common form of scanner used was the backscatter imaging machine, which displayed “naked” body images of each passenger to the security agent. Due to privacy concerns, these machines were replaced by the scanners currently in place which use a generic outline of a passenger (exemplified in SANCTUM) to detect possible threats.It is here worth returning to Blas’s installation, as it also implicitly critiques the security protocols that attempt to reveal genitalia as both threatening and as evidence of an inner truth about a body. At one moment in the installation a bayonet-like object pierces the blank crotch of the mannequin, shattering it into holographic fragments. The apparent genderlessness of the mannequins is contrasted with these graphic sexual acts. The penetrating metallic instrument that breaks into the loin of the mannequin, combined with the camera shot that slowly zooms in on this action, draws attention to a surveillant fascination with genitalia and revelation. As Nicholas L. Clarkson documents in his analysis of airport security protocols governing prostheses, including limbs and packies (silicone penis prostheses), genitals are a central component of the screening process. While it is stipulated that physical searches should not require travellers to remove items of clothing, such as underwear, or to expose their genitals to staff for inspection, prosthetics are routinely screened and examined. This practice can create tensions for trans or disabled passengers with prosthetics in so-called “sensitive” areas, particularly as guidelines for security measures are often implemented by airport staff who are not properly trained in transgender-sensitive protocols.ConclusionAccording to media technologies scholar Jeremy Packer, “rather than being treated as one to be protected from an exterior force and one’s self, the citizen is now treated as an always potential threat, a becoming bomb” (382). Although this technological policing impacts all who are subjected to security regimes (which is to say, everyone), this amalgamation of body and bomb has exacerbated the ways in which bodies socially coded as threatening or deceptive are targeted by security and surveillance regimes. Nonetheless, others have argued that the use of invasive forms of surveillance can be justified by the state as an exchange: that citizens should willingly give up their right to privacy in exchange for safety (Monahan 1). Rather than subscribing to this paradigm, Blas’ SANCTUM critiques the violence of mandatory complicity in this “trade-off” narrative. Because their operationalisation rests on normative notions of embodiment that are governed by preconceptions around gender, race, sexuality and ability, surveillance systems demand that bodies become transparent. This disproportionally affects those whose bodies do not match norms, with trans and queer bodies often becoming unreadable (Kafer and Grinberg). The shadowy realm of SANCTUM illustrates this tension between biometric revelation and resistance, but also suggests that opacity may be a tool of transformation in the face of such discriminatory violations that are built into surveillance.ReferencesAhmed, Sara. “A Phenomenology of Whiteness.” Feminist Theory 8.2 (2007): 149–68.Beauchamp, Toby. “Artful Concealment and Strategic Visibility: Transgender Bodies and U.S. State Surveillance after 9/11.” Surveillance & Society 6.4 (2009): 356–66.———. Going Stealth: Transgender Politics and U.S. Surveillance Practices. Durham, NC: Duke UP, 2019.Blas, Zach. “Informatic Opacity.” The Journal of Aesthetics and Protest 9 (2014). <http://www.joaap.org/issue9/zachblas.htm>.Blas, Zach, and Jacob Gaboury. 2016. “Biometrics and Opacity: A Conversation.” Camera Obscura: Feminism, Culture, and Media Studies 31.2 (2016): 154-65.Buolamwini, Joy, and Timnit Gebru. “Gender Shades: Intersectional Accuracy Disparities in Commercial Gender Classification.” Proceedings of Machine Learning Research 81 (2018): 1-15.Browne, Simone. Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness. Durham, NC: Duke UP, 2015.Clarkson, Nicholas L. “Incoherent Assemblages: Transgender Conflicts in US Security.” Surveillance & Society 17.5 (2019): 618-30.Currah, Paisley, and Tara Mulqueen. “Securitizing Gender: Identity, Biometrics, and Transgender Bodies at the Airport.” Social Research 78.2 (2011): 556-82.Halberstam, Jack. The Queer Art of Failure. Durham: Duke UP, 2011.Hall, Rachel. “Terror and the Female Grotesque: Introducing Full-Body Scanners to U.S. Airports.” Feminist Surveillance Studies. Eds. Rachel E. Dubrofsky and Shoshana Amielle Magnet. Durham, NC: Duke UP, 2015. 127-49.Haraway, Donna. “Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective.” Feminist Studies 14.3 (1988): 575-99.———. Modest_Witness@Second_Millennium. FemaleMan_Meets_OncoMouse: Feminism and Technoscience. New York: Routledge, 1997.Kafer, Gary, and Daniel Grinberg. “Queer Surveillance.” Surveillance & Society 17.5 (2019): 592-601.Keyes, O.S. “The Misgendering Machines: Trans/HCI Implications of Automatic Gender Recognition.” Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction 2. CSCW, Article 88 (2018): 1-22.Magnet, Shoshana Amielle. When Biometrics Fail: Gender, Race, and the Technology of Identity. Durham: Duke UP, 2011.Magnet, Shoshana, and Tara Rodgers. “Stripping for the State: Whole Body Imaging Technologies and the Surveillance of Othered Bodies.” Feminist Media Studies 12.1 (2012): 101–18.Monahan, Torin. Surveillance and Security: Technological Politics and Power in Everyday Life. New York: Routledge, 2006.Packer, Jeremy. “Becoming Bombs: Mobilizing Mobility in the War of Terror.” Cultural Studies 10.5 (2006): 378-99.Pugliese, Joseph. “In Silico Race and the Heteronomy of Biometric Proxies: Biometrics in the Context of Civilian Life, Border Security and Counter-Terrorism Laws.” Australian Feminist Law Journal 23 (2005): 1-32.Pugliese, Joseph. Biometrics: Bodies, Technologies, Biopolitics New York: Routledge, 2010.Quinan, C.L. “Gender (In)securities: Surveillance and Transgender Bodies in a Post-9/11 Era of Neoliberalism.” Eds. Stef Wittendorp and Matthias Leese. Security/Mobility: Politics of Movement. Manchester: Manchester UP, 2017. 153-69.Quinan, C.L., and Nina Bresser. “Gender at the Border: Global Responses to Gender Diverse Subjectivities and Non-Binary Registration Practices.” Global Perspectives 1.1 (2020). <https://doi.org/10.1525/gp.2020.12553>.Sjoberg, Laura. “(S)he Shall Not Be Moved: Gender, Bodies and Travel Rights in the Post-9/11 Era.” Security Journal 28.2 (2015): 198-215.Spalding, Sally J. “Airport Outings: The Coalitional Possibilities of Affective Rupture.” Women’s Studies in Communication 39.4 (2016): 460-80.

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Tofts, Darren, and Lisa Gye. "Cool Beats and Timely Accents." M/C Journal 16, no.4 (August11, 2013). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.632.

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Abstract:

Ever since I tripped over Tiddles while I was carrying a pile of discs into the studio, I’ve known it was possible to get a laugh out of gramophone records!Max Bygraves In 1978 the music critic Lester Bangs published a typically pugnacious essay with the fighting title, “The Ten Most Ridiculous Albums of the Seventies.” Before deliciously launching into his execution of Uri Geller’s self-titled album or Rick Dees’ The Original Disco Duck, Bangs asserts that because that decade was history’s silliest, it stands to reason “that ridiculous records should become the norm instead of anomalies,” that abominations should be the best of our time (Bangs, 1978). This absurd pretzel logic sounds uncannily like Jacques Derrida’s definition of the “post” condition, since for it to arrive it begins by not arriving (Derrida 1987, 29). Lester is thinking like a poststructuralist. The oddness of the most singularly odd album out in Bangs’ greatest misses of the seventies had nothing to do with how ridiculous it was, but the fact that it even existed at all. (Bangs 1978) The album was entitled The Best of Marcel Marceao. Produced by Michael Viner the album contained four tracks, with two identical on both sides: “Silence,” which is nineteen minutes long and “Applause,” one minute. To underline how extraordinary this gramophone record is, John Cage’s Lecture on Nothing (1959) is cacophonous by comparison. While Bangs agrees with popular opinion that The Best of Marcel Marceao the “ultimate concept album,” he concluded that this is “one of those rare records that never dates” (Bangs, 1978). This tacet album is a good way to start thinking about the Classical Gas project, and the ironic semiotics at work in it (Tofts & Gye 2011). It too is about records that are silent and that never date. First, the album’s cover art, featuring a theatrically posed Marceau, implies the invitation to speak in the absence of speech; or, in our terms, it is asking to be re-written. Secondly, the French mime’s surname is spelled incorrectly, with an “o” rather than “u” as the final letter. As well as the caprice of an actual album by Marcel Marceau, the implicit presence and absence of the letters o and u is appropriately in excess of expectations, weird and unexpected like an early title in the Classical Gas catalogue, Ernesto Laclau’s and Chantal Mouffe’s Hegemony and Socialist Strategy. (classical-gas.com) Like a zootrope animation, it is impossible not to see the o and u flickering at one at the same time on the cover. In this duplicity it performs the conventional and logical permutation of English grammar. Silence invites difference, variation within a finite lexical set and the opportunity to choose individual items from it. Here is album cover art that speaks of presence and absence, of that which is anticipated and unexpected: a gramophone recoding without sound. In this the Marceau cover is one of Roland Barthes’ mythologies, something larger than life, structured like a language and structured out of language (Barthes 1982). This ambiguity is the perfidious grammar that underwrites Classical Gas. Images, we learned from structuralism, are codified, or rather, are code. Visual remix is a rhetorical gesture of recoding that interferes with the semiotic DNA of an image. The juxtaposition of text and image is interchangeable and requires our imagination of what we are looking at and what it might sound like. This persistent interplay of metaphor and metonymy has enabled us to take more than forty easy listening albums and republish them as mild-mannered recordings from the maverick history of ideas, from Marxism and psychoanalysis, to reception theory, poststructuralism and the writings of critical auteurs. Foucault à gogo, for instance, takes a 1965 James Last dance album and recodes it as the second volume of The History of Sexuality. In saying this, we are mindful of the ambivalence of the very possibility of this connection, to how and when the eureka moment of remix recognition occurs, if at all. Mix and remix are, after Jean Baudrillard, both precession and procession of simulacra (Baudrillard, 1983). The nature of remix is that it is always already elusive and anachronistic. Not everyone can be guaranteed to see the shadow of one text in dialogue with another, like a hi-fi palimpsest. Or another way of saying this, such an epiphany of déjà vu, of having seen this before, may happen after the fact of encounter. This anachrony is central to remix practices, from the films of Quentin Tarrantino and the “séance fictions” of Soda_Jerk, to obscure Flintstones/Goodfellas mashups on YouTube. It is also implicit in critical understandings of an improbable familiarity with the superabundance of cultural archives, the dizzying excess of an infinite record library straight out of Jorge Luis Borges’ ever-expanding imagination. Drifting through the stacks of such a repository over an entire lifetime any title found, for librarian and reader alike, is either original and remix, sometime. Metalanguages that seek to counter this ambivalence are forms of bad faith, like film spoilers Brodie’s Notes. Accordingly, this essay sets out to explain some of the generic conventions of Classical Gas, as a remix project in which an image’s semiotic DNA is rewired and recontextualised. While a fake, it is also completely real (Faith in fakes, as it happens, may well be a forthcoming Umberto Eco title in the series). While these album covers are hyperreal, realistic in excess of being real, the project does take some inspiration from an actual, rather than imaginary archive of album covers. In 2005, Jewish artist Dani Gal happened upon a 1968 LP that documented the events surrounding the Six Day War in Israel in 1967. To his surprise, he found a considerable number of similar LPs to do with significant twentieth century historical events, speeches and political debates. In the artist’s own words, the LPs collected in his Historical Record Archive (2005-ongoing) are in fact silent, since it is only their covers that are exhibited in installations of this work, signifying a potential sound that visitors must try to audition. As Gal has observed, the interactive contract of the work is derived from the audience’s instinct to “try to imagine the sounds” even though they cannot listen to them (Gal 2011, 182). Classical Gas deliberately plays with this potential yearning that Gal astutely instils in his viewer and aspiring auditor. While they can never be listened to, they can entice, after Gilles Deleuze, a “virtual co-existence” of imaginary sound that manifests itself as a contract between viewer and LP (Deleuze 1991, 63). The writer Jeffrey Sconce condensed this embrace of the virtual as something plausibly real when he pithily observed of the Classical Gas project that it is “the thrift-bin in my fantasy world. I want to play S/Z at 78 rpm” (Sconce 2011). In terms of Sconce’s spectral media interests the LPs are haunted by the trace of potential “other” sounds that have taken possession of and appropriated the covers for another use (Sconce 2000).Mimetic While most albums are elusive and metaphoric (such as Freud’s Totem and Taboo, or Luce Irigaray’s Ethics of Sexual Difference), some titles do make a concession to a tantalizing, mimetic literalness (such as Das Institut fur Sozialforschung). They display a trace of the haunting subject in terms of a tantalizing echo of fact or suggestion of verifiable biography. The motivation here is the recognition of a potential similarity, since most Classical Gas titles work by contrast. As with Roland Barthes’ analysis of the erotics of the fashion system, so with Gilles Deleuze’s Coldness and Cruelty: it is “where the garment gapes” that the tease begins. (Barthes 1994, 9) Or, in this instance, where the cigarette smokes. (classical-gas.com) A casual Max Bygraves, paused in mid-thought, looks askance while lighting up. Despite the temptation to read even more into this, a smoking related illness did not contribute to Bygraves’ death in 2012. However, dying of Alzheimer’s disease, his dementia is suggestive of the album’s intrinsic capacity to be a palimpsest of the co-presence of different memories, of confused identities, obscure realities that are virtual and real. Beginning with the album cover itself, it has to become an LP (Deleuze 1991, 63). First, it is a cardboard, planar sleeve measuring 310mm squared, that can be imprinted with a myriad of different images. Secondly, it is conventionally identified in terms of a title, such as Organ Highlights or Classics Up to Date. Thirdly it is inscribed by genre, which may be song, drama, spoken word, or novelty albums of industrial or instrumental sounds, such as Memories of Steam and Accelerated Accordians. A case in point is John Woodhouse And His Magic Accordion from 1969. (classical-gas.com) All aspects of its generic attributes as benign and wholesome accordion tunes are warped and re-interpreted in Classical Gas. Springtime for Kittler appeared not long after the death of its eponymous philosopher in 2011. Directed by Richard D. James, also known as Aphex Twin, it is a homage album to Friedrich Kittler by the PostProducers, a fictitious remix collective inspired by Mel Brooks whose personnel include Mark Amerika and Darren Tofts. The single from this album, yet to be released, is a paean to Kittler’s last words, “Alle Apparate auschalten.” Foucault à gogo (vol. 2), the first album remixed for this series, is also typical of this archaeological approach to the found object. (classical-gas.com) The erasure and replacement of pre-existing text in a similar font re-writes an iconic image of wooing that is indicative of romantic album covers of this period. This album is reflective of the overall project in that the actual James Last album (1968) preceded the publication of the Foucault text (1976) that haunts it. This is suggestive of how coding and recoding are in the eye of the beholder and the specific time in which the remixed album is encountered. It doesn’t take James Last, Michel Foucault or Theodor Holm Nelson to tell you that there is no such thing as a collective memory with linear recall. As the record producer Milt Gabler observes in the liner notes to this album, “whatever the title with this artist, the tune remains the same, that distinct and unique Foucault à gogo.” “This artist” in this instance is Last or Foucault, as well as Last and Foucault. Similarly Milt Gabler is an actual author of liner notes (though not on the James Last album) whose words from another album, another context and another time, are appropriated and deftly re-written with Last’s Hammond à gogo volume 2 and The History of Sexuality in mind as a palimpsest (this approach to sampling liner notes and re-writing them as if they speak for the new album is a trope at work in all the titles in the series). And after all is said and done with the real or remixed title, both artists, after Umberto Eco, will have spoken once more of love (Eco 1985, 68). Ambivalence Foucault à gogo is suggestive of the semiotic rewiring that underwrites Classical Gas as a whole. What is at stake in this is something that poststructuralism learned from its predecessor. Taking the tenuous conventionality of Ferdinand de Saussure’s signifier and signified as a starting point, Lacan, Derrida and others embraced the freedom of this arbitrariness as the convention or social contract that brings together a thing and a word that denotes it. This insight of liberation, or what Hélène Cixous and others, after Jacques Lacan, called jouissance (Lacan 1992), meant that texts were bristling with ambiguity and ambivalence, free play, promiscuity and, with a nod to Mikhail Bakhtin, carnival (Bakhtin 1984). A picture of a pipe was, after Foucault after Magritte, not a pipe (Foucault 1983). This po-faced sophistry is expressed in René Magritte’s “Treachery of Images” of 1948, which screamed out that the word pipe could mean anything. Foucault’s reprise of Magritte in “This is Not a Pipe” also speaks of Classical Gas’ embrace of the elasticity of sign and signifier, his “plastic elements” an inadvertent suggestion of vinyl (Foucault 1983, 53). (classical-gas.com) This uncanny association of structuralism and remixed vinyl LPs is intimated in Ferdinand de Saussure’s Cours de linguistique générale. Its original cover art is straight out of a structuralist text-book, with its paired icons and words of love, rain, honey, rose, etc. But this text as performed by Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians in New York in 1956 is no less plausible than Saussure’s lectures in Geneva in 1906. Cultural memory and cultural amnesia are one and the same thing. Out of all of the Classical Gas catalogue, this album is arguably the most suggestive of what Jeffrey Sconce would call “haunting” (Sconce, 2000), an ambivalent mixing of the “memory and desire” that T.S. Eliot wrote of in the allusive pages of The Waste Land (Eliot 1975, 27). Here we encounter the memory of a bookish study of signs from the early twentieth century and the desire for its vinyl equivalent on World Record Club in the 1960s. Memory and desire, either or, or both. This ambivalence was deftly articulated by Roland Barthes in his last book, Camera Lucida, as a kind of spectral haunting, a vision or act of double seeing in the perception of the photographic image. This flickering of perception is never static, predictable or repeatable. It is a way of seeing contingent upon who is doing the looking and when. Barthes famously conceptualised this interplay in perception of an between the conventions that culture has mandated, its studium, and the unexpected, idiosyncratic double vision that is unique to the observer, its punctum (Barthes 1982, 26-27). Accordingly, the Cours de linguistique générale is a record by Saussure as well as the posthumous publication in Paris and Lausanne of notes from his lectures in 1916. (Barthes 1982, 51) With the caption “Idiot children in an institution, New Jersey, 1924,” American photographer Lewis Hine’s anthropological study declares that this is a clinical image of pathological notions of monstrosity and aberration at the time. Barthes though, writing in a post-1968 Paris, only sees an outrageous Danton collar and a banal finger bandage (Barthes 1982, 51). With the radical, protestant cries of the fallout of the Paris riots in mind, as well as a nod to music writer Greil Marcus (1989), it is tempting to see Hine’s image as the warped cover of a Dead Kennedys album, perhaps Plastic Surgery Disasters. In terms of the Classical Gas approach to recoding, though, this would be far too predictable; for a start there is neither a pipe, a tan cardigan nor a chenille scarf to be seen. A more heart-warming, suitable title might be Ray Conniff’s 1965 Christmas Album: Here We Come A-Caroling. Irony (secretprehistory.net) Like our Secret Gestural Prehistory of Mobile Devices project (Tofts & Gye), Classical Gas approaches the idea of recoding and remixing with a relentless irony. The kind of records we collect and the covers which we use for this project are what you would expect to find in the hutch of an old gramophone player, rather than “what’s hot” in iTunes. The process of recoding the album covers seeks to realign expectations of what is being looked at, such that it becomes difficult to see it in any other way. In this an album’s recoded signification implies the recognition of the already seen, of album covers like this, that signal something other than what we are seeing; colours, fonts etc., belonging to a historical period, to its genres and its demographic. One of the more bucolic and duplicitous forms of rhetoric, irony wants it both ways, to be totally lounge and theoretically too-cool-for school, as in Rencontre Terrestre by Hélène Cixous and Frédéric-Yves Jeannet. (classical-gas.com) This image persuades through the subtle alteration of typography that it belongs to a style, a period and a vibe that would seem to be at odds with the title and content of the album, but as a totality of image and text is entirely plausible. The same is true of Roland Barthes’ S/Z. The radical semiologist invites us into his comfortable sitting room for a cup of coffee. A traditional Times font reinforces the image of Barthes as an avuncular, Sunday afternoon story-teller or crooner, more Alistair Cooke/Perry Como than French Marxist. (classical-gas.com) In some instances, like Histoire de Tel Quel, there is no text at all on the cover and the image has to do its signifying work iconographically. (classical-gas.com) Here a sixties collage of French-ness on the original Victor Sylvester album from 1963 precedes and anticipates the re-written album it has been waiting for. That said, the original title In France is rather bland compared to Histoire de Tel Quel. A chic blond, the Eiffel Tower and intellectual obscurity vamp synaesthetically, conjuring the smell of Gauloises, espresso and agitated discussions of Communism on the Boulevard St. Germain. With Marcel Marceao with an “o” in mind, this example of a cover without text ironically demonstrates how Classical Gas, like The Secret Gestural Prehistory of Mobile Devices, is ostensibly a writing project. Just as the images are taken hostage from other contexts, text from the liner notes is sampled from other records and re-written in an act of ghost-writing to complete the remixed album. Without the liner notes, Classical Gas would make a capable Photoshop project, but lacks any force as critical remix. The redesigned and re-titled covers certainly re-code the album, transform it into something else; something else that obviously or obliquely reflects the theme, ideas or content of the title, whether it’s Louis Althusser’s Philosophy as a Revolutionary Weapon or Luce Irigaray’s An Ethics of Sexual Difference. If you don’t hear the ruggedness of Leslie Fiedler’s essays in No! In Thunder then the writing hasn’t worked. The liner notes are the albums’ conscience, the rubric that speaks the tunes, the words and elusive ideas that are implied but can never be heard. The Histoire de Tel Quel notes illustrate this suggestiveness: You may well think as is. Philippe Forest doesn’t, not in this Éditions du Seuil classic. The titles included on this recording have been chosen with a dual purpose: for those who wish to think and those who wish to listen. What Forest captures in this album is distinctive, fresh and daring. For what country has said it like it is, has produced more robustesse than France? Here is some of that country’s most famous talent swinging from silk stockings, the can-can, to amour, presented with the full spectrum of stereo sound. (classical-gas.com) The writing accurately imitates the inflection and rhythm of liner notes of the period, so on the one hand it sounds plausibly like a toe-tapping dance album. On the other, and at the same time, it gestures knowingly to the written texts upon which it is based, invoking its rigours as a philosophical text. The dithering suggestiveness of both – is it music or text – is like a scrambled moving image always coming into focus, never quite resolving into one or the other. But either is plausible. The Tel Quel theorists were interested in popular culture like the can-can, they were fascinated with the topic of love and if instead of books they produced albums, their thinking would be auditioned in full stereo sound. With irony in mind, then, it’s hardly surprising to know that the implicit title of the project, that is neither seen nor heard but always imminent, is Classical Gasbags. (classical-gas.com) Liner notes elaborate and complete an implicit narrative in the title and image, making something compellingly realistic that is a composite of reality and fabulation. Consider Adrian Martin’s Surrealism (A Quite Special Frivolity): France is the undeniable capital of today’s contemporary sound. For Adrian Martin, this is home ground. His French soul glows and expands in the lovely Mediterranean warmth of this old favourite, released for the first time on Project 3 Total Sound Stereo. But don’t be deceived by the tonal and melodic caprices that carry you along in flutter-free sound. As Martin hits his groove, there will be revolution by night. Watch out for new Adrian Martin releases soon, including La nuit expérimentale and, his first title in English in many years, One more Bullet in the Head (produced by Bucky Pizzarelli). (classical-gas.com) Referring to Martin’s famous essay of the same name, these notes allusively skirt around his actual biography (he regularly spends time in France), his professional writing on surrealism (“revolution by night” was the sub-title of a catalogue for the Surrealism exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra and the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 1993 to which he contributed an essay) (Martin 1993), as well as “One more bullet in the head,” the rejected title of an essay that was published in World Art magazine in New York in the mid-1990s. While the cover evokes the cool vibe of nouvelle vague Paris, it is actually from a 1968 album, Roma Oggi by the American guitarist Tony Mottola (a real person who actually sounds like a fictional character from Sergio Leone’s Once Upon A Time in America, a film on which Martin has written a book for the British Film Institute). Plausibility, in terms of Martin’s Surrealism album, has to be as compellingly real as the sincerity of Sandy Scott’s Here’s Sandy. And it should be no surprise to see the cover art of Scott’s album return as Georges Bataille’s Erotism. Gramophone The history of the gramophone represents the technological desire to write sound. In this the gramophone record is a ligature of sound and text, a form of phonographic writing. With this history in mind it’s hardly surprising that theorists such as Derrida and Kittler included the gramophone under the conceptual framework of a general grammatology (Derrida 1992, 253 & Kittler 1997, 28). (classical-gas.com) Jacques Derrida’s Of Grammatology is the avatar of Classical Gas in its re-writing of a previous writing. Re-inscribing the picaresque Pal Joey soundtrack as a foundation text of post-structuralism is appropriate in terms of the gramme or literate principle of Western metaphysics as well as the echolalia of remix. As Derrida observes in Of Grammatology, history and knowledge “have always been determined (and not only etymologically or philosophically) as detours for the purpose of the reappropriation of presence” (Derrida 1976, 10). A gas way to finish, you might say. But in retrospect the ur-text that drives the poetics of Classical Gas is not Of Grammatology but the errant Marcel Marceau album described previously. Far from being an oddity, an aberration or a “novelty” album, it is a classic gramophone recording, the quintessential writing of an absent speech, offbeat and untimely. References Bahktin, Mikhail. Rabelais and His World. Trans. Hélène Iswolsky. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1985. Bangs, Lester. “The Ten Most Ridiculous Albums of the Seventies”. Phonograph Record Magazine, March, 1978. Reproduced at http://rateyourmusic.com/list/dacapo/the_ten_most_ridiculous_records_of_the_seventies__by_lester_bangs. Barthes, Roland. Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography. Trans. Richard Howard. London: Flamingo, 1982. ---. Mythologies. Trans. Annette Lavers. London: Granada, 1982. ---. The Pleasure of the Text. Trans. Richard Miller. Oxford: Blackwell, 1994. Baudrillard, Jean. Simulations. Trans. Paul Foss, Paul Patton and Philip Beitchman. New York: Semiotext[e], 1983. Deleuze, Gilles. Bergsonism. Trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam. New York: Zone Books, 2000. Derrida, Jacques. Of Grammatology. Trans. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1976. ---. The Post Card: From Socrates to Freud and Beyond. Trans. Alan Bass. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1987. ---. “Ulysses Gramophone: Hear Say Yes in Joyce,” in Acts of Literature. Ed. Derek Attridge. New York: Routledge, 1992. Eco, Umberto. Reflections on The Name of the Rose. Trans. William Weaver. London: Secker & Warburg, 1985. Eliot, T.S. The Waste Land and Other Poems. London: Faber & Faber, 1975. Foucault, Michel. This Is Not a Pipe. Trans. James Harkness. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983. ---. The Use of Pleasure: The History of Sexuality Volume 2. Trans. Robert Hurley. New York: Random House, 1985. Gal, Dani. Interview with Jens Hoffmann, Istanbul Biennale Companion. Istanbul Foundation for Culture and the Arts, 2011. Kittler, Friedrich. “Gramophone, Film, Typewriter,” in Literature, Media, Information Systems. Ed. John Johnston. Amsterdam: Overseas Publishers Association, 1997. Lacan, Jacques. The Ethics of Psychoanalysis (1959–1960): The Seminar of Jacques Lacan. Trans. Dennis Porter. London: Routledge, 1992. Marcus, Greil. Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the Twentieth Century. London: Secker & Warburg, 1989. Martin, Adrian. “The Artificial Night: Surrealism and Cinema,” in Surrealism: Revolution by Night. Canberra: National Gallery of Australia, 1993. Sconce, Jeffrey. Haunted Media: Electronic Presence from Telegraphy to Television. Durham: Duke University Press, 2000. ---. Online communication with authors, June 2011. Tofts, Darren and Lisa Gye. The Secret Gestural Prehistory of Mobile Devices. 2010-ongoing. http://www.secretprehistory.net/. ---. Classical Gas. 2011-ongoing. http://www.classical-gas.com/.

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Trofimova, Evija, and Sophie Nicholls. "On Walking and Thinking: Two Walks across the Page." M/C Journal 21, no.4 (October15, 2018). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1450.

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IntroductionTwo writers, stuck in our university offices, decide to take our thoughts “for a walk” across the page. Writing from Middlesbrough, United Kingdom, and Auckland, New Zealand, we are separated by 18,000 kilometres and 11 hours, and yet here, on the page, our paths meet. How does walking, imaginary or real, affect our thinking? How do the environments through which we move, and the things we see along the way, influence our writing? What role do rhythm and pace play in the process? We invite you to join us on two short walks that reflect on our shared challenges as writers from two different strands of writing studies. Perhaps our paths will intersect, or even overlap, with yours somewhere? Ultimately, we aim to find out what happens when we leave our academic baggage behind, side-stepping dense theoretical arguments and comprehensive literature reviews for a creative-critical exploration. Evija: Let’s admit it, Sophie—I’m stuck. I’ve spent half a day in front of this computer but have hardly typed a line. It’s not just writing. It’s my thinking. I feel like my mind is weighed down by the clutter of thoughts that lead nowhere.Look at my surroundings. My office is crammed with stuff. So many thoughts buried under piles of paper, insisting on their place in the work in which they so obviously do not belong. I also can’t help but feel the magnetic pull of others’ ideas from all the books around me. Each thought, each reference, fights for its place in my work. What an unbearable intertextual mess...Sophie: I think that everyone who has ever tried to write knows exactly what these moments feel like. We can feel so lost, so stuck and blocked. Have you ever noticed that the words that we use about these feelings are intensely visceral? Perhaps that’s why, when the words won’t come, so many of us find it helpful to get up and move our bodies. Evija, shall we leave our desks behind for a while and go for a walk? Would you like to join me?E: Most certainly! Apparently, Friedrich Nietzsche loved to take his mind for a walk (Gros). Ideas, born among books, says Frédéric Gros, “exude the stuffy odour of libraries” (18). Gros describes such books as “grey”: “overloaded with quotations, references, footnotes, explicatory prudence, indefinite refutations” (19). They fail to say anything new and are “crammed”, “stuffed”, and “weighed down”; they are “born of a compilation of the other books” (Gros 19) so also bear their weight. Essentially, we are told, we should think of the books we are writing as “expression[s] of [our] physiology” (Gros 19). If we are shrivelled, stuck, stooped, tense, and tired, so also are our thoughts. Therefore, in order to make your thoughts breathe, walk, and even “dance”, says Nietzsche, you should go outdoors, go up in the mountains.S: As I read what you’ve written here, Evija, I feel as if I’m walking amongst your thoughts, both here on the screen and in my imagination. Sometimes, I’m in perfect step with you. At other times, I want to interrupt, tug on your sleeve and point, and say “Look! Have you seen this, just up ahead?”E: That’s the value of companionship on the road. A shared conversation on the move can lead to a transformation of thought, a conversion, as in the Biblical stories of the roads to Emmaus and Damascus. In fact, we tested the power of walking and talking in rural settings in a series of experimental events organised for academics in Auckland, New Zealand, throughout 2017 (see our blog post on Writing, Writing Everywhere website). It appeared to work very well for writers who had either been “stuck” or in the early stages of drafting. Those who were looking to structure existing thoughts were better off staying put. But walking and talking is an entire other topic (see Anderson) that we should discuss in more depth some other time.Anyway, you’ve brought us to what looks like a forest. Is this where you want us to go?A Walk “into the Woods,” or Getting in the Thick of Free-Writing S: Yes, just follow me. I often walk in the woods close to where I live. Of course, going “into the woods” is itself a metaphor, rich with fairy-tale connotations about creativity. The woods are full of darkness and danger, grandmother’s cottage, wild beasts, witches, poisonous fruits. The woods are where traps are laid, where children wander and get lost, where enchantments befall us. But humans have always been seduced by the woods and what lies in wait there (Maitland). In Jungian terms, losing oneself in darkness is a rite of initiation. By stepping into the woods, we surrender to not knowing, to walking off the path and into the depths of our imagination. I dare you to do that, right now! E: Letting go is not always easy. I keep wanting to respond to your claim by adding scholarly references to important work on the topic. I want to mention the father of the essay, Michel de Montaigne, for whom this form of writing was but “an attempt” (from Old French, “essai”) to place himself in this world, a philosophical and literary adventure that stood very far from the rigidly structured academic essay of the present day (Sturm). We’ve forgotten that writing is a risky undertaking, an exploration of uncharted terrains (Sturm). S: Yes, and in academic thinking, we’re always afraid to ramble. But perhaps rambling is exactly what we need to do. Perhaps we need to start walking without knowing where we’re going ... and see where it takes us. E: Indeed. Instead of going on writing retreats, academics should be sent “into the woods”, where their main task would be to get lost before they even start to think.S: Into the Woods, a reality TV show for academics? But seriously, maybe there is something about walking into the woods—or a landscape different from our habitual one—that symbolises a shift in feeling-state. When I walk into the woods, I purposely place myself in a different world. My senses are heightened. I become acutely aware of each tiny sound—the ticking of the leaves, the wind, the birdsong, the crunch of my feet, the pounding of the blood in my ears. I become less aware of all the difficult parts of myself, my troubles, my stuckness, what weighs on me so heavily. It seems to me that there is a parallel here with a state of consciousness or awareness famously described by the psychologist of optimal experience, Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi, as “flow”. In flow, “the loss of a sense of self separate from the world around it is sometimes accompanied by a feeling of union with the environment” (Csikszentmihalyi 63), together with pleasure in movement and in the sensory experience of seeing the world. So flow might be one way of thinking about my lived experience of walking in the woods. But this shift has also been described by the psychotherapist Marion Milner as a shift from “narrow thinking” into a “wider” way of looking, listening, feeling, and moving—a feeling state that Milner called the “fat feeling”. She identified this “fat feeling” as characteristic of moments when she experienced intense delight (Milner 15) and she began to experiment with ways in which she could practice it more purposefully.In this sense, walking is a kind of “trick” that I can play upon myself. The shift from office to woods, from sitting at my desk to moving through the world, triggers a shift from preoccupation with the “head stuff” of academic work and into a more felt, bodily way of experiencing. Walking helps me to “get out of my head.”E: So wandering through this thicket becomes a kind of free writing?S: Yes, free writing is like “taking a line for a walk” on the page, words that the Swiss-German artist Paul Klee famously attributed to drawing (Klee 105; see also Raymond). It’s what we’re doing here, wouldn’t you say?Two Lines of Walking: A drawing by Evija. E: Yes—and we don’t know where this walk will lead us. I’m thinking of the many times I have propelled myself into meaningful writing by simply letting the hand do its work and produce written characters on the screen or page. Initially, it looks like nonsense. Then, meaning and order start to emerge.S: Yes, my suggestion is that walking—like writing—frees us up, connects us with the bodily, felt, and pleasurable aspects of the writing process. We need this opportunity to meander, go off at tangents...E: So what qualities do free writing and walking have in common? What is helpful about each of these activities?S: A first guess might be that free writing and walking make use of rhythm. Linguist and psychoanalyst Julia Kristeva calls the sound, rhythm, and texture of language the “semiotic”. For Kristeva, the “semiotic” (the realm of bodily drives and affects, rhythms, pre-verbal babble) and the “symbolic” (the realm of prescribed language, linguistic structure, grammar, and judgment) do not exist in rigid opposition to one another. Instead, they form a continuum which she calls “signifiance” or signification (Kristeva 22), a “dialectic” (24) of making meaning. According to Kristeva, even the smallest element of symbolic meaning, the phoneme, is involved in “rhythmic, intonational repetitions” (103) so that, as we order phonemes into words and words into sentences, our language pulses with the operations of our bodily, instinctual drives. Kristeva thinks in terms of an “explosion of the semiotic in the symbolic” (69). E: An explosion. I like that!S: Me too.My theory is that, by letting go into that rhythm a little, we’re enabling ourselves to access some of the pre-verbal force that Kristeva talks about. E: So the rhythm of walking helps us to connect with the rhythmic qualities of the semiotic?S: Exactly. We might say that a lot of academic writing tends to privilege the symbolic—both in terms of the style we choose and the way that we structure our arguments. E: And academic convention requires that we make more references here. For example, as we’re discussing “free writing”, we could cite Ken Macrorie or Peter Elbow, the two grandfathers of the method. Or we might scaffold our talks about collaborative writing as a means of scholarly inquiry, with the work of Laurel Richardson or another authority in the field.S: Yes, and all of this is an important part of academic practice, of course. But perhaps when we give ourselves permission to ramble and meander, to loosen up the relationships between what we feel and what we say, we move along the continuum of meaning-making towards the more felt and bodily, and away from the received and prescribed. …S: And I’ve put an ellipsis there to mark that we are moving into another kind of space now. We’re coming to a clearing in the woods. Because at some point in our rambling, we might want to pause and make a few suggestions. Perhaps we come to a clearing, like this one here. We sit down for a while and collect our thoughts.E: Yes. Let’s sit down. And, while you’re resting, let me tell you what this “collecting of thoughts” reminds me of.I’m thinking that we don’t necessarily need to go anywhere to get away from our particular state of mind. A shared cup of coffee or a conversation can have the same effect. Much has already been said about the effects of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs on writing; all rather harmful ways of going “on a trip” (Laing; Klein). In our case, it’s the blank pages of a shared Google Doc that has brought us together, collecting our thoughts on walking and moving us into a different realm, a new world of exciting and strange ideas to be explored. And the idea of mapping out this space by gradually filling its pages with words sets our minds on a journey.S: That’s interesting. The choreographer Twyla Tharp talks about the power of ritual in creating this shift for us into a creative or flow state. It could be lighting a candle or drinking a glass of water. There is a moment when something “clicks”, and we enter the world of creativity.E: Yes, a thing can act as a portal or gateway. And, as I want to show you, the things in the landscape that we walk through can help us to enter imaginary realms.So can I take you for a little walk now? See that winding country road leading through open fields and rolling hills? That’s where we’re going to start.A publicity image, drawn by Evija, for Walking Talking Writing events for academics, organised at the University of Auckland in 2017.A Walk “through the Countryside”, or Traversing the Landscape of ThoughtsE: Sophie, you spoke earlier about the way that experiencing yourself in relation to the environment is important for opening up your imagination. For example, just allowing yourself to be in the woods and noticing how the space pulsates around you is enough to awaken your bodily awareness.But let’s take a stroll along this road and let me explain to you what’s happening for me. You see, I find the woods too distracting and stimulating. When I’m stuck, I crave openness and space like this landscape that we’re walking through right now. S: Too much detail, too many things, overwhelm you?E: Exactly. Here, where the landscape is simple and spacious, my thoughts can breathe. Ideas quietly graze as I move through them. The country road is under my feet and I know exactly where I’m heading – beyond that horizon line in the distance… I need to be able to look far into that hazy distance to get my sense of seeing things “in depth.” All this makes me think of a study by Mia Keinänen in which she surveyed nine Norwegian academics who habitually walk to think (Keinänen). Based on their personal observations, the resulting article provides interesting material about the importance of walking—its rhythm, environment, and so on—on one’s thinking. For one of the academics, being able to see landmarks and thoughts in perspective was the key to being able to see ideas in new ways. There is a “landscape of thinking”, in which thinking becomes a place and environment is a process.For another participant in the study, thoughts become objects populating the landscape. The thinker walks through these object-thoughts, mapping out their connections, pulling some ideas closer, pushing others further away, as if moving through a 3D computer game.S: Hmm. I too think that we tend to project not only thoughts but also the emotions that we ourselves might be experiencing onto the objects around us. The literary critic Suzanne Nalbantian describes this as the creation of “aesthetic objects”, a “mythopoetic” process by which material objects in the external world “change their status from real to ‘aesthetic’ objects” and begin to function as “anchors or receptacles for subjectivity” (Nalbantien 54).Nalbantian uses examples such as Proust’s madeleine or Woolf’s lighthouse to illustrate the ways in which authors of autobiographical fiction invest the objects around them with a particular psychic value or feeling-tone.For me, this might be a tree, or a fallen leaf on the path. For you, Evija, it could be the horizon, or an open field or a vague object, half-perceived in the distance. E: So there’s a kind of equivalence between what we’re feeling and what we’re noticing? S: Yes. And it works the other way around too. What we’re noticing affects our feelings and thoughts. And perhaps it’s really about finding and knowing what works best for us—the landscape that is the best fit for how we want to feel… E: Or how we want to think. Or write. S: That’s it. Of course, metaphor is another way of describing this process. When we create a metaphor, we bring together a feeling or memory inside us with an object in the outside world. The feeling that we carry within us right now finds perfect form in the shape of this particular hillside. A thought is this pebble. A memory is that cloud…E: That’s the method of loci, which Mia Keinänen also refers to (600) in her article about the walking-thinking Norwegian academics. By projecting one’s learnt knowledge onto a physical landscape, one is able to better navigate ideas.S: Although I can’t help thinking that’s all a little cerebral. For me, the process is more immediate and felt. But I’m sure we’re talking about something very similar...E: Well, the anthropologist Tim Ingold, who has written a great deal on walking, in his article “Ways of Mind-Walking: Reading, Writing, Painting” urges us to rethink what imagination might be and the ways that it might relate to the physical environment, our movement through it, and our vision. He quotes James Elkins’s suggestion (in Ingold 15-16) that true “seeing” involves workings of both the eye and the mind in bringing forth images. But Ingold questions the very notion of imagination as a place inhabited by images. From derelict houses, barren fields and crossroads, to trees, stray dogs, and other people, the images we see around us do not represent “the forms of things in the world” (Ingold 16). Instead, they are gateways and “place-holders” for the truer essence of things they seem to represent (16). S: There’s that idea of the thing acting as a gateway or portal again… E: Yes, images—like the ruins of that windmill over there—do not “stand for things” but help us experientially “find” those things (Ingold16). This is one of the purposes of art, which, instead of giving us representations of things in the world, offers us something which is like the things in the world (16)—i.e., experiences.But as we walk, and notice the objects around us, are there specific qualities about the objects themselves that make this process—what you call “projection”—more or less difficult for us?A drawing by Latvian artist Māris Subačs (2016). The text on the image says: “Clouds slowly moving.” Publicity image for Subačs’s exhibition “Baltā Istaba” (The White Room), taken from Latvijas Sabiedriskie Mediji, https://www.lsm.lv/. S: Well, let’s circle back now—on the road and on the page. We’ve talked about the way that you need wide, open spaces, whereas I find myself responding to a range of different environments in different ways. How do you feel now, as we pause here and begin to retrace our steps? E: How do I feel? I’m not sure. Right now, I’m thinking about the way that I respond to art. For example, I would say that life-like images of physical objects in this world (e.g., a realistic painting of a vase with flowers) are harder to perceive with my mind's eye than, let’s say, of an abstract painting. I don’t want to be too tied to the surface details and physicality of the world. What I see in a picture is not the representation of the vase and flowers; what I see are forms that the “inner life force”, to use Ingold’s term, has taken to express itself through (vaseness, flowerness). The more abstract the image, the more of the symbolic or the imaginary it can contain. (Consider the traditional Aboriginal art, as Ingold invites, or the line drawings of Latvian artist Māris Subačs, as I suggest, depicted above.) Things we can observe in this world, says Ingold, are but “outward, sensible forms” that “give shape to the inner generative impulse that is life itself” (17). (This comes from the underlying belief that the phenomenal world itself is all “figmented” (Ingold 17, referring to literary scholar Mary Carruthers).)S: And, interestingly, I don’t recognise this at all! My experiencing of the objects around me feels very different. That tree, this pine cone in my hand, the solidity of this physical form is very helpful in crystallising something that I’m feeling. I enjoy looking at abstract paintings too. I can imagine myself into them. But the thing-ness of things is also deeply satisfying, especially if I can also touch, taste, smell, hold the thing itself. The poet Selima Hill goes for a walk in order to gather objects in a Tupperware box: “a dead butterfly, a yellow pebble, a scrap of blue paper, an empty condom packet.” Later she places an object from these “Tupperware treasures” on her writing desk and uses it “to focus on the kernel of the poem”, concentrating on it “to select the fragments and images she needs” (Taylor). This resonates with me.E: So, to summarise, walking seems to have something to do with seeing, for both of us. S: Yes, and not just seeing but also feeling and experiencing, with all of our senses. E: OK. And walking like appreciating art or writing or reading, has the capacity to take us beyond what shows at surface level, and so a step closer to the “truer” expression of life, to paraphrase Ingold. S: Yes, and the expression that Ingold calls more “true” is what Kristeva would say is the semiotic, the other-than-meaning, the felt and bodily, always bubbling beneath the surface. E: True, true. And although Ingold here doesn’t say how walking facilitates this kind of seeing and experiencing, perhaps we can make some suggestions here.You focused on the rhythm of walking and thinking/writing earlier. But I’m equally intrigued by the effects of speed. S: That resonates for me too. I need to be able to slow down and really experience the world around me. E: Well, did you know that there are scientific studies that suggest a correlation between the speed of walking and the speed of thinking (Jabr; Oppezzo and Schwartz)? The pace of walking, as the movement of our bodies through space, sets a particular temporal relationship with the objects we move past. In turn, this affects our “thinking time”, and our thinking about abstract ideas (Cuelenaere 127, referring to George Lakoff and Mark Johnson’s ideas).S: That makes sense to me. I noticed that when we were walking through the woods, we had slowed right down and then, as we reached the open road, you seemed to want to go much faster than me…E: Yes, at a steady pace. That’s perhaps not surprising. Because it seems that the speed of our walking is intimately connected with our vision. So if I’m moving through a landscape in which I’m fully immersed, I’m unable to take in everything around me. I choose to rest my eyes on a few select points of interest. S: Or on the horizon…E: Yes. The path that leads through an open field allows me to rest my eyes on the distant horizon. I register the patterns of fields and houses; and perhaps I catch sight of the trees in my peripheral vision. The detailed imagery, if any, gets reduced to geometrical figures and lines.The challenge is to find the right balance between the stimuli provided by the external world and the speed of movement through it.S: So the pace of walking can enable us to see things in a certain way. For you, this is moving quickly, seeing things vaguely, fragmentally and selectively. For me, it’s an opportunity to take my time, find my own rhythm, to slow down and weigh a thought or a thing. I think I’m probably the kind of walker who stops to pick up sticks and shells, and curious stones. I love the rhythm of moving but it isn’t necessarily fast movement. Perhaps you’re a speed walker and I’m a rambler? E: I think both the pace and the rhythm are of equal importance. The movement can be so monotonous that it becomes a meditative process, in which I lose myself. Then, what matters is no longer the destination but the journey itself. It’s like...S: Evija! Stop for a moment! Over here! Look at this! E: You know, that actually broke my train of thought. S: I’m sorry… I couldn’t resist. But Evija, we’ve arrived at the entrance to the woods again. E: And the light’s fading… I should get back to the office.S: Yes, but this time, we can choose which way to go: through the trees and into the half-dark of my creative subconscious or across the wide, open spaces of your imagination. E: And will we walk slowly—or at speed? There’s still so much to say. There are other landscapes and pathways—and pages—that we haven’t even explored yet.S: But I don’t want to stop. I want to keep walking with you.E: Indeed, Sophie, writing is a walk that never ends. ReferencesAnderson, Jon. “Talking whilst Walking: A Geographical Archaeology of Knowledge.” Area 36.3 (2004): 254-261. Csikszentmihalyi, Mihalyi. Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention. NewYork: Harper Perennial, 1997.Cuelenaere, Laurence. “Aymara Forms of Walking: A Linguistic Anthropological Reflection on the Relation between Language and Motion.” Language Sciences 33.1 (2011):126-137. Elbow, Peter. Writing without Teachers. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1998. Gros, Frédéric. The Philosophy of Walking. London: Verso, 2014.Ingold, Tim. Being Alive: Essays on Movement, Knowledge and Description. Abingdon: Routledge, 2011.———. “Culture on the Ground: The World Perceived through the Feet.” Journal of Material Culture 9.3 (2004): 315-340.———. Lines: A Brief History. Abingdon: Routledge, 2007.———. “Ways of Mind-Walking: Reading, Writing, Painting.” Visual Studies 25.1 (2010):15-23.Ingold, Tim, and J.L. Vergunst, eds. Ways of Walking: Ethnography and Practice on Foot. London: Ashgate, 2008.Jabr, Ferris. “Why Walking Helps Us Think.” The New Yorker, 3 Sep. 2014. 10 Aug. 2018 <https://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/walking-helps-us-think>.Keinänen, Mia. “Taking Your Mind for a Walk: A Qualitative Investigation of Walking and Thinking among Nine Norwegian Academics.” Higher Education 71.4 (2016): 593-605. Klee, Paul. Notebooks, Volume 1: The Thinking Eye. Ed. J. Spiller. Trans. R. Manheim. London: Lund Humphries, 1961. Klein, Richard. Cigarettes Are Sublime. London: Picador, 1995. Kristeva, Julia. Revolution in Poetic Language. Trans. Leon S. Roudiez. New York: Columbia UP, 1984.Laing, Olivia. The Trip to Echo Spring: Why Writers Drink. Edinburgh: Canongate 2013.Macrorie, Ken. Telling Writing. Rochelle Park, N.J.: Hayden Book Company, 1976.Maitland, Sarah. Gossip from the Forest: The Tangled Roots of Our Forests and Fairy-Tales. Berkeley, CA: Counterpoint, 2012. Milner, Marion (as Joanna Field). A Life of One’s Own. 1934. London: Virago, 1986.Nalbantien, Suzanne. Aesthetic Autobiography. London: Macmillan, 1994.Oppezzo, Marily, and Daniel L. Schwartz. “Give Your Ideas Some Legs: The Positive Effect of Walking on Creative Thinking.” Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 40.4 (2014): 1142-1152.Richardson, Laurel. “Writing: A Method of Inquiry.” Handbook of Qualitative Research. 2nd ed. Ed. N.K. Denzin and Y.S. Lincoln. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2007. 923-948. Sturm, Sean. “Terra (In)cognita: Mapping Academic Writing.” TEXT 16.2 (2012).Taylor, Debbie. “The Selima Hill Method.” Mslexia 6 (Summer/Autumn 2000). Tharp, Twyla. The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life. New York: Simon Schuster, 2003.Trofimova, Evija. “Academics Go Walking, Talking, Writing*.” Writing, Writing Everywhere, 8 Dec. 2017. 1 Oct. 2018 <http://www.writing.auckland.ac.nz/2017/12/08/academics-go-walking-talking-writing>.

