Journal articles: 'King George Sound' – Grafiati (2024)

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Author: Grafiati

Published: 11 December 2022

Last updated: 27 January 2023

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1

Fletcher, WJ, and RJ Tregonning. "Distribution and timing of spawning by the Australian pilchard (Sardinops sagax neopilchardus) off Albany, Western Australia." Marine and Freshwater Research 43, no.6 (1992): 1437. http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/mf9921437.

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The pattern of abundance of eggs and larvae of the Australian pilchard, Sardinops sagax neopilchardus, collected by plankton tows in the region off Albany, Western Australia, was investigated. In 1989, surface tows were undertaken at five localities extending from the marine embayment of Princess Royal Harbour to the continental shelf just outside King George Sound. In 1990, oblique tows were undertaken at six localities extending from just inside King George Sound to beyond the edge of the continental shelf. Eggs and larvae of pilchards were found in many months, but peaks in egg numbers were found in July and December of both 1989 and 1990. There was, however, only one peak in larva abundance, during December. Most eggs and larvae were found in the region 2-8 km offshore from the entrance to King George Sound. Few were found either well inside King George Sound and Princess Royal Harbour or in outer-shelf localities. Spawning in the Albany region therefore occurred inshore of the main influence of the eastward-flowing tropical waters of the Leeuwin Current. The implications of this spawning activity in relation to the fishery for this species and the potential for stock separation along this coast are discussed.

2

Groves,EricW. "Archibald Menzies's visit to King George Sound, Western Australia, September–October 1791." Archives of Natural History 40, no.1 (April 2013): 139–48. http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/anh.2013.0143.

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This paper gives a daily account of an eighteenth-century naval surgeon/botanist's visit to King George Sound, Western Australia, from 29 September to 11 October 1791, followed by a list of the herbarium specimens extant in various British herbaria.

3

Kitchener,A.C. "A western mouse (Pseudomys occidentalis) from King George Sound, Western Australia." Australian Mammalogy 15, no.1 (1992): 153. http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/am92025.

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ALDERSLADE,P. "A new genus and new species of soft coral (Octocorallia: Alcyonacea: Alcyoniidae) from the south western region of Australia." Zootaxa 175, no.1 (April3, 2003): 1. http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.175.1.1.

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Notodysiferus dhondtae new genus & new species (Octocorallia: Alcyoniidae) is described from King George Sound, Albany, Western Australia. The shallow water, dimorphic, zooxanthellate genus has a massive, encrusting growth form similar to some species of warm water alcyoniid genera such as Sinularia and Lobophytum. The new taxon has both autozooids and siphonozooids in most of the area of the lobes of the polypary, but siphonozooids alone are distributed over the basal regions of the lobes. The sclerites of the new taxon are 8-radiate capstans and their derivatives. Remarks are presented on the alcyonacean fauna of the region, and the new genus is compared to similar taxa.

5

Phillips, Gyllie. "Cannibals and Capital: George King'sSweeney Todd(1936) and Representations of Class, Empire and Wealth." Journal of British Cinema and Television 15, no.4 (October 2018): 571–88. http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/jbctv.2018.0443.

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The story of Sweeney Todd has its origins in the era of Victorian stage melodrama, a form with well-documented connections to critiques of Victorian class structures and economic hardship. As well, the musical versions of the story by Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler (1979), including the 2007 film by Tim Burton, have been identified with anti-capitalist sentiment. In all the discussions of Sweeney Todd and class, however, surprisingly little scholarly attention is paid to the first sound film version of the story, which appeared in Britain at the height of the economic crisis of the 1930s: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1936), directed by George King and starring Tod Slaughter. The King-Slaughter collaborations converting Victorian stage melodramas to screen were part of the body of 1930s films identified as ‘quota quickies’, which have been characterised as cheap and badly made. Scholars such as Rachel Low and, more recently, David Pirie dismissed the quota quickies as films unworthy of close attention, but this article joins the revisionist trend that takes issue with these judgements both of 1930s quota quickies and the films of King and Slaughter. King's Sweeney Todd responds to the bleak economic experience and anxieties of its audiences through its narrative and generic changes to its Victorian precursors, as well as through its limited but creative uses of film form. Specifically, King's film challenges the idea of the naturalised authority of the wealthy, questions the origins of wealth and the function of labour, and transforms the abject body of the horror genre into a metaphor for the circulation of capital.

6

Mabberley,DavidJ., Erika Pignatti-Wikus, and Christa Riedl-Dorn. "Ferdinand Bauer’s field drawings of endemic Western Australian plants made at King George Sound and Lucky Bay, December 1801 – January 1802. II." Rendiconti Lincei 11, no.4 (December 2000): 201–44. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/bf02904666.

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Mabberley,DavidJ., Erika Pignatti-Wikus, and Christa Riedl-Dorn. "Ferdinand Bauer’s field drawings of endemic Western Australian plants made at King George Sound and Lucky Bay, December 1801 – January 1802. I." Rendiconti Lincei 11, no.2 (June 2000): 69–109. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/bf02904376.

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Brackett, David. "James Brown's ‘Superbad’ and the double-voiced utterance." Popular Music 11, no.3 (October 1992): 309–24. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s026114300000516x.

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JB was proof that black people were different. Rhythmically and tonally blacks had to be from somewhere else. Proof that Africa was really over there for those of us who had never seen it – it was in that voice. (Thulani Davis, quoted Guralnick 1986, pp. 242–3)If there is any black man who symbolizes the vast differences between black and white cultural and aesthetic values, Soul Brother No. 1 (along with Ray Charles) is that man. (David Levering Lewis, quoted Guralnick 1986, p. 240)Brown has never been a critics' favorite principally because of the apparent monotony of so many of his post-1965 recordings. But attacking him for being repetitive is like attacking Africans for being overly fond of drumming. Where the European listener may hear monotonous beating, the African distinguishes subtle polyrhythmic interplay, tonal distinctions among the various drums, the virtuosity of the master drummer, and so on. Similarly, Brown sounds to some European ears like so much harsh shrieking. (Robert Palmer 1980, p. 141)During the 1960s James Brown single handedly demonstrated the possibilities for artistic and economic freedom that black music could provide if one constantly struggled against its limitations … He was driven by an enormous ambition and unrelenting ego, making him a living symbol of black self-determination … Motown may have been the sound of young America, but Brown was clearly the king of black America. (Nelson George 1988, pp. 98–9)

9

Dortch, Joe, Charles Dortch, and Robert Reynolds. "Test Excavation At The Oyster Harbour Stone Fish Traps, King George Sound, Western Australia: An Investigation Aimed at Determining the Construction Method and Maximum Age of the Structures." Australian Archaeology 62, no.1 (June 2006): 38–43. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03122417.2006.11681829.

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OBERPRIELER,ROLFG., RICHARDT.THOMPSON, and MAGNUS PETERSON. "Darwin’s forgotten weevil." Zootaxa 2675, no.1 (November12, 2010): 33. http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.2675.1.3.

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G. R. Waterhouse (1839) described the first species of weevil from the specimens collected by Charles Darwin in Australia in 1836. Named Belus testaceus, it was subsequently forgotten in all literature on Australian Belidae. Study of the type, as preserved in the Natural History Museum, London, revealed its name to be a senior synonym of Belus linearis Pascoe, 1870 (syn. n.). Known from only another six specimens taken about a century ago at the same locality, King George Sound (present-day Albany) in Western Australia, plus another four of uncertain origin, this species, now in the genus Stenobelus Zimmerman, appears to be restricted to the southern tip of Western Australia but of unknown current distribution, if it is indeed still extant. The only other species of the genus, S. tibialis (Blackburn), has a wider but highly fragmented distribution across Australia, apparently being common only in the acid swamplands (wallum) of south-eastern Queensland. The larval hostplants of both species are unknown. Diagnoses are provided for the genus Stenobelus as well as for its two species, and the holotypes of all applicable names are illustrated, together with the diagnostic features of the genus. Six species recently transferred to Stenobelus from Rhinotia by Legalov (2009) are again excluded from this genus, and the name of the subgenus Germaribelus Legalov, 2009 is placed in synonymy with Rhinotia Kirby, 1819 (syn. n.).

11

Göktürk, Deniz. "Jokes and Butts: Can We Imagine Humor in a Global Public Sphere?" PMLA/Publications of the Modern Language Association of America 123, no.5 (October 2008): 1707–11. http://dx.doi.org/10.1632/pmla.2008.123.5.1707.

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In his essay titled “Drawing Blood” for Harper's magazine in June 2006, written as a response to the Muhammad cartoon affair, Art Spiegelman argued convincingly that a cartoon is, first and foremost, a cartoon. It sounds straightforward, but is it really? Following Spiegelman, we can define caricatures as charged or loaded images that compress ideas into memorable icons, namely clichés. A cartoon must have a point, and a good cartoon can change our perspective on the ruling order. Spiegelman opens his discussion with classical caricatures such as Honoré Daumier's 1831 depiction of King Louis-Philippe as Gargantua and George Grosz's 1926 attack on the “Pillars of Society” (“Stützen der Gesellschaft”) as beer-drinking, pamphlet-reading, swastika-wearing men without brains. Spiegelman acknowledges these cartoonists as “masters of insult,” who often had to face trial or imprisonment for their transgressions (45). The question is whether the twelve cartoons of Muhammad, published by the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten on 30 September 2005, are in any way compatible with the great tradition of caricature.

12

Wilson, Robert, and Maria Shevtsova. "Covid Conversations 5: Robert Wilson." New Theatre Quarterly 38, no.1 (February 2022): 1–26. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s0266464x21000385.

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World-renowned for having made a totally new kind of theatre, director-designer Robert Wilson first astonished international audiences in Paris in 1971 with Le Regard du sourd (Deafman Glance) and then with his twenty-four-hour Ouverture at the first edition of the Festival d’Automne in 1972. He also refers in this Conversation to Einstein on the Beach, premiered at the Avignon Festival in 1976, as another example among more of France offering him a home before he eventually founded the Watermill Center in 1992 on Long Island in the State of New York. Watermill, a laboratory for multidisciplinary creativity, opened its doors to the public in 2006 and is a focal point of the Conversation as a whole. Wilson’s immediately pre-Covid-pandemic production of The Messiah by Mozart was premiered at the Mozartwoche Salzburg in February 2020 and performed subsequently in Paris during a brief Covid ‘lull’ in September of that year. Discussion of this pivotal work leads to reflections on the opera productions that he had staged not so long before it, emphasizing the elements fundamental to his compositions – light, time, space, architecture, and silence. The Conversation, followed by audience questions addressed to Wilson, took place live online and on Facebook on 4 December 2020 as a prelude to the Festival Internacional Santiago a Mil in Chile, which opened on 3 January 2021. This was the Festival’s twenty-eighth year, but in a significantly restricted form due to Covid-19. A sequel to the Santiago interchange, also online but this time located in Paris, occurred on 17 September 2021. It resumes dialogue mainly on the Watermill Center’s broader cultural and social goals in the present and for the future, noting as well Wilson’s then current activities in Paris: a heavy schedule of four productions from the beginning of September to the end of December 2021, and a sound installation planned for 2022.Maria Shevtsova gratefully thanks the Fundación Teatro a Mil and its General Director Carmen Romero for their initiative in inviting Robert Wilson with her to converse publicly as part of the Festival a Mil, and for permission to edit the transcript for publication in New Theatre Quarterly. Thanks are due to interpreters Margit Schmohl and Jorge Ramirez, and to Maria Luisa Vergara for organizing the audience participation included below, as well as to Alfonso Arenas, former Coordinator of the Education and Communities Area at the Theatre Foundation a Mil. Warmest gratitude is extended to Robert Wilson for his generosity in all sorts of ways, and not least for finding the time to continue the Conversation in Paris. Thanks for their kind support to Nuria Moreno, Production at Teatro Real Madrid, Christof Belka, Executive Director of RW Work Ltd, Clifford Allen, Director of Archives of the Watermill Center, and Leesa Kelly and Noah Khoshbin, curators of the 2021 outdoor exhibition Minneapolis Protest Murals at the Crossroads Summer Festival held at the Watermill Center. The exhibition presented 190 public artworks from the 900 boards of the Minneapolis Protest Murals which were created organically in Minneapolis following the murder of George Floyd on 25 May 2020. Special thanks for their gift of images are given to photographers Lucie Jansch, Javier del Real, Kristian Kruuser and Kaupo Kikkas, Lovik Delger Ostenrik, and Martyna Szczesna. Kunsang Kelden and Maria Shevtsova transcribed this Conversation in two parts. Shevtsova, Editor of New Theatre Quarterly and author of Robert Wilson (Routledge, 2007; updated edition, 2019) edited and annotated the combined transcript for publication.

13

Boomgaard, Peter, John Robert Shepherd, Bernice Jong Boers, Michael Hitchco*ck, DwightY.King, AudreyR.Kahin, Han Knapen, et al. "Book Reviews." Bijdragen tot de taal-, land- en volkenkunde / Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Southeast Asia 152, no.3 (1996): 483–508. http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/22134379-90003009.

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- Peter Boomgaard, John Robert Shepherd, Marriage and mandatory abortion among the 17th-century Siraya. Arlington: American Anthropological Association, 1995, iv + 99 pp. [American Ethnological Society Monograph Series 6.] - Bernice de Jong Boers, Michael Hitchco*ck, Islam and identity in Eastern Indonesia. Hull: The University of Hull Press, 1996, ix + 208 pp. - Dwight Y. King, Audrey R. Kahin, Subversion as foreign policy; The secret Eisenhower and Dulles debacle in Indonesia. New York: The New Press, 1995, 230 + 88 pp., George McT. Kahin (eds.) - Han Knapen, Harold Brookfield, In place of the forest; Environmental and socio-economic transformation in Borneo and the eastern Malay peninsula. Tokyo, New York, Paris: United Nations University Press, 1995, xiv + 310 pp. [UNU Studies on Critical Environmental Regions.], Lesley Potter, Yvonne Byron (eds.) - Niels Mulder, E. Paul Durrenberger, State power and culture in Thailand. New Haven: Yale University, Southeast Asia Studies, 1996, vii + 200 pp. [Monograph 43.] - Peter Pels, Margaret J. Wiener, Visible and invisible realms; Power, magic and colonial conquest in Bali. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, xiv + 445 pp. - Marie-Odette Scalliet, Annabel Teh Gallop, Early views of Indonesia; Drawings from the British Library. Pemandangan Indonesia di masa lampau; Seni gambar dari British Library. London: The British Library, Jakarta: Yayasan Lontar, 1995, 128 pp., 86 ill., 39 pl. - Cornelia M.I. van der Sluys, Marina Roseman, Healing sounds from the Malaysian rain forest; Temiar music and medicine. Berkeley, Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1993, xvii + 233 pp. - Cornelia M.I. van der Sluys, John D. Leary, Violence and the dream people; The Orang Asli in the Malayan emergency, 1948-1960. Athens, Ohio: Ohio University, Center for International Studies, 1995, xxiii + 238 pp. [Monographs in International Studies, Southeast Asia Series 95.] - H. Steinhauer, Darrell T. Tryon, Comparative Austronesian Dictionary; An introduction to Austronesian studies, Berlin, New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 1995, Part I, Fascicle I: xxviii pp + p.1-666; Fascicle II: xix pp + p.667-1197; Part II: xviii + 749 pp; Part III: xviii + 739 pp; Part IV: xviii + 767 pp. [Trends in Linguistics, Documentation 10 (Werner Winter and Richard A. Rhodes, eds).]

14

Mykhailova, Olha. "The figurative world of Florent Schmitt’s piano works (following the diptych “Mirages”)." Aspects of Historical Musicology 19, no.19 (February7, 2020): 230–46. http://dx.doi.org/10.34064/khnum2-19.13.

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Statement of the problem. An important place in the creative heritage by F. Schmitt (1870–1958) is occupied by music for piano, which in the last decade actively entered to the repertoire of many foreign pianists. At the same time, it remains beyond the focus of Ukrainian performers. From this viewpoint, the relevance of the study is seen in revealing characteristic features of F. Schmitt’s composing style and shaping national musicians’ vision of the creative work of the composer. The purpose of the paper is to fill in the gaps in knowledge about the work of F. Schmitt, to analyze the figurative world of the composer’s piano pieces, to evaluate the influence of cross creative inspirations using the example of the diptych “Mirages”. In this regard, cultural-historical, comparative and structuralfunctional research methods are used. Presentation of the main material. F. Schmitt turned to piano music during all his creative life, leaving more than 30 works, among which cyclic compositions predominate. The range of images is extremely wide: genre scenes, environmental conditions, lyricism, fantasy, etc. Here the influence of impressionism and the art of C. Debussy can be traced. Musicians all over the world were in awe of the talent of this master. Suffice it to recall the unprecedented collaborative work by famous European composers at the turn of the centuries – the multi-genre series of miniatures “Le Tombeau de Claude Debussy”, written in memory of the great creator. F. Schmitt also showed his admiration of the genius of “Claude de France” in the piece “Et Pan, au fond des bles lunaires, s’accouda”. At first, it existed as one of the numbers of “Le Tombeau de Claude Debussy” (1920), and later, together with “La tragique chevauchée”, it made up the diptych “Mirages” (1921). The poem “Philomela” by a French poet Paul Fort was a kind of inspiring impetus for writing the diptych. The appeal for creative inspiration to related art forms was a frequent occurrence in France at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. This took place due to a special cultural environment, marked by a fruitful co-working of writers, artists and musicians. Poets were composed verses inspired by the works of visual art they had seen, artists were created illustrations for literary works that had affected them, composers, in turn, were written music pieces, which embodied poetic images. Paul Fort’s poem have several interwoven semantic plans. In the piece “Et Pan, au fond des bles lunaires, s’accouda” F. Schmitt follows the multiplicity of these plans. On the one hand, he preserves the plot narrative, on the other hand, he emphasizes landscape descriptiveness. According to the content of the poem, the music is divided into episodes, and each of which reveals a new facet of the narrative. This is expressed by a change in pace, key signatures and texture. The sound image of the piece, its texture, metro-rhythm, composition, recording techniques were equally determined both by the inspiration that came from the lines by P. Fort, and by the dedication to the memory of C. Debussy. The piece is characterized by all-encompassing register, juxtaposition of colors, chiaroscuro – the features, by which the musical language of C. Debussy is recognized. At the same time, the contrast of texture, registers and metro-rhythmic complexes involves certain redundancy of information that contradicts the signs of Debussy’s manner of expression, who tended to be more compact and monolithic. This suggests that F. Schmitt creates a kind of anthology of C. Debussy’s legacy, organizing the piece on the principle of stringing small, diverse fragments. Parallels with the cycles “Images”, “Estampes”, and “Préludes” can be noticed in the resulting microsuite composition. In the piece “La tragique chevauchée” F. Schmitt clearly recreates the spirit of the dramatic events of the poem by George Byron, following the literary plot in music. Two contrasting thematic spheres prevail. The first sphere, which sets the main tone, is characterized by the rapid pace remarked by the author’s notice “Emporté et violent”, a bouncing dotted rhythm, acute accentuation, toccata texture, sudden dynamic changes, dissonant tremolo harmonies. It reflects the outer side of the action – a crazy gallop of a horse running wild with fear, overcoming an endless series of obstacles on the way, and the physical suffering of an exhausted rider. The other one, which is less amplitudinous, is represented by a melancholic, as if crying, cantilena, symbolizing the inner experiences of the tormented hero. The grotesque expressive means in the foreground are a kind of scenery for the action, while the cantilena element, as if remaining in the background, bears the stamp of the inner drama of G. Byron’s poem. Conclusions. Despite the fact that the diptych “Mirages” is not a program composition, the pieces that make it up give rise to vivid, distinct images. Emotional richness, play of timbres, picturesqueness endowed the work with orchestral potential, which drew the attention of contemporaries. At the initiative of S. Koussevitsky, it was instrumented and found a new life on the symphonic stage. It is noteworthy that the eminent conductor’s interest in the timbre side of F. Schmitt’s music did not end there and was realized in “Symphonie Concertante pour piano & orchestra”, op. 82 (1931), written at the request of S. Koussevitsky. This fact opens up new turn in the perspectives for the study of F. Schmitt’s creative work. The symphonic version of the diptych “Mirages” arouses curiosity in terms of the original idea implementation. The composer’s piano works require study taking into account their orchestral potential.

15

Koerner,E.F.K. "Aux Sources De La Sociolinguistique." Lingvisticæ Investigationes. International Journal of Linguistics and Language Resources 10, no.2 (January1, 1986): 381–401. http://dx.doi.org/10.1075/li.10.2.08koe.

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RESUME Bien que le terme 'sociolinguistics' n'ait ete introduit dans le vocabulai-re technique de la linguistique qu'en 1952 par Haver Currie et que la socio-linguistique ne soit devenue une sous-discipline importante de la science du langage que depuis les annees soixante (v. Bright 1966), cet article main-tient qu'une telle approche du langage existait depuis longtemps, peut-etre plus de cent ans. En d'autres mots, nous avangons qu'il y avait une sociolin-guistique bien avant la lettre. En effet, on retrouve dans la linguistique generate de Wiliam Dwight Whitney (1827-1894) et de Heymann Steinthal (1823-1899) et dans quel-ques articles de Michel Breal (1832-1915) des annees 60 et 70 du siecle dernier des observations qui mettent en relief la nature sociale du langage. Les dialectologues de la meme periode, surtout en France et dans les pays de langue allemande, etaient tout a fait conscients du fait que l'etude des patois, des parlers et des langues orales en general devait etre guidee par des considerations sociologiques (v. Malkiel 1976). Dans la linguistique compa-ree et historique c'est Antoine Meillet (1866-1936), eleve de Saussure et de Breal et collaborates de la revue d'Emile Durkheim, Vannee sociologique, au debut de notre siecle, qui a insiste sur l'importance de l'aspect social (et sociologique) dans l'etude du changement linguistique (par ex., Meillet 1905). Avec ses eleves de Paris, surtout Joseph Vendryes (1875-1960), Alf Sommerfelt (1892-1965) et Marcel Cohen (1884-1974), Meillet etablit l'ecole sociologique du langage (par ex., Vendryes 1921; Sommerfelt 1932; Cohen 1956). Enfin, il existe — a cote de la dialectologie et de l'histoire des langues — encore une troisieme source de la sociolinguistique: l'etude du bilinguisme (par ex., Max Weinreich 1931; Haugen 1953). Ces trois traditions de la recherche linguistique se trouvent toutes reunis dans l'etude de Uriel Weinreich (1926-1967), Languages in Contact (1953), et puisque l'ouvrage de William Labov de 1966, The Social Stratification of English in New York City, qui est souvent cite (bien a tort) comme point de depart de la sociolo-gie moderne, representait sa these de doctorate ecrite sous la direction de Weinreich, il n'est pas etonnant de voir ces traditions, surtout celles de la linguistique geographique et de la linguistique historique, maintenues dans l'oeuvre de Labov (par ex., 1976, 1982). SUMMARY Although the term 'sociolinguistics' was not introduced into linguistic nomenclature before 1952 (see Currie 1952) and the field became a recognized field of research in the late 1960s only (e.g., Bright 1966), it is clear that the subject did not begin two decades ago. Indeed, an investigation into the sources of 'sociolinguistics' reveals that its beginnings go back at least 100 years, to the work of William Dwight Whitney (1827-1894), Heymann Steinthal (1823-1899), Michel Breal (1832-1915), and others. However, these were the first programmatic statements and a number of developments in the study of language were necessary to converge upon the kind of sociolinguistics which most students of language associate with the name of William Labov (e.g., Labov 1966), at least in North America. Interestingly enough, it is also in the work of Labov (e.g., 1972) that the origins of 'sociolinguistics' (to some extent in contradistinction to the 'sociology of language' approach associated with Basil Bernstein, Joshua A. Fishman, and others) could be traced, although neither Labov nor the prolific Dell Hymes has written anything on the history of sociolinguistics. (Indeed, the only paper that comes close to it was written by an outsider to the field, the great Romance scholar Yakov Malkiel, in 1976.) In my paper, I shall demonstrate that there are essentially three major traditions of investigation that led to 'sociolinguistics', namely, (1) Dialectology, especially the work done in German-speaking lands and in France from the 1870s onwards (e.g., Georg Wenker [1852-1911], Jules Gillieron [1854-1926], and others) — part of which had been undertaken in an effort to verify and possibility to support the neogrammarian 'regularity hypothesis' of sound changes; (2) Historical Linguistics, in particular the kind advocated by Antoine Meillet (1866-1936) and his school (e.g., Meillet 1905; Vendryes 1921), which developed into a 'science sociologique' of linguistics in general (Sommerfelt 1932) and a 'sociologie du langage' (e.g., Cohen 1956) among the younger Meillet disciples, and (3) Bilingualism Studies (e.g., Max Weinreich 1931; Haugen 1953), traditions all of which can be found united in the 1953 study of Uriel Weinreich (1926-1967), who happens to have been Labov's teacher and mentor.

16

"1659." Camden Fifth Series 31 (November16, 2007): 439–517. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s0960116307002862.

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The last weeke Mr Secretary Thurlowe and Doctor Slater were chosen for Cambridge and for other parts Mr Charles Rich, Mr Turner (of Greys Inn), Mr Barrington (one of his Highnes' bedchamber), Mr Brewster, collonel Matthews, Mr Herbert (earle of Pembroke's brother), major Ludlow, Mr Hill, Sir John Carter and Mr Manley.2 Wednesday last his Highnes conferred the honour of knighthood upon collonel Hugh Bethell.3 Such of our fleet lately returned from the Sound and not prejudiced by the ice are ordered to remaine in the Downes and the rest to come into harbour. A booke entytuled Breife Directions how fitt a popular Governement may bee made, referred to a comittee to finde out the author thereof. Upon complaint of the Dutch embassador against 2 books, entytuled Mercurius Anglicus and The Dutch Charactarized, referred likewise. The king of Sweden intends to leave a sufficient leaguer before Coppenhagen and to joyne with 10,000 of generall Wrangell's forces intrenched neere Fredericks Ode4 and in order thereunto 5,000 men are marching to him out of Pomerania. Sir George Aiscue is certainely gott into the Sound with his 2 shipps. A flood hath lately happened which hath overrunn 3 villages in the north of Holland. I humbly subscribe myselfe, my lord,

17

Franks, Rachel. "Before Alternative Voices: The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser." M/C Journal 20, no.1 (March15, 2017). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1204.

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IntroductionIn 1802 George Howe (1769-1821), the recently appointed Government Printer, published Australia’s first book. The following year he established Australia’s first newspaper; an enterprise that ran counter to all the environmental factors of the day, including: 1) issues of logistics and a lack of appropriate equipment and basic materials to produce a regularly issued newspaper; 2) issues resulting from the very close supervision of production and the routine censorship by the Governor; and 3) issues associated with the colony’s primary purposes as a military outpost and as a penal settlement, creating conflicts between very different readerships. The Sydney Gazette was, critically for Howe, the only newspaper in the infant city for over two decades. Alternative voices would not enter the field of printed media until the 1820s and 1830s. This article briefly explores the birth of an Australian industry and looks at how a very modest newspaper overcame a range of serious challenges to ignite imaginations and lay a foundation for media empires.Government Printer The first book published in Australia was the New South Wales General Standing Orders and General Orders (1802), authorised by Governor Philip Gidley King for the purposes of providing a convenient, single-volume compilation of all Government Orders, issued in New South Wales, between 1791 and 1802. (As the Australian character has been described as “egalitarian, anti-authoritarian and irreverent” [D. Jones 690], it is fascinating that the nation’s first published book was a set of rules.) Prescribing law, order and regulation for the colony the index reveals the desires of those charged with the colony’s care and development, to contain various types of activities. The rules for convicts were, predictably, many. There were also multiple orders surrounding administration, animal husbandry as well as food stuffs and other stores. Some of the most striking headings in the index relate to crime. For example, in addition to headings pertaining to courts there are also headings for a broad range of offences from: “BAD Characters” to “OFFENSIVE Weapons – Again[s]t concealing” (i-xii). The young colony, still in its teenage years, was, for the short-term, very much working on survival and for the long-term developing ambitious plans for expansion and trade. It was clear though, through this volume, that there was no forgetting the colony of New South Wales was first, and foremost, a penal settlement which also served as a military outpost. Clear, too, was the fact that not all of those who were shipped out to the new colony were prepared to abandon their criminal careers which “did not necessarily stop with transportation” (Foyster 10). Containment and recidivism were matters of constant concern for the colony’s authorities. Colonial priorities could be seen in the fact that, when “Governor Arthur Phillip brought the first convicts (548 males and 188 females) to Port Jackson on 26 January 1788, he also brought a small press for printing orders, rules, and regulations” (Goff 103). The device lay dormant on arrival, a result of more immediate concerns to feed and house all those who made up the First Fleet. It would be several years before the press was pushed into sporadic service by the convict George Hughes for printing miscellaneous items including broadsides and playbills as well as for Government Orders (“Hughes, George” online). It was another convict (another man named George), convicted at the Warwick Assizes on March 1799 (Ferguson vi) then imprisoned and ultimately transported for shoplifting (Robb 15), who would transform the small hand press into an industry. Once under the hand of George Howe, who had served as a printer with several London newspapers including The Times (Sydney Gazette, “Never” 2) – the printing press was put to much more regular use. In these very humble circ*mstances, Australia’s great media tradition was born. Howe, as the Government Printer, transformed the press from a device dedicated to ephemera as well as various administrative matters into a crucial piece of equipment that produced the new colony’s first newspaper. Logistical Challenges Governor King, in the year following the appearance of the Standing Orders, authorised the publishing of Australia’s first newspaper, The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser. The publication history of The Sydney Gazette, in a reflection of some of the challenges faced by the printer, is erratic. First published on a Saturday from 5 March 1803, it quickly changed to a Sunday paper from 10 April 1803. Interestingly, Sunday “was not an approved day for the publication of newspapers, and although some English publishers had been doing so since about 1789, Sunday papers were generally frowned upon” (Robb 58). Yet, as argued by Howe a Sunday print run allowed for the inclusion of “the whole of the Ship News, and other Incidental Matter, for the preceeding week” (Sydney Gazette, “To the Public” 1).The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser Vol. 1, No. 1, 5 March 1803 (Front Page)Call Number DL F8/50, Digital ID a345001, State Library of New South WalesPublished weekly until 1825, then bi-weekly until 1827 before coming out tri-weekly until 20 October 1842 (Holden 14) there were some notable pauses in production. These included one in 1807 (Issue 214, 19 April-Issue 215, 7 June) and one in 1808-1809 (Issue 227, 30 August-Issue 228, 15 May) due to a lack of paper, with the latter pause coinciding with the Rum Rebellion and the end of William Bligh’s term as Governor of New South Wales (see: Karskens 186-88; Mundle 323-37). There was, too, a brief attempt at publishing as a daily from 1 January 1827 which lasted only until 10 February of that year when the title began to appear tri-weekly (Kirkpatrick online; Holden 14). There would be other pauses, including one of two weeks, shortly before the final issue was produced on 20 October 1842. There were many problems that beset The Sydney Gazette with paper shortages being especially challenging. Howe regularly advertised for: “any quantity” of Spanish paper (e.g.: Sydney Gazette, “Wanted to Purchase” 4) and needing to be satisfied “with a variety of size and colour” (P.M. Jones 39). In addition, the procurement of ink was so difficult in the colony, that Howe often resorted to making his own out of “charcoal, gum and shark oil” (P.M. Jones 39).The work itself was physically demanding and papers printed during this period, by hand, required a great deal of effort with approximately “250 sheets per hour … [the maximum] produced by a printer and his assistant” (Robb 8). The printing press itself was inadequate and the subject of occasional repairs (Sydney Gazette, “We Have” 2). Type was also a difficulty. As Gwenda Robb explains, traditionally six sets of an alphabet were supplied to a printer with extras for ‘a’, ‘e’, ‘r’ and ‘t’ as well as ‘s’. Without ample type Howe was required to improvise as can be seen in using a double ‘v’ to create a ‘w’ and an inverted ‘V’ to represent a capital ‘A’ (50, 106). These quirky work arounds, combined with the use of the long-form ‘s’ (‘∫’) for almost a full decade, can make The Sydney Gazette a difficult publication for modern readers to consume. Howe also “carried the financial burden” of the paper, dependent, as were London papers of the late eighteenth century, on advertising (Robb 68, 8). Howe also relied upon subscriptions for survival, with the collection of payments often difficult as seen in some subscribers being two years, or more, in arrears (e.g.: Sydney Gazette, “Sydney Gazette” 1; Ferguson viii; P.M. Jones 38). Governor Lachlan Macquarie granted Howe an annual salary, in 1811, of £60 (Byrnes 557-559) offering some relief, and stability, for the beleaguered printer.Gubernatorial Supervision Governor King wrote to Lord Hobart (then Secretary of State for War and the Colonies), on 9 May 1803: it being desirable that the settlers and inhabitants at large should be benefitted by useful information being dispersed among them, I considered that a weekly publication would greatly facilitate that design, for which purpose I gave permission to an ingenious man, who manages the Government printing press, to collect materials weekly, which, being inspected by an officer, is published in the form of a weekly newspaper, copies of which, as far as they have been published, I have the honor to enclose. (85)In the same letter, King wrote: “to the list of wants I have added a new fount of letters which may be procured for eight or ten pounds, sufficient for our purpose, if approved of” (85). King’s motivations were not purely altruistic. The population of the colony was growing in Sydney Cove and in the outlying districts, thus: “there was an increasing administrative need for information to be disseminated in a more accessible form than the printed handbills of government orders” (Robb 49). There was, however, a need for the administration to maintain control and the words “Published By Authority”, appearing on the paper’s masthead, were a constant reminder to the printer that The Sydney Gazette was “under the censorship of the Secretary to the Governor, who examined all proofs” (Ferguson viii). The high level of supervision, worked in concert with the logistical difficulties described above, ensured the newspaper was a source of great strain and stress. All for the meagre reward of “6d per copy” (Ferguson viii). This does not diminish Howe’s achievement in establishing a newspaper, an accomplishment outlined, with some pride, in an address printed on the first page of the first issue:innumerable as the Obstacles were which threatened to oppose our Undertaking, yet we are happy to affirm that they were not insurmountable, however difficult the task before us.The utility of a PAPER in the COLONY, as it must open a source of solid information, will, we hope, be universally felt and acknowledged. (Sydney Gazette, “Address” 1)Howe carefully kept his word and he “wrote nothing like a signature editorial column, nor did he venture his personal opinions, conscious always of the powers of colonial officials” (Robb 72). An approach to reportage he passed to his eldest son and long-term assistant, Robert (1795-1829), who later claimed The Sydney Gazette “reconciled in one sheet the merits of the London Gazette in upholding the Government and the London Times in defending the people” (Walker 10). The censorship imposed on The Sydney Gazette, by the Governor, was lifted in 1824 (P.M. Jones 40), when the Australian was first published without permission: Governor Thomas Brisbane did not intervene in the new enterprise. The appearance of unauthorised competition allowed Robert Howe to lobby for the removal of all censorship restrictions on The Sydney Gazette, though he was careful to cite “greater dispatch and earlier publication, not greater freedom of expression, as the expected benefit” (Walker 6). The sudden freedom was celebrated, and still appreciated many years after it was given:the Freedom of the Press has now been in existence amongst us on the verge of four years. In October 1824, we addressed a letter to the Colonial Government, fervently entreating that those shackles, under which the Press had long laboured, might be removed. Our prayer was attended to, and the Sydney Gazette, feeling itself suddenly introduced to a new state of existence, demonstrated to the Colonists the capabilities that ever must flow from the spontaneous exertions of Constitutional Liberty. (Sydney Gazette, “Freedom” 2)Early Readerships From the outset, George Howe presented a professional publication. The Sydney Gazette was formatted into three columns with the front page displaying a formal masthead featuring a scene of Sydney and the motto “Thus We Hope to Prosper”. Gwenda Robb argues the woodcut, the first produced in the colony, was carved by John W. Lewin who “had plenty of engraving skills” and had “returned to Sydney [from a voyage to Tahiti] in December 1802” (51) while Roger Butler has suggested that “circ*mstances point to John Austin who arrived in Sydney in 1800” as being the engraver (91). The printed text was as vital as the visual supports and every effort was made to present full accounts of colonial activities. “As well as shipping and court news, there were agricultural reports, religious homilies, literary extracts and even original poetry written by Howe himself” (Blair 450). These items, of course, sitting alongside key Government communications including General Orders and Proclamations.Howe’s language has been referred to as “florid” (Robb 52), “authoritative and yet filled with deference for all authority, pompous in a stiff, affected eighteenth century fashion” (Green 10) and so “some of Howe’s readers found the Sydney Gazette rather dull” (Blair 450). Regardless of any feelings towards authorial style, circulation – without an alternative – steadily increased with the first print run in 1802 being around 100 copies but by “the early 1820s, the newspaper’s production had grown to 300 or 400 copies” (Blair 450).In a reflection of the increasing sophistication of the Sydney-based reader, George Howe, and Robert Howe, would also publish some significant, stand-alone, texts. These included several firsts: the first natural history book printed in the colony, Birds of New South Wales with their Natural History (1813) by John W. Lewin (praised as a text “printed with an elegant and classical simplicity which makes it the highest typographical achievement of George Howe” [Wantrup 278]); the first collection of poetry published in the colony First Fruits of Australian Poetry (1819) by Barron Field; the first collection of poetry written by a Australian-born author, Wild Notes from the Lyre of a Native Minstrel (1826) by Charles Tompson; and the first children’s book A Mother’s Offering to Her Children: By a Lady, Long Resident in New South Wales (1841) by Charlotte Barton. The small concern also published mundane items such as almanacs and receipt books for the Bank of New South Wales (Robb 63, 72). All against the backdrop of printing a newspaper.New Voices The Sydney Gazette was Australia’s first newspaper and, critically for Howe, the only newspaper for over two decades. (A second paper appeared in 1810 but the Derwent Star and Van Diemen’s Land Intelligencer, which only managed twelve issues, presented no threat to The Sydney Gazette.) No genuine, local rival entered the field until 1824, when the Australian was founded by barristers William Charles Wentworth and Robert Wardell. The Monitor debuted in 1826, followed the Sydney Herald in 1831 and the Colonist in 1835 (P.M. Jones 38). It was the second title, the Australian, with a policy that asserted articles to be: “Independent, yet consistent – free, yet not licentious – equally unmoved by favours and by fear” (Walker 6), radically changed the newspaper landscape. The new paper made “a strong point of its independence from government control” triggering a period in which colonial newspapers “became enmeshed with local politics” (Blair 451). This new age of opinion reflected how fast the colony was evolving from an antipodean gaol into a complex society. Also, two papers, without censorship restrictions, without registration, stamp duties or advertisem*nt duties meant, as pointed out by R.B. Walker, that “in point of law the Press in the remote gaol of exile was now freer than in the country of origin” (6). An outcome George Howe could not have predicted as he made the long journey, as a convict, to New South Wales. Of the early competitors, the only one that survives is the Sydney Herald (The Sydney Morning Herald from 1842), which – founded by immigrants Alfred Stephens, Frederick Stokes and William McGarvie – claims the title of Australia’s oldest continuously published newspaper (Isaacs and Kirkpatrick 4-5). That such a small population, with so many pressing issues, factions and political machinations, could support a first newspaper, then competitors, is a testament to the high regard, with which newspaper reportage was held. Another intruder would be The Government Gazette. Containing only orders and notices in the style of the London Gazette (McLeay 1), lacking any news items or private advertisem*nts (Walker 19), it was first issued on 7 March 1832 (and continues, in an online format, today). Of course, Government orders and other notices had news value and newspaper proprietors could bid for exclusive rights to produce these notices until a new Government Printer was appointed in 1841 (Walker 20).Conclusion George Howe, an advocate of “reason and common sense” died in 1821 placing The Sydney Gazette in the hands of his son who “fostered religion” (Byrnes 557-559). Robert Howe, served as editor, experiencing firsthand the perils and stresses of publishing, until he drowned in a boating accident in Sydney Harbour, in 1829 leaving the paper to his widow Ann Howe (Blair 450-51). The newspaper would become increasingly political leading to controversy and financial instability; after more changes in ownership and in editorial responsibility, The Sydney Gazette, after almost four decades of delivering the news – as a sole voice and then as one of several alternative voices – ceased publication in 1842. During a life littered with personal tragedy, George Howe laid the foundation stone for Australia’s media empires. His efforts, in extraordinary circ*mstances and against all environmental indicators, serve as inspiration to newspapers editors, proprietors and readers across the country. He established the Australian press, an institution that has been described asa profession, an art, a craft, a business, a quasi-public, privately owned institution. It is full of grandeurs and faults, sublimities and pettinesses. It is courageous and timid. It is fallible. It is indispensable to the successful on-going of a free people. (Holden 15)George Howe also created an artefact of great beauty. The attributes of The Sydney Gazette are listed, in a perfunctory manner, in most discussions of the newspaper’s history. The size of the paper. The number of columns. The masthead. The changes seen across 4,503 issues. Yet, consistently overlooked, is how, as an object, the newspaper is an exquisite example of the printed word. There is a physicality to the paper that is in sharp contrast to contemporary examples of broadsides, tabloids and online publications. Concurrently fragile and robust: its translucent sheets and mottled print revealing, starkly, the problems with paper and ink; yet it survives, in several collections, over two centuries since the first issue was produced. The elegant layout, the glow of the paper, the subtle crackling sound as the pages are turned. The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser is an astonishing example of innovation and perseverance. It provides essential insights into Australia’s colonial era. It is a metonym for making words matter. AcknowledgementsThe author offers her sincere thanks to Geoff Barker, Simon Dwyer and Peter Kirkpatrick for their comments on an early draft of this paper. The author is also grateful to Bridget Griffen-Foley for engaging in many conversations about Australian newspapers. ReferencesBlair, S.J. “Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser.” A Companion to the Australian Media. Ed. Bridget Griffen-Foley. North Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2014.Butler, Roger. Printed Images in Colonial Australia 1801-1901. Canberra: National Gallery of Australia, 2007.Byrnes, J.V. “Howe, George (1769–1821).” Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography: 1788–1850, A–H. Canberra: Australian National University, 1966. 557-559. Ferguson, J.A. “Introduction.” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser: A Facsimile Reproduction of Volume One, March 5, 1803 to February 26, 1804. Sydney: The Trustees of the Public Library of New South Wales in Association with Angus & Robertson, 1963. v-x. Foyster, Elizabeth. “Introduction: Newspaper Reporting of Crime and Justice.” Continuity and Change 22.1 (2007): 9-12.Goff, Victoria. “Convicts and Clerics: Their Roles in the Infancy of the Press in Sydney, 1803-1840.” Media History 4.2 (1998): 101-120.Green, H.M. “Australia’s First Newspaper.” Sydney Morning Herald, 11 Apr. 1935: 10.Holden, W. Sprague. Australia Goes to Press. Detroit: Wayne State UP, 1961. “Hughes, George (?–?).” Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography: 1788–1850, A–H. Canberra: Australian National University, 1966. 562. Isaacs, Victor, and Rod Kirkpatrick. Two Hundred Years of Sydney Newspapers. Richmond: Rural Press, 2003. Jones, Dorothy. “Humour and Satire (Australia).” Encyclopedia of Post-Colonial Literatures in English. 2nd ed. Eds. Eugene Benson and L.W. Conolly. London: Routledge, 2005. 690-692.Jones, Phyllis Mander. “Australia’s First Newspaper.” Meanjin 12.1 (1953): 35-46. Karskens, Grace. The Colony: A History of Early Sydney. Crows Nest: Allen & Unwin, 2010. King, Philip Gidley. “Letter to Lord Hobart, 9 May 1803.” Historical Records of Australia, Series 1, Governors’ Despatches to and from England, Volume IV, 1803-1804. Ed. Frederick Watson. Sydney: Library Committee of the Commonwealth Parliament, 1915.Kirkpatrick, Rod. Press Timeline: 1802 – 1850. Canberra: National Library of Australia, 2011. 6 Jan. 2017 <https://www.nla.gov.au/content/press-timeline-1802-1850>. McLeay, Alexander. “Government Notice.” The New South Wales Government Gazette 1 (1832): 1. Mundle, R. Bligh: Master Mariner. Sydney: Hachette, 2016.New South Wales General Standing Orders and General Orders: Selected from the General Orders Issued by Former Governors, from the 16th of February, 1791, to the 6th of September, 1800. Also, General Orders Issued by Governor King, from the 28th of September, 1800, to the 30th of September, 1802. Sydney: Government Press, 1802. Robb, Gwenda. George Howe: Australia’s First Publisher. Kew: Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2003.Spalding, D.A. Collecting Australian Books: Notes for Beginners. 1981. Mawson: D.A. Spalding, 1982. The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser. “Address.” 5 Mar. 1803: 1.———. “To the Public.” 2 Apr. 1803: 1.———. “Wanted to Purchase.” 26 June 1803: 4.———. “We Have the Satisfaction to Inform Our Readers.” 3 Nov. 1810: 2. ———. “Sydney Gazette.” 25 Dec. 1819: 1. ———. “The Freedom of the Press.” 29 Feb. 1828: 2.———. “Never Did a More Painful Task Devolve upon a Public Writer.” 3 Feb. 1829: 2. Walker, R.B. The Newspaper Press in New South Wales, 1803-1920. Sydney: Sydney UP, 1976.Wantrup, Johnathan. Australian Rare Books: 1788-1900. Sydney: Hordern House, 1987.

