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After reading Nina’s Black Swan blog post I was thinking about the movie “Enough” with Jennifer Lopez, the movie “Sleeping with the Enemy” with Julia Roberts, and the movie “Obsessed” with Beyonce Knowles.

In Enough, Jennifer Lopez tries to escape her attacker; her husband who beats her. She fights back and ends up openin’ up a can of ” ‘a’ double snakes” and kills him; same is true in Sleeping with the Enemy, except she first fakes her death to escape but ends up killing her husband as well.

Are these considered feminist movies because they are about oppressed women who fight back against males that have them bound by fear and beat them into staying by them?

Now, Obsessed. This film is about a white woman seeking out a black man who is married to a black women. The white woman is obsessed and starts stalking her boss (the black man) and tries to kill his wife so that she can have her husband.

Is this still feminism (a female being oppressed by another female)?

Unlike in Enough and Sleeping with the Enemy, although afraid, Beyonce does not appear to be terrified by her attacker (Lisa), does that still make Beyonce “oppressed” from a feminist understanding/standard?

Perhaps Marxism:

So like black-on-black crime, is this a picture of female-on-female feminism?


So for today’s reading, Marxism and the Social History of Art, Barnard quotes Marx saying,

“it is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but their social existence that determines their consciousness”

Then Barnard goes on to say:

“social existence, or social being, refers to people’s identity as members of social classes. Marx is trying to explain the way in which economic, or class identity determines consciousness: he argues that what people think, believe and understand is a product of their place in a social and economic structure, their class identity” (Barnard, 120).

I’m trying to wrap my head around an illustration to better understand why Marx thinks this. Can anyone help me with an example of when this is true and an example of when this is false?

So in reading blog posts of late coupled with commentary in class discussion, I notice that there is a lot of talk about theory and which one to pick; which is the right one.

As I said in class on Thursday (a reiteration of what Jeff said), I don’t think it matters which theory you choose. I think the point of this assignment is to get us to consider a process(es) that will lead us to a sound argument then relate to the interaction via theory, influenced by our lifeworld. Different interactions will pair strongly with some theories while the connection linking an interaction to another theory may be weaker. I think this is where lifeworlds can really come into play.

For example, lets say my interaction is a DVR on a cable box, much like TiVo. People use these digital video recorders to record favorite television shows, movies, newscasts etc. The idea is to record it now, watch it later. It allows you to still watch programs after the fact; this is a convenient tool for situations where you are too busy to watch the program, when two programs you want to watch are televised at the exact same time and day, you’d like to watch it with your best friend who is not available at the time the program airs, etc.

Now, lifeworlds really play into this. If I am a person who never grew up with television in the home, perhaps I don’t really care about the “what” and “why” of a DVR–I have no use for it. On the other hand, if I grew up recording daytime game shows on VHS tape recorders during school hours, it is likely that I am more concerned with the intentions, motivations, “what” and “why” of a DVR. I can use my personal “lifeworld” experience to make a claim for DVRs. I have knowledge of the history that lead up to the need for a DVR. It would lead me to ask what came before VHS recording? If you missed an episode of 90210 did you just have to hope you could understand what was going on when the next episode aired the following week? Did you talk with friends and co-workers about what you missed? Did you watch entertainment news to see if they mentioned it? Did you grab a TVguide at the checkout aisle in the grocery store? Do you write a letter to the network asking why they don’t do a 15 minute recap at the beginning of each episode to allow those tho missed to get caught up?

Once you start researching, I think the applicable theory becomes more noticeable based on your experience with the particular interaction, the way you interpret it and your lifeworld.

Not only do I think there is not a “wrong theory” but I also don’t think there is only one applicable theory. Could it be that some of us panicked about picking a theory because for some reason we thought there is only one single theory it could be (probably because there isn’t much theory overlap in our readings)? I think theory is based on lifeworlds and I also think that theories overlap each other depending on lifeworlds and perception.