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Franks, Rachel. "A True Crime Tale: Re-imagining Governor Arthur’s Proclamation to the Aborigines." M/C Journal 18, no.6 (March7, 2016). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1036.

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Special Care Notice This paper discusses trauma and violence inflicted upon the Indigenous peoples of Tasmania through the process of colonisation. Content within this paper may be distressing to some readers. Introduction The decimation of the First Peoples of Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) was systematic and swift. First Contact was an emotionally, intellectually, physically, and spiritually confronting series of encounters for the Indigenous inhabitants. There were, according to some early records, a few examples of peaceful interactions (Morris 84). Yet, the inevitable competition over resources, and the intensity with which colonists pursued their “claims” for food, land, and water, quickly transformed amicable relationships into hostile rivalries. Jennifer Gall has written that, as “European settlement expanded in the late 1820s, violent exchanges between settlers and Aboriginal people were frequent, brutal and unchecked” (58). Indeed, the near-annihilation of the original custodians of the land was, if viewed through the lens of time, a process that could be described as one that was especially efficient. As John Morris notes: in 1803, when the first settlers arrived in Van Diemen’s Land, the Aborigines had already inhabited the island for some 25,000 years and the population has been estimated at 4,000. Seventy-three years later, Truganinni, [often cited as] the last Tasmanian of full Aboriginal descent, was dead. (84) Against a backdrop of extreme violence, often referred to as the Black War (Clements 1), there were some, admittedly dubious, efforts to contain the bloodshed. One such effort, in the late 1820s, was the production, and subsequent distribution, of a set of Proclamation Boards. Approximately 100 Proclamation Boards (the Board) were introduced by the Lieutenant Governor of the day, George Arthur (after whom Port Arthur on the Tasman Peninsula is named). The purpose of these Boards was to communicate, via a four-strip pictogram, to the Indigenous peoples of the island colony that all people—black and white—were considered equal under the law. “British Justice would protect” everyone (Morris 84). This is reflected in the narrative of the Boards. The first image presents Indigenous peoples and colonists living peacefully together. The second, and central, image shows “a conciliatory handshake between the British governor and an Aboriginal ‘chief’, highly reminiscent of images found in North America on treaty medals and anti-slavery tokens” (Darian-Smith and Edmonds 4). The third and fourth images depict the repercussions for committing murder, with an Indigenous man hanged for spearing a colonist and a European man also hanged for shooting an Aborigine. Both men executed under “gubernatorial supervision” (Turnbull 53). Image 1: Governor Davey's [sic - actually Governor Arthur's] Proclamation to the Aborigines, 1816 [sic - actually c. 1828-30]. Image Credit: Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW (Call Number: SAFE / R 247). The Board is an interesting re-imagining of one of the traditional methods of communication for Indigenous peoples; the leaving of images on the bark of trees. Such trees, often referred to as scarred trees, are rare in modern-day Tasmania as “the expansion of settlements, and the impact of bush fires and other environmental factors” resulted in many of these trees being destroyed (Aboriginal Heritage Tasmania online). Similarly, only a few of the Boards, inspired by these trees, survive today. The Proclamation Board was, in the 1860s, re-imagined as the output of a different Governor: Lieutenant Governor Davey (after whom Port Davey, on the south-west coast of Tasmania is named). This re-imagining of the Board’s creator was so effective that the Board, today, is popularly known as Governor Davey’s Proclamation to the Aborigines. This paper outlines several other re-imaginings of this Board. In addition, this paper offers another, new, re-imagining of the Board, positing that this is an early “pamphlet” on crime, justice and punishment which actually presents as a pre-cursor to the modern Australian true crime tale. In doing so this work connects the Proclamation Board to the larger genre of crime fiction. One Proclamation Board: Two Governors Labelled Van Diemen’s Land and settled as a colony of New South Wales in 1803, this island state would secede from the administration of mainland Australia in 1825. Another change would follow in 1856 when Van Diemen’s Land was, in another process of re-imagining, officially re-named Tasmania. This change in nomenclature was an initiative to, symbolically at least, separate the contemporary state from a criminal and violent past (Newman online). Tasmania’s violent history was, perhaps, inevitable. The island was claimed by Philip Gidley King, the Governor of New South Wales, in the name of His Majesty, not for the purpose of building a community, but to “prevent the French from gaining a footing on the east side of that island” and also to procure “timber and other natural products, as well as to raise grain and to promote the seal industry” (Clark 36). Another rationale for this land claim was to “divide the convicts” (Clark 36) which re-fashioned the island into a gaol. It was this penal element of the British colonisation of Australia that saw the worst of the British Empire forced upon the Aboriginal peoples. As historian Clive Turnbull explains: the brutish state of England was reproduced in the English colonies, and that in many ways its brutishness was increased, for now there came to Australia not the humanitarians or the indifferent, but the men who had vested interests in the systems of restraint; among those who suffered restraint were not only a vast number who were merely unfortunate and poverty-stricken—the victims of a ‘depression’—but brutalised persons, child-slaughterers and even potential cannibals. (Turnbull 25) As noted above the Black War of Tasmania saw unprecedented aggression against the rightful occupants of the land. Yet, the Aboriginal peoples were “promised the white man’s justice, the people [were] exhorted to live in amity with them, the wrongs which they suffer [were] deplored” (Turnbull 23). The administrators purported an egalitarian society, one of integration and peace but Van Diemen’s Land was colonised as a prison and as a place of profit. So, “like many apologists whose material benefit is bound up with the systems which they defend” (Turnbull 23), assertions of care for the health and welfare of the Aboriginal peoples were made but were not supported by sufficient policies, or sufficient will, and the Black War continued. Colonel Thomas Davey (1758-1823) was the second person to serve as Lieutenant Governor of Van Diemen’s Land; a term of office that began in 1813 and concluded in 1817. The fourth Lieutenant Governor of the island was Colonel Sir George Arthur (1784-1854); his term of office, significantly longer than Davey’s, being from 1824 to 1836. The two men were very different but are connected through this intriguing artefact, the Proclamation Board. One of the efforts made to assert the principle of equality under the law in Van Diemen’s Land was an outcome of work undertaken by Surveyor General George Frankland (1800-1838). Frankland wrote to Arthur in early 1829 and suggested the Proclamation Board (Morris 84), sometimes referred to as a Picture Board or the Tasmanian Hieroglyphics, as a tool to support Arthur’s various Proclamations. The Proclamation, signed on 15 April 1828 and promulgated in the The Hobart Town Courier on 19 April 1828 (Arthur 1), was one of several notices attempting to reduce the increasing levels of violence between Indigenous peoples and colonists. The date on Frankland’s correspondence clearly situates the Proclamation Board within Arthur’s tenure as Lieutenant Governor. The Board was, however, in the 1860s, re-imagined as the output of Davey. The Clerk of the Tasmanian House of Assembly, Hugh M. Hull, asserted that the Board was the work of Davey and not Arthur. Hull’s rationale for this, despite archival evidence connecting the Board to Frankland and, by extension, to Arthur, is predominantly anecdotal. In a letter to the editor of The Hobart Mercury, published 26 November 1874, Hull wrote: this curiosity was shown by me to the late Mrs Bateman, neé Pitt, a lady who arrived here in 1804, and with whom I went to school in 1822. She at once recognised it as one of a number prepared in 1816, under Governor Davey’s orders; and said she had seen one hanging on a gum tree at Cottage Green—now Battery Point. (3) Hull went on to assert that “if any old gentleman will look at the picture and remember the style of military and civil dress of 1810-15, he will find that Mrs Bateman was right” (3). Interestingly, Hull relies upon the recollections of a deceased school friend and the dress codes depicted by the artist to date the Proclamation Board as a product of 1816, in lieu of documentary evidence dating the Board as a product of 1828-1830. Curiously, the citation of dress can serve to undermine Hull’s argument. An early 1840s watercolour by Thomas Bock, of Mathinna, an Aboriginal child of Flinders Island adopted by Lieutenant Governor John Franklin (Felton online), features the young girl wearing a brightly coloured, high-waisted dress. This dress is very similar to the dresses worn by the children on the Proclamation Board (the difference being that Mathinna wears a red dress with a contrasting waistband, the children on the Board wear plain yellow dresses) (Bock). Acknowledging the simplicity of children's clothing during the colonial era, it could still be argued that it would have been unlikely the Governor of the day would have placed a child, enjoying at that time a life of privilege, in a situation where she sat for a portrait wearing an old-fashioned garment. So effective was Hull’s re-imagining of the Board’s creator that the Board was, for many years, popularly known as Governor Davey’s Proclamation to the Aborigines with even the date modified, to 1816, to fit Davey’s term of office. Further, it is worth noting that catalogue records acknowledge the error of attribution and list both Davey and Arthur as men connected to the creation of the Proclamation Board. A Surviving Board: Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales One of the surviving Proclamation Boards is held by the Mitchell Library. The Boards, oil on Huon pine, were painted by “convict artists incarcerated in the island penal colony” (Carroll 73). The work was mass produced (by the standards of mass production of the day) by pouncing, “a technique [of the Italian Renaissance] of pricking the contours of a drawing with a pin. Charcoal was then dusted on to the drawing” (Carroll 75-76). The images, once outlined, were painted in oil. Of approximately 100 Boards made, several survive today. There are seven known Boards within public collections (Gall 58): five in Australia (Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW, Sydney; Museum Victoria, Melbourne; National Library of Australia, Canberra; Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart; and Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston); and two overseas (The Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University and the Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, University of Cambridge). The catalogue record, for the Board held by the Mitchell Library, offers the following details:Paintings: 1 oil painting on Huon pine board, rectangular in shape with rounded corners and hole at top centre for suspension ; 35.7 x 22.6 x 1 cm. 4 scenes are depicted:Aborigines and white settlers in European dress mingling harmoniouslyAboriginal men and women, and an Aboriginal child approach Governor Arthur to shake hands while peaceful soldiers look onA hostile Aboriginal man spears a male white settler and is hanged by the military as Governor Arthur looks onA hostile white settler shoots an Aboriginal man and is hanged by the military as Governor Arthur looks on. (SAFE / R 247) The Mitchell Library Board was purchased from J.W. Beattie in May 1919 for £30 (Morris 86), which is approximately $2,200 today. Importantly, the title of the record notes both the popular attribution of the Board and the man who actually instigated the Board’s production: “Governor Davey’s [sic – actually Governor Arthur] Proclamation to the Aborigines, 1816 [sic – actually c. 1828-30].” The date of the Board is still a cause of some speculation. The earlier date, 1828, marks the declaration of martial law (Turnbull 94) and 1830 marks the Black Line (Edmonds 215); the attempt to form a human line of white men to force many Tasmanian Aboriginals, four of the nine nations, onto the Tasman Peninsula (Ryan 3). Frankland’s suggestion for the Board was put forward on 4 February 1829, with Arthur’s official Conciliator to the Aborigines, G.A. Robinson, recording his first sighting of a Board on 24 December 1829 (Morris 84-85). Thus, the conception of the Board may have been in 1828 but the Proclamation project was not fully realised until 1830. Indeed, a news item on the Proclamation Board did appear in the popular press, but not until 5 March 1830: We are informed that the Government have given directions for the painting of a large number of pictures to be placed in the bush for the contemplation of the Aboriginal Inhabitants. […] However […] the causes of their hostility must be more deeply probed, or their taste as connoisseurs in paintings more clearly established, ere we can look for any beneficial result from this measure. (Colonial Times 2) The remark made in relation to becoming a connoisseur of painting, though intended to be derogatory, makes some sense. There was an assumption that the Indigenous peoples could easily translate a European-styled execution by hanging, as a visual metaphor for all forms of punishment. It has long been understood that Indigenous “social organisation and religious and ceremonial life were often as complex as those of the white invaders” (McCulloch 261). However, the Proclamation Board was, in every sense, Eurocentric and made no attempt to acknowledge the complexities of Aboriginal culture. It was, quite simply, never going to be an effective tool of communication, nor achieve its socio-legal aims. The Board Re-imagined: Popular Media The re-imagining of the Proclamation Board as a construct of Governor Davey, instead of Governor Arthur, is just one of many re-imaginings of this curious object. There are, of course, the various imaginings of the purpose of the Board. On the surface these images are a tool for reconciliation but as “the story of these paintings unfolds […] it becomes clear that the proclamations were in effect envoys sent back to Britain to exhibit the ingenious attempts being applied to civilise Australia” (Carroll 76). In this way the Board was re-imagined by the Administration that funded the exercise, even before the project was completed, from a mechanism to assist in the bringing about of peace into an object that would impress colonial superiors. Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll has recently written about the Boards in the context of their “transnational circulation” and how “objects become subjects and speak of their past through the ventriloquism of contemporary art history” (75). Carroll argues the Board is an item that couples “military strategy with a fine arts propaganda campaign” (Carroll 78). Critically the Boards never achieved their advertised purpose for, as Carroll explains, there were “elaborate rituals Aboriginal Australians had for the dead” and, therefore, “the display of a dead, hanging body is unthinkable. […] being exposed to the sight of a hanged man must have been experienced as an unimaginable act of disrespect” (92). The Proclamation Board would, in sharp contrast to feelings of unimaginable disrespect, inspire feelings of pride across the colonial population. An example of this pride being revealed in the selection of the Board as an object worthy of reproduction, as a lithograph, for an Intercolonial Exhibition, held in Melbourne in 1866 (Morris 84). The lithograph, which identifies the Board as Governor Davey’s Proclamation to the Aborigines and dated 1816, was listed as item 572, of 738 items submitted by Tasmania, for the event (The Commissioners 69-85). This type of reproduction, or re-imagining, of the Board would not be an isolated event. Penelope Edmonds has described the Board as producing a “visual vernacular” through a range of derivatives including lantern slides, lithographs, and postcards. These types of tourist ephemera are in addition to efforts to produce unique re-workings of the Board as seen in Violet Mace’s Proclamation glazed earthernware, which includes a jug (1928) and a pottery cup (1934) (Edmonds online). The Board Re-imagined: A True Crime Tale The Proclamation Board offers numerous narratives. There is the story that the Board was designed and deployed to communicate. There is the story behind the Board. There is also the story of the credit for the initiative which was transferred from Governor Arthur to Governor Davey and subsequently returned to Arthur. There are, too, the provenance stories of individual Boards. There is another story the Proclamation Board offers. The story of true crime in colonial Australia. The Board, as noted, presents through a four-strip pictogram an idea that all are equal under the rule of law (Arthur 1). Advocating for a society of equals was a duplicitous practice, for while Aborigines were hanged for allegedly murdering settlers, “there is no record of whites being charged, let alone punished, for murdering Aborigines” (Morris 84). It would not be until 1838 that white men would be punished for the murder of Aboriginal people (on the mainland) in the wake of the Myall Creek Massacre, in northern New South Wales. There were other examples of attempts to bring about a greater equity under the rule of law but, as Amanda Nettelbeck explains, there was wide-spread resistance to the investigation and charging of colonists for crimes against the Indigenous population with cases regularly not going to trial, or, if making a courtroom, resulting in an acquittal (355-59). That such cases rested on “legally inadmissible Aboriginal testimony” (Reece in Nettelbeck 358) propped up a justice system that was, inherently, unjust in the nineteenth century. It is important to note that commentators at the time did allude to the crime narrative of the Board: when in the most civilized country in the world it has been found ineffective as example to hang murderers in chains, it is not to be expected a savage race will be influenced by the milder exhibition of effigy and caricature. (Colonial Times 2) It is argued here that the Board was much more than an offering of effigy and caricature. The Proclamation Board presents, in striking detail, the formula for the modern true crime tale: a peace disturbed by the act of murder; and the ensuing search for, and delivery of, justice. Reinforcing this point, are the ideas of justice seen within crime fiction, a genre that focuses on the restoration of order out of chaos (James 174), are made visible here as aspirational. The true crime tale does not, consistently, offer the reassurances found within crime fiction. In the real world, particularly one as violent as colonial Australia, we are forced to acknowledge that, below the surface of the official rhetoric on justice and crime, the guilty often go free and the innocent are sometimes hanged. Another point of note is that, if the latter date offered here, of 1830, is taken as the official date of the production of these Boards, then the significance of the Proclamation Board as a true crime tale is even more pronounced through a connection to crime fiction (both genres sharing a common literary heritage). The year 1830 marks the release of Australia’s first novel, Quintus Servinton written by convicted forger Henry Savery, a crime novel (produced in three volumes) published by Henry Melville of Hobart Town. Thus, this paper suggests, 1830 can be posited as a year that witnessed the production of two significant cultural artefacts, the Proclamation Board and the nation’s first full-length literary work, as also being the year that established the, now indomitable, traditions of true crime and crime fiction in Australia. Conclusion During the late 1820s in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) a set of approximately 100 Proclamation Boards were produced by the Lieutenant Governor of the day, George Arthur. The official purpose of these items was to communicate, to the Indigenous peoples of the island colony, that all—black and white—were equal under the law. Murderers, be they Aboriginal or colonist, would be punished. The Board is a re-imagining of one of the traditional methods of communication for Indigenous peoples; the leaving of drawings on the bark of trees. The Board was, in the 1860s, in time for an Intercolonial Exhibition, re-imagined as the output of Lieutenant Governor Davey. This re-imagining of the Board was so effective that surviving artefacts, today, are popularly known as Governor Davey’s Proclamation to the Aborigines with the date modified, to 1816, to fit the new narrative. The Proclamation Board was also reimagined, by its creators and consumers, in a variety of ways: as peace offering; military propaganda; exhibition object; tourism ephemera; and contemporary art. This paper has also, briefly, offered another re-imagining of the Board, positing that this early “pamphlet” on justice and punishment actually presents a pre-cursor to the modern Australian true crime tale. The Proclamation Board tells many stories but, at the core of this curious object, is a crime story: the story of mass murder. Acknowledgements The author acknowledges the Palawa peoples: the traditional custodians of the lands known today as Tasmania. The author acknowledges, too, the Gadigal people of the Eora nation upon whose lands this paper was researched and written. The author extends thanks to Richard Neville, Margot Riley, Kirsten Thorpe, and Justine Wilson of the State Library of New South Wales for sharing their knowledge and offering their support. The author is also grateful to the reviewers for their careful reading of the manuscript and for making valuable suggestions. ReferencesAboriginal Heritage Tasmania. “Scarred Trees.” Aboriginal Cultural Heritage, 2012. 12 Sep. 2015 ‹http://www.aboriginalheritage.tas.gov.au/aboriginal-cultural-heritage/archaeological-site-types/scarred-trees›.Arthur, George. “Proclamation.” The Hobart Town Courier 19 Apr. 1828: 1.———. Governor Davey’s [sic – actually Governor Arthur’s] Proclamation to the Aborigines, 1816 [sic – actually c. 1828-30]. Graphic Materials. Sydney: Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW, c. 1828-30.Bock, Thomas. Mathinna. Watercolour and Gouache on Paper. 23 x 19 cm (oval), c. 1840.Carroll, Khadija von Zinnenburg. Art in the Time of Colony: Empires and the Making of the Modern World, 1650-2000. Farnham, UK: Ashgate Publishing, 2014.Clark, Manning. History of Australia. Abridged by Michael Cathcart. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1997 [1993]. Clements, Nicholas. The Black War: Fear, Sex and Resistance in Tasmania. St Lucia, Qld.: U of Queensland P, 2014.Colonial Times. “Hobart Town.” Colonial Times 5 Mar. 1830: 2.The Commissioners. Intercolonial Exhibition Official Catalogue. 2nd ed. Melbourne: Blundell & Ford, 1866.Darian-Smith, Kate, and Penelope Edmonds. “Conciliation on Colonial Frontiers.” Conciliation on Colonial Frontiers: Conflict, Performance and Commemoration in Australia and the Pacific Rim. Eds. Kate Darian-Smith and Penelope Edmonds. New York: Routledge, 2015. 1–14. Edmonds, Penelope. “‘Failing in Every Endeavour to Conciliate’: Governor Arthur’s Proclamation Boards to the Aborigines, Australian Conciliation Narratives and Their Transnational Connections.” Journal of Australian Studies 35.2 (2011): 201–18.———. “The Proclamation Cup: Tasmanian Potter Violet Mace and Colonial Quotations.” reCollections 5.2 (2010). 20 May 2015 ‹http://recollections.nma.gov.au/issues/vol_5_no_2/papers/the_proclamation_cup_›.Felton, Heather. “Mathinna.” Companion to Tasmanian History. Hobart: Centre for Tasmanian Historical Studies, University of Tasmania, 2006. 29 Sep. 2015 ‹http://www.utas.edu.au/library/companion_to_tasmanian_history/M/Mathinna.htm›.Gall, Jennifer. Library of Dreams: Treasures from the National Library of Australia. Canberra: National Library of Australia, 2011.Hull, Hugh M. “Tasmanian Hieroglyphics.” The Hobart Mercury 26 Nov. 1874: 3.James, P.D. Talking about Detective Fiction. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2009.Mace, Violet. Violet Mace’s Proclamation Jug. Glazed Earthernware. Launceston: Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, 1928.———. Violet Mace’s Proclamation Cup. Glazed Earthernware. Canberra: National Museum of Australia, 1934.McCulloch, Samuel Clyde. “Sir George Gipps and Eastern Australia’s Policy toward the Aborigine, 1838-46.” The Journal of Modern History 33.3 (1961): 261–69.Morris, John. “Notes on a Message to the Tasmanian Aborigines in 1829, popularly called ‘Governor Davey’s Proclamation to the Aborigines, 1816’.” Australiana 10.3 (1988): 84–7.Nettelbeck, Amanda. “‘Equals of the White Man’: Prosecution of Settlers for Violence against Aboriginal Subjects of the Crown, Colonial Western Australia.” Law and History Review 31.2 (2013): 355–90.Newman, Terry. “Tasmania, the Name.” Companion to Tasmanian History, 2006. 16 Sep. 2015 ‹http://www.utas.edu.au/library/companion_to_tasmanian_history/T/Tasmania%20name.htm›.Reece, Robert H.W., in Amanda Nettelbeck. “‘Equals of the White Man’: Prosecution of Settlers for Violence against Aboriginal Subjects of the Crown, Colonial Western Australia.” Law and History Review 31.2 (2013): 355–90.Ryan, Lyndall. “The Black Line in Van Diemen’s Land: Success or Failure?” Journal of Australian Studies 37.1 (2013): 3–18.Savery, Henry. Quintus Servinton: A Tale Founded upon Events of Real Occurrence. Hobart Town: Henry Melville, 1830.Turnbull, Clive. Black War: The Extermination of the Tasmanian Aborigines. Melbourne: Sun Books, 1974 [1948].

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Mac Con Iomaire, Máirtín. "Coffee Culture in Dublin: A Brief History." M/C Journal 15, no.2 (May2, 2012). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.456.

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IntroductionIn the year 2000, a group of likeminded individuals got together and convened the first annual World Barista Championship in Monte Carlo. With twelve competitors from around the globe, each competitor was judged by seven judges: one head judge who oversaw the process, two technical judges who assessed technical skills, and four sensory judges who evaluated the taste and appearance of the espresso drinks. Competitors had fifteen minutes to serve four espresso coffees, four cappuccino coffees, and four “signature” drinks that they had devised using one shot of espresso and other ingredients of their choice, but no alcohol. The competitors were also assessed on their overall barista skills, their creativity, and their ability to perform under pressure and impress the judges with their knowledge of coffee. This competition has grown to the extent that eleven years later, in 2011, 54 countries held national barista championships with the winner from each country competing for the highly coveted position of World Barista Champion. That year, Alejandro Mendez from El Salvador became the first world champion from a coffee producing nation. Champion baristas are more likely to come from coffee consuming countries than they are from coffee producing countries as countries that produce coffee seldom have a culture of espresso coffee consumption. While Ireland is not a coffee-producing nation, the Irish are the highest per capita consumers of tea in the world (Mac Con Iomaire, “Ireland”). Despite this, in 2008, Stephen Morrissey from Ireland overcame 50 other national champions to become the 2008 World Barista Champion (see, http://vimeo.com/2254130). Another Irish national champion, Colin Harmon, came fourth in this competition in both 2009 and 2010. This paper discusses the history and development of coffee and coffee houses in Dublin from the 17th century, charting how coffee culture in Dublin appeared, evolved, and stagnated before re-emerging at the beginning of the 21st century, with a remarkable win in the World Barista Championships. The historical links between coffeehouses and media—ranging from print media to electronic and social media—are discussed. In this, the coffee house acts as an informal public gathering space, what urban sociologist Ray Oldenburg calls a “third place,” neither work nor home. These “third places” provide anchors for community life and facilitate and foster broader, more creative interaction (Oldenburg). This paper will also show how competition from other “third places” such as clubs, hotels, restaurants, and bars have affected the vibrancy of coffee houses. Early Coffee Houses The first coffee house was established in Constantinople in 1554 (Tannahill 252; Huetz de Lemps 387). The first English coffee houses opened in Oxford in 1650 and in London in 1652. Coffee houses multiplied thereafter but, in 1676, when some London coffee houses became hotbeds for political protest, the city prosecutor decided to close them. The ban was soon lifted and between 1680 and 1730 Londoners discovered the pleasure of drinking coffee (Huetz de Lemps 388), although these coffee houses sold a number of hot drinks including tea and chocolate as well as coffee.The first French coffee houses opened in Marseille in 1671 and in Paris the following year. Coffee houses proliferated during the 18th century: by 1720 there were 380 public cafés in Paris and by the end of the century there were 600 (Huetz de Lemps 387). Café Procope opened in Paris in 1674 and, in the 18th century, became a literary salon with regular patrons: Voltaire, Rousseau, Diderot and Condorcet (Huetz de Lemps 387; Pitte 472). In England, coffee houses developed into exclusive clubs such as Crockford’s and the Reform, whilst elsewhere in Europe they evolved into what we identify as cafés, similar to the tea shops that would open in England in the late 19th century (Tannahill 252-53). Tea quickly displaced coffee in popularity in British coffee houses (Taylor 142). Pettigrew suggests two reasons why Great Britain became a tea-drinking nation while most of the rest of Europe took to coffee (48). The first was the power of the East India Company, chartered by Elizabeth I in 1600, which controlled the world’s biggest tea monopoly and promoted the beverage enthusiastically. The second was the difficulty England had in securing coffee from the Levant while at war with France at the end of the seventeenth century and again during the War of the Spanish Succession (1702-13). Tea also became the dominant beverage in Ireland and over a period of time became the staple beverage of the whole country. In 1835, Samuel Bewley and his son Charles dared to break the monopoly of The East India Company by importing over 2,000 chests of tea directly from Canton, China, to Ireland. His family would later become synonymous with the importation of coffee and with opening cafés in Ireland (see, Farmar for full history of the Bewley's and their activities). Ireland remains the highest per-capita consumer of tea in the world. Coffee houses have long been linked with social and political change (Kennedy, Politicks; Pincus). The notion that these new non-alcoholic drinks were responsible for the Enlightenment because people could now gather socially without getting drunk is rejected by Wheaton as frivolous, since there had always been alternatives to strong drink, and European civilisation had achieved much in the previous centuries (91). She comments additionally that cafés, as gathering places for dissenters, took over the role that taverns had long played. Pennell and Vickery support this argument adding that by offering a choice of drinks, and often sweets, at a fixed price and in a more civilized setting than most taverns provided, coffee houses and cafés were part of the rise of the modern restaurant. It is believed that, by 1700, the commercial provision of food and drink constituted the second largest occupational sector in London. Travellers’ accounts are full of descriptions of London taverns, pie shops, coffee, bun and chop houses, breakfast huts, and food hawkers (Pennell; Vickery). Dublin Coffee Houses and Later incarnations The earliest reference to coffee houses in Dublin is to the co*ck Coffee House in Cook Street during the reign of Charles II (1660-85). Public dining or drinking establishments listed in the 1738 Dublin Directory include taverns, eating houses, chop houses, coffee houses, and one chocolate house in Fownes Court run by Peter Bardin (Hardiman and Kennedy 157). During the second half of the 17th century, Dublin’s merchant classes transferred allegiance from taverns to the newly fashionable coffee houses as places to conduct business. By 1698, the fashion had spread to country towns with coffee houses found in Cork, Limerick, Kilkenny, Clonmel, Wexford, and Galway, and slightly later in Belfast and Waterford in the 18th century. Maxwell lists some of Dublin’s leading coffee houses and taverns, noting their clientele: There were Lucas’s Coffee House, on Cork Hill (the scene of many duels), frequented by fashionable young men; the Phoenix, in Werburgh Street, where political dinners were held; Dick’s Coffee House, in Skinner’s Row, much patronized by literary men, for it was over a bookseller’s; the Eagle, in Eustace Street, where meetings of the Volunteers were held; the Old Sot’s Hole, near Essex Bridge, famous for its beefsteaks and ale; the Eagle Tavern, on Cork Hill, which was demolished at the same time as Lucas’s to make room for the Royal Exchange; and many others. (76) Many of the early taverns were situated around the Winetavern Street, Cook Street, and Fishamble Street area. (see Fig. 1) Taverns, and later coffee houses, became meeting places for gentlemen and centres for debate and the exchange of ideas. In 1706, Francis Dickson published the Flying Post newspaper at the Four Courts coffee house in Winetavern Street. The Bear Tavern (1725) and the Black Lyon (1735), where a Masonic Lodge assembled every Wednesday, were also located on this street (Gilbert v.1 160). Dick’s Coffee house was established in the late 17th century by bookseller and newspaper proprietor Richard Pue, and remained open until 1780 when the building was demolished. In 1740, Dick’s customers were described thus: Ye citizens, gentlemen, lawyers and squires,who summer and winter surround our great fires,ye quidnuncs! who frequently come into Pue’s,To live upon politicks, coffee, and news. (Gilbert v.1 174) There has long been an association between coffeehouses and publishing books, pamphlets and particularly newspapers. Other Dublin publishers and newspapermen who owned coffee houses included Richard Norris and Thomas Bacon. Until the 1850s, newspapers were burdened with a number of taxes: on the newsprint, a stamp duty, and on each advertisem*nt. By 1865, these taxes had virtually disappeared, resulting in the appearance of 30 new newspapers in Ireland, 24 of them in Dublin. Most people read from copies which were available free of charge in taverns, clubs, and coffee houses (MacGiolla Phadraig). Coffee houses also kept copies of international newspapers. On 4 May 1706, Francis Dickson notes in the Dublin Intelligence that he held the Paris and London Gazettes, Leyden Gazette and Slip, the Paris and Hague Lettres à la Main, Daily Courant, Post-man, Flying Post, Post-script and Manuscripts in his coffeehouse in Winetavern Street (Kennedy, “Dublin”). Henry Berry’s analysis of shop signs in Dublin identifies 24 different coffee houses in Dublin, with the main clusters in Essex Street near the Custom’s House (Cocoa Tree, Bacon’s, Dempster’s, Dublin, Merchant’s, Norris’s, and Walsh’s) Cork Hill (Lucas’s, St Lawrence’s, and Solyman’s) Skinners’ Row (Bow’s’, Darby’s, and Dick’s) Christ Church Yard (Four Courts, and London) College Green (Jack’s, and Parliament) and Crampton Court (Exchange, and Little Dublin). (see Figure 1, below, for these clusters and the locations of other Dublin coffee houses.) The earliest to be referenced is the co*ck Coffee House in Cook Street during the reign of Charles II (1660-85), with Solyman’s (1691), Bow’s (1692), and Patt’s on High Street (1699), all mentioned in print before the 18th century. The name of one, the Cocoa Tree, suggests that chocolate was also served in this coffee house. More evidence of the variety of beverages sold in coffee houses comes from Gilbert who notes that in 1730, one Dublin poet wrote of George Carterwright’s wife at The Custom House Coffee House on Essex Street: Her coffee’s fresh and fresh her tea,Sweet her cream, ptizan, and whea,her drams, of ev’ry sort, we findboth good and pleasant, in their kind. (v. 2 161) Figure 1: Map of Dublin indicating Coffee House clusters 1 = Sackville St.; 2 = Winetavern St.; 3 = Essex St.; 4 = Cork Hill; 5 = Skinner's Row; 6 = College Green.; 7 = Christ Church Yard; 8 = Crampton Court.; 9 = Cook St.; 10 = High St.; 11 = Eustace St.; 12 = Werburgh St.; 13 = Fishamble St.; 14 = Westmorland St.; 15 = South Great George's St.; 16 = Grafton St.; 17 = Kildare St.; 18 = Dame St.; 19 = Anglesea Row; 20 = Foster Place; 21 = Poolbeg St.; 22 = Fleet St.; 23 = Burgh Quay.A = Cafe de Paris, Lincoln Place; B = Red Bank Restaurant, D'Olier St.; C = Morrison's Hotel, Nassau St.; D = Shelbourne Hotel, St. Stephen's Green; E = Jury's Hotel, Dame St. Some coffee houses transformed into the gentlemen’s clubs that appeared in London, Paris and Dublin in the 17th century. These clubs originally met in coffee houses, then taverns, until later proprietary clubs became fashionable. Dublin anticipated London in club fashions with members of the Kildare Street Club (1782) and the Sackville Street Club (1794) owning the premises of their clubhouse, thus dispensing with the proprietor. The first London club to be owned by the members seems to be Arthur’s, founded in 1811 (McDowell 4) and this practice became widespread throughout the 19th century in both London and Dublin. The origin of one of Dublin’s most famous clubs, Daly’s Club, was a chocolate house opened by Patrick Daly in c.1762–65 in premises at 2–3 Dame Street (Brooke). It prospered sufficiently to commission its own granite-faced building on College Green between Anglesea Street and Foster Place which opened in 1789 (Liddy 51). Daly’s Club, “where half the land of Ireland has changed hands”, was renowned for the gambling that took place there (Montgomery 39). Daly’s sumptuous palace catered very well (and discreetly) for honourable Members of Parliament and rich “bucks” alike (Craig 222). The changing political and social landscape following the Act of Union led to Daly’s slow demise and its eventual closure in 1823 (Liddy 51). Coincidentally, the first Starbucks in Ireland opened in 2005 in the same location. Once gentlemen’s clubs had designated buildings where members could eat, drink, socialise, and stay overnight, taverns and coffee houses faced competition from the best Dublin hotels which also had coffee rooms “in which gentlemen could read papers, write letters, take coffee and wine in the evening—an exiguous substitute for a club” (McDowell 17). There were at least 15 establishments in Dublin city claiming to be hotels by 1789 (Corr 1) and their numbers grew in the 19th century, an expansion which was particularly influenced by the growth of railways. By 1790, Dublin’s public houses (“pubs”) outnumbered its coffee houses with Dublin boasting 1,300 (Rooney 132). Names like the Goose and Gridiron, Harp and Crown, Horseshoe and Magpie, and Hen and Chickens—fashionable during the 17th and 18th centuries in Ireland—hung on decorative signs for those who could not read. Throughout the 20th century, the public house provided the dominant “third place” in Irish society, and the drink of choice for itd predominantly male customers was a frothy pint of Guinness. Newspapers were available in public houses and many newspapermen had their own favourite hostelries such as Mulligan’s of Poolbeg Street; The Pearl, and The Palace on Fleet Street; and The White Horse Inn on Burgh Quay. Any coffee served in these establishments prior to the arrival of the new coffee culture in the 21st century was, however, of the powdered instant variety. Hotels / Restaurants with Coffee Rooms From the mid-19th century, the public dining landscape of Dublin changed in line with London and other large cities in the United Kingdom. Restaurants did appear gradually in the United Kingdom and research suggests that one possible reason for this growth from the 1860s onwards was the Refreshment Houses and Wine Licences Act (1860). The object of this act was to “reunite the business of eating and drinking”, thereby encouraging public sobriety (Mac Con Iomaire, “Emergence” v.2 95). Advertisem*nts for Dublin restaurants appeared in The Irish Times from the 1860s. Thom’s Directory includes listings for Dining Rooms from the 1870s and Refreshment Rooms are listed from the 1880s. This pattern continued until 1909, when Thom’s Directory first includes a listing for “Restaurants and Tea Rooms”. Some of the establishments that advertised separate coffee rooms include Dublin’s first French restaurant, the Café de Paris, The Red Bank Restaurant, Morrison’s Hotel, Shelbourne Hotel, and Jury’s Hotel (see Fig. 1). The pattern of separate ladies’ coffee rooms emerged in Dublin and London during the latter half of the 19th century and mixed sex dining only became popular around the last decade of the 19th century, partly infuenced by Cesar Ritz and Auguste Escoffier (Mac Con Iomaire, “Public Dining”). Irish Cafés: From Bewley’s to Starbucks A number of cafés appeared at the beginning of the 20th century, most notably Robert Roberts and Bewley’s, both of which were owned by Quaker families. Ernest Bewley took over the running of the Bewley’s importation business in the 1890s and opened a number of Oriental Cafés; South Great Georges Street (1894), Westmoreland Street (1896), and what became the landmark Bewley’s Oriental Café in Grafton Street (1927). Drawing influence from the grand cafés of Paris and Vienna, oriental tearooms, and Egyptian architecture (inspired by the discovery in 1922 of Tutankhamen’s Tomb), the Grafton Street business brought a touch of the exotic into the newly formed Irish Free State. Bewley’s cafés became the haunt of many of Ireland’s leading literary figures, including Samuel Becket, Sean O’Casey, and James Joyce who mentioned the café in his book, Dubliners. A full history of Bewley’s is available (Farmar). It is important to note, however, that pots of tea were sold in equal measure to mugs of coffee in Bewley’s. The cafés changed over time from waitress- to self-service and a failure to adapt to changing fashions led to the business being sold, with only the flagship café in Grafton Street remaining open in a revised capacity. It was not until the beginning of the 21st century that a new wave of coffee house culture swept Ireland. This was based around speciality coffee beverages such as espressos, cappuccinos, lattés, macchiatos, and frappuccinnos. This new phenomenon coincided with the unprecedented growth in the Irish economy, during which Ireland became known as the “Celtic Tiger” (Murphy 3). One aspect of this period was a building boom and a subsequent growth in apartment living in the Dublin city centre. The American sitcom Friends and its fictional coffee house, “Central Perk,” may also have helped popularise the use of coffee houses as “third spaces” (Oldenberg) among young apartment dwellers in Dublin. This was also the era of the “dotcom boom” when many young entrepreneurs, software designers, webmasters, and stock market investors were using coffee houses as meeting places for business and also as ad hoc office spaces. This trend is very similar to the situation in the 17th and early 18th centuries where coffeehouses became known as sites for business dealings. Various theories explaining the growth of the new café culture have circulated, with reasons ranging from a growth in Eastern European migrants, anti-smoking legislation, returning sophisticated Irish emigrants, and increased affluence (Fenton). Dublin pubs, facing competition from the new coffee culture, began installing espresso coffee machines made by companies such as Gaggia to attract customers more interested in a good latté than a lager and it is within this context that Irish baristas gained such success in the World Barista competition. In 2001 the Georges Street branch of Bewley’s was taken over by a chain called Café, Bar, Deli specialising in serving good food at reasonable prices. Many ex-Bewley’s staff members subsequently opened their own businesses, roasting coffee and running cafés. Irish-owned coffee chains such as Java Republic, Insomnia, and O’Brien’s Sandwich Bars continued to thrive despite the competition from coffee chains Starbucks and Costa Café. Indeed, so successful was the handmade Irish sandwich and coffee business that, before the economic downturn affected its business, Irish franchise O’Brien’s operated in over 18 countries. The Café, Bar, Deli group had also begun to franchise its operations in 2008 when it too became a victim of the global economic downturn. With the growth of the Internet, many newspapers have experienced falling sales of their printed format and rising uptake of their electronic versions. Most Dublin coffee houses today provide wireless Internet connections so their customers can read not only the local newspapers online, but also others from all over the globe, similar to Francis Dickenson’s coffee house in Winetavern Street in the early 18th century. Dublin has become Europe’s Silicon Valley, housing the European headquarters for companies such as Google, Yahoo, Ebay, Paypal, and Facebook. There are currently plans to provide free wireless connectivity throughout Dublin’s city centre in order to promote e-commerce, however, some coffee houses shut off the wireless Internet in their establishments at certain times of the week in order to promote more social interaction to ensure that these “third places” remain “great good places” at the heart of the community (Oldenburg). Conclusion Ireland is not a country that is normally associated with a coffee culture but coffee houses have been part of the fabric of that country since they emerged in Dublin in the 17th century. These Dublin coffee houses prospered in the 18th century, and survived strong competition from clubs and hotels in the 19th century, and from restaurant and public houses into the 20th century. In 2008, when Stephen Morrissey won the coveted title of World Barista Champion, Ireland’s place as a coffee consuming country was re-established. The first decade of the 21st century witnessed a birth of a new espresso coffee culture, which shows no signs of weakening despite Ireland’s economic travails. References Berry, Henry F. “House and Shop Signs in Dublin in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries.” The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland 40.2 (1910): 81–98. Brooke, Raymond Frederick. Daly’s Club and the Kildare Street Club, Dublin. Dublin, 1930. Corr, Frank. Hotels in Ireland. Dublin: Jemma Publications, 1987. Craig, Maurice. Dublin 1660-1860. Dublin: Allen Figgis, 1980. Farmar, Tony. The Legendary, Lofty, Clattering Café. Dublin: A&A Farmar, 1988. Fenton, Ben. “Cafe Culture taking over in Dublin.” The Telegraph 2 Oct. 2006. 29 Apr. 2012 ‹http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1530308/cafe-culture-taking-over-in-Dublin.html›. Gilbert, John T. A History of the City of Dublin (3 vols.). Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, 1978. Girouard, Mark. Victorian Pubs. New Haven, Conn.: Yale UP, 1984. Hardiman, Nodlaig P., and Máire Kennedy. A Directory of Dublin for the Year 1738 Compiled from the Most Authentic of Sources. Dublin: Dublin Corporation Public Libraries, 2000. Huetz de Lemps, Alain. “Colonial Beverages and Consumption of Sugar.” Food: A Culinary History from Antiquity to the Present. Eds. Jean-Louis Flandrin and Massimo Montanari. New York: Columbia UP, 1999. 383–93. Kennedy, Máire. “Dublin Coffee Houses.” Ask About Ireland, 2011. 4 Apr. 2012 ‹http://www.askaboutireland.ie/reading-room/history-heritage/pages-in-history/dublin-coffee-houses›. ----- “‘Politicks, Coffee and News’: The Dublin Book Trade in the Eighteenth Century.” Dublin Historical Record LVIII.1 (2005): 76–85. Liddy, Pat. Temple Bar—Dublin: An Illustrated History. Dublin: Temple Bar Properties, 1992. Mac Con Iomaire, Máirtín. “The Emergence, Development, and Influence of French Haute Cuisine on Public Dining in Dublin Restaurants 1900-2000: An Oral History.” Ph.D. thesis, Dublin Institute of Technology, Dublin, 2009. 4 Apr. 2012 ‹http://arrow.dit.ie/tourdoc/12›. ----- “Ireland.” Food Cultures of the World Encylopedia. Ed. Ken Albala. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2010. ----- “Public Dining in Dublin: The History and Evolution of Gastronomy and Commercial Dining 1700-1900.” International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management 24. Special Issue: The History of the Commercial Hospitality Industry from Classical Antiquity to the 19th Century (2012): forthcoming. MacGiolla Phadraig, Brian. “Dublin: One Hundred Years Ago.” Dublin Historical Record 23.2/3 (1969): 56–71. Maxwell, Constantia. Dublin under the Georges 1714–1830. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan, 1979. McDowell, R. B. Land & Learning: Two Irish Clubs. Dublin: The Lilliput P, 1993. Montgomery, K. L. “Old Dublin Clubs and Coffee-Houses.” New Ireland Review VI (1896): 39–44. Murphy, Antoine E. “The ‘Celtic Tiger’—An Analysis of Ireland’s Economic Growth Performance.” EUI Working Papers, 2000 29 Apr. 2012 ‹http://www.eui.eu/RSCAS/WP-Texts/00_16.pdf›. Oldenburg, Ray, ed. Celebrating the Third Place: Inspiring Stories About The “Great Good Places” At the Heart of Our Communities. New York: Marlowe & Company 2001. Pennell, Sarah. “‘Great Quantities of Gooseberry Pye and Baked Clod of Beef’: Victualling and Eating out in Early Modern London.” Londinopolis: Essays in the Cultural and Social History of Early Modern London. Eds. Paul Griffiths and Mark S. R. Jenner. Manchester: Manchester UP, 2000. 228–59. Pettigrew, Jane. A Social History of Tea. London: National Trust Enterprises, 2001. Pincus, Steve. “‘Coffee Politicians Does Create’: Coffeehouses and Restoration Political Culture.” The Journal of Modern History 67.4 (1995): 807–34. Pitte, Jean-Robert. “The Rise of the Restaurant.” Food: A Culinary History from Antiquity to the Present. Eds. Jean-Louis Flandrin and Massimo Montanari. New York: Columbia UP, 1999. 471–80. Rooney, Brendan, ed. A Time and a Place: Two Centuries of Irish Social Life. Dublin: National Gallery of Ireland, 2006. Tannahill, Reay. Food in History. St Albans, Herts.: Paladin, 1975. Taylor, Laurence. “Coffee: The Bottomless Cup.” The American Dimension: Cultural Myths and Social Realities. Eds. W. Arens and Susan P. Montague. Port Washington, N.Y.: Alfred Publishing, 1976. 14–48. Vickery, Amanda. Behind Closed Doors: At Home in Georgian England. New Haven: Yale UP, 2009. Wheaton, Barbara Ketcham. Savouring the Past: The French Kitchen and Table from 1300-1789. London: Chatto & Windus, Hogarth P, 1983. Williams, Anne. “Historical Attitudes to Women Eating in Restaurants.” Public Eating: Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery 1991. Ed. Harlan Walker. Totnes: Prospect Books, 1992. 311–14. World Barista, Championship. “History–World Barista Championship”. 2012. 02 Apr. 2012 ‹http://worldbaristachampionship.com2012›.AcknowledgementA warm thank you to Dr. Kevin Griffin for producing the map of Dublin for this article.

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Haliliuc, Alina. "Walking into Democratic Citizenship: Anti-Corruption Protests in Romania’s Capital." M/C Journal 21, no.4 (October15, 2018). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1448.