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Wilken, Rowan. "Walkie-Talkies, Wandering, and Sonic Intimacy." M/C Journal 22, no.4 (August14, 2019). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1581.

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IntroductionThis short article examines contemporary artistic use of walkie-talkies across two projects: Saturday (2002) by Sabrina Raaf and Walk That Sound (2014) by Lukatoyboy. Drawing on Dominic Pettman’s notion of sonic intimacy, I argue that both artists incorporate walkie-talkies as part of their explorations of mediated wandering, and in ways that seek to capture sonic ambiances and intimacies. One thing that is striking about both these works is that they rethink what’s possible with walkie-talkies; both artists use them not just as low-tech, portable devices for one-to-one communication over distance, but also—and more strikingly—as (covert) recording equipment for capturing, while wandering, snippets of intimate conversation between passers-by and the “voice” of the surrounding environment. Both artworks strive to make the familiar strange. They prompt us to question our preconceived perceptions of, and affective engagements with, the people and places around us, to listen more attentively to the voices of others (and the “Other”), and to aurally inhabit in new ways the spaces and places we find ourselves in and routinely pass through.The walkie-talkie is an established, simple communication device, consisting of a two-way radio transceiver with a speaker and microphone (in some cases, the speaker is also used as the microphone) and an antenna (Wikipedia). Walkie-talkies are half-duplex communication devices, meaning that they use a single radio channel: only one radio on the channel can transmit at a time, but many can listen; when a user wishes to talk, they must turn off the receiver and turn on the transmitter by pressing a push-to-talk button (Wikipedia). In some models, static—known as squelch—is produced each time the push-to-talk button is depressed. The push-to-talk button is a feature of both projects: in Saturday, it transforms the walkie-talkie into a cheap, portable recorder-transmitter. In Walk That Sound, rapid fire exchanges of conversation using the push-to-talk button feature strongly.Interestingly, walkie-talkies were developed during World War Two. While they continue to be used within certain industrial settings, they are perhaps best known as a “quaint” household toy and “fun tool” (Smith). Early print ads for walkie-talkie toys marketed them as a form of both spyware for kids (with the Gabriel Toy Co. releasing a 007-themed walkie-talkie set) and as a teletechnology for communication over distance—“how thrilling to ‘speak through space!’”, states one ad (Statuv “New!”). What is noteworthy about these early ads is that they actively promote experimental use of walkie-talkies. For instance, a 1953 ad for Vibro-Matic “Space Commander” walkie-talkies casts them as media transmission devices, suggesting that, with them, one can send and receive “voice – songs – music” (Statuv “New!”). In addition, a 1962 ad for the Knight-Kit walkie-talkie imagines “you’ll find new uses for this exciting walkie-talkie every day” (Statuv “Details”). Resurgent interest in walkie-talkies has seen them also promoted more recently as intimate tools “for communication without asking permission to communicate” (“Nextel”); this is to say that they have been marketed as devices for synchronous or immediate communication that overcome the limits of asynchronous communication, such as texting, where there might be substantial delays between the sending of a message and receipt of a response. Within this context, it is not surprising that Snapchat and Instagram have also since added “walkie-talkie” features to their messaging services. The Nextel byline, emphasising “without asking permission”, also speaks to the possibilities of using walkie-talkies as rudimentary forms of spyware.Within art practice that explores mediated forms of wandering—that is, walking while using media and various “remote transmission technologies” (Duclos 233)—walkie-talkies hold appeal for a number of reasons, including their particular aesthetic qualities, such as the crackling or static sound (squelch) that one encounters when using them; their portability; their affordability; and, the fact that, while they can be operated on multiple channels, they tend to be regarded primarily as devices that permit two-way, one-to-one (and therefore intimate, if not secure) remote communication. As we will see below, however, contemporary artists, such as the aforementioned earlier advertisers, have also been very attentive to the device’s experimental possibilities. Perhaps the best known (if possibly apocryphal) example of artistic use of walkie-talkies is by the Situationist International as part of their explorations in urban wandering (a revolutionary strategy called dérive). In the Situationist text from 1960, Die Welt als Labyrinth (Anon.), there is a detailed account of how walkie-talkies were to form part of a planned dérive, which was organised by the Dutch section of the Situationist International, through the city of Amsterdam, but which never went ahead:Two groups, each containing three situationists, would dérive for three days, on foot or eventually by boat (sleeping in hotels along the way) without leaving the center of Amsterdam. By means of the walkie-talkies with which they would be equipped, these groups would remain in contact, with each other, if possible, and in any case with the radio-truck of the cartographic team, from where the director of the dérive—in this case Constant [Nieuwenhuys]—moving around so as to maintain contact, would define their routes and sometimes give instructions (it was also the director of the dérive’s responsibility to prepare experiments at certain locations and secretly arranged events.) (Anon.) This proposed dérive formed part of Situationist experiments in unitary urbanism, a process that consisted of “making different parts of the city communicate with one another.” Their ambition was to create new situations informed by, among other things, encounters and atmospheres that were registered through dérive in order to reconnect parts of the city that were separated spatially (Lefebvre quoted in Lefebvre and Ross 73). In an interview with Kristin Ross, Henri Lefebvre insists that the Situationists “did have their experiments; I didn’t participate. They used all kinds of means of communication—I don’t know when exactly they were using walkie-talkies. But I know they were used in Amsterdam and in Strasbourg” (Lefebvre quoted in Lefebvre and Ross 73). However, as Rebecca Duclos points out, such use “is, in fact, not well documented”, and “none of the more well-known reports on situationist activity […] specifically mentions the use of walkie-talkies within their descriptive narratives” (Duclos 233). In the early 2000s, walkie-talkies also figured prominently, alongside other media devices, in at least two location-based gaming projects by renowned British art collective Blast Theory, Can You See Me Now? (2001) and You Get Me (2008). In the first of these projects, participants in the game (“online players”) competed against members of Blast Theory (“runners”), tracking them through city streets via a GPS-enabled handheld computer that runners carried with them. The goal for online players was to move an avatar they created through a virtual map of the city as multiple runners “pursued their avatar’s geographical coordinates in real-time” (Leorke). As Dale Leorke explains, “Players could see the locations of the runners and other players and exchange text messages with other players” (Leorke 27), and runners could “read players’ messages and communicate directly with each other through a walkie-talkie” (28). An audio stream from these walkie-talkie conversations allowed players to eavesdrop on their pursuers (Blast Theory, Can You See Me Now?).You Get Me was similarly structured, with online players and “runners” (eight teenagers who worked with Blast Theory on the game). Remotely situated online players began the game by listening to the “personal geography” of the runners over a walkie-talkie stream (Blast Theory, You Get Me). They then selected one runner, and tracked them down by navigating their own avatar, without being caught, through a virtual version of Mile End Park in London, in pursuit of their chosen runner who was moving about the actual Mile End Park. Once their chosen runner was contacted, the player had to respond to a question that the runner posed to them. If the runner was satisfied with the player’s answer, conversation switched to “the privacy of a mobile phone” in order to converse further; if not, the player was thrown back into the game (Blast Theory, You Get Me). A key aim of Blast Theory’s work, as I have argued elsewhere (Wilken), is the fostering of interactions and fleeting intimacies between relative and complete strangers. The walkie-talkie is a key tool in both the aforementioned Blast Theory projects for facilitating these interactions and intimacies.Beyond these well-known examples, walkie-talkies have been employed in productive and exploratory ways by other artists. The focus in this article is on two specific projects: the first by US-based sound artist Sabrina Raaf, called Saturday (2002) and the second by Serbian sound designer Lukatoyboy (Luka Ivanović), titled Walk That Sound (2014). Sonic IntimaciesThe concept that gives shape and direction to the analysis of the art projects by Raaf and Lukatoyboy and their use of walkie-talkies is that of sonic intimacy. This is a concept of emerging critical interest across media and sound studies and geography (see, for example, James; Pettman; Gallagher and Prior). Sonic intimacy, as Dominic Pettman explains, is composed of two simultaneous yet opposing orientations. On the one hand, sonic intimacy involves a “turning inward, away from the wider world, to more private and personal experiences and relationships” (79). While, on the other hand, it also involves a turning outward, to seek and heed “the voice of the world” (79)—or what Pettman refers to as the “vox mundi” (66). Pettman conceives of the “vox mundi” as an “ecological voice”, whereby “all manner of creatures, agents, entities, objects, and phenomena” (79) have the opportunity to speak to us, if only we were prepared to listen to our surroundings in new and different ways. In a later passage, he also refers to the “vox mundi” as a “carrier or potentially enlightening alterity” (83). Voices, Pettman writes, “transgress the neat divisions we make between ‘us’ and ‘them’, at all scales and junctures” (6). Thus, Pettman’s suggestion is that “by listening to the ‘voices’ that lie dormant in the surrounding world […] we may in turn foster a more sustainable relationship with [the] local matrix of specific existences” (85), be they human or otherwise.This formulation of sonic intimacy provides a productive conceptual frame for thinking through Raaf’s and Lukatoyboy’s use of walkie-talkies. The contention in this article is that these two projects are striking for the way that they both use walkie-talkies to explore, simultaneously, this double articulation or dual orientation of sonic intimacy—a turning inwards to capture more private and personal experiences and conversations, and a turning outwards to capture the vox mundi. Employing Pettman’s notion of sonic intimacy as a conceptual frame, I trace below the different ways that these two projects incorporate walkie-talkies in order to develop mediated forms of wandering that seek to capture place-based sonic ambiances and sonic intimacies.Sabrina Raaf, Saturday (2002)US sound artist Sabrina Raaf’s Saturday (2002) is a sound-based art installation based on recordings of “stolen conversations” that Raaf gathered over many Saturdays in Humboldt Park, Chicago. Raaf’s work harks back to the early marketing of walkie-talkie toys as spyware. In Raaf’s hands, this device is used not for engaging in intimate one-to-one conversation, but for listening in on, and capturing, the intimate conversations of others. In other words, she uses this device, as the Nextel slogan goes, for “communication without permission to communicate” (“Nextel”). Raaf’s inspiration for the piece was twofold. First, she has noted that “with the overuse of radio frequency bands for wireless communications, there comes the increased occurrence of crossed lines where a private conversation becomes accidentally shared” (Raaf). Reminiscent of Francis Ford Coppola’s film The Conversation (1974), in which surveillance expert Harry Caul (Gene Hackman) records the conversation of a couple as they walk through crowded Union Square in San Francisco, Raaf used a combination of walkie-talkies, CB radios, and “various other forms of consumer spy […] technology in order to actively harvest such communication leaks” (Raaf). The second source of inspiration was noticing the “sheer quantity of non-phone, low tech, radio transmissions that were constantly being sent around [the] neighbourhood”, transmissions that were easily intercepted. These conversations were eclectic in composition and character:The transmissions included communications between gang members on street corners nearby and group conversations between friends talking about changes in the neighbourhood and their families. There were raw, intimate conversations and often even late night sex talk between potential lovers. (Raaf)What struck Raaf about these conversations, these transmissions, was that there was “a furtive quality” to most of them, and “a particular daringness to their tone”.During her Saturday wanderings, Raaf complemented her recordings of stolen snippets of conversation with recordings of the “voice” of the surrounding neighbourhood—“the women singing out their windows to their radios, the young men in their low rider cars circling the block, the children, the ice cream carts, etc. These are the sounds that are mixed into the piece” (Raaf).Audience engagement with Saturday involves a kind of austere intimacy of its own that seems befitting of a surveillance-inspired sonic portrait of urban and private life. The piece is accessed via an interactive glove. This glove is white in colour and about the size of a large gardening glove, with a Velcro strap that fastens across the hand, like a cycling glove. The glove, which only has coverings for thumb and first two fingers (it is missing the ring and little fingers) is wired into and rests on top of a roughly A4-sized white rectangular box. This box, which is mounted onto the wall of an all-white gallery space at the short end, serves as a small shelf. The displayed glove is illuminated by a discrete, bent-arm desk lamp, that protrudes from the shelf near the gallery wall. Above the shelf are a series of wall-mounted colour images that relate to the project. In order to hear the soundtrack of Saturday, gallery visitors approach the shelf, put on the glove, and “magically just press their fingertips to their forehead [to] hear the sound without the use of their ears” (Raaf). The glove, Raaf explains, “is outfitted with leading edge audio electronic devices called ‘bone transducers’ […]. These transducers transmit sound in a very unusual fashion. They translate sound into vibration patterns which resonate through bone” (Raaf).Employing this technique, Raaf explains, “permits a new way of listening”:The user places their fingers to their forehead—in a gesture akin to Rodin’s The Thinker or of a clairvoyant—in order to tap into the lives of strangers. Pressing different combinations of fingers to the temple yield plural viewpoints and group conversations. These sounds are literally mixed in the bones of the listener. (Raaf) The result is a (literally and figuratively) touching sonic portrait of Humboldt Park, its residents, and the “voice” of its surrounding neighbourhoods. Through the unique technosomatic (Richardson) apparatus—combinations of gestures that convey the soundscape directly through the bones and body—those engaging with Saturday get to hear voices in/of/around Humboldt Park. It is a portrait that combines sonic intimacy in the two forms described earlier in this article. In its inward-focused form, the gallery visitor-listener is positioned as a voyeur of sorts, listening into stolen snippets of private and personal relationships, experiences, and interactions. And, in its outward-focused form, the gallery visitor-listener encounters a soundscape in which an array of agents, entities, and objects are also given a voice. Additional work performed by this piece, it seems to me, is to be found in the intermingling of these two form of sonic intimacy—the personal and the environmental—and the way that they prompt reflection on mediation, place, urban life, others, and intimacy. That is to say that, beyond its particular sonic portrait of Humboldt Park, Saturday works in “clearing some conceptual space” in the mind of the departing gallery visitor such that they might “listen for, if not precisely to, the collective, polyphonic ‘voice of the world’” (Pettman 6) as they go about their day-to-day lives.Lukatoyboy, Walk That Sound (2014)The second project, Walk That Sound, by Serbian sound artist Lukatoyboy was completed for the 2014 CTM festival. CTM is an annual festival event that is staged in Berlin and dedicated to “adventurous music and art” (CTM Festival, “About”). A key project within the festival is CTM Radio Lab. The Lab supports works, commissioned by CTM Festival and Deutschlandradio Kultur – Hörspiel/Klangkunst (among other partnering organisations), that seek to pair and explore the “specific artistic possibilities of radio with the potentials of live performance or installation” (CTM Festival, “Projects”). Lukatoyboy’s Walk That Sound was one of two commissioned pieces for the 2014 CTM Radio Lab. The project used the “commonplace yet often forgotten walkie-talkie” (CTM Festival, “Projects”) to create a moving urban sound portrait in the area around the Kottbusser Tor U-Bahn station in Berlin-Kreuzberg. Walk That Sound recruited participants—“mobile scouts”—to rove around the Kottbusser Tor area (CTM Festival, “Projects”). Armed with walkie-talkies, and playing with “the array of available and free frequencies, and the almost unlimited amount of users that can interact over these different channels”, the project captured the dispatches via walkie-talkie of each participant (CTM Festival, “Projects”). The resultant recording of Walk That Sound—which was aired on Deutschlandradio (see Lukatoyboy), part of a long tradition of transmitting experimental music and sound art on German radio (Cory)—forms an eclectic soundscape.The work juxtaposes snippets of dialogue shared between the mobile scouts, overheard mobile phone conversations, and moments of relative quietude, where the subdued soundtrack is formed by the ambient sounds—the “voice”—of the Kottbusser Tor area. This voice includes distant traffic, the distinctive auditory ticking of pedestrian lights, and moments of tumult and agitation, such as the sounds of construction work, car horns, emergency services vehicle sirens, a bottle bouncing on the pavement, and various other repetitive yet difficult to identify industrial sounds. This voice trails off towards the end of the recording into extended walkie-talkie produced static or squelch. The topics covered within the “crackling dialogues” (CTM Festival, “Projects”) of the mobile scouts ranged widely. There were banal observations (“I just stepped on a used tissue”; “people are crossing the street”; “there are 150 trains”)—wonderings that bear strong similarities with French writer Georges Perec’s well-known experimental descriptions of everyday Parisian life in the 1970s (Perec “An Attempt”). There were also intimate, confiding, flirtatious remarks (“Do you want to come to Turkey with me?”), as well as a number of playfully paranoid observations and quips (“I like to lie”; “I can see you”; “do you feel like you are being recorded?”; “I’m being followed”) that seem to speak to the fraught history of Berlin in particular as well as the complicated character of urban life in general—as Pettman asks, “what does ‘together’ signify in a socioeconomic system so efficient in producing alienation and isolation?” (92).In sum, Walk That Sound is a strangely moving exploration of sonic intimacy, one that shifts between many different registers and points of focus—much like urban wandering itself. As a work, it is variously funny, smart, paranoid, intimate, expansive, difficult to decipher, and, at times, even difficult to listen to. Pettman argues that, “thanks in large part to the industrialization of the human ear […], we have lost the capacity to hear the vox mundi, which is […] the sum total of cacophonous, heterogeneous, incommensurate, and unsynthesizable sounds of the postnatural world” (8). Walk That Sound functions almost like a response to this dilemma. One comes away from listening to it with a heightened awareness of, appreciation for, and aural connection to the rich messiness of the polyphonic contemporary urban vox mundi. ConclusionThe argument of this article is that Sabrina Raaf’s Saturday and Lukatoyboy’s Walk That Sound are two projects that both incorporate walkie-talkies in order to develop mediated forms of wandering that seek to capture place-based sonic ambiances and sonic intimacies. Drawing on Pettman’s notion of “sonic intimacy”, examination of these projects has opened consideration around voice, analogue technology, and what Nick Couldry refers to as “an obligation to listen” (Couldry 580). In order to be heard, Pettman remarks, and “in order to be considered a voice at all”, and therefore as “something worth heeding”, the vox mundi “must arrive intimately, or else it is experienced as noise or static” (Pettman 83). In both the projects discussed here—Saturday and Walk That Sound—the walkie-talkie provides this means of “intimate arrival”. As half-duplex communication devices, walkie-talkies have always fulfilled a double function: communicating and listening. This dual functionality is exploited in new ways by Raaf and Lukatoyboy. In their projects, both artists turn the microphone outwards, such that the walkie-talkie becomes not just a device for communicating while in the field, but also—and more strikingly—it becomes a field recording device. The result of which is that this simple, “playful” communication device is utilised in these two projects in two ways: on the one hand, as a “carrier of potentially enlightening alterity” (Pettman 83), a means of encouraging “potential encounters” (89) with strangers who have been thrown together and who cross paths, and, on the other hand, as a means of fostering “an environmental awareness” (89) of the world around us. In developing these prompts, Raaf and Lukatoyboy build potential bridges between Pettman’s work on sonic intimacy, their own work, and the work of other experimental artists. For instance, in relation to potential encounters, there are clear points of connection with Blast Theory, a group who, as noted earlier, have utilised walkie-talkies and sound-based and other media technologies to explore issues around urban encounters with strangers that promote reflection on ideas and experiences of otherness and difference (see Wilken)—issues that are also implicit in the two works examined. In relation to environmental awareness, their work—as well as Pettman’s calls for greater sonic intimacy—brings renewed urgency to Georges Perec’s encouragement to “question the habitual” and to account for, and listen carefully to, “the common, the ordinary, the infraordinary, the background noise” (Perec “Approaches” 210).Walkie-talkies, for Raaf and Lukatoyboy, when reimagined as field recording devices as much as remote transmission technologies, thus “allow new forms of listening, which in turn afford new forms of being together” (Pettman 92), new forms of being in the world, and new forms of sonic intimacy. Both these artworks engage with, and explore, what’s at stake in a politics and ethics of listening. Pettman prompts us, as urban dweller-wanderers, to think about how we might “attend to the act of listening itself, rather than to a specific sound” (Pettman 1). His questioning, as this article has explored, is answered by the works from Raaf and Lukatoyboy in effective style and technique, setting up opportunities for aural attentiveness and experiential learning. However, it is up to us whether we are prepared to listen carefully and to open ourselves to such intimate sonic contact with others and with the environments in which we live.ReferencesAnon. “Die Welt als Labyrinth.” Internationale Situationiste 4 (Jan. 1960). International Situationist Online, 19 June 2019 <https://www.cddc.vt.edu/sionline/si/diewelt.html>Blast Theory. “Can You See Me Now?” Blast Theory, 19 June 2019 <https://www.blasttheory.co.uk/projects/can-you-see-me-now/>.———. “You Get Me.” Blast Theory, 19 June 2019 <https://wwww.blasttheory.co.uk/projects/you-get-me/>.Cory, Mark E. “Soundplay: The Polyphonous Tradition of German Radio Art.” Wireless Imagination: Sound, Radio, and the Avant-garde. Eds. Douglas Kahn and Gregory Whitehead. Cambridge, MA: MIT P, 1992. 331–371.Couldry, Nick. “Rethinking the Politics of Voice.” Continuum 23.4 (2009): 579–582.CTM Festival. “About.” CTM Festival, 2019. 19 June 2019 <https://www.ctm-festival.de/about/ctm-festival/>.———. “Projects – CTM Radio Lab.” CTM Festival, 2019. 19 June 2019 <https://www.ctm-festival.de/projects/ctm-radio-lab/>.Duclos, Rebecca. “Reconnaissance/Méconnaissance: The Work of Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller.” Articulate Objects: Voice, Sculpture and Performance. Eds. Aura Satz and Jon Wood. Bern: Peter Lang, 2009. 221–246. Gallagher, Michael, and Jonathan Prior. “Sonic Geographies: Exploring Phonographic Methods.” Progress in Human Geography 38.2 (2014): 267–284.James, Malcom. Sonic Intimacy: The Study of Sound. London: Bloomsbury, forthcoming.Lefebvre, Henri, and Kristin Ross. “Lefebvre on the Situationists: An Interview.” October 79 (Winter 1997): 69–83. Leorke, Dale. Location-Based Gaming: Play in Public Space. Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019.Lukatoyboy. “Walk That Sound – Deutschlandradiokultur Klangkunst Broadcast 14.02.2014.” SoundCloud. 19 June 2019 <https://soundcloud.com/lukatoyboy/walk-that-sound-deutschlandradiokultur-broadcast-14022014>.“Nextel: Couple. Walkie Talkies Are Good for Something More.” AdAge. 6 June 2012. 18 July 2019 <https://adage.com/creativity/work/couple/27993>.Perec, Georges. An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris. Trans. Marc Lowenthal. Cambridge, MA: Wakefield Press, 2010.———. “Approaches to What?” Species of Spaces and Other Pieces. Rev. ed. Ed. and trans. John Sturrock. Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin, 1999. 209–211.Pettman, Dominic. Sonic Intimacy: Voice, Species, Technics (Or, How to Listen to the World). Stanford, CA: Stanford UP, 2017.Raaf, Sabrina. “Saturday.” Sabrina Raaf :: New Media Artist, 2002. 19 June 2019 <http://raaf.org/projects.php?pcat=2&proj=10>.Richardson, Ingrid. “Mobile Technosoma: Some Phenomenological Reflections on Itinerant Media Devices.” The Fibreculture Journal 6 (2005). <http://six.fibreculturejournal.org/fcj-032-mobile-technosoma-some-phenomenological-reflections-on-itinerant-media-devices/>. Smith, Ernie. “Roger That: A Short History of the Walkie Talkie.” Vice, 23 Sep. 2017. 19 June 2019 <https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/vb7vk4/roger-that-a-short-history-of-the-walkie-talkie>. Statuv. “Details about Allied Radio Knight-Kit C-100 Walkie Talkie CB Radio Vtg Print Ad.” Statuv, 4 Jan. 2016. 18 July 2019 <https://statuv.com/media/74802043788985511>.———. “New! 1953 ‘Space Commander’ Vibro-Matic Walkie-Talkies.” Statuv, 4 Jan. 2016. 18 July 2019 <https://statuv.com/media/74802043788985539>.Wikipedia. “Walkie-Talkie”. Wikipedia, 3 July 2019. 18 July 2019 <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walkie-talkie>.Wilken, Rowan. “Proximity and Alienation: Narratives of City, Self, and Other in the Locative Games of Blast Theory.” The Mobile Story: Narrative Practices with Locative Technologies. Ed. Jason Farman. New York: Routledge, 2014. 175–191.

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Hutcheon, Linda. "In Defence of Literary Adaptation as Cultural Production." M/C Journal 10, no.2 (May1, 2007). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2620.

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Biology teaches us that organisms adapt—or don’t; sociology claims that people adapt—or don’t. We know that ideas can adapt; sometimes even institutions can adapt. Or not. Various papers in this issue attest in exciting ways to precisely such adaptations and maladaptations. (See, for example, the articles in this issue by Lelia Green, Leesa Bonniface, and Tami McMahon, by Lexey A. Bartlett, and by Debra Ferreday.) Adaptation is a part of nature and culture, but it’s the latter alone that interests me here. (However, see the article by Hutcheon and Bortolotti for a discussion of nature and culture together.) It’s no news to anyone that not only adaptations, but all art is bred of other art, though sometimes artists seem to get carried away. My favourite example of excess of association or attribution can be found in the acknowledgements page to a verse drama called Beatrice Chancy by the self-defined “maximalist” (not minimalist) poet, novelist, librettist, and critic, George Elliot Clarke. His selected list of the incarnations of the story of Beatrice Cenci, a sixteenth-century Italian noblewoman put to death for the murder of her father, includes dramas, romances, chronicles, screenplays, parodies, sculptures, photographs, and operas: dramas by Vincenzo Pieracci (1816), Percy Bysshe Shelley (1819), Juliusz Slowacki (1843), Waldter Landor (1851), Antonin Artaud (1935) and Alberto Moravia (1958); the romances by Francesco Guerrazi (1854), Henri Pierangeli (1933), Philip Lindsay (1940), Frederic Prokosch (1955) and Susanne Kircher (1976); the chronicles by Stendhal (1839), Mary Shelley (1839), Alexandre Dumas, père (1939-40), Robert Browning (1864), Charles Swinburne (1883), Corrado Ricci (1923), Sir Lionel Cust (1929), Kurt Pfister (1946) and Irene Mitchell (1991); the film/screenplay by Bertrand Tavernier and Colo O’Hagan (1988); the parody by Kathy Acker (1993); the sculpture by Harriet Hosmer (1857); the photograph by Julia Ward Cameron (1866); and the operas by Guido Pannain (1942), Berthold Goldschmidt (1951, 1995) and Havergal Brian (1962). (Beatrice Chancy, 152) He concludes the list with: “These creators have dallied with Beatrice Cenci, but I have committed indiscretions” (152). An “intertextual feast”, by Clarke’s own admission, this rewriting of Beatrice’s story—especially Percy Bysshe Shelley’s own verse play, The Cenci—illustrates brilliantly what Northrop Frye offered as the first principle of the production of literature: “literature can only derive its form from itself” (15). But in the last several decades, what has come to be called intertextuality theory has shifted thinking away from looking at this phenomenon from the point of view of authorial influences on the writing of literature (and works like Harold Bloom’s famous study of the Anxiety of Influence) and toward considering our readerly associations with literature, the connections we (not the author) make—as we read. We, the readers, have become “empowered”, as we say, and we’ve become the object of academic study in our own right. Among the many associations we inevitably make, as readers, is with adaptations of the literature we read, be it of Jane Austin novels or Beowulf. Some of us may have seen the 2006 rock opera of Beowulf done by the Irish Repertory Theatre; others await the new Neil Gaiman animated film. Some may have played the Beowulf videogame. I personally plan to miss the upcoming updated version that makes Beowulf into the son of an African explorer. But I did see Sturla Gunnarsson’s Beowulf and Grendel film, and yearned to see the comic opera at the Lincoln Centre Festival in 2006 called Grendel, the Transcendence of the Great Big Bad. I am not really interested in whether these adaptations—all in the last year or so—signify Hollywood’s need for a new “monster of the week” or are just the sign of a desire to cash in on the success of The Lord of the Rings. For all I know they might well act as an ethical reminder of the human in the alien in a time of global strife (see McGee, A4). What interests me is the impact these multiple adaptations can have on the reader of literature as well as on the production of literature. Literature, like painting, is usually thought of as what Nelson Goodman (114) calls a one-stage art form: what we read (like what we see on a canvas) is what is put there by the originating artist. Several major consequences follow from this view. First, the implication is that the work is thus an original and new creation by that artist. However, even the most original of novelists—like Salman Rushdie—are the first to tell you that stories get told and retold over and over. Indeed his controversial novel, The Satanic Verses, takes this as a major theme. Works like the Thousand and One Nights are crucial references in all of his work. As he writes in Haroun and the Sea of Stories: “no story comes from nowhere; new stories are born of old” (86). But illusion of originality is only one of the implications of seeing literature as a one-stage art form. Another is the assumption that what the writer put on paper is what we read. But entire doctoral programs in literary production and book history have been set up to study how this is not the case, in fact. Editors influence, even change, what authors want to write. Designers control how we literally see the work of literature. Beatrice Chancy’s bookend maps of historical Acadia literally frame how we read the historical story of the title’s mixed-race offspring of an African slave and a white slave owner in colonial Nova Scotia in 1801. Media interest or fashion or academic ideological focus may provoke a publisher to foreground in the physical presentation different elements of a text like this—its stress on race, or gender, or sexuality. The fact that its author won Canada’s Governor General’s Award for poetry might mean that the fact that this is a verse play is emphasised. If the book goes into a second edition, will a new preface get added, changing the framework for the reader once again? As Katherine Larson has convincingly shown, the paratextual elements that surround a work of literature like this one become a major site of meaning generation. What if literature were not a one-stage an art form at all? What if it were, rather, what Goodman calls “two-stage” (114)? What if we accept that other artists, other creators, are needed to bring it to life—editors, publishers, and indeed readers? In a very real and literal sense, from our (audience) point of view, there may be no such thing as a one-stage art work. Just as the experience of literature is made possible for readers by the writer, in conjunction with a team of professional and creative people, so, arguably all art needs its audience to be art; the un-interpreted, un-experienced art work is not worth calling art. Goodman resists this move to considering literature a two-stage art, not at all sure that readings are end products the way that performance works are (114). Plays, films, television shows, or operas would be his prime examples of two-stage arts. In each of these, a text (a playtext, a screenplay, a score, a libretto) is moved from page to stage or screen and given life, by an entire team of creative individuals: directors, actors, designers, musicians, and so on. Literary adaptations to the screen or stage are usually considered as yet another form of this kind of transcription or transposition of a written text to a performance medium. But the verbal move from the “book” to the diminutive “libretto” (in Italian, little book or booklet) is indicative of a view that sees adaptation as a step downward, a move away from a primary literary “source”. In fact, an entire negative rhetoric of “infidelity” has developed in both journalistic reviewing and academic discourse about adaptations, and it is a morally loaded rhetoric that I find surprising in its intensity. Here is the wonderfully critical description of that rhetoric by the king of film adaptation critics, Robert Stam: Terms like “infidelity,” “betrayal,” “deformation,” “violation,” “bastardisation,” “vulgarisation,” and “desecration” proliferate in adaptation discourse, each word carrying its specific charge of opprobrium. “Infidelity” carries overtones of Victorian prudishness; “betrayal” evokes ethical perfidy; “bastardisation” connotes illegitimacy; “deformation” implies aesthetic disgust and monstrosity; “violation” calls to mind sexual violence; “vulgarisation” conjures up class degradation; and “desecration” intimates religious sacrilege and blasphemy. (3) I join many others today, like Stam, in challenging the persistence of this fidelity discourse in adaptation studies, thereby providing yet another example of what, in his article here called “The Persistence of Fidelity: Adaptation Theory Today,” John Connor has called the “fidelity reflex”—the call to end an obsession with fidelity as the sole criterion for judging the success of an adaptation. But here I want to come at this same issue of the relation of adaptation to the adapted text from another angle. When considering an adaptation of a literary work, there are other reasons why the literary “source” text might be privileged. Literature has historical priority as an art form, Stam claims, and so in some people’s eyes will always be superior to other forms. But does it actually have priority? What about even earlier performative forms like ritual and song? Or to look forward, instead of back, as Tim Barker urges us to do in his article here, what about the new media’s additions to our repertoire with the advent of electronic technology? How can we retain this hierarchy of artistic forms—with literature inevitably on top—in a world like ours today? How can both the Romantic ideology of original genius and the capitalist notion of individual authorship hold up in the face of the complex reality of the production of literature today (as well as in the past)? (In “Amen to That: Sampling and Adapting the Past”, Steve Collins shows how digital technology has changed the possibilities of musical creativity in adapting/sampling.) Like many other ages before our own, adaptation is rampant today, as director Spike Jonze and screenwriter Charlie Kaufman clearly realised in creating Adaptation, their meta-cinematic illustration-as-send-up film about adaptation. But rarely has a culture denigrated the adapter as a secondary and derivative creator as much as we do the screenwriter today—as Jonze explores with great irony. Michelle McMerrin and Sergio Rizzo helpfully explain in their pieces here that one of the reasons for this is the strength of auteur theory in film criticism. But we live in a world in which works of literature have been turned into more than films. We now have literary adaptations in the forms of interactive new media works and videogames; we have theme parks; and of course, we have the more common television series, radio and stage plays, musicals, dance works, and operas. And, of course, we now have novelisations of films—and they are not given the respect that originary novels are given: it is the adaptation as adaptation that is denigrated, as Deborah Allison shows in “Film/Print: Novelisations and Capricorn One”. Adaptations across media are inevitably fraught, and for complex and multiple reasons. The financing and distribution issues of these widely different media alone inevitably challenge older capitalist models. The need or desire to appeal to a global market has consequences for adaptations of literature, especially with regard to its regional and historical specificities. These particularities are what usually get adapted or “indigenised” for new audiences—be they the particularities of the Spanish gypsy Carmen (see Ioana Furnica, “Subverting the ‘Good, Old Tune’”), those of the Japanese samurai genre (see Kevin P. Eubanks, “Becoming-Samurai: Samurai [Films], Kung-Fu [Flicks] and Hip-Hop [Soundtracks]”), of American hip hop graffiti (see Kara-Jane Lombard, “‘To Us Writers, the Differences Are Obvious’: The Adaptation of Hip Hop Graffiti to an Australian Context”) or of Jane Austen’s fiction (see Suchitra Mathur, “From British ‘Pride’ to Indian ‘Bride’: Mapping the Contours of a Globalised (Post?)Colonialism”). What happens to the literary text that is being adapted, often multiple times? Rather than being displaced by the adaptation (as is often feared), it most frequently gets a new life: new editions of the book appear, with stills from the movie adaptation on its cover. But if I buy and read the book after seeing the movie, I read it differently than I would have before I had seen the film: in effect, the book, not the adaptation, has become the second and even secondary text for me. And as I read, I can only “see” characters as imagined by the director of the film; the cinematic version has taken over, has even colonised, my reader’s imagination. The literary “source” text, in my readerly, experiential terms, becomes the secondary work. It exists on an experiential continuum, in other words, with its adaptations. It may have been created before, but I only came to know it after. What if I have read the literary work first, and then see the movie? In my imagination, I have already cast the characters: I know what Gabriel and Gretta Conroy of James Joyce’s story, “The Dead,” look and sound like—in my imagination, at least. Then along comes John Huston’s lush period piece cinematic adaptation and the director superimposes his vision upon mine; his forcibly replaces mine. But, in this particular case, Huston still arguably needs my imagination, or at least my memory—though he may not have realised it fully in making the film. When, in a central scene in the narrative, Gabriel watches his wife listening, moved, to the singing of the Irish song, “The Lass of Aughrim,” what we see on screen is a concerned, intrigued, but in the end rather blank face: Gabriel doesn’t alter his expression as he listens and watches. His expression may not change—but I know exactly what he is thinking. Huston does not tell us; indeed, without the use of voice-over, he cannot. And since the song itself is important, voice-over is impossible. But I know exactly what he is thinking: I’ve read the book. I fill in the blank, so to speak. Gabriel looks at Gretta and thinks: There was grace and mystery in her attitude as if she were a symbol of something. He asked himself what is a woman standing on the stairs in the shadow, listening to distant music, a symbol of. If he were a painter he would paint her in that attitude. … Distant Music he would call the picture if he were a painter. (210) A few pages later the narrator will tell us: At last she turned towards them and Gabriel saw that there was colour on her cheeks and that her eyes were shining. A sudden tide of joy went leaping out of his heart. (212) This joy, of course, puts him in a very different—disastrously different—state of mind than his wife, who (we later learn) is remembering a young man who sang that song to her when she was a girl—and who died, for love of her. I know this—because I’ve read the book. Watching the movie, I interpret Gabriel’s blank expression in this knowledge. Just as the director’s vision can colonise my visual and aural imagination, so too can I, as reader, supplement the film’s silence with the literary text’s inner knowledge. The question, of course, is: should I have to do so? Because I have read the book, I will. But what if I haven’t read the book? Will I substitute my own ideas, from what I’ve seen in the rest of the film, or from what I’ve experienced in my own life? Filmmakers always have to deal with this problem, of course, since the camera is resolutely externalising, and actors must reveal their inner worlds through bodily gesture or facial expression for the camera to record and for the spectator to witness and comprehend. But film is not only a visual medium: it uses music and sound, and it also uses words—spoken words within the dramatic situation, words overheard on the street, on television, but also voice-over words, spoken by a narrating figure. Stephen Dedalus escapes from Ireland at the end of Joseph Strick’s 1978 adaptation of Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man with the same words as he does in the novel, where they appear as Stephen’s diary entry: Amen. So be it. Welcome, O life! I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race. … Old father, old artificer, stand me now and ever in good stead. (253) The words from the novel also belong to the film as film, with its very different story, less about an artist than about a young Irishman finally able to escape his family, his religion and his country. What’s deliberately NOT in the movie is the irony of Joyce’s final, benign-looking textual signal to his reader: Dublin, 1904 Trieste, 1914 The first date is the time of Stephen’s leaving Dublin—and the time of his return, as we know from the novel Ulysses, the sequel, if you like, to this novel. The escape was short-lived! Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man has an ironic structure that has primed its readers to expect not escape and triumph but something else. Each chapter of the novel has ended on this kind of personal triumphant high; the next has ironically opened with Stephen mired in the mundane and in failure. Stephen’s final words in both film and novel remind us that he really is an Icarus figure, following his “Old father, old artificer”, his namesake, Daedalus. And Icarus, we recall, takes a tumble. In the novel version, we are reminded that this is the portrait of the artist “as a young man”—later, in 1914, from the distance of Trieste (to which he has escaped) Joyce, writing this story, could take some ironic distance from his earlier persona. There is no such distance in the film version. However, it stands alone, on its own; Joyce’s irony is not appropriate in Strick’s vision. His is a different work, with its own message and its own, considerably more romantic and less ironic power. Literary adaptations are their own things—inspired by, based on an adapted text but something different, something other. I want to argue that these works adapted from literature are now part of our readerly experience of that literature, and for that reason deserve the same attention we give to the literary, and not only the same attention, but also the same respect. I am a literarily trained person. People like me who love words, already love plays, but shouldn’t we also love films—and operas, and musicals, and even videogames? There is no need to denigrate words that are heard (and visualised) in order to privilege words that are read. Works of literature can have afterlives in their adaptations and translations, just as they have pre-lives, in terms of influences and models, as George Eliot Clarke openly allows in those acknowledgements to Beatrice Chancy. I want to return to that Canadian work, because it raises for me many of the issues about adaptation and language that I see at the core of our literary distrust of the move away from the written, printed text. I ended my recent book on adaptation with a brief examination of this work, but I didn’t deal with this particular issue of language. So I want to return to it, as to unfinished business. Clarke is, by the way, clear in the verse drama as well as in articles and interviews that among the many intertexts to Beatrice Chancy, the most important are slave narratives, especially one called Celia, a Slave, and Shelley’s play, The Cenci. Both are stories of mistreated and subordinated women who fight back. Since Clarke himself has written at length about the slave narratives, I’m going to concentrate here on Shelley’s The Cenci. The distance from Shelley’s verse play to Clarke’s verse play is a temporal one, but it is also geographic and ideological one: from the old to the new world, and from a European to what Clarke calls an “Africadian” (African Canadian/African Acadian) perspective. Yet both poets were writing political protest plays against unjust authority and despotic power. And they have both become plays that are more read than performed—a sad fate, according to Clarke, for two works that are so concerned with voice. We know that Shelley sought to calibrate the stylistic registers of his work with various dramatic characters and effects to create a modern “mixed” style that was both a return to the ancients and offered a new drama of great range and flexibility where the expression fits what is being expressed (see Bruhn). His polemic against eighteenth-century European dramatic conventions has been seen as leading the way for realist drama later in the nineteenth century, with what has been called its “mixed style mimesis” (Bruhn) Clarke’s adaptation does not aim for Shelley’s perfect linguistic decorum. It mixes the elevated and the biblical with the idiomatic and the sensual—even the vulgar—the lushly poetic with the coarsely powerful. But perhaps Shelley’s idea of appropriate language fits, after all: Beatrice Chancy is a woman of mixed blood—the child of a slave woman and her slave owner; she has been educated by her white father in a convent school. Sometimes that educated, elevated discourse is heard; at other times, she uses the variety of discourses operative within slave society—from religious to colloquial. But all the time, words count—as in all printed and oral literature. Clarke’s verse drama was given a staged reading in Toronto in 1997, but the story’s, if not the book’s, real second life came when it was used as the basis for an opera libretto. Actually the libretto commission came first (from Queen of Puddings Theatre in Toronto), and Clarke started writing what was to be his first of many opera texts. Constantly frustrated by the art form’s demands for concision, he found himself writing two texts at once—a short libretto and a longer, five-act tragic verse play to be published separately. Since it takes considerably longer to sing than to speak (or read) a line of text, the composer James Rolfe keep asking for cuts—in the name of economy (too many singers), because of clarity of action for audience comprehension, or because of sheer length. Opera audiences have to sit in a theatre for a fixed length of time, unlike readers who can put a book down and return to it later. However, what was never sacrificed to length or to the demands of the music was the language. In fact, the double impact of the powerful mixed language and the equally potent music, increases the impact of the literary text when performed in its operatic adaptation. Here is the verse play version of the scene after Beatrice’s rape by her own father, Francis Chancey: I was black but comely. Don’t glance Upon me. This flesh is crumbling Like proved lies. I’m perfumed, ruddied Carrion. Assassinated. Screams of mucking juncos scrawled Over the chapel and my nerves, A stickiness, as when he finished Maculating my thighs and dress. My eyes seep pus; I can’t walk: the floors Are tizzy, dented by stout mauling. Suddenly I would like poison. The flesh limps from my spine. My inlets crimp. Vultures flutter, ghastly, without meaning. I can see lice swarming the air. … His scythe went shick shick shick and slashed My flowers; they lay, murdered, in heaps. (90) The biblical and the violent meet in the texture of the language. And none of that power gets lost in the opera adaptation, despite cuts and alterations for easier aural comprehension. I was black but comely. Don’t look Upon me: this flesh is dying. I’m perfumed, bleeding carrion, My eyes weep pus, my womb’s sopping With tears; I can hardly walk: the floors Are tizzy, the sick walls tumbling, Crumbling like proved lies. His scythe went shick shick shick and cut My flowers; they lay in heaps, murdered. (95) Clarke has said that he feels the libretto is less “literary” in his words than the verse play, for it removes the lines of French, Latin, Spanish and Italian that pepper the play as part of the author’s critique of the highly educated planter class in Nova Scotia: their education did not guarantee ethical behaviour (“Adaptation” 14). I have not concentrated on the music of the opera, because I wanted to keep the focus on the language. But I should say that the Rolfe’s score is as historically grounded as Clarke’s libretto: it is rooted in African Canadian music (from ring shouts to spirituals to blues) and in Scottish fiddle music and local reels of the time, not to mention bel canto Italian opera. However, the music consciously links black and white traditions in a way that Clarke’s words and story refuse: they remain stubbornly separate, set in deliberate tension with the music’s resolution. Beatrice will murder her father, and, at the very moment that Nova Scotia slaves are liberated, she and her co-conspirators will be hanged for that murder. Unlike the printed verse drama, the shorter opera libretto functions like a screenplay, if you will. It is not so much an autonomous work unto itself, but it points toward a potential enactment or embodiment in performance. Yet, even there, Clarke cannot resist the lure of words—even though they are words that no audience will ever hear. The stage directions for Act 3, scene 2 of the opera read: “The garden. Slaves, sunflowers, stars, sparks” (98). The printed verse play is full of these poetic associative stage directions, suggesting that despite his protestations to the contrary, Clarke may have thought of that version as one meant to be read by the eye. After Beatrice’s rape, the stage directions read: “A violin mopes. Invisible shovelsful of dirt thud upon the scene—as if those present were being buried alive—like ourselves” (91). Our imaginations—and emotions—go to work, assisted by the poet’s associations. There are many such textual helpers—epigraphs, photographs, notes—that we do not have when we watch and listen to the opera. We do have the music, the staged drama, the colours and sounds as well as the words of the text. As Clarke puts the difference: “as a chamber opera, Beatrice Chancy has ascended to television broadcast. But as a closet drama, it play only within the reader’s head” (“Adaptation” 14). Clarke’s work of literature, his verse drama, is a “situated utterance, produced in one medium and in one historical and social context,” to use Robert Stam’s terms. In the opera version, it was transformed into another “equally situated utterance, produced in a different context and relayed through a different medium” (45-6). I want to argue that both are worthy of study and respect by wordsmiths, by people like me. I realise I’ve loaded the dice: here neither the verse play nor the libretto is primary; neither is really the “source” text, for they were written at the same time and by the same person. But for readers and audiences (my focus and interest here), they exist on a continuum—depending on which we happen to experience first. As Ilana Shiloh explores here, the same is true about the short story and film of Memento. I am not alone in wanting to mount a defence of adaptations. Julie Sanders ends her new book called Adaptation and Appropriation with these words: “Adaptation and appropriation … are, endlessly and wonderfully, about seeing things come back to us in as many forms as possible” (160). The storytelling imagination is an adaptive mechanism—whether manifesting itself in print or on stage or on screen. The study of the production of literature should, I would like to argue, include those other forms taken by that storytelling drive. If I can be forgiven a move to the amusing—but still serious—in concluding, Terry Pratchett puts it beautifully in his fantasy story, Witches Abroad: “Stories, great flapping ribbons of shaped space-time, have been blowing and uncoiling around the universe since the beginning of time. And they have evolved. The weakest have died and the strongest have survived and they have grown fat on the retelling.” In biology as in culture, adaptations reign. References Bloom, Harold. The Anxiety of Influence. New York: Oxford University Press, 1975. Bruhn, Mark J. “’Prodigious Mixtures and Confusions Strange’: The Self-Subverting Mixed Style of The Cenci.” Poetics Today 22.4 (2001). Clarke, George Elliott. “Beatrice Chancy: A Libretto in Four Acts.” Canadian Theatre Review 96 (1998): 62-79. ———. Beatrice Chancy. Victoria, BC: Polestar, 1999. ———. “Adaptation: Love or Cannibalism? Some Personal Observations”, unpublished manuscript of article. Frye, Northrop. The Educated Imagination. Toronto: CBC, 1963. Goodman, Nelson. Languages of Art: An Approach to a Theory of Symbols. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1968. Hutcheon, Linda, and Gary R. Bortolotti. “On the Origin of Adaptations: Rethinking Fidelity Discourse and “Success”—Biologically.” New Literary History. Forthcoming. Joyce, James. Dubliners. 1916. New York: Viking, 1967. ———. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. 1916. Penguin: Harmondsworth, 1960. Larson, Katherine. “Resistance from the Margins in George Elliott Clarke’s Beatrice Chancy.” Canadian Literature 189 (2006): 103-118. McGee, Celia. “Beowulf on Demand.” New York Times, Arts and Leisure. 30 April 2006. A4. Rushdie, Salman. The Satanic Verses. New York: Viking, 1988. ———. Haroun and the Sea of Stories. London: Granta/Penguin, 1990. Sanders, Julie. Adaptation and Appropriation. London and New York: Routledge, 160. Shelley, Percy Bysshe. The Cenci. Ed. George Edward Woodberry. Boston and London: Heath, 1909. Stam, Robert. “Introduction: The Theory and Practice of Adaptation.” Literature and Film: A Guide to the Theory and Practice of Film Adaptation. Oxford: Blackwell, 2005. 1-52. Citation reference for this article MLA Style Hutcheon, Linda. "In Defence of Literary Adaptation as Cultural Production." M/C Journal 10.2 (2007). echo date('d M. Y'); ?> <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0705/01-hutcheon.php>. APA Style Hutcheon, L. (May 2007) "In Defence of Literary Adaptation as Cultural Production," M/C Journal, 10(2). Retrieved echo date('d M. Y'); ?> from <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0705/01-hutcheon.php>.