I could be totally wrong, but I don’t see why theory can’t be “multifaceted”…meaning not only can various theories apply on their own, but they can also cooperatively overlap each other to argue the exact same claim; one theory may be supporting evidence for why another theory is proof.

facet = “One among many similar or related, yet still distinct things (wiki)”

there is a sense in which “we” are the products of the times, and horizons, “we” are seeking to understand (barnard, 57)

a few years ago my cousin Stef, her friend and I went to Miami for a week to just hang out and relax by the beach. They both live way out on the east coast and I’m a good ‘ol midwestern girl so it isn’t often that we get to spend time together. Stef was the only one with a point-and-shoot film camera while her friend and I both had point and shoot digital cameras. We’d all get together to take photos throughout the week and after a couple shots were taken with the digital cameras, and after we would look at them (to make sure no one blinked or a random stranger wasn’t in the picture) then Stef would say, “now I want one with my non-instant gratification camera”.

Should we agree with this?

Position: ‘this is taking way too long; any one should be able to operate a camera, not just professionals so, lets make it easy for everyone’

  • the evolution of the camera could have shaped the way we take photos now (the majority of cameras today have LCD displays)
  1. people had to wait until after the photo was processed (days, even weeks) –> instantly seeing that someone blinked, yields re-gathering for a better photo
  2. loading the film properly –> sliding in an SD card
  3. winding the film after each exposure –>instant point and shoot
  4. darkroom, water coloring (and eventually tools like Photoshop) –> multiple settings for sepia tone, black and white, etc.
  5. 400, 600, or 1800 film –> a menu with settings to auto adjust for close ups, portraits, sports, night-time, etc.

On the other hand, should we disagree with this?

Position: ‘everything else yields instant gratification, so should the camera’

  • we could have shaped the way the camera takes our photos, based on the other forms of instant gratification that we are used to:
  1. call taken by operator to direct the call –> cell phone usage yields instantaneous connection, even if the person does not answer (voicemail)
  2. hand written notes and greetings; word of mouth mini messages –> text messaging
  3. hand written letters –>email
  4. children waiting on a ride from the school bus–> having their own cards
  5. grade report cards sent via mail at the end of the term –> parents have online accounts to access daily progress of their child
  6. processing film and sending via U.S. post –>sending from your iPhone, seconds after the shutter closes

here are the segments I was talking about from the Csicsery reading today on pages 3 and 4:

“SF embeds scientific-technical concepts in the broad sphere of human interests and actions, explaining them , mythologizing them, and explicitly attributing social value to them. This embedding may take many literary forms, from the exhumation of dead mythologies, pseudomimetic extrapolation, and satirical subversion, to utopian transformation and secularized apocalypse. It is an inherently, and radically, future-oriented process. Imaginary worlds of sf are pretended resolutions of dilemmas insoluble and often barely perceived ill
the present. The exact ontological status of sf worlds is suspended in anticipation. Unlike historical fiction (of which sf is a direct heir), where a less intense suspense operates because the out come of the past is still in the process of being completed in the present’s partisan conflicts, sf is suspended because all the relevant information about the future is never available. Because future developments influence revisions of the past, sf’s black box also involves the past, in the hesitation that comes in anticipating the complete revision of origins.”

“sf is not a genre of aesthetic entertainment only, but a complex hesitation about the relationship between imaginary conceptions and historical reality unfolding into the future. SF orients itself within a concept of history that holds that science and technology actively participate in the creation of reality, implanting human uncertainty into the natural/nonhuman world.”

“SF has become a form of discourse that directly engages contemporary language and culture, and that has, in this moment, a generic interest in the intersections of technology, scientific theory, and social practice.”

So Jeff was talking about how science fiction allows us to see how nova impact and change our society and how as designers, we need to consider social impact. The movie iRobot came to mind when he mentioned a passage from the reading:

“The sense of the sublime most characteristic of post-world war II sf is the technoscientific sublime, which entails asense of awe and dread in response to human technological projects that exceed the power of their human creators (Csicsery, 7)”.