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IntroductionFor over five years, Romanians have been using their bodies in public spaces to challenge politicians’ disregard for the average citizen. In a region low in standards of civic engagement, such as voter turnout and petition signing, Romanian people’s “citizenship of the streets” has stopped environmentally destructive mining in 2013, ousted a corrupt cabinet in 2015, and blocked legislation legalising abuse of public office in 2017 (Solnit 214). This article explores the democratic affordances of collective resistive walking, by focusing on Romania’s capital, Bucharest. I illustrate how walking in protest of political corruption cultivates a democratic public and reconfigures city spaces as spaces of democratic engagement, in the context of increased illiberalism in the region. I examine two sites of protest: the Parliament Palace and Victoriei Square. The former is a construction emblematic of communist dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu and symbol of an authoritarian regime, whose surrounding area protestors reclaim as a civic space. The latter—a central part of the city bustling with the life of cafes, museums, bike lanes, and nearby parks—hosts the Government and has become an iconic site for pro-democratic movements. Spaces of Democracy: The Performativity of Public Assemblies Democracies are active achievements, dependent not only on the solidity of institutions —e.g., a free press and a constitution—but on people’s ability and desire to communicate about issues of concern and to occupy public space. Communicative approaches to democratic theory, formulated as inquiries into the public sphere and the plurality and evolution of publics, often return to establish the significance of public spaces and of bodies in the maintenance of our “rhetorical democracies” (Hauser). Speech and assembly, voice and space are sides of the same coin. In John Dewey’s work, communication is the main “loyalty” of democracy: the heart and final guarantee of democracy is in free gatherings of neighbors on the street corner to discuss back and forth what is read in the uncensored news of the day, and in gatherings of friends in the living rooms of houses and apartments to converse freely with one another. (Dewey qtd. in Asen 197, emphasis added) Dewey asserts the centrality of communication in the same breath that he affirms the spatial infrastructure supporting it.Historically, Richard Sennett explains, Athenian democracy has been organised around two “spaces of democracy” where people assembled: the agora or town square and the theatre or Pnyx. While the theatre has endured as the symbol of democratic communication, with its ideal of concentrated attention on the argument of one speaker, Sennett illuminates the square as an equally important space, one without which deliberation in the Pnyx would be impossible. In the agora, citizens cultivate an ability to see, expect, and think through difference. In its open architecture and inclusiveness, Sennett explains, the agora affords the walker and dweller a public space to experience, in a quick, fragmentary, and embodied way, the differences and divergences in fellow citizens. Through visual scrutiny and embodied exposure, the square thus cultivates “an outlook favorable to discussion of differing views and conflicting interests”, useful for deliberation in the Pnyx, and the capacity to recognise strangers as part of the imagined democratic community (19). Also stressing the importance of spaces for assembly, Jürgen Habermas’s historical theorisation of the bourgeois public sphere moves the functions of the agora to the modern “third places” (Oldenburg) of the civic society emerging in late seventeenth and eighteenth-century Europe: coffee houses, salons, and clubs. While Habermas’ conceptualization of a unified bourgeois public has been criticised for its class and gender exclusivism, and for its normative model of deliberation and consensus, such criticism has also opened paths of inquiry into the rhetorical pluralism of publics and into the democratic affordances of embodied performativity. Thus, unlike Habermas’s assumption of a single bourgeois public, work on twentieth and twenty-first century publics has attended to their wide variety in post-modern societies (e.g., Bruce; Butler; Delicath and DeLuca; Fraser; Harold and DeLuca; Hauser; Lewis; Mckinnon et al.; Pezzullo; Rai; Tabako). In contrast to the Habermasian close attention to verbal argumentation, such criticism prioritizes the embodied (performative, aesthetic, and material) ways in which publics manifest their attention to common issues. From suffragists to environmentalists and, most recently, anti-precarity movements across the globe, publics assemble and move through shared space, seeking to break hegemonies of media representation by creating media events of their own. In the process, Judith Butler explains, such embodied assemblies accomplish much more. They disrupt prevalent logics and dominant feelings of disposability, precarity, and anxiety, at the same time that they (re)constitute subjects and increasingly privatised spaces into citizens and public places of democracy, respectively. Butler proposes that to best understand recent protests we need to read collective assembly in the current political moment of “accelerating precarity” and responsibilisation (10). Globally, increasingly larger populations are exposed to economic insecurity and precarity through government withdrawal from labor protections and the diminishment of social services, to the profit of increasingly monopolistic business. A logic of self-investment and personal responsibility accompanies such structural changes, as people understand themselves as individual market actors in competition with other market actors rather than as citizens and community members (Brown). In this context, public assembly would enact an alternative, insisting on interdependency. Bodies, in such assemblies, signify both symbolically (their will to speak against power) and indexically. As Butler describes, “it is this body, and these bodies, that require employment, shelter, health care, and food, as well as a sense of a future that is not the future of unpayable debt” (10). Butler describes the function of these protests more fully:[P]lural enactments […] make manifest the understanding that a situation is shared, contesting the individualizing morality that makes a moral norm of economic self-sufficiency precisely […] when self-sufficiency is becoming increasingly unrealizable. Showing up, standing, breathing, moving, standing still, speech, and silence are all aspects of a sudden assembly, an unforeseen form of political performativity that puts livable life at the forefront of politics […] [T]he bodies assembled ‘say’ we are not disposable, even if they stand silently. (18)Though Romania is not included in her account of contemporary protest movements, Butler’s theoretical account aptly describes both the structural and ideological conditions, and the performativity of Romanian protestors. In Romania, citizens have started to assemble in the streets against austerity measures (2012), environmental destruction (2013), fatal infrastructures (2015) and against the government’s corruption and attempts to undermine the Judiciary (from February 2017 onward). While, as scholars have argued (Olteanu and Beyerle; Gubernat and Rammelt), political corruption has gradually crystallised into the dominant and enduring framework for the assembled publics, post-communist corruption has been part and parcel of the neoliberalisation of Central and Eastern-European societies after the fall of communism. In the region, Leslie Holmes explains, former communist elites or the nomenklatura, have remained the majority political class after 1989. With political power and under the shelter of political immunity, nomenklatura politicians “were able to take ethically questionable advantage in various ways […] of the sell-off of previously state-owned enterprises” (Holmes 12). The process through which the established political class became owners of a previously state-owned economy is known as “nomenklatura privatization”, a common form of political corruption in the region, Holmes explains (12). Such practices were common knowledge among a cynical population through most of the 1990s and the 2000s. They were not broadly challenged in an ideological milieu attached, as Mihaela Miroiu, Isabela Preoteasa, and Jerzy Szacki argued, to extreme forms of liberalism and neoliberalism, ideologies perceived by people just coming out of communism as anti-ideology. Almost three decades since the fall of communism, in the face of unyielding levels of poverty (Zaharia; Marin), the decaying state of healthcare and education (Bilefsky; “Education”), and migration rates second only to war-torn Syria (Deletant), Romanian protestors have come to attribute the diminution of life in post-communism to the political corruption of the established political class (“Romania Corruption Report”; “Corruption Perceptions”). Following systematic attempts by the nomenklatura-heavy governing coalition to undermine the judiciary and institutionalise de facto corruption of public officials (Deletant), protestors have been returning to public spaces on a weekly basis, de-normalising the political cynicism and isolation serving the established political class. Mothers Walking: Resignifying Communist Spaces, Imagining the New DemosOn 11 July 2018, a protest of mothers was streamed live by Corruption Kills (Corupția ucide), a Facebook group started by activist Florin Bădiță after a deadly nightclub fire attributed to the corruption of public servants, in 2015 (Commander). Organized protests at the time pressured the Social-Democratic cabinet into resignation. Corruption Kills has remained a key activist platform, organising assemblies, streaming live from demonstrations, and sharing personal acts of dissent, thus extending the life of embodied assemblies. In the mothers’ protest video, women carrying babies in body-wraps and strollers walk across the intersection leading to the Parliament Palace, while police direct traffic and ensure their safety (“Civil Disobedience”). This was an unusual scene for many reasons. Walkers met at the entrance to the Parliament Palace, an area most emblematic of the former regime. Built by Communist dictator, Nicolae Ceaușescu and inspired by Kim Il-sung’s North Korean architecture, the current Parliament building and its surrounding plaza remain, in the words of Renata Salecl, “one of the most traumatic remnants of the communist regime” (90). The construction is the second largest administrative building in the world, after the Pentagon, a size matching the ambitions of the dictator. It bears witness to the personal and cultural sacrifices the construction and its surrounded plaza required: the displacement of some 40,000 people from old neighbourhood Uranus, the death of reportedly thousands of workers, and the flattening of churches, monasteries, hospitals, schools (Parliament Palace). This arbitrary construction carved out of the old city remains a symbol of an authoritarian relation with the nation. As Salecl puts it, Ceaușescu’s project tried to realise the utopia of a new communist “centre” and created an artificial space as removed from the rest of the city as the leader himself was from the needs of his people. Twenty-nine years after the fall of communism, the plaza of the Parliament Palace remains as suspended from the life of the city as it was during the 1980s. The trees lining the boulevard have grown slightly and bike lanes are painted over decaying stones. Still, only few people walk by the neo-classical apartment buildings now discoloured and stained by weather and time. Salecl remarks on the panoptic experience of the Parliament Palace: “observed from the avenue, [the palace] appears to have no entrance; there are only numerous windows, which give the impression of an omnipresent gaze” (95). The building embodies, for Salecl, the logic of surveillance of the communist regime, which “created the impression of omnipresence” through a secret police that rallied members among regular citizens and inspired fear by striking randomly (95).Against this geography steeped in collective memories of fear and exposure to the gaze of the state, women turn their children’s bodies and their own into performances of resistance that draw on the rhetorical force of communist gender politics. Both motherhood and childhood were heavily regulated roles under Ceaușescu’s nationalist-socialist politics of forced birth, despite the official idealisation of both. Producing children for the nationalist-communist state was women’s mandated expression of citizenship. Declaring the foetus “the socialist property of the whole society”, in 1966 Ceaușescu criminalised abortion for women of reproductive ages who had fewer than four children, and, starting 1985, less than five children (Ceaușescu qtd. in Verdery). What followed was “a national tragedy”: illegal abortions became the leading cause of death for fertile women, children were abandoned into inhumane conditions in the infamous orphanages, and mothers experienced the everyday drama of caring for families in an economy of shortages (Kligman 364). The communist politicisation of natality during communist Romania exemplifies one of the worst manifestations of the political as biopolitical. The current maternal bodies and children’s bodies circulating in the communist-iconic plaza articulate past and present for Romanians, redeploying a traumatic collective memory to challenge increasingly authoritarian ambitions of the governing Social Democratic Party. The images of caring mothers walking in protest with their babies furthers the claims that anti-corruption publics have made in other venues: that the government, in their indifference and corruption, is driving millions of people, usually young, out of the country, in a braindrain of unprecedented proportions (Ursu; Deletant; #vavedemdinSibiu). In their determination to walk during the gruelling temperatures of mid-July, in their youth and their babies’ youth, the mothers’ walk performs the contrast between their generation of engaged, persistent, and caring citizens and the docile abused subject of a past indexed by the Ceaușescu-era architecture. In addition to performing a new caring imagined community (Anderson), women’s silent, resolute walk on the crosswalk turns a lifeless geography, heavy with the architectural traces of authoritarian history, into a public space that holds democratic protest. By inhabiting the cultural role of mothers, protestors disarmed state authorities: instead of the militarised gendarmerie usually policing protestors the Victoriei Square, only traffic police were called for the mothers’ protest. The police choreographed cars and people, as protestors walked across the intersection leading to the Parliament. Drivers, usually aggressive and insouciant, now moved in concert with the protestors. The mothers’ walk, immediately modeled by people in other cities (Cluj-Napoca), reconfigured a car-dominated geography and an unreliable, driver-friendly police, into a civic space that is struggling to facilitate the citizens’ peaceful disobedience. The walkers’ assembly thus begins to constitute the civic character of the plaza, collecting “the space itself […] the pavement and […] the architecture [to produce] the public character of that material environment” (Butler 71). It demonstrates the possibility of a new imagined community of caring and persistent citizens, one significantly different from the cynical, disconnected, and survivalist subjects that the nomenklatura politicians, nested in the Panoptic Parliament nearby, would prefer.Persisting in the Victoriei Square In addition to strenuous physical walking to reclaim city spaces, such as the mothers’ walking, the anti-corruption public also practices walking and gathering in less taxing environments. The Victoriei Square is such a place, a central plaza that connects major boulevards with large sidewalks, functional bike lanes, and old trees. The square is the architectural meeting point of old and new, where communist apartments meet late nineteenth and early twentieth century architecture, in a privileged neighbourhood of villas, museums, and foreign consulates. One of these 1930s constructions is the Government building, hosting the Prime Minister’s cabinet. Demonstrators gathered here during the major protests of 2015 and 2017, and have walked, stood, and wandered in the square almost weekly since (“Past Events”). On 24 June 2018, I arrive in the Victoriei Square to participate in the protest announced on social media by Corruption Kills. There is room to move, to pause, and rest. In some pockets, people assemble to pay attention to impromptu speakers who come onto a small platform to share their ideas. Occasionally someone starts chanting “We See You!” and “Down with Corruption!” and almost everyone joins the chant. A few young people circulate petitions. But there is little exultation in the group as a whole, shared mostly among those taking up the stage or waving flags. Throughout the square, groups of familiars stop to chat. Couples and families walk their bikes, strolling slowly through the crowds, seemingly heading to or coming from the nearby park on a summer evening. Small kids play together, drawing with chalk on the pavement, or greeting dogs while parents greet each other. Older children race one another, picking up on the sense of freedom and de-centred but still purposeful engagement. The openness of the space allows one to meander and observe all these groups, performing the function of the Ancient agora: making visible the strangers who are part of the polis. The overwhelming feeling is one of solidarity. This comes partly from the possibilities of collective agency and the feeling of comfortably taking up space and having your embodiment respected, otherwise hard to come by in other spaces of the city. Everyday walking in the streets of Romanian cities is usually an exercise in hypervigilant physical prowess and self-preserving numbness. You keep your eyes on the ground to not stumble on broken pavement. You watch ahead for unmarked construction work. You live with other people’s sweat on the hot buses. You hop among cars parked on sidewalks and listen keenly for when others may zoom by. In one of the last post-socialist states to join the European Union, living with generalised poverty means walking in cities where your senses must be dulled to manage the heat, the dust, the smells, and the waiting, irresponsive to beauty and to amiable sociality. The euphemistic vocabulary of neoliberalism may describe everyday walking through individualistic terms such as “grit” or “resilience.” And while people are called to effort, creativity, and endurance not needed in more functional states, what one experiences is the gradual diminution of one’s lives under a political regime where illiberalism keeps a citizen-serving democracy at bay. By contrast, the Victoriei Square holds bodies whose comfort in each other’s presence allow us to imagine a political community where survivalism, or what Lauren Berlant calls “lateral agency”, are no longer the norm. In “showing up, standing, breathing, moving, standing still […] an unforeseen form of political performativity that puts livable life at the forefront of politics” is enacted (Butler 18). In arriving to Victoriei Square repeatedly, Romanians demonstrate that there is room to breathe more easily, to engage with civility, and to trust the strangers in their country. They assert that they are not disposable, even if a neoliberal corrupt post-communist regime would have them otherwise.ConclusionBecoming a public, as Michael Warner proposes, is an ongoing process of attention to an issue, through the circulation of discourse and self-organisation with strangers. For the anti-corruption public of Romania’s past years, such ongoing work is accompanied by persistent, civil, embodied collective assembly, in an articulation of claims, bodies, and spaces that promotes a material agency that reconfigures the city and the imagined Romanian community into a more democratic one. The Romanian citizenship of the streets is particularly significant in the current geopolitical and ideological moment. In the region, increasing authoritarianism meets the alienating logics of neoliberalism, both trying to reduce citizens to disposable, self-reliant, and disconnected market actors. Populist autocrats—Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey, the Peace and Justice Party in Poland, and recently E.U.-penalized Victor Orban, in Hungary—are dismantling the system of checks and balances, and posing threats to a European Union already challenged by refugee debates and Donald Trump’s unreliable alliance against authoritarianism. In such a moment, the Romanian anti-corruption public performs within the geographies of their city solidarity and commitment to democracy, demonstrating an alternative to the submissive and disconnected subjects preferred by authoritarianism and neoliberalism.Author's NoteIn addition to the anonymous reviewers, the author would like to thank Mary Tuominen and Jesse Schlotterbeck for their helpful comments on this essay.ReferencesAnderson, Benedict R. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso, 2016.Asen, Robert. “A Discourse Theory of Citizenship.” Quarterly Journal of Speech 90.2 (2004): 189-211. 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Pargman, Daniel. "The Fabric of Virtual Reality." M/C Journal 3, no.5 (October1, 2000). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1877.

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Introduction -- Making Sense of the (Virtual) World Computer games are never "just games". Computer games are models of reality and if they were not, we would never be able to understand them. Models serve three functions; they capture important, critical features of that which is to be represented while ignoring the irrelevant, they are appropriate for the person and they are appropriate for the task -- thereby enhancing the ability to make judgements and discover relevant regularities and structures (Norman 1993). Despite the inherently unvisualisable nature of computer code -- the flexible material of which all software constructs are built -- computer code is still the most "salient" ingredient in computer games. Less salient are those assumptions that are "built into" the software. By filtering out those parts of reality that are deemed irrelevant or unnecessary, different sorts of assumptions, different sorts of bias are automatically built into the software, reified in the very computer code (Friedman 1995, Friedman and Nissenbaum 1997). Here I will analyse some of the built-in structures that constitute the fabric of a special sort of game, a MUD. A MUD is an Internet-accessible "multi-participant, user-extensible virtual reality whose user interface is entirely textual" (Curtis, 1992). The specific MUD in question is a nine-year old Swedish-language adventure MUD called SvenskMUD ("SwedishMUD") that is run by Lysator, the academic computer club at Linköping University, Sweden. I have done field studies of SvenskMUD over a period of three and a half years (Pargman, forthcoming 2000). How is the SvenskMUD adventure world structured and what are the rules that are built into the fabric of this computer game? I will describe some of the ways in which danger and death, good and evil, courage, rewards and wealth are handled in the game. I will conclude the paper with a short analysis of the purpose of configuring the player according to those structures. Revocable Deaths Characters (personae/avatars) in SvenskMUD can be divided into two categories, players and magicians. Making a career as a player to a large part involves solving quests and killing "monsters" in the game. The magicians are all ex-players who have "graduated" and gone beyond playing the game of SvenskMUD. They have become the administrators, managers and programmers of SvenskMUD. A watchful eye is kept on the magicians by "God", the creator, owner and ultimate custodian of SvenskMUD. My own first battle in the game, in a sunlit graveyard with a small mouse, is an example of a bit-sized danger suitable for newcomers, or "newbies". I correctly guessed that the mouse was a suitably weak opponent for my newborn character, but still had to "tickle" the mouse on its belly (a euphemism for hitting it without much force) 50 times before I managed to kill it. Other parts of this epic battle included 45 failed attempts of mine to "tickle" the mouse, 39 successful "tickles" of the mouse and finally a wild chase around the graveyard before I caught up with the mouse, cornered it and managed to kill it and end the fight. Although I was successful in my endeavour, I was also more than half dead after my run-in with the mouse and had to spend quite some time engaged in more peaceful occupations before I was completely healed. It was only later that I learned that you can improve your odds considerably by using weapons and armour when you fight... Should a SvenskMUD player fail in his (or less often, her) risky and adventurous career and die, that does not constitute an insurmountable problem. Should such a thing pass, the player's ghost only has to find the way back to a church in one of the villages. In the church, the player is reincarnated, albeit with some loss of game-related abilities and experience. The way the unfortunate event of an occasional death is handled is part of the meta-rules of SvenskMUD. The meta-rules are the implicit, underlying rules that represent the values, practices and concerns that shape the frame from which the "ordinary" specific rules operate. Meta-rules are part of the "world view that directs the game action and represents the implicit philosophy or ideals by which the world operates" (Fine 1983, 76). Despite the adventure setting with all its hints of medieval lawlessness and unknown dangers lurking, SvenskMUD is in fact a very caring and forgiving environment. The ultimate proof of SvenskMUD's forgiveness is the revocable character of death itself. Fair Dangers Another SvenskMUD meta-rule is that dangers (and death) should be "fair". This fairness is extended so as to warn players explicitly of dangers. Before a dangerous monster is encountered, the player receives plenty of warnings: You are standing in the dark woods. You feel a little afraid. East of you is a small dark lake in the woods. There are three visible ways from here: east, north and south. It would be foolish to direct my character to go east in this situation without being adequately prepared for encountering and taking on something dangerous in battle. Those preparations should include a readiness to flee if the expected danger proves to be superior. If, in the example above, a player willingly and knowingly directs a character to walk east, that player has to face the consequences of this action. But if another player is very cautious and has no reason to suspect a deadly danger lurking behind the corner, it is not considered "fair" if that player's character dies or is hurt in such a way that it results in damage that has far-reaching consequences within the game. The dangerous monsters that roam the SvenskMUD world are restricted to roam only "dangerous" areas and it is considered good manners to warn players in some way when they enter such an area. Part of learning how to play SvenskMUD successfully becomes a matter of understanding different cues, such as the transition from a safe area to a dangerous one, or the different levels of danger signalled by different situations. Should they not know it in advance, players quickly learn that it is not advisable to enter the "Valley of Ultimate Evil" unless they have reached a very high level in the game and are prepared to take on any dangers that come their way. As with all other meta-rules, both players and magicians internalise this rule to such an extent that it becomes unquestionable and any transgression (such as a dangerous monster roaming around in a village, killing newbie characters who happen to stray its way) would immediately render complaints from players and corresponding actions on behalf of the magicians to rectify the situation. Meta-Rules as "Folk Ideas" Fine (1983, 76-8) enumerates four meta-rules that Dundes (1971) has described and applies them to the fantasy role-playing games he has studied. Dundes's term for these meta-rules is "folk ideas" and they reflect existing North American (and Western European) cultural beliefs. Fine shows that these folk ideas capture core beliefs or central values of the fantasy role-playing games he studied. Three of Dundes's four folk ideas are also directly applicable to SvenskMUD. Unlimited Wealth The first folk idea is the principle of unlimited good. There is no end to growth or wealth. For that reason, treasure found in a dungeon doesn't need a rationale for being there. This folk idea is related to the modernist concept of constant, unlimited progress. "Some referees even 'restock' their dungeons when players have found a particular treasure so that the next time someone enters that room (and kills the dragon or other beasties guarding it) they, too, will be rewarded" (Fine 1983, 76). To restock all treasures and reawaken all killed monsters at regular intervals is standard procedure in SvenskMUD and all other adventure MUDs. The technical term is that the game "resets". The reason why a MUD resets at regular intervals is that, while the MUD itself is finite, there is no end to the number of players who want their share of treasures and other goodies. The handbook for SvenskMUD magicians contains "design guidelines" for creating quests: You have to invent a small story about your quest. The typical scenario is that someone needs help with something. It is good if you can get the story together in such a way that it is possible to explain why it can be solved several times, since the quest will be solved, once for each prospective magician. Perhaps a small spectacle a short while after (while the player is pondering the reward) that in some way restore things in such a way that it can be solved again. (Tolke 1993, my translation) Good and Evil The second folk idea is that the world is a battleground between good and evil. In fantasy literature or a role-playing game there is often no in-between and very seldom any doubt whether someone encountered is good or evil, as "referees often express the alignment [moral character] of nonplayer characters through stereotyped facial features or symbolic colours" (Fine 1983, 77). "Good and evil" certainly exists as a structuring resource for the SvenskMUD world, but interestingly the players are not able to be described discretely in these terms. As distinct from role-playing games, a SvenskMUD player is not created with different alignments (good, evil or neutral). All players are instead neutral and they acquire an alignment as they go along, playing SvenskMUD -- the game. If a player kills a lot of mice and cute rabbits, that player will turn first wicked and then evil. If a player instead kills trolls and orcs, that player first turns good and then saint-like. Despite the potential fluidity of alignment in SvenskMUD, some players cultivate an aura of being good or evil and position themselves in opposition to each other. This is most apparent with two of the guilds (associations) in SvenskMUD, the Necromancer's guild and the Light order's guild. Courage Begets Rewards The third folk idea is the importance of courage. Dangers and death operate in a "fair" way, as should treasures and rewards. The SvenskMUD world is structured both so as not to harm or kill players "needlessly", and in such a way that it conveys the message "no guts, no glory" to the players. In different places in the MUD (usually close to a church, where new players start), there are "easy" areas with bit-sized dangers and rewards for beginners. My battle with the mouse was an example of such a danger/reward. A small coin or an empty bottle that can be returned for a small finder's fee are examples of other bit-sized rewards: The third folk idea is the importance of courage. Dangers and death operate in a "fair" way, as should treasures and rewards. The SvenskMUD world is structured both so as not to harm or kill players "needlessly", and in such a way that it conveys the message "no guts, no glory" to the players. In different places in the MUD (usually close to a church, where new players start), there are "easy" areas with bit-sized dangers and rewards for beginners. My battle with the mouse was an example of such a danger/reward. A small coin or an empty bottle that can be returned for a small finder's fee are examples of other bit-sized rewards: More experienced characters gain experience points (xps) and rise in levels only by seeking out and overcoming danger and "there is a positive correlation between the danger in a setting and its payoff in treasure" (Fine 1983, 78). Just as it would be "unfair" to die without adequate warning, so would it be (perceived to be) grossly unfair to seek out and overcome dangerous monsters or situations without being adequately rewarded. And conversely, it would be perceived to be unfair if someone "stumbled over the treasure" without having deserved it, i.e. if someone was rewarded without having performed an appropriately difficult task. Taken from the information on etiquette in an adventure MUD, Reid's quote is a good example of this: It's really bad form to steal someone else's kill. Someone has been working on the Cosmicly Invulnerable Utterly Unstoppable Massively Powerful Space Demon for ages, leaves to get healed, and in the interim, some dweeb comes along and whacks the Demon and gets all it's [sic] stuff and tons of xps [experience points]. This really sucks as the other person has spent lots of time and money in expectation of the benefits from killing the monster. The graceful thing to do is to give em [sic] all the stuff from the corpse and compensation for the money spent on healing. This is still a profit to you as you got all the xps and spent practically no time killing it. (Reid 1999, 122, my emphasis) The User Illusion An important objective of the magicians in SvenskMUD is to describe everything that a player experiences in the SvenskMUD world in game-related terms. The game is regarded as a stage where the players are supposed to see only what is in front of, but not behind the scenes. A consistent use of game-related terms and game-related explanations support the suspension of disbelief and engrossment in the SvenskMUD fantasy world. The main activity of the MUD users should be to enter into the game and guide their characters through a fascinating (and, as much as possible and on its own terms, believable) fantasy world. The guiding principle is therefore that the player should never be reminded of the fact that the SvenskMUD world is not for real, that SvenskMUD is only a game or a computer program. From this perspective, the worst thing players can encounter in SvenskMUD is a breakdown of the user illusion, a situation that instantly transports a person from the SvenskMUD world and leaves that person sitting in front of a computer screen. Error messages, e.g. the feared "you have encountered a bug [in the program]", are an example of this. If a magician decides to change the SvenskMUD world, that magician is supposed to do the very best to explain the change by using game-related jargon. This is reminiscent of the advice to "work within the system": "wherever possible, things that can be done within the framework of the experiential level should be. The result will be smoother operation and greater harmony among the user community" (Morningstar and Farmer 1991, 294). If for some reason a shop has to be moved from one village to another, a satisfactory explanation must be given, e.g. a fire occurring in the old shop or the old shop being closed due to competition (perhaps from the "new", relocated shop). Explanations that involve supernatural forces or magic are also fine in a fantasy world. Explanations that remind the player of the fact that the SvenskMUD world is not for real ("I moved the shop to Eriksros, because all magicians decided that it would be so much better to have it there"), or even worse, that SvenskMUD is a computer program ("I moved the program shop.c to another catalogue in the file structure") are to be avoided at all costs. Part of socialising magicians becomes teaching them to express themselves in this way even when they know better about the machinations of SvenskMud. There are several examples of ingenious and imaginative ways to render difficult-to-explain phenomena understandable in game-related terms: There was a simple problem that appeared at times that made the computer [that SvenskMUD runs on] run a little slower, and as time went by the problem got worse. I could fix the problem easily when I saw it and I did that at times. After I had fixed the problem the game went noticeably faster for the players that were logged in. For those occasions, I made up a message and displayed it to everyone who was in the system: "Linus reaches into the nether regions and cranks a little faster". (Interview with Linus Tolke, "God" in SvenskMUD) When a monster is killed in the game, it rots away (disappears) after a while. However, originally, weapons and armour that the monster wielded did not disappear; a lucky player could find valuable objects and take them without having "deserved" them. This specific characteristic of the game was deemed to be a problem, not least because it furthered a virtual inflation in the game that tended to decrease the value of "honestly" collected weapons and loot. The problem was discussed at a meeting of the SvenskMUD magicians that I attended. It was decided that when a monster is killed and the character that killed it does not take the loot, the loot should disappear ("rot") together with the monster. But how should this be explained to the players in a suitable way if they approach a magician to complain about the change, a change that in their opinion was for the worse? At the meeting it was suggested that from now on, all weapons and shields were forged with a cheaper, weaker metal. Not only would objects of this metal "rot" away together with the monster that wielded them, but it was also suggested that all weapons in the whole game should in fact be worn down as time goes by. (Not to worry, new ones appear in all the pre-designated places every time the game resets.) Conclusion -- Configuring the Player SvenskMUD can easily be perceived as a "blooming buzzing confusion" for a new player and my own first explorations in SvenskMUD often left me confused even as I was led from one enlightenment to the next. Not everyone feels inclined to take up the challenge to make sense of a world where you have to learn everything anew, including how to walk and how to talk. On the other hand, in the game world, much is settled for the best, and a crack in a subterranean cave is always exactly big enough to squeeze through... The process of becoming part of the community of SvenskMUD players is inexorably connected to learning to become an expert in the activities of that community, i.e. of playing SvenskMUD (Wenger 1998). A player who wants to program in SvenskMUD (thereby altering the fabric of the virtual world) will acquire many of the relevant concepts before actually becoming a magician, just by playing and exploring the game of SvenskMUD. Even if the user illusion succeeds in always hiding the computer code from the player, the whole SvenskMUD world constitutes a reflection of that underlying computer code. An implicit understanding of the computer code is developed through extended use of SvenskMUD. The relationship between the SvenskMUD world and the underlying computer code is in this sense analogous to the relationship between the lived-in world and the rules of physics that govern the world. All around us children "prepare themselves" to learn the subject of physics in school by throwing balls up in the air (gravity) and by pulling carts or sledges (friction). By playing SvenskMUD, a player will become accustomed to many of the concepts that govern the SvenskMUD world and will come to understand the goals, symbols, procedures and values of SvenskMUD. This process bears many similarities to the "primary socialisation" of a child into a member of society, a socialisation that serves "to make appear as necessity what is in fact a bundle of contingencies" (Berger and Luckmann 1966, 155). This is the purpose of configuring the player and it is intimately connected to the re-growth of SvenskMUD magicians and the survival of SvenskMUD itself over time. However, it is not the only possible outcome of the SvenskMUD socialisation process. The traditional function of trials and quests in fantasy literature is to teach the hero, usually through a number of external or internal encounters with evil or doubt, to make the right, moral choices. By excelling at these tests, the protagonist shows his or her worthiness and by extension also stresses and perhaps imputes these values in the reader (Dalquist et al. 1991). Adventure MUDs could thus socialise adolescents and reinforce common moral values in society; "the fantasy hero is the perfectly socialised and exemplary subject of a society" (53, my translation). My point here is not that SvenskMUD differs from other adventure MUDs. I would imagine that most of my observations are general to adventure MUDs and that many are applicable also to other computer games. My purpose here has rather been to present a perspective on how an adventure MUD is structured, to trace the meaning of that structure beyond the game itself and to suggest a purpose behind that organisation. I encourage others to question built-in bias and underlying assumptions of computer games (and other systems) in future studies. References Berger, P., and T. Luckmann. The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge. London: Penguin, 1966. Curtis, P. "MUDding: Social Phenomena in Text-Based Virtual Realities." High Noon on the Electronic Frontier. Ed. P. Ludlow. Cambridge, MA: MIT P, 1996. 13 Oct. 2000 <http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/academic/computer-science/virtual-reality/communications/papers/muds/muds/Mudding-Social-Phenomena.txt>. Dalquist, U., T. Lööv, and F. Miegel. "Trollkarlens lärlingar: Fantasykulturen och manlig identitetsutveckling [The Wizard's Apprentices: Fantasy Culture and Male Identity Development]." Att förstå ungdom [Understanding Youth]. Ed. A. Löfgren and M. Norell. Stockholm/Stehag: Brutus Östlings Bokförlag Symposion, 1991. Dundes, A. "Folk Ideas as Units of World View." Toward New Perspectives in Folklore. Ed. A. Paredes and R. Bauman. Austin: U of Texas P, 1971. Fine, G.A. Shared Fantasy: Role-Playing Games as Social Worlds. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1983. Friedman, B. and H. Nissenbaum. "Bias in Computer Systems." Human Values and the Design of Computer Technology. Ed. B. Friedman. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge UP, 1997. Friedman, T. "Making Sense of Software: Computer Games and Interactive Textuality." Cybersociety: Computer-Mediated Communication and Community. Ed. S. Jones. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1995. Morningstar, C. and F. R. Farmer. "The Lessons of Lucasfilm's Habitat." Cyberspace: The First Steps. Ed. M. Benedikt. Cambridge: MA, MIT P, 1991. 13 Oct. 2000 <http://www.communities.com/company/papers/lessons.php>. Norman, D. Things That Make Us Smart: Defending Human Attributes in the Age of the Machine. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1993. Pargman, D. "Code Begets Community: On Social and Technical Aspects of Managing a Virtual Community." Ph.D. dissertation. Dept. of Communication Studies, Linköping University, Sweden, forthcoming, December 2000. Reid, E. "Hierarchy and Power: Social Control in Cyberspace." Communities in Cyberspace. Ed. M. Smith and P. Kollock. London, England: Routledge, 1999. Tolke, L. Handbok för SvenskMudmagiker: ett hjälpmedel för byggarna i SvenskMUD [Handbook for SvenskMudmagicians: An Aid for the Builders in SvenskMUD]. Printed and distributed by the author in a limited edition, 1993. Wenger, E. Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning and Identity. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge UP, 1998. Citation reference for this article MLA style: Daniel Pargman. "The Fabric of Virtual Reality -- Courage, Rewards and Death in an Adventure MUD." M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 3.5 (2000). [your date of access] <http://www.api-network.com/mc/0010/mud.php>. Chicago style: Daniel Pargman, "The Fabric of Virtual Reality -- Courage, Rewards and Death in an Adventure MUD," M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 3, no. 5 (2000), <http://www.api-network.com/mc/0010/mud.php> ([your date of access]). APA style: Daniel Pargman. (2000) The Fabric of Virtual Reality -- Courage, Rewards and Death in an Adventure MUD. M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 3(5). <http://www.api-network.com/mc/0010/mud.php> ([your date of access]).

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Lewis, Tania, Annette Markham, and Indigo Holcombe-James. "Embracing Liminality and "Staying with the Trouble" on (and off) Screen." M/C Journal 24, no.3 (June21, 2021). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2781.

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Abstract:

Setting the Mood Weirdly, everything feels the same. There’s absolutely no distinction for me between news, work, walking, gaming, Netflix, rock collecting, scrolling, messaging. I don’t know how this happened, but everything has simply blurred together. There’s a dreadful and yet soothing sameness to it, scrolling through images on Instagram, scrolling Netflix, walking the dog, scrolling the news, time scrolling by as I watch face after face appear or disappear on my screen, all saying something, yet saying nothing. Is this the rhythm of crisis in a slow apocalypse? Really, would it be possible for humans to just bore themselves into oblivion? Because in the middle of a pandemic, boredom feels in my body the same as doom ... just another swell that passes, like my chest as it rises and falls with my breath. This opening anecdote comes from combining narratives in two studies we conducted online during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020: a global study, Massive and Microscopic Sensemaking: Autoethnographic Accounts of Lived Experience in Times of Global Trauma; and an Australian project, The Shut-In Worker: Working from Home and Digitally-Enabled Labour Practices. The Shut-In Worker project aimed to investigate the thoughts, beliefs, and experiences of Australian knowledge workers working from home during lockdown. From June to October 2020, we recruited twelve households across two Australian states. While the sample included households with diverse incomes and living arrangements—from metropolitan single person apartment dwellers to regional families in free standing households—the majority were relatively privileged. The households included in this study were predominantly Anglo-Australian and highly educated. Critically, unlike many during COVID-19, these householders had maintained their salaried work. Participating households took part in an initial interview via Zoom or Microsoft Teams during which they took us on workplace tours, showing us where and how the domestic had been requisitioned for salaried labour. Householders subsequently kept digital diaries of their working days ahead of follow up interviews in which we got them to reflect on their past few weeks working from home with reference to the textual and photographic diaries they had shared with us. In contrast to the tight geographic focus of The Shut-In Worker project and its fairly conventional methodology, the Massive and Microscopic Sensemaking project was envisaged as a global project and driven by an experimental participant-led approach. Involving more than 150 people from 26 countries during 2020, the project was grounded in autoethnography practice and critical pedagogy. Over 21 days, we offered self-guided prompts for ourselves and the other participants—a wide range of creative practitioners, scholar activists, and researchers—to explore their own lived experience. Participants with varying degrees of experience with qualitative methods and/or autoethnography started working with the research questions we had posed in our call; some independently, some in collaboration. The autoethnographic lens used in our study encouraged contributors to document their experience from and through their bodies, their situated daily routines, and their relations with embedded, embodied, and ubiquitous digital technologies. The lens enabled deep exploration and evocation of many of the complexities, profound paradoxes, fears, and hopes that characterise the human and machinic entanglements that bring us together and separate the planetary “us” in this moment (Markham et al. 2020). In this essay we draw on anecdotes and narratives from both studies that speak to the “Zoom experience” during COVID-19. That is, we use Zoom as a socio-technical pivot point to think about how the experience of liminality—of being on/off screen and ambiently in between—is operating to shift both our micro practices and macro structures as we experience and struggle within the rupture, “event”, and conjuncture that marks the global pandemic. What we will see is that many of those narratives depict disjointed, blurry, or confusing experiences, atmospheres, and affects. These liminal experiences are entangled in complex ways with the distinctive forms of commercial infrastructure and software that scaffold video conferencing platforms such as Zoom. Part of what is both enabling and troubling about the key proprietary platforms that increasingly host “public” participation and conversation online (and that came to play a dominant role during COVID19) in the context of what Tarleton Gillespie calls “the internet of platforms” is a sense of the hidden logics behind such platforms. The constant sense of potential dis/connection—with home computers becoming ambient portals to external others—also saw a wider experience of boundarylessness evoked by participants. Across our studies there was a sense of a complete breakdown between many pre-existing boundaries (or at least dotted lines) around work, school, play, leisure and fitness, public and media engagement, and home life. At the same time, the vocabulary of confinement and lockdown emerged from the imposition of physical boundaries or distancing between the self and others, between home and the outside world. During the “connected confinement” of COVID-19, study participants commonly expressed an affective sensation of dysphoria, with this new state of in betweenness or disorientation on and off screen, in and out of Zoom meetings, that characterises the COVID-19 experience seen by many as a temporary, unpleasant disruption to sociality as usual. Our contention is that, as disturbing as many of our experiences are and have been during lockdown, there is an important, ethically and politically generative dimension to our global experiences of liminality, and we should hold on to this state of de-normalisation. Much ink has been spilled on the generalised, global experience of videoconferencing during the COVID-19 pandemic. A line of argument within this commentary speaks to the mental challenge and exhaustion—or zoom fatigue as it is now popularly termed—that many have been experiencing in attempting to work, learn, and live collectively via interactive screen technologies. We suggest zoom fatigue stands in for a much larger set of global social challenges—a complex conjuncture of microscopic ruptures, decisions within many critical junctures or turning points, and slow shifts in how we see and make sense of the world around us. If culture is habit writ large, what should we make of the new habits we are building, or the revelations that our prior ways of being in the world might not suit our present planetary needs, and maybe never did? Thus, we counter the current dominant narrative that people, regions, and countries should move on, pivot, or do whatever else it takes to transition to a “new normal”. Instead, drawing on the work of Haraway and others interested in more than human, post-anthropocenic thinking about the future, this essay contends that—on a dying planet facing major global challenges—we need to be embracing liminality and “staying with the trouble” if we are to hope to work together to imagine and create better worlds. This is not necessarily an easy step but we explore liminality and the affective components of Zoom fatigue here to challenge the assumption that stability and certainty is what we now need as a global community. If the comfort experienced by a chosen few in pre-COVID-19 times was bought at the cost of many “others” (human and more than human), how can we use the discomfort of liminality to imagine global futures that have radically transformative possibilities? On Liminality Because liminality is deeply affective and experienced both individually and collectively, it is a difficult feeling or state to put into words, much less generalised terms. It marks the uncanny or unstable experience of existing between. Being in a liminal state is marked by a profound disruption of one’s sense of self, one’s phenomenological being in the world, and in relation to others. Zoom, in and of itself, provokes a liminal experience. As this participant says: Zoom is so disorienting. I mean this literally; in that I cannot find a solid orientation toward other people. What’s worse is that I realize everyone has a different view, so we can’t even be sure of what other people might be seeing on their screen. In a real room this would not be an issue at all. The concept of liminality originally came out of attempts to capture the sense of flux and transition, rather than stasis, that shapes culture and community, exemplified during rites of passage. First developed in the early twentieth century by ethnographer and folklorist Arnold van Gennep, it was later taken up and expanded upon by British anthropologist Victor Turner. Turner, best known for his work on cultural rituals and rites of passage, describes liminality as the sense of “in betweenness” experienced as one moves from one status (say that of a child) to another (formal recognition of adulthood). For Turner, community life and the formation of societies more broadly involves periods of transition, threshold moments in which both structures and anti-structures become apparent. Bringing liminality into the contemporary digital moment, Zizi Papacharissi discusses the concept in collective terms as pertaining to the affective states of networked publics, particularly visible in the development of new social and political formations through wide scale social media responses to the Arab Spring. Liminality in this context describes the “not yet”, a state of “pre-emergence” or “emergence” of unformed potentiality. In this usage, Papacharissi builds on Turner’s description of liminality as “a realm of pure possibility whence novel configurations of ideas and relations may arise” (97). The pandemic has sparked another moment of liminality. Here, we conceptualise liminality as a continuous dialectical process of being pushed and pulled in various directions, which does not necessarily resolve into a stable state or position. Shifting one’s entire lifeworld into and onto computer screens and the micro screens of Zoom, as experienced by many around the world, collapses the usual functioning norms that maintain some degree of distinction between the social, intimate, political, and work spheres of everyday life. But this shift also creates new boundaries and new rules of engagement. As a result, people in our studies often talked about experiencing competing realities about “where” they are, and/or a feeling of being tugged by contradictory or competing forces that, because they cannot be easily resolved, keep us in an unsettled, uncomfortable state of being in the world. Here the dysphoric experiences associated not just with digital liminality but with the broader COVID-19 epidemiological-socio-political conjuncture are illustrated by Sianne Ngai’s work on the politics of affect and “ugly feelings” in the context of capitalism’s relentlessly affirmative culture. Rather than dismissing the vague feelings of unease that, for many of us, go hand in hand with late modern life, Ngai suggests that such generalised and dispersed affective states are important markers of and guides to the big social and cultural problems of our time—the injustices, inequalities, and alienating effects of late capitalism. While critical attention tends to be paid to more powerful emotions such as anger and fear, Ngai argues that softer and more nebulous forms of negative affect—from envy and anxiety to paranoia—can tell us much about the structures, institutions, and practices that frame social action. These enabling and constraining processes occur at different and intersecting levels. At the micro level of the screen interface, jarring experiences can set us to wondering about where we are (on or off screen, in place and space), how we appear to others, and whether or not we should showcase and highlight our “presence”. We have been struck by how people in our studies expressed the sense of being handled or managed by the interfaces of Zoom or Microsoft Teams, which frame people in grid layouts, yet can shift and alter these frames in unanticipated ways. I hate Zoom. Everything about it. Sometimes I see a giant person, shoved to the front of the meeting in “speaker view” to appear larger than anyone else on the screen. People constantly appear and disappear, popping in and out. Sometimes, Zoom just rearranges people seemingly randomly. People commonly experience themselves or others being resized, frozen, or “glitched”, muted, accidentally unmuted, suddenly disconnected, or relegated to the second or third “page” of attendees. Those of us who attend many meetings as a part of work or education may enjoy the anonymity of appearing at a meeting without our faces or bodies, only appearing to others as a nearly blank square or circle, perhaps with a notation of our name and whether or not we are muted. Being on the third page of participants means we are out of sight, for better or worse. For some, being less visible is a choice, even a tactic. For others, it is not a choice, but based on lack of access to a fast or stable Internet connection. The experience and impact of these micro elements of presence within the digital moment differs, depending on where you appear to others in the interface, how much power you have over the shape or flow of the interaction or interface settings, or what your role is. Moving beyond the experience of the interface and turning to the middle range between micro and macro worlds, participants speak of attempting to manage blurred or completely collapsed boundaries between “here” and “there”. Being neither completely at work or school nor completely at home means finding new ways of negotiating the intimate and the formal, the domestic and the public. This delineation is for many not a matter of carving out specific times or spaces for each, but rather a process of shifting back and forth between makeshift boundaries that may be temporal or spatial, depending on various aspects of one’s situation. Many of us most likely could see the traces of this continuous shifting back and forth via what Susan Leigh Star called “boundary objects”. While she may not have intended this concept in such concrete terms, we could see these literally, in the often humorous but significantly disruptive introduction of various domestic actants during school or work, such as pets, children, partners, laundry baskets, beds, distinctive home decor, ambient noise, etc. Other trends highlight the difficulty of maintaining zones of work and school when these overlap with the rest of the physical household. One might place Post-it Notes on the kitchen wall saying “I’m in a Zoom meeting so don’t come into the living room” or blur one’s screen background to obscure one’s domestic location. These are all strategies of maintaining ontological security in an otherwise chaotic process of being both here and there, and neither here nor there. Yet even with these strategies, there is a constant dialectical liminality at play. In none of these examples do participants feel like they are either at home or at work; instead, they are constantly shifting in between, trying to balance, or straddling physical and virtual, public and private, in terms of social “roles” and “locations”. These negotiations highlight the “ongoingness” of and the labour involved in maintaining some semblance of balance within what is inherently an unbalanced dialectical process. Participants talked about and showed in their diaries and pictures developed for the research projects the ways they act through, work with, or sometimes just try to ignore these opposing states. The rise of home-based videoconferencing and associated boundary management practices have also highlighted what has been marginalised or forgotten and conversely, prioritised or valorised in prior sociotechnical assemblages that were simply taken for granted. Take for example the everyday practices of being in a work versus domestic lifeworld; deciding how to handle the labor of cleaning cups and dishes used by the “employees” and “students” in the family throughout the day, the tasks of enforcing school attendance by children attending classes in the family home etc. This increased consciousness—at both a household and more public level—of a previously often invisible and feminised care economy speaks to larger questions raised by the lockdown experience. At the same time as people in our studies were negotiating the glitches of screen presence and the weird boundarylessness of home-leisure-domestic-school-work life, many expressed an awareness of a troubling bigger picture. First, we had just the COVID lockdowns, you know, that time where many of us were seemingly “all together” in this, at home watching Tiger King, putting neighborly messages in our windows, or sharing sourdough recipes on social media. Then Black Lives Matters movements happened. Suddenly attention is shifted to the fact that we’re not all in this together. In Melbourne, people in social housing towers got abruptly locked down without even the chance to go to the store for food first, and yet somehow the wealthy or celebrity types are not under this heavy surveillance; they can just skip the mandatory quarantine. ... We can’t just go on with things as usual ... there are so many considerations now. Narratives like these suggest that while 2020 might have begun with the pandemic, the year raised multiple other issues. As many things have been destabilised, the nature or practice of everyday life is shifting under our feet. Around the world, people are learning how to remain more distanced from each other, and the rhythms of temporal and geographic movement are adapting to an era of the pandemic. Simultaneously, many people talk about an endlessly arriving (but never quite here) moment when things will be back to normal, implying not only that this feeling of uncertainty will fade, but also that the zone of comfort is in what was known and experienced previously, rather than in a state of something radically different. This sentiment is strong despite the general agreement that “we will never [be able to] go back to how it was, but [must] proceed to some ‘new normal’”. Still, as the participant above suggests, the pandemic has also offered a much broader challenge to wider, taken-for-granted social, political, and economic structures that underpin late capitalist nations in particular. The question then becomes: How do we imagine “moving on” from the pandemic, while learning from the disruptive yet critical moment it has offered us as a global community? Learning from Liminality I don’t want us to go back to “normal”, if that means we are just all commuting in our carbon spitting cars to work and back or traveling endlessly and without a care for the planet. COVID has made my life better. Not having to drive an hour each way to work every day—that’s a massive benefit. While it’s been a struggle, the tradeoff is spending more time with loved ones—it’s a better quality of life, we have to rethink the place of work. I can’t believe how much more I’ve been involved in huge discussions about politics and society and the planet. None of this would have been on my radar pre-COVID. What would it mean then to live with as well as learn from the reflexive sense of being and experience associated with the dis-comforts of living on and off screen, a Zoom liminality, if you will? These statements from participants speak precisely to the budding consciousness of new potential ways of being in a post-COVID-19 world. They come from a place of discomfort and represent dialectic tensions that perhaps should not be shrugged off or too easily resolved. Indeed, how might we consider this as the preferred state, rather than being simply a “rite of passage” that implies some pathway toward more stable identities and structured ways of being? The varied concepts of “becoming”, “not quite yet”, “boundary work”, or “staying with the trouble”, elaborated by Karen Barad, Andrew Pickering, Susan Leigh Star, and Donna Haraway respectively, all point to ways of being, acting, and thinking through and with liminality. All these thinkers are linked by their championing of murky and mangled conceptions of experience and more than human relations. Challenging notions of the bounded individual of rational humanism, these post-human scholars offer an often-uncomfortable picture of being in and through multiplicity, of modes of agency born out of a slippage between the one and the many. While, as we noted above, this experience of in betweenness and entanglement is often linked to emotions we perceive as negative, “ugly feelings”, for Barad et al., such liminal moments offer fundamentally productive and experimental modalities that enable possibilities for new configurations of being and doing the social in the anthropocene. Further, liminality as a concept potentially becomes radically progressive when it is seen as both critically appraising the constructed and conventional nature of prior patterns of living and offering a range of reflexive alternatives. People in our studies spoke of the pandemic moment as offering tantalizing glimpses of what kinder, more caring, and egalitarian futures might look like. At the same time, many were also surprised by (and skeptical of) the banality and randomness of the rise of commercial platforms like Zoom as a “choice” for being with others in this current lifeworld, emerging as it did as an ad hoc, quick solution that met the demands of the moment. Zoom fatigue then also suggests a discomfort about somehow being expected to fully incorporate proprietary platforms like Zoom and their algorithmic logics as a core way of living and being in the post-COVID-19 world. In this sense the fact that a specific platform has become a branded eponym for the experience of online public communicative fatigue is telling indeed. The unease around the centrality of video conferencing to everyday life during COVID-19 can in part be seen as a marker of anxieties about the growing role of decentralized, private platforms in “replacing or merging with public infrastructure, [thereby] creating new social effects” (Lee). Further, jokes and off-hand comments by study participants about their messy domestic interiors being publicized via social media or their boss monitoring when they are on and offline speak to larger concerns around surveillance and privacy in online spaces, particularly communicative environments where unregulated private platforms rather than public infrastructures are becoming the default norm. But just as people are both accepting of and troubled by a growing sense of inevitability about Zoom, we also saw them experimenting with a range of other ways of being with others, from online co*cktail parties to experimenting with more playful and creative apps and platforms. What these participants have shown us is the need to “stay with the trouble” or remain in this liminal space as long as possible. While we do not have the space to discuss this possibility in this short provocation, Haraway sees this experimental mode of being as involving multiple actants, human and nonhuman, and as constituting important work in terms of speculating and figuring with various “what if” scenarios to generate new possible futures. As Haraway puts it, this process of speculative figuring is one of giving and receiving patterns, dropping threads, and so mostly failing but sometimes finding something that works, something consequential and maybe even beautiful, that wasn’t there before, of relaying connections that matter, of telling stories in hand upon hand, digit upon digit, attachment site upon attachment site, to craft conditions for flourishing in terran worlding. This struggle of course takes us far beyond decisions about Zoom, specifically. This deliberately troubling liminality is a process of recognizing old habits, building new ones, doing the hard work of reconsidering broader social formations in a future that promises more trouble. Governments, institutions, corporate entities, and even social movements like Transition Towns or #BuildBackBetter all seem to be calling for getting out of this liminal zone, whether this is to “bounce back” by returning to hyper-consumerist, wasteful, profit-driven modes of life or the opposite, to “bounce forward” to radically rethink globalization and build intensely localized personal and social formations. Perhaps a third alternative is to embrace this very transitional experience itself and consider whether life on a troubled, perhaps dying planet might require our discomfort, unease, and in-betweenness, including acknowledging and sometimes embracing “glitches” and failures (Nunes). Transitionality, or more broadly liminality, has the potential to enhance our understanding of who and what “we” are, or perhaps more crucially who “we” might become, by encompassing a kind of dialectic in relation to the experiences of others, both intimate and distant. As many critical commentators before us have suggested, this necessarily involves working in conjunction with a rich ecology of planetary agents from First People’s actors and knowledge systems--a range of social agents who already know what it is to be liminal to landscapes and other species--through and with the enabling affordances of digital technologies. This is an important, and exhausting, process of change. And perhaps this trouble is something to hang on to as long as possible, as it preoccupies us with wondering about what is happening in the lines between our faces, the lines of the technologies underpinning our interactions, the taken for granted structures on and off screen that have been visibilized. We are fatigued, not by the time we spend online, although there is that, too, but by the recognition that the world is changing. References Barad, Karen. Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning. Duke UP, 2006. Gillespie, Tarleton. Custodians of the Internet: Platforms, Content Moderation, and the Hidden Decisions That Shape Social Media. Yale UP 2018. Haraway, Donna J. “SF: Science Fiction, Speculative Fabulation, String Figures, So Far.” Ada New Media 3 (2013). <http://adanewmedia.org/2013/11/issue3-haraway>. Lee, Ashlin. “In the Shadow of Platforms: Challenges and Opportunities for the Shadow of Hierarchy in the Age of Platforms and Datafication.” M/C Journal 24.2 (2021). <http://doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2750>. Markham, Annette N., et al. “Massive and Microscopic Sensemaking during COVID-19 Times.” Qualitative Inquiry Oct. 2020. <https://doi.org/10.1177/1077800420962477>. Ngai, Sianne. Ugly Feelings. Harvard UP, 2005. Nunes, Mark. Error, Glitch, Noise and Jam in New Media Cultures. Bloomsbury, 2012. Papacharissi, Zizi. Affective Publics: Sentiment, Technology, and Politics. Oxford UP, 2015. Pickering, Andrew. “The Mangle of Practice: Agency and Emergence in the Sociology of Science.” American Journal of Sociology 99.3 (1993): 559-89. Star, Susan Leigh. “The Structure of Ill-Structured Solutions: Boundary Objects and Heterogeneous Distributed Problem Solving.” Readings in Distributed Artificial Intelligence. Eds. Les Gasser and Michael N. Huhns. Kaufman, 1989. 37-54. Turner, Victor. “Betwixt and Between: The Liminal Period in Rites de Passage.” The Forests of Symbols: Aspects of Ndembu Ritual. Cornell UP, 1967. 93-111. Turner, Victor. “Liminality and Communitas”. The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure. Chicago: Al<line Publishing, 1969. 94-113, 125-30.