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Ryder, Paul. "Dream Machines: The Motorcar as Sign of Conquest and Destruction in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby." M/C Journal 23, no.1 (March18, 2020). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1636.

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In my article, "A New Sound; a New Sensation: A Cultural and Literary Reconsideration of the Motorcar in Modernity" (Ryder), I propose that "a range of semiotic engines" may be mobilised "to argue that, in the first quarter of the twentieth century, the motorcar is received as relatum profundis of freedom". In that 2019 article I further argue that, as Roland Barthes has indirectly proposed, the automobile fits into a "highway code" and into a broader "car system" in which its attributes—including its architectural details—are received as signs of liberation (Barthes Elements, 10, 29). While extending that argument, with near exclusive focus on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (1925) and with special reference to the hero’s Rolls Royce, I argue here that the automobile is offered as a sign of both conquest and destruction; as both dream machine and vehicle of nightmare. This is not to suggest that the motorcar was, prior to 1925, seen in absolutely idealistic terms. Nor is it to suggest that by the end of the first quarter of the twentieth century the automobile had been unequivocally condemned. As observed in my 2019 article for the Southern Semiotic Review, while The Wind in the Willows (1908) is the first novel written in English to deal with the deleterious effects of the motorcar, "it is [nonetheless] impossible to find a literary text from the early part of the twentieth century that flatly condemns the machine". So, from Gatsby’s emblematic "circus wagon" to narrator Nick Carraway’s equally symbolic "Dodge", I argue that the motorcar is represented by Fitzgerald as an emblem of both dreams and wreckage.The first motorcar noted in The Great Gatsby is the "old Dodge" belonging to Nick Carraway—the novel’s narrator and greatest dodger (Fitzgerald Great Gatsby, 17). Dreaming of success, and having declared himself restless, Nick claims to have come East to try his luck in the bond business (16). But, reflecting a propensity to dishonesty, the unreliable narrator (Abrams, 168) eventually reveals that at least one of the reasons for his migration East is to escape his emotional responsibilities to a girl "out West" (Fitzgerald Great Gatsby, 30); a girl to whom he continues to write letters signed "Love, Nick" (61). While these notions of being dodgy and dodging—and their connection to Carraway’s car—seem to have escaped the attention of commentators, several have nonetheless observed that the make suits its owner for another reason: a work-a-day mass-produced machine, the vehicle is surely a sign of the narrator’s conservatism. Tad Burness, for instance, notes that in the early twentieth century the Dodge was a make that particularly appealed to conservative and careful drivers (91). Certainly, the Dodge brothers’ advertising of the nineteen-twenties, which steadfastly emphasised staunchness and stability, reinforces this conclusion. The make, therefore, is entirely appropriate to Nick: a man who evades the vicissitudes of romance; who shuns excitement, who aligns himself with mainstream Midwestern values, who identifies more with the mechanical than with the human, and who, until the very end, fails to commit to the extraordinary. Apropos, in reviewing the manuscript of Gatsby, Keath Fraser records an exchange between Jordan Baker and Nick Carraway that was finally, and perhaps unfortunately, excised: "You appeal to me,” she said suddenly as we strolled away.“You’re sort of slow and steady ... you’ve got everything adjusted just right.” (Qtd. in Bloom, 67)To have been included at the end of the third chapter, Jordan’s assessment of Nick suggests that the narrator has over-tuned the cognitive machinery necessary to navigation through a social milieu to which he does not belong. While Fitzgerald may have felt this to be too blunt a narrative tool, the ‘slow and steady’ approach to life attributed to Nick in the finished novel clearly suggests that the narrator lives life by the manual.It may be argued, then, that while ostensibly facilitating a new start and an associated desire for upward social mobility, Nick’s old Dodge symbolises a perfunctory approach to the business of living, a shabby escape from a "tangle back home", and an escape from self (Fitzgerald Great Gatsby, 61). Certainly, it represents no "on the road" conquest. Indeed, Nick’s clinical and mechanical approach to life comes close to ruining him. Short of his identification with Gatsby at the end—and the subsequent telling of a tragic tale—Nick is an archetypal loser. While claiming to identify with the "racy, adventurous" feel of New York (59), his instinct is to fall back on "interior rules that act as brakes on [his] desires" (61). He therefore fails to connect with Jordan Baker—his racy and attractive would-be lover, herself named after the Jordan Playboy automobile: the "first car to be marketed on emotional appeal alone" (Heimann and Patton, 14). So, it turns out that Nick is one of life’s "rotten drivers" (Fitzgerald Great Gatsby, 60)—an accusation he ironically levels at Jordan Baker who eventually tackles him on this point:"You said a bad driver was only safe until she met another bad driver? Well, I met another bad driver, didn’t I? I mean it was careless of me to make such a wrong guess. I thought you were rather an honest, straightforward person." (154)As Fraser has pointed out, the mechanical and shifty Nick is far from honest (Bloom, 68). Rather than achieving any sort of emotional consummation, his already muted desires idle, misfire, or stall. Declaring himself to be "one of the few honest people that [he has] ever known" (Fitzgerald Great Gatsby, 154), Nick’s self-deception is, from the outset, complete. Left without the stimulus of the hero, one wonders if perhaps Nick might become a George B. Wilson.Despite his dream of pecuniary success (something shared with Nick Carraway), garage proprietor George B. Wilson is impoverished by the automobile. A dissolute dealer in second-hand machines, this once-handsome but "spiritless man" (Fitzgerald Great Gatsby, 33) has worked for years on scant margins. James Flink notes that dealers in used automobiles had a particularly hard time in the mid to late 1920s when profits on sales were very slight (144). The fact that Wilson is a second-hand car dealer also reinforces that everything else in his life is second-hand: built on the enterprise of others, his dream is second hand; his premises are second-hand; even his wife is second-hand. And, of course, he himself is used. Fitzgerald, then, is at pains to highlight the cultural meaning of the common or inferior car. Indeed, in the dark recesses of Wilson’s garage—which itself rests precariously on the edge of a wasteland under the faded and failed eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg—sits a "dust-covered wreck of a Ford" (Fitzgerald Great Gatsby, 33). Emblematic of the garage proprietor’s broken dreams, Wilson’s psychic paralysis is variously foregrounded—principally by the broken car. Here we have nothing less than Heidegger’s das Gestell: the mechanised consciousness as discussed in his essay "The Question Concerning Technology" (in Krell, 227). Significantly, only automobiles elicit a spark of interest from Wilson—but the irony, as suggested above, is that these are signs of the technical spirit to which he has so utterly acquiesced.It is often, if not always, the case in Gatsby that automobiles signpost derailed agency and, therefore, broken dreams. After all, Gatsby’s own death and funeral are foreshadowed through the automobile. In the first chapter, for example, Nick tells his cousin Daisy that "all the cars in Chicago have the left rear wheel painted black as a mourning wreath" for her (Fitzgerald Great Gatsby, 22). More portentously, during Nick and Gatsby’s drive to Astoria, "a dead man" passes the hero’s Rolls-Royce "in a hearse heaped with blooms" (68). While Myrtle’s death and Gatsby’s murder are contemporaneously suggested, in this emblematic tableau Gatsby’s Rolls-Royce is also overtaken by a limousine—and so the final chapter’s depressing "procession of three cars" is subtly anticipated (153). A "horribly black and wet" motor hearse bears Gatsby’s corpse to the cemetery while the narrator arrives with Gatsby’s father and the minister in a limousine. Then come the servants and the postman in Gatsby’s yellow station wagon. That the yellow and black cars are so incongruously and so tragically juxtaposed is a structurally and semantically significant feature of the text. The yellow car that once bore cheerful guests to Gatsby’s parties now follows the black hearse—the novel’s ultimate and, arguably, most awful death car. Thus, Fitzgerald presents us with one last reminder that, corrupted by our materialistic drives, our dreams wither and die; that there is, in the end, no magic.As Robert Long points out, however, the manuscript of Gatsby confirms that Fitzgerald had originally intended such foreshadowing to be much more obvious. For instance, in the manuscript, when Gatsby drives Nick to New York he declares his car to be "the handsomest in New York" and that he "wouldn’t want to ride around in a big hearse like some of those fellas do" (Long, 193). Further confirmation of Fitzgerald’s determination to mute the novel’s funereal symbolism is provided in chapter two when, along with the word "sepulchrally", the phrase "reeks of death" is crossed out (Long, 194). As published, then, the automobile travels much more subtly in The Great Gatsby. While a ghostly machine turns up to the hero’s house shortly after the funeral, the end of the road for Nick is suggested when he sells his plain old Dodge to a plain old grocer (Fitzgerald Great Gatsby, 157-158).The counterpoint to Nick’s old Dodge is, of course, Gatsby’s magnificent Rolls Royce: literature’s ultimate dream car. C.S. Rolls knew very well that his automobile was the new haute couture of the privileged. In his famous article on motorcars in the 1911 edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica, he declares the upmarket machine to be "the private carriage of the wealthier classes to be used on all occasions" (223). To set it apart from competitors, the Rolls Royce not only offered an extraordinarily robust and responsive chassis, but boasted bodywork hand-crafted by a range of highly skilled artisans. W.A. Robotham writes that "one of the more fascinating aspects of Rolls-Royce car production in the twenties was the manufacture of the body at the many coachbuilding establishments that existed in London, the provinces, and Paris" (14). Once an order for a chassis was placed, an appointed carrossier would prescribe and detail coachwork and agonise over every internal appointment. With its "interior of glittering plate glass and rich morocco", the unnamed machine that so hopelessly besots the Toad in the third chapter of The Wind in the Willows is undoubtedly the result of such a special order—and seems likely to have goaded Fitzgerald into a fit of imitation (Grahame, 30). Apposite to a novel that contrasts dream and reality and pertinent to the near nonchalant agency of its wraithlike, almost ethereal, hero, Gatsby’s car is a cream-yellow Rolls Royce: a Silver Ghost. When C.S. Rolls conceived the model, he wrote: "the motion of the car must be absolutely silent. The car must be free from the objectionable rattling and buzzing and inconvenience of chains. ... The engine must be smokeless and odourless" (Robson, 27). Reflecting its whisper-quiet locomotion and its extensive use of silver, nickel, and aluminium plating, Rolls’s partner Claude Johnson gave the model its perfect name. Manufactured between 1906 and 1925, the Silver Ghost was the automobile of choice for F. Scott Fitzgerald himself. In 1922, the year in which Gatsby is set, Scott and his wife Zelda owned a second-hand Silver Ghost which they drove, with much joy, between Great Neck and New York. Here, then, lies one of those rare and fortuitous connections between one’s personal drives and one’s work; really, the hero of Fitzgerald’s third novel could have no other motorcar.Like the machine he drives, and in keeping with Roland Barthes’ idea that automobiles are somehow "magical" (Mythologies, 88), Gatsby would appear to have arrived from the heavens. Ghost-like, he glides in and out of the narrative and is, moreover, ineluctably associated with silver. He has pursued silver for much of his life and is, on numerous occasions, specifically identified with this powerful symbol of privilege and betrayal. While Nick finds him "regarding the silver pepper of the stars" (Fitzgerald Great Gatsby, 31), later the "pale", wraithlike hero wears a "silver shirt" (80). So much the object of Gatsby’s yearnings, along with Jordan Baker, Daisy Buchanan is likened to a "silver idol" (105), has a "voice full of money", and wears a hat of "metallic cloth" (109). A trophy held in hopeless memory, Daisy may be said to be one of an extensive collection of enchanted objects beheld and worshipped by an all-too-flawed hero—but while Fitzgerald’s numerous references to silver undoubtedly highlight a double-edged significance, it is nonetheless suggestions of glamour that first strike us. Early in the novel, then, aside from the portentous foreshadowing of disasters to come, Gatsby’s car emerges as a powerful archetype: an image coupled with enormous emotive significance (Jung, 87); a sign of uncompromised and near-miraculous opulence. Terraced with windshields and sporting a green leather interior, his magnificent cream-yellow Rolls Royce is "bright with nickel" (a very expensive plating used for Rolls Royce radiators) and is "swollen here and there in its monstrous length with triumphant hat-boxes and supper boxes and tool boxes" (Fitzgerald Great Gatsby, 64). Fitzgerald’s parataxis here seems to encourage breathless awe at the near obscene luxury of the vehicle, yet the depiction is historically accurate.In an Autocar article of 1921 there appears a closely-annotated plan of a two-seater Rolls Royce. Numerous fittings are noted: food lockers, tool cupboards, hot-and-cold water-locker, wash-basin compartment, spares cupboard, kodak photography compartment, cooking utensil compartment, suit and dressing cases, spare accumulator compartment, and recess for spare petroleum tins (Garnier and Allport, 50). Like Toad’s, Gatsby’s chimerical car is undoubtedly the creation of a carrossier. Its standard of appointment, moreover, suggests royal status. Since the Rolls-Royce is an English car, its presence in America, where it was manufactured under licence for a time, also points to a desire to recapture something left behind. This, as all readers of Fitzgerald will know, is a major thematic thread in Gatsby. To be explored in a forthcoming article, the relationship between this theme of "backing up" (that is, recapturing the past) and representations of the motorcar in the novel is profound, but for the moment I focus on the Silver Ghost as a sign of Gatsby’s outrageous aristocratic pretensions. Perhaps an expression of Fitzgerald’s own fantasy that he wasn’t the son of his parents at all, but the child of a world-ruling king, Gatsby claims to have lived "like a young rajah in all the capitals of Europe" (Fitzgerald Great Gatsby, 65). If not actually a Rolls-Royce-loving rajah, Gatsby certainly lives like a king and even signs himself "in a majestic hand" (47). Indeed, in these senses and more, the hero is "circus master" and performer par excellence.As a letter from Fitzgerald to Maxwell Perkins tells us, Petronius’s Satyrica furnished one of several alternative titles for Gatsby (Fitzgerald Letters, 169). Pointing to a delight in comedic hedonism, "Trimalchio in West Egg" was one of several titular options entertained by Fitzgerald (Gatsby is actually referred to as Trimalchio at the start of the novel’s seventh chapter) and so it is fitting that Brian Way declares Gatsby’s Rolls Royce to be "not so much a means of transport as a theatrical gesture"—one commensurate with the hero’s "non-stop theatrical performance" (Way in Bloom, 102). Similarly, in their 2019 article "Comfortably Cocooned: Onboard Media and Sydney’s Ongoing Gridlock", Richardson and Ryder argue that the automobile is far greater than the sum of its collective parts. In a similar vein, Leo Marx writes that Gatsby has about him a "gratifying sense of a dream about to be consummated" and argues that the hero’s dream car is one of many objects in the novel that speak to Gatsby’s attempt to locate, in the real world, the stuff of unutterable visions (Marx, 77). As "circus wagon" (Fitzgerald Great Gatsby, 109), the machine also makes a substantial contribution to Fitzgerald’s comedy of the excess: cars driven by clowns at circuses stereotypically seem to operate according to a set of physical laws distinct from those governing the real world. However, with its "fenders spread like wings" (67), the hero’s car seems destined to fly. But, like Daisy’s white roadster, a machine that ironically bespeaks innocence and purity while sitting portentously "under … dripping bare lilac-trees" (81), Gatsby’s machine—one of the most heavenly automobiles in literature—is also literature’s most famous death car. While, in the end, the make of the killing machine is not spelled out for us, we may nonetheless be sure that it is Gatsby’s ever-so-aptly owned Silver Ghost. After the dreadful accident in the seventh chapter, the fender of the hero’s carefully hidden open car is in need of repair. That the death car is an open one is highlighted for us before the accident, when Gatsby feels the pleated leather seats of the machine that will mow Myrtle down. The point is reinforced in chapter eight, after the accident, when Gatsby orders that his open car not be taken out. Moreover, while automobile upholstery specification varied in the nineteen-twenties, open cars generally had pleated leather seat cushions while mohair or broadcloth featured in closed tourers. This, too, narrows down the options confronting readers. Finally, the focus on the Rolls Royce’s great fenders (these are referred to at least three times before Myrtle is killed) also establishes a clear connection between the calamity and Gatsby’s "winged" Rolls. And, finally, there is the crucial matter of the ambiguous paintwork.Nick tells us that Gatsby’s Rolls-Royce is a "rich cream colour" (64) while Mavro Michaelis claims that the death car is "light green" (123). Another witness to the accident claims that the vehicle involved is "a yellow car"; "a big yellow car" (125). In fact, they are all right. Like Gatsby himself, his motorcar suggests one thing at one time and another at another. From about the mid-nineteen-tens, Rolls-Royce painted a good many Silver Ghosts a rather uncertain cream-yellow and, in fading light, the lacquer betrays a greenish hue. We remember that the party drives "towards death through the cooling twilight" (122); that Myrtle runs out "into the dusk"; and that the death car comes "out of gathering darkness" (123). While an earlier 1914 model, there is an excellent example of this ambiguous colour used on a Silver Ghost in Turin’s Museo dell’automobile. Finally, of course, the many references to ‘ghosts’ and to ‘silver’ connected with both the hero and Daisy Buchanan cannot be considered accidental. In one of modern literature’s greatest novels, then, behind the dream of the automobile falls the depressingly foul dust of betrayal and death.ReferencesAbrams, Meyer H. A Glossary of Literary Terms. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1957/1993.Barthes, Roland. Elements of Semiology. Trans. A. Lavers. NY: Hill and Wang, 1964/1977.———. Mythologies. Trans. A. Lavers. NY: Hill & Wang, 1957/1974.Bloom, Harold, ed. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby: Modern Critical Interpretations. NY: Chelsea House, 1986.Burness, Tad. Cars of the Early Twenties. NY: Galahad, 1968.Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. London: The Folio Society, 1926/1968.———. The Letters of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Ed. A. Turnbull. London: The Bodley Head, 1964.Flink, James. The Car Culture. Mass.: MIT Press, 1975.Garnier, Peter, and Warren Allport. Rolls Royce: From the Archives of Autocar. London: Hamlyn, 1978.Grahame, Kenneth. The Wind in the Willows. NY: Methuen, 1908/1980.Heimann, Jim, and Phil Patton. 20th Century Classic Cars. Köln: Taschen, 2009/2015.Jung, Carl G. Man and His Symbols. NY: Dell, 1964/1984.Krell, David, ed. Heidegger: Basic Writings. London: Routledge, 2011.Long, Robert E. The Achieving of The Great Gatsby. London: Bucknell UP., 1979.Marx, Leo. "The Puzzle of Anti-Urbanism in Classic American Literature." Literature & Urban Experience: Essays on the City and Literature. Eds. M.C. Jaye and A.C. Watts. New Brunswick: Rutgers UP, 1981.Richardson, Nicholas, and Paul Ryder. "Comfortably Cocooned: Onboard Media and Sydney’s Ongoing Gridlock." Global Media Journal (Australian Edition) 13.1 (2019). 1 Mar. 2020 <https://www.hca.westernsydney.edu.au/gmjau/?p=3302>.Robotham, W. Arthur. Silver Ghosts & Silver Dawn. London: Constable & Co., 1970.Robson, Graham. Man and the Automobile. Maidenhead: McGraw Hill, 1979.Rolls, Charles S. In Encyclopaedia Britannica. Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1911.Ryder, Paul. "A New Sound; A New Sensation: A Cultural and Literary Reconsideration of the Motorcar in Modernity." Southern Semiotic Review 11 (2019). 1 Mar. 2020 <http://www.southernsemioticreview.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Ryder_Issue-11_1_-2019-SSR.pdf>.

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McCosker, Anthony, and Rowan Wilken. "Café Space, Communication, Creativity, and Materialism." M/C Journal 15, no.2 (May2, 2012). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.459.

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IntroductionCoffee, as a stimulant, and the spaces in which it is has been consumed, have long played a vital role in fostering communication, creativity, and sociality. This article explores the interrelationship of café space, communication, creativity, and materialism. In developing these themes, this article is structured in two parts. The first looks back to the coffee houses of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to give a historical context to the contemporary role of the café as a key site of creativity through its facilitation of social interaction, communication and information exchange. The second explores the continuation of the link between cafés, communication and creativity, through an instance from the mid-twentieth century where this process becomes individualised and is tied more intrinsically to the material surroundings of the café itself. From this, we argue that in order to understand the connection between café space and creativity, it is valuable to consider the rich polymorphic material and aesthetic composition of cafés. The Social Life of Coffee: London’s Coffee Houses While the social consumption of coffee has a long history, here we restrict our focus to a discussion of the London coffee houses of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It was during the seventeenth century that the vogue of these coffee houses reached its zenith when they operated as a vibrant site of mercantile activity, as well as cultural and political exchange (Cowan; Lillywhite; Ellis). Many of these coffee houses were situated close to the places where politicians, merchants, and other significant people congregated and did business, near government buildings such as Parliament, as well as courts, ports and other travel route hubs (Lillywhite 17). A great deal of information was shared within these spaces and, as a result, the coffee house became a key venue for communication, especially the reading and distribution of print and scribal publications (Cowan 85). At this time, “no coffee house worth its name” would be without a ready selection of newspapers for its patrons (Cowan 173). By working to twenty-four hour diurnal cycles and heightening the sense of repetition and regularity, coffee houses also played a crucial role in routinising news as a form of daily consumption alongside other forms of habitual consumption (including that of coffee drinking). In Cowan’s words, “restoration coffee houses soon became known as places ‘dasht with diurnals and books of news’” (172). Among these was the short-lived but nonetheless infamous social gossip publication, The Tatler (1709-10), which was strongly associated with the London coffee houses and, despite its short publication life, offers great insight into the social life and scandals of the time. The coffee house became, in short, “the primary social space in which ‘news’ was both produced and consumed” (Cowan 172). The proprietors of coffee houses were quick to exploit this situation by dealing in “news mongering” and developing their own news publications to supplement their incomes (172). They sometimes printed news, commentary and gossip that other publishers were not willing to print. However, as their reputation as news providers grew, so did the pressure on coffee houses to meet the high cost of continually acquiring or producing journals (Cowan 173; Ellis 185-206). In addition to the provision of news, coffee houses were vital sites for other forms of communication. For example, coffee houses were key venues where “one might deposit and receive one’s mail” (Cowan 175), and the Penny Post used coffeehouses as vital pick-up and delivery centres (Lillywhite 17). As Cowan explains, “Many correspondents [including Jonathan Swift] used a coffeehouse as a convenient place to write their letters as well as to send them” (176). This service was apparently provided gratis for regular patrons, but coffee house owners were less happy to provide this for their more infrequent customers (Cowan 176). London’s coffee houses functioned, in short, as notable sites of sociality that bundled together drinking coffee with news provision and postal and other services to attract customers (Cowan; Ellis). Key to the success of the London coffee house of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was the figure of the virtuoso habitué (Cowan 105)—an urbane individual of the middle or upper classes who was skilled in social intercourse, skills that were honed through participation in the highly ritualised and refined forms of interpersonal communication, such as visiting the stately homes of that time. In contrast to such private visits, the coffee house provided a less formalised and more spontaneous space of sociality, but where established social skills were distinctly advantageous. A striking example of the figure of the virtuoso habitué is the philosopher, architect and scientist Robert Hooke (1635-1703). Hooke, by all accounts, used the opportunities provided by his regular visits to coffee houses “to draw on the knowledge of a wide variety of individuals, from servants and skilled laborers to aristocrats, as well as to share and display novel scientific instruments” (Cowan 105) in order to explore and develop his virtuoso interests. The coffee house also served Hooke as a place to debate philosophy with cliques of “like-minded virtuosi” and thus formed the “premier locale” through which he could “fulfil his own view of himself as a virtuoso, as a man of business, [and] as a man at the centre of intellectual life in the city” (Cowan 105-06). For Hooke, the coffee house was a space for serious work, and he was known to complain when “little philosophical work” was accomplished (105-06). Sociality operates in this example as a form of creative performance, demonstrating individual skill, and is tied to other forms of creative output. Patronage of a coffee house involved hearing and passing on gossip as news, but also entailed skill in philosophical debate and other intellectual pursuits. It should also be noted that the complex role of the coffee house as a locus of communication, sociality, and creativity was repeated elsewhere. During the 1600s in Egypt (and elsewhere in the Middle East), for example, coffee houses served as sites of intensive literary activity as well as the locations for discussions of art, sciences and literature, not to mention also of gambling and drug use (Hattox 101). While the popularity of coffee houses had declined in London by the 1800s, café culture was flowering elsewhere in mainland Europe. In the late 1870s in Paris, Edgar Degas and Edward Manet documented the rich café life of the city in their drawings and paintings (Ellis 216). Meanwhile, in Vienna, “the kaffeehaus offered another evocative model of urban and artistic modernity” (Ellis 217; see also Bollerey 44-81). Serving wine and dinners as well as coffee and pastries, the kaffeehaus was, like cafés elsewhere in Europe, a mecca for writers, artists and intellectuals. The Café Royal in London survived into the twentieth century, mainly through the patronage of European expatriates and local intellectuals such as Wyndham Lewis, Ezra Pound, T. S. Elliot, and Henri Bergson (Ellis 220). This pattern of patronage within specific and more isolated cafés was repeated in famous gatherings of literary identities elsewhere in Europe throughout the twentieth century. From this historical perspective, a picture emerges of how the social functions of the coffee house and its successors, the espresso bar and modern café, have shifted over the course of their histories (Bollerey 44-81). In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the coffee house was an important location for vibrant social interaction and the consumption and distribution of various forms of communication such as gossip, news, and letters. However, in the years of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the café was more commonly a site for more restricted social interaction between discrete groups. Studies of cafés and creativity during this era focus on cafés as “factories of literature, inciters to art, and breeding places for new ideas” (Fitch, The Grand 18). Central in these accounts are bohemian artists, their associated social circles, and their preferred cafés de bohème (for detailed discussion, see Wilson; Fitch, Paris Café; Brooker; Grafe and Bollerey 4-41). As much of this literature on café culture details, by the early twentieth century, cafés emerge as places that enable individuals to carve out a space for sociality and creativity which was not possible elsewhere in the modern metropolis. Writing on the modern metropolis, Simmel suggests that the concentration of people and things in cities “stimulate[s] the nervous system of the individual” to such an extent that it prompts a kind of self-preservation that he terms a “blasé attitude” (415). This is a form of “reserve”, he writes, which “grants to the individual a [certain] kind and an amount of personal freedom” that was hitherto unknown (416). Cafés arguably form a key site in feeding this dynamic insofar as they facilitate self-protectionism—Fitch’s “pool of privacy” (The Grand 22)—and, at the same time, produce a sense of individual freedom in Simmel’s sense of the term. That is to say, from the early-to-mid twentieth century, cafés have become complex settings in terms of the relationships they enable or constrain between living in public, privacy, intimacy, and cultural practice. (See Haine for a detailed discussion of how this plays out in relation to working class engagement with Paris cafés, and Wilson as well as White on other cultural contexts, such as Japan.) Threaded throughout this history is a clear celebration of the individual artist as a kind of virtuoso habitué of the contemporary café. Café Jama Michalika The following historical moment, drawn from a powerful point in the mid-twentieth century, illustrates this last stage in the evolution of the relationship between café space, communication, and creativity. This particular historical moment concerns the renowned Polish composer and conductor Krzysztof Penderecki, who is most well-known for his avant-garde piece Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima (1960), his Polymorphia (1961), and St Luke Passion (1963-66), all of which entailed new compositional and notation techniques. Poland, along with other European countries devastated by the Second World War, underwent significant rebuilding after the war, also investing heavily in the arts, musical education, new concert halls, and conservatoria (Monastra). In the immediate post-war period, Poland and Polish culture was under the strong ideological influence exerted by the Soviet Union. However, as Thomas notes, within a year of Stalin’s death in 1953, “there were flickering signs of moderation in Polish culture” (83). With respect to musical creativity, a key turning point was the Warsaw Autumn Music Festival of 1956. “The driving force” behind the first festival (which was to become an annual event), was Polish “composers’ overwhelming sense of cultural isolation and their wish to break the provincial nature of Polish music” at that time (Thomas 85). Penderecki was one of a younger generation of composers who participated in, and benefited from, these early festivals, making his first appearance in 1959 with his composition Strophes, and successive appearances with Dimensions of Time and Silence in 1960, and Threnody in 1961 (Thomas 90). Penderecki married in the 1950s and had a child in 1955. This, in combination with the fact that his wife was a pianist and needed to practice daily, restricted Penderecki’s ability to work in their small Krakow apartment. Nor could he find space at the music school which was free from the intrusion of the sound of other instruments. Instead, he frequented the café Jama Michalika off the central square of Krakow, where he worked most days between nine in the morning and noon, when he would leave as a pianist began to play. Penderecki states that because of the small space of the café table, he had to “invent [a] special kind of notation which allowed me to write the piece which was for 52 instruments, like Threnody, on one small piece of paper” (Krzysztof Penderecki, 2000). In this, Penderecki created a completely new set of notation symbols, which assisted him in graphically representing tone clustering (Robinson 6) while, in his score for Polymorphia, he implemented “novel graphic notation, comparable with medical temperature charts, or oscillograms” (Schwinger 29) to represent in the most compact way possible the dense layering of sounds and vocal elements that is developed in this particular piece. This historical account is valuable because it contributes to discussions on individual creativity that both depends on, and occurs within, the material space of the café. This relationship is explored in Walter Benjamin’s essay “Polyclinic”, where he develops an extended analogy between the writer and the café and the surgeon and his instruments. As Cohen summarises, “Benjamin constructs the field of writerly operation both in medical terms and as a space dear to Parisian intellectuals, as an operating table that is also the marble-topped table of a café” (179). At this time, the space of the café itself thus becomes a vital site for individual cultural production, putting the artist in touch with the social life of the city, as many accounts of writers and artists in the cafés of Paris, Prague, Vienna, and elsewhere in Europe attest. “The attraction of the café for the writer”, Fitch argues, “is that seeming tension between the intimate circle of privacy in a comfortable room, on the one hand, and the flow of (perhaps usable) information all around on the other” (The Grand 11). Penderecki talks about searching for a sound while composing in café Jama Michalika and, hearing the noise of a passing tram, subsequently incorporated it into his famous composition, Threnody (Krzysztof Penderecki, 2000). There is an indirect connection here with the attractions of the seventeenth century coffee houses in London, where news writers drew much of their gossip and news from the talk within the coffee houses. However, the shift is to a more isolated, individualistic habitué. Nonetheless, the aesthetic composition of the café space remains essential to the creative productivity described by Penderecki. A concept that can be used to describe this method of composition is contained within one of Penderecki’s best-known pieces, Polymorphia (1961). The term “polymorphia” refers not to the form of the music itself (which is actually quite conventionally structured) but rather to the multiple blending of sounds. Schwinger defines polymorphia as “many formedness […] which applies not […] to the form of the piece, but to the broadly deployed scale of sound, [the] exchange and simultaneous penetration of sound and noise, the contrast and interflow of soft and hard sounds” (131). This description also reflects the rich material context of the café space as Penderecki describes its role in shaping (both enabling and constraining) his creative output. Creativity, Technology, Materialism The materiality of the café—including the table itself for Penderecki—is crucial in understanding the relationship between the forms of creative output and the material conditions of the spaces that enable them. In Penderecki’s case, to understand the origins of the score and even his innovative forms of musical notation as artefacts of communication, we need to understand the material conditions under which they were created. As a fixture of twentieth and twenty-first century urban environments, the café mediates the private within the public in a way that offers the contemporary virtuoso habitué a rich, polymorphic sensory experience. In a discussion of the indivisibility of sensation and its resistance to language, writer Anna Gibbs describes these rich experiential qualities: sitting by the window in a café watching the busy streetscape with the warmth of the morning sun on my back, I smell the delicious aroma of coffee and simultaneously feel its warmth in my mouth, taste it, and can tell the choice of bean as I listen idly to the chatter in the café around me and all these things blend into my experience of “being in the café” (201). Gibbs’s point is that the world of the café is highly synaesthetic and infused with sensual interconnections. The din of the café with its white noise of conversation and overlaying sounds of often carefully chosen music illustrates the extension of taste beyond the flavour of the coffee on the palate. In this way, the café space provides the infrastructure for a type of creative output that, in Gibbs’s case, facilitates her explanation of expression and affect. The individualised virtuoso habitué, as characterised by Penderecki’s work within café Jama Michalika, simply describes one (celebrated) form of the material conditions of communication and creativity. An essential factor in creative cultural output is contained in the ways in which material conditions such as these come to be organised. As Elizabeth Grosz expresses it: Art is the regulation and organisation of its materials—paint, canvas, concrete, steel, marble, words, sounds, bodily movements, indeed any materials—according to self-imposed constraints, the creation of forms through which these materials come to generate and intensify sensation and thus directly impact living bodies, organs, nervous systems (4). Materialist and medium-oriented theories of media and communication have emphasised the impact of physical constraints and enablers on the forms produced. McLuhan, for example, famously argued that the typewriter brought writing, speech, and publication into closer association, one effect of which was the tighter regulation of spelling and grammar, a pressure toward precision and uniformity that saw a jump in the sales of dictionaries (279). In the poetry of E. E. Cummings, McLuhan sees the typewriter as enabling a patterned layout of text that functions as “a musical score for choral speech” (278). In the same way, the café in Penderecki’s recollections both constrains his ability to compose freely (a creative activity that normally requires ample flat surface), but also facilitates the invention of a new language for composition, one able to accommodate the small space of the café table. Recent studies that have sought to materialise language and communication point to its physicality and the embodied forms through which communication occurs. As Packer and Crofts Wiley explain, “infrastructure, space, technology, and the body become the focus, a move that situates communication and culture within a physical, corporeal landscape” (3). The confined and often crowded space of the café and its individual tables shape the form of productive output in Penderecki’s case. Targeting these material constraints and enablers in her discussion of art, creativity and territoriality, Grosz describes the “architectural force of framing” as liberating “the qualities of objects or events that come to constitute the substance, the matter, of the art-work” (11). More broadly, the design features of the café, the form and layout of the tables and the space made available for individual habitation, the din of the social encounters, and even the stimulating influences on the body of the coffee served there, can be seen to act as enablers of communication and creativity. Conclusion The historical examples examined above indicate a material link between cafés and communication. They also suggest a relationship between materialism and creativity, as well as the roots of the romantic association—or mythos—of cafés as a key source of cultural life as they offer a “shared place of composition” and an “environment for creative work” (Fitch, The Grand 11). We have detailed one example pertaining to European coffee consumption, cafés and creativity. While we believe Penderecki’s case is valuable in terms of what it can tell us about forms of communication and creativity, clearly other cultural and historical contexts may reveal additional insights—as may be found in the cases of Middle Eastern cafés (Hattox) or the North American diner (Hurley), and in contemporary developments such as the café as a source of free WiFi and the commodification associated with global coffee chains. Penderecki’s example, we suggest, also sheds light on a longer history of creativity and cultural production that intersects with contemporary work practices in city spaces as well as conceptualisations of the individual’s place within complex urban spaces. References Benjamin, Walter. “Polyclinic” in “One-Way Street.” One-Way Street and Other Writings. Trans. Edmund Jephcott and Kingsley Shorter. London: Verso, 1998: 88-9. Bollerey, Franziska. “Setting the Stage for Modernity: The Cosmos of the Coffee House.” Cafés and Bars: The Architecture of Public Display. Eds. Christoph Grafe and Franziska Bollerey. New York: Routledge, 2007. 44-81. Brooker, Peter. Bohemia in London: The Social Scene of Early Modernism. Houndmills, Hamps.: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007. Cohen, Margaret. Profane Illumination: Walter Benjamin and the Paris of Surrealist Revolution. Berkeley: U of California P, 1995. Cowan, Brian. The Social Life of Coffee: The Emergence of the British Coffeehouse. New Haven: Yale UP, 2005. Ellis, Markman. The Coffee House: A Cultural History. London: Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 2004. Fitch, Noël Riley. Paris Café: The Sélect Crowd. Brooklyn: Soft Skull Press, 2007. -----. The Grand Literary Cafés of Europe. London: New Holland Publishers (UK), 2006. Gibbs, Anna. “After Affect: Sympathy, Synchrony, and Mimetic Communication.” The Affect Theory Reader. Eds. Melissa Gregg and Gregory J. Siegworth. Durham: Duke University Press, 2010. 186-205. Grafe, Christoph, and Franziska Bollerey. “Introduction: Cafés and Bars—Places for Sociability.” Cafés and Bars: The Architecture of Public Display. Eds. Christoph Grafe and Franziska Bollerey. New York: Routledge, 2007. 4-41. Grosz, Elizabeth. Chaos, Territory, Art: Deleuze and the Framing of the Earth. New York: Columbia UP, 2008. Haine, W. Scott. The World of the Paris Café. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1996. Hattox, Ralph S. Coffee and Coffeehouses: The Origins of a Social Beverage in the Medieval Near East. Seattle: U of Washington P, 1985. Hurley, Andrew. Diners, Bowling Alleys and Trailer Parks: Chasing the American Dream in the Postwar Consumer Culture. New York: Basic Books, 2001. Krzysztof Penderecki. Dir. Andreas Missler-Morell. Spektrum TV production and Telewizja Polska S.A. Oddzial W Krakowie for RM Associates and ZDF in cooperation with ARTE, 2000. Lillywhite, Bryant. London Coffee Houses: A Reference Book of Coffee Houses of the Seventeenth, Eighteenth, and Nineteenth Centuries. London: George Allen & Unwin, 1963. McLuhan, Marshall. Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. London: Abacus, 1974. Monastra, Peggy. “Krzysztof Penderecki’s Polymorphia and Fluorescence.” Moldenhauer Archives, [US] Library of Congress. 12 Jan. 2012 ‹http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/moldenhauer/2428143.pdf› Packer, Jeremy, and Stephen B. Crofts Wiley. “Introduction: The Materiality of Communication.” Communication Matters: Materialist Approaches to Media, Mobility and Networks. New York, Routledge, 2012. 3-16. Robinson, R. Krzysztof Penderecki: A Guide to His Works. Princeton, NJ: Prestige Publications, 1983. Schwinger, Wolfram. Krzysztof Penderecki: His Life and Work. Encounters, Biography and Musical Commentary. London: Schott, 1979. Simmel, Georg. The Sociology of Georg Simmel. Ed. and trans. Kurt H. Wolff. Glencoe, IL: The Free P, 1960. Thomas, Adrian. Polish Music since Szymanowski. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2005. White, Merry I. Coffee Life in Japan. Berkeley: U of California P, 2012. Wilson, Elizabeth. “The Bohemianization of Mass Culture.” International Journal of Cultural Studies 2.1 (1999): 11-32.

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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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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/.

23

Mullins, Kimberley. "The Voting Audience." M/C Journal 10, no.6 (April1, 2008). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2716.

