The contributors investigate networked affect in terms of intensity, sensation, and value. They explore online intensities that range from Tumblr practices in LGBTQ
communities to visceral reactions to animated avatars; examine the affective materiality of software in such platforms as steampunk culture and nonprofit altporn; and analyze the ascription of value to online activities including the GTD (“getting things done”) movement and the accumulation of personal digital materials.
Bodies in Technology by Don Ihde
Main Library collection 303.4833 IHD
“Ihde is interested in exploring how our sense of embodied self is transformed via contemporary technology”….”Here Ihde seizes on the distinction between the real and the virtual, and from that distinction he develops both a phenomenology of embodiment (whereby technology corrects or enhances the perceptual faculties of the body) and a phenomenology of disembodiment (whereby technology projects and objectifies the [End Page 837] body). Ihde is particularly interested in disembodiment because it underlies the notion of a “virtual” body, which involves a kind of visualization of the body as generated by various technologies. in-class “thought experiment” that he uses to elicit his students to articulate their sense of the non-technological virtual body. The assignment: to imagine themselves jumping out of an airplane. Their responses, Ihde points out, fall into one of two possible categories: either the student imagines an “embodied” perspective [End Page 77] of self as actor, which Ihde refers to as the “here-body”—a present-tense version of a “‘be here now’ body,” -or- the student imagines a disembodied perspective of self as observer of the self as actor, that is, “already a kind of virtual body in a nontechnological projection.”
The Fabric of Interface Mobile Media, Design, and Gender By Stephen Monteiro
Monteiro goes on to argue that the capacity of textile metaphors to describe computing (weaving code, threaded discussions, zipped files, software patches, switch fabrics) represents deeper connections between digital communication and what has been called “homecraft” or “women’s work.”
Connecting networked media to practices that seem alien to media technologies, Monteiro identifies handicraft and textile techniques in the production of software and hardware, and cites the punched cards that were read by a loom’s rods as a primitive form of computer memory; examines textual and visual discourses that position the digital image as a malleable fabric across its production, access, and use; compares the digital labor of liking, linking, and tagging to such earlier forms of collective production as quilting bees and piecework; and describes how the convergence of intimacy and handiwork at the screen interface, combined with needlecraft aesthetics, genders networked culture and activities in unexpected ways.
New media thrives on cycles of obsolescence and renewal: from celebrations of cyber-everything to Y2K, from the dot-com bust to the next big things—mobile mobs, Web 3.0, cloud computing. In Programmed Visions, Wendy Hui Kyong Chun argues that these cycles result in part from the ways in which new media encapsulates a logic of programmability. New media proliferates “programmed visions,” which seek to shape and predict—even embody—a future based on past data. These programmed visions have also made computers, based on metaphor, metaphors for metaphor itself, for a general logic of substitutability.
Chun argues that the clarity offered by software as metaphor should make us pause, because software also engenders a profound sense of ignorance: who knows what lurks behind our smiling interfaces, behind the objects we click and manipulate? The combination of what can be seen and not seen, known (knowable) and not known—its separation of interface from algorithm and software from hardware—makes it a powerful metaphor for everything we believe is invisible yet generates visible, logical effects, from genetics to the invisible hand of the market, from ideology to culture.
Article Understanding your digital Self by Tamara J Hicks Psy.D.
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