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Wark, McKenzie. "Toywars." M/C Journal 6, no.3 (June1, 2003). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2179.

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I first came across etoy in Linz, Austria in 1995. They turned up at Ars Electronica with their shaved heads, in their matching orange bomber jackets. They were not invited. The next year they would not have to crash the party. In 1996 they were awarded Arts Electronica’s prestigious Golden Nica for web art, and were on their way to fame and bitterness – the just rewards for their art of self-regard. As founding member Agent.ZAI says: “All of us were extremely greedy – for excitement, for drugs, for success.” (Wishart & Boschler: 16) The etoy story starts on the fringes of the squatters’ movement in Zurich. Disenchanted with the hard left rhetorics that permeate the movement in the 1980s, a small group look for another way of existing within a commodified world, without the fantasy of an ‘outside’ from which to critique it. What Antonio Negri and friends call the ‘real subsumption’ of life under the rule of commodification is something etoy grasps intuitively. The group would draw on a number of sources: David Bowie, the Sex Pistols, the Manchester rave scene, European Amiga art, rumors of the historic avant gardes from Dada to Fluxus. They came together in 1994, at a meeting in the Swiss resort town of Weggis on Lake Lucerne. While the staging of the founding meeting looks like a rerun of the origins of the Situationist International, the wording of the invitation might suggest the founding of a pop music boy band: “fun, money and the new world?” One of the – many – stories about the origins of the name Dada has it being chosen at random from a bilingual dictionary. The name etoy, in an update on that procedure, was spat out by a computer program designed to make four letter words at random. Ironically, both Dada and etoy, so casually chosen, would inspire furious struggles over the ownership of these chancey 4-bit words. The group decided to make money by servicing the growing rave scene. Being based in Vienna and Zurich, the group needed a way to communicate, and chose to use the internet. This was a far from obvious thing to do in 1994. Connections were slow and unreliable. Sometimes it was easier to tape a hard drive full of clubland graphics to the underside of a seat on the express train from Zurich to Vienna and simply email instructions to meet the train and retrieve it. The web was a primitive instrument in 1995 when etoy built its first website. They launched it with a party called etoy.FASTLANE, an optimistic title when the web was anything but. Coco, a transsexual model and tabloid sensation, sang a Japanese song while suspended in the air. She brought media interest, and was anointed etoy’s lifestyle angel. As Wishart and Bochsler write, “it was as if the Seven Dwarfs had discovered their Snow White.” (Wishart & Boschler: 33) The launch didn’t lead to much in the way of a music deal or television exposure. The old media were not so keen to validate the etoy dream of lifting themselves into fame and fortune by their bootstraps. And so etoy decided to be stars of the new media. The slogan was suitably revised: “etoy: the pop star is the pilot is the coder is the designer is the architect is the manager is the system is etoy.” (Wishart & Boschler: 34) The etoy boys were more than net.artists, they were artists of the brand. The brand was achieving a new prominence in the mid-90s. (Klein: 35) This was a time when capitalism was hollowing itself out in the overdeveloped world, shedding parts of its manufacturing base. Control of the circuits of commodification would rest less on the ownership of the means of production and more on maintaining a monopoly on the flows of information. The leading edge of the ruling class was becoming self-consciously vectoral. It controlled the flow of information about what to produce – the details of design, the underlying patents. It controlled the flows of information about what is produced – the brands and logos, the slogans and images. The capitalist class is supplanted by a vectoral class, controlling the commodity circuit through the vectors of information. (Wark) The genius of etoy was to grasp the aesthetic dimension of this new stage of commodification. The etoy boys styled themselves not so much as a parody of corporate branding and management groupthink, but as logical extension of it. They adopted matching uniforms and called themselves agents. In the dada-punk-hiphop tradition, they launched themselves on the world as brand new, self-created, self-named subjects: Agents Zai, Brainhard, Gramazio, Kubli, Esposto, Udatny and Goldstein. The etoy.com website was registered in 1995 with Network Solutions for a $100 fee. The homepage for this etoy.TANKSYSTEM was designed like a flow chart. As Gramazio says: “We wanted to create an environment with surreal content, to build a parallel world and put the content of this world into tanks.” (Wishart & Boschler: 51) One tank was a cybermotel, with Coco the first guest. Another tank showed you your IP number, with a big-brother eye looking on. A supermarket tank offered sunglasses and laughing gas for sale, but which may or may not be delivered. The underground tank included hardcore photos of a sensationalist kind. A picture of the Federal Building in Oklamoma City after the bombing was captioned in deadpan post-situ style “such work needs a lot of training.” (Wishart & Boschler: 52) The etoy agents were by now thoroughly invested in the etoy brand and the constellation of images they had built around it, on their website. Their slogan became “etoy: leaving reality behind.” (Wishart & Boschler: 53) They were not the first artists fascinated by commodification. It was Warhol who said “good art is good business.”(Warhol ) But etoy reversed the equation: good business is good art. And good business, in this vectoral age, is in its most desirable form an essentially conceptual matter of creating a brand at the center of a constellation of signifiers. Late in 1995, etoy held another group meeting, at the Zurich youth center Dynamo. The problem was that while they had build a hardcore website, nobody was visiting it. Agents Gooldstein and Udatny thought that there might be a way of using the new search engines to steer visitors to the site. Zai and Brainhard helped secure a place at the Vienna Academy of Applied Arts where Udatny could use the computer lab to implement this idea. Udatny’s first step was to create a program that would go out and gather email addresses from the web. These addresses would form the lists for the early examples of art-spam that etoy would perpetrate. Udatny’s second idea was a bit more interesting. He worked out how to get the etoy.TANKSYSTEM page listed in search engines. Most search engines ranked pages by the frequency of the search term in the pages it had indexed, so etoy.TANKSYSTEM would contain pages of selected keywords. p*rn sites were also discovering this method of creating free publicity. The difference was that etoy chose a very carefully curated list of 350 search terms, including: art, bondage, cyberspace, Doom, Elvis, Fidel, genx, heroin, internet, jungle and Kant. Users of search engines who searched for these terms would find dummy pages listed prominently in their search results that directed them, unsuspectingly, to etoy.com. They called this project Digital Hijack. To give the project a slightly political aura, the pages the user was directed to contained an appeal for the release of convicted hacker Kevin Mitnick. This was the project that won them a Golden Nica statuette at Ars Electronica in 1996, which Gramazio allegedly lost the same night playing roulette. It would also, briefly, require that they explain themselves to the police. Digital Hijack also led to the first splits in the group, under the intense pressure of organizing it on a notionally collective basis, but with the zealous Agent Zai acting as de facto leader. When Udatny was expelled, Zai and Brainhard even repossessed his Toshiba laptop, bought with etoy funds. As Udatny recalls, “It was the lowest point in my life ever. There was nothing left; I could not rely on etoy any more. I did not even have clothes, apart from the etoy uniform.” (Wishart & Boschler: 104) Here the etoy story repeats a common theme from the history of the avant gardes as forms of collective subjectivity. After Digital Hijack, etoy went into a bit of a slump. It’s something of a problem for a group so dependent on recognition from the other of the media, that without a buzz around them, etoy would tend to collapse in on itself like a fading supernova. Zai spend the early part of 1997 working up a series of management documents, in which he appeared as the group’s managing director. Zai employed the current management theory rhetoric of employee ‘empowerment’ while centralizing control. Like any other corporate-Trotskyite, his line was that “We have to get used to reworking the company structure constantly.” (Wishart & Boschler: 132) The plan was for each member of etoy to register the etoy trademark in a different territory, linking identity to information via ownership. As Zai wrote “If another company uses our name in a grand way, I’ll probably shoot myself. And that would not be cool.” (Wishart & Boschler:: 132) As it turned out, another company was interested – the company that would become eToys.com. Zai received an email offering “a reasonable sum” for the etoy.com domain name. Zai was not amused. “Damned Americans, they think they can take our hunting grounds for a handful of glass pearls….”. (Wishart & Boschler: 133) On an invitation from Suzy Meszoly of C3, the etoy boys traveled to Budapest to work on “protected by etoy”, a work exploring internet security. They spent most of their time – and C3’s grant money – producing a glossy corporate brochure. The folder sported a blurb from Bjork: “etoy: immature priests from another world” – which was of course completely fabricated. When Artothek, the official art collection of the Austrian Chancellor, approached etoy wanting to buy work, the group had to confront the problem of how to actually turn their brand into a product. The idea was always that the brand was the product, but this doesn’t quite resolve the question of how to produce the kind of unique artifacts that the art world requires. Certainly the old Conceptual Art strategy of selling ‘documentation’ would not do. The solution was as brilliant as it was simple – to sell etoy shares. The ‘works’ would be ‘share certificates’ – unique objects, whose only value, on the face of it, would be that they referred back to the value of the brand. The inspiration, according to Wishart & Boschsler, was David Bowie, ‘the man who sold the world’, who had announced the first rock and roll bond on the London financial markets, backed by future earnings of his back catalogue and publishing rights. Gramazio would end up presenting Chancellor Viktor Klima with the first ‘shares’ at a press conference. “It was a great start for the project”, he said, “A real hack.” (Wishart & Boschler: 142) For this vectoral age, etoy would create the perfect vectoral art. Zai and Brainhard took off next for Pasadena, where they got the idea of reverse-engineering the online etoy.TANKSYSTEM by building an actual tank in an orange shipping container, which would become etoy.TANK 17. This premiered at the San Francisco gallery Blasthaus in June 1998. Instant stars in the small world of San Francisco art, the group began once again to disintegrate. Brainhard and Esposito resigned. Back in Europe in late 1998, Zai was preparing to graduate from the Vienna Academy of Applied Arts. His final project would recapitulate the life and death of etoy. It would exist from here on only as an online archive, a digital mausoleum. As Kubli says “there was no possibility to earn our living with etoy.” (Wishart & Boschler: 192) Zai emailed eToys.com and asked them if them if they would like to place a banner ad on etoy.com, to redirect any errant web traffic. Lawyers for eToys.com offered etoy $30,000 for the etoy.com domain name, which the remaining members of etoy – Zai, Gramazio, Kubli – refused. The offer went up to $100,000, which they also refused. Through their lawyer Peter Wild they demanded $750,000. In September 1999, while etoy were making a business presentation as their contribution to Ars Electronica, eToys.com lodged a complaint against etoy in the Los Angeles Superior Court. The company hired Bruce Wessel, of the heavyweight LA law firm Irell & Manella, who specialized in trademark, copyright and other intellectual property litigation. The complaint Wessel drafted alleged that etoy had infringed and diluted the eToys trademark, were practicing unfair competition and had committed “intentional interference with prospective economic damage.” (Wishart & Boschler: 199) Wessel demanded an injunction that would oblige etoy to cease using its trademark and take down its etoy.com website. The complaint also sought to prevent etoy from selling shares, and demanded punitive damages. Displaying the aggressive lawyering for which he was so handsomely paid, Wessel invoked the California Unfair Competition Act, which was meant to protect citizens from fraudulent business scams. Meant as a piece of consumer protection legislation, its sweeping scope made it available for inventive suits such as Wessel’s against etoy. Wessel was able to use pretty much everything from the archive etoy built against it. As Wishart and Bochsler write, “The court papers were like a delicately curated catalogue of its practices.” (Wishart & Boschler: 199) And indeed, legal documents in copyright and trademark cases may be the most perfect literature of the vectoral age. The Unfair Competition claim was probably aimed at getting the suit heard in a Californian rather than a Federal court in which intellectual property issues were less frequently litigated. The central aim of the eToys suit was the trademark infringement, but on that head their claims were not all that strong. According to the 1946 Lanham Act, similar trademarks do not infringe upon each other if there they are for different kinds of business or in different geographical areas. The Act also says that the right to own a trademark depends on its use. So while etoy had not registered their trademark and eToys had, etoy were actually up and running before eToys, and could base their trademark claim on this fact. The eToys case rested on a somewhat selective reading of the facts. Wessel claimed that etoy was not using its trademark in the US when eToys was registered in 1997. Wessel did not dispute the fact that etoy existed in Europe prior to that time. He asserted that owning the etoy.com domain name was not sufficient to establish a right to the trademark. If the intention of the suit was to bully etoy into giving in, it had quite the opposite effect. It pissed them off. “They felt again like the teenage punks they had once been”, as Wishart & Bochsler put it. Their art imploded in on itself for lack of attention, but called upon by another, it flourished. Wessel and eToys.com unintentionally triggered a dialectic that worked in quite the opposite way to what they intended. The more pressure they put on etoy, the more valued – and valuable – they felt etoy to be. Conceptual business, like conceptual art, is about nothing but the management of signs within the constraints of given institutional forms of market. That this conflict was about nothing made it a conflict about everything. It was a perfectly vectoral struggle. Zai and Gramazio flew to the US to fire up enthusiasm for their cause. They asked Wolfgang Staehle of The Thing to register the domain toywar.com, as a space for anti-eToys activities at some remove from etoy.com, and as a safe haven should eToys prevail with their injunction in having etoy.com taken down. The etoy defense was handled by Marcia Ballard in New York and Robert Freimuth in Los Angeles. In their defense, they argued that etoy had existed since 1994, had registered its globally accessible domain in 1995, and won an international art prize in 1996. To counter a claim by eToys that they had a prior trademark claim because they had bought a trademark from another company that went back to 1990, Ballard and Freimuth argued that this particular trademark only applied to the importation of toys from the previous owner’s New York base and thus had no relevance. They capped their argument by charging that eToys had not shown that its customers were really confused by the existence of etoy. With Christmas looming, eToys wanted a quick settlement, so they offered Zurich-based etoy lawyer Peter Wild $160,000 in shares and cash for the etoy domain. Kubli was prepared to negotiate, but Zai and Gramazio wanted to gamble – and raise the stakes. As Zai recalls: “We did not want to be just the victims; that would have been cheap. We wanted to be giants too.” (Wishart & Boschler: 207) They refused the offer. The case was heard in November 1999 before Judge Rafeedie in the Federal Court. Freimuth, for etoy, argued that federal Court was the right place for what was essentially a trademark matter. Robert Kleiger, for eToys, countered that it should stay where it was because of the claims under the California Unfair Competition act. Judge Rafeedie took little time in agreeing with the eToys lawyer. Wessel’s strategy paid off and eToys won the first skirmish. The first round of a quite different kind of conflict opened when etoy sent out their first ‘toywar’ mass mailing, drawing the attention of the net.art, activism and theory crowd to these events. This drew a report from Felix Stalder in Telepolis: “Fences are going up everywhere, molding what once seemed infinite space into an overcrowded and tightly controlled strip mall.” (Stalder ) The positive feedback from the net only emboldened etoy. For the Los Angeles court, lawyers for etoy filed papers arguing that the sale of ‘shares’ in etoy was not really a stock offering. “The etoy.com website is not about commerce per se, it is about artist and social protest”, they argued. (Wishart & Boschler: 209) They were obliged, in other words, to assert a difference that the art itself had intended to blur in order to escape eToy’s claims under the Unfair Competition Act. Moreover, etoy argued that there was no evidence of a victim. Nobody was claiming to have been fooled by etoy into buying something under false pretences. Ironically enough, art would turn out in hindsight to be a more straightforward transaction here, involving less simulation or dissimulation, than investing in a dot.com. Perhaps we have reached the age when art makes more, not less, claim than business to the rhetorical figure of ‘reality’. Having defended what appeared to be the vulnerable point under the Unfair Competition law, etoy went on the attack. It was the failure of eToys to do a proper search for other trademarks that created the problem in the first place. Meanwhile, in Federal Court, lawyers for etoy launched a counter-suit that reversed the claims against them made by eToys on the trademark question. While the suits and counter suits flew, eToys.com upped their offer to settle to a package of cash and shares worth $400,000. This rather puzzled the etoy lawyers. Those choosing to sue don’t usually try at the same time to settle. Lawyer Peter Wild advised his clients to take the money, but the parallel tactics of eToys.com only encouraged them to dig in their heels. “We felt that this was a tremendous final project for etoy”, says Gramazio. As Zai says, “eToys was our ideal enemy – we were its worst enemy.” (Wishart & Boschler: 210) Zai reported the offer to the net in another mass mail. Most people advised them to take the money, including Doug Rushkoff and Heath Bunting. Paul Garrin counseled fighting on. The etoy agents offered to settle for $750,000. The case came to court in late November 1999 before Judge Shook. The Judge accepted the plausibility of the eToys version of the facts on the trademark issue, which included the purchase of a registered trademark from another company that went back to 1990. He issued an injunction on their behalf, and added in his statement that he was worried about “the great danger of children being exposed to profane and hardcore p*rnographic issues on the computer.” (Wishart & Boschler: 222) The injunction was all eToys needed to get Network Solutions to shut down the etoy.com domain. Zai sent out a press release in early December, which percolated through Slashdot, rhizome, nettime (Staehle) and many other networks, and catalyzed the net community into action. A debate of sorts started on investor websites such as fool.com. The eToys stock price started to slide, and etoy ‘warriors’ felt free to take the credit for it. The story made the New York Times on 9th December, Washington Post on the 10th, Wired News on the 11th. Network Solutions finally removed the etoy.com domain on the 10th December. Zai responded with a press release: “this is robbery of digital territory, American imperialism, corporate destruction and bulldozing in the way of the 19th century.” (Wishart & Boschler: 237) RTMark set up a campaign fund for toywar, managed by Survival Research Laboratories’ Mark Pauline. The RTMark press release promised a “new internet ‘game’ designed to destroy eToys.com.” (Wishart & Boschler: 239) The RTMark press release grabbed the attention of the Associated Press newswire. The eToys.com share price actually rose on December 13th. Goldman Sachs’ e-commerce analyst Anthony Noto argued that the previous declines in the Etoys share price made it a good buy. Goldman Sachs was the lead underwriter of the eToys IPO. Noto’s writings may have been nothing more than the usual ‘IPOetry’ of the time, but the crash of the internet bubble was some months away yet. The RTMark campaign was called ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’. It used the Floodnet technique that Ricardo Dominguez used in support of the Zapatistas. As Dominguez said, “this hysterical power-play perfectly demonstrates the intensions of the new net elite; to turn the World Wide Web into their own private home-shopping network.” (Wishart & Boschler: 242) The Floodnet attack may have slowed the eToys.com server down a bit, but it was robust and didn’t crash. Ironically, it ran on open source software. Dominguez claims that the ‘Twelve Days’ campaign, which relied on individuals manually launching Floodnet from their own computers, was not designed to destroy the eToys site, but to make a protest felt. “We had a single-bullet script that could have taken down eToys – a tactical nuke, if you will. But we felt this script did not represent the presence of a global group of people gathered to bear witness to a wrong.” (Wishart & Boschler: 245) While the eToys engineers did what they could to keep the site going, eToys also approached universities and businesses whose systems were being used to host Floodnet attacks. The Thing, which hosted Dominguez’s eToys Floodnet site was taken offline by The Thing’s ISP, Verio. After taking down the Floodnet scripts, The Thing was back up, restoring service to the 200 odd websites that The Thing hosted besides the offending Floodnet site. About 200 people gathered on December 20th at a demonstration against eToys outside the Museum of Modern Art. Among the crowd were Santas bearing signs that said ‘Coal for eToys’. The rally, inside the Museum, was led by the Reverend Billy of the Church of Stop Shopping: “We are drowning in a sea of identical details”, he said. (Wishart & Boschler: 249-250) Meanwhile etoy worked on the Toywar Platform, an online agitpop theater spectacle, in which participants could act as soldiers in the toywar. This would take some time to complete – ironically the dispute threatened to end before this last etoy artwork was ready, giving etoy further incentives to keep the dispute alive. The etoy agents had a new lawyer, Chris Truax, who was attracted to the case by the publicity it was generating. Through Truax, etoy offered to sell the etoy domain and trademark for $3.7 million. This may sound like an insane sum, but to put it in perspective, the business.com site changed hands for $7.5 million around this time. On December 29th, Wessel signaled that eToys was prepared to compromise. The problem was, the Toywar Platform was not quite ready, so etoy did what it could to drag out the negotiations. The site went live just before the scheduled court hearings, January 10th 2000. “TOYWAR.com is a place where all servers and all involved people melt and build a living system. In our eyes it is the best way to express and document what’s going on at the moment: people start to about new ways to fight for their ideas, their lifestyle, contemporary culture and power relations.” (Wishart & Boschler: 263) Meanwhile, in a California courtroom, Truax demanded that Network Solutions restore the etoy domain, that eToys pay the etoy legal expenses, and that the case be dropped without prejudice. No settlement was reached. Negotiations dragged on for another two weeks, with the etoy agents’ attention somewhat divided between two horizons – art and law. The dispute was settled on 25th January. Both parties dismissed their complaints without prejudice. The eToys company would pay the etoy artists $40,000 for legal costs, and contact Network Solutions to reinstate the etoy domain. “It was a pleasure doing business with one of the biggest e-commerce giants in the world” ran the etoy press release. (Wishart & Boschler: 265) That would make a charming end to the story. But what goes around comes around. Brainhard, still pissed off with Zai after leaving the group in San Francisco, filed for the etoy trademark in Austria. After that the internal etoy wranglings just gets boring. But it was fun while it lasted. What etoy grasped intuitively was the nexus between the internet as a cultural space and the transformation of the commodity economy in a yet-more abstract direction – its becoming-vectoral. They zeroed in on the heart of the new era of conceptual business – the brand. As Wittgenstein says of language, what gives words meaning is other words, so too for brands. What gives brands meaning is other brands. There is a syntax for brands as there is for words. What etoy discovered is how to insert a new brand into that syntax. The place of eToys as a brand depended on their business competition with other brands – with Toys ‘R’ Us, for example. For etoy, the syntax they discovered for relating their brand to another one was a legal opposition. What made etoy interesting was their lack of moral posturing. Their abandonment of leftist rhetorics opened them up to exploring the territory where media and business meet, but it also made them vulnerable to being consumed by the very dialectic that created the possibility of staging etoy in the first place. By abandoning obsolete political strategies, they discovered a media tactic, which collapsed for want of a new strategy, for the new vectoral terrain on which we find ourselves. Works Cited Negri, Antonio. Time for Revolution. Continuum, London, 2003. Warhol, Andy. From A to B and Back Again. Picador, New York, 1984. Stalder, Felix. ‘Fences in Cyberspace: Recent events in the battle over domain names’. 19 Jun 2003. <http://felix.openflows.org/html/fences.php>. Wark, McKenzie. ‘A Hacker Manifesto [version 4.0]’ 19 Jun 2003. http://subsol.c3.hu/subsol_2/contributors0/warktext.html. Klein, Naomi. No Logo. Harper Collins, London, 2000. Wishart, Adam & Regula Bochsler. Leaving Reality Behind: etoy vs eToys.com & Other Battles to Control Cyberspace Ecco Books, 2003. Staehle, Wolfgang. ‘<nettime> etoy.com shut down by US court.’ 19 Jun 2003. http://amsterdam.nettime.org/Lists-Archives/nettime-l-9912/msg00005.html Links http://amsterdam.nettime.org/Lists-Archives/nettime-l-9912/msg00005.htm http://felix.openflows.org/html/fences.html http://subsol.c3.hu/subsol_2/contributors0/warktext.html Citation reference for this article Substitute your date of access for Dn Month Year etc... MLA Style Wark, McKenzie. "Toywars" M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture< http://www.media-culture.org.au/0306/02-toywars.php>. APA Style Wark, M. (2003, Jun 19). Toywars. M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture, 6,< http://www.media-culture.org.au/0306/02-toywars.php>

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Heise, Franka. ""I’m a Modern Bride": On the Relationship between Marital Hegemony, Bridal Fictions, and Postfeminism." M/C Journal 15, no.6 (October12, 2012). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.573.

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Abstract:

Introduction This article aims to explore some of the ideological discourses that reinforce marriage as a central social and cultural institution in US-American society. Andrew Cherlin argues that despite social secularisation, rising divorce rates and the emergence of other, alternative forms of love and living, marriage “remains the most highly valued form of family life in American culture, the most prestigious way to live your life” (9). Indeed, marriage in the US has become an ideological and political battlefield, with charged debates about who is entitled to this form of state-sanctioned relationship, with the government spending large sums of money to promote the value of marriage and the highest number of people projected to get married (nearly 90 per cent of all people) compared to other Western nations (Cherlin 4). I argue here that the idea of marriage as the ideal form for an intimate relationship permeates US-American culture to an extent that we can speak of a marital hegemony. This hegemony is fuelled by and reflected in the saturation of American popular culture with celebratory depictions of the white wedding as public performance and symbolic manifestation of the values associated with marriage. These depictions contribute to the discursive production of weddings as “one of the major events that signal readiness and prepare heterosexuals for membership in marriage as an organizing practice for the institution of marriage” (Ingraham 4). From the representation of weddings as cinematic climax in a huge number of films, to TV shows such as The Bachelor, Bridezillas and Race to the Altar, to the advertisem*nt industry and the bridal magazines that construct the figure of the bride as an ideal that every girl and woman should aspire to, popular discourses promote the desirability of marriage in a wide range of media spheres. These representations, which I call bridal fictions, do not only shape and regulate the production of gendered, raced, classed and sexual identities in the media in fundamental ways. They also promote the idea that marriage is the only adequate framework for an intimate relationship and for the constitution of an acceptable gendered identity, meanwhile reproducing heterosexuality as norm and monogamy as societal duty. Thus I argue that we can understand contemporary bridal fictions as a symbolic legitimation of marital hegemony that perpetuates the idea that “lifelong marriage is a moral imperative” (Coontz 292). Marital Hegemony By drawing on Gramsci’s term and argument of cultural hegemony, I propose that public, political, religious and popular discourses work together in intersecting, overlapping, ideologically motivated and often even contradictory ways to produce what can be conceptualised as marital hegemony. Gramsci understands the relationship between state coercion and legitimation as crucial to an understanding of constituted consensus and co-operation. By legitimation Gramsci refers to processes through which social elites constitute their leadership through the universalizing of their own class-based self-interests. These self-interests are adopted by the greater majority of people, who apprehend them as natural or universal standards of value (common sense). This ‘hegemony’ neutralizes dissent, instilling the values, beliefs and cultural meanings into the generalized social structures. (Lewis 76-77)Marital hegemony also consists of those two mechanisms, coercion and legitimation. Coercion by the social elites, in this case by the state, is conducted through intervening in the private life of citizens in order to regulate and control their intimate relationships. Through the offering of financial benefits, medical insurance, tax cuts and various other privileges to married partners only (see Ingraham 175-76), the state withholds these benefits from all those that do not conform to this kind of state-sanctioned relationship. However, this must serve as the topic of another discussion, as this paper is more interested in the second aspect of hegemony, the symbolic legitimation. Symbolic legitimation works through the depiction of the white wedding as the occasion on which entering the institution of marriage is publicly celebrated and marital identity is socially validated. Bridal fictions work on a semiotic and symbolic level to display and perpetuate the idea of marriage as the most desirable and ultimately only legitimate form of intimate, heterosexual relationships. This is not to say that there is no resistance to this form of hegemony, as Foucault argues, eventually there is no “power without resistances” (142). However, as Engstrom contends, contemporary bridal fictions “reinforce and endorse the idea that romantic relationships should and must lead to marriage, which requires public display—the wedding” (3). Thus I argue that we can understand contemporary bridal fictions as one key symbolic factor in the production of marital hegemony. The ongoing centrality of marriage as an institution finds its reflection, as Otnes and Pleck argue, in the fact that the white wedding, in spite of all changes and processes of liberalisation in regard to gender, family and sexuality, “remains the most significant ritual in contemporary culture” (5). Accordingly, popular culture, reflective as well as constitutive of existing cultural paradigms, is saturated with what I have termed here bridal fictions. Bridal representations have been subject to rigorous academic investigation (c.f. Currie, Geller, Bambacas, Boden, Otnes and Pleck, Wallace and Howard). But, by using the term “bridal fictions”, I seek to underscore the fictional nature of these apparent “representations”, emphasising their role in producing pervasive utopias, rather than representing reality. This is not to say that bridal fictions are solely fictive. In fact, my argument here is that these bridal fictions do have discursive influence on contemporary wedding culture and practices. With my analysis of a bridal advertisem*nt campaign later on in this paper, I aim to show exemplarily how bridal fictions work not only in perpetuating marriage, monogamy and heteronormativity as central organizing principles of intimate life. But moreover, how bridal fictions use this framework to promote certain kinds of white, heterosexual, upper-class identities that normatively inform our understanding of who is seen as entitled to this form of state-sanctioned relationship. Furthermore my aim is to highlight the role of postfeminist frames in sustaining marital hegemony. Second Wave feminism, seeing marriage as a form of “intimate colonization” (in Finlay and Clarke 416), has always been one of the few sources of critique in regard to this institution. In contrast, postfeminist accounts, now informing a significant amount of contemporary bridal fictions, evoke marriage as actively chosen, unproblematic and innately desired state of being for women. By constructing the liberated, self-determined figure of the postfeminist bride, contemporary bridal fictions naturalise and re-modernise marriage as framework for the constitution of modern feminine identity. An analysis of postfeminist bridal identities, as done in the following, is thus vital to my argument, because it highlights how postfeminist accounts deflect feminism’s critique of marriage as patriarchal, political and hegemonic institution and hence contribute to the perpetuation and production of marital hegemony. The Postfeminist Bride Postfeminism has emerged since the early 1990s as the dominant mode of constructing femininities in the media. Angela McRobbie understands postfeminism as “to refer to an active process by which feminist gains of the 1970s and 80s come to be undermined”, while simultaneously appearing to be “a well-informed and even well-intended response to feminism” (“Postfeminism” 255). Based on the assumption that women nowadays are no longer subjected to patriarchal power structures anymore, postfeminism actively takes feminism into account while, at the same time, “undoing” it (McRobbie “Postfeminism” 255). In contemporary postfeminist culture, feminism is “decisively aged and made to seem redundant”, which allows a conscious “dis-identification” and/or “forceful non-identity” with accounts of Second Wave feminism (McRobbie Aftermath 15). This demarcation from earlier forms of feminism is particularly evident with regard to marriage and wedding discourses. Second wave feminist critics such as Betty Friedan (1973) and Carole Pateman were critical of the influence of marriage on women’s psychological, financial and sexual freedom. This generation of feminists saw marriage as a manifestation of patriarchal power, which is based on women’s total emotional and erotic loyalty and subservience (Rich 1980), as well as on “men’s domination over women, and the right of men to enjoy equal sexual access to women” (Pateman 1988 2). In contrast, contemporary postfeminism enunciates now that “equality is achieved, in order to install a whole repertoire of new meanings which emphasise that it [feminism] is no longer needed, it is a spent force” (McRobbie “Postfeminism” 255). Instead of seeing marriage as institutionlised subjugation of women, the postfeminist generation of “educated women who have come of age in the 1990s feel that the women’s liberation movement has achieved its goals and that marriage is now an even playing field in which the two sexes operate as equal partners” (Geller 110). As McRobbie argues “feminism was anti-marriage and this can now to be shown to be great mistake” (Aftermath 20). Accordingly, postfeminist bridal fictions do not depict the bride as passive and waiting to be married, relying on conservative and patriarchal notions of hegemonic femininity, but as an active agent using the white wedding as occasion to act out choice, autonomy and power. Genz argues that a characteristic of postfemininities is that they re-negotiate femininity and feminism no longer as mutually exclusive and irreconcilable categories, but as constitutive of each other (Genz; Genz and Brabon). What I term the postfeminist bride embodies this shifted understanding of feminism and femininity. The postfeminist bride is a figure that is often celebrated in terms of individual freedom, professional success and self-determination, instead of resting on traditional notions of female domesticity and passivity. Rather than fulfilling clichés of the homemaker and traditional wife, the postfeminist bride is characterised by an emphasis on power, agency and pleasure. Characteristic of this figure, as with other postfemininities in popular culture, is a simultaneous appropriation and repudiation of feminist critique. Within postfeminist bridal culture, the performance of traditional femininity through the figure of the bride, or by identification with it, is framed in terms of individual choice, depicted as standing outside of the political and ideological struggles surrounding gender, equality, class, sexuality and race. In this way, as Engstrom argues, “bridal media’s popularity in the late 20th and early 21st centuries in the United States as indicative of a postfeminist cultural environment” (18). And although the contemporary white wedding still rests on patriarchal traditions that symbolise what the Second Wave called an “intimate colonization” (such as the bride’s vow of obedience; the giving away of the bride by one male chaperone, her father, to the next, the husband; her loss of name in marriage etc.), feminist awareness of the patriarchal dimensions of marriage and the ritual of the wedding is virtually absent from contemporary bridal culture. Instead, the patriarchal customs of the white wedding are now actively embraced by the women themselves in the name of tradition and choice. This reflects a prevailing characteristic of postfeminism, which is a trend towards the reclamation of conservative ideals of femininity, following the assumption that the goals of traditional feminist politics have been attained. This recuperation of traditional forms of femininity is one key characteristic of postfeminist bridal culture, as Engstrom argues: “bridal media collectively have become the epitomic example of women’s culture, a genre of popular culture that promotes, defends, and celebrates femininity” (21). Bridal fictions indeed produce traditional femininity by positioning the cultural, social and historical significance of the wedding as a necessary rite of passage for women and as the most important framework for the constitution of their (hetero)sexual, classed and gendered identities. Embodied in its ritual qualities, the white wedding symbolises the transition of women from single to belonging, from girlhood to womanhood and implicitly from childlessness to motherhood. However, instead of seeing this form of hegemonic femininity as a product of unequal, patriarchal power relations as Second Wave did, postfeminism celebrates traditional femininity in modernised versions. Embracing conservative feminine roles (e.g. that of the bride/wife) is now a matter of personal choice, individuality and freedom, characterised by awareness, knowingness and sometimes even irony (McRobbie “Postfeminism”). Nevertheless, the wedding is not only positioned as the pinnacle of a monogamous, heterosexual relationship, but also as the climax of a (female) life-story (“the happiest day of the life”). Combining feminist informed notions of power and choice, the postfeminist wedding is constructed as an event which supposedly enables women to act out those notions, while serving as a framework for gendered identity formation and self-realisation within the boundaries of an officialised and institutionalised relationship. “Modern” Brides I would like to exemplarily illustrate how postfeminism informs contemporary bridal fictions by analysing an advertising campaign of the US bridal magazine Modern Bride that paradigmatically and emblematically shows how postfeminist frames are used to construct the ‘modern’ bride. These advertisem*nts feature American celebrities Guiliana Rancic (“host of E! News”), Daisy Fuentes (“host of Ultimate Style”) and Layla Ali, (“TV host and world champion”) stating why they qualify as a “modern bride”. Instead of drawing on notions of passive femininity, these advertisem*nts have a distinct emphasis on power and agency. All advertisem*nts include the women’s profession and other accomplishments. Rancic claims that she is a modern bride because: “I chased my career instead of guys.” These advertisem*nts emphasise choice and empowerment, the key features of postfeminism, as Angela McRobbie (“Postfeminism”) and Rosalind Gill argue. Femininity, feminism and professionalism here are not framed as mutually exclusive, but are reconciled in the identity of the “modern” bride. Marriage and the white wedding are clearly bracketed in a liberal framework of individual choice, underpinned by a grammar of self-determination and individualism. Layla Ali states that she is a modern bride: “Because I refuse to let anything stand in the way of my happiness.” This not only communicates the message that happiness is intrinsically linked to marriage, but clearly resembles the figure that Sharon Boden terms the “super bride”, a role which allows women to be in control of every aspect of their wedding and “the heroic creator of her big day” while being part of a fairy-tale narrative in which they are the centre of attention (74). Agency and power are clearly visible in all of these ads. These brides are not passive victims of the male gaze, instead they are themselves gazing. In Rancic’s advertisem*nt this is particularly evident, as she is looking directly at the viewer, where her husband, looking into another direction, remains rather face- and gazeless. This is in accord with bridal fictions in general, where husbands are often invisible, serving as bystanders or absent others, reinforcing the ideal that this is the special day of the bride and no one else. Furthermore, all of these advertisem*nts remain within the limited visual repertoire that is common within bridal culture: young to middle-aged, heterosexual, able-bodied, conventionally attractive women. The featuring of the non-white bride Layla Ali is a rare occasion in contemporary bridal fictions. And although this can be seen as a welcomed exception, this advertisem*nt remains eventually within the hegemonic and racial boundaries of contemporary bridal fictions. As Ingraham argues, ultimately “the white wedding in American culture is primarily a ritual by, for, and about the white middle to upper classes. Truly, the white wedding” (33). Furthermore, these advertisem*nts illustrate another key feature of bridal culture, the “privileging of white middle- to upper-class heterosexual marriage over all other forms” (Ingraham 164). Semiotically, the discussed advertisem*nts reflect the understanding of the white wedding as occasion to perform a certain classed identity: the luscious white dresses, the tuxedos, the jewellery and make up, etc. are all signifiers for a particular social standing. This is also emphasised by the mentioning of the prestigious jobs these brides hold, which presents a postfeminist twist on the otherwise common depictions of brides as practising hypergamy, meaning the marrying of a spouse of higher socio-economic status. But significantly, upward social mobility is usually presented as only acceptable for women, reinforcing the image of the husband as the provider. Another key feature of postfeminism, the centrality of heterosexual romance, becomes evident through Daisy Fuentes’ statement: “I’m a modern bride, because I believe that old-school values enhance a modern romance.” Having been liberated from the shackles of second wave feminism, which dismissed romance as “dope for dupes” (Greer in Pearce and Stacey 50), the postfeminist bride unapologetically embraces romance as central part of her life and relationship. Romance is here equated with traditionalism and “old school” values, thus reinforcing sexual exclusiveness, traditional gender roles and marriage as re-modernised, romantic norms. Angela McRobbie describes this “double entanglement” as a key feature of postfeminism that is comprised of “the co-existence of neo-conservative values in relation to gender, sexuality and family life […] with processes of liberalisation in regard to choice and diversity in domestic, sexual and kinship relations” (“Postfeminism” 255–56). These advertisem*nts illustrate quite palpably that the postfeminist bride is a complex figure. It is simultaneously progressive and conservative, fulfilling ideals of conservative femininity while actively negotiating in the complex field of personal choice, individualism and social conventions; it oscillates between power and passivity, tradition and modern womanhood, between feminism and femininity. It is precisely this contradictory nature of the postfeminist bride that makes the figure so appealing, as it allows women to participate in the fantasy world of bridal utopias while still providing possibilities to construct themselves as active and powerful agents. Conclusion While we can generally welcome the reconfiguration of brides as powerful and self-determined, we have to remain critical of the postfeminist assumption of women as “autonomous agents no longer constrained by any inequalities or power imbalances whatsoever” (Gill 153). Where marriage is assumed to be an “even playing field” as Geller argues (110), feminism is no longer needed and traditional marital femininity can be, once again, performed without guilt. In these ways postfeminism deflects feminist criticism with regard to the political dimensions of marital femininity and thus contributes to the production of marital hegemony. But why is marital hegemony per se problematic? Firstly, by presenting marital identity as essential for the construction of gendered identity, bridal fictions leave little room for (female) self-definition outside of the single/married binary. As Ingraham argues, not only “are these categories presented as significant indices of social identity, they are offered as the only options, implying that the organization of identity in relation to marriage is universal and in no need of explanation” (17). Hence, by positioning marriage and singledom as opposite poles on the axis of proper femininity, bridal fictions stigmatise single women as selfish, narcissistic, hedonistic, immature and unable to attract a suitable husband (Taylor 20, 40). Secondly, within bridal fictions “weddings, marriage, romance, and heterosexuality become naturalized to the point where we consent to the belief that marriage is necessary to achieve a sense of well-being, belonging, passion, morality and love” (Ingraham 120). By presenting the white wedding as a publicly endorsed and visible entry to marriage, bridal fictions produce in fundamental ways normative notions about who is ‘fit’ for marriage and therefore capable of the associated cultural and social values of maturity, responsibility, ‘family values’ and so on. This is particularly critical, as postfeminist identities “are structured by, stark and continuing inequalities and exclusions that relate to ‘race’ and ethnicity, class, age, sexuality and disability as well as gender” (Gill 149). These postfeminist exclusions are very evident in contemporary bridal fictions that feature almost exclusively young to middle-aged, white, able-bodied couples with upper to middle class identities that conform to the heteronormative matrix, both physically and socially. By depicting weddings almost exclusively in this kind of raced, classed and gendered framework, bridal fictions associate the above mentioned values, that are seen as markers for responsible adulthood and citizenship, with those who comply with these norms. In these ways bridal fictions stigmatise those who are not able or do not want to get married, and, moreover, produce a visual regime that determines who is seen as entitled to this kind of socially validated identity. The fact that bridal fictions indeed play a major role in producing marital hegemony is further reflected in the increasing presence of same-sex white weddings in popular culture. These representations, despite their message of equality for everyone, usually replicate rather than re-negotiate the heteronormative terms of bridal culture. This can be regarded as evidence of bridal fiction’s scope and reach in naturalising marriage not only as the most ideal form of a heterosexual relationship, but increasingly as the ideal for any kind of intimate relationship. References Bambacas, Christyana. “Thinking about White Weddings.” Journal of Australian Studies 26.72 (2002): 191–200.The Bachelor, ABC, 2002–present. Boden, Sharon. Consumerism, Romance and the Wedding Experience. Houndsmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003. Bridezillas, We TV, 2004–present. Cherlin, Andrew. The-Marriage-Go-Round. The State of Marriage and the Family in America Today. New York: Vintage, 2010. Coontz, Stephanie. Marriage. A History. New York: Penguin, 2005. Currie, Dawn. “‘Here Comes the Bride’: The Making of a ‘Modern Traditional’ Wedding in Western Culture.” Journal of Comparative Family Studies 24.3 (1993): 403–21. Engstrom, Erika. The Bride Factory. Mass Portrayals of Women and Weddings. New York: Peter Lang, 2012. Fairchild Bridal Study (2005) 27 May 2012. ‹http://www.sellthebride.com/documents/americanweddingsurvey.pdf›. Finlay, Sara-Jane, and Victoria Clarke. “‘A Marriage of Inconvenience?’ Feminist Perspectives on Marriage.” Feminism & Psychology 13.4 (2003): 415–20. Foucault, M. (1980) “Body/Power and Truth/Power” in Gordon, C. (ed.) Michel Foucault: Power/Knowledge, Harvester, U.K. Friedan, Betty. The Feminine Mystique. Ringwood: Penguin Books, 1973. Geller, Jaqlyn. Here Comes the Bride. Women, Weddings, and the Marriage Mystique. New York: Four Walls Eight Windows, 2001. Genz, Stéphanie. Postfemininities in Popular Culture. New York: Palgrave, 2009. Genz, Stéphanie, and Benjamin Brabon. Postfeminsm. Cultural Texts and Theories. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2009. Gill, Rosalind. “Postfeminist Media Culture. Elements of a Sensibility.” European Journal of Cultural Studies 10.2 (2007): 147–66. Gramsci, Antonio. Selections from the Prison Notebooks. London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1971. Howard, Vicki. Brides, Inc. American Weddings and the Business of Tradition. Philadelphia: U of Pen Press, 2006. Ingraham, Chrys. White Weddings. Romancing Heterosexuality in Popular Discourse. New York: Routledge, 1999. Lewis, Jeff. Cultural Studies. London: Sage, 2008. McRobbie, Angela. “Post-Feminism and Popular Culture.” Feminist Media Studies 4.3 (2004): 255– 64. McRobbie, A. (2009). The Aftermath of Feminism. Gender, Culture and Social Change. London: Sage. Modern Bride, Condé Nast. Otnes, Cele, and Elizabeth Pleck. Cinderella Dreams. The Allure of the Lavish Wedding. Berkeley: U of California P, 2003. Pateman, Carole. The Sexual Contract. Cambridge: Polity Press, 1988. Pearce, Lynn, and Jackie Stacey. Romance Revisited. London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1995. Race to the Altar, NBC, 2003. Rich, Adrienne. “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence.” Signs Summer.5 (1980): 631–60. Taylor, Anthea. Single Women in Popular Culture. The Limits of Postfeminism. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. Wallace, Carol. All Dressed in White. The Irresistible Rise of the American Wedding. London: Penguin Books, 2004. Advertisem*nts Analysed Guiliana Rancic. 29 Sept. 2012 ‹http://slackerchic.blogspot.de/2008/06/im-modern-bride-because-my-witness-was.html›. Daisy Fuentes. 29 Sept. 2012 ‹http://slackerchic.blogspot.de/2008/06/im-modern-bride-because-my-witness-was.html›. Layla Ali. 29 Sept. 2012 ‹http://slackerchic.blogspot.de/2008/06/im-modern-bride-because-my-witness-was.html›.

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Geoghegan, Hilary. "“If you can walk down the street and recognise the difference between cast iron and wrought iron, the world is altogether a better place”: Being Enthusiastic about Industrial Archaeology." M/C Journal 12, no.2 (May13, 2009). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.140.