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Political activity is expected to be of interest to a knowledgeable electorate, citizenry or ‘public’. Performance and entertainment have, on the other hand, been considered the domain of the ‘audience’. The line between active electorate and passive audience has been continually blurred, and as more political communication is designed along the lines of entertainment, the less likely it seems that the distinction will become clearer any time soon. The following article will attempt to thoroughly evaluate the contemporary implications of terms related to ‘public’ and ‘audience’, and to suggest a path forward in understanding the now intertwined roles of these two entities. In political commentary of all kinds, the term ‘audience’ has come to be regularly used in place of the more traditionally political terms ‘public’, ‘electorate’, ‘constituency’ or even ‘mass’, ‘mob’ and ‘multitude’. (Bratich 249) This slight alteration of language would seem to suggest an ongoing, and occasionally unintentional debate as to whether or not our increasingly mediated society has become incapable of true political discourse – an audience to be courted and won solely on the basis of visual and aural stimulation. In some instances, the debate goes unacknowledged, with authors using the term interchangeably with that of voter or public. Others seem to be making a more definite statement, as do the authors of Campaign Craft, wherein the term ‘audience’ is often used to refer to the voting population. (Shea and Burton) In either case, it is clear that the ‘public’ and the ‘audience’ are no longer to be considered two entirely separate entities. To understand the significance of this shift, it is necessary to identify the traditional distinctions of these sometimes problematic terms. To do so we must look briefly at how the original and contemporary meanings have developed. Herbert Blau writes that “audiences, such as they are, are nothing like a public, certainly nothing like the capitalised Public of another time” (Blau 22). That “capitalised Public” he refers to is perhaps the ideal state envisioned by Greek and Roman philosophers in which the community, as a whole, is maintained by and for its own members, and each individual plays a significant and specific role in its maintenance. The “audiences”, however, can be popularly defined as “the assembled spectators or listeners at a public event such as a play, film, concert, or meeting” or “the people giving attention to something”. (Soanes & Stevenson) The difference is subtle but significant. The public is expected to take some active interest in its own maintenance and growth, while the audience is not expected to offer action, just attention. The authors of Soundbite Culture, who would seem to see the blurring between audience and public as a negative side effect of mass media, offer this description of the differences between these two entities: Audiences are talked to; publics are talked with. Audiences are entertained; publics are engaged. Audiences live in the moment; publics have both memory and dreams. Audiences have opinions, publics have thoughts. (Slayden & Whillock 7) A ‘public’ is joined by more than their attendance at or attention to a single performance and responsible for more than just the experience of that performance. While an audience is expected to do little more than consume the performance before them, a public must respond to an experience with appropriate action. A public is a community, bound together by activity and mutual concerns. An audience is joined together only by their mutual interest in, or presence at, a performance. Carpini and Williams note that the term ‘public’ is no longer an adequate way to describe the complex levels of interaction that form contemporary political discourse: “people, politics, and the media are far more complex than this. Individuals are simultaneously citizens, consumers, audiences…and so forth” (Carpini & Williams in Bennett & Entman 161). Marshall sees the audience as both a derivative of and a factor in the larger, more political popular body called the “masses”. These masses define the population largely as an unorganised political power, while audiences emerge in relation to consumer products, as rationalised and therefore somewhat subdued categories within that scope. He notes that although the audience, in the twentieth century, has emerged as a “social category” of its own, it has developed as such in relation to both the unharnessed political power of the masses and the active political power of the public (Marshall 61-70). The audience, then, can be said to be a separate but overlapping state that rationalises and segments the potential of the masses, but also informs the subsequent actions of the public. An audience without some degree of action or involvement is not a public. Such a definition provides important insights into the debate from the perspective of political communication. The cohesiveness of the group that is to define the public can be undermined by mass media. It has been argued that mass media, in particular the internet, have removed all sense of local community and instead provided an information outlet that denies individual response. (Franklin 23; Postman 67-69) It can certainly be argued that with media available on such an instant and individual basis, the necessity of group gathering for information and action has been greatly reduced. Thus, one of the primary functions of the public is eliminated, that of joining together for information. This lack of communal information gathering can eliminate the most important functions of the public: debate and personal action. Those who tune-in to national broadcasts or even read national newspapers to receive political information are generally not invited to debate and pose solutions to the problems that are introduced to them, or to take immediate steps to resolve the conflicts addressed. Instead, they are asked only to fulfill that traditional function of the audience, to receive the information and either absorb or dismiss it. Media also blur the audience/public divide by making it necessary to change the means of political communication. Previous to the advent of mass media, political communication was separated from entertainment by its emphasis on debate and information. Television has led a turn toward more ‘emotion’ and image-based campaigning both for election and for support of a particular political agenda. This subsequently implies that this public has increasingly become primarily an audience. Although this attitude is one that has been adopted by many critics and observers, it is not entirely correct to say that there are no longer any opportunities for the audience to regain their function as a public. On a local level, town hall meetings, public consultations and rallies still exist and provide an opportunity for concerned citizens to voice their opinions and assist in forming local policy. Media, often accused of orchestrating the elimination of the active public, occasionally provide opportunities for more traditional public debate. In both Canada and the US, leaders are invited to participate in ‘town hall’ style television debates in which audience members are invited to ask questions. In the UK, both print media and television tend to offer opportunities for leaders to respond to the questions and concerns of individuals. Many newspapers publish responses and letters from many different readers, allowing for public debate and interaction. (McNair 13) In addition, newspapers such as The Washington Post and The Globe and Mail operate Websites that allow the public to comment on articles published in the paper text. In Canada, radio is often used as a forum for public debate and comment. The Canadian Broadcast Corporation’s Cross Country Check Up and Cross Talk allows mediated debate between citizens across the country. Regional stations offer similar programming. Local television news programmes often include ‘person on the street’ interviews on current issues and opportunities for the audience to voice their arguments on-air. Of course, in most of these instances, the information received from the audience is moderated, and shared selectively. This does not, however, negate the fact that there is interaction between that audience and the media. Perhaps the greatest challenge to traditional interpretations of media-audience response is the proliferation of the internet. As McNair observes, “the emergence of the internet has provided new opportunities for public participation in political debate, such as blogging and ‘citizen journalism’. Websites such as YouTube permit marginal political groups to make statements with global reach” (McNair 13). These ‘inter-networks’ not only provide alternative information for audiences to seek out, but also give audience members the ability to respond to any communication in an immediate and public way. Therefore, the audience member can exert potentially wide reaching influence on the public agenda and dialogue, clearly altering the accept-or-refuse model often applied to mediated communication. Opinion polls provide us with an opportunity to verify this shift away from the ‘hypodermic needle’ approach to communication theory (Sanderson King 61). Just as an audience can be responsible for the success of a theatre or television show based on attendance or viewing numbers, so too have public opinion polls been designed to measure, without nuance, only whether the audience accepts or dismisses what is presented to them through the media. There is little place for any measure of actual thought or opinion. The first indications of an upset in this balance resulted in tremendous surprise, as was the case during the US Clinton/Lewinsky scandal (Lawrence & Bennett 425). Stephanopoulos writes that after a full year of coverage of the Monica Lewinsky ‘scandal’, Clinton’s public approval poll numbers were “higher than ever” while the Republican leaders who had initiated the inquiry were suffering from a serious lack of public support (Stephanopoulos 442). Carpini and Williams also observed that public opinion polls taken during the media frenzy showed very little change of any kind, although the movement that did occur was in the direction of increased support for Clinton. This was in direct contrast to what “…traditional agenda-setting, framing, and priming theory would predict” (Carpini & Williams in Bennett & Entman 177). Zaller confirms that the expectation among news organisations, journalists, and political scientists was never realised; despite being cast by the media in a negative role, and despite the consumption of that negative media, the audience refused to judge the President solely on his framed persona (Zaller in Bennett & Entman 255). It was clear that the majority of the population in the US, and in other countries, were exposed to the information regarding the Clinton scandal. At the height of the scandal, it was almost unavoidable (Zaller in Bennett & Entman 254). Therefore it cannot be said that the information the media provided was not being consumed. Rather, the audience did not agree with the media’s attempts to persuade them, and communicated this through opinion polls, creating something resembling a mass political dialogue. As Lawrence and Bennett discuss in their article regarding the Lewinsky/Clinton public opinion “phenomenon”, it should not be assumed by polling institutions or public opinion watchers that the projected angle of the media will be immediately adopted by the public (Lawerence & Bennett 425). Although the media presented a preferred reading of the text, it could not ensure that the audience would interpret that meaning (Hall in Curran, Gurevitch & Harris 343). The audience’s decoding of the media’s message would have to depend on each audience member’s personal experiences and their impression of the media that was presenting the communication. This kind of response is, in fact, encouraging. If the audience relies on mainstream media to provide a frame and context to all political communication, then they are giving up their civic responsibility and placing complete authority in the hands of those actively involved in the process of communicating events. It could be suggested that the reported increase in the perceived reliabilty of internet news sources (Kinsella 251) can be at least partially attributed to the audience’s increasing awareness of these frames and limitations on mainstream media presentation. With the increase in ‘backstage’ reporting, the audience has become hyper-aware of the use of these strategies in communications. The audience is now using its knowledge and media access to decipher information, as it is presented to them, for authenticity and context. While there are those who would lament the fact that the community driven public is largely in the past and focus their attention on finding ways to see the old methods of communication revived, others argue that the way to move forward is not to regret the existence of an audience, but to alter our ideas about how to understand it. It has been suggested that in order to become a more democratic society we must now “re-conceive audiences as citizens” (Golding in Ferguson 98). And despite Blau’s pronouncement that audiences are “nothing like a public”, he later points out that there is still the possibility of unity even in the most diverse of audiences. “The presence of an audience is in itself a sign of coherence”(Blau 23). As Rothenbuhler writes: There is too much casualness in the use of the word spectator…A spectator is almost never simply looking at something. On the contrary, most forms of spectatorship are socially prescribed and performed roles and forms of communication…the spectator, then, is not simply a viewer but a participant in a larger system. (Rothenbuhler 65) We cannot regress to a time when audiences are reserved for the theatre and publics for civic matters. In a highly networked world that relies on communicating via the methods and media of entertainment, it is impossible to remove the role of the audience member from the role of citizen. This does not necessarily need to be a negative aspect of democracy, but instead a step in its constant evolution. There are positive aspects to the audience/public as well as potential negatives. McNair equates the increase in mediated communication with an increase in political knowledge and involvement, particularly for those on the margins of society who are unlikely to be exposed to national political activity in person. He notes that the advent of television may have limited political discourse to a media-friendly sound bite, but that it still increases the information dispensed to the majority of the population. Despite the ideals of democracy, the majority of the voting population is not extremely well informed as to political issues, and prior to the advent of mass media, were very unlikely to have an opportunity to become immersed in the details of policy. Media have increased the amount of political information the average citizen will be exposed to in their lifetime (McNair 41). With this in mind, it is possible to equate the faults of mass media not with their continued growth, but with society’s inability to recognise the effects of the media as technologies and to adjust education accordingly. While the quality of information and understanding regarding the actions and ideals of national political leaders may be disputed, the fact that they are more widely distributed than ever before is not. They have an audience at all times, and though that audience may receive information via a filtered medium, they are still present and active. As McNair notes, if the purpose of democracy is to increase the number of people participating in the political process, then mass media have clearly served to promote the democratic ideal (McNair 204). However, these positives are qualified by the fact that audiences must also possess the skills, the interests and the knowledge of a public, or else risk isolation that limits their power to contribute to public discourse in a meaningful way. The need for an accountable, educated audience has not gone unnoticed throughout the history of mass media. Cultural observers such as Postman, McLuhan, John Kennedy, and even Pope Pius XII have cited the need for education in media. As McLuhan aptly noted, “to the student of media, it is difficult to explain the human indifference to the social effect of these radical forces”(McLuhan 304). In 1964, McLuhan wrote that, “education will become recognised as civil defence against media fallout. The only medium for which our education now offers some civil defence is the print medium”(McLuhan 305). Unfortunately, it is only gradually and usually at an advanced level of higher education that the study and analysis of media has developed to any degree. The mass audiences, those who control the powers of the public, often remain formally uneducated as to the influence that the mediating factors of television have on the distribution of information. Although the audience may have developed a level of sophistication in their awareness of media frames, the public has not been taught how to translate this awareness into any real political or social understanding. The result is a community susceptible to being overtaken by manipulations of any medium. Those who attempt to convey political messages have only added to that confusion by being unclear as to whether or not they are attempting to address an audience or engage a public. In some instances, politicians and their teams focus their sole attention on the public, not taking into consideration the necessities of communicating with an audience, often to the detriment of political success. On the other hand, some focus their attentions on attracting and maintaining an audience, often to the detriment of the political process. This confusion may be a symptom of the mixed messages regarding the appropriate attitude toward performance that is generated by western culture. In an environment where open attention to performance is both demanded and distained, communication choices can be difficult. Instead we are likely to blindly observe the steady increase in the entertainment style packaging of our national politics. Until the audience fully incorporates itself with the public, we will see an absence of action, and excess of confused consumption (Kraus 18). Contemporary society has moved far beyond the traditional concepts of exclusive audience or public domains, and yet we have not fully articulated or defined what this change in structure really means. Although this review does suggest that contemporary citizens are both audience and public simultaneously, it is also clear that further discussion needs to occur before either of those roles can be fully understood in a contemporary communications context. References Bennett, Lance C., and Robert M. Entman. Mediated Politics: Communication in the Future of Democracy. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2001. Blau, Herbert. The Audience. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1990. Bratich, Jack Z. “Amassing the Multitude: Revisiting Early Audience Studies”. Communication Theory 15 (2005): 242-65. Curran, J., M. Gurevitch, and D. Janet Harris, eds. Mass Communication and Society. Beverley Hills: Sage, 1977. DeLuca, T., and J. Buell. Liars! Cheaters! Evildoers! Demonization and the End of Civil Debate in American Politics. New York: New York UP, 2005. Ferguson, Marjorie, ed. Public Communication: The New Imperatives. London: Sage, 1990. Franklin, Bob. Packaging Politics. London: Edward Arnold, 1994. Gamson, Joshua. Claims to Fame: Celebrity in Contemporary America. Berkeley: U of California P, 1994. Keown, Leslie-Anne. “Keeping Up with the Times: Canadians and Their News Media Diets.” Canadian Social Trends June 2007. Government of Canada. Kinsella, Warren. The War Room. Toronto: Dunduran Group, 2007. Kraus, Sidney. Televised Presidential Debates and Public Policy. New Jersey: Lawerence Erlbaum Associates, 2000. Lawrence, Regina, and Lance Bennett. “Rethinking Media Politics and Public Opinion: Reactions to the Clinton-Lewinsky Scandal”. Political Science Quarterly 116 (Fall 2001): 425-46. Marland, Alex. Political Marketing in Modern Canadian Federal Elections. Dalhousie University: Canadian Political Science Association Conference, 2003. Marshall, P. David. Celebrity and Power. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1997. McLuhan, Marshall. Understanding Media. New ed. London: ARK Paperbacks, 1987 [1964]. McNair, Brian. An Introduction to Political Communication. 4th ed. London: Routledge, 2007. The Oxford Dictionary of English. Eds. Catherine Soanes and Angus Stevenson. Rev. ed. Oxford UP, 2005. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford UP. 1 Mar. 2008. http://www.oxfordreference.com.qe2aproxy.mun.ca/views/ ENTRY.html?subview=Main&entry=t140.e4525>. Postman, Neil. Amusing Ourselves to Death. New York: Penguin, 1985. Rothenbuhler, Eric W. Ritual Communication. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage, 1998. Sanderson King, Sarah. Human Communication as a Field of Study. New York: State U of New York P, 1990. Schultz, David A., ed. It’s Show Time! Media, Politics and Popular Culture. New York: Peter Lang, 2000. Shea, Daniel, and Michael John Burton. Campaign Craft. 3rd ed. Westport: Praeger, 2006. Slayden, D., and R.K. Whillock. Soundbite Culture: The Death of Discourse in a Wired World. London: Sage, 1999. Stephanopoulos, George. All Too Human. Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1999. Webster, James C. “Beneath the Veneer of Fragmentation: Television Audience Polarization in a Multichannel World.” Journal of Communication 55 (June 2005): 366-82. Woodward, Gary C. Center Stage: Media and the Performance of American Politics. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2007. Xenos, Michael, and Kirsten Foot. “Not Your Father’s Internet: The Generation Gap in Online Politics.” Civic Life Online: Learning How Digital Media Can Engage Youth. Cambridge: MIT P, 2008. Citation reference for this article MLA Style Mullins, Kimberley. "The Voting Audience." M/C Journal 10.6/11.1 (2008). echo date('d M. Y'); ?> <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0804/03-mullins.php>. APA Style Mullins, K. (Apr. 2008) "The Voting Audience," M/C Journal, 10(6)/11(1). Retrieved echo date('d M. Y'); ?> from <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0804/03-mullins.php>.

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Mullins, Kimberley. "The Voting Audience." M/C Journal 11, no.1 (April1, 2008). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.23.

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Political activity is expected to be of interest to a knowledgeable electorate, citizenry or ‘public’. Performance and entertainment have, on the other hand, been considered the domain of the ‘audience’. The line between active electorate and passive audience has been continually blurred, and as more political communication is designed along the lines of entertainment, the less likely it seems that the distinction will become clearer any time soon. The following article will attempt to thoroughly evaluate the contemporary implications of terms related to ‘public’ and ‘audience’, and to suggest a path forward in understanding the now intertwined roles of these two entities. In political commentary of all kinds, the term ‘audience’ has come to be regularly used in place of the more traditionally political terms ‘public’, ‘electorate’, ‘constituency’ or even ‘mass’, ‘mob’ and ‘multitude’. (Bratich 249) This slight alteration of language would seem to suggest an ongoing, and occasionally unintentional debate as to whether or not our increasingly mediated society has become incapable of true political discourse – an audience to be courted and won solely on the basis of visual and aural stimulation. In some instances, the debate goes unacknowledged, with authors using the term interchangeably with that of voter or public. Others seem to be making a more definite statement, as do the authors of Campaign Craft, wherein the term ‘audience’ is often used to refer to the voting population. (Shea and Burton) In either case, it is clear that the ‘public’ and the ‘audience’ are no longer to be considered two entirely separate entities. To understand the significance of this shift, it is necessary to identify the traditional distinctions of these sometimes problematic terms. To do so we must look briefly at how the original and contemporary meanings have developed. Herbert Blau writes that “audiences, such as they are, are nothing like a public, certainly nothing like the capitalised Public of another time” (Blau 22). That “capitalised Public” he refers to is perhaps the ideal state envisioned by Greek and Roman philosophers in which the community, as a whole, is maintained by and for its own members, and each individual plays a significant and specific role in its maintenance. The “audiences”, however, can be popularly defined as “the assembled spectators or listeners at a public event such as a play, film, concert, or meeting” or “the people giving attention to something”. (Soanes & Stevenson) The difference is subtle but significant. The public is expected to take some active interest in its own maintenance and growth, while the audience is not expected to offer action, just attention. The authors of Soundbite Culture, who would seem to see the blurring between audience and public as a negative side effect of mass media, offer this description of the differences between these two entities: Audiences are talked to; publics are talked with. Audiences are entertained; publics are engaged. Audiences live in the moment; publics have both memory and dreams. Audiences have opinions, publics have thoughts. (Slayden & Whillock 7) A ‘public’ is joined by more than their attendance at or attention to a single performance and responsible for more than just the experience of that performance. While an audience is expected to do little more than consume the performance before them, a public must respond to an experience with appropriate action. A public is a community, bound together by activity and mutual concerns. An audience is joined together only by their mutual interest in, or presence at, a performance. Carpini and Williams note that the term ‘public’ is no longer an adequate way to describe the complex levels of interaction that form contemporary political discourse: “people, politics, and the media are far more complex than this. Individuals are simultaneously citizens, consumers, audiences…and so forth” (Carpini & Williams in Bennett & Entman 161). Marshall sees the audience as both a derivative of and a factor in the larger, more political popular body called the “masses”. These masses define the population largely as an unorganised political power, while audiences emerge in relation to consumer products, as rationalised and therefore somewhat subdued categories within that scope. He notes that although the audience, in the twentieth century, has emerged as a “social category” of its own, it has developed as such in relation to both the unharnessed political power of the masses and the active political power of the public (Marshall 61-70). The audience, then, can be said to be a separate but overlapping state that rationalises and segments the potential of the masses, but also informs the subsequent actions of the public. An audience without some degree of action or involvement is not a public. Such a definition provides important insights into the debate from the perspective of political communication. The cohesiveness of the group that is to define the public can be undermined by mass media. It has been argued that mass media, in particular the internet, have removed all sense of local community and instead provided an information outlet that denies individual response. (Franklin 23; Postman 67-69) It can certainly be argued that with media available on such an instant and individual basis, the necessity of group gathering for information and action has been greatly reduced. Thus, one of the primary functions of the public is eliminated, that of joining together for information. This lack of communal information gathering can eliminate the most important functions of the public: debate and personal action. Those who tune-in to national broadcasts or even read national newspapers to receive political information are generally not invited to debate and pose solutions to the problems that are introduced to them, or to take immediate steps to resolve the conflicts addressed. Instead, they are asked only to fulfill that traditional function of the audience, to receive the information and either absorb or dismiss it. Media also blur the audience/public divide by making it necessary to change the means of political communication. Previous to the advent of mass media, political communication was separated from entertainment by its emphasis on debate and information. Television has led a turn toward more ‘emotion’ and image-based campaigning both for election and for support of a particular political agenda. This subsequently implies that this public has increasingly become primarily an audience. Although this attitude is one that has been adopted by many critics and observers, it is not entirely correct to say that there are no longer any opportunities for the audience to regain their function as a public. On a local level, town hall meetings, public consultations and rallies still exist and provide an opportunity for concerned citizens to voice their opinions and assist in forming local policy. Media, often accused of orchestrating the elimination of the active public, occasionally provide opportunities for more traditional public debate. In both Canada and the US, leaders are invited to participate in ‘town hall’ style television debates in which audience members are invited to ask questions. In the UK, both print media and television tend to offer opportunities for leaders to respond to the questions and concerns of individuals. Many newspapers publish responses and letters from many different readers, allowing for public debate and interaction. (McNair 13) In addition, newspapers such as The Washington Post and The Globe and Mail operate Websites that allow the public to comment on articles published in the paper text. In Canada, radio is often used as a forum for public debate and comment. The Canadian Broadcast Corporation’s Cross Country Check Up and Cross Talk allows mediated debate between citizens across the country. Regional stations offer similar programming. Local television news programmes often include ‘person on the street’ interviews on current issues and opportunities for the audience to voice their arguments on-air. Of course, in most of these instances, the information received from the audience is moderated, and shared selectively. This does not, however, negate the fact that there is interaction between that audience and the media. Perhaps the greatest challenge to traditional interpretations of media-audience response is the proliferation of the internet. As McNair observes, “the emergence of the internet has provided new opportunities for public participation in political debate, such as blogging and ‘citizen journalism’. Websites such as YouTube permit marginal political groups to make statements with global reach” (McNair 13). These ‘inter-networks’ not only provide alternative information for audiences to seek out, but also give audience members the ability to respond to any communication in an immediate and public way. Therefore, the audience member can exert potentially wide reaching influence on the public agenda and dialogue, clearly altering the accept-or-refuse model often applied to mediated communication. Opinion polls provide us with an opportunity to verify this shift away from the ‘hypodermic needle’ approach to communication theory (Sanderson King 61). Just as an audience can be responsible for the success of a theatre or television show based on attendance or viewing numbers, so too have public opinion polls been designed to measure, without nuance, only whether the audience accepts or dismisses what is presented to them through the media. There is little place for any measure of actual thought or opinion. The first indications of an upset in this balance resulted in tremendous surprise, as was the case during the US Clinton/Lewinsky scandal (Lawrence & Bennett 425). Stephanopoulos writes that after a full year of coverage of the Monica Lewinsky ‘scandal’, Clinton’s public approval poll numbers were “higher than ever” while the Republican leaders who had initiated the inquiry were suffering from a serious lack of public support (Stephanopoulos 442). Carpini and Williams also observed that public opinion polls taken during the media frenzy showed very little change of any kind, although the movement that did occur was in the direction of increased support for Clinton. This was in direct contrast to what “…traditional agenda-setting, framing, and priming theory would predict” (Carpini & Williams in Bennett & Entman 177). Zaller confirms that the expectation among news organisations, journalists, and political scientists was never realised; despite being cast by the media in a negative role, and despite the consumption of that negative media, the audience refused to judge the President solely on his framed persona (Zaller in Bennett & Entman 255). It was clear that the majority of the population in the US, and in other countries, were exposed to the information regarding the Clinton scandal. At the height of the scandal, it was almost unavoidable (Zaller in Bennett & Entman 254). Therefore it cannot be said that the information the media provided was not being consumed. Rather, the audience did not agree with the media’s attempts to persuade them, and communicated this through opinion polls, creating something resembling a mass political dialogue. As Lawrence and Bennett discuss in their article regarding the Lewinsky/Clinton public opinion “phenomenon”, it should not be assumed by polling institutions or public opinion watchers that the projected angle of the media will be immediately adopted by the public (Lawerence & Bennett 425). Although the media presented a preferred reading of the text, it could not ensure that the audience would interpret that meaning (Hall in Curran, Gurevitch & Harris 343). The audience’s decoding of the media’s message would have to depend on each audience member’s personal experiences and their impression of the media that was presenting the communication. This kind of response is, in fact, encouraging. If the audience relies on mainstream media to provide a frame and context to all political communication, then they are giving up their civic responsibility and placing complete authority in the hands of those actively involved in the process of communicating events. It could be suggested that the reported increase in the perceived reliabilty of internet news sources (Kinsella 251) can be at least partially attributed to the audience’s increasing awareness of these frames and limitations on mainstream media presentation. With the increase in ‘backstage’ reporting, the audience has become hyper-aware of the use of these strategies in communications. The audience is now using its knowledge and media access to decipher information, as it is presented to them, for authenticity and context. While there are those who would lament the fact that the community driven public is largely in the past and focus their attention on finding ways to see the old methods of communication revived, others argue that the way to move forward is not to regret the existence of an audience, but to alter our ideas about how to understand it. It has been suggested that in order to become a more democratic society we must now “re-conceive audiences as citizens” (Golding in Ferguson 98). And despite Blau’s pronouncement that audiences are “nothing like a public”, he later points out that there is still the possibility of unity even in the most diverse of audiences. “The presence of an audience is in itself a sign of coherence”(Blau 23). As Rothenbuhler writes: There is too much casualness in the use of the word spectator…A spectator is almost never simply looking at something. On the contrary, most forms of spectatorship are socially prescribed and performed roles and forms of communication…the spectator, then, is not simply a viewer but a participant in a larger system. (Rothenbuhler 65) We cannot regress to a time when audiences are reserved for the theatre and publics for civic matters. In a highly networked world that relies on communicating via the methods and media of entertainment, it is impossible to remove the role of the audience member from the role of citizen. This does not necessarily need to be a negative aspect of democracy, but instead a step in its constant evolution. There are positive aspects to the audience/public as well as potential negatives. McNair equates the increase in mediated communication with an increase in political knowledge and involvement, particularly for those on the margins of society who are unlikely to be exposed to national political activity in person. He notes that the advent of television may have limited political discourse to a media-friendly sound bite, but that it still increases the information dispensed to the majority of the population. Despite the ideals of democracy, the majority of the voting population is not extremely well informed as to political issues, and prior to the advent of mass media, were very unlikely to have an opportunity to become immersed in the details of policy. Media have increased the amount of political information the average citizen will be exposed to in their lifetime (McNair 41). With this in mind, it is possible to equate the faults of mass media not with their continued growth, but with society’s inability to recognise the effects of the media as technologies and to adjust education accordingly. While the quality of information and understanding regarding the actions and ideals of national political leaders may be disputed, the fact that they are more widely distributed than ever before is not. They have an audience at all times, and though that audience may receive information via a filtered medium, they are still present and active. As McNair notes, if the purpose of democracy is to increase the number of people participating in the political process, then mass media have clearly served to promote the democratic ideal (McNair 204). However, these positives are qualified by the fact that audiences must also possess the skills, the interests and the knowledge of a public, or else risk isolation that limits their power to contribute to public discourse in a meaningful way. The need for an accountable, educated audience has not gone unnoticed throughout the history of mass media. Cultural observers such as Postman, McLuhan, John Kennedy, and even Pope Pius XII have cited the need for education in media. As McLuhan aptly noted, “to the student of media, it is difficult to explain the human indifference to the social effect of these radical forces”(McLuhan 304). In 1964, McLuhan wrote that, “education will become recognised as civil defence against media fallout. The only medium for which our education now offers some civil defence is the print medium”(McLuhan 305). Unfortunately, it is only gradually and usually at an advanced level of higher education that the study and analysis of media has developed to any degree. The mass audiences, those who control the powers of the public, often remain formally uneducated as to the influence that the mediating factors of television have on the distribution of information. Although the audience may have developed a level of sophistication in their awareness of media frames, the public has not been taught how to translate this awareness into any real political or social understanding. The result is a community susceptible to being overtaken by manipulations of any medium. Those who attempt to convey political messages have only added to that confusion by being unclear as to whether or not they are attempting to address an audience or engage a public. In some instances, politicians and their teams focus their sole attention on the public, not taking into consideration the necessities of communicating with an audience, often to the detriment of political success. On the other hand, some focus their attentions on attracting and maintaining an audience, often to the detriment of the political process. This confusion may be a symptom of the mixed messages regarding the appropriate attitude toward performance that is generated by western culture. In an environment where open attention to performance is both demanded and distained, communication choices can be difficult. Instead we are likely to blindly observe the steady increase in the entertainment style packaging of our national politics. Until the audience fully incorporates itself with the public, we will see an absence of action, and excess of confused consumption (Kraus 18). Contemporary society has moved far beyond the traditional concepts of exclusive audience or public domains, and yet we have not fully articulated or defined what this change in structure really means. Although this review does suggest that contemporary citizens are both audience and public simultaneously, it is also clear that further discussion needs to occur before either of those roles can be fully understood in a contemporary communications context. References Bennett, Lance C., and Robert M. Entman. Mediated Politics: Communication in the Future of Democracy. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2001. Blau, Herbert. The Audience. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1990. Bratich, Jack Z. “Amassing the Multitude: Revisiting Early Audience Studies”. Communication Theory 15 (2005): 242-65. Curran, J., M. Gurevitch, and D. Janet Harris, eds. Mass Communication and Society. Beverley Hills: Sage, 1977. DeLuca, T., and J. Buell. Liars! Cheaters! Evildoers! Demonization and the End of Civil Debate in American Politics. New York: New York UP, 2005. Ferguson, Marjorie, ed. Public Communication: The New Imperatives. London: Sage, 1990. Franklin, Bob. Packaging Politics. London: Edward Arnold, 1994. Gamson, Joshua. Claims to Fame: Celebrity in Contemporary America. Berkeley: U of California P, 1994. Keown, Leslie-Anne. “Keeping Up with the Times: Canadians and Their News Media Diets.” Canadian Social Trends June 2007. Government of Canada. Kinsella, Warren. The War Room. Toronto: Dunduran Group, 2007. Kraus, Sidney. Televised Presidential Debates and Public Policy. New Jersey: Lawerence Erlbaum Associates, 2000. Lawrence, Regina, and Lance Bennett. “Rethinking Media Politics and Public Opinion: Reactions to the Clinton-Lewinsky Scandal”. Political Science Quarterly 116 (Fall 2001): 425-46. Marland, Alex. Political Marketing in Modern Canadian Federal Elections. Dalhousie University: Canadian Political Science Association Conference, 2003. Marshall, P. David. Celebrity and Power. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1997. McLuhan, Marshall. Understanding Media. New ed. London: ARK Paperbacks, 1987 [1964]. McNair, Brian. An Introduction to Political Communication. 4th ed. London: Routledge, 2007. The Oxford Dictionary of English. Eds. Catherine Soanes and Angus Stevenson. Rev. ed. Oxford UP, 2005. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford UP. 1 Mar. 2008. < http://www.oxfordreference.com.qe2aproxy.mun.ca/views/ ENTRY.html?subview=Main&entry=t140.e4525 >. Postman, Neil. Amusing Ourselves to Death. New York: Penguin, 1985. Rothenbuhler, Eric W. Ritual Communication. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage, 1998. Sanderson King, Sarah. Human Communication as a Field of Study. New York: State U of New York P, 1990. Schultz, David A., ed. It’s Show Time! Media, Politics and Popular Culture. New York: Peter Lang, 2000. Shea, Daniel, and Michael John Burton. Campaign Craft. 3rd ed. Westport: Praeger, 2006. Slayden, D., and R.K. Whillock. Soundbite Culture: The Death of Discourse in a Wired World. London: Sage, 1999. Stephanopoulos, George. All Too Human. Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1999. Webster, James C. “Beneath the Veneer of Fragmentation: Television Audience Polarization in a Multichannel World.” Journal of Communication 55 (June 2005): 366-82. Woodward, Gary C. Center Stage: Media and the Performance of American Politics. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2007. Xenos, Michael, and Kirsten Foot. “Not Your Father’s Internet: The Generation Gap in Online Politics.” Civic Life Online: Learning How Digital Media Can Engage Youth. Cambridge: MIT P, 2008.

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Stafford, Paul Edgerton. "The Grunge Effect: Music, Fashion, and the Media During the Rise of Grunge Culture In the Early 1990s." M/C Journal 21, no.5 (December6, 2018). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1471.

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IntroductionThe death of Chris Cornell in the spring of 2017 shook me. As the lead singer of Soundgarden and a pioneer of early 1990s grunge music, his voice revealed an unbridled pain and joy backed up by the raw, guitar-driven rock emanating from the Seattle, Washington music scene. I remember thinking, there’s only one left, referring to Eddie Vedder, lead singer for Pearl Jam, and lone survivor of the four seminal grunge bands that rose to fame in the early 1990s whose lead singers passed away much too soon. Alice in Chains singer Layne Staley died in 2002 at the age of 35, and Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain’s death in 1994 had resonated around the globe. I thought about when Cornell and Staley said goodbye to their friend Andy Wood, lead singer of Mother Love Bone, after he overdosed on heroine in 1990. Wood’s untimely death at the age of 24, only days before his band’s debut album release, shook the close-knit Seattle music scene and remained a source of angst and inspiration for a genre of music that shaped youth culture of the 1990s.When grunge first exploded on the pop culture scene, I was a college student flailing around in pursuit of an English degree I had less passion for than I did for music. I grew up listening to The Beatles and Prince; Led Zeppelin and Miles Davis; David Bowie and Willie Nelson, along with a litany of other artists and musicians crafting the kind of meaningful music I responded to. I didn’t just listen to music, I devoured stories about the musicians, their often hedonistic lifestyles; their processes and epiphanies. The music spoke to my being in the world more than the promise of any college degree. I ran with friends who shared this love of music, often turning me on to new bands or suggesting some obscure song from the past to track down. I picked up my first guitar when John Lennon died on the eve of my eleventh birthday and have played for the past 37 years. I rely on music to relocate my sense of self. Rhythm and melody play out like characters in my life, colluding to make me feel something apart from the mundane, moving me from within. So, when I took notice of grunge music in the fall of 1991, it was love at first listen. As a pop cultural phenomenon, grunge ruptured the music and fashion industries caught off guard by its sudden commercial appeal while the media struggled to galvanize its relevance. As a subculture, grunge rallied around a set of attitudes and values that set the movement apart from mainstream (Latysheva). The grunge sound drew from the nihilism of punk and the head banging gospel of heavy metal, tinged with the swagger of 1970s FM rock running counter to the sleek production of pop radio and hair metal bands. Grunge artists wrote emotionally-laden songs that spoke to a particular generation of youth who identified with lyrics about isolation, anger, and death. Grunge set off new fashion trends in favor of dressing down and sporting the latest in second-hand, thrift store apparel, ripping away the Reagan-era starched white-collared working-class aesthetic of the 1980’s corporate culture. Like their punk forbearers who railed against the status quo and the trappings of success incurred through the mass appeal of their art, Kurt Cobain, Eddie Vedder, and the rest of the grunge cohort often wrestled with the momentum of their success. Fortunes rained down and the media ordained them rock stars.This auto-ethnography revisits some of the cultural impacts of grunge during its rise to cultural relevance and includes my own reflexive interpretation positioned as a fan of grunge music. I use a particular auto-ethnographic orientation called “interpretive-humanistic autoethnography” (Manning and Adams 192) where, along with archival research (i.e. media articles and journal articles), I will use my own reflexive voice to interpret and describe my personal experiences as a fan of grunge music during its peak of popularity from 1991 up to the death of Cobain in 1994. It is a methodology that works to bridge the personal and popular where “the individual story leaves traces of at least one path through a shifting, transforming, and disappearing cultural landscape” (Neumann 183). Grunge RootsThere are many conflicting stories as to when the word “grunge” was first used to describe the sound of a particular style of alternative music seeping from the dank basem*nts and shoddy rehearsal spaces in towns like Olympia, Aberdeen, and Seattle. Lester Bangs, the preeminent cultural writer and critic of all things punk, pop, and rock in the 1970s was said to have used the word at one time (Yarm), and several musicians lay claim to their use of the word in the 1980s. But it was a small Seattle record label founded in 1988 called Sub Pop Records that first included grunge in their marketing materials to describe “the grittiness of the music and the energy” (Yarm 195).This particular sound grew out of the Pacific Northwest blue-collar environment of logging towns, coastal fisheries, and airplane manufacturing. Seattle’s alternative music scene unfolded as a community of musicians responding to the tucked away isolation of their musty surroundings, apart from the outside world, free to submerge themselves in their own cultural milieu of rock music, rain, and youthful rebellion.Where Seattle stood as a major metropolitan city soaked in rainclouds for much of the year, I was soaking up the desert sun in a rural college town when grunge first leapt into the mainstream. Cattle ranches and cotton fields spread across the open plains of West Texas, painted with pickup trucks, starched Wrangler Jeans, and cowboy hats. This was not my world. I’d arrived the year prior from Houston, Texas, an urban sprawl of four million people, but I found the wide-open landscape a welcome change from the concrete jungle of the big city. Along with cowboy boots and western shirts came country music, and lots of it. Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, George Straight; some of the voices that captured the lifestyle of my small rural town, twangy guitars and fiddles blaring on local radio. While popular country artists recorded for behemoth record labels like Warner Brothers and Sony, the tiny Sub Pop Records championed the grunge sound coming out of the Seattle music scene. Sub Pop became a playground for those who cared about their music and little else. The label cultivated an early following through their Sub Pop Singles Club, mailing seven-inch records to subscribers on a monthly basis promoting new releases from up-and-coming bands. Sub Pop’s stark, black and white logo showed up on records sleeves, posters, and t-shirts, reflecting a no-nonsense DIY-attitude rooted in in the production of loud guitars and heavy drums.Like the bands it represented, Sub Pop did not take itself too seriously when one of their best-selling t-shirts simply read “Loser” embracing the slacker mood of newly minted Generation X’ers born between 1961 and 1981. A July 1990 Time Magazine article described this twenty-something demographic as having “few heroes, no anthems, no style to call their own” suggesting they “possess only a hazy sense of their own identity” (Gross & Scott). As a member of this generation, I purchased and wore my “Loser” t-shirt with pride, especially in ironic response to the local cowboy way of life. I didn’t hold anything personal against the Wrangler wearing Garth Brooks fan but as a twenty-one-year-old reluctant college student, I wanted to rage with contempt for the status quo of my environment with an ambivalent snarl.Grunge in the MainstreamIn 1991, the Seattle sound exploded onto the international music scene with the release of four seminal grunge-era albums over a six-month period. The first arrived in April, Temple of the Dog, a tribute album of sorts to the late Andy Wood, led by his close friend, Soundgarden singer/songwriter, Chris Cornell. In August, Pearl Jam released their debut album, Ten, with its “surprising and refreshing, melodic restraint” (Fricke). The following month, Nirvana’s Nevermind landed in stores. Now on a major record label, DGC Records, the band had arrived “at the crossroads—scrappy garageland warriors setting their sights on a land of giants” (Robbins). October saw the release of Soundgarden’s Badmotorfinger as “a runaway train ride of stammering guitar and psycho-jungle telegraph rhythms” (Fricke). These four albums sent grunge culture into the ether with a wall of sound that would upend the music charts and galvanize a depressed concert ticket market.In fall of 1991, grunge landed like a hammer when I witnessed Nirvana’s video for “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on MTV for the first time. Sonically, the song rang like an anthem for the Gen Xers with its jangly four-chord opening guitar riff signaling the arrival of a youth-oriented call to arms, “here we are now, entertain us” (Nirvana). It was the visual power of seeing a skinny white kid with stringy hair wearing baggy jeans, a striped T-shirt and tennis shoes belting out choruses with a ferociousness typically reserved for black-clad heavy metal headbangers. Cobain’s sound and look didn’t match up. I felt discombobulated, turned sideways, as if vertigo had taken hold and I couldn’t right myself. Stopped in the middle of my tracks on that day, frozen in front of the TV, the subculture of grunge music slammed into my world while I was on my way to the fridge.Suddenly, grunge was everywhere, As Soundgarden, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam albums and performances infiltrated radio, television, and concert halls, there was no shortage of media coverage. From 1992 through 1994, grunge bands were mentioned or featured on the cover of Rolling Stone 33 times (Hillburn). That same year, The New York Times ran the article “Grunge: A Success Story” featuring a short history of the Seattle sound, along with a “lexicon of grunge speak” (Marin), a joke perpetrated by a former 25-year-old Sub Pop employee, Megan Jasper, who never imagined her list of made-up vocabulary given to a New York Times reporter would grace the front page of the style section (Yarm). In their rush to keep up with pervasiveness of grunge culture, even The New York Times fell prey to Gen Xer’s comical cynicism.The circle of friends I ran with were split down the middle between Nirvana and Pearl Jam, a preference for one over the other, as the two bands and their respective front men garnered much of the media attention. Nirvana seemed to appeal to people’s sense of authenticity, perhaps more relatable in their aloofness to mainstream popularity, backed up with Cobain’s simple-yet-brilliant song arrangements and revealing lyrics. Lawrence Grossberg suggests that music fans recognise the difference between authentic and hom*ogenised rock, interpreting and aligning these differences with rock and roll’s association with “resistance, refusal, alienation, marginality, and so on” (62). I tended to gravitate toward Nirvana’s sound, mostly for technical reasons. Nevermind sparkled with aggressive guitar tones while capturing the power and fragility of Cobain’s voice. For many critics, the brilliance of Pearl Jam’s first album suffered from too much echo and reverb muddling the overall production value, but twenty years later they would remix and re-release Ten, correcting these production issues.Grunge FashionAs the music carved out a huge section of the charts, the grunge look was appropriated on fashion runways. When Cobain appeared on MTV wearing a ragged olive green cardigan he’d created a style simply by rummaging through his closet. Vedder and Cornell sported army boots, cargo shorts, and flannel shirts, suitable attire for the overcast climate of the Pacific Northwest, but their everyday garb turned into a fashion trend for Gen Xers that was then milked by designers. In 1992, the editor of Details magazine, James Truman, called grunge “un fashion” (Marin) as stepping out in second-hand clothes ran “counter to the shellacked, flashy aesthetic of 1980s” (Nnadi) for those who preferred “the waif-like look of put-on poverty” (Brady). But it was MTV’s relentless airing of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden videos that sent Gen Xers flocking to malls and thrift-stores in search grunge-like apparel. I purchased a pair of giant, heavyweight Red Wing boots that looked like small cars on my feet, making it difficult to walk, but at least I was prepared for any terrain in all types of weather. The flannel came next; I still wear flannos. Despite its association with dark, murky musical themes, grunge kept me warm and dry.Much of grunge’s appeal to the masses was that it was not gender-specific; men and women dressed to appear unimpressed, sharing a taste for shapeless garments and muted colors without reference to stereotypical masculine or feminine styles. Cobain “allowed his own sexuality to be called into question by often wearing dresses and/or makeup on stage, in film clips, and on photo shoots, and wrote explicitly feminist songs, such as ‘Sappy’ or ‘Been a Son’” (Strong 403). I remember watching Pearl Jam’s 1992 performance on MTV Unplugged, seeing Eddie Vedder scrawl the words “Pro Choice” in black marker on his arm in support of women’s rights while his lyrics in songs like “Daughter”, “Better Man”, and “Why Go” reflected an equitable, humanistic if somewhat tragic perspective. Females and males moshed alongside one another, sharing the same spaces while experiencing and voicing their own response to grunge’s aggressive sound. Unlike the hypersexualised hair-metal bands of the 1980s whose aesthetic motifs often portrayed women as conquests or as powerless décor, the message of grunge rock avoided gender exploitation. As the ‘90s unfolded, underground feminist punk bands of the riot grrrl movement like Bikini Kill, L7, and Babes in Toyland expressed female empowerment with raging vocals and buzz-saw guitars that paved the way for Hole, Sleater-Kinney and other successful female-fronted grunge-era bands. The Decline of GrungeIn 1994, Kurt Cobain appeared on the cover of Newsweek magazine in memoriam after committing suicide in the greenhouse of his Seattle home. Mass media quickly spread the news of his passing internationally. Two days after his death, 7,000 fans gathered at Seattle Center to listen to a taped recording of Courtney Love, Cobain’s wife, a rock star in her own right, reading the suicide note he left behind.A few days after Cobain’s suicide, I found myself rolling down the highway with a carload of friends, one of my favorite Nirvana tunes, “Come As You Are” fighting through static. I fiddled with the radio to clear up the signal. The conversation turned to Cobain as we cobbled together the details of his death. I remember the chatter quieting down, Cobain’s voice fading as we gazed out the window at the empty terrain passing. In that reflective moment, I felt like I had experienced an intense, emotional relationship that came to an abrupt end. This “illusion of intimacy” (Horton and Wohl 217) between myself and Cobain elevated the loss I felt with his passing even though I had no intimate, personal ties to him. I counted this person as a friend (Giles 284) because I so closely identified with his words and music. I could not help but feel sad, even angry that he’d decided to end his life.Fueled by depression and a heroin addiction, Cobain’s death signaled an end to grunge’s collective appeal while shining a spotlight on one of the more dangerous aspects of its ethos. A 1992 Rolling Stone article mentioned that several of Seattle’s now-famous international musicians used heroin and “The feeling around town is, the drug is a disaster waiting to happen” (Azzerad). In 2002, eight years to the day of Cobain’s death, Layne Staley, lead singer of Alice In Chains, another seminal grunge outfit, was found dead of a suspected heroin overdose (Wiederhorn). When Cornell took his own life in 2017 after a long battle with depression, The Washington Post said, “The story of grunge is also one of death” (Andrews). The article included a Tweet from a grieving fan that read “The voices I grew up with: Andy Wood, Layne Staley, Chris Cornell, Kurt Cobain…only Eddie Vedder is left. Let that sink in” (@ThatEricAlper).ConclusionThe grunge movement of the early 1990s emerged out of musical friendships content to be on their own, on the outside, reflecting a sense of isolation and alienation in the music they made. As Cornell said, “We’ve always been fairly reclusive and damaged” (Foege). I felt much the same way in those days, sequestered in the desert, planting my grunge flag in the middle of country music territory, doing what I could to resist the status quo. Cobain, Cornell, Staley, and Vedder wrote about their own anxieties in a way that felt intimate and relatable, forging a bond with their fan base. Christopher Perricone suggests, “the relationship of an artist and audience is a collaborative one, a love relationship in the sense, a friendship” (200). In this way, grunge would become a shared memory among friends who rode the wave of this cultural phenomenon all the way through to its tragic consequences. But the music has survived. Along with my flannel shirts and Red Wing boots.References@ThatEricAlper (Eric Alper). “The voices I grew up with: Andy Wood, Layne Staley, Chris Cornell, Kurt Cobain…only Eddie Vedder is left. Let that sink in.” Twitter, 18 May 2017, 02:41. 15 Sep. 2018 <https://twitter.com/ThatEricAlper/status/865140400704675840?ref_src>.Andrews, Travis M. “After Chris Cornell’s Death: ‘Only Eddie Vedder Is Left. Let That Sink In.’” The Washington Post, 19 May 2017. 29 Aug. 2018 <https://www.washingtonpost.com/newsmorning-mix/wp/2017/05/19/after-chris-cornells-death-only-eddie-vedder-is-left-let-that-sink-in>.Azzerad, Michael. “Grunge City: The Seattle Scene.” Rolling Stone, 16 Apr. 1992. 20 Aug. 2018 <https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/grunge-city-the-seattle-scene-250071/>.Brady, Diane. “Kids, Clothes and Conformity: Teens Fashion and Their Back-to-School Looks.” Maclean’s, 6 Sep. 1993. Brodeur, Nicole. “Chris Cornell: Soundgarden’s Dark Knight of the Grunge-Music Scene.” Seattle Times, 18 May 2017. 20 Aug. 2018 <https://www.seattletimes.com/entertainment/music/chris-cornell-soundgardens-dark-knight-of-the-grunge-music-scene/>.Ellis, Carolyn, and Arthur P. Bochner. “Autoethnography, Personal Narrative, Reflexivity: Researcher as Subject.” Handbook of Qualitative Research. 2nd ed. Eds. Norman Denzin and Yvonna Lincoln. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2000. 733-768.Foege, Alec. “Chris Cornell: The Rolling Stone Interview.” Rolling Stone, 28 Dec. 1994. 12 Sep. 2018 <https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/chris-cornell-the-rolling-stone-interview-79108/>.Fricke, David. “Ten.” Rolling Stone, 12 Dec. 1991. 18 Sep. 2018 <https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-album-reviews/ten-251421/>.Giles, David. “Parasocial Interactions: A Review of the Literature and a Model for Future Research.” Media Psychology 4 (2002): 279-305.Giles, Jeff. “The Poet of Alientation.” Newsweek, 17 Apr. 1994, 4 Sep. 2018 <https://www.newsweek.com/poet-alienation-187124>.Gross, D.M., and S. Scott. Proceding with Caution. Time, 16 July 1990. 3 Sep. 2018 <http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,155010,00.html>.Grossberg, Lawrence. “Is There a Fan in the House? The Affective Sensibility of Fandom. The Adoring Audience” Fan Culture and Popular Media. Ed. Lisa A. Lewis. New York, NY: Routledge, 1992. 50-65.Hillburn, Robert. “The Rise and Fall of Grunge.” Los Angeles Times, 21 May 1998. 20 Aug. 2018 <http://articles.latimes.com/1998/may/31/entertainment/ca-54992>.Horton, Donald, and R. Richard Wohl. “Mass Communication and Para-Social Interactions: Observations on Intimacy at a Distance.” Psychiatry: Interpersonal and Biological Process 19 (1956): 215-229.Latysheva, T.V. “The Essential Nature and Types of the Youth Subculture Phenomenon.” Russian Education and Society 53 (2011): 73–88.Manning, Jimmie, and Tony Adams. “Popular Culture Studies and Autoethnography: An Essay on Method.” The Popular Culture Studies Journal 3.1-2 (2015): 187-222.Marin, Rick. “Grunge: A Success Story.” New York Times, 15 Nov. 1992. 12 Sep. 2018 <https://www.nytimes.com/1992/11/15/style/grunge-a-success-story.html>.Neumann, Mark. “Collecting Ourselves at the End of the Century.” Composing Ethnography: Alternative Forms of Qualitative Writing. Eds. Carolyn Ellis and Arthur P. Bochner. London: Alta Mira Press, 1996. 172-198.Nirvana. "Smells Like Teen Spirit." Nevermind, Geffen, 1991.Nnadi, Chioma. “Why Kurt Cobain Was One of the Most Influential Style Icons of Our Times.” Vogue, 8 Apr. 2014. 15 Aug. 2018 <https://www.vogue.com/article/kurt-cobain-legacy-of-grunge-in-fashion>.Perricone, Christopher. “Artist and Audience.” The Journal of Value Inquiry 24 (2012). 12 Sep. 2018 <https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/BF00149433.pdf>.Robbins, Ira. “Ten.” Rolling Stone, 12 Dec. 1991. 15 Aug. 2018 <https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-album-reviews/ten-25142>.Strong, Catherine. “Grunge, Riott Grrl and the Forgetting of Women in Popular Culture.” The Journal of Popular Culture 44.2 (2011): 398-416. Wiederhorn, Jon. “Remembering Layne Staley: The Other Great Seattle Musician to Die on April 5.” MTV, 4 June 2004. 23 Sep. 2018 <http://www.mtv.com/news/1486206/remembering-layne-staley-the-other-great-seattle-musician-to-die-on-april-5/>.Yarm, Mark. Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge. Three Rivers Press, 2011.