The movie overview:

“It’s the year 2035, and the community now has the help of robots. These robots have three laws integrated into their system. One, they cannot harm a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. Two, they must do whatever they’re told by a human being as long as such orders don’t conflict with law one. Three, they have to defend themselves as long as such defense doesn’t conflict with laws one or two. One day, the writer of the three laws, Alfred Lanning, apparently jumps out of the tenth-floor window of U.S. Robotics. The majority of the Chicago Police Department believe that he committed suicide, but Detective Del Spooner (Smith), who hates robots, thinks he was murdered, and the number one suspect is a Nestor Class-5 robot who calls himself Sonny. However, if it was Sonny, then that means he would’ve had to have broken the three laws. With the help of Dr. Susan Calvin, Spooner must now discover the truth before it’s too late” -youtube video description.

Shakespeare’s plays appealed to the poorest of the poor and the richest of the rich.

1. How do we do that as designers? (i.e. explain to me how you would do this in your capstone. How would your capstone work for every person in your target audience?)

2. Should we, as designers, try to design for everyone?

I’m not very good at this whole blogging thing and quite frankly, I’m uncomfortable doing it; but more comfortable than asking in class and rambling on.

So Eldridge…

Cultural Relevance:

I’ve always taken pride in being a well-rounded person (my parents wouldn’t have had it any other way). Growing up I was (and still believe I am) certainly more “cultured” than most of my peers…except when I come to Jeff’s class(es). My music selection spans smooth jazz, old school hip hop and R&B, contemporary Christian, Gospel, reggae, reggaeton, blues, jazz, and even a little country. I like musicals (well, some), I can read music, played in the orchestra, did all kinds of sports, ballet, and gymnastics. I know a lot about engineering and science. I’m fascinated by military and aerospace themes. I watch old movies and tv show classics like Dick Van Dyke.  Etc. Etc. Etc. In my neighborhood, those things are foreign. I considered myself to be cultured; and now in every class I’ve had since I started the HCI program, I feel like I hear my classmates talking about things that are foreign and I look around to find that I’m the only one with a confused look on my face. Are cultural bubbles to blame?

I feel like Hamlet could be a really good example of “art” but I haven’t read it or seen the play on stage. This makes it incredibly hard for me to understand any of his themes in the first section of the excerpt. Perhaps this is one of my biggest problems when reading some of these works; many times the examples used are in areas I know nothing about. I think this is really an issue because many times I cannot even understand the application or explanation to grasp the theme being discussed. To me, Hamlet is culturally irrelevant. Shakespeare is culturally irrelevant. Maybe for some of you, Shakespeare is your homeboy and you can relate–I can’t. I’m a visual-kinesthetic learner and when someone says “think of a big orange and yellow polka-dotted elephant”, my first reaction isn’t, “hmm..I wonder how much it would weigh and if its color came from its geographic location”, a picture of a big yeallow and orange polka-dotted elephant comes to mind. The same is true for me in this instance with Eldridge. I haven’t seen or read Hamlet so when he talks about patterns and metaphoric imagery, I can’t participate in the application of ‘understanding’.

Oh yea and the last time I gave Beethoven a thought was when the gargantuan sized pictures of him and his pals Bach and Mozart lined the walls of my 5th grade music classroom. Excluded again.

Can you be culturally relevant to everyone?:

Not that Eldridge needs to be concerned with my cultural preferences, but why did he choose Hamlet? Perhaps if he chose to talk about “To Sir with Love”, “A Raisin in the Sun”, “The Color Purple”, or heck….”Mary Poppins”, I would have been able to relate. So when considering interaction culture, how do you decide who to exclude?

Maybe it’s just me:

Although I am certainly aware that theatrical performances are considered “Performing Arts”  where I come from, I don’t exactly walk out of a play and say to my attending company, “Man, that was some good art!” I may say something like, “That was awesome!” or “Man, did you see that!?!? How did they do that?” or “Wow, that was some powerful stuff right there”.

I’m not saying theater is or is not art. I’m saying, when Eldridge says things like, “According to this view, what makes the play what it is as art is this compulsive, visionary meaning-making as a work of inspiration or genius”, I don’t understand it.


What the heck is a “Continuing Subtext”?