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Abstract:

Introduction: Technology EnthusiasmEnthusiasts are people who have a passion, keenness, dedication or zeal for a particular activity or hobby. Today, there are enthusiasts for almost everything, from genealogy, costume dramas, and country houses, to metal detectors, coin collecting, and archaeology. But to be described as an enthusiast is not necessarily a compliment. Historically, the term “enthusiasm” was first used in England in the early seventeenth century to describe “religious or prophetic frenzy among the ancient Greeks” (Hanks, n.p.). This frenzy was ascribed to being possessed by spirits sent not only by God but also the devil. During this period, those who disobeyed the powers that be or claimed to have a message from God were considered to be enthusiasts (McLoughlin).Enthusiasm retained its religious connotations throughout the eighteenth century and was also used at this time to describe “the tendency within the population to be swept by crazes” (Mee 31). However, as part of the “rehabilitation of enthusiasm,” the emerging middle-classes adopted the word to characterise the intensity of Romantic poetry. The language of enthusiasm was then used to describe the “literary ideas of affect” and “a private feeling of religious warmth” (Mee 2 and 34). While the notion of enthusiasm was embraced here in a more optimistic sense, attempts to disassociate enthusiasm from crowd-inciting fanaticism were largely unsuccessful. As such enthusiasm has never quite managed to shake off its pejorative connotations.The 'enthusiasm' discussed in this paper is essentially a personal passion for technology. It forms part of a longer tradition of historical preservation in the United Kingdom and elsewhere in the world. From preserved railways to Victorian pumping stations, people have long been fascinated by the history of technology and engineering; manifesting their enthusiasm through their nostalgic longings and emotional attachment to its enduring material culture. Moreover, enthusiasts have been central to the collection, conservation, and preservation of this particular material record. Technology enthusiasm in this instance is about having a passion for the history and material record of technological development, specifically here industrial archaeology. Despite being a pastime much participated in, technology enthusiasm is relatively under-explored within the academic literature. For the most part, scholarship has tended to focus on the intended users, formal spaces, and official narratives of science and technology (Adas, Latour, Mellström, Oldenziel). In recent years attempts have been made to remedy this imbalance, with researchers from across the social sciences examining the position of hobbyists, tinkerers and amateurs in scientific and technical culture (Ellis and Waterton, Haring, Saarikoski, Takahashi). Work from historians of technology has focussed on the computer enthusiast; for example, Saarikoski’s work on the Finnish personal computer hobby:The definition of the computer enthusiast varies historically. Personal interest, pleasure and entertainment are the most significant factors defining computing as a hobby. Despite this, the hobby may also lead to acquiring useful knowledge, skills or experience of information technology. Most often the activity takes place outside working hours but can still have links to the development of professional expertise or the pursuit of studies. In many cases it takes place in the home environment. On the other hand, it is characteristically social, and the importance of friends, clubs and other communities is greatly emphasised.In common with a number of other studies relating to technical hobbies, for example Takahashi who argues tinkerers were behind the advent of the radio and television receiver, Saarikoski’s work focuses on the role these users played in shaping the technology in question. The enthusiasts encountered in this paper are important here not for their role in shaping the technology, but keeping technological heritage alive. As historian of technology Haring reminds us, “there exist alternative ways of using and relating to technology” (18). Furthermore, the sociological literature on audiences (Abercrombie and Longhurst, Ang), fans (Hills, Jenkins, Lewis, Sandvoss) and subcultures (Hall, Hebdige, Schouten and McAlexander) has also been extended in order to account for the enthusiast. In Abercrombie and Longhurst’s Audiences, the authors locate ‘the enthusiast’ and ‘the fan’ at opposing ends of a continuum of consumption defined by questions of specialisation of interest, social organisation of interest and material productivity. Fans are described as:skilled or competent in different modes of production and consumption; active in their interactions with texts and in their production of new texts; and communal in that they construct different communities based on their links to the programmes they like. (127 emphasis in original) Based on this definition, Abercrombie and Longhurst argue that fans and enthusiasts differ in three ways: (1) enthusiasts’ activities are not based around media images and stars in the way that fans’ activities are; (2) enthusiasts can be hypothesized to be relatively light media users, particularly perhaps broadcast media, though they may be heavy users of the specialist publications which are directed towards the enthusiasm itself; (3) the enthusiasm would appear to be rather more organised than the fan activity. (132) What is striking about this attempt to differentiate between the fan and the enthusiast is that it is based on supposition rather than the actual experience and observation of enthusiasm. It is here that the ethnographic account of enthusiasm presented in this paper and elsewhere, for example works by Dannefer on vintage car culture, Moorhouse on American hot-rodding and Fuller on modified-car culture in Australia, can shed light on the subject. My own ethnographic study of groups with a passion for telecommunications heritage, early British computers and industrial archaeology takes the discussion of “technology enthusiasm” further still. Through in-depth interviews, observation and textual analysis, I have examined in detail the formation of enthusiast societies and their membership, the importance of the material record to enthusiasts (particularly at home) and the enthusiastic practices of collecting and hoarding, as well as the figure of the technology enthusiast in the public space of the museum, namely the Science Museum in London (Geoghegan). In this paper, I explore the culture of enthusiasm for the industrial past through the example of the Greater London Industrial Archaeology Society (GLIAS). Focusing on industrial sites around London, GLIAS meet five or six times a year for field visits, walks and a treasure hunt. The committee maintain a website and produce a quarterly newsletter. The title of my paper, “If you can walk down the street and recognise the difference between cast iron and wrought iron, the world is altogether a better place,” comes from an interview I conducted with the co-founder and present chairman of GLIAS. He was telling me about his fascination with the materials of industrialisation. In fact, he said even concrete is sexy. Some call it a hobby; others call it a disease. But enthusiasm for industrial archaeology is, as several respondents have themselves identified, “as insidious in its side effects as any debilitating germ. It dictates your lifestyle, organises your activity and decides who your friends are” (Frow and Frow 177, Gillespie et al.). Through the figure of the industrial archaeology enthusiast, I discuss in this paper what it means to be enthusiastic. I begin by reflecting on the development of this specialist subject area. I go on to detail the formation of the Society in the late 1960s, before exploring the Society’s fieldwork methods and some of the other activities they now engage in. I raise questions of enthusiast and professional knowledge and practice, as well as consider the future of this particular enthusiasm.Defining Industrial ArchaeologyThe practice of 'industrial archaeology' is much contested. For a long time, enthusiasts and professional archaeologists have debated the meaning and use of the term (Palmer). On the one hand, there are those interested in the history, preservation, and recording of industrial sites. For example the grandfather figures of the subject, namely Kenneth Hudson and Angus Buchanan, who both published widely in the 1960s and 1970s in order to encourage publics to get involved in recording. Many members of GLIAS refer to the books of Hudson Industrial Archaeology: an Introduction and Buchanan Industrial Archaeology in Britain with their fine descriptions and photographs as integral to their early interest in the subject. On the other hand, there are those within the academic discipline of archaeology who consider the study of remains produced by the Industrial Revolution as too modern. Moreover, they find the activities of those calling themselves industrial archaeologists as lacking sufficient attention to the understanding of past human activity to justify the name. As a result, the definition of 'industrial archaeology' is problematic for both enthusiasts and professionals. Even the early advocates of professional industrial archaeology felt uneasy about the subject’s methods and practices. In 1973, Philip Riden (described by one GLIAS member as the angry young man of industrial archaeology), the then president of the Oxford University Archaeology Society, wrote a damning article in Antiquity, calling for the subject to “shed the amateur train drivers and others who are not part of archaeology” (215-216). He decried the “appallingly low standard of some of the work done under the name of ‘industrial archaeology’” (211). He felt that if enthusiasts did not attempt to maintain high technical standards, publish their work in journals or back up their fieldwork with documentary investigation or join their county archaeological societies then there was no value in the efforts of these amateurs. During this period, enthusiasts, academics, and professionals were divided. What was wrong with doing something for the pleasure it provides the participant?Although relations today between the so-called amateur (enthusiast) and professional archaeologies are less potent, some prejudice remains. Describing them as “barrow boys”, some enthusiasts suggest that what was once their much-loved pastime has been “hijacked” by professional archaeologists who, according to one respondent,are desperate to find subjects to get degrees in. So the whole thing has been hijacked by academia as it were. Traditional professional archaeologists in London at least are running head on into things that we have been doing for decades and they still don’t appreciate that this is what we do. A lot of assessments are handed out to professional archaeology teams who don’t necessarily have any knowledge of industrial archaeology. (James, GLIAS committee member)James went on to reveal that GLIAS receives numerous enquiries from professional archaeologists, developers and town planners asking what they know about particular sites across the city. Although the Society has compiled a detailed database covering some areas of London, it is by no means comprehensive. In addition, many active members often record and monitor sites in London for their own personal enjoyment. This leaves many questioning the need to publish their results for the gain of third parties. Canadian sociologist Stebbins discusses this situation in his research on “serious leisure”. He has worked extensively with amateur archaeologists in order to understand their approach to their leisure activity. He argues that amateurs are “neither dabblers who approach the activity with little commitment or seriousness, nor professionals who make a living from that activity” (55). Rather they pursue their chosen leisure activity to professional standards. A point echoed by Fine in his study of the cultures of mushrooming. But this is to get ahead of myself. How did GLIAS begin?GLIAS: The GroupThe 1960s have been described by respondents as a frantic period of “running around like headless chickens.” Enthusiasts of London’s industrial archaeology were witnessing incredible changes to the city’s industrial landscape. Individuals and groups like the Thames Basin Archaeology Observers Group were recording what they could. Dashing around London taking photos to capture London’s industrial legacy before it was lost forever. However the final straw for many, in London at least, was the proposed and subsequent demolition of the “Euston Arch”. The Doric portico at Euston Station was completed in 1838 and stood as a symbol to the glory of railway travel. Despite strong protests from amenity societies, this Victorian symbol of progress was finally pulled down by British Railways in 1962 in order to make way for what enthusiasts have called a “monstrous concrete box”.In response to these changes, GLIAS was founded in 1968 by two engineers and a locomotive driver over afternoon tea in a suburban living room in Woodford, North-East London. They held their first meeting one Sunday afternoon in December at the Science Museum in London and attracted over 130 people. Firing the imagination of potential members with an exhibition of photographs of the industrial landscape taken by Eric de Maré, GLIAS’s first meeting was a success. Bringing together like-minded people who are motivated and enthusiastic about the subject, GLIAS currently has over 600 members in the London area and beyond. This makes it the largest industrial archaeology society in the UK and perhaps Europe. Drawing some of its membership from a series of evening classes hosted by various members of the Society’s committee, GLIAS initially had a quasi-academic approach. Although some preferred the hands-on practical element and were more, as has been described by one respondent, “your free-range enthusiast”. The society has an active committee, produces a newsletter and journal, as well as runs regular events for members. However the Society is not simply about the study of London’s industrial heritage, over time the interest in industrial archaeology has developed for some members into long-term friendships. Sociability is central to organised leisure activities. It underpins and supports the performance of enthusiasm in groups and societies. For Fine, sociability does not always equal friendship, but it is the state from which people might become friends. Some GLIAS members have taken this one step further: there have even been a couple of marriages. Although not the subject of my paper, technical culture is heavily gendered. Industrial archaeology is a rare exception attracting a mixture of male and female participants, usually retired husband and wife teams.Doing Industrial Archaeology: GLIAS’s Method and PracticeIn what has been described as GLIAS’s heyday, namely the 1970s to early 1980s, fieldwork was fundamental to the Society’s activities. The Society’s approach to fieldwork during this period was much the same as the one described by champion of industrial archaeology Arthur Raistrick in 1973:photographing, measuring, describing, and so far as possible documenting buildings, engines, machinery, lines of communication, still or recently in use, providing a satisfactory record for the future before the object may become obsolete or be demolished. (13)In the early years of GLIAS and thanks to the committed efforts of two active Society members, recording parties were organised for extended lunch hours and weekends. The majority of this early fieldwork took place at the St Katherine Docks. The Docks were constructed in the 1820s by Thomas Telford. They became home to the world’s greatest concentration of portable wealth. Here GLIAS members learnt and employed practical (also professional) skills, such as measuring, triangulations and use of a “dumpy level”. For many members this was an incredibly exciting time. It was a chance to gain hands-on experience of industrial archaeology. Having been left derelict for many years, the Docks have since been redeveloped as part of the Docklands regeneration project.At this time the Society was also compiling data for what has become known to members as “The GLIAS Book”. The book was to have separate chapters on the various industrial histories of London with contributions from Society members about specific sites. Sadly the book’s editor died and the project lost impetus. Several years ago, the committee managed to digitise the data collected for the book and began to compile a database. However, the GLIAS database has been beset by problems. Firstly, there are often questions of consistency and coherence. There is a standard datasheet for recording industrial buildings – the Index Record for Industrial Sites. However, the quality of each record is different because of the experience level of the different authors. Some authors are automatically identified as good or expert record keepers. Secondly, getting access to the database in order to upload the information has proved difficult. As one of the respondents put it: “like all computer babies [the creator of the database], is finding it hard to give birth” (Sally, GLIAS member). As we have learnt enthusiasm is integral to movements such as industrial archaeology – public historian Raphael Samuel described them as the “invisible hands” of historical enquiry. Yet, it is this very enthusiasm that has the potential to jeopardise projects such as the GLIAS book. Although active in their recording practices, the GLIAS book saga reflects one of the challenges encountered by enthusiast groups and societies. In common with other researchers studying amenity societies, such as Ellis and Waterton’s work with amateur naturalists, unlike the world of work where people are paid to complete a task and are therefore meant to have a singular sense of purpose, the activities of an enthusiast group like GLIAS rely on the goodwill of their members to volunteer their time, energy and expertise. When this is lost for whatever reason, there is no requirement for any other member to take up that position. As such, levels of commitment vary between enthusiasts and can lead to the aforementioned difficulties, such as disputes between group members, the occasional miscommunication of ideas and an over-enthusiasm for some parts of the task in hand. On top of this, GLIAS and societies like it are confronted with changing health and safety policies and tightened security surrounding industrial sites. This has made the practical side of industrial archaeology increasingly difficult. As GLIAS member Bob explains:For me to go on site now I have to wear site boots and borrow a hard hat and a high visibility jacket. Now we used to do incredibly dangerous things in the seventies and nobody batted an eyelid. You know we were exploring derelict buildings, which you are virtually not allowed in now because the floor might give way. Again the world has changed a lot there. GLIAS: TodayGLIAS members continue to record sites across London. Some members are currently surveying the site chosen as the location of the Olympic Games in London in 2012 – the Lower Lea Valley. They describe their activities at this site as “rescue archaeology”. GLIAS members are working against the clock and some important structures have already been demolished. They only have time to complete a quick flash survey. Armed with the information they collated in previous years, GLIAS is currently in discussions with the developer to orchestrate a detailed recording of the site. It is important to note here that GLIAS members are less interested in campaigning for the preservation of a site or building, they appreciate that sites must change. Instead they want to ensure that large swathes of industrial London are not lost without a trace. Some members regard this as their public duty.Restricted by health and safety mandates and access disputes, GLIAS has had to adapt. The majority of practical recording sessions have given way to guided walks in the summer and public lectures in the winter. Some respondents have identified a difference between those members who call themselves “industrial archaeologists” and those who are just “ordinary members” of GLIAS. The walks are for those with a general interest, not serious members, and the talks are public lectures. Some audience researchers have used Bourdieu’s metaphor of “capital” to describe the experience, knowledge and skill required to be a fan, clubber or enthusiast. For Hills, fan status is built up through the demonstration of cultural capital: “where fans share a common interest while also competing over fan knowledge, access to the object of fandom, and status” (46). A clear membership hierarchy can be seen within GLIAS based on levels of experience, knowledge and practical skill.With a membership of over 600 and rising annually, the Society’s future is secure at present. However some of the more serious members, although retaining their membership, are pursuing their enthusiasm elsewhere: through break-away recording groups in London; active membership of other groups and societies, for example the national Association for Industrial Archaeology; as well as heading off to North Wales in the summer for practical, hands-on industrial archaeology in Snowdonia’s slate quarries – described in the Ffestiniog Railway Journal as the “annual convention of slate nutters.” ConclusionsGLIAS has changed since its foundation in the late 1960s. Its operation has been complicated by questions of health and safety, site access, an ageing membership, and the constant changes to London’s industrial archaeology. Previously rejected by professional industrial archaeology as “limited in skill and resources” (Riden), enthusiasts are now approached by professional archaeologists, developers, planners and even museums that are interested in engaging in knowledge exchange programmes. As a recent report from the British think-tank Demos has argued, enthusiasts or pro-ams – “amateurs who work to professional standards” (Leadbeater and Miller 12) – are integral to future innovation and creativity; for example computer pro-ams developed an operating system to rival Microsoft Windows. As such the specialist knowledge, skill and practice of these communities is of increasing interest to policymakers, practitioners, and business. So, the subject once described as “the ugly offspring of two parents that shouldn’t have been allowed to breed” (Hudson), the so-called “amateur” industrial archaeology offers enthusiasts and professionals alike alternative ways of knowing, seeing and being in the recent and contemporary past.Through the case study of GLIAS, I have described what it means to be enthusiastic about industrial archaeology. I have introduced a culture of collective and individual participation and friendship based on a mutual interest in and emotional attachment to industrial sites. As we have learnt in this paper, enthusiasm is about fun, pleasure and joy. The enthusiastic culture presented here advances themes such as passion in relation to less obvious communities of knowing, skilled practices, material artefacts and spaces of knowledge. Moreover, this paper has been about the affective narratives that are sometimes missing from academic accounts; overlooked for fear of snigg*rs at the back of a conference hall. Laughter and humour are a large part of what enthusiasm is. Enthusiastic cultures then are about the pleasure and joy experienced in doing things. Enthusiasm is clearly a potent force for active participation. I will leave the last word to GLIAS member John:One meaning of enthusiasm is as a form of possession, madness. Obsession perhaps rather than possession, which I think is entirely true. It is a pejorative term probably. The railway enthusiast. But an awful lot of energy goes into what they do and achieve. Enthusiasm to my mind is an essential ingredient. If you are not a person who can muster enthusiasm, it is very difficult, I think, to get anything out of it. On the basis of the more you put in the more you get out. In terms of what has happened with industrial archaeology in this country, I think, enthusiasm is a very important aspect of it. The movement needs people who can transmit that enthusiasm. ReferencesAbercrombie, N., and B. Longhurst. Audiences: A Sociological Theory of Performance and Imagination. London: Sage Publications, 1998.Adas, M. Machines as the Measure of Men: Science, Technology and Ideologies of Western Dominance. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1989.Ang, I. Desperately Seeking the Audience. London: Routledge, 1991.Bourdieu, P. Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste. London: Routledge, 1984.Buchanan, R.A. Industrial Archaeology in Britain. 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Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of Western Sydney, 2007.Geoghegan, H. The Culture of Enthusiasm: Technology, Collecting and Museums. Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of London, 2008.Gillespie, D.L., A. Leffler, and E. Lerner. “‘If It Weren’t for My Hobby, I’d Have a Life’: Dog Sports, Serious Leisure, and Boundary Negotiations.” Leisure Studies 21 (2002): 285–304.Hall, S., and T. Jefferson, eds. Resistance through Rituals: Youth Sub-Cultures in Post-War Britain. London: Hutchinson, 1976.Hanks, P. “Enthusiasm and Condescension.” Euralex ’98 Proceedings. 1998. 18 Jul. 2005 ‹http://www.patrickhanks.com/papers/enthusiasm.pdf›.Haring, K. “The ‘Freer Men’ of Ham Radio: How a Technical Hobby Provided Social and Spatial Distance.” Technology and Culture 44 (2003): 734–761.Haring, K. Ham Radio’s Technical Culture. London: MIT Press, 2007.Hebdige, D. Subculture: The Meaning of Style. London: Methuen, 1979.Hills, M. Fan Cultures. London: Routledge, 2002.Hudson, K. Industrial Archaeology London: John Baker, 1963.Jenkins, H. Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture. London: Routledge, 1992.Latour, B. Aramis, or the Love of Technology. London: Harvard UP, 1996.Leadbeater, C., and P. Miller. The Pro-Am Revolution: How Enthusiasts Are Changing Our Economy and Society. London: Demos, 2004.Lewis, L.A., ed. The Adoring Audience: Fan Culture and Popular Media. London: Routledge, 1992.McLoughlin, W.G. Revivals, Awakenings, and Reform: An Essay on Religion and Social Change in America, 1607-1977. London: U of Chicago P, 1977.Mee, J. Romanticism, Enthusiasm, and Regulation: Poetics and the Policing of Culture in the Romantic Period. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2003.Mellström, U. “Patriarchal Machines and Masculine Embodiment.” Science, Technology, & Human Values 27 (2002): 460–478.Moorhouse, H.F. Driving Ambitions: A Social Analysis of American Hot Rod Enthusiasm. Manchester: Manchester UP, 1991.Oldenziel, R. Making Technology Masculine: Men, Women and Modern Machines in America 1870-1945. Amsterdam: Amsterdam UP, 1999.Palmer, M. “‘We Have Not Factory Bell’: Domestic Textile Workers in the Nineteenth Century.” The Local Historian 34 (2004): 198–213.Raistrick, A. Industrial Archaeology. London: Granada, 1973.Riden, P. “Post-Post-Medieval Archaeology.” Antiquity XLVII (1973): 210-216.Rix, M. “Industrial Archaeology: Progress Report 1962.” The Amateur Historian 5 (1962): 56–60.Rix, M. Industrial Archaeology. London: The Historical Association, 1967.Saarikoski, P. The Lure of the Machine: The Personal Computer Interest in Finland from the 1970s to the Mid-1990s. Unpublished PhD Thesis, 2004. ‹http://users.utu.fi/petsaari/lure.pdf›.Samuel, R. Theatres of Memory London: Verso, 1994.Sandvoss, C. Fans: The Mirror of Consumption Cambridge: Polity, 2005.Schouten, J.W., and J. McAlexander. “Subcultures of Consumption: An Ethnography of the New Bikers.” Journal of Consumer Research 22 (1995) 43–61.Stebbins, R.A. Amateurs: On the Margin between Work and Leisure. Beverly Hills: Sage, 1979.Stebbins, R.A. Amateurs, Professionals, and Serious Leisure. London: McGill-Queen’s UP, 1992.Takahashi, Y. “A Network of Tinkerers: The Advent of the Radio and Television Receiver Industry in Japan.” Technology and Culture 41 (2000): 460–484.

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Ballantyne, Glenda, and Aneta Podkalicka. "Dreaming Diversity: Second Generation Australians and the Reimagining of Multicultural Australia." M/C Journal 23, no.1 (March18, 2020). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1648.

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Abstract:

Introduction For migrants, the dream of a better life is often expressed by the metaphor of the journey (Papastergiadis 31). Propelled by a variety of forces and choices, migrant life narratives tend to revolve around movement from one place to another, from a homeland associated with cultural and spiritual origins to a hostland which offers new opportunities and possibilities. In many cases, however, their dreams of migrants are deferred; migrants endure hardships and make sacrifices in the hope of a better life for their children. Many studies have explored the social and economic outcomes of the “second” generation – the children of migrants born and raised in the new country. In Australia studies have found, despite some notable exceptions (Betts and Healy; Inglis), that the children of migrants have achieved the economic and social integration their parents dreamed of (Khoo, McDonald, Giorgas, and Birrell). At the same time, however, research has found that the second generation face new challenges, including the negative impact of ethnic and racial discrimination (Dunn, Blair, Bliuc, and Kamp; Jakubowicz, Collins, Reid, and Chafic), the experience of split identities and loyalties (Butcher and Thomas) and a complicated sense of “home” and belonging (Fabiansson; Mason; Collins and Read). In this articles, we explore what the dream of a better life means for second generation migrants, and how that dream might reshape Australia’s multicultural identity. A focus on this generation’s imaginings, visions and hopes for the future is important, we argue, because its distinctive experience, differing from that of other sections of the Australian community in some important ways, needs to be recognised as the nation’s multicultural identity is refashioned in changing circ*mstances. Unlike their parents, the second generation was born into what is now one of the most diverse countries in the world, with over a quarter (26%) of the population born overseas and a further 23% having at least one parent born overseas (Australian Bureau of Statistics). Unlike their parents, they have come of age in the era of digitally-enabled international communication that has transformed the ways in which people connect. This cohort has a distinctive relationship to the national imaginary. The idea of “multicultural Australia” that was part of the country’s adoption of a multicultural policy framework in the early 1970s was based on a narrative of “old” (white Anglo) Australians “welcoming” (or “tolerating”) “new” (immigrant) Australians (Ang and Stratton; Hage). In this narrative, the second generation, who are Australian born but not “old” Australians and of “migrant background” but not “new” Australians, are largely invisible, setting them apart from both their migrant parents and other, overseas born young Australians of diverse backgrounds, with whom they are often grouped (Collins, Reid, and Fabiansson; Ang, Brand, Noble, and Sternberg; Collins, Reid, and Fabiansson; Harris).In what follows, we aim to contribute to calls for a rethinking of Australian national identity and “culture of interaction” to better reflect the experiences of all citizens (Levey; Collins, Reid, and Fabiansson) by focusing on the experiences of the second generation. Taking our cue from Geoffrey Levey, we argue that “it is not the business of government or politicians to complete the definition of what it means to be Australian” and that we should instead look to a sense of national identity that emerges organically from “mundane daily social interaction” (Levey). To this end, we adopt an “everyday multiculturalism” perspective (Wise and Velayutham), “view[ing] situations of co-existence ... as a concrete, specific context of action, in which difference comes across as a constraint ... and as a resource” (Semi, Colombo, Comozzi, and Frisina 67). We see our focus on the second generation as complementary to existing studies that have examined experiences of young Australians of diverse backgrounds through an everyday multiculturalism prism without distinguishing between newly arrived young people and those born in Australia (Ang, Brand, Noble, and Sternberg; Collins, Reid, and Fabiansson; Harris). We emphasise, however, after Mansouri and Johns, that the second generation’s distinctive cultural and socio-structural challenges and needs – including their distinctive relationship to the idea of “multicultural Australia” – deserve special attention. Like Christina Schachtner, we are cognisant that “faced with the task of giving meaning and direction to their lives, the next generation is increasingly confronted with a need to reconsider the revered values of the present and the past and to reorientate themselves while establishing new meanings” (233; emphasis ours). Like her, we recognise that in the contemporary era, young adults often use digital communicative spaces for the purpose of giving meaning to their lives in the circ*mstances in which they find themselves (Schachtner 233). Above all, we concur with Hopkins and Dolic when they state that “understanding the processes that inform the creation and maintenance of ... ethnic minority and Australian mainstream identities amongst second-generation young people is critical if these young people are to feel included and recognised, whilst avoiding the alienation and social exclusion that has had such ugly results in other parts of the world (153).In part one, we draw on initial findings from a collaborative empirical study between Swinburne University and the Victorian Multicultural Commission to outline some of the paradoxes and contradictions encountered by a particular – well-educated (currently or recently enrolled at university) and creative (seeking jobs in the media and cultural industries) – segment of the second generation in their attempts to imagine themselves within the frame of “multicultural Australia” (3 focus groups, of 60-90 minutes duration, involving 7-10 participants were conducted over 2018 and 2019). These include feeling more Australian than their parents while not always being seen as “really” Australian by the broader community; embracing diversity but struggling to find a language in which to adequately express it; and acknowledging the progress being made in representing diversity in the mainstream media while not seeing their stories and those of their parents represented there.In part two, we outline future research directions that look to a range of cultural texts and mediated forms of social interactions across popular culture and media in search of new conversations about personal and national identity that could feed into a renewal of a more inclusive understanding of Australian identity.Living and Talking DiversityOur conversations with second generation young Australians confirmed many of the paradoxes and contradictions experienced by young people of diverse backgrounds in the constant traversing of their parents’ and Australian culture captured in previous research (Ang, Brand, Noble, and Sternberg; Harris). Emblematic of these paradoxes are the complicated ways they relate to “Australian identity,” notably expressed in the tension felt between identifying as “Australian” when overseas and with their parent’s heritage when in Australia. An omnipresent reminder of their provisional status as “Aussies” is questions such as “well I know you’re Australian but what are you really?” As one participant put it: “I identify as Australian, I’m proud of my Australian identity. But in Australia I’m Turkish and that’s just because when someone asks I’m not gonna say ‘oh I’m Australian’ ... I used to live in the UK and if someone asked me there, I was Australian. If someone asks me here, I’m Turkish. So that’s how it is. Turkish, born in Australia”The second generation young people in our study responded to these ambiguities in different ways. Some applied hyphenated labels to themselves, while others felt that identification with the nation was largely irrelevant, documented in existing research (Collins, Reid, and Fabiansson; Harris). As one of our participants put it, “I just personally don’t find national identity to be that important or relevant – it’s just another detail about me – I [don’t] think it should affect anything else.” The study also found that our participants had difficulty in finding specific terms to express their identities. For some, trying to describe their identities was “really confusing,” and their thinking changed from day to day. For others, the reason it was hard to express their identities was that the very substance of mundane, daily life “feels very default”. This was the case when many of our participants reported their lived experiences of diversity, whether related to culinary and sport experiences, or simply social interactions with “the people I talk to” and daily train trips where “everyone [of different ethnicities] just rides the train together and doesn’t think twice about it”. As one young person put it, “the default is going around the corner for dinner and having Mongolian beef and pho”. We found that a factor feeding into the ambivalence of articulating Australian identity is the influence – constraining and enabling – of prevailing idioms of identity and difference. Several instances were uncovered in which widely circulating and highly politicised discourses of identity had the effect of shutting down conversation. In particular, the issue of what was “politically correct” language was a touchstone for much of the discussion among the young people in our study. This concern with “appropriate language” created some hesitancy and confusion, as when one person was trying to describe white Australians: “obviously you know Australia’s still a – how do you, you know, I guess I don’t know how to – the appropriate, you know PC language but Australia’s a white country if that makes sense you know”. Other participants were reluctant to talk about cultural groups and their shared characteristics at all, seeing such statements as potentially racist. In contrast to this feeling of restricted discourse, we found many examples of our participants playing and repurposing received vocabularies. As reported in other research, the young people used ideas about origin, race and ethnicity in loose and shifting ways (Back; Butcher). In some cases, in contrast to fears of “racist” connotations of identifying individuals by their cultural background, the language of labels and shorthand descriptors was used as a lingua franca for playful, albeit not unproblematic, negotiations across cultural boundaries. One participant reported being called one of “The Turks” in classes at university. His response expressed the tensions embedded in this usage, finding it stereotyping but ultimately affectionate. As he expressed it, “it’s like, ‘I have a personality, guys.’ But that was okay, it was endearing, they were all with it”. Another finding highlighted more fraught issues that can be raised when existing identity categories are transposed from contexts strongly marked by historically specific circ*mstances into unrelated contexts. This was the case of a university classmate saying of another Turkish participant that he “was the black guy of the class because … [he] was the darkest”. The circulation of “borrowed” discourses – particularly, as in this case, from the USA – is notable in the digital era, and the broader implications of such usage among people who are not always aware of the connotations of a discourse that is deeply rooted in a particular history and culture, are yet to be fully examined (Lester). The study also shed some light on the struggles the young people in our study encountered in finding a language in which to describe their identities and relationship to “Australianness”. When asked if they thought others would consider them to be “Australian”, responses revealed a spectrum ranging from perceived rejection to an ill-defined and provisional inclusion. One person reported – despite having been born and lived in Australia all their life – that “I don’t think I would ever be called Australian from Australian people – from white Australian people”. Another thought that it was not possible to generalise about being considered Australians by the broader community, as “some do, some don’t”. Again, responses varied. While for some it was a source of unease, for others the distancing from “Australianness” was not experienced negatively, as in the case of the participant who said of being singled out as “different” from the Anglo-Celtic mainstream, “I actually don’t mind that … I’ve got something that a lot of white Australians males don’t have”.A connected finding was the continuing presence of, often subtle but clearly registered, racism. The second generation young people in the study were very conscious of the ways in which experiences of racism they encountered differed from – and represented an improvement on – that of their parents. Drawing an intergenerational contrast between the explicit racism their parents were often subjected to and their own experiences of what they frequently referred to as microaggressions, they mostly saw progress occurring on this front. Another sign of progress they observed was in relation to their own propensity to reject exclusionary thinking, as when they suggested that their parents’ generation are more likely to make “assumptions about culture” based on people’s “outward appearance” which they found problematic because “everyone’s everywhere”. While those cultural faux pas were judged as “well-meaning” and even justified by not “growing up in a culturally diverse setting”, they are at odds with young people’s own experiences and understanding of diversity.The final major finding to emerge from the study was the widespread view that mainstream media fails to represent their lives. Again, our participants acknowledged the progress that has been made over recent decades and applauded moves towards greater representation of non-Anglo-Celtic communities in mainstream free-to-air programming. But the vast majority reported that their experiences are not represented. The sentiment that “I’d love to see someone who looks like me on TV more – on a really basic level – I’d like to see someone who looks like my Dad” was shared by many. What remained missing – and motivated many of the young people in our study to embark on filmmaking careers – was content that reflected their local, place-based lifestyles and the intergenerational dynamics of migrated families that is the fabric of their lives. When asked if Australian media content reflected their experience, one participant put it bluntly: “if I felt like it did, I wouldn’t be actively trying to make documentaries and films about it”.Dreaming DiversityThe findings of the study confirmed earlier research highlighting the ambiguities encountered by second generation Australians who are demographically, emotionally and culturally marked by their parents’ experiences of migration even as they forge their post-migration futures. On the one hand, they reported an allegiance to the Australian nation and recognised that in many ways that they are more part of its fabric than their parents. On the other hand, they reported a number of situations in which they feel marginalised and not “really” Australian, as when they are asked “where are you really from” and when they do not see their stories represented in the mainstream media. In particular, the study highlighted the tensions involved in describing personal and Australian identity, revealing the struggle the second generation often experience in their attempts to express the complexity of their identifications and sense of belonging. As we see it, the lack of recognition of being “really” Australian felt by the young people in our study and their view that mainstream media does not sufficiently represent their experience are connected. Underlying both is a status quo in which the normative Australian is Anglo-Celtic. To help shift this prevailing view of the normative Australian, we endorse earlier calls for a research program centred on analyses of a range of cultural texts and mediated forms of social interactions in search of new conversations about Australian identity. Media, both public and commercial, have the potential to be key agents for community building and identity formation. From radio and television programs through to online discussion forums and social media, media have provided platforms for creating collective imagination and a sense of belonging, including in the context of migration in Australia (Sinclair and Cunningham; Johns; Ang, Brand, Noble, and Sternberg). By supplying symbolic resources through which cultural differences and identities are represented and circulated, they can offer up opportunities for societal reflection, scrutiny and self-interpretation. As a starting point, for example, three current popular media formats that depict or are produced by second-generation Australians lend themselves to such a multi-sited analysis. The first is internet forums in which second generation young people share their quotidian experiences of “bouncing between both cultures in our lives” (Wu and Yuan), often in humorous forms. As the popularity of Subtle Asian Traits and its offshoot Subtle Curry Traits have indicated, these sites tap into the hunger among the Asian diaspora for increased media visibility. The second is the work of comedians, including those who self-identify as of migrant descent. The politics of stereotyping and racial jokes and the difference between them has been a subject of considerable research, including into television comedy productions which are important because of their potential audience reach and ensuing post-viewing conversations (Zambon). The third is a new generation of television programs which are set in situations of diversity without being heralded as “about” diversity. A key case is the television drama series The Heights, first screened on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in Australia in 2019, which explores the relationships between the residents of a social housing tower and the people who live in the rapidly gentrifying community that surrounds it in the melting pot of urban Australia. These examples represent a diverse range of cultural expressions – created informally and spontaneously (Subtle Asian Traits, Subtle Curry Traits), fashioned by individuals working in the entertainment industry (comedians), and produced professionally and broadcast on national TV networks (The Heights). What unites them is an engagement with the novel forms of belonging that postwar migration has produced (Papastergiadis 20) and an attempt to communicate and represent the lived experience of contemporary Australian diversity, including negotiated dreams and aspirations for the future. We propose a systematic analysis of the new languages of identity and difference that their efforts to represent the evolving patterns and circ*mstances of diversity in Australia are bringing forth. Conclusions To dream in the context of migration implies, more often than not, the prospect of a better material life in an adopted country. Instead, through the notion of “dreaming diversity”, we foreground the dreams, expectations and imaginations for the future of the Australian second generation which centre on carving out their cultural place in the nation.The empirical research we presented paints a picture of the second generation's paradoxical and contradictory experiences as they navigate the shifting landscape of Australia’s multicultural society. It gives a glimpse of the challenges and hopes they encounter as well as the direction of their attempts to negotiate their place within “Australian identity”. Finally, it highlights the need for a more expansive conversation and language in which that identity can be expressed. A language in which to talk – not just about the many cultures that make up the nation, but also to each other from within them – will be crucial to facilitate the deeper intercultural understanding and engagement many young people aspire to. Our ambition is not to codify a register of approved terms, and even less to formulate a new official discourse for use in multicultural policy documents. It is rather to register, crystalise and expand a discussion around difference and identity that is emerging from everyday interactions of Australians and foster a more committed conversation attuned to contemporary realities and communicative spaces where those interactions take place. In search of a richer vocabulary in which Australian identity might be reimagined, we have identified a research program that will explore emerging ways of talking about difference and identity across a range of cultural and media formats about or by the second generation. While arguing for the significance of the languages and idioms that are emerging in the spaces that young people inhabit, we recognise that, no less than other demographics, second-generation Australians are influenced by circulating narratives and categories in which (national) identity is discussed (Harris 15), including official conceptions and prevailing discourses of identity politics which are often encountered online and through popular culture. Our point is that the dreams, visions and imaginaries of second generation Australians, who will be among the key actors in fashioning Australia’s multicultural futures, are an important element of reimagining Australia’s multiculturalism even if those discourses may be partial, ambivalent or fragmented. We see this research program as building on and extending the tradition of sociological and cultural analyses of popular culture, media and cultural diversity and contributing to a more robust and systematic catalogue of multicultural narratives across different popular formats, genres, and production arrangements characteristic of the diversified media landscape. We have focused on the Australian “new second generation” (Zhou and Bankston), coming of age in the early 21st century, as a significant but under-researched group in the belief that their narratives of aspirations and dreams will be a crucial component of discursive innovations and practical programs for social change.ReferencesAustralian Bureau of Statistics. “The Way We Live Now.” 2017. 1 Mar. 2020 <https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/2024.0>.Ang, Ien, Jeffrey E. Brand, Greg Noble, and Jason Sternberg. Connecting Diversity: Paradoxes of Multicultural Australia. Artarmon: Special Broadcasting Service Corporation, 2006.Back, L., P. Cohen, and M. Keith. “Between Home and Belonging: Critical Ethnographies of Race, Place and Identity.” Finding the Way Home: Young People’s Stories of Gender, Ethnicity, Class and Places in Hamburg and London. Ed. N. Räthzel. Göttingen: V&R Unipress, 2008. 197–224.Betts, Katherine, and Ernest Healy. “Lebanese Muslims in Australia and Social Disadvantage.” People and Place 14.1 (2006): 24-42.Butcher, Melissa. “FOB Boys, VCs and Habibs: Using Language to Navigate Difference and Belonging in Culturally Diverse Sydney.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 34.3 (2008): 371-387. DOI: 10.1080/13691830701880202. Butcher, Melissa, and Mandy Thomas. “Ingenious: Emerging Hybrid Youth Cultures in Western Sydney.” Global Youth? Hybrid Identities, Plural Worlds. Eds. Pam Nilan and Carles Feixa. London: Routledge, 2006.Collins, Jock, and Carol Reid. “Minority Youth, Crime, Conflict, and Belonging in Australia.” International Migration & Integration 10 (2009): 377–391. DOI: 10.1007/s12134-009-0112-1.Collins, Jock, Carol Reid, and Charlotte Fabiansson. “Identities, Aspirations and Belonging of Cosmopolitan Youth in Australia.” Cosmopolitan Civil Societies Journal 3.3 (2011): 92-107.Dunn, K.M., K. Blair, A-M. Bliuc, and A. Kamp. “Land and Housing as Crucibles of Racist Nationalism: Asian Australians’ Experiences.” Geographical Research 56.4 (2018): 465-478. DOI: 10.1111/1745-5871.12313.Fabiansson, Charlotte. “Belonging and Social Identity among Young People in Western Sydney, Australia.” International Migration & Integration 19 (2018): 351–366. DOI: 10.1007/s12134-018-0540-x.Hage, Ghassan. White Nation: Fantasies of White Supremacy in a Multicultural Society. Sydney: Pluto Press, 1998.Heights, The. Matchbox Pictures and For Pete’s Sake Productions, 2019.Harris, Anita. Young People and Everyday Multiculturalism. New York: Routledge, 2013.Hopkins, Liza, and Z. Dolic. “Second Generation Youth and the New Media Environment.” Youth Identity and Migration: Culture, Values and Social Connectedness. Ed. Fethi Mansouri. Altona: Common Ground, 2009. 153-164.Inglis, Christine. Inequality, Discrimination and Social Cohesion: Socio-Economic Mobility and Incorporation of Australian-Born Lebanese and Turkish Background Youth. Sydney: U of Sydney, 2010. Jakubowicz, Andrew, Jock Collins, Carol Reid, and Wafa Chafic. “Minority Youth and Social Transformation in Australia: Identities, Belonging and Cultural Capital.” Social Inclusion 2.2 (2014): 5-16.Johns, Amelia. “Muslim Young People Online: ‘Acts of Citizenship’ in Socially Networked Spaces.” Social Inclusion 2.2 (2014):71-82.Khoo, Siew-Ean, Peter McDonald, Dimi Giorgas, and Bob Birrell. Second Generation Australians. Canberra: Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, Australian Centre for Population Research and Research School of Social Sciences, and the Australian National University and Centre for Population and Urban Research, 2002.Levey, Geoffrey. “National Identity and Diversity: Back to First Principles.” Who We Are. Eds. Julianne Schultz and Peter Mares. Griffith Review 61 (2018).Mason, V. “Children of the ‘Idea of Palestine’: Negotiating Identity, Belonging and Home in the Palestinian Diaspora.” Journal of Intercultural Studies 28.3 (2007): 271-285.Papastergiadis, Nikos. The Turbulence of Migration: Globalization, Deterritorialization and Hybridity. Cambridge: Polity, 2000.Schachtner, Christina. “Transculturality in the Internet: Culture Flows and Virtual Publics.” Current Sociology 63.2 (2015): 228–243. DOI: 10.1177/0011392114556585.Semi, G., E. Colombo, I. Comozzi, and A. Frisina. “Practices of Difference: Analyzing Multiculturalism in Everyday Life.” Everyday Multiculturalism. Eds. Amanda Wise and Selvaraj Velayutham. UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. Sinclair, Iain, and Stuart Cunningham, eds. Floating Lives: The Media and Asian Diasporas. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2001.Wise, Amanda, and Selvaraj Velayutham, eds. Everyday Multiculturalism. UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. DOI: 10.1057/9780230244474.Wu, Nicholas, and Karen Yuan. “The Meme-ification of Asianness.” The Atlantic Dec. 2018. <https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/12/the-asian-identity-according-to-subtle-asian-traits/579037/>.Zambon, Kate. “Negotiating New German Identities: Transcultural Comedy and the Construction of Pluralistic Unity.” Media, Culture and Society 39.4 (2017): 552–567. Zhou, Min, and Carl L. Bankston. The Rise of the New Second Generation. Cambridge: Polity, 2016. DOI: 10.1177/0163443716663640.AcknowledgmentsThe empirical data reported here was drawn from Zooming In: Multiculturalism through the Lens of the Next Generation, a research collaboration between Swinburne University and the Victorian Multicultural Commission exploring contemporary perspectives on diversity among young Australians through their filmmaking practice, led by Chief Investigators Dr Glenda Ballantyne (Department of Social Sciences) and Dr Vincent Giarusso (Department of Film and Animation). We wish to thank Liam Wright and Alexa Scarlata for their work as Research Assistants on this project, and particularly the participants who shared their stories. Special thanks also to the editors of this special issue and the anonymous reviewers for their insightful feedback on an earlier version of this article. FundingZooming In: Multiculturalism through the Lens of the Next Generation has been generously supported by the Victorian Multicultural Commission, which we gratefully acknowledge.

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King,EmeraldL., and DeniseN.Rall. "Re-imagining the Empire of Japan through Japanese Schoolboy Uniforms." M/C Journal 18, no.6 (March7, 2016). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1041.