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Farley, Rebecca. "How Do You Play?" M/C Journal 1, no.5 (December1, 1998). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1732.

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At a small suburban dinner party, the hostess asks a guest if he would like some more. Bunging on a silly accent, he grunts, "no, look. I couldn't eat another thing, I'm absolutely stuffed." Everyone at the table smiles. The host, who has no ear for accents, says, "oh, go on monsieur, wouldn't you like an after-dinner mint?" Smiles widen. "No. Bugger off," says the first guest. "O go on sir, it's only wafer-thin." "No, no," cry the other guests. "You're supposed to say, 'just one?'" "Sorry," says the host, much abashed. The first guest, however, picks up his cue and says, "oh alright, just one." Then he puts up his hand. "No really," he says, in his normal voice. "Unless you want me to explode." This causes the remaining guests to fall about laughing. "What," wonders the American at the table, aloud, "was that?!" Was it play? Certainly, it bears most of the elements prescribed by Huizinga as characteristic of play. It occurred spontaneously, according to pre-arranged rules which the participants all knew (except the American, but exclusivity too is a characteristic of play). It had a beginning and a clear end. It was not productive but rather was performed for its own sake. That is, it did not perform any work, such as helping to close the meal or providing information, but merely made the players happy. It was accompanied by the requisite feeling of joy and there was an element of tension (getting the script right). Further, the event incorporated two of the social practices which Huizinga identified as amongst the most playful -- performance and ritual. But there are two elements that Huizinga identified as being characteristic of play which do not quite fit the above scenario. Interestingly, they are the two characteristics about which Huizinga is most adamant. The first is the stricture regarding place. Huizinga argues that all play occurs in a specific, often dedicated, playspace. The dining room table, however, is hardly a defined play-space; indeed many mothers would argue it was precisely not a play-space. Perhaps it was a play-space in that the child in the back bedroom was not "playing", while everyone in the dining room was "included". The second question regards Huizinga's assertion that play happens in a "time apart". The performance described above, however, happened during dinner -- again, a time which many would regard as designated "not play-time". Perhaps the little ritual might be regarded as "time apart" -- a diversionary loop in linear time, if you like -- in that it did not progress the course of the meal. Huizinga, of course, wrote as a social philosopher. His work goes on to categorize the play element in cultural activities such as politics, art, music, games, and so on. If it is not limited to sport or the make-believe activities of children, what is play? How is it (if this is not entirely the wrong word) practised? If, for example, we went back to the dinner party, would the people there be able to identify what they had just done as play? Nor do my recollections of work, either as a secretary or later as a postgrad, bear out the complete separate-ness of play which Huizinga proposed. Rather, while the diversionary element is retained, for adults at least, play seems to be largely embedded in the stream of work, often occuring in a workspace, during worktime. Play for adults is a quick game of solitaire while answering a phone enquiry, netsurfing while the photocopier runs, or a bitchy (but fortunately silent) IRC chat with another worker, even in the same office. It is far more like de Certeau's notion of la perruque, though necessarily less productive. Kirsty Leishman's article about working in a convenience store bears out my initial feeling that most people's experience of play -- in their day-to-day lives at least, rather than on holidays (another can of worms entirely) -- consists of playful acts or moments, rather than Huizinga's "acts apart". Play, however, is consistently discursively constructed as the opposite of work. As such, it has a place in our thinking about creativity, but there remains a degree of suspicion with which we regard creative work, and even creative work-places. For example, Pixar, the company who (with Disney) created the computer-animated features Toy Story (1995) and A Bug's Life (1998), is described thus: "at Pixar, Steve Jobs' animation house in nearby Richmond, the mood is quirky and relentlessly upbeat ... . On a typical workday, employees' kids and pets roam the halls. 'Work hard and play hard, and in between time you're flying down the hall on a scooter,' says Pixar's head recruiter, Rachel Hannah." A number of significant elements appear to emerge from this description. The first is the description of Pixar as an animation "house", relating it back to the domestic, the realm of the private, the realm of play (as opposed to the public realm of work). This is underlined by the association with children (who are free to play) and pets (more domesticity -- and of course, what you do with your pet, usually, is to play with it). Working at Pixar (especially compared to work in university admin, or a convenience store) can hardly amount to work at all. It's too much fun. Clearly, in mobilising this kind of discourse, Pixar seeks to enhance its reputation for creativity. In that particular industry, such a discourse has two functions. One is to enhance the "fun" and child-appropriate-ness of the films in a marketing arena. The other, however, disguises the very real, very mundane and very tedious work that actually goes into computer animation (not to mention Disney's well-known corporate bastardry), which, objectively, is far more like factory production than we would like to think. The technology of these productions is always discussed; the work of production is never mentioned. For example, another review of Toy Story claims that rendering the film took "800,000 computer hours", but makes no mention of how many people worked for how long to operate those computers. Thus, descriptions of animation workplaces as playgrounds feed into the "magic" discourses which are traditionally associated with animation. One's first instinct is to disbelieve the above type of description of a workplace as mere "publicity", as a lie constructed to perpetuate the conditions of production. As Smoodin points out, the technological and creative discourses around animation embody one of the "paradoxes of capitalist mythology: industry becomes a wonderland and work turns into fun, while at the same time workers disappear" (96). Academic use of the notion of play picks up on this suspicion, and propagates the discursive division between work and play. Our good leftist assessments of power structures would suggest that there is no room for play in the workplace. There is even less room, presumably, for fun. Fun is a notion fairly effectively erased from academic discourse, as Rutsky has pointed out. Rather, academic use of "play" to describe the structure and nature of texts such as IRC chat, or animated films, turns play into a kind of legitimated "not-work". Unfortunately, it becomes not-fun as well. The problem is that the above descriptions of "work" in an animation studio may be more or less accurate. Certainly, there is a lot of tedious work in animation, but the animation houses I have visited (including Disney Studios in Sydney) are playful places. They do involve loud music, people who dress funny, visiting dogs and an abundance of what can only be described as toys. (Admittedly, some of these 'toys' are very big, cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and are produced by Silicon Graphics.) Similarly, my work as an academic pretty well fits Huizinga's definition of play, with the exception, again, of a separateness in time and space (I am, after all, writing at home on a console still Tetris-warm). And, while the kind of play performed by secretaries and convenience-store clerks in their workplaces might be a fairly desultory kind of play, with a somewhat subdued sense of "fun", it is play nonetheless. It seems that the divide between work and play is perhaps less clear in our lived experiences than it is in our writings. The fuzziness of the divide -- and the determination to maintain its existence, if only academically -- is something deserving of further attention. References De Certeau, Michel. The Practice of Everyday Life. Trans. Steven Rendall. Berkeley: U of California P, 1984. Huizinga, Johan. hom*o Ludens: A Study of the Play Element in Culture. 1949. Trans. George Steiner. London: Paladin, 1970. Johnson, Brian D. "Toy Story." Rev. of Toy Story, dir. John Lasseter. Maclean's 11 Dec. 1995: 74. "Mr Creosote Sketch". Monty Python's The Meaning of Life. Dir. Terry Jones. Perf. John Cleese, Terry Jones. Celandine Films, 1983. Rutsky, R. L., and Justin Wyatt. "Serious Pleasures: Cinematic Pleasure and the Notion of Fun." Cinema Journal 30.1 (1990): 3-19. Smoodin, E. Animating Culture: Hollywood Cartoons from the Sound Era. Oxford: Roundhouse, 1993. Citation reference for this article MLA style: Rebecca Farley. "How Do You Play?" M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 1.5 (1998). [your date of access] <http://www.uq.edu.au/mc/9812/how.php>. Chicago style: Rebecca Farley, "How Do You Play?," M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 1, no. 5 (1998), <http://www.uq.edu.au/mc/9812/how.php> ([your date of access]). APA style: Rebecca Farley. (1998) How do you play? M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 1(5). <http://www.uq.edu.au/mc/9812/how.php> ([your date of access]).

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Marshall,P.David, and Axel Bruns. "Pop." M/C Journal 2, no.4 (June1, 1999). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1757.

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Welcome to the world of pop. Even to announce this issue in such a way seems like a quaint anachronism, a mild nostalgia; the expression echoes the voices of countless TV presenters on Top of the Pops, Beat Club, Countdown, or whatever your local variety was. This association demonstrates that pop has been historically located in the arts and in popular culture as something connected to the 1960s: not so much to the politicisation of musical intent that embodied the late sixties, but to the current of the three-minute-or-less love song, the early Beatles, the vacant but loving repeat of Andy Warhol and his images. The Archies kept it going into the late sixties along with the Monkees and the 1910 Fruitgum Company's beautiful pop bubble "Yummy Yummy Yummy I've Got Love in My Tummy". What pop implied retrospectively was a clear sentiment of unity even as it set up binarisms that separated the serious and significant in popular culture from the ephemera and the momentary, with the perishable products of pop apparently placed quite clearly on the lighter side. This is why there is a nostalgic association between pop and the world: pop implies a simpler unity of the world that is carried momentarily by the pleasure of the song, the image, the dance. It is also why we associate pop with the transitional moments in our lives: it is the music of preteendom, the images of early youth and the moment of unselfconscious dancing to and in front of this aural and visual landscape provided by the very core of the transnational (read "world") culture industries. Those affective connections to cultural products is what pop art plays with and makes the viewer ponder. At the same time, pop styles also move beyond the preteen stage, grow up and change: within the space of a decade, "Yummy Yummy Yummy" mutated to The Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star"; within a similar space of years, a suntanned, mirrorshaded George Michael in Wham! became a Sony-battling (mis)user of public toilets; and eventually, even the once united quintamfeminate of Spice World seems inevitably on the course towards diadochal wars. As much as we may look back on personal and public memories with fondness, pop isn't forever caught in a static McHappyland, where nothing ever changes. Or perhaps that is to say that these (and other) pop styles aren't: beyond the stylistic formations, there seems to be a deeper kind of pop, a kind of primordial soup of popness from which a particular species of pop evolves every once in a while, matures, mutates, and discovers whether it is capable of survival even once it's left home. The momentary pleasure of pop is never completely compartmentalised into an historical moment, however much British popular music documentaries try to produce that effect, or however much the postwar generation venerate their particular liminal moments of the 1960s as the most significant. Pop is regenerative. Just when one thinks that the various strands of popular culture have organised themselves completely into niche markets we have the will-to- worldpop, with something like Spice World or Aqua's Barbie Girl. The term 'pop sensibility' -- sensibility to an underlying 'popness' which doesn't equate with any particular style of pop, but pervades all of them -- is useful here, and it informs some of the articles in this issue. Pop sensibility is an understanding of the pleasure generated by popular culture, and recognises that in some ways they point to complex relationships between people and cultural forms. It is difficult to explain why one of our editors (David) enjoys a hit by the boygroup Five while the other (Axel) has serious difficulties telling one boygroup from another, or from many of the more forgettable members of the Stock/Aitken/Waterman stable of the early 80s; but it is partly connected to seeing through the various generations of musical style a pop sensibility that has something to do with accessibility and the pleasure generated by that complex simplicity. Pop engages us with what Fiske described as the "art of making do" and thereby is a conduit to the operations of contemporary culture, industrially and culturally. The 'pop' issue of M/C explores this pop sensibility or, in some cases, a pop sensitivity through a variety of channels that should onomatopoeically "pop" into your thinking processes. Martin Laba's feature article "Picking through the Trash" provides the pin to burst cultural studies' reading of the popular bubble, by identifying and then working through the meaning of the supposed detritus of popular culture that doesn't possess the cultural cache of either 'marginal' or 'hip' status. His inspiration remains Don DeLillo's White Noise for its celebration and lament of the popular as it is organised through consumer culture and the various uses made of the apparent ephemera of contemporary culture. Pop, from Laba's perspective, remains the source for understanding the deep structure of the contemporary, and through detailed investigation in the tradition of DeLillo we can unearth the organisation of cultural value. Sean Smith also dances in the light of consumer culture in his tragicomic "Ya Bloody Cappie!", through his sudden realisation that his hard-working consumption practices had been appropriated as a popular culture practice and demographically defined in a way that made them seem as contrived and deplorable as those of the 1980s yuppie. The identification of the cappie, the Face-designed acronym for Consumer of Alternative Pricey Products, presents a crisis of persona for Smith, and leads to a perceptive reading of this shift as evidence of a new "class formation" through a shifted organisation of the self via a form of exclusive cultural capital. Such media stereotyping gone wrong may be partly behind the atrocities committed by members of the often-quoted "trenchcoat mafia" at Littleton, Colorado, but the media have turned a predictably blind eye to their own complicity in the shootings. In "Seen But Not Heard: Pop Culture Scapegoats and the Media Discourse Hierarchy", Nick Caldwell investigates the incredibly repetitive media patterning of establishing cause and effect relationships between outbreaks of youth violence and the usual suspects of cultural artefacts: 'satanic' popular music and grossly violent and antisocial computer games. Caldwell's article finds the discursive proliferation sadly familiar as the media looks to popular culture to stitch together its neverending narrative without the requisite sideways glance at the cultural context of violence. Benign or malignant, media power is also evident in the excitement leading up to and surrounding the release of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, and we simply couldn't pass by this major artefact of current pop culture in this issue. In many ways, Tara Brabazon's "A Red Light Sabre to Go and Other Histories of the Present" is a process of excavation of popular cultural memory. In an elaborate reclamation program, Brabazon establishes Star Wars as a generational benchmark for a certain affectivity or -- in our terms -- pop sensibility that intersects with how cultural experiences are received by that same generation. Linking the Star Wars generation with Generation X (and her academic/pop self), Brabazon weaves a shifted tapestry of the significance of cultural memory in working out contemporary engagements with culture, and thereby presents whole new territories for the investigation of what Raymond Williams called "the structure of feeling". Cultural studies academics unimpressed with George Lucas's storytelling abilities have plenty of other fields to cover, too, though. Diane Railton's "Justify My Love: Popular Culture and the Academy" provides an invigilating examination of where academics have engaged with popular culture. Her critique is with what may be called new Bourdieuian 'distinctions', where popular music is reintegrated into cultural judgments of taste and thereby simply recategorised with shifted monikers of high (legitimate) and low (illegitimate) designations. Railton calls for a realisation of the political nature of academic work on popular culture that moves beyond this new and shifted constitution of cultural elitism. One of the key divides in research into popular music is about authenticity, which often gets reorganised into new categorisations of cultural value. In "Seeing Sound, Hearing Image: 'Remixing' Authenticity in Popular Music Studies" Steve Jones has provided a map through the debates in popular music studies on how the authentic is deployed by scholars. Jones situates the significance of affect in understanding the pop aesthetic and provides some material for how new technologies are shifting the ground on which popular music's authenticity has been built. Two of the remaining articles in this issue also deal with authenticity in various ways, if not necessarily as the term is used by Jones. In the first of these, "Painting Out Pop: 'Andy Warhol' as a Character in 90s Films", Julie Turnock traces more or less authentic portrayals of Andy Warhol (what would a 'pop' issue be without him?) in recent movies. She uncovers how Andy Warhol's blank visage sits uncomfortably with the narrative and content of three films that need the richness of a normative biography. In the process, the films cannot deal with the conceptualisation of pop that Warhol embodied as an artist, where content disappears to surface and repetition. The celebrity persona of Warhol in its contentlessness is Warhol's ultimate canvas, but the films miss this completely. Where Warhol's celebrity refuses its biopic, David Riddell discovers that sports god Wayne Gretzky's retirement reproduces naturally and seamlessly the spectacle of ice hockey into a movie narrative. Riddell's "Wayne's World: The Making of a Hockey Movie" is a close textual reading of Wayne Gretzky's last game in terms of heavily pre- planned causation which transforms the pleasures of the unexpected that are part of watching any sporting event into the constructed celebrity spectacle, throwing into doubt its authenticity as a sports contest. The blur of speed and spontaneity that is ice hockey becomes the blur of celebrity where fact and fabrication are melted together. Warhol and Gretzky (there's an unexpected pairing!) as media superstars both represent the way pop is defined by the cultural industries in all its crassness and oversimplification; frequently, though, the media's attention is self- centred, in a continuous desire to rate their popularity and measure it against those of their rivals. Axel Bruns's "What's Pop, and What's Not? Measuring Popularity in the Many-to-Many Age" questions the meaningfulness of these ratings, and debates the significance of the ways the Internet determines popularity (for example through the ubiquitous counters). Playing against the need to construct an audience to sell to someone (and advertisers are of course always welcome at the bustling M/C site itself) is the manner in which the Internet is constructed, used and abused by its surfers. The mythic models of measuring the television audience prove to be inadequate to describe the forms of interactions and sideward hypertext movements on the contemporary Web. Nevertheless, the counting goes on.... Finally, we turn to myths of a different kind. There is a certain pop sensitivity that Adam Dodd's article, "Making It Unpopular: The CIA and UFOs in Popular Culture" identifies in 1950s America. Dodd's provocatively argued piece indicates that a fear of mass hysteria motivated moves by the CIA and other government agencies to debunk through apparent explanation any possibility that UFOs actually existed and were seen. The desire to believe was so strong in the popular will that the American agencies felt compelled to work in propagandistic techniques to manipulate that belief. Although we may never know with the amount of propaganda and misinformation masquerading as fact, Dodd presents an interesting case study in the government control and movement of information about a popular cultural phenomenon. From "Yummy Yummy Yummy" to White Noise, from Warhol to Gretzky, from satanic music to academically accepted 'pop', from Star Wars to 'real' UFOs, the scope of this issue of M/C demonstrates the wide reach and diversity of 'the popular'. As issue editors, we hope it will also prove popular with our readers (a pun which had to be made eventually), and won't leave the shallow aftertaste of so much average pop. Much rather, we'd like you to remember once again those 60s pop music shows and agree that "it's a hit!" (And feel free to hit M/C's pages frequently and repeatedly.) P. David Marshall Axel Bruns 'Pop' Issue Editors Citation reference for this article MLA style: P. David Marshall, Axel Bruns. "Editorial: 'Pop'." M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 2.4 (1999). [your date of access] <http://www.uq.edu.au/mc/9906/edit.php>. Chicago style: P. David Marshall, Axel Bruns, "Editorial: 'Pop'," M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 2, no. 4 (1999), <http://www.uq.edu.au/mc/9906/edit.php> ([your date of access]). APA style: P. David Marshall, Axel Bruns. (1999) Editorial: 'Pop'. M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 2(4). <http://www.uq.edu.au/mc/9906/edit.php> ([your date of access]).

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Levine, Michael, and William Taylor. "The Upside of Down: Disaster and the Imagination 50 Years On." M/C Journal 16, no.1 (March18, 2013). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.586.

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IntroductionIt has been nearly half a century since the appearance of Susan Sontag’s landmark essay “The Imagination of Disaster.” The critic wrote of the public fascination with science fiction disaster films, claiming that, on the one hand “from a psychological point of view, the imagination of disaster does not greatly differ from one period in history to another [but, on the other hand] from a political and moral point of view, it does” (224). Even if Sontag is right about aspects of the imagination of disaster not changing, the types, frequency, and magnitude of disasters and their representation in media and popular culture suggest that dynamic conditions prevail on both counts. Disaster has become a significantly urban phenomenon, and highly publicised “worst case” scenarios such as Hurricane Katrina and the Haiti earthquake highlight multiple demographic, cultural, and environmental contexts for visualising cataclysm. The 1950s and 60s science fiction films that Sontag wrote about were filled with marauding aliens and freaks of disabused science. Since then, their visual and dramatic effects have been much enlarged by all kinds of disaster scenarios. Partly imagined, these scenarios have real-life counterparts with threats from terrorism and the war on terror, pan-epidemics, and global climate change. Sontag’s essay—like most, if not all of the films she mentions—overlooked the aftermath; that is, the rebuilding, following extra-terrestrial invasion. It ignored what was likely to happen when the monsters were gone. In contrast, the psychological as well as the practical, social, and economic aspects of reconstruction are integral to disaster discourse today. Writing about how architecture might creatively contribute to post-conflict (including war) and disaster recovery, for instance, Boano elaborates the psychological background for rebuilding, where the material destruction of dwellings and cities “carries a powerful symbolic erosion of security, social wellbeing and place attachment” (38); these are depicted as attributes of selfhood and identity that must be restored. Similarly, Hutchison and Bleiker (385) adopt a view evident in disaster studies, that disaster-struck communities experience “trauma” and require inspired responses that facilitate “healing and reconciliation” as well as material aid such as food, housing, and renewed infrastructure. This paper revisits Sontag’s “The Imagination of Disaster,” fifty years on in view of the changing face of disasters and their representation in film media, including more recent films. The paper then considers disaster recovery and outlines the difficult path that “creative industries” like architecture and urban planning must tread when promising a vision of rebuilding that provides for such intangible outcomes as “healing and reconciliation.” We find that hopes for the seemingly positive psychologically- and socially-recuperative outcomes accompanying the prospect of rebuilding risk a variety of generalisation akin to wish-fulfilment that Sontag finds in disaster films. The Psychology of Science Fiction and Disaster FilmsIn “The Imagination of Disaster,” written at or close to the height of the Cold War, Sontag ruminates on what America’s interest in, if not preoccupation with, science fiction films tell us about ourselves. Their popularity cannot be explained in terms of their entertainment value alone; or if it can, then why audiences found (and still find) such films entertaining is something that itself needs explanation.Depicted in media like photography and film, utopian and dystopian thought have at least one thing in common. Their visions of either perfected or socially alienated worlds are commonly prompted by criticism of the social/political status quo and point to its reform. For Sontag, science fiction films portrayed both people’s worst nightmares concerning disaster and catastrophe (e.g. the end of the world; chaos; enslavement; mutation), as well as their facile victories over the kinds of moral, political, and social dissolution the films imaginatively depicted. Sontag does not explicitly attribute such “happy endings” to wish-fulfilling phantasy and ego-protection. (“Phantasy” is to be distinguished from fantasy. It is a psychoanalytic term for states of mind, often symbolic in form, resulting from infantile wish-fulfilment, desires and instincts.) She does, however, describe the kinds of fears, existential concerns (like annihilation), and crises of meaning they are designed (purpose built) to allay. The fears are a product of the time—the down and dark side of technology (e.g. depersonalisation; ambivalence towards science, scientists, and technology) and changes wrought in our working and personal lives by urbanisation. In short, then as now, science fictions films were both expressions of deep and genuine worries and of the pressing need to inventively set them to rest.When Sontag claims that “the imagination of disaster does not greatly differ” (224) from one period to another, this is because, psychologically speaking, neither the precipitating concerns and fears (death, loss of love, meaninglessness, etc.), nor the ways in which people’s minds endeavour to assuage them, substantively differ. What is different is the way they are depicted. This is unsurprisingly a function of the political, social, and moral situations and milieus that provide the context in which the imagination of disaster unfolds. In contemporary society, the extent to which the media informs and constructs the context in which the imagination operates is unprecedented.Sontag claims that there is little if any criticism of the real social and political conditions that bring about the fears the films depict (223). Instead, fantasy operates so as to displace and project the actual causes away from their all too human origins into outer space and onto aliens. In a sense, this is the core and raison d’etre for such films. By their very nature, science fiction films of the kind Sontag is discussing cannot concern themselves with genuine social or political criticism (even though the films are necessarily expressive of such criticism). Any serious questioning of the moral and political status quo—conditions that are responsible for the disasters befalling people—would hamper the operation of fantasy and its production of temporarily satisfying “solutions” to whatever catastrophe is being depicted.Sontag goes on to discuss various strategies science fiction employs to deal with such fears. For example, through positing a bifurcation between good and evil, and grossly oversimplifying the moral complexity of situations, it allows one to “give outlet to cruel or at least amoral feelings” (215) and to exercise feelings of superiority—moral and otherwise. Ambiguous feelings towards science and technology are repressed. Quick and psychologically satisfying fixes are sought for these by means of phantasy and the imaginative construction of invulnerable heroes. Much of what Sontag says can straightforwardly be applied to catastrophe in general. “Alongside the hopeful fantasy of moral simplification and international unity embodied in the science fiction films lurk the deepest anxieties about contemporary existence” (220). Sontag writes:In the films it is by means of images and sounds […] that one can participate in the fantasy of living through one’s own death and more, the death of cities, the destruction of humanity itself. Science fiction films are not about science. They are about disaster, which is one of the oldest subjects in art. In science fiction films disaster is rarely viewed intensively; it is always extensive. It is a matter of quality and ingenuity […] the science fiction film […] is concerned with the aesthetics of disaster […] and it is in the imagery of destruction that the core of a good science fiction film lies. (212–13)In science fiction films, disaster, though widespread, is viewed intensively as well as extensively. The disturbances constitutive of the disaster are moral and emotional as well as material. People are left without the mental or physical abilities they need to cope. Government is absent or useless. We find ourselves in what amounts to what Naomi Zack (“Philosophy and Disaster”; Ethics for Disaster) describes as a Hobbesian second state of nature—where government is inoperative and chaos (moral, social, political, personal) reigns. Science fiction’s way out is to imaginatively construct scenarios emotionally satisfying enough to temporarily assuage the distress (anomie or chaos) experienced in the film.There is, however, a tremendous difference in the way in which people who face catastrophic occurrences in their lives, as opposed to science fiction, address the problems. For one thing, they must be far closer to complex and quickly changing realities and uncertain truths than are the phantastic, temporarily gratifying, and morally unproblematic resolutions to the catastrophic scenarios that science fiction envisions. Genuine catastrophe, for example war, undermines and dismantles the structures—material structures to be sure but also those of justice, human kindness, and affectivity—that give us the wherewithal to function and that are shown to be inimical to catastrophe as such. Disaster dispenses with civilization while catastrophe displaces it.Special Effects and Changing StorylinesScience fiction and disaster film genres have been shaped by developments in visual simulation technologies providing opportunities for imaginatively mixing fact and fiction. Developments in filmmaking include computer or digital techniques for reproducing on the screen what can otherwise only be imagined as causal sequences of events and spectacles accompanying the wholesale destruction of buildings and cities—even entire planets. Indeed films are routinely promoted on the basis of how cinematographers and technicians have advanced the state of the art. The revival of 3-D movies with films such as Avatar (2009) and Prometheus (2012) is one of a number of developments augmenting the panoramas of 1950s classics featuring “melting tanks, flying bodies, crashing walls, awesome craters and fissures in the earth, plummeting spacecraft [and] colourful deadly rays” (Sontag 213). An emphasis on the scale of destruction and the wholesale obliteration of recognisable sites emblematic of “the city” (mega-structures like the industrial plant in Aliens (1986) and vast space ships like the “Death Star” in two Star Wars sequels) connect older films with new ones and impress the viewer with ever more extraordinary spectacle.Films that have been remade make for useful comparison. On the whole, these reinforce the continuation and predictability of some storylines (for instance, threats of extra-terrestrial invasion), but also the attenuation or disappearance of other narrative elements such as the monsters and anxieties released by mid-twentieth century atomic tests (Broderick). Remakes also highlight emerging themes requiring novel or updated critical frameworks. For example, environmental anxieties, largely absent in 1950s science fiction films (except for narratives involving colliding worlds or alien contacts) have appeared en masse in recent years, providing an updated view on the ethical issues posed by the fall of cities and communities (Taylor, “Urban”).In The Invasion of the Bodysnatchers and its remakes (1956, 1978, 1993), for example, the organic and vegetal nature of the aliens draws the viewer’s attention to an environment formed by combative species, allowing for threats of infestation, growth and decay of the self and individuality—a longstanding theme. In the most recent version, The Invasion (2007), special effects and directorial spirit render the orifice-seeking tendrils of the pod creatures threateningly vigorous and disturbing (Lim). More sanctimonious than physically invasive, the aliens in the 1951 version of The Day the Earth Stood Still are fed up with humankind’s fixation with atomic self-destruction, and threaten global obliteration on the earth (Cox). In the 2008 remake, the suave alien ambassador, Keanu Reeves, targets the environmental negligence of humanity.Science, including science as fiction, enters into disaster narratives in a variety of ways. Some are less obvious but provocative nonetheless; for example, movies dramatising the arrival of aliens such as War of the Worlds (1953 and 2005) or Alien (1979). These more subtle approaches can be personally confronting even without the mutation of victims into vegetables or zombies. Special effects technologies have made it possible to illustrate the course of catastrophic floods and earthquakes in considerable scientific and visual detail and to represent the interaction of natural disasters, the built environment, and people, from the scale of buildings, homes, and domestic lives to entire cities and urban populations.For instance, the blockbuster film The Day After Tomorrow (2004) runs 118 minutes, but has an uncertain fictional time frame of either a few weeks or 72 hours (if the film’s title is to taken literally). The movie shows the world as we know it being mostly destroyed. Tokyo is shattered by hailstones and Los Angeles is twisted by cyclones the likes of which Dorothy would never have seen. New York disappears beneath a mountainous tsunami. All of these events result from global climate change, though whether this is due to human (in) action or other causes is uncertain. Like their predecessors, the new wave of disaster movies like The Day After Tomorrow makes for questionable “art” (Annan). Nevertheless, their reception opens a window onto broader political and moral contexts for present anxieties. Some critics have condemned The Day After Tomorrow for its scientific inaccuracies—questioning the scale or pace of climate change. Others acknowledge errors while commending efforts to raise environmental awareness (Monbiot). Coincident with the film and criticisms in both the scientific and political arena is a new class of environmental heretic—the climate change denier. This is a shadowy character commonly associated with the presidency of George W. Bush and the oil lobby that uses minor inconsistencies of science to claim that climate change does not exist. One thing underlying both twisting facts for the purposes of making science fiction films and ignoring evidence of climate change is an infantile orientation towards the unknown. In this regard, recent films do what science fiction disaster films have always done. While freely mixing truths and half-truths for the purpose of heightened dramatic effect, they fulfil psychological tasks such as orchestrating nightmare scenarios and all too easy victories on the screen. Uncertainty regarding the precise cause, scale, or duration of cataclysmic natural phenomena is mirrored by suspension of disbelief in the viability of some human responses to portrayals of urban disaster. Science fiction, in other words, invites us to accept as possible the flight of Americans and their values to Mexico (The Day After Tomorrow), the voyage into earth’s molten core (The Core 2003), or the disposal of lava in LA’s drainage system (Volcano 1997). Reinforcing Sontag’s point, here too there is a lack of criticism of the real social and political conditions that bring about the fears depicted in the films (223). Moreover, much like news coverage, images in recent natural disaster films (like their predecessors) typically finish at the point where survivors are obliged to pick up the pieces and start all over again—the latter is not regarded as newsworthy. Allowing for developments in science fiction films and the disaster genre, Sontag’s observation remains accurate. The films are primarily concerned “with the aesthetics of destruction, with the peculiar beauties to be found in wreaking havoc, in making a mess” (213) rather than rebuilding. The Imagination of Disaster RecoverySontag’s essay contributes to an important critical perspective on science fiction film. Variations on her “psychological point of view” have been explored. (The two discourses—psychology and cinema—have parallel and in some cases intertwined histories). Moreover, in the intervening years, psychological or psychoanalytical terms and narratives have themselves become even more a part of popular culture. They feature in recent disaster films and disaster recovery discourse in the “real” world.Today, with greater frequency than in the 1950s and 60s films arguably, representations of alien invasion or catastrophic global warming serve to background conflict resolutions of a more quotidian and personal nature. Hence, viewers are led to suspect that Tom Cruise will be more likely to survive the rapacious monsters in the latest The War of the Worlds if he can become less narcissistic and a better father. Similarly, Dennis Quaid’s character will be much better prepared to serve a newly glaciated America for having rescued his son (and marriage) from the watery deep-freezer that New York City becomes in The Day After Tomorrow. In these films the domestic and familial comprise a domain of inter-personal and communal relations from which victims and heroes appear. Currents of thought from the broad literature of disaster studies and Western media also call upon this domain. The imagination of disaster recovery has come to partly resemble a set of problems organised around the needs of traumatised communities. These serve as an object of urban governance, planning, and design conceived in different ways, but largely envisioned as an organic unity that connects urban populations, their pasts, and settings in a meaningful, psychologically significant manner (Furedi; Hutchison and Bleiker; Boano). Terms like “place” or concepts like Boano’s “place-attachment" (38) feature in this discourse to describe this unity and its subjective dimensions. Consider one example. In August 2006, one year after Katrina, the highly respected Journal of Architectural Education dedicated a special issue to New Orleans and its reconstruction. Opening comments by editorialist Barbara Allen include claims presupposing enduring links between the New Orleans community conceived as an organic whole, its architectural heritage imagined as a mnemonic vehicle, and the city’s unique setting. Though largely unsupported (and arguably unsupportable) the following proposition would find agreement across a number of disaster studies and resonates in commonplace reasoning:The culture of New Orleans is unique. It is a mix of ancient heritage with layers and adaptations added by successive generations, resulting in a singularly beautiful cultural mosaic of elements. Hurricane Katrina destroyed buildings—though not in the city’s historic core—and displaced hundreds of thousands of people, but it cannot wipe out the memories and spirit of the citizens. (4) What is intriguing about the claim is an underlying intellectual project that subsumes psychological and sociological domains of reasoning within a distinctive experience of community, place, and memory. In other words, the common belief that memory is an intrinsic part of the human condition of shock and loss gives form to a theory of how urban communities experience disaster and how they might re-build—and justify rebuilding—themselves. This is problematic and invites anachronistic thinking. While communities are believed to be formed partly by memories of a place, “memory” is neither a collective faculty nor is it geographically bounded. Whose memories are included and which ones are not? Are these truly memories of one place or do they also draw on other real or imagined places? Moreover—and this is where additional circ*mspection is inspired by our reading of Sontag’s essay—does Allen’s editorial contribute to an aestheticised image of place, rather than criticism of the social and political conditions required for reconstruction to proceed with justice, compassionately and affectively? Allowing for civil liberties to enter the picture, Allen adds “it is necessary to enable every citizen to come back to this exceptional city if they so desire” (4). However, given that memories of places and desires for their recovery are not univocal, and often contain competing visions of what was and should be, it is not surprising they should result in competing expectations for reconstruction efforts. This has clearly proven the case for New Orleans (Vederber; Taylor, “Typologies”)ConclusionThe comparison of films invites an extension of Sontag’s analysis of the imagination of disaster to include the psychology, politics, and morality of rebuilding. Can a “psychological point of view” help us to understand not only the motives behind capturing so many scenes of destruction on screen and television, but also something of the creative impulses driving reconstruction? This invites a second question. How do some impulses, particularly those caricatured as the essence of an “enterprise culture” (Heap and Ross) associated with America’s “can-do” or others valorised as positive outcomes of catastrophe in The Upside of Down (Homer-Dixon), highlight or possibly obscure criticism of the conditions which made cities like New Orleans vulnerable in the first place? The broad outline of an answer to the second question begins to appear only when consideration of the ethics of disaster and rebuilding are taken on board. If “the upside” of “the down” wrought by Hurricane Katrina, for example, is rebuilding of any kind, at any price, and for any person, then the equation works (i.e., there is a silver lining for every cloud). If, however, the range of positives is broadened to include issues of social justice, then the figures require more complex arithmetic.ReferencesAllen, Barbara. “New Orleans and Katrina: One Year Later.” Journal of Architectural Education 60.1 (2006): 4.Annan, David. Catastrophe: The End of the Cinema? London: Lorrimer, 1975.Boano, Camillo. “‘Violent Space’: Production and Reproduction of Security and Vulnerabilities.” The Journal of Architecture 16 (2011): 37–55.Broderick, Mick, ed. Hibakusha Cinema: Hiroshima, Nagasaki and the Nuclear Image in Japanese Film. London: Kegan Paul, 1996.Cox, David. “Get This, Aliens: We Just Don’t Care!” The Guardian 15 Dec. 2008 ‹http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/filmblog/2008/dec/15/the-day-the-earth-stood-still›. Furedi, Frank. “The Changing Meaning of Disaster.” Area 39.4 (2007): 482–89.Heap, Shaun H., and Angus Ross, eds. Understanding the Enterprise Culture: Themes in the Work of Mary Douglas. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1992. Homer-Dixon, Thomas. The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity and the Renewal of Civilization. Washington, DC: Island Press, 2006.Hutchison, Emma, and Roland Bleiker. “Emotional Reconciliation: Reconstituting Identity and Community after Trauma.” European Journal of Social Theory 11 (2008): 385–403.Lim, Dennis. “Same Old Aliens, But New Neuroses.” New York Times 12 Aug. 2007: A17.Monbiot, George. “A Hard Rain's A-gonna Fall.” The Guardian 14 May 2004.Sontag, Susan. “The Imagination of Disaster” (1965). Against Interpretation and Other Essays. New York: Dell, 1979. 209–25.Taylor, William M. “Typologies of Katrina: Mnemotechnics in Post-Disaster New Orleans.” Interstices 13 (2012): 71–84.———. “Urban Disasters: Visualising the Fall of Cities and the Forming of Human Values.” Journal of Architecture 11.5 (2006): 603–12.Verderber, Stephen. “Five Years After – Three New Orleans Neighborhoods.” Journal of Architectural Education 64.1 (2010): 107–20.Zack, Naomi. Ethics for Disaster. New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 2009.———. “Philosophy and Disaster.” Homeland Security Affairs 2, article 5 (April 2006): ‹http://www.hsaj.org/?article=2.1.5›.FilmographyAlien. Dir. Ridley Scott. Brandywine Productions, 1979.Aliens. Dir. James Cameron. Brandywine Productions, 1986.Avatar. Dir. James Cameron. Lightstorm Entertainment et al., 2009.The Core. Dir. Jon Amiel. Paramount Pictures, 2003.The Day after Tomorrow. Dir. Roland Emmerich. 20th Century Fox, 2004.The Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Dir. Don Siegel. Allied Artists, 1956; also 1978 and 1993.The Invasion. Dirs. Oliver Hirschbiegel and Jame McTeigue. Village Roadshow et al, 2007.Prometheus. Dir. Ridley Scott. Scott Free and Brandywine Productions, 2012Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Dir. George Lucas. Lucasfilm, 1977.Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. Dir. George Lucas. Lucasfilm, 1983.Volcano. Dir. Mick Jackson. 20th Century Fox, 1997.War of the Worlds. Dir. George Pal. Paramount, 1953; also Steven Spielberg. Paramount, 2005.Acknowledgments The authors are grateful to Oenone Rooksby and Joely-Kym Sobott for their assistance and advice when preparing this article. It was also made possible in part by a grant from the Australian Research Council.

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Stamm, Emma. "Anomalous Forms in Computer Music." M/C Journal 23, no.5 (October7, 2020). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1682.