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Introduction“From every kind of man obedience I expect; I’m the Emperor of Japan.” (“Miyasama,” from Gilbert and Sullivan’s musical The Mikado, 1885)This commentary is facilitated by—surprisingly resilient—oriental stereotypes of an imagined Japan (think of Oscar Wilde’s assertion, in 1889, that Japan was a European invention). During the Victorian era, in Britain, there was a craze for all things oriental, particularly ceramics and “there was a craze for all things Japanese and no middle class drawing room was without its Japanese fan or teapot.“ (V&A Victorian). These pastoral depictions of the ‘oriental life’ included the figures of men and women in oriental garb, with fans, stilt shoes, kimono-like robes, and appropriate headdresses, engaging in garden-based activities, especially tea ceremony variations (Landow). In fact, tea itself, and the idea of a ceremony of serving it, had taken up a central role, even an obsession in middle- and upper-class Victorian life. Similarly, landscapes with wild seas, rugged rocks and stunted pines, wizened monks, pagodas and temples, and particular fauna and flora (cranes and other birds flying through clouds of peonies, cherry blossoms and chrysanthemums) were very popular motifs (see Martin and Koda). Rather than authenticity, these designs heightened the Western-based romantic stereotypes associated with a stylised form of Japanese life, conducted sedately under rule of the Japanese Imperial Court. In reality, prior to the Meiji period (1868–1912), the Emperor was largely removed from everyday concerns, residing as an isolated, holy figure in Kyoto, the traditional capital of Japan. Japan was instead ruled from Edo (modern day Tokyo) led by the Shogun and his generals, according to a strict Confucian influenced code (see Keene). In Japan, as elsewhere, the presence of feudal-style governance includes policies that determine much of everyday life, including restrictions on clothing (Rall 169). The Samurai code was no different, and included a series of protocols that restricted rank, movement, behaviour, and clothing. As Vincent has noted in the case of the ‘lace tax’ in Great Britain, these restrictions were designed to punish those who seek to penetrate the upper classes through their costume (28-30). In Japan, pre-Meiji sumptuary laws, for example, restricted the use of gold, and prohibited the use of a certain shade of red by merchant classes (V&A Kimono).Therefore, in the governance of pre-globalised societies, the importance of clothing and textile is evident; as Jones and Stallybrass comment: We need to understand the antimatedness of clothes, their ability to “pick up” subjects, to mould and shape them both physically and socially—to constitute subjects through their power as material memories […] Clothing is a worn world: a world of social relations put upon the wearer’s body. (2-3, emphasis added)The significant re-imagining of Japanese cultural and national identities are explored here through the cataclysmic impact of Western ideologies on Japanese cultural traditions. There are many ways to examine how indigenous cultures respond to European, British, or American (hereafter Western) influences, particularly in times of conflict (Wilk). Western ideology arrived in Japan after a long period of isolation (during which time Japan’s only contact was with Dutch traders) through the threat of military hostility and war. It is after this outside threat was realised that Japan’s adoption of military and industrial practices begins. The re-imagining of their national identity took many forms, and the inclusion of a Western-style military costuming as a schoolboy uniform became a highly visible indicator of Japan’s mission to protect its sovereign integrity. A brief history of Japan’s rise from a collection of isolated feudal states to a unified military power, in not only the Asian Pacific region but globally, demonstrates the speed at which they adopted the Western mode of warfare. Gunboats on Japan’s ShorelinesJapan was forcefully opened to the West in the 1850s by America under threat of First Name Perry’s ‘gunboat diplomacy’ (Hillsborough 7-8). Following this, Japan underwent a rapid period of modernisation, and an upsurge in nationalism and military expansion that was driven by a desire to catch up to the European powers present in the Pacific. Noted by Ian Ferguson in Civilization: The West and the Rest, Unsure, the Japanese decided […] to copy everything […] Japanese institutions were refashioned on Western models. The army drilled like Germans; the navy sailed like Britons. An American-style system of state elementary and middle schools was also introduced. (221, emphasis added)This was nothing short of a wide-scale reorganisation of Japan’s entire social structure and governance. Under the Emperor Meiji, who wrested power from the Shogunate and reclaimed it for the Imperial head, Japan steamed into an industrial revolution, achieving in a matter of years what had taken Europe over a century.Japan quickly became a major player-elect on the world stage. However, as an island nation, Japan lacked the essentials of both coal and iron with which to fashion not only industrial machinery but also military equipment, the machinery of war. In 1875 Japan forced Korea to open itself to foreign (read: Japanese) trade. In the same treaty, Korea was recognised as a sovereign nation, separate from Qing China (Tucker 1461). The necessity for raw materials then led to the Sino-Japanese War (1894–95), a conflict between Japan and China that marked the emergence of Japan as a major world power. The Korean Peninsula had long been China’s most important client state, but its strategic location adjacent to the Japanese archipelago, and its natural resources of coal and iron, attracted Japan’s interest. Later, the Russo-Japanese War (1904–05), allowed a victorious Japan to force Russia to abandon its expansionist policy in the Far East, becoming the first Asian power in modern times to defeat a European power. The Russo-Japanese War developed out of the rivalry between Russia and Japan for dominance in Korea and Manchuria, again in the struggle for natural resources (Tucker 1534-46).Japan’s victories, together with the county’s drive for resources, meant that Japan could now determine its role within the Asia-Pacific sphere of influence. As Japan’s military, and their adoption of Westernised combat, proved effective in maintaining national integrity, other social institutions also looked to the West (Ferguson 221). In an ironic twist—while Victorian and Continental fashion was busy adopting the exotic, oriental look (Martin and Koda)—the kimono, along with other essentials of Japanese fashions, were rapidly altered (both literally and figuratively) to suit new, warlike ideology. It should be noted that kimono literally means ‘things that you wear’ and which, prior to exposure to Western fashions, signified all worn clothing (Dalby 65-119). “Wearing Things” in Westernised JapanAs Japan modernised during the late 1800s the kimono was positioned as symbolising barbaric, pre-modern, ‘oriental’ Japan. Indeed, on 17 January 1887 the Meiji Empress issued a memorandum on the subject of women’s clothing in Japan: “She [the Empress] believed that western clothes were in fact closer to the dress of women in ancient Japan than the kimonos currently worn and urged that they be adopted as the standard clothes of the reign” (Keene 404). The resemblance between Western skirts and blouses and the simple skirt and separate top that had been worn in ancient times by a people descended from the sun goddess, Amaterasu wo mikami, was used to give authority and cultural authenticity to Japan’s modernisation projects. The Imperial Court, with its newly ennobled European style aristocrats, exchanged kimono silks for Victorian finery, and samurai armour for military pomp and splendour (Figure 1).Figure 1: The Meiji Emperor, Empress and Crown Prince resplendent in European fashions on an outing to Asukayama Park. Illustration: Toyohara Chikanobu, circa 1890.It is argued here that the function of a uniform is to prepare the body for service. Maids and butlers, nurses and courtesans, doctors, policemen, and soldiers are all distinguished by their garb. Prudence Black states: “as a technology, uniforms shape and code the body so they become a unit that belongs to a collective whole” (93). The requirement to discipline bodies through clothing, particularly through uniforms, is well documented (see Craik, Peoples, and Foucault). The need to distinguish enemies from allies on the battlefield requires adherence to a set of defined protocols, as referenced in military fashion compendiums (see Molloy). While the postcolonial adoption of Western-based clothing reflects a new form of subservience (Rall, Kuechler and Miller), in Japan, the indigenous garments were clearly designed in the interests of ideological allegiance. To understand the Japanese sartorial traditions, the kimono itself must be read as providing a strong disciplinary element. The traditional garment is designed to represent an upright and unbending column—where two meters of under bindings are used to discipline the body into shape are then topped with a further four meters of a stiffened silk obi wrapped around the waist and lower chest. To dress formally in such a garment requires helpers (see Dalby). The kimono both constructs and confines the women who wear it, and presses them into their roles as dutiful, upper-class daughters (see Craik). From the 1890s through to the 1930s, when Japan again enters a period of militarism, the myth of the kimono again changes as it is integrated into the build-up towards World War II.Decades later, when Japan re-established itself as a global economic power in the 1970s and 1980s, the kimono was re-authenticated as Japan’s ‘traditional’ garment. This time it was not the myth of a people descended from solar deities that was on display, but that of samurai strength and propriety for men, alongside an exaggerated femininity for women, invoking a powerful vision of Japanese sartorial tradition. This reworking of the kimono was only possible as the garment was already contained within the framework of Confucian family duty. However, in the lead up to World War II, Japanese military advancement demanded of its people soldiers that could win European-style wars. The quickest solution was to copy the military acumen and strategies of global warfare, and the costumes of the soldiery and seamen of Europe, including Great Britain (Ferguson). It was also acknowledged that soldiers were ‘made not born’ so the Japanese educational system was re-vamped to emulate those of its military rivals (McVeigh). It was in the uptake of schoolboy uniforms that this re-imagining of Japanese imperial strength took place.The Japanese Schoolboy UniformCentral to their rapid modernisation, Japan adopted a constitutional system of education that borrowed from American and French models (Tipton 68-69). The government viewed education as a “primary means of developing a sense of nation,” and at its core, was the imperial authorities’ obsession with defining “Japan and Japaneseness” (Tipton 68-69). Numerous reforms eventually saw, after an abolition of fees, nearly 100% attendance by both boys and girls, despite a lingering mind-set that educating women was “a waste of time” (Tipton 68-69). A boys’ uniform based on the French and Prussian military uniforms of the 1860s and 1870s respectively (Kinsella 217), was adopted in 1879 (McVeigh 47). This jacket, initially with Prussian cape and cap, consists of a square body, standing mandarin style collar and a buttoned front. It was through these education reforms, as visually symbolised by the adoption of military style school uniforms, that citizen making, education, and military training became interrelated aspects of Meiji modernisation (Kinsella 217). Known as the gakuran (gaku: to study; ran: meaning both orchid, and a pun on Horanda, meaning Holland, the only Western country with trading relations in pre-Meiji Japan), these jackets were a symbol of education, indicating European knowledge, power and influence and came to reflect all things European in Meiji Japan. By adopting these jackets two objectives were realised:through the magical power of imitation, Japan would, by adopting the clothing of the West, naturally rise in military power; and boys were uniformed to become not only educated as quasi-Europeans, but as fighting soldiers and sons (suns) of the nation.The gakuran jacket was first popularised by state-run schools, however, in the century and a half that the garment has been in use it has come to symbolise young Japanese masculinity as showcased in campus films, anime, manga, computer games, and as fashion is the preeminent garment for boybands and Japanese hipsters.While the gakuran is central to the rise of global militarism in Japan (McVeigh 51-53), the jacket would go on to form the basis of the Sun Yat Sen and Mao Suits as symbols of revolutionary China (see McVeigh). Supposedly, Sun Yat Sen saw the schoolboy jacket in Japan as a utilitarian garment and adopted it with a turn down collar (Cumming et al.). For Sun Yat Sen, the gakuran was the perfect mix of civilian (school boy) and military (the garment’s Prussian heritage) allowing him to walk a middle path between the demands of both. Furthermore, the garment allowed Sun to navigate between Western style suits and old-fashioned Qing dynasty styles (Gerth 116); one was associated with the imperialism of the National Products Movement, while the other represented the corruption of the old dynasty. In this way, the gakuran was further politicised from a national (Japanese) symbol to a global one. While military uniforms have always been political garments, in the late 1800s and early 1900s, as the world was rocked by revolutions and war, civilian clothing also became a means of expressing political ideals (McVeigh 48-49). Note that Mahatma Ghandi’s clothing choices also evolved from wholly Western styles to traditional and emphasised domestic products (Gerth 116).Mao adopted this style circa 1927, further defining the style when he came to power by adding elements from the trousers, tunics, and black cotton shoes worn by peasants. The suit was further codified during the 1960s, reaching its height in the Cultural Revolution. While the gakuran has always been a scholarly black (see Figure 2), subtle differences in the colour palette differentiated the Chinese population—peasants and workers donned indigo blue Mao jackets, while the People’s Liberation Army Soldiers donned khaki green. This limited colour scheme somewhat paradoxically ensured that subtle hierarchical differences were maintained even whilst advocating egalitarian ideals (Davis 522). Both the Sun Yat Sen suit and the Mao jacket represented the rejection of bourgeois (Western) norms that objectified the female form in favour of a uniform society. Neo-Maoism and Mao fever of the early 1990s saw the Mao suit emerge again as a desirable piece of iconic/ironic youth fashion. Figure 2: An example of Gakuran uniform next to the girl’s equivalent on display at Ichikawa Gakuen School (Japan). Photo: Emerald King, 2015.There is a clear and vital link between the influence of the Prussian style Japanese schoolboy uniform on the later creation of the Mao jacket—that of the uniform as an integral piece of worn propaganda (Atkins).For Japan, the rapid deployment of new military and industrial technologies, as well as a sartorial need to present her leaders as modern (read: Western) demanded the adoption of European-style uniforms. The Imperial family had always been removed from Samurai battlefields, so the adoption of Western military costume allowed Japan’s rulers to present a uniform face to other global powers. When Japan found itself in conflict in the Asia Pacific Region, without an organised military, the first requirement was to completely reorganise their system of warfare from a feudal base and to train up national servicemen. Within an American-style compulsory education system, the European-based curriculum included training in mathematics, engineering and military history, as young Britons had for generations begun their education in Greek and Latin, with the study of Ancient Greek and Roman wars (Bantock). It is only in the classroom that ideological change on a mass scale can take place (Reference Please), a lesson not missed by later leaders such as Mao Zedong.ConclusionIn the 1880s, the Japanese leaders established their position in global politics by adopting clothing and practices from the West (Europeans, Britons, and Americans) in order to quickly re-shape their country’s educational system and military establishment. The prevailing military costume from foreign cultures not only disciplined their adopted European bodies, they enforced a new regime through dress (Rall 157-174). For boys, the gakuran symbolised the unity of education and militarism as central to Japanese masculinity. Wearing a uniform, as many authors suggest, furthers compliance (Craik, Nagasawa Kaiser and Hutton, and McVeigh). As conscription became a part of Japanese reality in World War II, the schoolboys just swapped their military-inspired school uniforms for genuine military garments.Re-imagining a Japanese schoolboy uniform from a European military costume might suit ideological purposes (Atkins), but there is more. The gakuran, as a uniform based on a close, but not fitted jacket, was the product of a process of advanced industrialisation in the garment-making industry also taking place in the 1800s:Between 1810 and 1830, technical calibrations invented by tailors working at the very highest level of the craft [in Britain] eventually made it possible for hundreds of suits to be cut up and made in advance [...] and the ready-to-wear idea was put into practice for men’s clothes […] originally for uniforms for the War of 1812. (Hollander 31) In this way, industrialisation became a means to mass production, which furthered militarisation, “the uniform is thus the clothing of the modern disciplinary society” (Black 102). There is a perfect resonance between Japan’s appetite for a modern military and their rise to an industrialised society, and their conquests in Asia Pacific supplied the necessary material resources that made such a rapid deployment possible. The Japanese schoolboy uniform was an integral part of the process of both industrialisation and militarisation, which instilled in the wearer a social role required by modern Japanese society in its rise for global power. Garments are never just clothing, but offer a “world of social relations put upon the wearer’s body” (Jones and Stallybrass 3-4).Today, both the Japanese kimono and the Japanese schoolboy uniform continue to interact with, and interrogate, global fashions as contemporary designers continue to call on the tropes of ‘military chic’ (Tonchi) and Japanese-inspired clothing (Kawamura). References Atkins, Jaqueline. Wearing Propaganda: Textiles on the Home Front in Japan, Britain, and the United States. Princeton: Yale UP, 2005.Bantock, Geoffrey Herman. Culture, Industrialisation and Education. London: Routledge & K. Paul, 1968.Black, Prudence. “The Discipline of Appearance: Military Style and Australian Flight Hostess Uniforms 1930–1964.” Fashion & War in Popular Culture. Ed. Denise N. Rall. Bristol: Intellect/U Chicago P, 2014. 91-106.Craik, Jenifer. Uniforms Exposed: From Conformity to Transgression. Oxford: Berg, 2005.Cumming, Valerie, Cecil Williet Cunnington, and Phillis Emily Cunnington. “Mao Style.” The Dictionary of Fashion History. Eds. Valerie Cumming, Cecil Williet Cunnington, and Phillis Emily Cunnington. Oxford: Berg, 2010.Dalby, Liza, ed. Kimono: Fashioning Culture. London: Vintage, 2001.Davis, Edward L., ed. Encyclopaedia of Contemporary Chinese Culture. London: Routledge, 2005.Dees, Jan. Taisho Kimono: Speaking of Past and Present. Milan: Skira, 2009.Ferguson, N. Civilization: The West and the Rest. London: Penguin, 2011.Foucault, Michel. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Penguin, 1997. Gerth, Karl. China Made: Consumer Culture and the Creation of the Nation, Cambridge: East Asian Harvard Monograph 224, 2003.Gilbert, W.S., and Arthur Sullivan. The Mikado or, The Town of Titipu. 1885. 16 Nov. 2015 ‹http://math.boisestate.edu/gas/mikado/mk_lib.pdf›. Hillsborough, Romulus. Samurai Revolution: The Dawn of Modern Japan Seen through the Eyes of the Shogun's Last Samurai. Vermont: Tuttle, 2014.Jones, Anne R., and Peter Stallybrass, Renaissance Clothing and the Materials of Memory. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2000.Keene, Donald. Emperor of Japan: Meiji and His World, 1852-1912. New York: Columbia UP, 2002.King, Emerald L. “Schoolboys and Kimono Ladies.” Presentation to the Un-Thinking Asian Migrations Conference, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand, 24-26 Aug. 2014. Kinsella, Sharon. “What’s Behind the Fetishism of Japanese School Uniforms?” Fashion Theory 6.2 (2002): 215-37. Kuechler, Susanne, and Daniel Miller, eds. Clothing as Material Culture. Oxford: Berg, 2005.Landow, George P. “Liberty and the Evolution of the Liberty Style.” 22 Aug. 2010. ‹http://www.victorianweb.org/art/design/liberty/lstyle.html›.Martin, Richard, and Harold Koda. Orientalism: Vision of the East in Western Dress. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1994.McVeigh, Brian J. Wearing Ideology: State, Schooling, and Self-Presentation in Japan. Oxford: Berg, 2000.Molloy, John. Military Fashion: A Comparative History of the Uniforms of the Great Armies from the 17th Century to the First World War. New York: Putnam, 1972.Peoples, Sharon. “Embodying the Military: Uniforms.” Critical Studies in Men’s Fashion 1.1 (2014): 7-21.Rall, Denise N. “Costume & Conquest: A Proximity Framework for Post-War Impacts on Clothing and Textile Art.” Fashion & War in Popular Culture, ed. Denise N. Rall. Bristol: Intellect/U Chicago P, 2014. 157-74. Tipton, Elise K. Modern Japan: A Social and Political History. 3rd ed. London: Routledge, 2016.Tucker, Spencer C., ed. A Global Chronology of Conflict: From the Ancient World to the Modern Middle East. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2013.V&A Kimono. Victoria and Albert Museum. “A History of the Kimono.” 2004. 2 Oct. 2015 ‹http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/h/a-history-of-the-kimono/›.V&A Victorian. Victoria and Albert Museum. “The Victorian Vision of China and Japan.” 10 Nov. 2015 ‹http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/t/the-victorian-vision-of-china-and-japan/›.Vincent, Susan J. The Anatomy of Fashion: Dressing the Body from the Renaissance to Today. Berg: Oxford, 2009.Wilde, Oscar. “The Decay of Lying.” 1889. In Intentions New York: Berentano’s 1905. 16 Nov. 2015 ‹http://virgil.org/dswo/courses/novel/wilde-lying.pdf›. Wilk, Richard. “Consumer Goods as a Dialogue about Development.” Cultural History 7 (1990) 79-100.

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Ettler, Justine. "When I Met Kathy Acker." M/C Journal 21, no.5 (December6, 2018). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1483.

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I wake up early, questions buzzing through my mind. While I sip my morning cup of tea and read The Guardian online, the writer, restless because I’m ignoring her, walks around firing questions.“Expecting the patriarchy to want to share its enormous wealth and power with women is extremely naïve.”I nod. Outside the window pieces of sky are framed by trees, fluffy white clouds alternate with bright patches of blue. The sweet, heady first wafts of lavender and citrus drift in through the open window. Spring has come to Hvar. Time to get to work.The more I understand about narcissism, the more I understand the world. I didn’t understand before. In the 1990s.“No—you knew, but you didn’t know at the same time.”I kept telling everybody The River Ophelia wasn’t about sex, (or the sex wasn’t about sex), it was about power. Not many people listened or heard, though. Only some readers.I’ve come here to get away. To disappear. To write.I can’t find the essay I want for my article about the 1990s. I consider the novel I’m reading, I Love Dick by Chris Kraus and wonder whether I should write about it instead? It’s just been reprinted, twenty years after its initial release. The back cover boasts, “widely considered to be the most important feminist novel of the past two decades.” It was first published in the 1990s. So far it’s about a woman named Chris who’s addictively obsessed with an unavailable man, though I’m yet to unravel Kraus’s particular brand of feminism—abjection? Maybe, maybe … while I think, I click through my storage folder. Half way through, I find a piece I wrote about Kathy Acker in 1997, a tribute of sorts that was never published. The last I’d heard from Kathy before this had been that she was heading down to Mexico to try shark cartilage for her breast cancer. That was just before she died.When I was first introduced to the work of Foucault and Deleuze, it was very political; it was about what was happening to the economy and about changing the political system. By the time it was taken up by the American academy, the politics had gone to hell. (Acker qtd. in Friedman 20)Looking back, I’d have to say my friendship with Kathy Acker was intense and short-lived.In the original I’d written “was a little off and on.” But I prefer the new version. I first met Kathy in person in Sydney, in 1995. We were at a World Art launch at Ariel bookshop and I remember feeling distinctly nervous. As it turned out, I needn’t have been. Nervous, that is.Reading this now brings it all back: how Kathy and I lost touch in the intervening two years and the sudden fact of her death. I turn to the end and read, “She died tragically, not only because she was much too young, but because American literature seems rather frumpy without her, of cancer on the 30th November 1997, aged 53.”The same age as I am now. (While some believe Kathy was 50 when she died, Kathy told me she lied about her age even to the point of changing her passport. Women who lie about their age tend to want to be younger than they are, so I’m sticking with 53.) This coincidence spooks me a little.I make a cup of tea and eat some chocolate.“This could work …” the writer says. My reasons for feeling nervous were historical. I’d spoken to Kathy once previously (before the publication of The River Ophelia on the phone from Seattle to San Francisco in 1993) and the conversation had ended abruptly. I’d wanted to interview Kathy for my PhD on American fiction but Kathy wouldn’t commit. Now I was meeting her face to face and trying to push the past to the back of my mind.The evening turned out to be a memorable one. A whole bunch of us—a mixture of writers, publishers, academics and literati—went out to dinner and then carried on drinking well into the night. I made plans to see Kathy again. She struck me as a warm, generous, sincere and intensely engaging person. It seemed we might become friends. I hesitated: should I include the rest? Or was that too much?The first thing Kathy had said when we were introduced was, “I loved your book, The River Ophelia. I found it as soon as I arrived. I bought it from the bookshop at the airport. I saw your amazing cover and then I read on the back that it was influenced by the work of Kathy Acker. I was like, wow, no one in America has ever put that on the back cover of a novel. So I read it immediately and I couldn’t put it down. I love the way you’ve deconstructed the canon but still managed to put a compelling narrative to it. I never did that.”Why didn’t I include that? It had given me more satisfaction than anything anyone else had said.I remember how quickly I abandoned my bestselling life in Sydney, sexual harassment had all but ruined my career, and exchanged it for an uncertain future in London. My notoriety as an author was damaging my books and my relationship with my publisher had become toxic. The first thing I did in London was hire a lawyer, break my contract with Picador and take both novels out of print.Reality intrudes in the form of a phone call from my mother. Terminally ill with cancer, she informs me that she’s off her food. For a retired chef, the loss of appetite is not inconsiderable. Her dying is a dull ache, a constant tiredness and sadness in me. She’s just arrived in London. I will go there next week to meet her.(1)I first came across Kathy’s work in 1991. I’d just finished my MA thesis on postmodernism and parody and was rewarding myself with some real reading (i.e. not related to my thesis) when I came across the novel Don Quixote. This novel had a tremendous impact on me. Those familiar with DQ may recall that it begins with an abortion that transforms its female narrator into a knight.When she was finally crazy because she was about to have an abortion, she conceived of the most insane idea that any woman can think of. Which is to love. How can a woman love? By loving someone other than herself. (Acker Quixote 9)Kathy’s opening sentences produced a powerful emotional response in me and her bold confronting account of an abortion both put me in touch with feelings I was trying to avoid and connected these disturbing feelings with a broader political context. Kathy’s technique of linking the personal and emotional with the political changed the way I worked as a writer.I’d submitted the piece as an obituary for publication to an Australian journal; the editor had written suggestions in the margin in red. All about making the piece a more conventional academic essay. I hadn’t been sure that was what I wanted to do. Ambitious, creative, I was trying to put poststructuralist theory into practice, to write theoretical fiction. It’s true, I hadn’t been to the Sorbonne, but so what? What was the point of studying theory if one didn’t put it into practice? I was trying to write like French theorists, not to write about them. The editor’s remarks would have made a better academic essay, it’s just I’m not sure that’s where I wanted to go. I never rewrote it and it was never published.I first encountered I Love Dick (2017) during a film course at the AFTVRS when the lecturer presented a short clip of the adaptation for the class to analyse. When I later saw the novel in a bookshop I bought a copy. Given my discovery of the unpublished obituary it is also a bit spooky that I’m reading this book as both Chris Kraus and Kathy Acker had relationships with academic and Semiotext(e) publisher Sylvère Lotringer. Chris as his wife, Kathy as his lover. Kraus wrote a biography of Acker called After Kathy Acker: A Biography, which seems fairly unsympathetic according to the review I read in The Guardian. (Cooke 2017) Intrigued, I add Kraus’s biography to my growing pile of Acker related reading, the Acker/Wark letters I’m Very Into You and Olivia Laing’s novel, Crudo. While I’ve not read the letters yet, Crudo’s breathless yet rhythmic layering of images and it’s fragmented reflections upon war, women and politics reminded me less of Acker and more of Woolf; Mrs Dalloway, in fact.(2)What most inspired me, and what makes Kathy such a great writer, is her manner of writing politically. For the purposes of this piece, when I say Kathy writes politically, I’m referring to what happens when you read her books. That is, your mind—fuelled by powerful feelings—makes creative leaps that link everyday things and ideas with political discourses and debates (for Kathy, these were usually critiques of bourgeois society, of oedipal culture and of the patriarchy).In the first pages of Don Quixote, for example, an abortion becomes synonymous with the process of becoming a knight. The links Kathy makes between these two seemingly unrelated events yields a political message for the creative reader. There is more at stake than just gender-bending or metamorphoses here: a reversal of power seems to have taken place. A relatively powerless woman (a female victim except for the fact that in having an abortion she’s exerting some measure of control over her life), far from being destroyed by the experience of aborting her foetus, actually gains power—power to become a knight and go about the world fulfilling a quest. In writing about an abortion in this way, Kathy challenges our assumptions about this controversial topic: beyond the moral debate, there are other issues at stake, like identity and power. An abortion becomes a birth, rather than a banal tragedy.When I think about the 1990s, I automatically think of shoulder pads, co*cktails and expense accounts (the consumption of the former, in my case, dependent on the latter). But on reflection, I think about the corporatisation of the publishing industry, the Backlash and films like Thelma and Louise, (1991) Basic Instinct (1992) and Single White Female (1992). It occurs to me that the Hollywood movie star glamorous #MeToo has its origin in the turbulent 1990s Backlash. When I first saw each of these films I thought they were exciting, controversial. I loved the provocative stance they took about women. But looking back I can’t help wondering: whose stories were they really, why were we hearing them and what was the political point?It was a confusing time in terms of debates about gender equality.Excluding the premise for Thelma and Louise, all three films present as narrative truth scenarios that ran in stark contrast to reality. When it came to violence and women, most domestic homicide and violence was perpetrated by men. And violence towards women, in the 1990s, was statistically on the rise and there’s little improvement in these statistics today.Utter chaos, having a British passport never feels quite so wonderful as it does in the arrivals hall at Heathrow.“Perhaps these films allow women to fantasise about killing the men who are violent towards them?”Nyah, BI is chick killing chick … and think about the moral to the story. Fantasy OK, concrete action painful, even deadly.“Different story today …”How so?“Violent female protagonists are all the rage and definitely profitable. Killing Eve (2018) and A Simple Favour (2018).”I don’t have an immediate answer here. Killing Eve is a TV series, I think aloud, A Simple Favour structurally similar to Single White Female … “Why don’t you try self-publishing? It’ll be 20 years since you took The River Ophelia out of print, bit of an anniversary, maybe it’s time?”Not a bad idea. I’m now on the tube to meet mum at her bed and breakfast but the writer is impatient to get back to work. Maybe I should just write the screenplay instead?“Try both. If you don’t believe in your writing, who else will?”She has a point. I’m not getting anywhere with my new novel.A message pips through on Facebook. Want to catch up?What? Talk about out of the blue. I haven’t heard from Sade in twenty years … and how on earth did he get through my privacy settings?After meeting mum, the next thing I do is go to the doctor. My old doctor from West Kensington, she asks me how I’m going and I say I’m fine except that mum’s dying and this awful narcissistic ex-partner of mine has contacted me on Facebook. She recommends I read the following article, “The Highly Sensitive Person and the Narcissist” (Psychology Today).“Sometimes being a kind caring person makes you vulnerable to abusers.”After the appointment I can’t get her words out of my head.I dash into a Starbucks, I’m in Notting Hill just near the tube station, and read the article on my laptop on wifi. I highlight various sections. Narcissists “have a complete lack of empathy for others including their own family and friends, so that they will take advantage of people to get their own needs and desires met, even if it hurts someone.” That sounds about right, Sade could always find some way of masking his real motives in charm, or twisting reality around to make it look like things weren’t his fault, they were mine. How cleverly he’d lied! Narcissists, I read, are attracted to kind, compassionate people who they then use and lie to without remorse.But the bit that really makes me sit up is towards the end of the article. “For someone on the outside looking at a relationship between a highly sensitive person and a narcissist, it’s all too easy to blame the HSP. How and why would anyone want to stay in such a relationship?” Narcissists are incredibly good at making you doubt yourself, especially the part of you that says: this has happened before, it’ll happen again. You need to leave.The opening paragraph of the psychology textbook I read next uses Donald Trump as an example. Trump is also Patrick Bateman’s hero, the misogynistic serial killer protagonist of Bret Easton Ellis’s notorious American Psycho. Despite an earlier version that broadly focused on New York fiction of the 1990s, Ellis’s novel and the feminist outcry it provoked became the central topic of my PhD.“Are you alright mum?”I’ve just picked Mum up and I’m driving her to Paris for a night and then on to Switzerland where she’s going to have voluntary euthanasia. Despite the London drizzle and the horrific traffic the whole thing has a Thelma and Louise feel about it. I tell mum and she laughs.“We should watch it again. Have you seen it since it first came out?”“Sounds like a good idea.”Mum, tiny, pointy-kneed and wearing an out-of-character fluoro green beanie given to her at the oncology clinic in Sydney, is being very stoic but I can tell from the way she constantly wrings her hands that she’s actually quite terrified.“OK Louise,” she says as I unfold her Zimmer frame later that evening.“OK Thelma,” I reply as she walks off towards the hotel.Paris is a treat. My brother is waiting inside and we’re hoping to enjoy one last meal together.Mum didn’t want to continue with chemo at 83, but she’s frightened of dying a horrific death. As we approach hotel reception Mum can’t help taking a detour to inspect the dinner menu at the hotel restaurant.“Oysters naturel. That sounds nice.”I smile, wait, and take her by the elbow.I’ve completely forgotten. The interview/review I wrote of Acker’s puss*, King of the Pirates, in 1995 for Rolling Stone. Where is it? I open my laptop and quickly click through the endless publicity and reviews of The River Ophelia, the interview/review came out around the same time the novel was published, but I can’t find it. I know I had it out just a few months ago, when I was chasing up some freelance book reviews.I make a fresh pot of tea from the mini bar, green, and return to my Acker tribute. Should I try to get it published? Here, or back in Australia? Ever the émigré’s dilemma. I decide I like the Parisian sense of style in this room, especially the cotton-linen sheets.Finally, I find it, it’s in the wrong folder. Printing it out, I remember how Kathy had called her agent and publisher in New York, and her disbelief when I’d told her the book hadn’t been picked up overseas. Kathy’s call resulted in my first New York agent. I scrutinise its pages.Kathy smiles benign childlike creativity in the larger photo, and gestures in passionate exasperation in the smaller group, her baby face framed by countless metal ear piercings. The interview takes place—at Kathy’s insistence—on her futon in her hotel room. My memories clarify. It wasn’t that we drifted apart, or rather we did, but only after men had come between us first. Neither of us had much luck in that department.(4)Kathy’s writing is also political because her characters don’t act or speak the way you’d expect them to. They don’t seem to follow the rules or behave in the way your average fictional character tends to do. From sentence to sentence, Kathy’s characters either change into different people, or live revolutionary lives, or even more radical still, live impossible lives.When the narrator of DQ transforms herself into a knight (and lives an impossible life); she turns a situation in which she is passive and relatively powerless—she is about to be operated on and drugged—into an empowering experience (and lives a creative revolutionary life). Ironically, getting power means she turns herself into a male knight. But Kathy gets around the problem that power is male by not letting things rest there. The female, aborting Kathy isn’t actually replaced by a male knight, bits of him are just grafted onto her. Sure, she sets out on a quest, but the other aspects of her empowerment are pretty superficial: she does adopt a new name (which is more like a disguise), and identity (appearance); and picks up a bad habit or two—a tendency to talk in the language used by knights.“But who’s the father?” the writer wants to know. “I mean isn’t that the real question here?”No, that is exactly not the real question here and not the point. It is not about who the father is—it’s about what happens to a woman who has an unwanted unplanned pregnancy.The phone rings. It’s my brother. Mum’s waiting for me downstairs and the oysters are beckoning.(5)The idea that writing could be political was very appealing. The transformation between my first novel, Marilyn’s Almost Terminal New York Adventure and my second, The River Ophelia (Picador insisted on publishing them in reverse chronology) was partly a result of my discovery of Kathy’s work and the ideas it set off in me. Kathy wasn’t the first novelist to write politically, but she was the first female novelist to do so in a way that had an immediate impact on me at an emotional level. And it was this powerful emotional response that inspired me as a writer—I wanted to affect my readers in a similar way (because reading Kathy’s work, I felt less alone and that my darkest experiences, so long silenced by shame and skirted around in the interests of maintaining appearances, could be given a voice).We’re driving through Switzerland and I’m thinking about narcissism and the way the narcissists in my personal and professional life overshadowed everything else. But now it’s time to give the rest of the world some attention. It’s also one way of pulling back the power from the psychopaths who rule the world.As we approach Zurich, my mother asks to pull over so she can use the ladies. When she comes out I can see she’s been crying. Inside the car, she reaches for my hand and clasps it. “I don’t know if I’m strong enough to say goodbye.”“It’s alright Mum,” I say and hold her while we both cry.A police car drives by and my mother’s eyes snag. Harassed by the police in Australia and unable to obtain Nembutal in the UK, Mum has run out of options.To be a woman in this society is to find oneself living outside the law. Maybe this is what Acker meant when she wrote about becoming a pirate, or a knight?Textual deconstruction can be a risky business and writers like Acker walk a fine line when it comes to the law. Empire of the Senseless ran into a plagiarism suit in the UK and her publishers forced Acker to sign an apology to Harold Robbins (Acker Hannibal Lecter 13). My third novel Dependency similarly fell foul of the law when I discovered that in deconstructing gossip and myths about celebrities, drawing on their lives and then making stuff up, the result proved prophetic. When my publisher, Harper Collins, refused to indemnify me against potential unintended defamation I pulled the book from its contract on the advice of a lawyer. I was worth seven million pounds on paper at that point, the internet travel site my then husband and I had founded with Bob Geldof had taken off, and the novel was a radical hybrid text comprised of Rupert Murdoch’s biography, Shakespeare’s King Lear and Hello Magazine and I was worried that Murdoch might come after me personally. I’d fictionalised him as a King Lear type, writing his Cordelia out of his will and leaving everything to his Goneril and Reagan.Recent theoretical studies argue that Acker’s appropriation and deconstruction constitute a feminist politics as “fragmentation” (June 2) and as “agency” (Pitchford 22). As Acker puts it. “And then it’s like a kid: suddenly a toy shop opens up and the toy shop was called culture.” (Acker Hannibal Lecter 11).We don’t easily fit in a system that wasn’t ever designed to meet our needs.(6)By writing about the most private parts of women’s lives, I’ve tried to show how far there is to go before women and men are equal on a personal level. The River Ophelia is about a young woman whose public life might seem a success from the outside (she is a student doing an honours year at university in receipt of a scholarship), but whose private life is insufferable (she knows nothing about dealing with misogyny on an intimate level and she has no real relationship-survival skills, partly as a result of her family history, partly because the only survival skills she has have been inscribed by patriarchy and leave her vulnerable to more abuse). When Justine-the-character learns how to get around sexism of the personal variety (by re-inventing her life through parodies of classic texts about oedipal society) she not only changes her life, but she passes on her new-found survival skills to the reader.A disturbing tale about a young university student who loses herself in a destructive relationship, The River Ophelia is a postmodern novel about domestic violence and sexual harassment in the academy, contrary to its marketing campaign at the time. It’s protagonist, Justine, loves Sade but Sade is only interested in sex; indeed, he’s a brutish sex addict. Despite this, Justine can’t seem to leave: for all her education, she’s looking for love and commitment in all the wrong places. While the feminist lore of previous generations seems to work well in theory, Justine can’t seem to make it work in practise. Owning her power and experimenting with her own sexuality only leaves her feeling more despairing than before. Unconventional, compelling and controversial, The River Ophelia became an instant best-seller and is credited with beginning the Australian literary movement known as grunge/dirty realism.But there is always the possibility, given the rich intertextuality and self referentiality, that The River Ophelia is Justine’s honours thesis in creative writing. In this case, Sade, Juliette, Ophelia, Hamlet, Bataille, Simone, Marcelle and Leopold become hybrids made up from appropriated canonical characters, fragments of Justine’s turbulent student’s world and invented sections. But The River Ophelia is also a feminist novel that partly began as a dialogue with Ellis whose scandalous American Psycho it parodies even as it reinvents. This creative activity, which also involves the reader by inviting her to participate in the textual play, eventually empowers Justine over the canon and over her perpetrator, Sade.Another hotel room. This one, just out of Zürich, is tiny. I place my suitcase on the rack beneath the window overlooking the narrow street and start to unpack.“Hasn’t this all been said before, about The River Ophelia?” The writer says, trying out the bed. I’m in the middle of an email about self-publishing a new edition of TRO.Some of it. While the grunge label has been refuted, Acker’s influence has been underplayed.Acker often named her protagonists after herself, so losing the Acker part of my textual filiation plays into the whole grunge/dirty realism marketing campaign. I’ve talked about how I always name protagonists after famous women but not linked this to Acker. Bohemia Beach has a protagonist named after Cathy as in Wuthering Heights. Justine of The River Ophelia was doubly an Acker trait: firstly, she was named Justine after De Sade’s character and is a deconstruction of that character, and secondly she was named Justine self-reflexively after me, as a tribute to Kathy as in Kathy Goes to Haiti.The other context for The River Ophelia that has been lost is to do with the early work of Mary Gaitskill, and Catherine Texier. The narcissists were so destructive and so powerful they left no time for the relatively more subtle Gaitskill or Texier. Prototypes for Sex in the City, the 1990s was also a time when Downtown New York women writers explored the idea that gender equality meant women could do anything men did sexually, that they deserved the full gamut of libertine sexual freedoms. Twenty years on it should also be said that women who push the envelope by writing women protagonists who are every bit as sexually transgressive as men, every bit as addictively self-destructive as male protagonists deserve not to be shamed for that experimentation. They deserve to be celebrated and read.AfterwordI’d like to remember Kathy as I knew her briefly in Sydney. A bottle-blonde with a number two haircut, a leopard-skin bikini and a totally tattooed body, she swam a surprisingly genteel breast-stroke in the next lane in one of the world’s most macho lap-swimming pools.ReferencesA Simple Favour. Dir. Paul Feig. Lionsgate, 2018.Acker, Kathy. Don Quixote. London: Collins, 1986.———. Empire of the Senseless. New York: Grove, 1988.———. Hannibal Lecter, My Father. New York: Semiotext(e), 1991.———. Kathy Goes to Haiti. New York: Grove Press/Atlantic Monthly, 1994.——— and McKenzie Wark. I’m Very into You: Correspondence 1995-1996. New York: Semiotext(e), 2015.Basic Instinct. Dir. Paul Verhoeven. TriStar Pictures, 1992.Brontë, Emily. Wuthering Heights. New York: Norton and Co, 2003.Bushnell, Candace. Sex in the City. United States: Grand Central Publishing, 1996.Cooke, Rachel. “Review of After Kathy Acker: A Biography by Chris Kraus—Baffling Life Study.” The Guardian 4 Sep. 2017. 4 Dec. 2018 <https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/sep/04/after-kathy-acker-a-biography-chris-kraus-review>.Deleuze, Gilles, and Felix Guattari. A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987.Ellis, Bret Easton. American Psycho. New York: Vintage, 1991.Ettler, Justine. Bohemia Beach. Melbourne: Transit Lounge. 2018.———. “Kathy Acker: King of the puss*es.” Review of puss*, King of the Pirates, by Kathy Acker. Rolling Stone. Nov. 1995: 60-61.———. Marilyn’s Almost Terminal New York Adventure. Sydney: Picador, 1996.———. “La Trobe University Essay: Bret Easton Ellis’s Glamorama, and Catherine Texier’s Break Up.” Australian Book Review, 1995.———. The Best Ellis for Business: A Re-Examination of the Mass Media Feminist Critique of “American Psycho.” PhD. Sydney: University of Sydney, 2013.———. The River Ophelia. Sydney: Picador, 1995.Faludi, Susan. Backlash: The Undeclared War against American Women. New York: Crown, 1991.Friedman, Ellen G. “A Conversation with Kathy Acker.” The Review of Contemporary Fiction 9.3 (Fall 1989): 20-21.Gaitskill, Mary. Bad Behaviour. New York: Random House, 1988.I Love Dick. Dir. Jill Soloway. Amazon Video, 2017.June, Pamela B. The Fragmented Female Body and Identity: The Postmodern Feminist and Multiethnic Writings of Toni Morrison, Therese Huk, Kyung Cha, Phyllis Alesia Perry, Gayl Jones, Emma Perez, Paula Gunn Allen, and Kathy Acker. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2010.Killing Eve. Dir. Phoebe Waller-Bridge. BBC America, 2018.Kraus, Chris. After Kathy Acker: A Biography. London: Penguin, 2017.———. I Love Dick. London: Serpent’s Tail, 2016.Laing, Olivia. Crudo. London: Picador, 2018.Lee, Bandy. The Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President. New York: St Martin’s Press. 2017.Lombard, Nancy, and Lesley McMillan. “Introduction.” Violence against Women. Eds. Nancy Lombard and Lesley McMillan. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2013.Pitchford, Nicola. Tactical Readings: Feminist Postmodernism in the Novels of Kathy Acker and Angela Carter. London: Associated Uni Press, 2002.Schiffrin, André. The Business of Books: How International Conglomerates Took Over Publishing and Changed the Way We Read. London and New York: Verso, 2000.Shakespeare, William. King Lear. London: Penguin Classics, 2015.Siegle, Robert. Suburban Ambush: Downtown Writing and the Fiction of Insurgency. United States: John Hopkins Press, 1989.Single White Female. Dir. Barbet Schroeder. Columbia Pictures, 1992.Texier, Catherine. Panic Blood. London: Collins, 1991.Thelma and Louise. Dir. Ridley Scott. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1991.Ward, Deborah. “Sense and Sensitivity: The Highly Sensitive Person and the Narcissist.” Psychology Today (16 Jan. 2012). 4 Dec. 2018 <https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/sense-and-sensitivity/201201/the-highly-sensitive-person-and-the-narcissist>.

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Hartley, John. "Lament for a Lost Running Order? Obsolescence and Academic Journals." M/C Journal 12, no.3 (July15, 2009). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.162.

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Abstract:

The academic journal is obsolete. In a world where there are more titles than ever, this is a comment on their form – especially the print journal – rather than their quantity. Now that you can get everything online, it doesn’t really matter what journal a paper appears in; certainly it doesn’t matter what’s in the same issue. The experience of a journal is rapidly obsolescing, for both editors and readers. I’m obviously not the first person to notice this (see, for instance, "Scholarly Communication"; "Transforming Scholarly Communication"; Houghton; Policy Perspectives; Teute), but I do have a personal stake in the process. For if the journal is obsolete then it follows that the editor is obsolete, and I am the editor of the International Journal of Cultural Studies. I founded the IJCS and have been sole editor ever since. Next year will see the fiftieth issue. So far, I have been responsible for over 280 published articles – over 2.25 million words of other people’s scholarship … and counting. We won’t say anything about the words that did not get published, except that the IJCS rejection rate is currently 87 per cent. Perhaps the first point that needs to be made, then, is that obsolescence does not imply lack of success. By any standard the IJCS is a successful journal, and getting more so. It has recently been assessed as a top-rating A* journal in the Australian Research Council’s journal rankings for ERA (Excellence in Research for Australia), the newly activated research assessment exercise. (In case you’re wondering, M/C Journal is rated B.) The ARC says of the ranking exercise: ‘The lists are a result of consultations with the sector and rigorous review by leading researchers and the ARC.’ The ARC definition of an A* journal is given as: Typically an A* journal would be one of the best in its field or subfield in which to publish and would typically cover the entire field/ subfield. Virtually all papers they publish will be of very high quality. These are journals where most of the work is important (it will really shape the field) and where researchers boast about getting accepted.Acceptance rates would typically be low and the editorial board would be dominated by field leaders, including many from top institutions. (Appendix I, p. 21; and see p. 4.)Talking of boasting, I love to prate about the excellent people we’ve published in the IJCS. We have introduced new talent to the field, and we have published new work by some of its pioneers – including Richard Hoggart and Stuart Hall. We’ve also published – among many others – Sara Ahmed, Mohammad Amouzadeh, Tony Bennett, Goran Bolin, Charlotte Brunsdon, William Boddy, Nico Carpentier, Stephen Coleman, Nick Couldry, Sean Cubitt, Michael Curtin, Daniel Dayan, Ben Dibley, Stephanie Hemelryk Donald, John Frow, Elfriede Fursich, Christine Geraghty, Mark Gibson, Paul Gilroy, Faye Ginsberg, Jonathan Gray, Lawrence Grossberg, Judith Halberstam, Hanno Hardt, Gay Hawkins, Joke Hermes, Su Holmes, Desmond Hui, Fred Inglis, Henry Jenkins, Deborah Jermyn, Ariel Heryanto, Elihu Katz, Senator Rod Kemp (Australian government minister), Youna Kim, Agnes Ku, Richard E. Lee, Jeff Lewis, David Lodge (the novelist), Knut Lundby, Eric Ma, Anna McCarthy, Divya McMillin, Antonio Menendez-Alarcon, Toby Miller, Joe Moran, Chris Norris, John Quiggin, Chris Rojek, Jane Roscoe, Jeffrey Sconce, Lynn Spigel, John Storey, Su Tong, the late Sako Takeshi, Sue Turnbull, Graeme Turner, William Uricchio, José van Dijck, Georgette Wang, Jing Wang, Elizabeth Wilson, Janice Winship, Handel Wright, Wu Jing, Wu Qidi (Chinese Vice-Minister of Education), Emilie Yueh-Yu Yeh, Robert Young and Zhao Bin. As this partial list makes clear, as well as publishing the top ‘hegemons’ we also publish work pointing in new directions, including papers from neighbouring disciplines such as anthropology, area studies, economics, education, feminism, history, literary studies, philosophy, political science, and sociology. We have sought to represent neglected regions, especially Chinese cultural studies, which has grown strongly during the past decade. And for quite a few up-and-coming scholars we’ve been the proud host of their first international publication. The IJCS was first published in 1998, already well into the internet era, but it was print-only at that time. Since then, all content, from volume 1:1 onwards, has been digitised and is available online (although vol 1:2 is unaccountably missing). The publishers, Sage Publications Ltd, London, have steadily added online functionality, so that now libraries can get the journal in various packages, including offering this title among many others in online-only bundles, and individuals can purchase single articles online. Thus, in addition to institutional and individual subscriptions, which remain the core business of the journal, income is derived by the publisher from multi-site licensing, incremental consortial sales income, single- and back-issue sales (print), pay-per-view, and deep back file sales (electronic). So what’s obsolete about it? In that boasting paragraph of mine (above), about what wonderful authors we’ve published, lies one of the seeds of obsolescence. For now that it is available online, ‘users’ (no longer ‘readers’!) can search for what they want and ignore the journal as such altogether. This is presumably how most active researchers experience any journal – they are looking for articles (or less: quotations; data; references) relevant to a given topic, literature review, thesis etc. They encounter a journal online through its ‘content’ rather than its ‘form.’ The latter is irrelevant to them, and may as well not exist. The Cover Some losses are associated with this change. First is the loss of the front cover. Now you, dear reader, scrolling through this article online, might well complain, why all the fuss about covers? Internet-generation journals don’t have covers, so all of the work that goes into them to establish the brand, the identity and even the ‘affect’ of a journal is now, well, obsolete. So let me just remind you of what’s at stake. Editors, designers and publishers all take a good deal of trouble over covers, since they are the point of intersection of editorial, design and marketing priorities. Thus, the IJCS cover contains the only ‘content’ of the journal for which we pay a fee to designers and photographers (usually the publisher pays, but in one case I did). Like any other cover, ours has three main elements: title, colour and image. Thought goes into every detail. Title I won’t say anything about the journal’s title as such, except that it was the result of protracted discussions (I suggested Terra Nullius at one point, but Sage weren’t having any of that). The present concern is with how a title looks on a cover. Our title-typeface is Frutiger. Originally designed by Adrian Frutiger for Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, it is suitably international, being used for the corporate identity of the UK National Health Service, Telefónica O2, the Royal Navy, the London School of Economics , the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Conservative Party of Canada, Banco Bradesco of Brazil, the Finnish Defence Forces and on road signs in Switzerland (Wikipedia, "Frutiger"). Frutiger is legible, informal, and reads well in small copy. Sage’s designer and I corresponded on which of the words in our cumbersome name were most important, agreeing that ‘international’ combined with ‘cultural’ is the USP (Unique Selling Point) of the journal, so they should be picked out (in bold small-caps) from the rest of the title, which the designer presented in a variety of Frutiger fonts (regular, italic, and reversed – white on black), presumably to signify the dynamism and diversity of our content. The word ‘studies’ appears on a lozenge-shaped cartouche that is also used as a design element throughout the journal, for bullet points, titles and keywords. Colour We used to change this every two years, but since volume 7 it has stabilised with the distinctive Pantone 247, ‘new fuchsia.’ This colour arose from my own environment at QUT, where it was chosen (by me) for the new Creative Industries Faculty’s academic gowns and hoods, and thence as a detailing colour for the otherwise monochrome Creative Industries Precinct buildings. There’s a lot of it around my office, including on the wall and the furniture. New Fuchsia is – we are frequently told – a somewhat ‘girly’ colour, especially when contrasted with the Business Faculty’s blue or Law’s silver; its similarity to the Girlfriend/Dolly palette does introduce a mild ‘politics of prestige’ element, since it is determinedly pop culture, feminised, and non-canonical. Image Right at the start, the IJCS set out to signal its difference from other journals. At that time, all Sage journals had calligraphic colours – but I was insistent that we needed a photograph (I have ‘form’ in this respect: in 1985 I changed the cover of the Australian Journal of Cultural Studies from a line drawing (albeit by Sydney Nolan) to a photograph; and I co-designed the photo-cover of Cultural Studies in 1987). For IJCS I knew which photo I wanted, and Sage went along with the choice. I explained it in the launch issue’s editorial (Hartley, "Editorial"). That original picture, a goanna on a cattle grid in the outback, by Australian photographer Grant Hobson, lasted ten years. Since volume 11 – in time for our second decade – the goanna has been replaced with a picture by Italian-based photographer Patrick Nicholas, called ‘Reality’ (Hartley, "Cover Narrative"). We have also used two other photos as cover images, once each. They are: Daniel Meadows’s 1974 ‘Karen & Barbara’ (Hartley, "Who"); and a 1962 portrait of Richard Hoggart from the National Portrait Gallery in London (Owen & Hartley 2007). The choice of picture has involved intense – sometimes very tense – negotiations with Sage. Most recently, they were adamant the Daniel Meadows picture, which I wanted to use as the long-term replacement of the goanna, was too ‘English’ and they would not accept it. We exchanged rather sharp words before compromising. There’s no need to rehearse the dispute here; the point is that both sides, publisher and editor, felt that vital interests were at stake in the choice of a cover-image. Was it too obscure; too Australian; too English; too provocative (the current cover features, albeit in the deep background, a TV screen-shot of a topless Italian game-show contestant)? Running Order Beyond the cover, the next obsolete feature of a journal is the running order of articles. Obviously what goes in the journal is contingent upon what has been submitted and what is ready at a given time, so this is a creative role within a very limited context, which is what makes it pleasurable. Out of a limited number of available papers, a choice must be made about which one goes first, what order the other papers should follow, and which ones must be held over to the next issue. The first priority is to choose the lead article: like the ‘first face’ in a fashion show (if you don’t know what I mean by that, see FTV.com. It sets the look, the tone, and the standard for the issue. I always choose articles I like for this slot. It sends a message to the field – look at this! Next comes the running order. We have about six articles per issue. It is important to maintain the IJCS’s international mix, so I check for the country of origin, or failing that (since so many articles come from Anglosphere countries like the USA, UK and Australia), the location of the analysis. Attention also has to be paid to the gender balance among authors, and to the mix of senior and emergent scholars. Sometimes a weak article needs to be ‘hammocked’ between two good ones (these are relative terms – everything published in the IJCS is of a high scholarly standard). And we need to think about disciplinary mix, so as not to let the journal stray too far towards one particular methodological domain. Running order is thus a statement about the field – the disciplinary domain – rather than about an individual paper. It is a proposition about how different voices connect together in some sort of disciplinary syntax. One might even claim that the combination of cover and running order is a last vestige of collegiate collectivism in an era of competitive academic individualism. Now all that matters is the individual paper and author; the ‘currency’ is tenure, promotion and research metrics, not relations among peers. The running order is obsolete. Special Issues An extreme version of running order is the special issue. The IJCS has regularly published these; they are devoted to field-shaping initiatives, as follows: Title Editor(s) Issue Date Radiocracy: Radio, Development and Democracy Amanda Hopkinson, Jo Tacchi 3.2 2000 Television and Cultural Studies Graeme Turner 4.4 2001 Cultural Studies and Education Karl Maton, Handel Wright 5.4 2002 Re-Imagining Communities Sara Ahmed, Anne-Marie Fortier 6.3 2003 The New Economy, Creativity and Consumption John Hartley 7.1 2004 Creative Industries and Innovation in China Michael Keane, John Hartley 9.3 2006 The Uses of Richard Hoggart Sue Owen, John Hartley 10.1 2007 A Cultural History of Celebrity Liz Barry 11.3 2008 Caribbean Media Worlds Anna Pertierra, Heather Horst 12.2 2009 Co-Creative Labour Mark Deuze, John Banks 12.5 2009 It’s obvious that special issues have a place in disciplinary innovation – they can draw attention in a timely manner to new problems, neglected regions, or innovative approaches, and thus they advance the field. They are indispensible. But because of online publication, readers are not held to the ‘project’ of a special issue and can pick and choose whatever they want. And because of the peculiarities of research assessment exercises, editing special issues doesn’t count as research output. The incentive to do them is to that extent reduced, and some universities are quite heavy-handed about letting academics ‘waste’ time on activities that don’t produce ‘metrics.’ The special issue is therefore threatened with obsolescence too. Refereeing In many top-rating journals, the human side of refereeing is becoming obsolete. Increasingly this labour-intensive chore is automated and the labour is technologically outsourced from editors and publishers to authors and referees. You have to log on to some website and follow prompts in order to contribute both papers and the assessment of papers; interactions with editors are minimal. At the IJCS the process is still handled by humans – namely, journal administrator Tina Horton and me. We spend a lot of time checking how papers are faring, from trying to find the right referees through to getting the comments and then the author’s revisions completed in time for a paper to be scheduled into an issue. The volume of email correspondence is considerable. We get to know authors and referees. So we maintain a sense of an interactive and conversational community, albeit by correspondence rather than face to face. Doubtless, sooner or later, there will be a depersonalised Text Management System. But in the meantime we cling to the romantic notion that we are involved in refereeing for the sake of the field, for raising the standard of scholarship, for building a globally dispersed virtual college of cultural studies, and for giving everyone – from unfavoured countries and neglected regions to famous professors in old-money universities – the same chance to get their research published. In fact, these are largely delusional ideals, for as everyone knows, refereeing is part of the political economy of publicly-funded research. It’s about academic credentials, tenure and promotion for the individual, and about measurable research metrics for the academic organisation or funding agency (Hartley, "Death"). The IJCS has no choice but to participate: we do what is required to qualify as a ‘double-blind refereed journal’ because that is the only way to maintain repute, and thence the flow of submissions, not to mention subscriptions, without which there would be no journal. As with journals themselves, which proliferate even as the print form becomes obsolete, so refereeing is burgeoning as a practice. It’s almost an industry, even though the currency is not money but time: part gift-economy; part attention-economy; partly the payment of dues to the suzerain funding agencies. But refereeing is becoming obsolete in the sense of gathering an ‘imagined community’ of people one might expect to know personally around a particular enterprise. The process of dispersal and anonymisation of the field is exacerbated by blind refereeing, which we do because we must. This is suited to a scientific domain of objective knowledge, but everyone knows it’s not quite like that in the ‘new humanities’. The agency and identity of the researcher is often a salient fact in the research. The embedded positionality of the author, their reflexiveness about their own context and room-for-manoeuvre, and the radical contextuality of knowledge itself – these are all more or less axiomatic in cultural studies, but they’re not easily served by ‘double-blind’ refereeing. When refereeing is depersonalised to the extent that is now rife (especially in journals owned by international commercial publishers), it is hard to maintain a sense of contextualised productivity in the knowledge domain, much less a ‘common cause’ to which both author and referee wish to contribute. Even though refereeing can still be seen as altruistic, it is in the service of something much more general (‘scholarship’) and much more particular (‘my career’) than the kind of reviewing that wants to share and improve a particular intellectual enterprise. It is this mid-range altruism – something that might once have been identified as a politics of knowledge – that’s becoming obsolete, along with the printed journals that were the banner and rallying point for the cause. If I were to start a new journal (such as cultural-science.org), I would prefer ‘open refereeing’: uploading papers on an open site, subjecting them to peer-review and criticism, and archiving revised versions once they have received enough votes and comments. In other words I’d like to see refereeing shifted from the ‘supply’ or production side of a journal to the ‘demand’ or readership side. But of course, ‘demand’ for ‘blind’ refereeing doesn’t come from readers; it comes from the funding agencies. The Reading Experience Finally, the experience of reading a journal is obsolete. Two aspects of this seem worthy of note. First, reading is ‘out of time’ – it no longer needs to conform to the rhythms of scholarly publication, which are in any case speeding up. Scholarship is no longer seasonal, as it has been since the Middle Ages (with university terms organised around agricultural and ecclesiastical rhythms). Once you have a paper’s DOI number, you can read it any time, 24/7. It is no longer necessary even to wait for publication. With some journals in our field (e.g. Journalism Studies), assuming your Library subscribes, you can access papers as soon as they’re uploaded on the journal’s website, before the published edition is printed. Soon this will be the norm, just as it is for the top science journals, where timely publication, and thereby the ability to claim first discovery, is the basis of intellectual property rights. The IJCS doesn’t (yet) offer this service, but its frequency is speeding up. It was launched in 1998 with three issues a year. It went quarterly in 2001 and remained a quarterly for eight years. It has recently increased to six issues a year. That too causes changes in the reading experience. The excited ripping open of the package is less of a thrill the more often it arrives. Indeed, how many subscribers will admit that sometimes they don’t even open the envelope? Second, reading is ‘out of place’ – you never have to see the journal in which a paper appears, so you can avoid contact with anything that you haven’t already decided to read. This is more significant than might first appear, because it is affecting journalism in general, not just academic journals. As we move from the broadcast to the broadband era, communicative usage is shifting too, from ‘mass’ communication to customisation. This is a mixed blessing. One of the pleasures of old-style newspapers and the TV news was that you’d come across stories you did not expect to find. Indeed, an important attribute of the industrial form of journalism is its success in getting whole populations to read or watch stories about things they aren’t interested in, or things like wars and crises that they’d rather not know about at all. That historic textual achievement is in jeopardy in the broadband era, because ‘the public’ no longer needs to gather around any particular masthead or bulletin to get their news. With Web 2.0 affordances, you can exercise much more choice over what you attend to. This is great from the point of view of maximising individual choice, but sub-optimal in relation to what I’ve called ‘population-gathering’, especially the gathering of communities of interest around ‘tales of the unexpected’ – novelty or anomalies. Obsolete: Collegiality, Trust and Innovation? The individuation of reading choices may stimulate prejudice, because prejudice (literally, ‘pre-judging’) is built in when you decide only to access news feeds about familiar topics, stories or people in which you’re already interested. That sort of thing may encourage narrow-mindedness. It is certainly an impediment to chance discovery, unplanned juxtaposition, unstructured curiosity and thence, perhaps, to innovation itself. This is a worry for citizenship in general, but it is also an issue for academic ‘knowledge professionals,’ in our ever-narrower disciplinary silos. An in-close specialist focus on one’s own area of expertise need no longer be troubled by the concerns of the person in the next office, never mind the next department. Now, we don’t even have to meet on the page. One of the advantages of whole journals, then, is that each issue encourages ‘macro’ as well as ‘micro’ perspectives, and opens reading up to surprises. This willingness to ‘take things on trust’ describes a ‘we’ community – a community of trust. Trust too is obsolete in these days of performance evaluation. We’re assessed by an anonymous system that’s managed by people we’ll never meet. If the ‘population-gathering’ aspects of print journals are indeed obsolete, this may reduce collegiate trust and fellow-feeling, increase individualist competitiveness, and inhibit innovation. In the face of that prospect, I’m going to keep on thinking about covers, running orders, referees and reading until the role of editor is obsolete too. ReferencesHartley, John. "'Cover Narrative': From Nightmare to Reality." International Journal of Cultural Studies 11.2 (2005): 131-137. ———. "Death of the Book?" Symposium of the National Scholarly Communication Forum & Australian Academy of the Humanities, Sydney Maritime Museum, 2005. 26 Apr. 2009 ‹http://www.humanities.org.au/Resources/Downloads/NSCF/RoundTables1-17/PDF/Hartley.pdf›. ———. "Editorial: With Goanna." International Journal of Cultural Studies 1.1 (1998): 5-10. ———. "'Who Are You Going to Believe – Me or Your Own Eyes?' New Decade; New Directions." International Journal of Cultural Studies 11.1 (2008): 5-14. Houghton, John. "Economics of Scholarly Communication: A Discussion Paper." Center for Strategic Economic Studies, Victoria University, 2000. 26 Apr. 2009 ‹http://www.caul.edu.au/cisc/EconomicsScholarlyCommunication.pdf›. Owen, Sue, and John Hartley, eds. The Uses of Richard Hoggart. International Journal of Cultural Studies (special issue), 10.1 (2007). Policy Perspectives: To Publish and Perish. (Special issue cosponsored by the Association of Research Libraries, Association of American Universities and the Pew Higher Education Roundtable) 7.4 (1998). 26 Apr. 2009 ‹http://www.arl.org/scomm/pew/pewrept.html›. "Scholarly Communication: Crisis and Revolution." University of California Berkeley Library. N.d. 26 Apr. 2009 ‹http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/Collections/crisis.html›. Teute, F. J. "To Publish or Perish: Who Are the Dinosaurs in Scholarly Publishing?" Journal of Scholarly Publishing 32.2 (2001). 26 Apr. 2009 ‹http://www.utpjournals.com/product/jsp/322/perish5.html›."Transforming Scholarly Communication." University of Houston Library. 2005. 26 Apr. 2009 ‹http://info.lib.uh.edu/scomm/transforming.htm›.