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IntroductionFor Gilles Deleuze, computational processes cannot yield the anomalous, or that which is unprecedented in form and content. He suggests that because computing functions are mechanically standardised, they always share the same ontic character. M. Beatrice Fazi claims that the premises of his critique are flawed. Her monograph Contingent Computation: Abstraction, Experience, and Indeterminacy in Computational Aesthetics presents an integrative reading of thinkers including Henri Bergson, Alfred North Whitehead, Kurt Gödel, Alan Turing, and Georg Cantor. From this eclectic basis, Fazi demonstrates that computers differ from humans in their modes of creation, yet still produce qualitative anomaly. This article applies her research to the cultural phenomenon of live-coded music. Live coding artists improvise music by writing audio computer functions which produce sound in real time. I draw from Fazi’s reading of Deleuze and Bergson to investigate the aesthetic mechanisms of live coding. In doing so, I give empirical traction to her argument for the generative properties of computers.Part I: Reconciling the Discrete and the Continuous In his book Difference and Repetition, Deleuze defines “the new” as that which radically differs from the known and familiar (136). Deleuzean novelty bears unpredictable creative potential; as he puts it, the “new” “calls forth forces in thought which are not the forces of recognition” (136). These forces issue from a space of alterity which he describes as a “terra incognita” and a “completely other model” (136). Fazi writes that Deleuze’s conception of novelty informs his aesthetic philosophy. She notes that Deleuze follows the etymological origins of the word “aesthetic”, which lie in the Ancient Greek term aisthēsis, or perception from senses and feelings (Fazi, “Digital Aesthetics” 5). Deleuze observes that senses, feelings, and cognition are interwoven, and suggests that creative processes beget new links between these faculties. In Fazi’s words, Deleuzean aesthetic research “opposes any existential modality that separates life, thought, and sensation” (5). Here, aesthetics does not denote a theory of art and is not concerned with such traditional topics as beauty, taste, and genre. Aesthetics-as-aisthēsis investigates the conditions which make it possible to sense, cognise, and create anomalous phenomena, or that which has no recognisable forebear.Fazi applies Deleuzean aesthetics towards an ontological account of computation. Towards this end, she challenges Deleuze’s precept that computers cannot produce the aesthetic “new”. As she explains, Deleuze denies this ability to computers on the grounds that computation operates on discrete variables, or data which possess a quantitatively finite array of possible values (6). Deleuze understands discreteness as both a quantitative and ontic condition, and implies that computation cannot surpass this originary state. In his view, only continuous phenomena are capable of aisthēsis as the function which yields ontic novelty (5). Moreover, he maintains that continuous entities cannot be represented, interpreted, symbolised, or codified. The codified discreteness of computation is therefore “problematic” within his aesthetic framework “inasmuch it exemplifies yet another development of the representational”. or a repetition of sameness (6). The Deleuzean act of aisthēsis does not compute, repeat, or iterate what has come before. It yields nothing less than absolute difference.Deleuze’s theory of creation as differentiation is prefigured by Bergson’s research on multiplicity, difference and time. Bergson holds that the state of being multiple is ultimately qualitative rather than quantitative, and that multiplicity is constituted by qualitative incommensurability, or difference in kind as opposed to degree (Deleuze, Bergsonism 42). Qualia are multiple when they cannot not withstand equivocation through a common substrate. Henceforth, entities that comprise discrete data, including all products and functions of digital computation, cannot aspire to true multiplicity or difference. In The Creative Mind, Bergson considers the concept of time from this vantage point. As he indicates, time is normally understood as numerable and measurable, especially by mathematicians and scientists (13). He sets out to show that this conception is an illusion, and that time is instead a process by which continuous qualia differentiate and self-actualise as unique instances of pure time, or what he calls “duration as duration”. As he puts it,the measuring of time never deals with duration as duration; what is counted is only a certain number of extremities of intervals, or moments, in short, virtual halts in time. To state that an incident will occur at the end of a certain time t, is simply to say that one will have counted, from now until then, a number t of simultaneities of a certain kind. In between these simultaneities anything you like may happen. (12-13)The in-between space where “anything you like may happen” inspired Deleuze’s notion of ontic continua, or entities whose quantitative limitlessness connects with their infinite aesthetic potentiality. For Bergson, those who believe that time is finite and measurable “cannot succeed in conceiving the radically new and unforeseeable”, a sentiment which also appears to have influenced Deleuze (The Creative Mind 17).The legacy of Bergson and Deleuze is traceable to the present era, where the alleged irreconcilability of the discrete and the continuous fuels debates in digital media studies. Deleuze is not the only thinker to explore this tension: scholars in the traditions of phenomenology, critical theory, and post-Marxism have positioned the continuousness of thought and feeling against the discreteness of computation (Fazi, “Digital Aesthetics” 7). Fazi contributes to this discourse by establishing that the ontic character of computation is not wholly predicated on quantitatively discrete elements. Drawing from Turing’s theory of computability, she claims that computing processes incorporate indeterminable and uncomputable forces in open-ended processes that “determine indeterminacy” (Fazi, Contingent Computation 1). She also marshals philosopher Stamatia Portanova, whose book Moving Without a Body: Digital Philosophy and Choreographic Thoughtsindicates that discrete and continuous components merge in processes that digitise bodily motion (Portanova 3). In a similar but more expansive maneuver, Fazi declares that the discrete and continuous coalesce in all computational operations. Although Fazi’s work applies to all forms of computing, it casts new light on specific devices, methodologies, and human-computer interfaces. In the next section, I use her reading of Bergsonian elements in Deleuze to explore the contemporary artistic practice of live coding. My reading situates live coding in the context of studies on improvisation and creative indeterminacy.Part II: Live Coding as Contingent Improvisational PracticeThe term “live coding” describes an approach to programming where computer functions immediately render as images and/or sound. Live coding interfaces typically feature two windows: one for writing source code and another which displays code outcomes, for example as graphic visualisations or audio. The practice supports the rapid evaluation, editing, and exhibition of code in progress (“A History of Live Programming”). Although it encompasses many different activities, the phrase “live coding” is most often used in the context of computer music. In live coding performances or “AlgoRaves,” musicians write programs on stage in front of audiences. The programming process might be likened to playing an instrument. Typically, the coding interface is projected on a large screen, allowing audiences to see the musical score as it develops (Magnusson, “Improvising with the Threnoscope” 19). Technologists, scholars, and educators have embraced live coding as both a creative method and an object of study. Because it provides immediate feedback, it is especially useful as a pedagogical aide. Sonic Pi, a user-friendly live coding language, was originally designed to teach programming basics to children. It has since been adopted by professional musicians across the world (Aaron). Despites its conspicuousness in educational and creative settings, scholars have rarely explored live coding in the context of improvisation studies. Programmers Gordan Kreković and Antonio Pošćic claim that this is a notable oversight, as improvisation is its “most distinctive feature”. In their view, live coding is most simply defined as an improvisational method, and its strong emphasis on chance sets it apart from other approaches to computer music (Kreković and Pošćić). My interest with respect to live coding lies in how its improvisational mechanisms blend computational discreteness and continuous “real time”. I do not mean to suggest that live coding is the only implement for improvising music with computers. Any digital instrument can be used to spontaneously play, produce, and record sound. What makes live coding unique is that it merges the act of playing with the process of writing notation: musicians play for audiences in the very moment that they produce a written score. The process fuses the separate functions of performing, playing, seeing, hearing, and writing music in a patently Deleuzean act of aisthēsis. Programmer Thor Magnusson writes that live coding is the “offspring” of two very different creative practices: first, “the formalization and encoding of music”; second, “open work resisting traditional forms of encoding” (“Algorithms as Scores” 21). By “traditional forms of encoding”, Magnusson refers to computer programs which function only insofar as source code files are static and immutable. By contrast, live coding relies on the real-time elaboration of new code. As an improvisational art, the process and product of live-coding does not exist without continuous interventions from external forces.My use of the phrase “real time” evokes Bergson’s concept of “pure time” or “duration as duration”. “Real time” phenomena are understood to occur instantaneously, that is, at no degree of temporal removal from those who produce and experience them. However, Bergson suggests that instantaneity is a myth. By his account, there always exists some degree of removal between events as they occur and as they are perceived, even if this gap is imperceptibly small. Regardless of size, the indelible space in time has important implications for theories of improvisation. For Deleuze and Bergson, each continuous particle of time is a germinal seed for the new. Fazi uses the word “contingent” to describe this ever-present, infinite potentiality (Contingent Computation, 1). Improvisation studies scholar Dan DiPiero claims that the concept of contingency not only qualifies future possibilities, but also describes past events that “could have been otherwise” (2). He explains his reasoning as follows:before the event, the outcome is contingent as in not-yet-known; after the event, the result is contingent as in could-have-been-otherwise. What appears at first blush a frustrating theoretical ambiguity actually points to a useful insight: at any given time in any given process, there is a particular constellation of openings and closures, of possibilities and impossibilities, that constitute a contingent situation. Thus, the contingent does not reference either the open or the already decided but both at once, and always. (2)Deleuze might argue that only continuous phenomena are contingent, and that because they are quantitatively finite, the structures of computational media — including the sound and notation of live coding scores — can never “be otherwise” or contingent as such. Fazi intervenes by indicating the role of quantitative continuousness in all computing functions. Moreover, she aligns her project with emerging theories of computing which “focus less on internal mechanisms and more on external interaction”, or interfaces with continuous, non-computational contexts (“Digital Aesthetics,” 19). She takes computational interactions with external environments, such as human programmers and observers, as “the continuous directionality of composite parts” (19).To this point, it matters that discrete objects always exist in relation to continuous environments, and that discrete objects make up continuous fluxes when mobilised as part of continuous temporal processes. It is for this reason that Portanova uses the medium of dance to explore the entanglement of discreteness and temporal contingency. As with music, the art of dance depends on the continuous unfolding of time. Fazi writes that Portanova’s study of choreography reveals “the unlimited potential that every numerical bit of a program, or every experiential bit of a dance (every gesture and step), has to change and be something else” (Contingent Computation, 39). As with the zeroes and ones of a binary computing system, the footfalls of a dance materialise as discrete parts which inhabit and constitute continuous vectors of time. Per Deleuzean aesthetics-as-aisthēsis, these parts yield new connections between sound, space, cognition, and feeling. DiPiero indicates that in the case of improvised artworks, the ontic nature of these links defies anticipation. In his words, improvisation forces artists and audiences to “think contingency”. “It is not that discrete, isolated entities connect themselves to form something greater”, he explains, “but rather that the distance between the musician as subject and the instrument as object is not clearly defined” (3). So, while live coder and code persist as separate phenomena, the coding/playing/performing process highlights the qualitative indeterminacy of the space between them. Each moment might beget the unrecognisable — and this ineluctable, ever-present surprise is essential to the practice.To be sure, there are elements of predetermination in live coding practices. For example, musicians often save and return to specific functions in the midst of performances. But as Kreković and Pošćić point out all modes of improvisation rely on patterning and standardisation, including analog and non-computational techniques. Here, they cite composer John Cage’s claim that there exists no “true” improvisation because artists “always find themselves in routines” (Kreković and Pošćić). In a slight twist on Cage, Kreković and Pošćić insist that repetition does not make improvisation “untrue”, but rather that it points to an expanded role for indeterminacy in all forms of composition. As they write,[improvisation] can both be viewed as spontaneous composition and, when distilled to its core processes, a part of each compositional approach. Continuous and repeated improvisation can become ingrained, classified, and formalised. Or, if we reverse the flow of information, we can consider composition to be built on top of quiet, non-performative improvisations in the mind of the composer. (Kreković and Pošćić)This commentary echoes Deleuze’s thoughts on creativity and ontic continuity. To paraphrase Kreković and Pošćić, the aisthēsis of sensing, feeling, and thinking yields quiet, non-performative improvisations that play continuously in each individual mind. Fazi’s reading of Deleuze endows computable phenomena with this capacity. She does not endorse a computational theory of cognition that would permit computers to think and feel in the same manner as humans. Instead, she proposes a Deleuzean aesthetic capacity proper to computation. Live coding exemplifies the creative potential of computers as articulated by Fazi in Contingent Computation. Her research has allowed me to indicate live coding as an embodiment of Deleuze and Bergson’s theories of difference and creativity. Importantly, live coding affirms their philosophical premises not in spite of its technologised discreteness — which they would have considered problematic — but because it leverages discreteness in service of the continuous aesthetic act. My essay might also serve as a prototype for studies on digitality which likewise aim to supersede the divide between discrete and continuous media. As I have hopefully demonstrated, Fazi’s framework allows scholars to apprehend all forms of computation with enhanced clarity and openness to new possibilities.Coda: From Aesthetics to PoliticsBy way of a coda, I will reflect on the relevance of Fazi’s work to contemporary political theory. In “Digital Aesthetics”, she makes reference to emerging “oppositions to the mechanization of life” from “post-structuralist, postmodernist and post-Marxist” perspectives (7). One such argument comes from philosopher Bernard Stiegler, whose theory of psychopower conceives “the capture of attention by technological means” as a political mechanism (“Biopower, Psychopower and the Logic of the Scapegoat”). Stiegler is chiefly concerned with the psychic impact of discrete technological devices. As he argues, the habitual use of these instruments advances “a proletarianization of the life of the mind” (For a New Critique of Political Economy 27). For Stiegler, human thought is vulnerable to discretisation processes, which effects the loss of knowledge and quality of life. He considers this process to be a form of political hegemony (34).Philosopher Antoinette Rouvroy proposes a related theory called “algorithmic governmentality” to describe the political effects of algorithmic prediction mechanisms. As she claims, predictive algorithms erode “the excess of the possible on the probable”, or all that cannot be accounted for in advance by statistical probabilities. In her words,all these events that can occur and that we cannot predict, it is the excess of the possible on the probable, that is everything that escapes it, for instance the actuarial reality with which we try precisely to make the world more manageable in reducing it to what is predictable … we have left this idea of the actuarial reality behind for what I would call a “post-actuarial reality” in which it is no longer about calculating probabilities but to account in advance for what escapes probability and thus the excess of the possible on the probable. (8)In the past five years, Stiegler and Rouvroy have collaborated on research into the politics of technological determinacy. The same issue concerned Deleuze almost three decades ago: his 1992 essay “Postscript on the Societies of Control” warns that future subjugation will proceed as technological prediction and enclosure. He writes of a dystopian society which features a “numerical language of control … made of codes that mark access to information, or reject it” (5). The society of control reduces individuals to “dividuals”, or hom*ogenised and interchangeable numeric fractions (5). These accounts of political power equate digital discreteness with ontic finitude, and suggest that ubiquitous digital computing threatens individual agency and societal diversity. Stiegler and Deleuze envision a sort of digital reification of human subjectivity; Rouvroy puts forth the idea that algorithmic development will reduce the possibilities inherent in social life to mere statistical likelihoods. While Fazi’s work does not completely discredit these notions, it might instead be used to scrutinise their assumptions. If computation is not ontically finite, then political allegations against it must consider its opposition to human life with greater nuance and rigor.ReferencesAaron, Sam. “Programming as Performance.” Tedx Talks. YouTube, 22 July 2015. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TK1mBqKvIyU&t=333s>.“A History of Live Programming.” Live Prog Blog. 13 Jan. 2013. <liveprogramming.github.io/liveblog/2013/01/a-history-of-live-programming/>.Bergson, Henri. The Creative Mind: An Introduction to Metaphysics. Trans. Mabelle L. Andison. New York City: Carol Publishing Group, 1992.———. Time and Free Will: An Essay on the Immediate Data of Consciousness. Trans. F.L. Pogson. Mineola: Dover Publications, 2001.Deleuze, Gilles. Difference and Repetition. Trans. Paul Patton. New York City: Columbia UP, 1994.———. "Postscript on the Societies of Control." October 59 (1992): 3-7.———. Bergsonism. Trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam. New York City: Zone Books, 1991.DiPiero, Dan. “Improvisation as Contingent Encounter, Or: The Song of My Toothbrush.” Critical Studies in Improvisation / Études Critiques en Improvisation 12.2 (2018). <https://www.criticalimprov.com/index.php/csieci/article/view/4261>.Fazi, M. Beatrice. Contingent Computation: Abstraction, Experience, and Indeterminacy in Computational Aesthetics. London: Rowman & Littlefield International, 2018.———. “Digital Aesthetics: The Discrete and the Continuous.” Theory, Culture & Society 36.1 (2018): 3-26.Fortune, Stephen. “What on Earth Is Livecoding?” Dazed Digital, 14 May 2013. <https://www.dazeddigital.com/artsandculture/article/16150/1/what-on-earth-is-livecoding>.Kreković, Gordan, and Antonio Pošćić. “Modalities of Improvisation in Live Coding.” Proceedings of xCoaX 2019, the 7th Conference on Computation, Communication, Aesthetics & X. Fabbrica del Vapore, Milan, Italy, 5 July 2019.Magnusson, Thor. “Algorithms as Scores: Coding Live Music.” Leonardo Music Journal 21 (2011): 19-23. ———. “Improvising with the Threnoscope: Integrating Code, Hardware, GUI, Network, and Graphic Scores.” Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression. Goldsmiths, University of London, London, England, 1 July 2014.Portanova, Stamatia. Moving without a Body: Digital Philosophy and Choreographic Thoughts. Cambridge, MA: The MIT P, 2013.Rouvroy, Antoinette.“The Digital Regime of Truth: From the Algorithmic Governmentality to a New Rule of Law.” Trans. Anaïs Nony and Benoît Dillet. La Deleuziana: Online Journal of Philosophy 3 (2016). <http://www.ladeleuziana.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Rouvroy-Stiegler_eng.pdf>Stiegler, Bernard. For a New Critique of Political Economy. Malden: Polity Press, 2012.———. “Biopower, Psychopower and the Logic of the Scapegoat.” Ars Industrialis (no date given). <www.arsindustrialis.org/node/2924>.

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Harley, Ross. "Light-Air-Portals: Visual Notes on Differential Mobility." M/C Journal 12, no.1 (February27, 2009). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.132.

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Abstract:

0. IntroductionIf we follow the line of much literature surrounding airports and urban mobility, the emphasis often falls on the fact that these spaces are designed to handle the mega-scale and super-human pace of mass transit. Airports have rightly been associated with velocity, as zones of rapid movement managed by enormous processing systems that guide bodies and things in transit (Pascoe; Pearman; Koolhaas; Gordon; Fuller & Harley). Yet this emphasis tends to ignore the spectrum of tempos and flows that are at play in airport terminals — from stillness to the much exalted hyper-rapidity of mobilized publics in the go-go world of commercial aviation.In this photo essay I'd like to pull a different thread and ask whether it's possible to think of aeromobility in terms of “uneven, differential mobility” (Bissell 280). What would it mean to consider waiting and stillness as forms of bodily engagement operating over a number of different scales and temporalities of movement and anticipation, without privileging speed over stillness? Instead of thinking mobility and stillness as diametrically opposed, can we instead conceive of them as occupying a number of different spatio-temporal registers in a dynamic range of mobility? The following is a provisional "visual ethnography" constructed from photographs of air terminal light boxes I have taken over the last five years (in Amsterdam, London, Chicago, Frankfurt, and Miami). Arranged into a "taxonomy of differentiality", each of these images comes from a slightly different angle, mode or directionality. Each view of these still images displayed in billboard-scale light-emitting devices suggests that there are multiple dimensions of visuality and bodily experience at play in these image-objects. The airport is characterized by an abundance of what appears to be empty space. This may be due to the sheer scale of mass transport, but it also arises from a system of active and non-active zones located throughout contemporary terminals. This photo series emphasises the "emptiness" of these overlooked left-over spaces that result from demands of circulation and construction.1. We Move the WorldTo many travellers, airport gate lounges and their surrounding facilities are loaded with a variety of contradictory associations and affects. Their open warehouse banality and hard industrial sterility tune our bodies to the vast technical and commercial systems that are imbricated through almost every aspect of contemporary everyday life.Here at the departure gate the traveller's body comes to a moment's rest. They are granted a short respite from the anxious routines of check in, body scans, security, information processing, passport scanning, itineraries, boarding procedures and wayfaring the terminal. The landside processing system deposits them at this penultimate point before final propulsion into the invisible airways that pipe them into their destination. We hear the broadcasting of boarding times, check-in times, name's of people that break them away from stillness, forcing people to move, to re-arrange themselves, or to hurry up. Along the way the passenger encounters a variety of techno-spatial experiences that sit at odds with the overriding discourse of velocity, speed and efficiency that lie at the centre of our social understanding of air travel. The airline's phantasmagorical projections of itself as guarantor and enabler of mass mobilities coincides uncomfortably with the passenger's own wish-fulfilment of escape and freedom.In this we can agree with the designer Bruce Mau when he suggests that these projection systems, comprised of "openings of every sort — in schedules, in urban space, on clothes, in events, on objects, in sightlines — are all inscribed with the logic of the market” (Mau 7). The advertising slogans and images everywhere communicate the dual concept that the aviation industry can deliver the world to us on time while simultaneously porting us to any part of the world still willing to accept Diners, VISA or American Express. At each point along the way these openings exhort us to stop, to wait in line, to sit still or to be patient. The weird geographies depicted by the light boxes appear like interpenetrating holes in space and time. These travel portals are strangely still, and only activated by the impending promise of movement.Be still and relax. Your destination is on its way. 2. Attentive AttentionAlongside the panoramic widescreen windows that frame the choreography of the tarmac and flight paths outside, appear luminous advertising light boxes. Snapped tightly to grid and locked into strategic sightlines and thoroughfares, these wall pieces are filled with a rotating menu of contemporary airport haiku and ersatz Swiss graphic design.Mechanically conditioned air pumped out of massive tubes creates the atmosphere for a very particular amalgam of daylight, tungsten, and fluorescent light waves. Low-oxygen-emitting indoor plants are no match for the diesel-powered plant rooms that maintain the constant flow of air to every nook and cranny of this massive processing machine. As Rem Koolhaas puts it, "air conditioning has launched the endless building. If architecture separates buildings, air conditioning unites them" (Koolhaas). In Koolhaas's lingo, these are complex "junkspaces" unifying, colliding and coalescing a number of different circulatory systems, temporalities and mobilities.Gillian Fuller reminds us there is a lot of stopping and going and stopping in the global circulatory system typified by air-terminal-space.From the packing of clothes in fixed containers to strapping your belt – tight and low – stillness and all its requisite activities, technologies and behaviours are fundamental to the ‘flow’ architectures that organize the motion of the globalizing multitudes of today (Fuller, "Store" 63). It is precisely this functional stillness organised around the protocols of store and forward that typifies digital systems, the packet switching of network cultures and the junkspace of airports alike.In these zones of transparency where everything is on view, the illuminated windows so proudly brought to us by J C Decaux flash forward to some idealized moment in the future. In this anticipatory moment, the passenger's every fantasy of in-flight service is attended to. The ultimate in attentiveness (think dimmed lights, soft pillows and comfy blankets), this still image is captured from an improbable future suspended behind the plywood and steel seating available in the moment —more reminiscent of park benches in public parks than the silver-service imagined for the discerning traveller.3. We Know ChicagoSelf-motion is itself a demonstration against the earth-binding weight of gravity. If we climb or fly, our defiance is greater (Appleyard 180).The commercial universe of phones, cameras, computer network software, financial instruments, and an array of fancy new gadgets floating in the middle of semi-forgotten transit spaces constitutes a singular interconnected commercial organism. The immense singularity of these claims to knowledge and power loom solemnly before us asserting their rights in the Esperanto of "exclusive rollover minutes", "nationwide long distance", "no roaming charges" and insider local knowledge. The connective tissue that joins one part of the terminal to a commercial centre in downtown Chicago is peeled away, revealing techno-veins and tendrils reaching to the sky. It's a graphic view that offers none of the spectacular openness and flights of fancy associated with the transit lounges located on the departure piers and satellites. Along these circulatory ribbons we experience the still photography and the designer's arrangement of type to attract the eye and lure the body. The blobby diagonals of the telco's logo blend seamlessly with the skyscraper's ribbons of steel, structural exoskeleton and wireless telecommunication cloud.In this plastinated anatomy, the various layers of commercially available techno-space stretch out before the traveller. Here we have no access to the two-way vistas made possible by the gigantic transparent tube structures of the contemporary air terminal. Waiting within the less travelled zones of the circulatory system we find ourselves suspended within the animating system itself. In these arteries and capillaries the flow is spread out and comes close to a halt in the figure of the graphic logo. We know Chicago is connected to us.In the digital logic of packet switching and network effects, there is no reason to privilege the go over the stop, the moving over the waiting. These light box portals do not mirror our bodies, almost at a complete standstill now. Instead they echo the commercial product world that they seek to transfuse us into. What emerges is a new kind of relational aesthetics that speaks to the complex corporeal, temporal, and architectural dimensions of stillness and movement in transit zones: like "a game, whose forms, patterns and functions develop and evolve according to periods and social contexts” (Bourriaud 11). 4. Machine in the CaféIs there a possible line of investigation suggested by the fact that sound waves become visible on the fuselage of jet planes just before they break the sound barrier? Does this suggest that the various human senses are translatable one into the other at various intensities (McLuhan 180)?Here, the technological imaginary contrasts itself with the techno alfresco dining area enclosed safely behind plate glass. Inside the cafes and bars, the best businesses in the world roll out their biggest guns to demonstrate the power, speed and scale of their network coverage (Remmele). The glass windows and light boxes "have the power to arrest a crowd around a commodity, corralling them in chic bars overlooking the runway as they wait for their call, but also guiding them where to go next" (Fuller, "Welcome" 164). The big bulbous plane sits plump in its hangar — no sound barriers broken here. It reassures us that our vehicle is somewhere there in the network, resting at its STOP before its GO. Peeking through the glass wall and sharing a meal with us, this interpenetrative transparency simultaneously joins and separates two planar dimensions — machinic perfection on one hand, organic growth and death on the other (Rowe and slu*tsky; Fuller, "Welcome").Bruce Mau is typical in suggesting that the commanding problem of the twentieth century was speed, represented by the infamous image of a US Navy Hornet fighter breaking the sound barrier in a puff of smoke and cloud. It has worked its way into every aspect of the design experience, manufacturing, computation and transport.But speed masks more than it reveals. The most pressing problem facing designers and citizens alike is growth — from the unsustainable logic of infinite growth in GDP to the relentless application of Moore's Law to the digital networks and devices that define contemporary society in the first world. The shift of emphasis from speed to growth as a time-based event with breaking points and moments of rupture has generated new possibilities. "Growth is nonlinear and unpredictable ... Few of us are ready to admit that growth is constantly shadowed by its constitutive opposite, that is equal partners with death” (Mau 497).If speed in part represents a flight from death (Virilio), growth invokes its biological necessity. In his classic study of the persistence of the pastoral imagination in technological America, The Machine in the Garden, Leo Marx charted the urge to idealize rural environments at the advent of an urban industrialised America. The very idea of "the flight from the city" can be understood as a response to the onslaught of technological society and it's deathly shadow. Against the murderous capacity of technological society stood the pastoral ideal, "incorporated in a powerful metaphor of contradiction — a way of ordering meaning and value that clarifies our situation today" (Marx 4). 5. Windows at 35,000 FeetIf waiting and stillness are active forms of bodily engagement, we need to consider the different layers of motion and anticipation embedded in the apprehension of these luminous black-box windows. In The Virtual Window, Anne Friedberg notes that the Old Norse derivation of the word window “emphasizes the etymological root of the eye, open to the wind. The window aperture provides ventilation for the eye” (103).The virtual windows we are considering here evoke notions of view and shelter, open air and sealed protection, both separation from and connection to the outside. These windows to nowhere allow two distinct visual/spatial dimensions to interface, immediately making the visual field more complex and fragmented. Always simultaneously operating on at least two distinct fields, windows-within-windows provide a specialized mode of spatial and temporal navigation. As Gyorgy Kepes suggested in the 1940s, the transparency of windows "implies more than an optical characteristic; it implies a broader spatial order. Transparency means a simultaneous perception of different spatial locations" (Kepes 77).The first windows in the world were openings in walls, without glass and designed to allow air and light to fill the architectural structure. Shutters were fitted to control air flow, moderate light and to enclose the space completely. It was not until the emergence of glass technologies (especially in Holland, home of plate glass for the display of commercial products) that shielding and protection also allowed for unhindered views (by way of transparent glass). This gives rise to the thesis that windows are part of a longstanding architectural/technological system that moderates the dual functions of transparency and separation. With windows, multi-dimensional planes and temporalities can exist in the same time and space — hence a singular point of experience is layered with many other dimensions. Transparency and luminosity "ceases to be that which is perfectly clear and becomes instead that which is clearly ambiguous" (Rowe and slu*tsky 45). The light box air-portals necessitate a constant fluctuation and remediation that is at once multi-planar, transparent and "hard to read". They are informatic.From holes in the wall to power lunch at 35,000 feet, windows shape the manner in which light, information, sights, smells, temperature and so on are modulated in society. "By allowing the outside in and the inside out, [they] enable cosmos and construction to innocently, transparently, converge" (Fuller, "Welcome" 163). Laptop, phone, PDA and light box point to the differential mobilities within a matrix that traverses multiple modes of transparency and separation, rest and flight, stillness and speed.6. Can You Feel It?Increasingly the whole world has come to smell alike: gasoline, detergents, plumbing, and junk foods coalesce into the catholic smog of our age (Illich 47).In these forlorn corners of mobile consumption, the dynamic of circulation simultaneously slows and opens out. The surfaces of inscription implore us to see them at precisely the moment we feel unseen, unguided and off-camera. Can you see it, can you feel it, can you imagine the unimaginable, all available to us on demand? Expectation and anticipation give us something to look forward to, but we're not sure we want what's on offer.Air travel radicalizes the separation of the air traveller from ground at one instance and from the atmosphere at another. Air, light, temperature and smell are all screened out or technologically created by the terminal plant and infrastructure. The closer the traveller moves towards stillness, the greater the engagement with senses that may have been ignored by the primacy of the visual in so much of this circulatory space. Smell, hunger, tiredness, cold and hardness cannot be screened out.In this sense, the airplanes we board are terminal extensions, flying air-conditioned towers or groundscrapers jet-propelled into highways of the air. Floating above the horizon, immersed in a set of logistically ordained trajectories and pressurized bubbles, we look out the window and don't see much at all. Whatever we do see, it's probably on the screen in front of us which disconnects us from one space-time-velocity at the same time that it plugs us into another set of relations. As Koolhaas says, junkspace is "held together not by structure, but by skin, like a bubble" (Koolhaas). In these distended bubbles, the traveler momentarily occupies an uncommon transit space where stillness is privileged and velocity is minimized. The traveler's body itself is "engaged in and enacting a whole kaleidoscope of different everyday practices and forms" during the course of this less-harried navigation (Bissell 282).7. Elevator MusicsThe imaginary wheel of the kaleidoscope spins to reveal a waiting body-double occupying the projected territory of what appears to be a fashionable Miami. She's just beyond our reach, but beside her lies a portal to another dimension of the terminal's vascular system.Elevators and the networks of shafts and vents that house them, are to our buildings like veins and arteries to the body — conduits that permeate and structure the spaces of our lives while still remaining separate from the fixity of the happenings around them (Garfinkel 175). The terminal space contains a number of apparent cul-de-sacs and escape routes. Though there's no background music piped in here, another soundtrack can be heard. The Muzak corporation may douse the interior of the elevator with its own proprietary aural cologne, but at this juncture the soundscape is more "open". This functional shifting of sound from figure to ground encourages peripheral hearing, providing "an illusion of distended time", sonically separated from the continuous hum of "generators, ventilation systems and low-frequency electrical lighting" (Lanza 43).There is another dimension to this acoustic realm: “The mobile ecouteur contracts the flows of information that are supposed to keep bodies usefully and efficiently moving around ... and that turn them into functions of information flows — the speedy courier, the networking executive on a mobile phone, the scanning eyes of the consumer” (Munster 18).An elevator is a grave says an old inspector's maxim, and according to others, a mechanism to cross from one world to another. Even the quintessential near death experience with its movement down a long illuminated tunnel, Garfinkel reminds us, “is not unlike the sensation of movement we experience, or imagine, in a long swift elevator ride” (Garfinkel 191).8. States of SuspensionThe suspended figure on the screen occupies an impossible pose in an impossible space: half falling, half resting, an anti-angel for today's weary air traveller. But it's the same impossible space revealed by the airport and bundled up in the experience of flight. After all, the dimension this figures exists in — witness the amount of activity in his suspension — is almost like a black hole with the surrounding universe collapsing into it. The figure is crammed into the light box uncomfortably like passengers in the plane, and yet occupies a position that does not exist in the Cartesian universe.We return to the glossy language of advertising, its promise of the external world of places and products delivered to us by the image and the network of travel. (Remmele) Here we can go beyond Virilio's vanishing point, that radical reversibility where inside and outside coincide. Since everybody has already reached their destination, for Virilio it has become completely pointless to leave: "the inertia that undermines your corporeity also undermines the GLOBAL and the LOCAL; but also, just as much, the MOBILE and the IMMOBILE” (Virilio 123; emphasis in original).In this clinical corner of stainless steel, glass bricks and exit signs hangs an animated suspension that articulates the convergence of a multitude of differentials in one image. Fallen into the weirdest geometry in the world, it's as if the passenger exists in a non-place free of all traces. Flows and conglomerates follow one another, accumulating in the edges, awaiting their moment to be sent off on another trajectory, occupying so many spatio-temporal registers in a dynamic range of mobility.ReferencesAppleyard, Donald. "Motion, Sequence and the City." The Nature and Art of Motion. Ed. Gyorgy Kepes. New York: George Braziller, 1965. Adey, Peter. "If Mobility Is Everything Then It Is Nothing: Towards a Relational Politics of (Im)mobilities." Mobilities 1.1 (2006): 75–95. Bissell, David. “Animating Suspension: Waiting for Mobilities.” Mobilities 2.2 (2007): 277-298.Bourriaud, Nicolas. Relational Aesthetics. Trans. Simon Pleasance and Fronza Woods. Paris: Les Presses du Reel, 2002. Classen, Constance. “The Deodorized City: Battling Urban Stench in the Nineteenth Century.” Sense of the City: An Alternate Approach to Urbanism. Ed. Mirko Zardini. Baden: Lars Muller Publishers, 2005. 292-322. Friedberg, Anne. The Virtual Window: From Alberti to Microsoft. Cambridge: MIT P, 2006. Fuller, Gillian, and Ross Harley. Aviopolis: A Book about Airports. London: Black Dog Publishing, 2005. Fuller, Gillian. "Welcome to Windows: Motion Aesthetics at the Airport." Ed. Mark Salter. Politics at the Airport. Minnesota: U of Minnesota P, 2008. –––. "Store Forward: Architectures of a Future Tense". Ed. John Urry, Saolo Cwerner, Sven Kesselring. Air Time Spaces: Theory and Method in Aeromobilities Research. London: Routledge, 2008. 63-75.Garfinkel, Susan. “Elevator Stories: Vertical Imagination and the Spaces of Possibility.” Up Down Across: Elevators, Escalators, and Moving Sidewalks. Ed. Alisa Goetz. London: Merrell, 2003. 173-196. Gordon, Alastair. Naked Airport: A Cultural History of the World's Most Revolutionary Structure. New York: Metropolitan, 2004.Illich, Ivan. H2O and the Waters of Forgetfulness: Reflections on the Historicity of Stuff. Dallas: Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, 1985. Kepes, Gyorgy. Language of Vision. New York: Dover Publications, 1995 (1944). Koolhass, Rem. "Junkspace." Content. 6 Mar. 2009 ‹http://www.btgjapan.org/catalysts/rem.html›.Lanza, Joseph. "The Sound of Cottage Cheese (Why Background Music Is the Real World Beat!)." Performing Arts Journal 13.3 (Sep. 1991): 42-53. McLuhan, Marshall. “Is It Natural That One Medium Should Appropriate and Exploit Another.” McLuhan: Hot and Cool. Ed. Gerald Emanuel Stearn. Middlesex: Penguin, 1967. 172-182. Marx, Leo. The Machine in the Garden: Technology and the Pastoral Ideal in America. London: Oxford U P, 1964. Mau, Bruce. Life Style. Ed. Kyo Maclear with Bart Testa. London: Phaidon, 2000. Munster, Anna. Materializing New Media: Embodiment in Information Aesthetics. New England: Dartmouth, 2006. Pascoe, David. Airspaces. London: Reaktion, 2001. Pearman, Hugh. Airports: A Century of Architecture. New York: Abrams, 2004. Remmele, Mathias. “An Invitation to Fly: Poster Art in the Service of Civilian Air Travel.” Airworld: Design and Architecture for Air Travel. Ed. Alexander von Vegesack and Jochen Eisenbrand. Weil am Rhein: Vitra Design Museum, 2004. 230-262. Rowe, Colin, and Robert slu*tsky. Transparency: Literal and Phenomenal. Perspecta 8 (1963): 45-54. Virilio, Paul. City of Panic. Trans. Julie Rose. Oxford: Berg, 2005.

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Barnet, Belinda. "In the Garden of Forking Paths." M/C Journal 1, no.5 (December1, 1998). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1727.

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"Interactivity implies two agencies in conversation, playfully and spontaneously developing a mutual discourse" -- Sandy Stone (11) I. On Interactivity The difference between interactivity as it is performed across the page and the screen, maintains Sandy Stone, is that virtual texts and virtual communities can embody a play ethic (14). Inserted like a mutation into the corporate genome, play ruptures the encyclopaedic desire to follow seamless links to a buried 'meaning' and draws us back to the surface, back into real-time conversation with the machine. Hypertext theorists see this as a tactic of resistance to hom*ogenisation. As we move across a hypertextual reading space, we produce the text in this unfolding now, choosing pathways which form a map in the space of our own memories: where we have been, where we are, where we might yet be. Play is occupying oneself with diversions. II. Space, Time and Composition Reading in time, we create the text in the space of our own memories. Hypertext theorists maintain that the choices we make around every corner, the spontaneity and contingency involved in these choices, are the bringing into being of a (constantly replaced) electronic palimpsest, a virtual geography. The dislocation which occurs as we engage in nodal leaps draws us back to the surface, rupturing our experience of the narrative and bringing us into a blissful experience of possibility. III. War against the Line There is the danger, on the one hand, of being subsumed by the passive subject position demanded by infotainment culture and the desire it encourages to seek the satisfaction of closure by following seamless links to a buried 'meaning'. On the other hand, we risk losing efficiency and control over the unfolding interaction by entering into an exchange which disorientates us with infinite potential. We cannot wildly destratify. The questions we ask must seek to keep the conversation open. In order to establish a new discursive territory within which to understand this relationship, we should view the interface not simply as a transparency which enables interaction with the machine as 'other', but as a text, a finely-wrought behavioural map which "exists at the intersection of political and ideological boundary lands" (Selfe & Selfe 1). As we write, so are we written by the linguistic contact zones of this terrain. Hypertext is thus a process involving the active translation of modes of being into possible becomings across the interface. The geographic 'space' we translate into a hypertext "is imaginational... . We momentarily extend the linear reading act into a third dimension when we travel a link" (Tolva 4). A literal spatial representation would break from the realm of hypertext and become a virtual reality. Thus, the geographic aspect is not inherent to the system itself but is partially translated into the geometry of the medium via our experience and perception (the 'map'), a process describing our 'line of flight' as we evolve in space. Directional flows between time and its traditional subordination to space in representation implode across the present-tense of the screen and time literally surfaces. Our experience of the constantly-replaced electronic palimpsest is one of temporal surrender: "we give in to time, we give way to time, we give in with time"(Joyce 219). In other words, the subject of hypertext subverts the traditional hierarchy and writes for space, producing the 'terrain' in the unfolding now in the Deleuzian sense, not in space as desired by the State. Johnson-Eilola aligns the experience of hypertext with the Deleuzian War Machine, a way of describing the speed and range of virtual movement created when the animal body splices into the realm of technology and opens an active plane of conflict.. The War Machine was invented by the nomads -- it operates by continual deterritorialisation in a tension-limit with State science, what we might call the command-control drive associated with geometric, dynamic thought and the sedentary culture of the Line. It "exemplifies" the avant-garde mentality that hypertext theorists have been associating with the electronic writing space (Moulthrop, "No War Machine" 1). Playing outside. The State desires an end to the resistance to totalisation promulgated by contingent thought and its thermodynamic relationship to space: the speed which assumes a probabilistic, vortical motion, actually drawing smooth space itself. The war machine is thus an open system opposed to classical mechanics via its grounding in active contingencies and spatio-temporal production. The nomad reads and writes for space, creating the temporal text in the space of her own memory, giving way to time and allowing existent points to lapse before the trajectory of flight. Nomad thought is not dependent on any given theory of relationship with the medium, but works via disruption and (re)distribution, the gaps, stutterings and gasp-like expressions experienced when we enter into conversation with the hypertext. The danger is that the war machine might be appropriated by the State, at which point this light-speed communication becomes of the utmost importance in the war against space and time. As speed and efficient retrieval replace real-space across the instantaneity and immediacy of the terminal, the present-time sensory faculties of the individual are marginalised as incidental and she becomes "the virtual equivalent of the well-equipped invalid" (Virilio 5). In other words, as the frame of real-space and present-time disappears, the text of the reader/writer becomes "sutured" into the discourse of the State, the only goal to gain "complete speed, to cover territory in order for the State to subdivide and hold it through force, legislation or consent" (Virilio, qtd. in Johnson-Eilola). This is when the predetermined geometry of hypertext becomes explicit. The progressive subsumption (or "suturing") of the multiple, nomadic self into the discourse of the computer occurs when "the terms of the narrative are heightened, as each 'node' in the hypertext points outwards to other nodes [and] readers must compulsively follow links to arrive at the 'promised plenitude' at the other end of the link" (Johnson-Eilola 391). When we no longer reflect on the frame and move towards complete speed and efficiency, when we stop playing on the surface and no longer concern ourselves with diversion, the war machine has been appropriated by the State. In this case, there is no revolutionary 'outside' to confront in interaction, as all has been marshalled towards closure. Keeping the conversation open means continuously reflecting on the frame. We cannot wildly destratify and lose control entirely by moving in perpetual bewilderment, but we can see the incompleteness of the story, recognising the importance of local gaps and spaces. We can work with the idea that the "dyad of smooth/striated represents not a dialectic but a continuum" (Moulthrop, "Rhizome" 317) that can be turned more complex in its course. Contingency and play reside in the intermezzo, the "dangerous edges, fleeting, attempting to write across the boundaries between in-control and out-of-control" (Johnson-Eilola 393). The war machine exists as at once process and product, the translation between smooth-striated moving in potentia: the nomadic consciousness can recognise this process and live flux as reality itself, or consistency. In sum, we avoid subsumption and appropriation by holding open the function of the text as process in our theorising, in our teaching, in our reading and writing across the hypertextual environment. We can either view hypertext as a tool or product which lends itself to efficient, functional use (to organise information, to control and consume in an encyclopaedic fashion), or we can view it as a process which lends itself to nomadic thought and resistance to totalisation in syncopated flows, in cybernetic fits and starts. This is our much-needed rhetoric of activity. IV. An Alternative Story No matter their theoretical articulation, such claims made for hypertext are fundamentally concerned with escaping the logocentric geometry of regulated time and space. Recent explorations deploying the Deleuzian smooth/striated continuum make explicit the fact that the enemy in this literary 'war' has never been the Line or linearity per se, but "the nonlinear perspective of geometry; not the prison-house of time but the fiction of transcendence implied by the indifferent epistemological stance toward time" (Rosenberg 276). Although the rhizome, the war machine, the cyborg and the nomad differ in their particularities and composition, they all explicitly play on the dislocated, time-irreversible processes of chaos theory, thermodynamics and associated 'liberatory' topological perspectives. Rosenberg's essay makes what I consider to be a very disruptive point: hypertext merely simulates the 'smooth', contingent thought seen to be antithetical to regulated space-time and precise causality due to its fundamental investment in a regulated, controlled and (pre)determined geometry. Such a deceptively smooth landscape is technonarcissistic in that its apparent multiplicity actually prescribes to a totality of command-control. Hypertext theorists have borrowed the terms 'multilinear', 'nonlinear' and 'contingency' from physics to articulate hypertext's resistance to the dominant determinist episteme, a framework exemplified by the term 'dynamics', opposing it to "the irreversible laws characteristic of statistical approximations that govern complex events, exemplified by the term, 'thermodynamics'" (Rosenberg 269). This resistance to the time-reversible, non-contingent and totalised worldview has its ideological origins in the work of the avant-garde. Hypertext theorists are fixated with quasi-hypertextual works that were precursors to the more 'explicitly' revolutionary texts in the electronic writing space. In the works of the avant-garde, contingency is associated with creative freedom and subversive, organic logic. It is obsessively celebrated by the likes of Pynchon, Joyce, Duchamp and Cage. Hypertext theorists have reasoned from this that 'nonlinear' or 'multilinear' access to information is isomorphic with such playful freedom and its contingent, associative leaps. Theorists align this nonsequential reasoning with a certain rogue logic: the 'fluid nature of thought itself' exemplified by the explicitly geographic relationship to space-time of the Deleuzian rhizome and the notion of contingent, probabilistic 'becomings'. Hypertext participates fully in the spatio-temporal dialectic of the avant-garde. As Moulthrop observes, the problem with this is that from a topological perspective, 'linear' and 'multilinear' are identical: "lines are still lines, logos and not nomos, even when they are embedded in a hypertextual matrix" ("Rhizome" 310). The spatio-temporal dislocations which enable contingent thought and 'subversive' logic are simply not sustained through the reading/writing experience. Hypertextual links are not only reversible in time and space, but trace a detached path through functional code, each new node comprising a carefully articulated behavioural 'grammar' that the reader adjusts to. To assume that by following 'links' and engaging in disruptive nodal leaps a reader night be resisting the framework of regulated space-time and determinism is "to ignore how, once the dislocation occurs, a normalcy emerges ... as the hypertext reader acclimates to the new geometry or new sequence of lexias" (Rosenberg 283). Moreover, the searchpath maps which earlier theorists had sensed were antithetical to smooth space actually exemplify the element of transcendent control readers have over the text as a whole. "A reader who can freeze the text, a reader who is aware of a Home button, a reader who can gain an instant, transcendent perspective of the reading experience, domesticates contingencies" (Rosenberg 275). The visual and behavioural grammar of hypertext is one of transcendent control and determined response. Lines are still lines -- regulated, causal and not contingent -- even when they are 'constructed' by an empowered reader. Hypertext is thus invested (at least in part) in a framework of regularity, control and precise function. It is inextricably a part of State apparatus. The problem with this is that the War Machine, which best exemplifies the avant-garde's insurgency against sedentary culture, must be exterior to the State apparatus and its regulated grid at all times. "If we acknowledge this line of critique (which I think we must), then we must seriously reconsider any claims about hypertext fiction as War Machine, or indeed as anything en avant" (Moulthrop, "No War Machine" 5). Although hypertext is not revolutionary, it would be the goal of any avant-garde use of hypertext to find a way to sustain the experience of dislocation that would indicate liberation from the hegemony of geometry. I would like to begin to sketch the possibility of 'contingent interaction' through the dislocations inherent to alternative interfaces later in this story. For the time being, however, we must reassess all our liberation claims. If linearity and multilinearity are identical in terms of geometric relations to space-time, "why should they be any different in terms of ideology", asks Moulthrop ("Rhizome" 310). V. On Interactivity Given Rosenberg's critique against any inherently revolutionary qualities, we must acknowledge that hypermedia "marks not a terminus but a transition," Moulthrop writes ("Rhizome" 317). As a medium of exchange it is neither smooth nor striated, sophist nor socratic, 'work' nor 'text': it is undergoing an increasingly complex phase transition between such states. This landscape also gives rise to stray flows and intensities, 'Unspecified Enemies' which exist at the dangerous fissures and edges. We must accept that we will never escape the system, but we are presented with opportunities to rock the sedentary order from within. As a group of emerging electronic artists see it, the dis-articulation of the point'n'click interface is where interaction becomes reflection on the frame in fits and starts. "We believe that the computer, like everything else, is composed in conflict," explain the editors of electronic magazine I/O/D. "If we are locked in with the military and with Disney, they are locked in not just with us, but with every other stray will-to-power" (Fuller, Interview 2). Along with Adelaide-based group Mindflux, these artists produce hypertext interfaces that involve sensory apparatus and navigational skills that have been marginalised as incidental in the disabling interactive technologies of mainstream multimedia. Sound, movement, proprioception, an element of randomness and assorted other sensory circuits become central to the navigational experience. By enlisting marginalised senses, "we are not proposing to formulate a new paradigm of multimedial correctness," stresses Fuller, "but simply exploring the possibility of more complicated feedback arrangements between the user and the machine" (Fuller, qtd. in Barnet 48). The reader must encounter the 'lexias' contained in the system via the stray flows, intensities, movements, stratas and organs that are not proper to the system but shift across the interface and the surface of her body. In Fuller's electronic magazine, the reader is called upon to converse with the technology outside of the domesticated circuits of sight, dislocating the rigorous hierarchy of feedback devices which privilege the sight-machine and disable contingent interaction in a technonarcissistic fashion. The written information is mapped across a 'fuzzy' sound-based interface, sensitive at every moment to the smallest movements of the reader's fingers on the keys and mouse: the screen itself is black, its swarm of links and hotspots dead to the eye. The reader's movements produce different bleeps and beats, each new track opening different entrances and exits through the information in dependence upon the fluctuating pitch and tempo of her music. Without the aid of searchpaths and bright links, she must move in a state of perpetual readjustment to the technology, attuned not to the information stored behind the interface, but to the real-time sounds her movements produce. What we are calling play, Fuller explains, "is the difference between something that has a fixed grammar on the one hand and something that is continually and openly inventing its own logic on the other" (Fuller & Pope 4). The electronic writing space is not inherently liberatory, and the perpetual process of playing with process across the interface works to widen the 'fissures across the imperium' only for a moment. According to Fuller and Joyce, the 'process of playing with process' simply means complicating the feedback arrangements between the user's body and the machine. "We need to find a way of reading sensually ... rather than, as the interactive artist Graham Weinbren puts it, descending 'into the pit of so-called multimedia, with its scenes of unpleasant 'hotspots,' and 'menus' [that] leaves no room for the possibility of a loss of self, of desire in relation to the unfolding'" remarks Joyce (11). Interactivity which calls upon a mind folded everywhere within the body dislocates the encyclopaedic organisation of data that "preserves a point of privilege from where the eye can frame objects" by enlisting itinerant, diffuse desires in an extended period of readjustment to technology (Fuller & Pope 3). There are no pre-ordained or privileged feedback circuits as the body is seen to comprise a myriad possible elements or fragments of a desiring-machine with the potential to disrupt the flow, to proliferate. Mainstream multimedia's desire for 'informational hygiene' would have us transcend this embodied flux and bureaucratise the body into organs. Information is fed through the circuits of sight in a Pavlovian field of buttons and bright links: interactivity is misconceived as choice-making, when 'response' is a more appropriate concept. When the diffuse desire which thrives on disruption and alternative paradigms is written out in favour of informational hygiene, speed and efficient retrieval replace embodied conversation. "Disembodied [interaction] of this kind is always a con... . The entropic, troublesome flesh that is sloughed off in these fantasies of strongly male essentialism is interwoven with the dynamics of self-processing cognition and intentionality. We see computers as embodied culture, hardwired epistemology" (Fuller 2). Avant-garde hypertext deepens the subjective experience of the human-computer interface: it inscribes itself across the diffuse, disruptive desires of the flesh. Alternative interfaces are not an ideological overhaul enabled by the realm of technê, but a space for localised break-outs across the body. Bifurcations are enacted on the micro level by desiring-machines, across an interface which seeks to dislocate intentionality in conjunction with the marginalised sensory apparatus of the reader, drawing other minds, other organs into localised conversation with command-control. "The user learns kinesthetically and proprioceptively that the boundaries of self are defined less by the skin than by the [local] feedback loops connecting body and simulation in a techno-bio-integrated circuit" (Hayles 72). She oscillates between communication and control, play and restraint: not a nomad but a "human Deserter assuming the most diverse forms" (ATP, 422). VI. Desire Working from across the territory we have covered, we might say that electronic interaction 'liberates' us from neither the Line nor the flesh: at its most experimental, it is nothing less than reading embodied. References Barnet, Belinda. "Storming the Interface: Mindvirus, I/O/D and Deceptive Interaction." Artlink: Australian Contemporary Art Quarterly 17:4 (1997). Deleuze, Gilles, and Felix Guattari. A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism & Schizophrenia. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1987. Fuller, Matt and Simon Pope. "Warning: This Computer Has Multiple Personality Disorder." 1993. 11 Dec. 1998 <http://www.altx.com/wordbombs/popefuller.php>. ---, eds. I/O/D2. Undated. 11 Dec. 1998 <http://www.pHreak.co.uk/i_o_d/>. Hayles, Katherine N. "Virtual Bodies and Flickering Signifiers" October Magazine 66 (Fall 1993): 69-91. Johnson-Eilola, Johndan. "Control and the Cyborg: Writing and Being Written in Hypertext." Journal of Advanced Composition 13:2 (1993): 381-99. Joyce, Michael. Of Two Minds: Hypertext, Pedagogy and Poetics. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 1995. Moulthrop, Stuart. "No War Machine." 1997. 11 Dec. 1998 <http://raven.ubalt.edu/staff/moulthrop/essays/war_machine.php>. ---. "Rhizome and Resistance: Hypertext and the Dreams of a New Culture." Hyper/Text/Theory. Ed. George P. Landow. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1994. 299-319. Rosenberg, Martin E. "Physics and Hypertext: Liberation and Complicity in Art and Pedagogy." Hyper/Text/Theory. Ed. George Landow. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1994. 268-298. Selfe, Cynthia L., and Richard J. Selfe. "The Politics of the Interface: Power and Its Exercise in Electronic Contact Zones." College Composition and Communication 45.4: 480-504. Stone, Allucquére Roseanne. The War of Desire and Technology. London: MIT Press, 1996. Tolva, John. "Ut Pictura Hyperpoesis: Spatial Form, Visuality, and the Digital Word." 1993. 11 Dec. 1998 <http://www.cs.unc.edu/~barman/HT96/P43/pictura.htm>. Virilio, Paul. "The Third Interval: A Critical Transition." Rethinking Technologies. Ed. Verena Conley. London: U of Minnesota P, 1993. 3-12. Citation reference for this article MLA style: Belinda Barnet. "In the Garden of Forking Paths: Contingency, Interactivity and Play in Hypertext." M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 1.5 (1998). [your date of access] <http://www.uq.edu.au/mc/9812/garden.php>. Chicago style: Belinda Barnet, "In the Garden of Forking Paths: Contingency, Interactivity and Play in Hypertext," M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 1, no. 5 (1998), <http://www.uq.edu.au/mc/9812/garden.php> ([your date of access]). APA style: Belinda Barnet. (1998) In the garden of forking paths: contingency, interactivity and play in hypertext. M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 1(5). <http://www.uq.edu.au/mc/9812/garden.php> ([your date of access]).

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Vavasour, Kris. "Pop Songs and Solastalgia in a Broken City." M/C Journal 20, no.5 (October13, 2017). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1292.

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IntroductionMusically-inclined people often speak about the soundtrack of their life, with certain songs indelibly linked to a specific moment. When hearing a particular song, it can “easily evoke a whole time and place, distant feelings and emotions, and memories of where we were, and with whom” (Lewis 135). Music has the ability to provide maps to real and imagined spaces, positioning people within a larger social environment where songs “are never just a song, but a connection, a ticket, a pass, an invitation, a node in a complex network” (Kun 3). When someone is lost in the music, they can find themselves transported somewhere else entirely without physically moving. This can be a blessing in some situations, for example, while living in a disaster zone, when almost any other time or place can seem better than the here and now. The city of Christchurch, New Zealand was hit by a succession of damaging earthquakes beginning with a magnitude 7.1 earthquake in the early hours of 4 September 2010. The magnitude 6.3 earthquake of 22 February 2011, although technically an aftershock of the September earthquake, was closer and shallower, with intense ground acceleration that caused much greater damage to the city and its people (“Scientists”). It was this February earthquake that caused the total or partial collapse of many inner city buildings, and claimed the lives of 185 people. Everybody in Christchurch lost someone or something that day: their house or job; family members, friends, or colleagues; the city as they knew it; or their normal way of life. The broken central city was quickly cordoned off behind fences, with the few entry points guarded by local and international police and armed military personnel.In the aftermath of a disaster, circ*mstances and personal attributes will influence how people react, think and feel about the experience. Surviving a disaster is more than not dying, “survival is to do with quality of life [and] involves progressing from the event and its aftermath, and transforming the experience” (Hodgkinson and Stewart 2). In these times of heightened stress, music can be a catalyst for sharing and expressing emotions, connecting people and communities, and helping them make sense of what has happened (Carr 38; Webb 437). This article looks at some of the ways that popular songs and musical memories helped residents of a broken city remember the past and come to terms with the present.BackgroundExisting songs can take on new significance after a catastrophic event, even without any alteration. Songs such as Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans? and Prayer for New Orleans have been given new emotional layers by those who were displaced or affected by Hurricane Katrina (Cooper 265; Sullivan 15). A thirty year-old song by Randy Newman, Louisiana, 1927, became something of “a contemporary anthem, its chorus – ‘Louisiana, they’re trying to wash us away’ – bearing new relevance” (Blumenfeld 166). Contemporary popular songs have also been re-mixed or revised after catastrophic events, either by the original artist or by others. Elton John’s Candle in the Wind and Beyonce’s Halo have each been revised twice by the artist after tragedy and disaster (Doyle; McAlister), while radio stations in the United States have produced commemorative versions of popular songs to mark tragedies and their anniversaries (Beaumont-Thomas; Cantrell). The use and appreciation of music after disaster is a reminder that popular music is fluid, in that it “refuses to provide a uniform or static text” (Connell and Gibson 3), and can simultaneously carry many different meanings.Music provides a soundtrack to daily life, creating a map of meaning to the world around us, or presenting a reminder of the world as it once was. Tia DeNora explains that when people hear a song that was once heard in, and remains associated with, a particular time and place, it “provides a device for unfolding, for replaying, the temporal structure of that moment, [which] is why, for so many people, the past ‘comes alive’ to its soundtrack” (67). When a community is frequently and collectively casting their minds back to a time before a catastrophic change, a sense of community identity can be seen in the use of, and reaction to, particular songs. Music allows people to “locate themselves in different imaginary geographics at one and the same time” (Cohen 93), creating spaces for people to retreat into, small ‘audiotopias’ that are “built, imagined, and sustained through sound, noise, and music” (Kun 21). The use of musical escape holes is prevalent after disaster, as many once-familiar spaces that have changed beyond recognition or are no longer able to be physically visited, can be easily imagined or remembered through music. There is a particular type of longing expressed by those who are still at home and yet cannot return to the home they knew. Whereas nostalgia is often experienced by people far from home who wish to return or those enjoying memories of a bygone era, people after disaster often encounter a similar nostalgic feeling but with no change in time or place: a loss without leaving. Glenn Albrecht coined the term ‘solastalgia’ to represent “the form of homesickness one experiences when one is still at home” (35). This sense of being unable to find solace in one’s home environment can be brought on by natural disasters such as fire, flood, earthquakes or hurricanes, or by other means like war, mining, climate change or gentrification. Solastalgia is often felt most keenly when people experience the change first-hand and then have to adjust to life in a totally changed environment. This can create “chronic distress of a solastalgic kind [that] would persist well after the acute phase of post-traumatic distress” (Albrecht 36). Just as the visible, physical effects of disaster last for years, so too do the emotional effects, but there have been many examples of how the nostalgia inherent in a shared popular music soundtrack has eased the pain of solastalgia for a community that is hurting.Pop Songs and Nostalgia in ChristchurchIn September 2011, one year after the initial earthquake, the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) announced a collaboration with Christchurch hip hop artist, Scribe, to remake his smash hit, Not Many, for charity. Back in 2003, Not Many debuted at number five on the New Zealand music charts, where it spent twelve weeks at number one and was crowned ‘Single of the Year’ (Sweetman, On Song 164). The punchy chorus heralded Scribe as a force to be reckoned with, and created a massive imprint on New Zealand popular culture with the line: “How many dudes you know roll like this? Not many, if any” (Scribe, Not Many). Music critic, Simon Sweetman, explains how “the hook line of the chorus [is now] a conversational aside that is practically unavoidable when discussing amounts… The words ‘not many’ are now truck-and-trailered with ‘if any’. If you do not say them, you are thinking them” (On Song 167). The strong links between artist and hometown – and the fact it is an enduringly catchy song – made it ideal for a charity remake. Reworded and reworked as Not Many Cities, the chorus now asks: “How many cities you know roll like this?” to which the answer is, of course, “not many, if any” (Scribe/BNZ, Not Many Cities). The remade song entered the New Zealand music charts at number 36 and the video was widely shared through social media but not all reception was positive. Parts of the video were shot in the city’s Red Zone, the central business district that was cordoned off from public access due to safety concerns. The granting of special access outraged some residents, with letters to the editor and online commentary expressing frustration that celebrities were allowed into the Red Zone to shoot a music video while those directly affected were not allowed in to retrieve essential items from residences and business premises. However, it is not just the Red Zone that features: the video switches between Scribe travelling around the broken inner city on the back of a small truck and lingering shots of carefully selected people, businesses, and groups – all with ties to the BNZ as either clients or beneficiaries of sponsorship. In some ways, Not Many Cities comes across like just another corporate promotional video for the BNZ, albeit with more emotion and a better soundtrack than usual. But what it has bequeathed is a snapshot of the city as it was in that liminal time: a landscape featuring familiar buildings, spaces and places which, although damaged, was still a recognisable version of the city that existed before the earthquakes.Before Scribe burst onto the music scene in the early 2000s, the best-known song about Christchurch was probably Christchurch (in Cashel St. I wait), an early hit from the Exponents (Mitchell 189). Initially known as the Dance Exponents, the group formed in Christchurch in the early 1980s and remained local and national favourites thanks to a string of hits Sweetman refers to as “the question-mark songs,” such as Who Loves Who the Most?, Why Does Love Do This to Me?, and What Ever Happened to Tracey? (Best Songwriter). Despite disbanding in 1999, the group re-formed to be the headline act of ‘Band Together’—a multi-artist, outdoor music event organised for the benefit of Christchurch residents by local musician, Jason Kerrison, formerly of the band OpShop. Attended by over 140,000 people (Anderson, Band Together), this nine-hour event brought joy and distraction to a shaken and stressed populace who, at that point in time (October 2010), probably thought the worst was over.The Exponents took the stage last, and chose Christchurch (in Cashel St. I Wait) as their final number. Every musician involved in the gig joined them on stage and the crowd rose to their feet, singing along with gusto. A local favourite since its release in 1985, the verses may have been a bit of a mumble for some, but the chorus rang out loud and clear across the park: Christchurch, In Cashel Street I wait,Together we will be,Together, together, together, One day, one day, one day,One day, one day, one daaaaaay! (Exponents, “Christchurch (in Cashel St. I Wait)”; lyrics written as sung)At that moment, forming an impromptu community choir of over 100,000 people, the audience was filled with hope and faith that those words would come true. Life would go on and people would gather together in Cashel Street and wait for normality to return, one day. Later the following year, the opening of the Re:Start container mall added an extra layer of poignancy to the song lyrics. Denied access to most of the city’s CBD, that one small part of Cashel Street now populated with colourful shipping containers was almost the only place in central Christchurch where people could wait. There are many music videos that capture the central city of Christchurch as it was in decades past. There are some local classics, like The Bats’ Block of Wood and Claudine; The Shallows’ Suzanne Said; Moana and the Moahunters’ Rebel in Me; and All Fall Down’s Black Gratten, which were all filmed in the 1980s or early 1990s (Goodsort, Re-Live and More Music). These videos provide many flashback moments to the city as it was twenty or thirty years ago. However, one post-earthquake release became an accidental musical time capsule. The song, Space and Place, was released in February 2013, but both song and video had been recorded not long before the earthquakes occurred. The song was inspired by the feelings experienced when returning home after a long absence, and celebrates the importance of the home town as “a place that knows you as well as you know it” (Anderson, Letter). The chorus features the line, “streets of common ground, I remember, I remember” (Franklin, Mayes, and Roberts, Space and Place), but it is the video, showcasing many of the Christchurch places and spaces only recently lost to the earthquakes, that tugs at people’s heartstrings. The video for Space and Place sweeps through the central city at night, with key heritage buildings like the Christ Church Cathedral, and the Catholic Basilica lit up against the night sky (both are still damaged and inaccessible). Producer and engineer, Rob Mayes, describes the video as “a love letter to something we all lost [with] the song and its lyrics [becoming] even more potent, poignant, and unexpectedly prescient post quake” (“Songs in the Key”). The Arts Centre features prominently in the footage, including the back alleys and archways that hosted all manner of night-time activities – sanctioned or otherwise – as well as many people’s favourite hangout, the Dux de Lux (the Dux). Operating from the corner of the Arts Centre site since the 1970s, the Dux has been described as “the city’s common room” and “Christchurch’s beating heart” by musicians mourning its loss (Anderson, Musicians). While the repair and restoration of some parts of the Arts Centre is currently well advanced, the Student Union building that once housed this inner-city social institution is not slated for reopening until 2019 (“Rebuild and Restore”), and whether the Dux will be welcomed back remains to be seen. Empty Spaces, Missing PlacesA Facebook group, ‘Save Our Dux,’ was created in early March 2011, and quickly filled with messages and memories from around the world. People wandered down memory lane together as they reminisced about their favourite gigs and memorable occasions, like the ‘Big Snow’ of 1992 when the Dux served up mulled wine and looked more like a ski chalet. Memories were shared about the time when the music video for the Dance Exponents’ song, Victoria, was filmed at the Dux and the Art Deco-style apartment building across the street. The reminiscing continued, establishing and strengthening connections, with music providing a stepping stone to shared experience and a sense of community. Physically restricted from visiting a favourite social space, people were converging in virtual hangouts to relive moments and remember places now cut off by the passing of time, the falling of bricks, and the rise of barrier fences.While waiting to find out whether the original Dux site can be re-occupied, the business owners opened new venues that housed different parts of the Dux business (live music, vegetarian food, and the bars/brewery). Although the fit-out of the restaurant and bars capture a sense of the history and charm that people associate with the Dux brand, the empty wasteland and building sites that surround the new Dux Central quickly destroy any illusion of permanence or familiarity. Now that most of the quake-damaged buildings have been demolished, the freshly-scarred earth of the central city is like a child’s gap-toothed smile. Wandering around the city and forgetting what used to occupy an empty space, wanting to visit a shop or bar before remembering it is no longer there, being at the Dux but not at the Dux – these are the kind of things that contributed to a feeling that local music writer, Vicki Anderson, describes as “lost city syndrome” (“Lost City”). Although initially worried she might be alone in mourning places lost, other residents have shared similar experiences. In an online comment on the article, one local resident explained how there are two different cities fighting for dominance in their head: “the new keeps trying to overlay the old [but] when I’m not looking at pictures, or in seeing it as it is, it’s the old city that pushes its way to the front” (Juniper). Others expressed relief that they were not the only ones feeling strangely homesick in their own town, homesick for a place they never left but that had somehow left them.There are a variety of methods available to fill the gaps in both memories and cityscape. The Human Interface Technology Laboratory New Zealand (HITLab), produced a technological solution: interactive augmented reality software called CityViewAR, using GPS data and 3D models to show parts of the city as they were prior to the earthquakes (“CityViewAR”). However, not everybody needed computerised help to remember buildings and other details. Many people found that, just by listening to a certain song or remembering particular gigs, it was not just an image of a building that appeared but a multi-sensory event complete with sound, movement, smell, and emotion. In online spaces like the Save Our Dux group, memories of favourite bands and songs, crowded gigs, old friends, good times, great food, and long nights were shared and discussed, embroidering a rich and colourful tapestry about a favourite part of Christchurch’s social scene. ConclusionMusic is strongly interwoven with memory, and can recreate a particular moment in time and place through the associations carried in lyrics, melody, and imagery. Songs can spark vivid memories of what was happening – when, where, and with whom. A song shared is a connection made: between people; between moments; between good times and bad; between the past and the present. Music provides a soundtrack to people’s lives, and during times of stress it can also provide many benefits. The lyrics and video imagery of songs made in years gone by have been shown to take on new significance and meaning after disaster, offering snapshots of times, people and places that are no longer with us. Even without relying on the accompanying imagery of a video, music has the ability to recreate spaces or relocate the listener somewhere other than the physical location they currently occupy. This small act of musical magic can provide a great deal of comfort when suffering solastalgia, the feeling of homesickness one experiences when the familiar landscapes of home suddenly change or disappear, when one has not left home but that home has nonetheless gone from sight. The earthquakes (and the demolition crews that followed) have created a lot of empty land in Christchurch but the sound of popular music has filled many gaps – not just on the ground, but also in the hearts and lives of the city’s residents. ReferencesAlbrecht, Glenn. “Solastalgia.” Alternatives Journal 32.4/5 (2006): 34-36.Anderson, Vicki. “A Love Letter to Christchurch.” Stuff 22 Feb. 2013. <http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/christchurch-life/art-and-stage/christchurch-music/8335491/A-love-letter-to-Christchurch>.———. “Band Together.” Supplemental. The Press. 25 Oct. 2010: 1. ———. “Lost City Syndrome.” Stuff 19 Mar. 2012. <http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/blogs/rock-and-roll-mother/6600468/Lost-city-syndrome>.———. “Musicians Sing Praises in Call for ‘Vital Common Room’ to Reopen.” The Press 7 Jun. 2011: A8. Beaumont-Thomas, Ben. “Exploring Musical Responses to 9/11.” Guardian 9 Sep. 2011. <https://www.theguardian.com/music/musicblog/2011/sep/09/musical-responses-9-11>. Blumenfeld, Larry. “Since the Flood: Scenes from the Fight for New Orleans Jazz Culture.” Pop When the World Falls Apart. Ed. Eric Weisbard. Durham: Duke UP, 2012. 145-175.Cantrell, Rebecca. “These Emotional Musical Tributes Are Still Powerful 20 Years after Oklahoma City Bombing.” KFOR 18 Apr. 2015. <http://kfor.com/2015/04/18/these-emotional-musical-tributes-are-still-powerful-20-years-after-oklahoma-city-bombing/>.Carr, Revell. ““We Never Will Forget”: Disaster in American Folksong from the Nineteenth Century to September 11, 2011.” Voices 30.3/4 (2004): 36-41. “CityViewAR.” HITLab NZ, ca. 2011. <http://www.hitlabnz.org/index.php/products/cityviewar>. Cohen, Sara. Decline, Renewal and the City in Popular Music Culture: Beyond the Beatles. Hampshire: Ashgate, 2007. Connell, John, and Chris Gibson. Soundtracks: Popular Music, Identity and Place. London: Routledge, 2003.Cooper, B. Lee. “Right Place, Wrong Time: Discography of a Disaster.” Popular Music and Society 31.2 (2008): 263-4. DeNora, Tia. Music in Everyday Life. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2000. Doyle, Jack. “Candle in the Wind, 1973 & 1997.” Pop History Dig 26 Apr. 2008. <http://www.pophistorydig.com/topics/candle-in-the-wind1973-1997/>. Goodsort, Paul. “More Music Videos Set in Pre-Quake(s) Christchurch.” Mostly within Human Hearing Range. 3 Dec. 2011. <http://humanhearingrange.blogspot.co.nz/2011/12/more-music-videos-set-in-pre-quakes.html>.———. “Re-Live the ‘Old’ Christchurch in Music Videos.” Mostly within Human Hearing Range. 7 Nov. 2011. <http://humanhearingrange.blogspot.co.nz/2011/11/re-live-old-christchurch-in-music.html>. Hodgkinson, Peter, and Michael Stewart. Coping with Catastrophe: A Handbook of Disaster Management. London: Routledge, 1991. Juniper. “Lost City Syndrome.” Comment. Stuff 19 Mar. 2012. <http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/blogs/rock-and-roll-mother/6600468/Lost-city-syndrome>.Kun, Josh. Audiotopia. Berkeley: U of California P, 2005. Lewis, George H. “Who Do You Love? The Dimensions of Musical Taste.” Popular Music and Communication. Ed. James Lull. London: Sage, 1992. 134-151. Mayes, Rob. “Songs in the Key-Space and Place.” Failsafe Records. Mar. 2013. <http://www.failsaferecords.com/>.McAlister, Elizabeth. “Soundscapes of Disaster and Humanitarianism.” Small Axe 16.3 (2012): 22-38. Mitchell, Tony. “Flat City Sounds Redux: A Musical ‘Countercartography’ of Christchurch.” Home, Land and Sea: Situating Music in Aotearoa New Zealand. Eds. Glenda Keam and Tony Mitchell. Auckland: Pearson, 2011. 176-194.“Rebuild and Restore.” Arts Centre, ca. 2016. <http://www.artscentre.org.nz/rebuild---restore.html>.“Scientists Find Rare Mix of Factors Exacerbated the Christchurch Quake.” GNS [Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences Limited] Science 16 Mar. 2011. <http://www.gns.cri.nz/Home/News-and-Events/Media-Releases/Multiple-factors>. Sullivan, Jack. “In New Orleans, Did the Music Die?” Chronicle of Higher Education 53.3 (2006): 14-15. Sweetman, Simon. “New Zealand’s Best Songwriter.” Stuff 18 Feb. 2011. <http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/blogs/blog-on-the-tracks/4672532/New-Zealands-best-songwriter>.———. On Song. Auckland: Penguin, 2012.Webb, Gary. “The Popular Culture of Disaster: Exploring a New Dimension of Disaster Research.” Handbook of Disaster Research. Eds. Havidan Rodriguez, Enrico Quarantelli and Russell Dynes. New York: Springer, 2006. 430-440. MusicAll Fall Down. “Black Gratten.” Wallpaper Coat [EP]. New Zealand: Flying Nun, 1987.Bats. “Block of Wood” [single]. New Zealand: Flying Nun, 1987. ———. “Claudine.” And Here’s Music for the Fireside [EP]. New Zealand: Flying Nun, 1985. Beyonce. “Halo.” I Am Sacha Fierce. USA: Columbia, 2008.Charlie Miller. “Prayer for New Orleans.” Our New Orleans. USA: Nonesuch, 2005. (Dance) Exponents. “Christchurch (in Cashel St. I Wait).” Expectations. New Zealand: Mushroom Records, 1985.———. “Victoria.” Prayers Be Answered. New Zealand: Mushroom, 1982. ———. “What Ever Happened to Tracy?” Something Beginning with C. New Zealand: PolyGram, 1992.———. “Who Loves Who the Most?” Something Beginning with C. New Zealand: PolyGram, 1992.———. “Why Does Love Do This to Me?” Something Beginning with C. New Zealand: PolyGram, 1992.Elton John. “Candle in the Wind.” Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. United Kingdom: MCA, 1973.Franklin, Leigh, Rob Mayes, and Mark Roberts. “Space and Place.” Songs in the Key. New Zealand: Failsafe, 2013. Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday. “Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans.” New Orleans Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. USA: Giants of Jazz, 1983 (originally recorded 1947). Moana and the Moahunters. “Rebel in Me.” Tahi. New Zealand: Southside, 1993.Randy Newman. “Louisiana 1927.” Good Old Boys. USA: Reprise, 1974.Scribe. “Not Many.” The Crusader. New Zealand: Dirty Records/Festival Mushroom, 2003.Scribe/BNZ. “Not Many Cities.” [charity single]. New Zealand, 2011. The Shallows. “Suzanne Said.” [single]. New Zealand: self-released, 1985.

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Wilken, Rowan, and Anthony McCosker. "List." M/C Journal 15, no.5 (October15, 2012). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.581.

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Editoriallist, Liszt, mist, quist (Dialect wood pigeon), wrist, grist, tryst, cyst, cist (box holding ritual objects), schist, whist, twist, xyst (long portico) (Fergusson 270)“Everyone uses lists,” Francis Spufford (2) tells us. Lists are all pervasive; they are part-and-parcel of how we experience and make sense of the world. According to Umberto Eco, the whole history of creative production can be seen as one that is characterised by an “infinity of lists” comprising, to name a few, visual lists (sixteenth century religious paintings, Dutch still life paintings), pragmatic or utilitarian lists (shopping lists, library catalogues, assets in a will), poetic or literary lists (such as in Joyce or Sebald, for instance), lists of places, lists of things (like the great list of ships in the Iliad), and so on, ad infinitum... In accordance with such variation in form comes great variation in purpose, with lists used to “enumerate, account, remind, memorialize, order,” and so on (Belknap 6). List making, Geoffrey Bowker and Susan Leigh Star point out, “has frequently been seen as one of the foundational activities of advanced human society” (137): to cite three examples, list making is argued to be crucial to our understanding of orality and the development of literacy (Goody 74-111), and to the connection between these and later forms and techniques of information management (Hobart and Schiffman), as well as to our appreciation of the functioning and value of narrativity (White). In this way, Robert Belknap perhaps has a point in proposing that, “The list form is the predominant mode of organizing data relevant to human functioning in the world” (8).Simply defined, a list is “a formally organized block of information that is composed of a set of members” (Belknap 15). What is significant about a list is that it is “simultaneously the sum of its parts and the individual parts themselves” (15). That is to say, like links in a chain, “the list joins and separates at the same time” (15). In addition to these features, Jack Goody also suggests that, across their various manifestations, lists have a number of basic characteristics or conventions concerning how they are constructed and read, which, appropriately, he lists as follows:The list relies on discontinuity rather than continuity; it depends on physical placement, on location; it can be read in different directions, both sideways and downwards, up and down, as well as left and right; it has a clear-cut beginning and a precise end, that is, a boundary, an edge, like a piece of cloth. Most importantly it encourages the ordering of the items, by number, by initial sound, by category, etc. And the existence of boundaries, external and internal, brings greater visibility to categories, at the same time as making them more abstract. (Goody 81)Just as boundaries are “an important attribute” (Goody 80) of the list and how each is compiled, so too are semantic boundary disputes for how we conceive of the list vis-à-vis other forms of enumeration. If one were to compose a list of lists, Belknap suggests, it “would include the catalogue, the inventory, the itinerary, and the lexicon” (2). This is, however, a problematic typology insofar as each item can be seen to hold subtle differences in form and purpose from the list, as Belknap is quick to point out: “The catalogue is more comprehensive, conveys more information, and is more amenable to digression than the list. In the inventory, words representing names or things are collected by a conceptual principle.” (2-3) In his discussion of lists in literature, Spufford extends the first of these distinctions by drawing a qualitative distinction between the list (“In a list, almost everything that makes writing interesting to read seems inevitably to be excluded,” 1) and the catalogue (“Rather richer, and a step closer to the complex intentions and complex effects of literature proper, are the catalogues of some sorts of collections,” 3). Elsewhere, the close associations, and difficulties in differentiating, between the list and the classification system has also been noted (Bowker and Star, 137-61). While we recognise these delicate, at times almost imperceptible but nonetheless significant differences in meaning, in this special issue we take an expansive and inclusive approach to the list form and the implications of lists and listing. One (deceptively simple) distinction that is productive in framing this themed issue and the essays included in it is that which Belknap (3-5) draws between literary lists, on the one hand, and pragmatic or utilitarian lists, on the other hand. According to Belknap, literary lists are “complex in precisely the way a pragmatic list must not be” (5). Belknap, like Spufford before him, takes up and explores these “complexities” of literary lists in great detail. Two contributions to this special issue engage with the intricacies of the literary list. In the first of these, Darren Tofts, in his evocatively titled piece “Why Writers Hate the Second Law of Thermodynamics; Lists, Entropy, and the Sense of Unending,” examines the list form as it is mobilised by a range of writers, from Beckett and Borges, to Joyce and Robbe-Grillet. Tofts explores the exhaustion and tilt towards entropy that “issues from the tireless pursuit of categorisation, classification, and the mania for ordered information” by each of these diverse writers, and the way that words themselves tend to resist entropy by taking on “a weird half-life of their own” and sustaining “an unlikely […] stoical sense of unending.” Quite a different treatment of literary lists is offered by Tom Lee in his essay “The Lists of W. G. Sebald.” Focusing on the novel The Rings of Saturn, Lee explores the way that Sebald mobilises literary lists as a crucial device in his exploration and interrogation of the question, in Lee’s words, of what “might lay ahead for books if the question of what writing can be is asked continually as part of a writer’s enterprise.” But to focus solely on literary lists is to obscure or ignore other vital dimensions of lists and listing, such as the way that pragmatic listing forms (not just their literary counterparts) can be put to powerful rhetorical use (Belknap 3). Bowker and Star capture this well in the following passage:The material culture of bureaucracy and empire is not found in pomp and circ*mstance, nor even in the first instance of the point of a gun, but rather at the point of a list. (Bowker and Star 137)This is something that has been evident to a number of writers and thinkers, not least Foucault, who, in his The Order of Things, for example, sought to delineate the rise of the great natural history taxonomies in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in terms of their productive power as authoritative forms of classification. Foucault’s exploration of these connections can be said to have fed his subsequent theorisations of “governmentality”—which Judith Butler summarises as “a mode of power concerned with the maintenance and control of bodies and persons, the production and regulation of persons and populations” (52)—and of “biopolitics”—which Foucault defines as a “set of mechanisms through which the basic biological features of the human species became the object of a political strategy, of a general strategy of power” (Foucault, Security 1). It is within this tradition—that takes as one of its sources the work of Foucault and which runs in diverse tributaries of critical enquiry outwards in its exploration of the interconnections between lists (and other, related processes and techniques of classification) and power (see, for example, Poster)—that we can usefully situate two further essays in this issue, that by Katie Ellis and that by Suneel Jethani. Both of these essays take up lists in relation to quite distinct aspects of disabilities studies. In “Complicating a Rudimentary List of Characteristics: Communicating Disability with Down Syndrome Dolls,” Ellis brings “an interrogation of disability into dialogue with a critical analysis of the discursive function of lists” by interrogating “the use of lists in the way meanings about disability are communicated through the medical diagnostic list,” the production of Down Syndrome dolls for children, and unfavourable public reactions to these dolls. Ellis’s aim in exploring these concerns is to “complicate perceptions of disability beyond a rudimentary list of characteristics through a consideration of the negative public response to these dolls”—responses, she argues, that serve as a potent example of “the cultural subjugation of disability.” Meanwhile, in “Lists, Spatial Practice, and Assistive Technologies for the Blind,” Jethani explores the promise and perils of locative mobile media technologies designed to assist vision-impaired supermarket shoppers. Examining two prototypic applications, Shop Talk and Blind Shopping, Jethani argues that “the emancipatory potential” of these applications, “their efficacy in practical situations,” and their future commercial viability, is dependent upon commercial and institutional infrastructures and control, regulatory factors, and the extent to which they can successfully address “issues of interoperability and expanded access of spatial inventory databases and data.”The bureaucratic—or more specifically, the political economic—dimensions of pragmatic or utilitarian lists and their composition also forms the point of departure for two further essays in this issue. The first of these is Gerard Goggin’s “List Media: The Telephone Directory and the Arranging of Names.” In this feature article (one of two in this issue), Goggin examines the long history and fraught future of telephone directories and proprietary interests in them. The argument he develops is that, while telephone directories are a form of book (at least traditionally), they are in fact better thought of as a unique form of media—what he terms “list media.” Proprietary interests in lists are also the specific concern of Jean Burgess and Axel Bruns who, in their article “Twitter Archives and the Challenges of ‘Big Social Data’ for Media and Communication Research,” explore the “technical, political, and epistemological” issues that attend the corporate control of network, profit-driven database—“list”—infrastructure, such as Twitter. Notwithstanding the above considerations of power, inclusion and exclusion, ownership and control, there is one further, vital aspect of non-literary lists that warrants explicit mention here. This is the fact that pragmatic and utilitarian lists and our engagements with them are, for the most part, deeply embedded in everyday life and form part of all the routines, habits, and familiar patterns that characterise our “ordinary lives” (Highmore)—after all, to restate Spufford’s opening remark, this is the context in which “everyone uses lists” (2). The final two of the eight articles making up this themed issue examine everyday lists and the potential of lists as productive mechanisms for documenting and making sense of the ineffability of the everyday. The first of these, which also forms the first of the two feature articles, is Ben Highmore’s “Listlessness in the Archive.” This playful and poetic piece explores the challenges that a researcher faces when they attempt to tackle an archive that is the work of an army of “amateur anthropologist” volunteers who documented British lives in a project of Mass Observation. The centerpiece of the article is a series of lists compiled by the Mass-Observers of the objects on their own mantelpieces. Picking up on the theme of entropy (also explored by Tofts in this issue), Highmore describes the sense of listlessness that threatens to overwhelm his encounter with these lists. Lastly, in our article, “The Everyday Work of Lists,” we take a rather different approach to Highmore’s by exploring the work that lists do in “mediating the materiality and complexity of consumer-based everyday life.” Our guide is the French writer, Georges Perec, who, across a variety of projects and texts, deployed the list as a productive mechanism (an “invent-ory,” as we refer to it) and lever for prying open for inspection the seemingly inscrutable inner workings of everyday spaces, things, and memories. To conclude this editorial introduction, it seems only fitting that we end with a brief list of acknowledgments. We wish to thank:those at M/C Journal, Axel Bruns and Peta Mitchell, for supporting and assisting with this special issue;the authors who entrusted us with their articles, and tolerated with good humour and patience our various requests; and,the many referees for their vital contributions in reading and reviewing the articles gathered here;Simon Hayter and the Ancient Egypt website, for the banner image, a twelfth century BC papyrus list of Egyptian rulers; those authors whose insights, scholarly pursuit and use of lists inspired this issue: Robert Belknap, Jack Goody, Umberto Eco, Georges Perec…ReferencesBelknap, Robert E. The List: The Uses and Pleasures of Cataloguing. New Haven: Yale UP, 2004.Bowker, Geoffrey C., and Susan Leigh Star. Sorting Things Out: Classification and its Consequences. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2000.Butler, Judith. Precarious Life. London: Verso, 2004.Eco, Umberto. The Infinity of Lists. Trans. Alastair McEwen. London: MacLehose Press, 2009.Fergusson, Rosalind. The Penguin Rhyming Dictionary. Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin, 1985.Foucault, Michel. Security, Territory, Population: Lectures at the Collège de France 1977-1978. Trans. Graham Burchell. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.---. The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences. New York: Routledge, 2002.Goody, Jack. “What’s in a List?” The Domestication of the Savage Mind. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1977. 74-111.Highmore, Ben. Ordinary Lives: Studies in the Everyday. London: Routledge, 2011.Hobart, Michael E., and Zachary S. Schiffman. Information Ages: Literacy, Numeracy, and the Computer Revolution. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins UP, 1998. Poster, Mark. “Foucault and Databases.” The Mode of Information: Poststructuralism and Social Context. Oxford: Polity, 1990. 69-98.Spufford, Francis. “Introduction.” The Chatto Book of Cabbages and Kings: Lists in Literature. Ed. Francis Spufford. London: Chatto & Windus, 1989. 1-23.White, Hayden, “The Value of Narrativity in the Representation of Reality.” On Narrative. Ed. W. J. T. Mitchell. Chicago: The U of Chicago P, 1981. 1-23.

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Starrs, Bruno. "Publish and Graduate?: Earning a PhD by Published Papers in Australia." M/C Journal 11, no.4 (June24, 2008). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.37.