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Brien, Donna Lee. "The Real Filth in American Psycho." M/C Journal 9, no.5 (November1, 2006). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2657.

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1991 An afternoon in late 1991 found me on a Sydney bus reading Brett Easton Ellis’ American Psycho (1991). A disembarking passenger paused at my side and, as I glanced up, hissed, ‘I don’t know how you can read that filth’. As she continued to make her way to the front of the vehicle, I was as stunned as if she had struck me physically. There was real vehemence in both her words and how they were delivered, and I can still see her eyes squeezing into slits as she hesitated while curling her mouth around that final angry word: ‘filth’. Now, almost fifteen years later, the memory is remarkably vivid. As the event is also still remarkable; this comment remaining the only remark ever made to me by a stranger about anything I have been reading during three decades of travelling on public transport. That inflamed commuter summed up much of the furore that greeted the publication of American Psycho. More than this, and unusually, condemnation of the work both actually preceded, and affected, its publication. Although Ellis had been paid a substantial U.S. $300,000 advance by Simon & Schuster, pre-publication stories based on circulating galley proofs were so negative—offering assessments of the book as: ‘moronic … pointless … themeless … worthless (Rosenblatt 3), ‘superficial’, ‘a tapeworm narrative’ (Sheppard 100) and ‘vile … p*rnography, not literature … immoral, but also artless’ (Miner 43)—that the publisher cancelled the contract (forfeiting the advance) only months before the scheduled release date. CEO of Simon & Schuster, Richard E. Snyder, explained: ‘it was an error of judgement to put our name on a book of such questionable taste’ (quoted in McDowell, “Vintage” 13). American Psycho was, instead, published by Random House/Knopf in March 1991 under its prestige paperback imprint, Vintage Contemporary (Zaller; Freccero 48) – Sonny Mehta having signed the book to Random House some two days after Simon & Schuster withdrew from its agreement with Ellis. While many commented on the fact that Ellis was paid two substantial advances, it was rarely noted that Random House was a more prestigious publisher than Simon & Schuster (Iannone 52). After its release, American Psycho was almost universally vilified and denigrated by the American critical establishment. The work was criticised on both moral and aesthetic/literary/artistic grounds; that is, in terms of both what Ellis wrote and how he wrote it. Critics found it ‘meaningless’ (Lehmann-Haupt C18), ‘abysmally written … schlock’ (Kennedy 427), ‘repulsive, a bloodbath serving no purpose save that of morbidity, titillation and sensation … pure trash, as scummy and mean as anything it depicts, a dirty book by a dirty writer’ (Yardley B1) and ‘garbage’ (Gurley Brown 21). Mark Archer found that ‘the attempt to confuse style with content is callow’ (31), while Naomi Wolf wrote that: ‘overall, reading American Psycho holds the same fascination as watching a maladjusted 11-year-old draw on his desk’ (34). John Leo’s assessment sums up the passionate intensity of those critical of the work: ‘totally hateful … violent junk … no discernible plot, no believable characterization, no sensibility at work that comes anywhere close to making art out of all the blood and torture … Ellis displays little feel for narration, words, grammar or the rhythm of language’ (23). These reviews, as those printed pre-publication, were titled in similarly unequivocal language: ‘A Revolting Development’ (Sheppard 100), ‘Marketing Cynicism and Vulgarity’ (Leo 23), ‘Designer p*rn’ (Manguel 46) and ‘Essence of Trash’ (Yardley B1). Perhaps the most unambiguous in its message was Roger Rosenblatt’s ‘Snuff this Book!’ (3). Of all works published in the U.S.A. at that time, including those clearly carrying X ratings, the Los Angeles chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) selected American Psycho for special notice, stating that the book ‘legitimizes inhuman and savage violence masquerading as sexuality’ (NOW 114). Judging the book ‘the most misogynistic communication’ the organisation had ever encountered (NOW L.A. chapter president, Tammy Bruce, quoted in Kennedy 427) and, on the grounds that ‘violence against women in any form is no longer socially acceptable’ (McDowell, “NOW” C17), NOW called for a boycott of the entire Random House catalogue for the remainder of 1991. Naomi Wolf agreed, calling the novel ‘a violation not of obscenity standards, but of women’s civil rights, insofar as it results in conditioning male sexual response to female suffering or degradation’ (34). Later, the boycott was narrowed to Knopf and Vintage titles (Love 46), but also extended to all of the many products, companies, corporations, firms and brand names that are a feature of Ellis’s novel (Kauffman, “American” 41). There were other unexpected responses such as the Walt Disney Corporation barring Ellis from the opening of Euro Disney (Tyrnauer 101), although Ellis had already been driven from public view after receiving a number of death threats and did not undertake a book tour (Kennedy 427). Despite this, the book received significant publicity courtesy of the controversy and, although several national bookstore chains and numerous booksellers around the world refused to sell the book, more than 100,000 copies were sold in the U.S.A. in the fortnight after publication (Dwyer 55). Even this success had an unprecedented effect: when American Psycho became a bestseller, The New York Times announced that it would be removing the title from its bestseller lists because of the book’s content. In the days following publication in the U.S.A., Canadian customs announced that it was considering whether to allow the local arm of Random House to, first, import American Psycho for sale in Canada and, then, publish it in Canada (Kirchhoff, “Psycho” C1). Two weeks later, when the book was passed for sale (Kirchhoff, “Customs” C1), demonstrators protested the entrance of a shipment of the book. In May, the Canadian Defence Force made headlines when it withdrew copies of the book from the library shelves of a navy base in Halifax (Canadian Press C1). Also in May 1991, the Australian Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC), the federal agency that administers the classification scheme for all films, computer games and ‘submittable’ publications (including books) that are sold, hired or exhibited in Australia, announced that it had classified American Psycho as ‘Category 1 Restricted’ (W. Fraser, “Book” 5), to be sold sealed, to only those over 18 years of age. This was the first such classification of a mainstream literary work since the rating scheme was introduced (Graham), and the first time a work of literature had been restricted for sale since Philip Roth’s Portnoy’s Complaint in 1969. The chief censor, John Dickie, said the OFLC could not justify refusing the book classification (and essentially banning the work), and while ‘as a satire on yuppies it has a lot going for it’, personally he found the book ‘distasteful’ (quoted in W. Fraser, “Sensitive” 5). Moreover, while this ‘R’ classification was, and remains, a national classification, Australian States and Territories have their own sale and distribution regulation systems. Under this regime, American Psycho remains banned from sale in Queensland, as are all other books in this classification category (Vnuk). These various reactions led to a flood of articles published in the U.S.A., Canada, Australia and the U.K., voicing passionate opinions on a range of issues including free speech and censorship, the corporate control of artistic thought and practice, and cynicism on the part of authors and their publishers about what works might attract publicity and (therefore) sell in large numbers (see, for instance, Hitchens 7; Irving 1). The relationship between violence in society and its representation in the media was a common theme, with only a few commentators (including Norman Mailer in a high profile Vanity Fair article) suggesting that, instead of inciting violence, the media largely reflected, and commented upon, societal violence. Elayne Rapping, an academic in the field of Communications, proposed that the media did actively glorify violence, but only because there was a market for such representations: ‘We, as a society love violence, thrive on violence as the very basis of our social stability, our ideological belief system … The problem, after all, is not media violence but real violence’ (36, 38). Many more commentators, however, agreed with NOW, Wolf and others and charged Ellis’s work with encouraging, and even instigating, violent acts, and especially those against women, calling American Psycho ‘a kind of advertising for violence against women’ (anthropologist Elliot Leyton quoted in Dwyer 55) and, even, a ‘how-to manual on the torture and dismemberment of women’ (Leo 23). Support for the book was difficult to find in the flood of vitriol directed against it, but a small number wrote in Ellis’s defence. Sonny Mehta, himself the target of death threats for acquiring the book for Random House, stood by this assessment, and was widely quoted in his belief that American Psycho was ‘a serious book by a serious writer’ and that Ellis was ‘remarkably talented’ (Knight-Ridder L10). Publishing director of Pan Macmillan Australia, James Fraser, defended his decision to release American Psycho on the grounds that the book told important truths about society, arguing: ‘A publisher’s office is a clearing house for ideas … the real issue for community debate [is] – to what extent does it want to hear the truth about itself, about individuals within the community and about the governments the community elects. If we care about the preservation of standards, there is none higher than this. Gore Vidal was among the very few who stated outright that he liked the book, finding it ‘really rather inspired … a wonderfully comic novel’ (quoted in Tyrnauer 73). Fay Weldon agreed, judging the book as ‘brilliant’, and focusing on the importance of Ellis’s message: ‘Bret Easton Ellis is a very good writer. He gets us to a ‘T’. And we can’t stand it. It’s our problem, not his. American Psycho is a beautifully controlled, careful, important novel that revolves around its own nasty bits’ (C1). Since 1991 As unlikely as this now seems, I first read American Psycho without any awareness of the controversy raging around its publication. I had read Ellis’s earlier works, Less than Zero (1985) and The Rules of Attraction (1987) and, with my energies fully engaged elsewhere, cannot now even remember how I acquired the book. Since that angry remark on the bus, however, I have followed American Psycho’s infamy and how it has remained in the public eye over the last decade and a half. Australian OFLC decisions can be reviewed and reversed – as when Pasolini’s final film Salo (1975), which was banned in Australia from the time of its release in 1975 until it was un-banned in 1993, was then banned again in 1998 – however, American Psycho’s initial classification has remained unchanged. In July 2006, I purchased a new paperback copy in rural New South Wales. It was shrink-wrapped in plastic and labelled: ‘R. Category One. Not available to persons under 18 years. Restricted’. While exact sales figures are difficult to ascertain, by working with U.S.A., U.K. and Australian figures, this copy was, I estimate, one of some 1.5 to 1.6 million sold since publication. In the U.S.A., backlist sales remain very strong, with some 22,000 copies sold annually (Holt and Abbott), while lifetime sales in the U.K. are just under 720,000 over five paperback editions. Sales in Australia are currently estimated by Pan MacMillan to total some 100,000, with a new printing of 5,000 copies recently ordered in Australia on the strength of the book being featured on the inaugural Australian Broadcasting Commission’s First Tuesday Book Club national television program (2006). Predictably, the controversy around the publication of American Psycho is regularly revisited by those reviewing Ellis’s subsequent works. A major article in Vanity Fair on Ellis’s next book, The Informers (1994), opened with a graphic description of the death threats Ellis received upon the publication of American Psycho (Tyrnauer 70) and then outlined the controversy in detail (70-71). Those writing about Ellis’s two most recent novels, Glamorama (1999) and Lunar Park (2005), have shared this narrative strategy, which also forms at least part of the frame of every interview article. American Psycho also, again predictably, became a major topic of discussion in relation to the contracting, making and then release of the eponymous film in 2000 as, for example, in Linda S. Kauffman’s extensive and considered review of the film, which spent the first third discussing the history of the book’s publication (“American” 41-45). Playing with this interest, Ellis continues his practice of reusing characters in subsequent works. Thus, American Psycho’s Patrick Bateman, who first appeared in The Rules of Attraction as the elder brother of the main character, Sean – who, in turn, makes a brief appearance in American Psycho – also turns up in Glamorama with ‘strange stains’ on his Armani suit lapels, and again in Lunar Park. The book also continues to be regularly cited in discussions of censorship (see, for example, Dubin; Freccero) and has been included in a number of university-level courses about banned books. In these varied contexts, literary, cultural and other critics have also continued to disagree about the book’s impact upon readers, with some persisting in reading the novel as a p*rnographic incitement to violence. When Wade Frankum killed seven people in Sydney, many suggested a link between these murders and his consumption of X-rated videos, p*rnographic magazines and American Psycho (see, for example, Manne 11), although others argued against this (Wark 11). Prosecutors in the trial of Canadian murderer Paul Bernardo argued that American Psycho provided a ‘blueprint’ for Bernardo’s crimes (Canadian Press A5). Others have read Ellis’s work more positively, as for instance when Sonia Baelo Allué compares American Psycho favourably with Thomas Harris’s The Silence of the Lambs (1988) – arguing that Harris not only depicts more degrading treatment of women, but also makes Hannibal Lecter, his antihero monster, sexily attractive (7-24). Linda S. Kauffman posits that American Psycho is part of an ‘anti-aesthetic’ movement in art, whereby works that are revoltingly ugly and/or grotesque function to confront the repressed fears and desires of the audience and explore issues of identity and subjectivity (Bad Girls), while Patrick W. Shaw includes American Psycho in his work, The Modern American Novel of Violence because, in his opinion, the violence Ellis depicts is not gratuitous. Lost, however, in much of this often-impassioned debate and dialogue is the book itself – and what Ellis actually wrote. 21-years-old when Less than Zero was published, Ellis was still only 26 when American Psycho was released and his youth presented an obvious target. In 1991, Terry Teachout found ‘no moment in American Psycho where Bret Easton Ellis, who claims to be a serious artist, exhibits the workings of an adult moral imagination’ (45, 46), Brad Miner that it was ‘puerile – the very antithesis of good writing’ (43) and Carol Iannone that ‘the inclusion of the now famous offensive scenes reveals a staggering aesthetic and moral immaturity’ (54). Pagan Kennedy also ‘blamed’ the entire work on this immaturity, suggesting that instead of possessing a developed artistic sensibility, Ellis was reacting to (and, ironically, writing for the approval of) critics who had lauded the documentary realism of his violent and nihilistic teenage characters in Less than Zero, but then panned his less sensational story of campus life in The Rules of Attraction (427-428). Yet, in my opinion, there is not only a clear and coherent aesthetic vision driving Ellis’s oeuvre but, moreover, a profoundly moral imagination at work as well. This was my view upon first reading American Psycho, and part of the reason I was so shocked by that charge of filth on the bus. Once familiar with the controversy, I found this view shared by only a minority of commentators. Writing in the New Statesman & Society, Elizabeth J. Young asked: ‘Where have these people been? … Books of p*rnographic violence are nothing new … American Psycho outrages no contemporary taboos. Psychotic killers are everywhere’ (24). I was similarly aware that such murderers not only existed in reality, but also in many widely accessed works of literature and film – to the point where a few years later Joyce Carol Oates could suggest that the serial killer was an icon of popular culture (233). While a popular topic for writers of crime fiction and true crime narratives in both print and on film, a number of ‘serious’ literary writers – including Truman Capote, Norman Mailer, Kate Millet, Margaret Atwood and Oates herself – have also written about serial killers, and even crossed over into the widely acknowledged as ‘low-brow’ true crime genre. Many of these works (both popular or more literary) are vivid and powerful and have, as American Psycho, taken a strong moral position towards their subject matter. Moreover, many books and films have far more disturbing content than American Psycho, yet have caused no such uproar (Young and Caveney 120). By now, the plot of American Psycho is well known, although the structure of the book, noted by Weldon above (C1), is rarely analysed or even commented upon. First person narrator, Patrick Bateman, a young, handsome stockbroker and stereotypical 1980s yuppie, is also a serial killer. The book is largely, and innovatively, structured around this seeming incompatibility – challenging readers’ expectations that such a depraved criminal can be a wealthy white professional – while vividly contrasting the banal, and meticulously detailed, emptiness of Bateman’s life as a New York über-consumer with the scenes where he humiliates, rapes, tortures, murders, mutilates, dismembers and cannibalises his victims. Although only comprising some 16 out of 399 pages in my Picador edition, these violent scenes are extreme and certainly make the work as a whole disgustingly confronting. But that is the entire point of Ellis’s work. Bateman’s violence is rendered so explicitly because its principal role in the novel is to be inescapably horrific. As noted by Baelo Allué, there is no shift in tone between the most banally described detail and the description of violence (17): ‘I’ve situated the body in front of the new Toshiba television set and in the VCR is an old tape and appearing on the screen is the last girl I filmed. I’m wearing a Joseph Abboud suit, a tie by Paul Stuart, shoes by J. Crew, a vest by someone Italian and I’m kneeling on the floor beside a corpse, eating the girl’s brain, gobbling it down, spreading Grey Poupon over hunks of the pink, fleshy meat’ (Ellis 328). In complete opposition to how p*rnography functions, Ellis leaves no room for the possible enjoyment of such a scene. Instead of revelling in the ‘spine chilling’ pleasures of classic horror narratives, there is only the real horror of imagining such an act. The effect, as Kauffman has observed is, rather than arousing, often so disgusting as to be emetic (Bad Girls 249). Ellis was surprised that his detractors did not understand that he was trying to be shocking, not offensive (Love 49), or that his overall aim was to symbolise ‘how desensitised our culture has become towards violence’ (quoted in Dwyer 55). Ellis was also understandably frustrated with readings that conflated not only the contents of the book and their meaning, but also the narrator and author: ‘The acts described in the book are truly, indisputably vile. The book itself is not. Patrick Bateman is a monster. I am not’ (quoted in Love 49). Like Fay Weldon, Norman Mailer understood that American Psycho posited ‘that the eighties were spiritually disgusting and the author’s presentation is the crystallization of such horror’ (129). Unlike Weldon, however, Mailer shied away from defending the novel by judging Ellis not accomplished enough a writer to achieve his ‘monstrous’ aims (182), failing because he did not situate Bateman within a moral universe, that is, ‘by having a murderer with enough inner life for us to comprehend him’ (182). Yet, the morality of Ellis’s project is evident. By viewing the world through the lens of a psychotic killer who, in many ways, personifies the American Dream – wealthy, powerful, intelligent, handsome, energetic and successful – and, yet, who gains no pleasure, satisfaction, coherent identity or sense of life’s meaning from his endless, selfish consumption, Ellis exposes the emptiness of both that world and that dream. As Bateman himself explains: ‘Surface, surface, surface was all that anyone found meaning in. This was civilisation as I saw it, colossal and jagged’ (Ellis 375). Ellis thus situates the responsibility for Bateman’s violence not in his individual moral vacuity, but in the barren values of the society that has shaped him – a selfish society that, in Ellis’s opinion, refused to address the most important issues of the day: corporate greed, mindless consumerism, poverty, homelessness and the prevalence of violent crime. Instead of p*rnographic, therefore, American Psycho is a profoundly political text: Ellis was never attempting to glorify or incite violence against anyone, but rather to expose the effects of apathy to these broad social problems, including the very kinds of violence the most vocal critics feared the book would engender. Fifteen years after the publication of American Psycho, although our societies are apparently growing in overall prosperity, the gap between rich and poor also continues to grow, more are permanently homeless, violence – whether domestic, random or institutionally-sanctioned – escalates, and yet general apathy has intensified to the point where even the ‘ethics’ of torture as government policy can be posited as a subject for rational debate. The real filth of the saga of American Psycho is, thus, how Ellis’s message was wilfully ignored. While critics and public intellectuals discussed the work at length in almost every prominent publication available, few attempted to think in any depth about what Ellis actually wrote about, or to use their powerful positions to raise any serious debate about the concerns he voiced. Some recent critical reappraisals have begun to appreciate how American Psycho is an ‘ethical denunciation, where the reader cannot but face the real horror behind the serial killer phenomenon’ (Baelo Allué 8), but Ellis, I believe, goes further, exposing the truly filthy causes that underlie the existence of such seemingly ‘senseless’ murder. But, Wait, There’s More It is ironic that American Psycho has, itself, generated a mini-industry of products. A decade after publication, a Canadian team – filmmaker Mary Harron, director of I Shot Andy Warhol (1996), working with scriptwriter, Guinevere Turner, and Vancouver-based Lions Gate Entertainment – adapted the book for a major film (Johnson). Starring Christian Bale, Chloë Sevigny, Willem Dafoe and Reese Witherspoon and, with an estimated budget of U.S.$8 million, the film made U.S.$15 million at the American box office. The soundtrack was released for the film’s opening, with video and DVDs to follow and the ‘Killer Collector’s Edition’ DVD – closed-captioned, in widescreen with surround sound – released in June 2005. Amazon.com lists four movie posters (including a Japanese language version) and, most unexpected of all, a series of film tie-in action dolls. The two most popular of these, judging by E-Bay, are the ‘Cult Classics Series 1: Patrick Bateman’ figure which, attired in a smart suit, comes with essential accoutrements of walkman with headphones, briefcase, Wall Street Journal, video tape and recorder, knife, cleaver, axe, nail gun, severed hand and a display base; and the 18” tall ‘motion activated sound’ edition – a larger version of the same doll with fewer accessories, but which plays sound bites from the movie. Thanks to Stephen Harris and Suzie Gibson (UNE) for stimulating conversations about this book, Stephen Harris for information about the recent Australian reprint of American Psycho and Mark Seebeck (Pan Macmillan) for sales information. References Archer, Mark. “The Funeral Baked Meats.” The Spectator 27 April 1991: 31. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. First Tuesday Book Club. First broadcast 1 August 2006. Baelo Allué, Sonia. “The Aesthetics of Serial Killing: Working against Ethics in The Silence of the Lambs (1988) and American Psycho (1991).” Atlantis 24.2 (Dec. 2002): 7-24. Canadian Press. “Navy Yanks American Psycho.” The Globe and Mail 17 May 1991: C1. Canadian Press. “Gruesome Novel Was Bedside Reading.” Kitchener-Waterloo Record 1 Sep. 1995: A5. Dubin, Steven C. “Art’s Enemies: Censors to the Right of Me, Censors to the Left of Me.” Journal of Aesthetic Education 28.4 (Winter 1994): 44-54. Dwyer, Victor. “Literary Firestorm: Canada Customs Scrutinizes a Brutal Novel.” Maclean’s April 1991: 55. Ellis, Bret Easton. American Psycho. London: Macmillan-Picador, 1991. ———. Glamorama. New York: Knopf, 1999. ———. The Informers. New York: Knopf, 1994. ———. Less than Zero. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1985. ———. Lunar Park. New York: Knopf, 2005. ———. The Rules of Attraction. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1987. Fraser, James. :The Case for Publishing.” The Bulletin 18 June 1991. Fraser, William. “Book May Go under Wraps.” The Sydney Morning Herald 23 May 1991: 5. ———. “The Sensitive Censor and the Psycho.” The Sydney Morning Herald 24 May 1991: 5. Freccero, Carla. “Historical Violence, Censorship, and the Serial Killer: The Case of American Psycho.” Diacritics: A Review of Contemporary Criticism 27.2 (Summer 1997): 44-58. Graham, I. “Australian Censorship History.” Libertus.net 9 Dec. 2001. 17 May 2006 http://libertus.net/censor/hist20on.html>. Gurley Brown, Helen. Commentary in “Editorial Judgement or Censorship?: The Case of American Psycho.” The Writer May 1991: 20-23. Harris, Thomas. The Silence of the Lambs. New York: St Martins Press, 1988. Harron, Mary (dir.). American Psycho [film]. Edward R. Pressman Film Corporation, Lions Gate Films, Muse Productions, P.P.S. Films, Quadra Entertainment, Universal Pictures, 2004. Hitchens, Christopher. “Minority Report.” The Nation 7-14 January 1991: 7. Holt, Karen, and Charlotte Abbott. “Lunar Park: The Novel.” Publishers Weekly 11 July 2005. 13 Aug. 2006 http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA624404.html? pubdate=7%2F11%2F2005&display=archive>. Iannone, Carol. “PC & the Ellis Affair.” Commentary Magazine July 1991: 52-4. Irving, John. “p*rnography and the New Puritans.” The New York Times Book Review 29 March 1992: Section 7, 1. 13 Aug. 2006 http://www.nytimes.com/books/97/06/15/lifetimes/25665.html>. Johnson, Brian D. “Canadian Cool Meets American Psycho.” Maclean’s 10 April 2000. 13 Aug. 2006 http://www.macleans.ca/culture/films/article.jsp?content=33146>. Kauffman, Linda S. “American Psycho [film review].” Film Quarterly 54.2 (Winter 2000-2001): 41-45. ———. Bad Girls and Sick Boys: Fantasies in Contemporary Art and Culture. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998. Kennedy, Pagan. “Generation Gaffe: American Psycho.” The Nation 1 April 1991: 426-8. Kirchhoff, H. J. “Customs Clears Psycho: Booksellers’ Reaction Mixed.” The Globe and Mail 26 March 1991: C1. ———. “Psycho Sits in Limbo: Publisher Awaits Customs Ruling.” The Globe and Mail 14 March 1991: C1. Knight-Ridder News Service. “Vintage Picks up Ellis’ American Psycho.” Los Angeles Daily News 17 November 1990: L10. Lehmann-Haupt, Christopher. “Psycho: Wither Death without Life?” The New York Times 11 March 1991: C18. Leo, John. “Marketing Cynicism and Vulgarity.” U.S. News & World Report 3 Dec. 1990: 23. Love, Robert. “Psycho Analysis: Interview with Bret Easton Ellis.” Rolling Stone 4 April 1991: 45-46, 49-51. Mailer, Norman. “Children of the Pied Piper: Mailer on American Psycho.” Vanity Fair March 1991: 124-9, 182-3. Manguel, Alberto. “Designer p*rn.” Saturday Night 106.6 (July 1991): 46-8. Manne, Robert. “Liberals Deny the Video Link.” The Australian 6 Jan. 1997: 11. McDowell, Edwin. “NOW Chapter Seeks Boycott of ‘Psycho’ Novel.” The New York Times 6 Dec. 1990: C17. ———. “Vintage Buys Violent Book Dropped by Simon & Schuster.” The New York Times 17 Nov. 1990: 13. Miner, Brad. “Random Notes.” National Review 31 Dec. 1990: 43. National Organization for Women. Library Journal 2.91 (1991): 114. Oates, Joyce Carol. “Three American Gothics.” Where I’ve Been, and Where I’m Going: Essays, Reviews and Prose. New York: Plume, 1999. 232-43. Rapping, Elayne. “The Uses of Violence.” Progressive 55 (1991): 36-8. Rosenblatt, Roger. “Snuff this Book!: Will Brett Easton Ellis Get Away with Murder?” New York Times Book Review 16 Dec. 1990: 3, 16. Roth, Philip. Portnoy’s Complaint. New York: Random House, 1969. Shaw, Patrick W. The Modern American Novel of Violence. Troy, NY: Whitson, 2000. Sheppard, R. Z. “A Revolting Development.” Time 29 Oct. 1990: 100. Teachout, Terry. “Applied Deconstruction.” National Review 24 June 1991: 45-6. Tyrnauer, Matthew. “Who’s Afraid of Bret Easton Ellis?” Vanity Fair 57.8 (Aug. 1994): 70-3, 100-1. Vnuk, Helen. “X-rated? Outdated.” The Age 21 Sep. 2003. 17 May 2006 http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/09/19/1063625202157.html>. Wark, McKenzie. “Video Link Is a Distorted View.” The Australian 8 Jan. 1997: 11. Weldon, Fay. “Now You’re Squeamish?: In a World as Sick as Ours, It’s Silly to Target American Psycho.” The Washington Post 28 April 1991: C1. Wolf, Naomi. “The Animals Speak.” New Statesman & Society 12 April 1991: 33-4. Yardley, Jonathan. “American Psycho: Essence of Trash.” The Washington Post 27 Feb. 1991: B1. Young, Elizabeth J. “Psycho Killers. Last Lines: How to Shock the English.” New Statesman & Society 5 April 1991: 24. Young, Elizabeth J., and Graham Caveney. Shopping in Space: Essays on American ‘Blank Generation’ Fiction. London: Serpent’s Tail, 1992. Zaller, Robert “American Psycho, American Censorship and the Dahmer Case.” Revue Francaise d’Etudes Americaines 16.56 (1993): 317-25. Citation reference for this article MLA Style Brien, Donna Lee. "The Real Filth in : A Critical Reassessment." M/C Journal 9.5 (2006). echo date('d M. Y'); ?> <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0610/01-brien.php>. APA Style Brien, D. (Nov. 2006) "The Real Filth in American Psycho: A Critical Reassessment," M/C Journal, 9(5). Retrieved echo date('d M. Y'); ?> from <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0610/01-brien.php>.

31

Losh, Elizabeth. "Artificial Intelligence." M/C Journal 10, no.5 (October1, 2007). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2710.

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On the morning of Thursday, 4 May 2006, the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence held an open hearing entitled “Terrorist Use of the Internet.” The Intelligence committee meeting was scheduled to take place in Room 1302 of the Longworth Office Building, a Depression-era structure with a neoclassical façade. Because of a dysfunctional elevator, some of the congressional representatives were late to the meeting. During the testimony about the newest political applications for cutting-edge digital technology, the microphones periodically malfunctioned, and witnesses complained of “technical problems” several times. By the end of the day it seemed that what was to be remembered about the hearing was the shocking revelation that terrorists were using videogames to recruit young jihadists. The Associated Press wrote a short, restrained article about the hearing that only mentioned “computer games and recruitment videos” in passing. Eager to have their version of the news item picked up, Reuters made videogames the focus of their coverage with a headline that announced, “Islamists Using US Videogames in Youth Appeal.” Like a game of telephone, as the Reuters videogame story was quickly re-run by several Internet news services, each iteration of the title seemed less true to the exact language of the original. One Internet news service changed the headline to “Islamic militants recruit using U.S. video games.” Fox News re-titled the story again to emphasise that this alert about technological manipulation was coming from recognised specialists in the anti-terrorism surveillance field: “Experts: Islamic Militants Customizing Violent Video Games.” As the story circulated, the body of the article remained largely unchanged, in which the Reuters reporter described the digital materials from Islamic extremists that were shown at the congressional hearing. During the segment that apparently most captured the attention of the wire service reporters, eerie music played as an English-speaking narrator condemned the “infidel” and declared that he had “put a jihad” on them, as aerial shots moved over 3D computer-generated images of flaming oil facilities and mosques covered with geometric designs. Suddenly, this menacing voice-over was interrupted by an explosion, as a virtual rocket was launched into a simulated military helicopter. The Reuters reporter shared this dystopian vision from cyberspace with Western audiences by quoting directly from the chilling commentary and describing a dissonant montage of images and remixed sound. “I was just a boy when the infidels came to my village in Blackhawk helicopters,” a narrator’s voice said as the screen flashed between images of street-level gunfights, explosions and helicopter assaults. Then came a recording of President George W. Bush’s September 16, 2001, statement: “This crusade, this war on terrorism, is going to take a while.” It was edited to repeat the word “crusade,” which Muslims often define as an attack on Islam by Christianity. According to the news reports, the key piece of evidence before Congress seemed to be a film by “SonicJihad” of recorded videogame play, which – according to the experts – was widely distributed online. Much of the clip takes place from the point of view of a first-person shooter, seen as if through the eyes of an armed insurgent, but the viewer also periodically sees third-person action in which the player appears as a running figure wearing a red-and-white checked keffiyeh, who dashes toward the screen with a rocket launcher balanced on his shoulder. Significantly, another of the player’s hand-held weapons is a detonator that triggers remote blasts. As jaunty music plays, helicopters, tanks, and armoured vehicles burst into smoke and flame. Finally, at the triumphant ending of the video, a green and white flag bearing a crescent is hoisted aloft into the sky to signify victory by Islamic forces. To explain the existence of this digital alternative history in which jihadists could be conquerors, the Reuters story described the deviousness of the country’s terrorist opponents, who were now apparently modifying popular videogames through their wizardry and inserting anti-American, pro-insurgency content into U.S.-made consumer technology. One of the latest video games modified by militants is the popular “Battlefield 2” from leading video game publisher, Electronic Arts Inc of Redwood City, California. Jeff Brown, a spokesman for Electronic Arts, said enthusiasts often write software modifications, known as “mods,” to video games. “Millions of people create mods on games around the world,” he said. “We have absolutely no control over them. It’s like drawing a mustache on a picture.” Although the Electronic Arts executive dismissed the activities of modders as a “mustache on a picture” that could only be considered little more than childish vandalism of their off-the-shelf corporate product, others saw a more serious form of criminality at work. Testifying experts and the legislators listening on the committee used the video to call for greater Internet surveillance efforts and electronic counter-measures. Within twenty-four hours of the sensationalistic news breaking, however, a group of Battlefield 2 fans was crowing about the idiocy of reporters. The game play footage wasn’t from a high-tech modification of the software by Islamic extremists; it had been posted on a Planet Battlefield forum the previous December of 2005 by a game fan who had cut together regular game play with a Bush remix and a parody snippet of the soundtrack from the 2004 hit comedy film Team America. The voice describing the Black Hawk helicopters was the voice of Trey Parker of South Park cartoon fame, and – much to Parker’s amusem*nt – even the mention of “goats screaming” did not clue spectators in to the fact of a comic source. Ironically, the moment in the movie from which the sound clip is excerpted is one about intelligence gathering. As an agent of Team America, a fictional elite U.S. commando squad, the hero of the film’s all-puppet cast, Gary Johnston, is impersonating a jihadist radical inside a hostile Egyptian tavern that is modelled on the cantina scene from Star Wars. Additional laughs come from the fact that agent Johnston is accepted by the menacing terrorist cell as “Hakmed,” despite the fact that he utters a series of improbable clichés made up of incoherent stereotypes about life in the Middle East while dressed up in a disguise made up of shoe polish and a turban from a bathroom towel. The man behind the “SonicJihad” pseudonym turned out to be a twenty-five-year-old hospital administrator named Samir, and what reporters and representatives saw was nothing more exotic than game play from an add-on expansion pack of Battlefield 2, which – like other versions of the game – allows first-person shooter play from the position of the opponent as a standard feature. While SonicJihad initially joined his fellow gamers in ridiculing the mainstream media, he also expressed astonishment and outrage about a larger politics of reception. In one interview he argued that the media illiteracy of Reuters potentially enabled a whole series of category errors, in which harmless gamers could be demonised as terrorists. It wasn’t intended for the purpose what it was portrayed to be by the media. So no I don’t regret making a funny video . . . why should I? The only thing I regret is thinking that news from Reuters was objective and always right. The least they could do is some online research before publishing this. If they label me al-Qaeda just for making this silly video, that makes you think, what is this al-Qaeda? And is everything al-Qaeda? Although Sonic Jihad dismissed his own work as “silly” or “funny,” he expected considerably more from a credible news agency like Reuters: “objective” reporting, “online research,” and fact-checking before “publishing.” Within the week, almost all of the salient details in the Reuters story were revealed to be incorrect. SonicJihad’s film was not made by terrorists or for terrorists: it was not created by “Islamic militants” for “Muslim youths.” The videogame it depicted had not been modified by a “tech-savvy militant” with advanced programming skills. Of course, what is most extraordinary about this story isn’t just that Reuters merely got its facts wrong; it is that a self-identified “parody” video was shown to the august House Intelligence Committee by a team of well-paid “experts” from the Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), a major contractor with the federal government, as key evidence of terrorist recruitment techniques and abuse of digital networks. Moreover, this story of media illiteracy unfolded in the context of a fundamental Constitutional debate about domestic surveillance via communications technology and the further regulation of digital content by lawmakers. Furthermore, the transcripts of the actual hearing showed that much more than simple gullibility or technological ignorance was in play. Based on their exchanges in the public record, elected representatives and government experts appear to be keenly aware that the digital discourses of an emerging information culture might be challenging their authority and that of the longstanding institutions of knowledge and power with which they are affiliated. These hearings can be seen as representative of a larger historical moment in which emphatic declarations about prohibiting specific practices in digital culture have come to occupy a prominent place at the podium, news desk, or official Web portal. This environment of cultural reaction can be used to explain why policy makers’ reaction to terrorists’ use of networked communication and digital media actually tells us more about our own American ideologies about technology and rhetoric in a contemporary information environment. When the experts come forward at the Sonic Jihad hearing to “walk us through the media and some of the products,” they present digital artefacts of an information economy that mirrors many of the features of our own consumption of objects of electronic discourse, which seem dangerously easy to copy and distribute and thus also create confusion about their intended meanings, audiences, and purposes. From this one hearing we can see how the reception of many new digital genres plays out in the public sphere of legislative discourse. Web pages, videogames, and Weblogs are mentioned specifically in the transcript. The main architecture of the witnesses’ presentation to the committee is organised according to the rhetorical conventions of a PowerPoint presentation. Moreover, the arguments made by expert witnesses about the relationship of orality to literacy or of public to private communications in new media are highly relevant to how we might understand other important digital genres, such as electronic mail or text messaging. The hearing also invites consideration of privacy, intellectual property, and digital “rights,” because moral values about freedom and ownership are alluded to by many of the elected representatives present, albeit often through the looking glass of user behaviours imagined as radically Other. For example, terrorists are described as “modders” and “hackers” who subvert those who properly create, own, legitimate, and regulate intellectual property. To explain embarrassing leaks of infinitely replicable digital files, witness Ron Roughead says, “We’re not even sure that they don’t even hack into the kinds of spaces that hold photographs in order to get pictures that our forces have taken.” Another witness, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy and International Affairs, Peter Rodman claims that “any video game that comes out, as soon as the code is released, they will modify it and change the game for their needs.” Thus, the implication of these witnesses’ testimony is that the release of code into the public domain can contribute to political subversion, much as covert intrusion into computer networks by stealthy hackers can. However, the witnesses from the Pentagon and from the government contractor SAIC often present a contradictory image of the supposed terrorists in the hearing transcripts. Sometimes the enemy is depicted as an organisation of technological masterminds, capable of manipulating the computer code of unwitting Americans and snatching their rightful intellectual property away; sometimes those from the opposing forces are depicted as pre-modern and even sub-literate political innocents. In contrast, the congressional representatives seem to focus on similarities when comparing the work of “terrorists” to the everyday digital practices of their constituents and even of themselves. According to the transcripts of this open hearing, legislators on both sides of the aisle express anxiety about domestic patterns of Internet reception. Even the legislators’ own Web pages are potentially disruptive electronic artefacts, particularly when the demands of digital labour interfere with their duties as lawmakers. Although the subject of the hearing is ostensibly terrorist Websites, Representative Anna Eshoo (D-California) bemoans the difficulty of maintaining her own official congressional site. As she observes, “So we are – as members, I think we’re very sensitive about what’s on our Website, and if I retained what I had on my Website three years ago, I’d be out of business. So we know that they have to be renewed. They go up, they go down, they’re rebuilt, they’re – you know, the message is targeted to the future.” In their questions, lawmakers identify Weblogs (blogs) as a particular area of concern as a destabilising alternative to authoritative print sources of information from established institutions. Representative Alcee Hastings (D-Florida) compares the polluting power of insurgent bloggers to that of influential online muckrakers from the American political Right. Hastings complains of “garbage on our regular mainstream news that comes from blog sites.” Representative Heather Wilson (R-New Mexico) attempts to project a media-savvy persona by bringing up the “phenomenon of blogging” in conjunction with her questions about jihadist Websites in which she notes how Internet traffic can be magnified by cooperative ventures among groups of ideologically like-minded content-providers: “These Websites, and particularly the most active ones, are they cross-linked? And do they have kind of hot links to your other favorite sites on them?” At one point Representative Wilson asks witness Rodman if he knows “of your 100 hottest sites where the Webmasters are educated? What nationality they are? Where they’re getting their money from?” In her questions, Wilson implicitly acknowledges that Web work reflects influences from pedagogical communities, economic networks of the exchange of capital, and even potentially the specific ideologies of nation-states. It is perhaps indicative of the government contractors’ anachronistic worldview that the witness is unable to answer Wilson’s question. He explains that his agency focuses on the physical location of the server or ISP rather than the social backgrounds of the individuals who might be manufacturing objectionable digital texts. The premise behind the contractors’ working method – surveilling the technical apparatus not the social network – may be related to other beliefs expressed by government witnesses, such as the supposition that jihadist Websites are collectively produced and spontaneously emerge from the indigenous, traditional, tribal culture, instead of assuming that Iraqi insurgents have analogous beliefs, practices, and technological awareness to those in first-world countries. The residual subtexts in the witnesses’ conjectures about competing cultures of orality and literacy may tell us something about a reactionary rhetoric around videogames and digital culture more generally. According to the experts before Congress, the Middle Eastern audience for these videogames and Websites is limited by its membership in a pre-literate society that is only capable of abortive cultural production without access to knowledge that is archived in printed codices. Sometimes the witnesses before Congress seem to be unintentionally channelling the ideas of the late literacy theorist Walter Ong about the “secondary orality” associated with talky electronic media such as television, radio, audio recording, or telephone communication. Later followers of Ong extend this concept of secondary orality to hypertext, hypermedia, e-mail, and blogs, because they similarly share features of both speech and written discourse. Although Ong’s disciples celebrate this vibrant reconnection to a mythic, communal past of what Kathleen Welch calls “electric rhetoric,” the defence industry consultants express their profound state of alarm at the potentially dangerous and subversive character of this hybrid form of communication. The concept of an “oral tradition” is first introduced by the expert witnesses in the context of modern marketing and product distribution: “The Internet is used for a variety of things – command and control,” one witness states. “One of the things that’s missed frequently is how and – how effective the adversary is at using the Internet to distribute product. They’re using that distribution network as a modern form of oral tradition, if you will.” Thus, although the Internet can be deployed for hierarchical “command and control” activities, it also functions as a highly efficient peer-to-peer distributed network for disseminating the commodity of information. Throughout the hearings, the witnesses imply that unregulated lateral communication among social actors who are not authorised to speak for nation-states or to produce legitimated expert discourses is potentially destabilising to political order. Witness Eric Michael describes the “oral tradition” and the conventions of communal life in the Middle East to emphasise the primacy of speech in the collective discursive practices of this alien population: “I’d like to point your attention to the media types and the fact that the oral tradition is listed as most important. The other media listed support that. And the significance of the oral tradition is more than just – it’s the medium by which, once it comes off the Internet, it is transferred.” The experts go on to claim that this “oral tradition” can contaminate other media because it functions as “rumor,” the traditional bane of the stately discourse of military leaders since the classical era. The oral tradition now also has an aspect of rumor. A[n] event takes place. There is an explosion in a city. Rumor is that the United States Air Force dropped a bomb and is doing indiscriminate killing. This ends up being discussed on the street. It ends up showing up in a Friday sermon in a mosque or in another religious institution. It then gets recycled into written materials. Media picks up the story and broadcasts it, at which point it’s now a fact. In this particular case that we were telling you about, it showed up on a network television, and their propaganda continues to go back to this false initial report on network television and continue to reiterate that it’s a fact, even though the United States government has proven that it was not a fact, even though the network has since recanted the broadcast. In this example, many-to-many discussion on the “street” is formalised into a one-to many “sermon” and then further stylised using technology in a one-to-many broadcast on “network television” in which “propaganda” that is “false” can no longer be disputed. This “oral tradition” is like digital media, because elements of discourse can be infinitely copied or “recycled,” and it is designed to “reiterate” content. In this hearing, the word “rhetoric” is associated with destructive counter-cultural forces by the witnesses who reiterate cultural truisms dating back to Plato and the Gorgias. For example, witness Eric Michael initially presents “rhetoric” as the use of culturally specific and hence untranslatable figures of speech, but he quickly moves to an outright castigation of the entire communicative mode. “Rhetoric,” he tells us, is designed to “distort the truth,” because it is a “selective” assembly or a “distortion.” Rhetoric is also at odds with reason, because it appeals to “emotion” and a romanticised Weltanschauung oriented around discourses of “struggle.” The film by SonicJihad is chosen as the final clip by the witnesses before Congress, because it allegedly combines many different types of emotional appeal, and thus it conveniently ties together all of the themes that the witnesses present to the legislators about unreliable oral or rhetorical sources in the Middle East: And there you see how all these products are linked together. And you can see where the games are set to psychologically condition you to go kill coalition forces. You can see how they use humor. You can see how the entire campaign is carefully crafted to first evoke an emotion and then to evoke a response and to direct that response in the direction that they want. Jihadist digital products, especially videogames, are effective means of manipulation, the witnesses argue, because they employ multiple channels of persuasion and carefully sequenced and integrated subliminal messages. To understand the larger cultural conversation of the hearing, it is important to keep in mind that the related argument that “games” can “psychologically condition” players to be predisposed to violence is one that was important in other congressional hearings of the period, as well one that played a role in bills and resolutions that were passed by the full body of the legislative branch. In the witness’s testimony an appeal to anti-game sympathies at home is combined with a critique of a closed anti-democratic system abroad in which the circuits of rhetorical production and their composite metonymic chains are described as those that command specific, unvarying, robotic responses. This sharp criticism of the artful use of a presentation style that is “crafted” is ironic, given that the witnesses’ “compilation” of jihadist digital material is staged in the form of a carefully structured PowerPoint presentation, one that is paced to a well-rehearsed rhythm of “slide, please” or “next slide” in the transcript. The transcript also reveals that the members of the House Intelligence Committee were not the original audience for the witnesses’ PowerPoint presentation. Rather, when it was first created by SAIC, this “expert” presentation was designed for training purposes for the troops on the ground, who would be facing the challenges of deployment in hostile terrain. According to the witnesses, having the slide show showcased before Congress was something of an afterthought. Nonetheless, Congressman Tiahrt (R-KN) is so impressed with the rhetorical mastery of the consultants that he tries to appropriate it. As Tiarht puts it, “I’d like to get a copy of that slide sometime.” From the hearing we also learn that the terrorists’ Websites are threatening precisely because they manifest a polymorphously perverse geometry of expansion. For example, one SAIC witness before the House Committee compares the replication and elaboration of digital material online to a “spiderweb.” Like Representative Eshoo’s site, he also notes that the terrorists’ sites go “up” and “down,” but the consultant is left to speculate about whether or not there is any “central coordination” to serve as an organising principle and to explain the persistence and consistency of messages despite the apparent lack of a single authorial ethos to offer a stable, humanised, point of reference. In the hearing, the oft-cited solution to the problem created by the hybridity and iterability of digital rhetoric appears to be “public diplomacy.” Both consultants and lawmakers seem to agree that the damaging messages of the insurgents must be countered with U.S. sanctioned information, and thus the phrase “public diplomacy” appears in the hearing seven times. However, witness Roughhead complains that the protean “oral tradition” and what Henry Jenkins has called the “transmedia” character of digital culture, which often crosses several platforms of traditional print, projection, or broadcast media, stymies their best rhetorical efforts: “I think the point that we’ve tried to make in the briefing is that wherever there’s Internet availability at all, they can then download these – these programs and put them onto compact discs, DVDs, or post them into posters, and provide them to a greater range of people in the oral tradition that they’ve grown up in. And so they only need a few Internet sites in order to distribute and disseminate the message.” Of course, to maintain their share of the government market, the Science Applications International Corporation also employs practices of publicity and promotion through the Internet and digital media. They use HTML Web pages for these purposes, as well as PowerPoint presentations and online video. The rhetoric of the Website of SAIC emphasises their motto “From Science to Solutions.” After a short Flash film about how SAIC scientists and engineers solve “complex technical problems,” the visitor is taken to the home page of the firm that re-emphasises their central message about expertise. The maps, uniforms, and specialised tools and equipment that are depicted in these opening Web pages reinforce an ethos of professional specialisation that is able to respond to multiple threats posed by the “global war on terror.” By 26 June 2006, the incident finally was being described as a “Pentagon Snafu” by ABC News. From the opening of reporter Jake Tapper’s investigative Webcast, established government institutions were put on the spot: “So, how much does the Pentagon know about videogames? Well, when it came to a recent appearance before Congress, apparently not enough.” Indeed, the very language about “experts” that was highlighted in the earlier coverage is repeated by Tapper in mockery, with the significant exception of “independent expert” Ian Bogost of the Georgia Institute of Technology. If the Pentagon and SAIC deride the legitimacy of rhetoric as a cultural practice, Bogost occupies himself with its defence. In his recent book Persuasive Games: The Expressive Power of Videogames, Bogost draws upon the authority of the “2,500 year history of rhetoric” to argue that videogames represent a significant development in that cultural narrative. Given that Bogost and his Watercooler Games Weblog co-editor Gonzalo Frasca were actively involved in the detective work that exposed the depth of professional incompetence involved in the government’s line-up of witnesses, it is appropriate that Bogost is given the final words in the ABC exposé. As Bogost says, “We should be deeply bothered by this. We should really be questioning the kind of advice that Congress is getting.” Bogost may be right that Congress received terrible counsel on that day, but a close reading of the transcript reveals that elected officials were much more than passive listeners: in fact they were lively participants in a cultural conversation about regulating digital media. After looking at the actual language of these exchanges, it seems that the persuasiveness of the misinformation from the Pentagon and SAIC had as much to do with lawmakers’ preconceived anxieties about practices of computer-mediated communication close to home as it did with the contradictory stereotypes that were presented to them about Internet practices abroad. In other words, lawmakers found themselves looking into a fun house mirror that distorted what should have been familiar artefacts of American popular culture because it was precisely what they wanted to see. References ABC News. “Terrorist Videogame?” Nightline Online. 21 June 2006. 22 June 2006 http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=2105341>. Bogost, Ian. Persuasive Games: Videogames and Procedural Rhetoric. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007. Game Politics. “Was Congress Misled by ‘Terrorist’ Game Video? We Talk to Gamer Who Created the Footage.” 11 May 2006. http://gamepolitics.livejournal.com/285129.html#cutid1>. Jenkins, Henry. Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York: New York UP, 2006. julieb. “David Morgan Is a Horrible Writer and Should Be Fired.” Online posting. 5 May 2006. Dvorak Uncensored Cage Match Forums. http://cagematch.dvorak.org/index.php/topic,130.0.html>. Mahmood. “Terrorists Don’t Recruit with Battlefield 2.” GGL Global Gaming. 16 May 2006 http://www.ggl.com/news.php?NewsId=3090>. Morgan, David. “Islamists Using U.S. Video Games in Youth Appeal.” Reuters online news service. 4 May 2006 http://today.reuters.com/news/ArticleNews.aspx?type=topNews &storyID=2006-05-04T215543Z_01_N04305973_RTRUKOC_0_US-SECURITY- VIDEOGAMES.xml&pageNumber=0&imageid=&cap=&sz=13&WTModLoc= NewsArt-C1-ArticlePage2>. Ong, Walter J. Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word. London/New York: Methuen, 1982. Parker, Trey. Online posting. 7 May 2006. 9 May 2006 http://www.treyparker.com>. Plato. “Gorgias.” Plato: Collected Dialogues. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1961. Shrader, Katherine. “Pentagon Surfing Thousands of Jihad Sites.” Associated Press 4 May 2006. SonicJihad. “SonicJihad: A Day in the Life of a Resistance Fighter.” Online posting. 26 Dec. 2005. Planet Battlefield Forums. 9 May 2006 http://www.forumplanet.com/planetbattlefield/topic.asp?fid=13670&tid=1806909&p=1>. Tapper, Jake, and Audery Taylor. “Terrorist Video Game or Pentagon Snafu?” ABC News Nightline 21 June 2006. 30 June 2006 http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/Technology/story?id=2105128&page=1>. U.S. Congressional Record. Panel I of the Hearing of the House Select Intelligence Committee, Subject: “Terrorist Use of the Internet for Communications.” Federal News Service. 4 May 2006. Welch, Kathleen E. Electric Rhetoric: Classical Rhetoric, Oralism, and the New Literacy. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1999. Citation reference for this article MLA Style Losh, Elizabeth. "Artificial Intelligence: Media Illiteracy and the SonicJihad Debacle in Congress." M/C Journal 10.5 (2007). echo date('d M. Y'); ?> <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0710/08-losh.php>. APA Style Losh, E. (Oct. 2007) "Artificial Intelligence: Media Illiteracy and the SonicJihad Debacle in Congress," M/C Journal, 10(5). Retrieved echo date('d M. Y'); ?> from <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0710/08-losh.php>.

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Sheu,ChingshunJ. "Forced Excursion: Walking as Disability in Joshua Ferris’s The Unnamed." M/C Journal 21, no.4 (October15, 2018). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1403.

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Introduction: Conceptualizing DisabilityThe two most prominent models for understanding disability are the medical model and the social model (“Disability”). The medical model locates disability in the person and emphasises the possibility of a cure, reinforcing the idea that disability is the fault of the disabled person, their body, their genes, and/or their upbringing. The social model, formulated as a response to the medical model, presents disability as a failure of the surrounding environment to accommodate differently abled bodies and minds. Closely linked to identity politics, the social model argues that disability is not a defect to be fixed but a source of human experience and identity, and that to disregard the needs of people with disability is to discriminate against them by being “ableist.”Both models have limitations. On the one hand, simply being a person with disability or having any other minority identity/-ies does not by itself lead to exclusion and discrimination (Nocella 18); an element of social valuation must be present that goes beyond a mere numbers game. On the other hand, merely focusing on the social aspect neglects “the realities of sickness, suffering, and pain” that many people with disability experience (Mollow 196) and that cannot be substantially alleviated by any degree of social change. The body is irreducible to discourse and representation (Siebers 749). Disability exists only at the confluence of differently abled minds and bodies and unaccommodating social and physical environs. How a body “fits” (my word) its environment is the focus of the “ecosomatic paradigm” (Cella 574-75); one example is how the drastically different environment of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road (2006) reorients the coordinates of ability and impairment (Cella 582–84). I want to examine a novel that, conversely, features a change not in environment but in body.Alien LegsTim Farnsworth, the protagonist of Joshua Ferris’s second novel, The Unnamed (2010), is a high-powered New York lawyer who develops a condition that causes him to walk spontaneously without control over direction or duration. Tim suffers four periods of “walking,” during which his body could without warning stand up and walk at any time up to the point of exhaustion; each period grows increasingly longer with more frequent walks, until the fourth one ends in Tim’s death. As his wife, Jane, understands it, these forced excursions are “a hijacking of some obscure order of the body, the frightened soul inside the runaway train of mindless matter” (24). The direction is not random, for his legs follow roads and traffic lights. When Tim is exhausted, his legs abruptly stop, ceding control back to his conscious will, whence Tim usually calls Jane and then sleeps like a baby wherever he stops. She picks him up at all hours of the day and night.Contemporary critics note shades of Beckett in both the premise and title of the novel (“Young”; Adams), connections confirmed by Ferris (“Involuntary”); Ron Charles mentions the Poe story “The Man of the Crowd” (1845), but it seems only the compulsion to walk is similar. Ferris says he “was interested in writing about disease” (“Involuntary”), and disability is at the core of the novel; Tim more than once thinks bitterly to himself that the smug person without disability in front of him will one day fall ill and die, alluding to the universality of disability. His condition is detrimental to his work and life, and Stuart Murray explores how this reveals the ableist assumptions behind the idea of “productivity” in a post-industrial economy. In one humorous episode, Tim arrives unexpectedly (but volitionally) at a courtroom and has just finished requesting permission to join the proceedings when his legs take him out of the courtroom again; he barely has time to shout over his shoulder, “on second thought, Your Honor” (Ferris Unnamed 103). However, Murray does not discuss what is unique about Tim’s disability: it revolves around walking, the paradigmatic act of ability in popular culture, as connoted in the phrase “to stand up and walk.” This makes it difficult to understand Tim’s predicament solely in terms of either the medical or social model. He is able-bodied—in fact, we might say he is “over-able”—leading one doctor to label his condition “benign idiopathic perambulation” (41; my emphasis); yet the lack of agency in his walking precludes it from becoming a “pedestrian speech act” (de Certeau 98), walking that imbues space with semiotic value. It is difficult to imagine what changes society could make to neutralize Tim’s disability.The novel explores both avenues. At first, Tim adheres to the medical model protocol of seeking a diagnosis to facilitate treatment. He goes to every and any (pseudo)expert in search of “the One Guy” who can diagnose and, possibly, cure him (53), but none can; a paper in The New England Journal of Medicine documents psychiatrists and neurologists, finding nothing, kicking the can between them, “from the mind to body back to the mind” (101). Tim is driven to seek a diagnosis because, under the medical model, a diagnosis facilitates understanding, by others and by oneself. As the Farnsworths experience many times, it is surpassingly difficult to explain to others that one has a disease with no diagnosis or even name. Without a name, the disease may as well not exist, and even their daughter, Becka, doubts Tim at first. Only Jane is able to empathize with him based on her own experience of menopause, incomprehensible to men, gesturing towards the influence of sex on medical hermeneutics (Mollow 188–92). As the last hope of a diagnosis comes up empty, Tim shifts his mentality, attempting to understand his condition through an idiosyncratic idiom: experiencing “brain fog”, feeling “mentally unsticky”, and having “jangly” nerves, “hyperslogged” muscles, a “floaty” left side, and “bunched up” breathing—these, to him, are “the most precise descriptions” of his physical and mental state (126). “Name” something, “revealing nature’s mystery”, and one can “triumph over it”, he thinks at one point (212). But he is never able to eschew the drive toward understanding via naming, and his “deep metaphysical ache” (Burn 45) takes the form of a lament at misfortune, a genre traceable to the Book of Job.Short of crafting a life for Tim in which his family, friends, and work are meaningfully present yet detached enough in scheduling and physical space to accommodate his needs, the social model is insufficient to make sense of, let alone neutralize, his disability. Nonetheless, there are certain aspects of his experience that can be improved with social adjustments. Tim often ends his walks by sleeping wherever he stops, and he would benefit from sensitivity training for police officers and other authority figures; out of all the authority figures who he encounters, only one shows consideration for his safety, comfort, and mental well-being prior to addressing the illegality of his behaviour. And making the general public more aware of “modes of not knowing, unknowing, and failing to know”, in the words of Jack Halberstam (qtd. in McRuer and Johnson 152), would alleviate the plight not just of Tim but of all sufferers of undiagnosed diseases and people with (rare forms of) disability.After Tim leaves home and starts walking cross-country, he has to learn to deal with his disability without any support system. The solution he hits upon illustrates the ecosomatic paradigm: he buys camping gear and treats his walking as an endless hike. Neither “curing” his body nor asking accommodation of society, Tim’s tools mediate a fit between body and environs, and it more or less works. For Tim the involuntary nomad, “everywhere was a wilderness” (Ferris Unnamed 247).The Otherness of the BodyProblems arise when Tim tries to fight his legs. After despairing of a diagnosis, he internalises the struggle against the “somatic noncompliance” of his body (Mollow 197) and refers to it as “the other” (207). One through-line of the novel is a (failed) attempt to overcome cartesian duality (Reiffenrath). Tim divides his experiences along cartesian lines and actively tries to enhance while short-circuiting the body. He recites case law and tries to take up birdwatching to maintain his mind, but his body constantly stymies him, drawing his attention to its own needs. He keeps himself ill-clothed and -fed and spurns needed medical attention, only to find—on the brink of death—that his body has brought him to a hospital, and that he stops walking until he is cured and discharged. Tim’s early impression that his body has “a mind of its own” (44), a situation comparable to the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886; Ludwigs 123–24), is borne out when it starts to silently speak to him, monosyllabically at first (“Food!” (207)), then progressing to simple sentences (“Leg is hurting” (213)) and sarcasm (“Deficiency of copper causes anemia, just so you know” (216)) before arriving at full-blown taunting:The other was the interrogator and he the muttering subject […].Q: Are you aware that you can be made to forget words, if certain neurons are suppressed from firing?A: Certain what?Q: And that by suppressing the firing of others, you can be made to forget what words mean entirely? Like the word Jane, for instance.A: Which?Q: And do you know that if I do this—[inaudible]A: Oof!Q: —you will flatline? And if I do this—[inaudible]A: Aaa, aaa…Q: —you will cease flatlining? (223–24; emphases and interpolations in original except for bracketed ellipsis)His Jobean lament turns literal, with his mind on God’s side and his body, “the other”, on the Devil’s in a battle for his eternal soul (Burn 46). Ironically, this “God talk” (Ferris Unnamed 248) finally gets Tim diagnosed with schizophrenia, and he receives medication that silences his body, if not stilling his legs. But when he is not medicated, his body can dominate his mind with multiple-page monologues.Not long after Tim’s mind and body reach a truce thanks to the camping gear and medication, Tim receives word on the west coast that Jane, in New York, has terminal cancer; he resolves to fight his end-of-walk “narcoleptic episodes” (12) to return to her—on foot. His body is not pleased, and it slowly falls apart as Tim fights it eastward cross-country. By the time he is hospitalized “ten miles as the crow flies from his final destination”, his ailments include “conjunctivitis”, “leg cramps”, “myositis”, “kidney failure”, “chafing and blisters”, “shingles”, “back pain”, “bug bites, ticks, fleas and lice”, “sun blisters”, “heatstroke and dehydration”, “rhabdomyolysis”, “excess [blood] potassium”, “splintering [leg] bones”, “burning tongue”, “[ballooning] heels”, “osteal complications”, “acute respiratory distress syndrome”, “excess fluid [in] his peritoneal cavity”, “brain swelling”, and a coma (278–80)—not including the fingers and toes lost to frostbite during an earlier period of walking. Nevertheless, he recovers and reunites with Jane, maintaining a holding pattern by returning to Jane’s hospital bedside after each walk.Jane recovers; the urgency having dissipated, Tim goes back on the road, confident that “he had proven long ago that there was no circ*mstance under which he could not walk if he put his mind to it” (303). A victory for mind over body? Not quite. The ending, Tim’s death scene, planned by Ferris from the beginning (Ferris “Tracking”), manages to grant victory to both mind and body without uniting them: his mind keeps working after physical death, but its last thought is of a “delicious […] cup of water” (310). Mind and body are two, but indivisible.Cartesian duality has relevance for other significant characters. The chain-smoking Detective Roy, assigned the case Tim is defending, later appears with oxygen tank in tow due to emphysema, yet he cannot quit smoking. What might have been a mere shortcut for characterization here carries physical consequences: the oxygen tank limits Roy’s movement and, one supposes, his investigative ability. After Jane recovers, Tim visits Frank Novovian, the security guard at his old law firm, and finds he has “gone fat [...] His retiring slouch behind the security post said there was no going back”; recognising Tim, Frank “lifted an inch off [his] chair, righting his jellied form, which immediately settled back into place” (297; my emphases). Frank’s physical state reflects the state of his career: settled. The mind-body antagonism is even more stark among Tim’s lawyer colleagues. Lev Wittig cannot become sexually aroused unless there is a “rare and extremely venomous snak[e]” in the room with no lights (145)—in direct contrast to his being a corporate tax specialist and the “dullest person you will ever meet” (141). And Mike Kronish famously once billed a twenty-seven-hour workday by crossing multiple time zones, but his apparent victory of mind over matter is undercut by his other notable achievement, being such a workaholic that his grown kids call him “Uncle Daddy” (148).Jane offers a more vexed case. While serving as Tim’s primary caretaker, she dreads the prospect of sacrificing the rest of her life for him. The pressures of the consciously maintaining her wedding vows directly affects her body. Besides succumbing to and recovering from alcoholism, she is twice tempted by the sexuality of other men; the second time, Tim calls her at the moment of truth to tell her the walking has returned, but instead of offering to pick him up, she says to him, “Come home” (195). As she later admits, asking him to do the impossible is a form of abandonment, and though causality is merely implied, Tim decides a day later not to return. Cartesian duality is similarly blurred in Jane’s fight against cancer. Prior to developing cancer, it is the pretence for Tim’s frequent office absences; she develops cancer; she fights it into remission not by relying on the clinical trial she undergoes, but because Tim’s impossible return inspires her; its remission removes the sense of urgency keeping Tim around, and he leaves; and he later learns that she dies from its recurrence. In multiple senses, Jane’s physical challenges are inextricable from her marriage commitment. Tim’s peripatetic condition affects both of them in hom*ologous ways, gesturing towards the importance of disability studies for understanding the experience both of people with disability and of their caretakers.Becka copes with cartesian duality in the form of her obesity, and the way she does so sets an example for Tim. She gains weight during adolescence, around the time Tim starts walking uncontrollably, and despite her efforts she never loses weight. At first moody and depressed, she later channels her emotions into music, eventually going on tour. After one of her concerts, she tells Tim she has accepted her body, calling it “my one go-around,” freeing her from having to “hate yourself till the bitter end” (262) to instead enjoy her life and music. The idea of acceptance stays with Tim; whereas in previous episodes of walking he ignored the outside world—another example of reconceptualizing walking in the mode of disability—he pays attention to his surroundings on his journey back to New York, which is filled with descriptions of various geographical, meteorological, biological, and sociological phenomena, all while his body slowly breaks down. By the time he leaves home forever, he has acquired the habit of constant observation and the ability to enjoy things moment by moment. “Beauty, surprisingly, was everywhere” (279), he thinks. Invoking the figure of the flâneur, which Ferris had in mind when writing the novel (Ferris “Involuntary”), Peter Ferry argues that “becoming a 21st century incarnation of the flâneur gives Tim a greater sense of selfhood, a belief in the significance of his own existence within the increasingly chaotic and disorientating urban environment” (59). I concur, with two caveats: the chaotic and disorienting environment is not merely urban; and, contrary to Ferry’s claim that this regained selfhood is in contrast to “disintegrating” “conventional understandings of masculinity” (57), it instead incorporates Tim’s new identity as a person with disability.Conclusion: The Experience of DisabilityMore than specific insights into living with disability, the most important contribution of The Unnamed to disability studies is its exploration of the pure experience of disability. Ferris says, “I wanted to strip down this character to the very barest essentials and see what happens when sickness can’t go away and it can’t be answered by all [sic] of the medical technology that the country has at its disposal” (“Tracking”); by making Tim a wealthy lawyer with a caring family—removing common complicating socioeconomic factors of disability—and giving him an unprecedented impairment—removing all medical support and social services—Ferris depicts disability per se, illuminating the importance of disability studies for all people with(out) disability. After undergoing variegated experiences of pure disability, Tim “maintained a sound mind until the end. He was vigilant about periodic checkups and disciplined with his medication. He took care of himself as best he could, eating well however possible, sleeping when his body required it, […] and he persevered in this manner of living until his death” (Ferris Unnamed 306). This is an ideal relation to maintain between mind, body, and environment, irrespective of (dis)ability.ReferencesAdams, Tim. “The Unnamed by Joshua Ferris.” Fiction. Observer, 21 Feb. 2010: n. pag. 19 Sep. 2018 <https://www.theguardian.com/books/2010/feb/21/the-unnamed-joshua-ferris>.Burn, Stephen J. “Mapping the Syndrome Novel.” Diseases and Disorders in Contemporary Fiction: The Syndrome Syndrome. Eds. T.J. Lustig and James Peaco*ck. New York: Routledge, 2013. 35-52.Cella, Matthew J.C. “The Ecosomatic Paradigm in Literature: Merging Disability Studies and Ecocriticism.” Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment 20.3 (2013): 574–96.De Certeau, Michel. The Practice of Everyday Life. 1980. Trans. Steven Rendall. Berkeley: U of California P, 1984.Charles, Ron. “Book World Review of Joshua Ferris’s ‘The Unnamed.’” Books. Washington Post 20 Jan. 2010: n. pag. 19 Sep. 2018 <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/19/AR2010011903945.html>.“Disability.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia 17 Sep. 2018. 19 Sep. 2018 <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disability>.Ferris, Joshua. “Involuntary Walking; the Joshua Ferris Interview.” ReadRollShow. Created by David Weich. Sheepscot Creative, 2010. Vimeo, 9 Mar. 2010. 18 Sep. 2018 <https://www.vimeo.com/10026925>. [My transcript.]———. “Tracking a Man’s Life, in Endless Footsteps.” Interview by Melissa Block. All Things Considered, NPR, 15 Feb. 2010. 18 Sep. 2018 <https://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=123650332>.———. The Unnamed: A Novel. New York: Little, Brown, 2010.Ferry, Peter. “Reading Manhattan, Reading Masculinity: Reintroducing the Flâneur with E.B. 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PoeStories.com. 18 Sep. 2018 <https://poestories.com/read/manofthecrowd>.Reiffenrath, Tanja. “Mind over Matter? Joshua Ferris’s The Unnamed as Counternarrative.” [sic] – a journal of literature, culture and literary translation 5.1 (2014). 20 May 2018 <https://www.sic–journal.org/ArticleView.aspx?aid=305/>.Siebers, Tobin. “Disability in Theory: From Social Constructionism to the New Realism of the Body.” American Literary History 13.4 (2001): 737–54.“The Young and the Restless.” Review of The Unnamed by Joshua Ferris. Books and Arts. Economist, 28 Jan. 2010: n. pag. 19 Sep. 2018 <https://www.economist.com/books-and-arts/2010/01/28/the-young-and-the-restless>.

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Cinque, Toija. "A Study in Anxiety of the Dark." M/C Journal 24, no.2 (April27, 2021). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2759.

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Introduction This article is a study in anxiety with regard to social online spaces (SOS) conceived of as dark. There are two possible ways to define ‘dark’ in this context. The first is that communication is dark because it either has limited distribution, is not open to all users (closed groups are a case example) or hidden. The second definition, linked as a result of the first, is the way that communication via these means is interpreted and understood. Dark social spaces disrupt the accepted top-down flow by the ‘gazing elite’ (data aggregators including social media), but anxious users might need to strain to notice what is out there, and this in turn destabilises one’s reception of the scene. In an environment where surveillance technologies are proliferating, this article examines contemporary, dark, interconnected, and interactive communications for the entangled affordances that might be brought to bear. A provocation is that resistance through counterveillance or “sousveillance” is one possibility. An alternative (or addition) is retreating to or building ‘dark’ spaces that are less surveilled and (perhaps counterintuitively) less fearful. This article considers critically the notion of dark social online spaces via four broad socio-technical concerns connected to the big social media services that have helped increase a tendency for fearful anxiety produced by surveillance and the perceived implications for personal privacy. It also shines light on the aspect of darkness where some users are spurred to actively seek alternative, dark social online spaces. Since the 1970s, public-key cryptosystems typically preserved security for websites, emails, and sensitive health, government, and military data, but this is now reduced (Williams). We have seen such systems exploited via cyberattacks and misappropriated data acquired by affiliations such as Facebook-Cambridge Analytica for targeted political advertising during the 2016 US elections. Via the notion of “parasitic strategies”, such events can be described as news/information hacks “whose attack vectors target a system’s weak points with the help of specific strategies” (von Nordheim and Kleinen-von Königslöw, 88). In accord with Wilson and Serisier’s arguments (178), emerging technologies facilitate rapid data sharing, collection, storage, and processing wherein subsequent “outcomes are unpredictable”. This would also include the effect of acquiescence. In regard to our digital devices, for some, being watched overtly—through cameras encased in toys, computers, and closed-circuit television (CCTV) to digital street ads that determine the resonance of human emotions in public places including bus stops, malls, and train stations—is becoming normalised (McStay, Emotional AI). It might appear that consumers immersed within this Internet of Things (IoT) are themselves comfortable interacting with devices that record sound and capture images for easy analysis and distribution across the communications networks. A counter-claim is that mainstream social media corporations have cultivated a sense of digital resignation “produced when people desire to control the information digital entities have about them but feel unable to do so” (Draper and Turow, 1824). Careful consumers’ trust in mainstream media is waning, with readers observing a strong presence of big media players in the industry and are carefully picking their publications and public intellectuals to follow (Mahmood, 6). A number now also avoid the mainstream internet in favour of alternate dark sites. This is done by users with “varying backgrounds, motivations and participation behaviours that may be idiosyncratic (as they are rooted in the respective person’s biography and circ*mstance)” (Quandt, 42). By way of connection with dark internet studies via Biddle et al. (1; see also Lasica), the “darknet” is a collection of networks and technologies used to share digital content … not a separate physical network but an application and protocol layer riding on existing networks. Examples of darknets are peer-to-peer file sharing, CD and DVD copying, and key or password sharing on email and newsgroups. As we note from the quote above, the “dark web” uses existing public and private networks that facilitate communication via the Internet. Gehl (1220; see also Gehl and McKelvey) has detailed that this includes “hidden sites that end in ‘.onion’ or ‘.i2p’ or other Top-Level Domain names only available through modified browsers or special software. Accessing I2P sites requires a special routing program ... . Accessing .onion sites requires Tor [The Onion Router]”. For some, this gives rise to social anxiety, read here as stemming from that which is not known, and an exaggerated sense of danger, which makes fight or flight seem the only options. This is often justified or exacerbated by the changing media and communication landscape and depicted in popular documentaries such as The Social Dilemma or The Great Hack, which affect public opinion on the unknown aspects of internet spaces and the uses of personal data. The question for this article remains whether the fear of the dark is justified. Consider that most often one will choose to make one’s intimate bedroom space dark in order to have a good night’s rest. We might pleasurably escape into a cinema’s darkness for the stories told therein, or walk along a beach at night enjoying unseen breezes. Most do not avoid these experiences, choosing to actively seek them out. Drawing this thread, then, is the case made here that agency can also be found in the dark by resisting socio-political structural harms. 1. Digital Futures and Anxiety of the Dark Fear of the darkI have a constant fear that something's always nearFear of the darkFear of the darkI have a phobia that someone's always there In the lyrics to the song “Fear of the Dark” (1992) by British heavy metal group Iron Maiden is a sense that that which is unknown and unseen causes fear and anxiety. Holding a fear of the dark is not unusual and varies in degree for adults as it does for children (Fellous and Arbib). Such anxiety connected to the dark does not always concern darkness itself. It can also be a concern for the possible or imagined dangers that are concealed by the darkness itself as a result of cognitive-emotional interactions (McDonald, 16). Extending this claim is this article’s non-binary assertion that while for some technology and what it can do is frequently misunderstood and shunned as a result, for others who embrace the possibilities and actively take it on it is learning by attentively partaking. Mistakes, solecism, and frustrations are part of the process. Such conceptual theorising falls along a continuum of thinking. Global interconnectivity of communications networks has certainly led to consequent concerns (Turkle Alone Together). Much focus for anxiety has been on the impact upon social and individual inner lives, levels of media concentration, and power over and commercialisation of the internet. Of specific note is that increasing commercial media influence—such as Facebook and its acquisition of WhatsApp, Oculus VR, Instagram, CRTL-labs (translating movements and neural impulses into digital signals), LiveRail (video advertising technology), Chainspace (Blockchain)—regularly changes the overall dynamics of the online environment (Turow and Kavanaugh). This provocation was born out recently when Facebook disrupted the delivery of news to Australian audiences via its service. Mainstream social online spaces (SOS) are platforms which provide more than the delivery of media alone and have been conceptualised predominantly in a binary light. On the one hand, they can be depicted as tools for the common good of society through notional widespread access and as places for civic participation and discussion, identity expression, education, and community formation (Turkle; Bruns; Cinque and Brown; Jenkins). This end of the continuum of thinking about SOS seems set hard against the view that SOS are operating as businesses with strategies that manipulate consumers to generate revenue through advertising, data, venture capital for advanced research and development, and company profit, on the other hand. In between the two polar ends of this continuum are the range of other possibilities, the shades of grey, that add contemporary nuance to understanding SOS in regard to what they facilitate, what the various implications might be, and for whom. By way of a brief summary, anxiety of the dark is steeped in the practices of privacy-invasive social media giants such as Facebook and its ancillary companies. Second are the advertising technology companies, surveillance contractors, and intelligence agencies that collect and monitor our actions and related data; as well as the increased ease of use and interoperability brought about by Web 2.0 that has seen a disconnection between technological infrastructure and social connection that acts to limit user permissions and online affordances. Third are concerns for the negative effects associated with depressed mental health and wellbeing caused by “psychologically damaging social networks”, through sleep loss, anxiety, poor body image, real world relationships, and the fear of missing out (FOMO; Royal Society for Public Health (UK) and the Young Health Movement). Here the harms are both individual and societal. Fourth is the intended acceleration toward post-quantum IoT (Fernández-Caramés), as quantum computing’s digital components are continually being miniaturised. This is coupled with advances in electrical battery capacity and interconnected telecommunications infrastructures. The result of such is that the ontogenetic capacity of the powerfully advanced network/s affords supralevel surveillance. What this means is that through devices and the services that they provide, individuals’ data is commodified (Neff and Nafus; Nissenbaum and Patterson). Personal data is enmeshed in ‘things’ requiring that the decisions that are both overt, subtle, and/or hidden (dark) are scrutinised for the various ways they shape social norms and create consequences for public discourse, cultural production, and the fabric of society (Gillespie). Data and personal information are retrievable from devices, sharable in SOS, and potentially exposed across networks. For these reasons, some have chosen to go dark by being “off the grid”, judiciously selecting their means of communications and their ‘friends’ carefully. 2. Is There Room for Privacy Any More When Everyone in SOS Is Watching? An interesting turn comes through counterarguments against overarching institutional surveillance that underscore the uses of technologies to watch the watchers. This involves a practice of counter-surveillance whereby technologies are tools of resistance to go ‘dark’ and are used by political activists in protest situations for both communication and avoiding surveillance. This is not new and has long existed in an increasingly dispersed media landscape (Cinque, Changing Media Landscapes). For example, counter-surveillance video footage has been accessed and made available via live-streaming channels, with commentary in SOS augmenting networking possibilities for niche interest groups or micropublics (Wilson and Serisier, 178). A further example is the Wordpress site Fitwatch, appealing for an end to what the site claims are issues associated with police surveillance (fitwatch.org.uk and endpolicesurveillance.wordpress.com). Users of these sites are called to post police officers’ identity numbers and photographs in an attempt to identify “cops” that might act to “misuse” UK Anti-terrorism legislation against activists during legitimate protests. Others that might be interested in doing their own “monitoring” are invited to reach out to identified personal email addresses or other private (dark) messaging software and application services such as Telegram (freeware and cross-platform). In their work on surveillance, Mann and Ferenbok (18) propose that there is an increase in “complex constructs between power and the practices of seeing, looking, and watching/sensing in a networked culture mediated by mobile/portable/wearable computing devices and technologies”. By way of critical definition, Mann and Ferenbok (25) clarify that “where the viewer is in a position of power over the subject, this is considered surveillance, but where the viewer is in a lower position of power, this is considered sousveillance”. It is the aspect of sousveillance that is empowering to those using dark SOS. One might consider that not all surveillance is “bad” nor institutionalised. It is neither overtly nor formally regulated—as yet. Like most technologies, many of the surveillant technologies are value-neutral until applied towards specific uses, according to Mann and Ferenbok (18). But this is part of the ‘grey area’ for understanding the impact of dark SOS in regard to which actors or what nations are developing tools for surveillance, where access and control lies, and with what effects into the future. 3. Big Brother Watches, So What Are the Alternatives: Whither the Gazing Elite in Dark SOS? By way of conceptual genealogy, consideration of contemporary perceptions of surveillance in a visually networked society (Cinque, Changing Media Landscapes) might be usefully explored through a revisitation of Jeremy Bentham’s panopticon, applied here as a metaphor for contemporary surveillance. Arguably, this is a foundational theoretical model for integrated methods of social control (Foucault, Surveiller et Punir, 192-211), realised in the “panopticon” (prison) in 1787 by Jeremy Bentham (Bentham and Božovič, 29-95) during a period of social reformation aimed at the improvement of the individual. Like the power for social control over the incarcerated in a panopticon, police power, in order that it be effectively exercised, “had to be given the instrument of permanent, exhaustive, omnipresent surveillance, capable of making all visible … like a faceless gaze that transformed the whole social body into a field of perception” (Foucault, Surveiller et Punir, 213–4). In grappling with the impact of SOS for the individual and the collective in post-digital times, we can trace out these early ruminations on the complex documentary organisation through state-controlled apparatuses (such as inspectors and paid observers including “secret agents”) via Foucault (Surveiller et Punir, 214; Subject and Power, 326-7) for comparison to commercial operators like Facebook. Today, artificial intelligence (AI), facial recognition technology (FRT), and closed-circuit television (CCTV) for video surveillance are used for social control of appropriate behaviours. Exemplified by governments and the private sector is the use of combined technologies to maintain social order, from ensuring citizens cross the street only on green lights, to putting rubbish in the correct recycling bin or be publicly shamed, to making cashless payments in stores. The actions see advantages for individual and collective safety, sustainability, and convenience, but also register forms of behaviour and attitudes with predictive capacities. This gives rise to suspicions about a permanent account of individuals’ behaviour over time. Returning to Foucault (Surveiller et Punir, 135), the impact of this finds a dissociation of power from the individual, whereby they become unwittingly impelled into pre-existing social structures, leading to a ‘normalisation’ and acceptance of such systems. If we are talking about the dark, anxiety is key for a Ministry of SOS. Following Foucault again (Subject and Power, 326-7), there is the potential for a crawling, creeping governance that was once distinct but is itself increasingly hidden and growing. A blanket call for some form of ongoing scrutiny of such proliferating powers might be warranted, but with it comes regulation that, while offering certain rights and protections, is not without consequences. For their part, a number of SOS platforms had little to no moderation for explicit content prior to December 2018, and in terms of power, notwithstanding important anxiety connected to arguments that children and the vulnerable need protections from those that would seek to take advantage, this was a crucial aspect of community building and self-expression that resulted in this freedom of expression. In unearthing the extent that individuals are empowered arising from the capacity to post sexual self-images, Tiidenberg ("Bringing Sexy Back") considered that through dark SOS (read here as unregulated) some users could work in opposition to the mainstream consumer culture that provides select and limited representations of bodies and their sexualities. This links directly to Mondin’s exploration of the abundance of queer and feminist p*rnography on dark SOS as a “counterpolitics of visibility” (288). This work resulted in a reasoned claim that the technological structure of dark SOS created a highly political and affective social space that users valued. What also needs to be underscored is that many users also believed that such a space could not be replicated on other mainstream SOS because of the differences in architecture and social norms. Cho (47) worked with this theory to claim that dark SOS are modern-day examples in a history of queer individuals having to rely on “underground economies of expression and relation”. Discussions such as these complicate what dark SOS might now become in the face of ‘adult’ content moderation and emerging tracking technologies to close sites or locate individuals that transgress social norms. Further, broader questions are raised about how content moderation fits in with the public space conceptualisations of SOS more generally. Increasingly, “there is an app for that” where being able to identify the poster of an image or an author of an unknown text is seen as crucial. While there is presently no standard approach, models for combining instance-based and profile-based features such as SVM for determining authorship attribution are in development, with the result that potentially far less content will remain hidden in the future (Bacciu et al.). 4. There’s Nothing New under the Sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9) For some, “[the] high hopes regarding the positive impact of the Internet and digital participation in civic society have faded” (Schwarzenegger, 99). My participant observation over some years in various SOS, however, finds that critical concern has always existed. Views move along the spectrum of thinking from deep scepticisms (Stoll, Silicon Snake Oil) to wondrous techo-utopian promises (Negroponte, Being Digital). Indeed, concerns about the (then) new technologies of wireless broadcasting can be compared with today’s anxiety over the possible effects of the internet and SOS. Inglis (7) recalls, here, too, were fears that humanity was tampering with some dangerous force; might wireless wave be causing thunderstorms, droughts, floods? Sterility or strokes? Such anxieties soon evaporated; but a sense of mystery might stay longer with evangelists for broadcasting than with a laity who soon took wireless for granted and settled down to enjoy the products of a process they need not understand. As the analogy above makes clear, just as audiences came to use ‘the wireless’ and later the internet regularly, it is reasonable to argue that dark SOS will also gain widespread understanding and find greater acceptance. Dark social spaces are simply the recent development of internet connectivity and communication more broadly. The dark SOS afford choice to be connected beyond mainstream offerings, which some users avoid for their perceived manipulation of content and user both. As part of the wider array of dark web services, the resilience of dark social spaces is reinforced by the proliferation of users as opposed to decentralised replication. Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) can be used for anonymity in parallel to TOR access, but they guarantee only anonymity to the client. A VPN cannot guarantee anonymity to the server or the internet service provider (ISP). While users may use pseudonyms rather than actual names as seen on Facebook and other SOS, users continue to take to the virtual spaces they inhabit their off-line, ‘real’ foibles, problems, and idiosyncrasies (Chenault). To varying degrees, however, people also take their best intentions to their interactions in the dark. The hyper-efficient tools now deployed can intensify this, which is the great advantage attracting some users. In balance, however, in regard to online information access and dissemination, critical examination of what is in the public’s interest, and whether content should be regulated or controlled versus allowing a free flow of information where users self-regulate their online behaviour, is fraught. O’Loughlin (604) was one of the first to claim that there will be voluntary loss through negative liberty or freedom from (freedom from unwanted information or influence) and an increase in positive liberty or freedom to (freedom to read or say anything); hence, freedom from surveillance and interference is a kind of negative liberty, consistent with both libertarianism and liberalism. Conclusion The early adopters of initial iterations of SOS were hopeful and liberal (utopian) in their beliefs about universality and ‘free’ spaces of open communication between like-minded others. This was a way of virtual networking using a visual motivation (led by images, text, and sounds) for consequent interaction with others (Cinque, Visual Networking). The structural transformation of the public sphere in a Habermasian sense—and now found in SOS and their darker, hidden or closed social spaces that might ensure a counterbalance to the power of those with influence—towards all having equal access to platforms for presenting their views, and doing so respectfully, is as ever problematised. Broadly, this is no more so, however, than for mainstream SOS or for communicating in the world. References Bacciu, Andrea, Massimo La Morgia, Alessandro Mei, Eugenio Nerio Nemmi, Valerio Neri, and Julinda Stefa. “Cross-Domain Authorship Attribution Combining Instance Based and Profile-Based Features.” CLEF (Working Notes). Lugano, Switzerland, 9-12 Sep. 2019. Bentham, Jeremy, and Miran Božovič. The Panopticon Writings. London: Verso Trade, 1995. Biddle, Peter, et al. “The Darknet and the Future of Content Distribution.” Proceedings of the 2002 ACM Workshop on Digital Rights Management. Vol. 6. Washington DC, 2002. Bruns, Axel. Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life, and Beyond: From Production to Produsage. New York: Peter Lang, 2008. Chenault, Brittney G. “Developing Personal and Emotional Relationships via Computer-Mediated Communication.” CMC Magazine 5.5 (1998). 1 May 2020 <http://www.december.com/cmc/mag/1998/may/chenault.html>. Cho, Alexander. “Queer Reverb: Tumblr, Affect, Time.” Networked Affect. Eds. K. Hillis, S. Paasonen, and M. Petit. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2015: 43-58. Cinque, Toija. Changing Media Landscapes: Visual Networking. London: Oxford UP, 2015. ———. “Visual Networking: Australia's Media Landscape.” Global Media Journal: Australian Edition 6.1 (2012): 1-8. Cinque, Toija, and Adam Brown. “Educating Generation Next: Screen Media Use, Digital Competencies, and Tertiary Education.” Digital Culture & Education 7.1 (2015). Draper, Nora A., and Joseph Turow. “The Corporate Cultivation of Digital Resignation.” New Media & Society 21.8 (2019): 1824-1839. Fellous, Jean-Marc, and Michael A. Arbib, eds. Who Needs Emotions? The Brain Meets the Robot. New York: Oxford UP, 2005. Fernández-Caramés, Tiago M. “From Pre-Quantum to Post-Quantum IoT Security: A Survey on Quantum-Resistant Cryptosystems for the Internet of Things.” IEEE Internet of Things Journal 7.7 (2019): 6457-6480. Foucault, Michel. Surveiller et Punir: Naissance de la Prison [Discipline and Punish—The Birth of The Prison]. Trans. Alan Sheridan. New York: Random House, 1977. Foucault, Michel. “The Subject and Power.” Michel Foucault: Power, the Essential Works of Michel Foucault 1954–1984. Vol. 3. Trans. R. Hurley and others. Ed. J.D. Faubion. London: Penguin, 2001. Gehl, Robert W. Weaving the Dark Web: Legitimacy on Freenet, Tor, and I2P. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2018. Gehl, Robert, and Fenwick McKelvey. “Bugging Out: Darknets as Parasites of Large-Scale Media Objects.” Media, Culture & Society 41.2 (2019): 219-235. Gillespie, Tarleton. Custodians of the Internet: Platforms, Content Moderation, and the Hidden Decisions That Shape Social Media. London: Yale UP, 2018. Habermas, Jürgen. The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society. Trans. Thomas Burger with the assistance of Frederick Lawrence. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1989. Inglis, Ken S. This Is the ABC: The Australian Broadcasting Commission 1932–1983. Melbourne: Melbourne UP, 1983. Iron Maiden. “Fear of the Dark.” London: EMI, 1992. Jenkins, Henry. Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York: New York UP, 2006. Lasica, J. D. Darknet: Hollywood’s War against the Digital Generation. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 2005. Mahmood, Mimrah. “Australia's Evolving Media Landscape.” 13 Apr. 2021 <https://www.meltwater.com/en/resources/australias-evolving-media-landscape>. Mann, Steve, and Joseph Ferenbok. “New Media and the Power Politics of Sousveillance in a Surveillance-Dominated World.” Surveillance & Society 11.1/2 (2013): 18-34. McDonald, Alexander J. “Cortical Pathways to the Mammalian Amygdala.” Progress in Neurobiology 55.3 (1998): 257-332. McStay, Andrew. Emotional AI: The Rise of Empathic Media. London: Sage, 2018. Mondin, Alessandra. “‘Tumblr Mostly, Great Empowering Images’: Blogging, Reblogging and Scrolling Feminist, Queer and BDSM Desires.” Journal of Gender Studies 26.3 (2017): 282-292. Neff, Gina, and Dawn Nafus. Self-Tracking. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2016. Negroponte, Nicholas. Being Digital. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1995. Nissenbaum, Helen, and Heather Patterson. “Biosensing in Context: Health Privacy in a Connected World.” Quantified: Biosensing Technologies in Everyday Life. Ed. Dawn Nafus. 2016. 68-79. O’Loughlin, Ben. “The Political Implications of Digital Innovations.” Information, Communication and Society 4.4 (2001): 595–614. Quandt, Thorsten. “Dark Participation.” Media and Communication 6.4 (2018): 36-48. Royal Society for Public Health (UK) and the Young Health Movement. “#Statusofmind.” 2017. 2 Apr. 2021 <https://www.rsph.org.uk/our-work/campaigns/status-of-mind.html>. Statista. “Number of IoT devices 2015-2025.” 27 Nov. 2020 <https://www.statista.com/statistics/471264/iot-number-of-connected-devices-worldwide/>. Schwarzenegger, Christian. “Communities of Darkness? Users and Uses of Anti-System Alternative Media between Audience and Community.” Media and Communication 9.1 (2021): 99-109. Stoll, Clifford. Silicon Snake Oil: Second Thoughts on the Information Highway. Anchor, 1995. Tiidenberg, Katrin. “Bringing Sexy Back: Reclaiming the Body Aesthetic via Self-Shooting.” Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace 8.1 (2014). The Great Hack. Dirs. Karim Amer, Jehane Noujaim. Netflix, 2019. The Social Dilemma. Dir. Jeff Orlowski. Netflix, 2020. Turkle, Sherry. The Second Self: Computers and the Human Spirit. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2005. Turkle, Sherry. Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other. UK: Hachette, 2017. Turow, Joseph, and Andrea L. Kavanaugh, eds. The Wired Homestead: An MIT Press Sourcebook on the Internet and the Family. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2003. Von Nordheim, Gerret, and Katharina Kleinen-von Königslöw. “Uninvited Dinner Guests: A Theoretical Perspective on the Antagonists of Journalism Based on Serres’ Parasite.” Media and Communication 9.1 (2021): 88-98. Williams, Chris K. “Configuring Enterprise Public Key Infrastructures to Permit Integrated Deployment of Signature, Encryption and Access Control Systems.” MILCOM 2005-2005 IEEE Military Communications Conference. IEEE, 2005. 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