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Refereed publications (also known as peer-reviewed) are the currency of academia, yet many PhD theses in Australia result in only one or two such papers. Typically, a doctoral thesis requires the candidate to present (and pass) a public Confirmation Seminar, around nine to twelve months into candidacy, in which a panel of the candidate’s supervisors and invited experts adjudicate upon whether the work is likely to continue and ultimately succeed in the goal of a coherent and original contribution to knowledge. A Final Seminar, also public and sometimes involving the traditional viva voce or oral defence of the thesis, is presented two or three months before approval is given to send the 80,000 to 100,000 word tome off for external examination. And that soul-destroying or elation-releasing examiner’s verdict can be many months in the delivery: a limbo-like period during which the candidate’s status as a student is ended and her or his receipt of any scholarship or funding guerdon is terminated with perfunctory speed. This is the only time most students spend seriously writing up their research for publication although, naturally, many are more involved in job hunting as they pin their hopes on passing the thesis examination.There is, however, a slightly more palatable alternative to this nail-biting process of the traditional PhD, and that is the PhD by Published Papers (also known as PhD by Publications or PhD by Published Works). The form of my own soon-to-be-submitted thesis, it permits the submission for examination of a collection of papers that have been refereed and accepted (or are in the process of being refereed) for publication in academic journals or books. Apart from the obvious benefits in getting published early in one’s (hopefully) burgeoning academic career, it also takes away a lot of the stress come final submission time. After all, I try to assure myself, the thesis examiners can’t really discredit the process of double-blind, peer-review the bulk of the thesis has already undergone: their job is to examine how well I’ve unified the papers into a cohesive thesis … right? But perhaps they should at least be wary, because, unfortunately, the requirements for this kind of PhD vary considerably from institution to institution and there have been some cases where the submitted work is of questionable quality compared to that produced by graduates from more demanding universities. Hence, this paper argues that in my subject area of interest—film and television studies—there is a huge range in the set requirements for doctorates, from universities that award the degree to film artists for prior published work that has undergone little or no academic scrutiny and has involved little or no on-campus participation to at least three Australian universities that require candidates be enrolled for a minimum period of full-time study and only submit scholarly work generated and published (or submitted for publication) during candidature. I would also suggest that uncertainty about where a graduate’s work rests on this continuum risks confusing a hard-won PhD by Published Papers with the sometimes risible honorary doctorate. Let’s begin by dredging the depths of those murky, quasi-academic waters to examine the occasionally less-than-salubrious honorary doctorate. The conferring of this degree is generally a recognition of an individual’s body of (usually published) work but is often conferred for contributions to knowledge or society in general that are not even remotely academic. The honorary doctorate does not usually carry with it the right to use the title “Dr” (although many self-aggrandising recipients in the non-academic world flout this unwritten code of conduct, and, indeed, Monash University’s Monash Magazine had no hesitation in describing its 2008 recipient, musician, screenwriter, and art-school-dropout Nick Cave, as “Dr Cave” (O’Loughlin)). Some shady universities even offer such degrees for sale or ‘donation’ and thus do great damage to that institution’s credibility as well as to the credibility of the degree itself. Such overseas “diploma mills”—including Ashwood University, Belford University, Glendale University and Suffield University—are identified by their advertising of “Life Experience Degrees,” for which a curriculum vitae outlining the prospective graduand’s oeuvre is accepted on face value as long as their credit cards are not rejected. An aspiring screen auteur simply specifies film and television as their major and before you can shout “Cut!” there’s a degree in the mail. Most of these pseudo-universities are not based in Australia but are perfectly happy to confer their ‘titles’ to any well-heeled, vanity-driven Australians capable of completing the online form. Nevertheless, many academics fear a similarly disreputable marketplace might develop here, and Norfolk Island-based Greenwich University presents a particularly illuminating example. Previously empowered by an Act of Parliament consented to by Senator Ian Macdonald, the then Minister for Territories, this “university” had the legal right to confer honorary degrees from 1998. The Act was eventually overridden by legislation passed in 2002, after a concerted effort by the Australian Universities Quality Agency Ltd. and the Australian Vice-Chancellors’ Committee to force the accreditation requirements of the Australian Qualifications Framework upon the institution in question, thus preventing it from making degrees available for purchase over the Internet. Greenwich University did not seek re-approval and soon relocated to its original home of Hawaii (Brown). But even real universities flounder in similarly muddy waters when, unsolicited, they make dubious decisions to grant degrees to individuals they hold in high esteem. Although meaning well by not courting pecuniary gain, they nevertheless invite criticism over their choice of recipient for their honoris causa, despite the decision usually only being reached after a process of debate and discussion by university committees. Often people are rewarded, it seems, as much for their fame as for their achievements or publications. One such example of a celebrity who has had his onscreen renown recognised by an honorary doctorate is film and television actor/comedian Billy Connolly who was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters by The University of Glasgow in 2006, prompting Stuart Jeffries to complain that “something has gone terribly wrong in British academia” (Jeffries). Eileen McNamara also bemoans the levels to which some institutions will sink to in search of media attention and exposure, when she writes of St Andrews University in Scotland conferring an honorary doctorate to film actor and producer, Michael Douglas: “What was designed to acknowledge intellectual achievement has devolved into a publicity grab with universities competing for celebrity honorees” (McNamara). Fame as an actor (and the list gets even weirder when the scope of enquiry is widened beyond the field of film and television), seems to be an achievement worth recognising with an honorary doctorate, according to some universities, and this kind of discredit is best avoided by Australian institutions of higher learning if they are to maintain credibility. Certainly, universities down under would do well to follow elsewhere than in the footprints of Long Island University’s Southampton College. Perhaps the height of academic prostitution of parchments for the attention of mass media occurred when in 1996 this US school bestowed an Honorary Doctorate of Amphibious Letters upon that mop-like puppet of film and television fame known as the “muppet,” Kermit the Frog. Indeed, this polystyrene and cloth creation with an anonymous hand operating its mouth had its acceptance speech duly published (see “Kermit’s Acceptance Speech”) and the Long Island University’s Southampton College received much valuable press. After all, any publicity is good publicity. Or perhaps this furry frog’s honorary degree was a cynical stunt meant to highlight the ridiculousness of the practice? In 1986 a similar example, much closer to my own home, occurred when in anticipation and condemnation of the conferral of an honorary doctorate upon Prince Philip by Monash University in Melbourne, the “Members of the Monash Association of Students had earlier given a 21-month-old Chihuahua an honorary science degree” (Jeffries), effectively suggesting that the honorary doctorate is, in fact, a dog of a degree. On a more serious note, there have been honorary doctorates conferred upon far more worthy recipients in the field of film and television by some Australian universities. Indigenous film-maker Tracey Moffatt was awarded an honorary doctorate by Griffith University in November of 2004. Moffatt was a graduate of the Griffith University’s film school and had an excellent body of work including the films Night Cries: A Rural Tragedy (1990) and beDevil (1993). Acclaimed playwright and screenwriter David Williamson was presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by The University of Queensland in December of 2004. His work had previously picked up four Australian Film Institute awards for best screenplay. An Honorary Doctorate of Visual and Performing Arts was given to film director Fred Schepisi AO by The University of Melbourne in May of 2006. His films had also been earlier recognised with Australian Film Institute awards as well as the Golden Globe Best Miniseries or Television Movie award for Empire Falls in 2006. Director George Miller was crowned with an Honorary Doctorate in Film from the Australian Film, Television, and Radio School in April 2007, although he already had a medical doctor’s testamur on his wall. In May of this year, filmmaker George Gittoes, a fine arts dropout from The University of Sydney, received an honorary doctorate by The University of New South Wales. His documentaries, Soundtrack to War (2005) and Rampage (2006), screened at the Sydney and Berlin film festivals, and he has been employed by the Australian Government as an official war artist. Interestingly, the high quality screen work recognised by these Australian universities may have earned the recipients ‘real’ PhDs had they sought the qualification. Many of these film artists could have just as easily submitted their work for the degree of PhD by Published Papers at several universities that accept prior work in lieu of an original exegesis, and where a film is equated with a book or journal article. But such universities still invite comparisons of their PhDs by Published Papers with honorary doctorates due to rather too-easy-to-meet criteria. The privately funded Bond University, for example, recommends a minimum full-time enrolment of just three months and certainly seems more lax in its regulations than other Antipodean institution: a healthy curriculum vitae and payment of the prescribed fee (currently AUD$24,500 per annum) are the only requirements. Restricting my enquiries once again to the field of my own research, film and television, I note that Dr. Ingo Petzke achieved his 2004 PhD by Published Works based upon films produced in Germany well before enrolling at Bond, contextualized within a discussion of the history of avant-garde film-making in that country. Might not a cynic enquire as to how this PhD significantly differs from an honorary doctorate? Although Petzke undoubtedly paid his fees and met all of Bond’s requirements for his thesis entitled Slow Motion: Thirty Years in Film, one cannot criticise that cynic for wondering if Petzke’s films are indeed equivalent to a collection of refereed papers. It should be noted that Bond is not alone when it comes to awarding candidates the PhD by Published Papers for work published or screened in the distant past. Although yet to grant it in the area of film or television, Swinburne University of Technology (SUT) is an institution that distinctly specifies its PhD by Publications is to be awarded for “research which has been carried out prior to admission to candidature” (8). Similarly, the Griffith Law School states: “The PhD (by publications) is awarded to established researchers who have an international reputation based on already published works” (1). It appears that Bond is no solitary voice in the academic wilderness, for SUT and the Griffith Law School also apparently consider the usual milestones of Confirmation and Final Seminars to be unnecessary if the so-called candidate is already well published. Like Bond, Griffith University (GU) is prepared to consider a collection of films to be equivalent to a number of refereed papers. Dr Ian Lang’s 2002 PhD (by Publication) thesis entitled Conditional Truths: Remapping Paths To Documentary ‘Independence’ contains not refereed, scholarly articles but the following videos: Wheels Across the Himalaya (1981); Yallambee, People of Hope (1986); This Is What I Call Living (1988); The Art of Place: Hanoi Brisbane Art Exchange (1995); and Millennium Shift: The Search for New World Art (1997). While this is a most impressive body of work, and is well unified by appropriate discussion within the thesis, the cynic who raised eyebrows at Petzke’s thesis might also be questioning this thesis: Dr Lang’s videos all preceded enrolment at GU and none have been refereed or acknowledged with major prizes. Certainly, the act of releasing a film for distribution has much in common with book publishing, but should these videos be considered to be on a par with academic papers published in, say, the prestigious and demanding journal Screen? While recognition at awards ceremonies might arguably correlate with peer review there is still the question as to how scholarly a film actually is. Of course, documentary films such as those in Lang’s thesis can be shown to be addressing gaps in the literature, as is the expectation of any research paper, but the onus remains on the author/film-maker to demonstrate this via a detailed contextual review and a well-written, erudite argument that unifies the works into a cohesive thesis. This Lang has done, to the extent that suspicious cynic might wonder why he chose not to present his work for a standard PhD award. Another issue unaddressed by most institutions is the possibility that the publications have been self-refereed or refereed by the candidate’s editorial colleagues in a case wherein the papers appear in a book the candidate has edited or co-edited. Dr Gillian Swanson’s 2004 GU thesis Towards a Cultural History of Private Life: Sexual Character, Consuming Practices and Cultural Knowledge, which addresses amongst many other cultural artefacts the film Lawrence of Arabia (David Lean 1962), has nine publications: five of which come from two books she co-edited, Nationalising Femininity: Culture, Sexuality and Cinema in Britain in World War Two, (Gledhill and Swanson 1996) and Deciphering Culture: Ordinary Curiosities and Subjective Narratives (Crisp et al 2000). While few would dispute the quality of Swanson’s work, the persistent cynic might wonder if these five papers really qualify as refereed publications. The tacit understanding of a refereed publication is that it is blind reviewed i.e. the contributor’s name is removed from the document. Such a system is used to prevent bias and favouritism but this level of anonymity might be absent when the contributor to a book is also one of the book’s editors. Of course, Dr Swanson probably took great care to distance herself from the refereeing process undertaken by her co-editors, but without an inbuilt check, allegations of cronyism from unfriendly cynics may well result. A related factor in making comparisons of different university’s PhDs by Published Papers is the requirements different universities have about the standard of the journal the paper is published in. It used to be a simple matter in Australia: the government’s Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST) held a Register of Refereed Journals. If your benefactor in disseminating your work was on the list, your publications were of near-unquestionable quality. Not any more: DEST will no longer accept nominations for listing on the Register and will not undertake to rule on whether a particular journal article meets the HERDC [Higher Education Research Data Collection] requirements for inclusion in publication counts. HEPs [Higher Education Providers] have always had the discretion to determine if a publication produced in a journal meets the requirements for inclusion in the HERDC regardless of whether or not the journal was included on the Register of Refereed Journals. As stated in the HERDC specifications, the Register is not an exhaustive list of all journals which satisfy the peer-review requirements (DEST). The last listing for the DEST Register of Refereed Journals was the 3rd of February 2006, making way for a new tiered list of academic journals, which is currently under review in the Australian tertiary education sector (see discussion of this development in the Redden and Mitchell articles in this issue). In the interim, some university faculties created their own rankings of journals, but not the Faculty of Creative Industries at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) where I am studying for my PhD by Published Papers. Although QUT does not have a list of ranked journals for a candidate to submit papers to, it is otherwise quite strict in its requirements. The QUT University Regulations state, “Papers submitted as a PhD thesis must be closely related in terms of subject matter and form a cohesive research narrative” (QUT PhD regulation 14.1.2). Thus there is the requirement at QUT that apart from the usual introduction, methodology and literature review, an argument must be made as to how the papers present a sustained research project via “an overarching discussion of the main features linking the publications” (14.2.12). It is also therein stated that it should be an “account of research progress linking the research papers” (4.2.6). In other words, a unifying essay must make an argument for consideration of the sometimes diversely published papers as a cohesive body of work, undertaken in a deliberate journey of research. In my own case, an aural auteur analysis of sound in the films of Rolf de Heer, I argue that my published papers (eight in total) represent a journey from genre analysis (one paper) to standard auteur analysis (three papers) to an argument that sound should be considered in auteur analysis (one paper) to the major innovation of the thesis, aural auteur analysis (three papers). It should also be noted that unlike Bond, GU or SUT, the QUT regulations for the standard PhD still apply: a Confirmation Seminar, Final Seminar and a minimum two years of full-time enrolment (with a minimum of three months residency in Brisbane) are all compulsory. Such milestones and sine qua non ensure the candidate’s academic progress and intellectual development such that she or he is able to confidently engage in meaningful quodlibets regarding the thesis’s topic. Another interesting and significant feature of the QUT guidelines for this type of degree is the edict that papers submitted must be “published, accepted or submitted during the period of candidature” (14.1.1). Similarly, the University of Canberra (UC) states “The articles or other published material must be prepared during the period of candidature” (10). Likewise, Edith Cowan University (ECU) will confer its PhD by Publications to those candidates whose thesis consists of “only papers published in refereed scholarly media during the period of enrolment” (2). In other words, one cannot simply front up to ECU, QUT, or UC with a résumé of articles or films published over a lifetime of writing or film-making and ask for a PhD by Published Papers. Publications of the candidate prepared prior to commencement of candidature are simply not acceptable at these institutions and such PhDs by Published Papers from QUT, UC and ECU are entirely different to those offered by Bond, GU and SUT. Furthermore, without a requirement for a substantial period of enrolment and residency, recipients of PhDs by Published Papers from Bond, GU, or SUT are unlikely to have participated significantly in the research environment of their relevant faculty and peers. Such newly minted doctors may be as unfamiliar with the campus and its research activities as the recipient of an honorary doctorate usually is, as he or she poses for the media’s cameras en route to the glamorous awards ceremony. Much of my argument in this paper is built upon the assumption that the process of refereeing a paper (or for that matter, a film) guarantees a high level of academic rigour, but I confess that this premise is patently naïve, if not actually flawed. Refereeing can result in the rejection of new ideas that conflict with the established opinions of the referees. Interdisciplinary collaboration can be impeded and the lack of referee’s accountability is a potential problem, too. It can also be no less nail-biting a process than the examination of a finished thesis, given that some journals take over a year to complete the refereeing process, and some journal’s editorial committees have recognised this shortcoming. Despite being a mainstay of its editorial approach since 1869, the prestigious science journal, Nature, which only publishes about 7% of its submissions, has led the way with regard to varying the procedure of refereeing, implementing in 2006 a four-month trial period of ‘Open Peer Review’. Their website states, Authors could choose to have their submissions posted on a preprint server for open comments, in parallel with the conventional peer review process. Anyone in the field could then post comments, provided they were prepared to identify themselves. Once the usual confidential peer review process is complete, the public ‘open peer review’ process was closed and the editors made their decision about publication with the help of all reports and comments (Campbell). Unfortunately, the experiment was unpopular with both authors and online peer reviewers. What the Nature experiment does demonstrate, however, is that the traditional process of blind refereeing is not yet perfected and can possibly evolve into something less problematic in the future. Until then, refereeing continues to be the best system there is for applying structured academic scrutiny to submitted papers. With the reforms of the higher education sector, including forced mergers of universities and colleges of advanced education and the re-introduction of university fees (carried out under the aegis of John Dawkins, Minister for Employment, Education and Training from 1987 to 1991), and the subsequent rationing of monies according to research dividends (calculated according to numbers of research degree conferrals and publications), there has been a veritable explosion in the number of institutions offering PhDs in Australia. But the general public may not always be capable of differentiating between legitimately accredited programs and diploma mills, given that the requirements for the first differ substantially. From relatively easily obtainable PhDs by Published Papers at Bond, GU and SUT to more rigorous requirements at ECU, QUT and UC, there is undoubtedly a huge range in the demands of degrees that recognise a candidate’s published body of work. The cynical reader may assume that with this paper I am simply trying to shore up my own forthcoming graduation with a PhD by Published papers from potential criticisms that it is on par with a ‘purchased’ doctorate. Perhaps they are right, for this is a new degree in QUT’s Creative Industries faculty and has only been awarded to one other candidate (Dr Marcus Foth for his 2006 thesis entitled Towards a Design Methodology to Support Social Networks of Residents in Inner-City Apartment Buildings). But I believe QUT is setting a benchmark, along with ECU and UC, to which other universities should aspire. In conclusion, I believe further efforts should be undertaken to heighten the differences in status between PhDs by Published Papers generated during enrolment, PhDs by Published Papers generated before enrolment and honorary doctorates awarded for non-academic published work. Failure to do so courts cynical comparison of all PhD by Published Papers with unearnt doctorates bought from Internet shysters. References Brown, George. “Protecting Australia’s Higher Education System: A Proactive Versus Reactive Approach in Review (1999–2004).” Proceedings of the Australian Universities Quality Forum 2004. Australian Universities Quality Agency, 2004. 11 June 2008 ‹http://www.auqa.edu.au/auqf/2004/program/papers/Brown.pdf>. Campbell, Philip. “Nature Peer Review Trial and Debate.” Nature: International Weekly Journal of Science. December 2006. 11 June 2008 ‹http://www.nature.com/nature/peerreview/> Crisp, Jane, Kay Ferres, and Gillian Swanson, eds. Deciphering Culture: Ordinary Curiosities and Subjective Narratives. London: Routledge, 2000. Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST). “Closed—Register of Refereed Journals.” Higher Education Research Data Collection, 2008. 11 June 2008 ‹http://www.dest.gov.au/sectors/research_sector/online_forms_services/ higher_education_research_data_ collection.htm>. Edith Cowan University. “Policy Content.” Postgraduate Research: Thesis by Publication, 2003. 11 June 2008 ‹http://www.ecu.edu.au/GPPS/policies_db/tmp/ac063.pdf>. Gledhill, Christine, and Gillian Swanson, eds. Nationalising Femininity: Culture, Sexuality and Cinema in Britain in World War Two. Manchester: Manchester UP, 1996. Griffith Law School, Griffith University. Handbook for Research Higher Degree Students. 24 March 2004. 11 June 2008 ‹http://www.griffith.edu.au/centre/slrc/pdf/rhdhandbook.pdf>. Jeffries, Stuart. “I’m a celebrity, get me an honorary degree!” The Guardian 6 July 2006. 11 June 2008 ‹http://education.guardian.co.uk/higher/comment/story/0,,1813525,00.html>. Kermit the Frog. “Kermit’s Commencement Address at Southampton Graduate Campus.” Long Island University News 19 May 1996. 11 June 2008 ‹http://www.southampton.liu.edu/news/commence/1996/kermit.htm>. McNamara, Eileen. “Honorary senselessness.” The Boston Globe 7 May 2006. ‹http://www. boston.com/news/local/articles/2006/05/07/honorary_senselessness/>. O’Loughlin, Shaunnagh. “Doctor Cave.” Monash Magazine 21 (May 2008). 13 Aug. 2008 ‹http://www.monash.edu.au/pubs/monmag/issue21-2008/alumni/cave.html>. Queensland University of Technology. “Presentation of PhD Theses by Published Papers.” Queensland University of Technology Doctor of Philosophy Regulations (IF49). 12 Oct. 2007. 11 June 2008 ‹http://www.mopp.qut.edu.au/Appendix/appendix09.jsp#14%20Presentation %20of%20PhD%20Theses>. Swinburne University of Technology. Research Higher Degrees and Policies. 14 Nov. 2007. 11 June 2008 ‹http://www.swinburne.edu.au/corporate/registrar/ppd/docs/RHDpolicy& procedure.pdf>. University of Canberra. Higher Degrees by Research: Policy and Procedures (The Gold Book). 7.3.3.27 (a). 15 Nov. 2004. 11 June 2008 ‹http://www.canberra.edu.au/research/attachments/ goldbook/Pt207_AB20approved3220arp07.pdf>.

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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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Meikle, Graham. "Indymedia and The New Net News." M/C Journal 6, no.2 (April1, 2003). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2153.

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Abstract:

Scores of farm workers on hunger strike in the US. A campaigner for affordable housing abducted in Cape Town. Tens of thousands of anti-war demonstrators marching in Istanbul. None of those stories made my daily paper — instead, I read them all this morning on the global Indymedia network. Developments in communication technologies have often enabled new approaches to the production, distribution and reception of news. In this article, using Carey’s analysis of the impacts of the telegraph (1989) and Burnett and Marshall’s discussion of “informational news” (2003) as starting points, I want to offer some examples from the brief history of the Indymedia movement to show how the Net is making possible a significant shift in who gets to make the news. The telegraph offers a number of useful perspectives from which to consider the impacts of the Net, and there are some striking parallels between the dot.com boom of the 1990s and the dot.dash boom of the 19th century. Telegraphy, writes James Carey, “permitted for the first time the effective separation of communication from transportation” (203). The telegraph was not only an instrument of business, but “a thing to think with, an agency for the alteration of ideas” (204). And a consideration of the telegraph offers a number of examples of the relationships between technological form and the nature of news. One such example, in Carey’s analysis, was the impact of the telegraph on the language and nature of journalism. “If the same story were to be understood in the same way from Maine to California,” he writes, “language had to be flattened out and standardised” (210). Local colour was bleached out of news reports to make them saleable in a market unconstrained by geography. “The origins of objectivity,” Carey argues, “may be sought, therefore, in the necessity of stretching language in space over the long lines of Western Union” (210). The telegraph didn’t just affect the quality of news — it greatly increased the quantity of it as well, forcing greater attention to be paid to the management of newsrooms. News became a commodity; not only that, just like cattle or wheat, news was now subject to all the vagaries of any other commodity business, from contracts and price gouging to outright theft (211). And in Western Union, the telegraph made possible the prototype of today’s transnational media firms (201). As the telegraph solved problems of communicating across space, it opened up time as a new arena for expansion. In this sense, the gradual emergence of 24-hour broadcasting schedules is traceable to the impact of the telegraph (Carey 228). A key legacy of this impact is the rise to primacy of CNN and its imitators, offering round-the-clock news coverage made possible by satellite transmission. This too changed the nature of news. As McKenzie Wark has pointed out, a 24-hour continuous news service is not ideally compatible with the established narrative strategies of news. Rather than cutting and shaping events to fit familiar narrative forms, CNN instead introduced an emphasis on what Wark calls “the queer concept of ‘live’ news coverage — an instant audiovisual presence on the site of an event” (38). This focus on speed and immediacy, on being the first on the scene, leads to news that is all event and no process. More than this, it leads at times to revealing moments when CNN-style coverage becomes obvious as a component part of the event it purports to cover. In his analysis of the Tiananmen Square crisis of 1989 Wark argues that the media event appeared as “a positive feedback loop” (22). The Beijing students’ perceptions of Western accounts of their demands and motives became caught up in the students’ own accounts of their own motives, their own demands: Western interpretations of what was happening in Beijing, Wark writes, “fed back into the event itself via a global loop encompassing radio, telephone, and fax vectors. They impacted back on the further unfolding of the event itself” (22). Both the telegraph and the satellite contributed to major shifts in the production, distribution and reception of news. And both made possible new types of media institution, from Western Union and Reuters to CNN. This is not to argue that technologies determine the nature of news or of news organisations, but rather that certain developments are made possible by both the adoption and the adaptation of new technologies. Institutional and cultural factors, of course, affect the nature of news, but technology also both enables and constrains. The medium might not be the message — but it does matter. So with such precedents as those above in mind, what might be the key impacts of the Net on the nature of news? In an important analysis of the online news environment, Robert Burnett and P. David Marshall introduce the concept of “informational news,” defined as “the transformation of journalism and news in Web culture where there is a greater involvement of the user and news hierarchies are in flux” (206). News, they argue, has become “a subset of a wider search for information by Web users” (206) and this “has led to a shift in how we recontextualise news around a much larger search for information” (152). In this analysis, audience members are transformed into researchers. These researchers become comfortable with getting their news from a broader range of sources, while at the same time searching for new ways to hierarchise those sources, to establish some as more legitimate than others. Adding to the complexity are Burnett and Marshall’s observations that new media forms offer enhanced flexibility (with, for example, archival access to news databases, including audio and video, available 24 hours a day), and that online news fosters and caters for new global communities of interest 161-7). When these phenomena are taken together, the result for Burnett and Marshall is “a shifted boundary of what constitutes news” (167). But this concept of informational news is largely cast in terms of reception and consumption: the practices of the new informational news researchers are discussed in terms of information retrieval, not production — even newsgroups and Weblogs are considered as additional sources for information retrieval, rather than as new avenues for new kinds of journalists to develop and publish new kinds of news. Burnett and Marshall are, I believe, right in their identification of changes to the nature of news, and their analysis is an important contribution. But what I want to emphasise in this article is that there is also a corresponding ongoing shift in the boundary of what constitutes newsmakers. The Indymedia movement offers clear examples of this, in its spectacular growth and in its promotion of open publishing models. As a forum for non-professional journalists of all stripes, Indymedia’s development is a vivid example of the shifting boundary around who gets to make the news. By now, many readers of M/C will perhaps be familiar with Indymedia to some degree. But it’s worth briefly reviewing both the scope of the movement and the speed with which it’s developed. The first Indymedia Website was established for the Seattle demonstrations against the World Trade Organisation meeting in November 1999. Its key feature was offering news coverage supplied by anyone who wanted to contribute, using free software and ideas from the Australian activists who had created the Active network. As events in Seattle gathered pace, the nascent Indymedia drew a claimed 1.5 million hits; this success led to the site being refocussed around several subsequent protests, before local collectives began to appear and form their own Indymedia centres. Within a year, this original Indymedia site was just one of a new network of more than 30. At the time of writing, a little over three years on from the movement’s inception, there are more than 100 Indymedia centres around the world — there are both Israeli and Palestinian Indymedia; Indymedia is established in Mumbai, Jakarta and Buenos Aires; there are centres in Poland, Colombia and South Africa. By any measure, this is a remarkable achievement for a decentralised project run entirely by volunteers and donations. Like any other complex phenomenon, the story of this development can be told in many different ways, each adding a different dimension. Three are especially relevant here. The first version would centre around the Active software developed by Sydney’s Catalyst tech collective. This was devised to create the Active Sydney site, an online hub for Sydney activists to promote events from direct actions to screenings and seminars. Launched in January 1999, Active Sydney was to become a prototype for Indymedia — part events calendar, part meeting place, part street paper. For June of that year, the Active team revised the system for the J18 global day of action. Using this system, anyone could now upload a report, a video clip, a photo or an audio file, and see it instantly added to the emerging narrative of events. It was as easy as sending email. And it ran on open source code. With Catalyst members collaborating online with organisers in Seattle to establish the first site, this system became the basis for Indymedia. While the Active software is no longer the only platform used for Indymedia sites, it made a huge contribution to the movement’s explosive growth (see Arnison, 2001; Meikle, 2002). Another version of the story would place Indymedia within the long traditions of alternative media. John Downing’s work is important here, and his definition of “politically dissident media that offer radical alternatives to mainstream debate” is useful (240). To tell the Indymedia story from this perspective would be to highlight its independence and self-management, and the autonomy of each local editorial collective in running each Indymedia centre. It would be to emphasise Indymedia as a forum for viewpoints which are not usually expressed within the established media’s consensus about what is and isn’t news. And, perhaps most importantly, to tell the Indymedia story as one in the alternative media tradition would be to focus on the extent to which this movement fosters horizontal connections and open participation, in contrast to the vertical flows of the established broadcast and print media (Downing, 1995). A third version would approach Indymedia as part of what cultural studies academic George McKay terms “DiY Culture.” McKay defines this as “a youth-centred and -directed cluster of interests and practices around green radicalism, direct action politics, new musical sounds and experiences”(2). For this version of the story, a useful analogy would be with punk — not with the music so much as with its DIY access principle (“here’s three chords, now form a band”). DIY was the key to Richard Hell’s much-misunderstood lyric “I belong to the blank generation” — the idea of the blank was that you were supposed to fill it in for yourself, rather than sign up to someone else’s agenda. To consider Indymedia as part of this DIY spirit would be to see it as the expression of a blank generation in this fine original sense — not a vacant generation, but one prepared to offer their own self-definitions and to create their own media networks to do it. More than this, it would also be to place Indymedia within the frameworks of independent production and distribution which were the real impact of punk — independent record labels changed music more than any of their records, while photocopied zines opened up new possibilities for self-expression. Just as the real importance of punk wasn't in the individual songs, the importance of Indymedia isn't in this or that news story posted to this or that site. Instead, it's in its DIY ethos and its commitment to establishing new networks. What these three versions of the Indymedia story share is that each highlights an emphasis on access and participation; each stresses new avenues and methods for new people to create news; each shifts the boundary of who gets to speak. And where these different stories intersect is in the concept of open publishing. This is the Net making possible a shift in the production of news, as well as in its reception. Matthew Arnison of Catalyst, who played a key role in developing the Active software, offers a working definition of open publishing which is worth quoting in full: “Open publishing means that the process of creating news is transparent to the readers. They can contribute a story and see it instantly appear in the pool of stories publicly available. Those stories are filtered as little as possible to help the readers find the stories they want. Readers can see editorial decisions being made by others. They can see how to get involved and help make editorial decisions. If they can think of a better way for the software to help shape editorial decisions, they can copy the software because it is free and change it and start their own site. If they want to redistribute the news, they can, preferably on an open publishing site.” (Arnison, 2001) Open publishing has undoubtedly been a big part of the appeal of Indymedia for its many contributors. In fact, one of Indymedia’s slogans is “everyone is a journalist.” If this is a provocation, who and what is it meant to provoke? Obviously, “everyone” is not a journalist — at least not if journalists are seen as employees of news institutions and news businesses, employees with some kind of training in research methods and narrative construction. But to say that “everyone is a journalist” is not to claim that everyone has such institutional affiliation, or that everyone has such training or expertise. Instead, the tactic here seems to be to inflate something out of all proportion in order to draw attention to the core smaller truth that may otherwise go unnoticed. Specifically in this case, what authorises some to be story-tellers and not others? From this perspective, the slogan reads like a claim for difference, a claim that other kinds of expertise and other kinds of know-how also have valid claims on our attention, and that these too can make valid contributions to the more plural media environment made possible — but not guaranteed — by the Net. It’s a claim that the licence to tell stories should be shared around. But developments to this core element — open publishing — point both to an ongoing challenge for the Indymedia movement, and to a possible future which might enable a further significant shift in the nature of Net news. In March 2002, a proposal was circulated to remove the open publishing newswire from the front page of the main site at http://www.indymedia.org/, replacing this with features sourced from local sites around the world. While this was said to have the objective of promoting those local sites to a broader audience, it should also be seen as acknowledgement that Indymedia was struggling against limits to growth. One issue was the large number of items being posted to sites, which meant that even especially well-researched or significant stories would be replaced quickly on the front page; another issue was the persistent trolls and spam which plagued some Indymedia sites. In April 2002, after a voting process in which 15 Indymedia collectives from Brazil to Barcelona voted unanimously in favour of the reform, the open publishing newswire was taken off the front page. Many local Indymedia sites followed suit. Even the Sydney site, which, perhaps because of the history and involvement of the Catalyst group, promotes open publishing rather more than some other Indymedia sites, adopted a features-based front page in August 2002, stating that “promoting certain issues above others” would make the site “more effective.” These developments might signal the eventual demise of the open publishing component. Indymedia might instead become ‘professionalised,’ with greater reliance on de facto staff reporters and more stringent editing, moving closer to existing alternative media outlets. But the new centrality of its news features might also open Indymedia up to a new level of involvement, because those features are given prominence in the site’s central column and can remain on the front page for some weeks. This offers the potential for what Arnison terms “automated open-editing”. This would involve creating the facility for audience members to contribute to sub-editing stories on an Indymedia site: they might, for instance, check facts or add sources; edit spelling, grammar or formatting; nominate a topic area within which a given story could be archived; or translate the story from one language or style to another (Arnison, 2001). Open publishing is one phenomenon in which we can see the Net enabling changes to the nature of news and newsmakers. If open editing were also to work, then it would need to be as simple to operate as the original open publishing newswire. But if this were possible, then open editing might involve not only more new people in the development of informational news, but involve them in new ways, catering for a broader range of abilities and aptitudes than open publishing alone. Like earlier communication technologies, the Net could facilitate new types of media institution — ones built on an open model, which enable a new, more plural, news environment. Works Cited Arnison, Matthew. “Open Publishing Is the Same as Free Software.” 2001. 21 Feb. 2003 <http://www.cat.org.au/maffew/cat/openpub.php>. Arnison, Matthew. “Open Editing: A Crucial Part of Open Publishing.” 2002. 21 Feb. 2003 <http://www.cat.org.au/maffew/cat/openedit.php>. Burnett, Robert, and P. David Marshall. Web Theory: An Introduction. London & New York: Routledge, 2003. Carey, James. Communication as Culture. New York & London: Routledge, 1989. Downing, John. “Alternative Media and the Boston Tea Party.” Questioning The Media. Eds. John Downing, Ali Mohammadi and Annabelle Sreberny-Mohammadi. Thousand Oaks: Sage, 1995. 238-52. McKay, George. “DiY Culture: Notes towards an Intro.” DiY Culture: Party & Protest in Nineties Britain. Ed. George McKay. London: Verso, 1998. 1-53. Meikle, Graham. Future Active: Media Activism and the Internet. New York & London: Routledge, and Annandale: Pluto Press, 2002. Wark, McKenzie. Virtual Geography: Living with Global Media Events. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1994. Links http://www.cat.org.au/maffew/cat/openedit.html http://www.cat.org.au/maffew/cat/openpub.html http://www.indymedia.org/ http://www.sydney.active.org.au/ Citation reference for this article Substitute your date of access for Dn Month Year etc... MLA Style Meikle, Graham. "Indymedia and The New Net News" M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture< http://www.media-culture.org.au/0304/02-feature.php>. APA Style Meikle, G. (2003, Apr 23). Indymedia and The New Net News. M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture, 6,< http://www.media-culture.org.au/0304/02-feature.php>

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Kellner, Douglas. "Engaging Media Spectacle." M/C Journal 6, no.3 (June1, 2003). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2202.

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In the contemporary era, media spectacle organizes and mobilizes economic life, political conflict, social interactions, culture, and everyday life. My recently published book Media Spectacle explores a profusion of developments in hi-tech culture, media-driven society, and spectacle politics. Spectacle culture involves everything from film and broadcasting to Internet cyberculture and encompasses phenomena ranging from elections to terrorism and to the media dramas of the moment. For ‘Logo’, I am accordingly sketching out briefly a terrain I probe in detail in the book from which these examples are taken.1 During the past decades, every form of culture and significant forms of social life have become permeated by the logic of the spectacle. Movies are bigger and more spectacular than ever, with high-tech special effects expanding the range of cinematic spectacle. Television channels proliferate endlessly with all-day movies, news, sports, specialty niches, re-runs of the history of television, and whatever else can gain an audience. The rock spectacle reverberates through radio, television, CDs, computers networks, and extravagant concerts. The Internet encircles the world in the spectacle of an interactive and multimedia cyberculture. Media culture excels in creating megaspectacles of sports championships, political conflicts, entertainment, "breaking news" and media events, such as the O.J. Simpson trial, the Death of Princess Diana, or the sex or murder scandal of the moment. Megaspectacle comes as well to dominate party politics, as the political battles of the day, such as the Clinton sex scandals and impeachment, the 36 Day Battle for the White House after Election 2000, and the September 11 terrorist attacks and subsequent Terror War. These dramatic media passion plays define the politics of the time, and attract mass audiences to their programming, hour after hour, day after day. The concept of "spectacle" derives from French Situationist theorist Guy Debord's 1972 book Society of the Spectacle. "Spectacle," in Debord's terms, "unifies and explains a great diversity of apparent phenomena" (Debord 1970: #10). In one sense, it refers to a media and consumer society, organized around the consumption of images, commodities, and spectacles. Spectacles are those phenomena of media culture which embody contemporary society's basic values, and dreams and nightmares, putting on display dominant hopes and fears. They serve to enculturate individuals into its way of life, and dramatize its conflicts and modes of conflict resolution. They include sports events, political campaigns and elections, and media extravaganzas like sensational murder trials, or the Bill Clinton sex scandals and impeachment spectacle (1998-1999). As we enter a new millennium, the media are becoming ever more technologically dazzling and are playing an increasingly central role in everyday life. Under the influence of a postmodern image culture, seductive spectacles fascinate the denizens of the media and consumer society and involve them in the semiotics of a new world of entertainment, information, a semiotics of a new world of entertainment, information, and drama, which deeply influence thought and action. For Debord: "When the real world changes into simple images, simple images become real beings and effective motivations of a hypnotic behavior. The spectacle as a tendency to make one see the world by means of various specialized mediations (it can no longer be grasped directly), naturally finds vision to be the privileged human sense which the sense of touch was for other epochs; the most abstract, the most mystifiable sense corresponds to the generalized abstraction of present day society" (#18). Today, however, I would maintain it is the multimedia spectacle of sight, sound, touch, and, coming to you soon, smell that constitutes the multidimensional sense experience of the new interactive spectacle. For Debord, the spectacle is a tool of pacification and depoliticization; it is a "permanent opium war" (#44) which stupefies social subjects and distracts them from the most urgent task of real life -- recovering the full range of their human powers through creative praxis. The concept of the spectacle is integrally connected to the concept of separation and passivity, for in passively consuming spectacles, one is separated from actively producing one's life. Capitalist society separates workers from the products of their labor, art from life, and consumption from human needs and self-directing activity, as individuals passively observe the spectacles of social life from within the privacy of their homes (#25 and #26). The situationist project by contrast involved an overcoming of all forms of separation, in which individuals would directly produce their own life and modes of self-activity and collective practice. Since Debord's theorization of the society of the spectacle in the 1960s and 1970s, spectacle culture has expanded in every area of life. In the culture of the spectacle, commercial enterprises have to be entertaining to prosper and as Michael J. Wolf (1999) argues, in an "entertainment economy," business and fun fuse, so that the E-factor is becoming major aspect of business.2 Via the "entertainmentization" of the economy, television, film, theme parks, video games, casinos, and so forth become major sectors of the national economy. In the U.S., the entertainment industry is now a $480 billion industry, and consumers spend more on having fun than on clothes or health care (Wolf 1999: 4).3 In a competitive business world, the "fun factor" can give one business the edge over another. Hence, corporations seek to be more entertaining in their commercials, their business environment, their commercial spaces, and their web sites. Budweiser ads, for instance, feature talking frogs who tell us nothing about the beer, but who catch the viewers' attention, while Taco Bell deploys a talking dog, and Pepsi uses Star Wars characters. Buying, shopping, and dining out are coded as an "experience," as businesses adopt a theme-park style. Places like the Hard Rock Cafe and the House of Blues are not renowned for their food, after all; people go there for the ambience, to buy clothing, and to view music and media memorabilia. It is no longer good enough just to have a web site, it has to be an interactive spectacle, featuring not only products to buy, but music and videos to download, games to play, prizes to win, travel information, and "links to other cool sites." To succeed in the ultracompetitive global marketplace, corporations need to circulate their image and brand name so business and advertising combine in the promotion of corporations as media spectacles. Endless promotion circulates the McDonald’s Golden Arches, Nike’s Swoosh, or the logos of Apple, Intel, or Microsoft. In the brand wars between commodities, corporations need to make their logos or “trademarks” a familiar signpost in contemporary culture. Corporations place their logos on their products, in ads, in the spaces of everyday life, and in the midst of media spectacles like important sports events, TV shows, movie product placement, and wherever they can catch consumer eyeballs, to impress their brand name on a potential buyer. Consequently, advertising, marketing, public relations and promotion are an essential part of commodity spectacle in the global marketplace. Celebrity too is manufactured and managed in the world of media spectacle. Celebrities are the icons of media culture, the gods and goddesses of everyday life. To become a celebrity requires recognition as a star player in the field of media spectacle, be it sports, entertainment, or politics. Celebrities have their handlers and image managers to make sure that their celebrities continue to be seen and positively perceived by publics. Just as with corporate brand names, celebrities become brands to sell their Madonna, Michael Jordan, Tom Cruise, or Jennifer Lopez product and image. In a media culture, however, celebrities are always prey to scandal and thus must have at their disposal an entire public relations apparatus to manage their spectacle fortunes, to make sure their clients not only maintain high visibility but keep projecting a positive image. Of course, within limits, “bad” and transgressions can also sell and so media spectacle contains celebrity dramas that attract public attention and can even define an entire period, as when the O.J. Simpson murder trials and Bill Clinton sex scandals dominated the media in the mid and late 1990s. Entertainment has always been a prime field of the spectacle, but in today's infotainment society, entertainment and spectacle have entered into the domains of the economy, politics, society, and everyday life in important new ways. Building on the tradition of spectacle, contemporary forms of entertainment from television to the stage are incorporating spectacle culture into their enterprises, transforming film, television, music, drama, and other domains of culture, as well as producing spectacular new forms of culture such as cyberspace, multimedia, and virtual reality. For Neil Gabler, in an era of media spectacle, life itself is becoming like a movie and we create our own lives as a genre like film, or television, in which we become "at once performance artists in and audiences for a grand, ongoing show" (1998: 4). On Gabler’s view, we star in our own "lifies," making our lives into entertainment acted out for audiences of our peers, following the scripts of media culture, adopting its role models and fashion types, its style and look. Seeing our lives in cinematic terms, entertainment becomes for Gabler "arguably the most pervasive, powerful and ineluctable force of our time--a force so overwhelming that it has metastasized into life" to such an extent that it is impossible to distinguish between the two (1998: 9). As Gabler sees it, Ralph Lauren is our fashion expert; Martha Stewart designs our sets; Jane Fonda models our shaping of our bodies; and Oprah Winfrey advises us on our personal problems.4 Media spectacle is indeed a culture of celebrity who provide dominant role models and icons of fashion, look, and personality. In the world of spectacle, celebrity encompasses every major social domain from entertainment to politics to sports to business. An ever-expanding public relations industry hypes certain figures, elevating them to celebrity status, and protects their positive image in the never-ending image wars and dangers that a celebrity will fall prey to the machinations of negative-image and thus lose celebrity status, and/or become figures of scandal and approbation, as will some of the players and institutions that I examine in Media Spectacle (Kellner 2003). Sports has long been a domain of the spectacle with events like the Olympics, World Series, Super Bowl, World Soccer Cup, and NBA championships attracting massive audiences, while generating sky-high advertising rates. These cultural rituals celebrate society's deepest values (i.e. competition, winning, success, and money), and corporations are willing to pay top dollar to get their products associated with such events. Indeed, it appears that the logic of the commodity spectacle is inexorably permeating professional sports which can no longer be played without the accompaniment of cheerleaders, giant mascots who clown with players and spectators, and raffles, promotions, and contests that feature the products of various sponsors. Sports stadiums themselves contain electronic reproduction of the action, as well as giant advertisem*nts for various products that rotate for maximum saturation -- previewing environmental advertising in which entire urban sites are becoming scenes to boost consumption spectacles. Arenas, like the United Center in Chicago, America West Arena in Phoenix, on Enron Field in Houston are named after corporate sponsors. Of course, after major corporate scandals or collapse, like the Enron spectacle, the ballparks must be renamed! The Texas Ranger Ballpark in Arlington, Texas supplements its sports arena with a shopping mall, office buildings, and a restaurant in which for a hefty price one can watch the athletic events while eating and drinking.5 The architecture of the Texas Rangers stadium is an example of the implosion of sports and entertainment and postmodern spectacle. A man-made lake surrounds the stadium, the corridor inside is modeled after Chartes Cathedral, and the structure is made of local stone that provides the look of the Texas Capitol in Austin. Inside there are Texas longhorn cattle carvings, panels of Texas and baseball history, and other iconic signifiers of sports and Texas. The merging of sports, entertainment, and local spectacle is now typical in sports palaces. Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay, Florida, for instance, "has a three-level mall that includes places where 'fans can get a trim at the barber shop, do their banking and then grab a cold one at the Budweiser brew pub, whose copper kettles rise three stories. There is even a climbing wall for kids and showroom space for car dealerships'" (Ritzer 1998: 229). Film has long been a fertile field of the spectacle, with "Hollywood" connoting a world of glamour, publicity, fashion, and excess. Hollywood film has exhibited grand movie palaces, spectacular openings with searchlights and camera-popping paparazzi, glamorous Oscars, and stylish hi-tech film. While epic spectacle became a dominant genre of Hollywood film from early versions of The Ten Commandments through Cleopatra and 2001 in the 1960s, contemporary film has incorporated the mechanics of spectacle into its form, style, and special effects. Films are hyped into spectacle through advertising and trailers which are ever louder, more glitzy, and razzle-dazzle. Some of the most popular films of the late 1990s were spectacle films, including Titanic, Star Wars -- Phantom Menace, Three Kings, and Austin Powers, a spoof of spectacle, which became one of the most successful films of summer 1999. During Fall 1999, there was a cycle of spectacles, including Topsy Turvy, Titus, Cradle Will Rock, Sleepy Hollow, The Insider, and Magnolia, with the latter featuring the biblical spectacle of the raining of frogs in the San Fernando Valley, in an allegory of the decadence of the entertainment industry and deserved punishment for its excesses. The 2000 Academy Awards were dominated by the spectacle Gladiator, a mediocre film that captured best picture award and best acting award for Russell Crowe, thus demonstrating the extent to which the logic of the spectacle now dominates Hollywood film. Some of the most critically acclaimed and popular films of 2001 are also hi-tech spectacle, such as Moulin Rouge, a film spectacle that itself is a delirious ode to spectacle, from cabaret and the brothel to can-can dancing, opera, musical comedy, dance, theater, popular music, and film. A postmodern pastiche of popular music styles and hits, the film used songs and music ranging from Madonna and the Beatles to Dolly Parton and Kiss. Other 2001 film spectacles include Pearl Harbor, which re-enacts the Japanese attack on the U.S. that propelled the country to enter World War II, and that provided a ready metaphor for the September 11 terror attacks. Major 2001 film spectacles range from David Lynch’s postmodern surrealism in Mulholland Drive to Steven Spielberg’s blending of his typically sentimental spectacle of the family with the formalist rigor of Stanley Kubrick in A.I. And the popular 2001 military film Black-Hawk Down provided a spectacle of American military heroism which some critics believed sugar-coated the actual problems with the U.S. military intervention in Somalia, causing worries that a future U.S. adventure by the Bush administration and Pentagon would meet similar problems. There were reports, however, that in Somalian cinemas there were loud cheers as the Somalians in the film shot down the U.S. helicopter, and pursued and killed American soldiers, attesting to growing anti-American sentiment in the Muslim world against Bush administration policies. Television has been from its introduction in the 1940s a promoter of consumption spectacle, selling cars, fashion, home appliances, and other commodities along with consumer life-styles and values. It is also the home of sports spectacle like the Super Bowl or World Series, political spectacles like elections (or more recently, scandals), entertainment spectacle like the Oscars or Grammies, and its own spectacles like breaking news or special events. Following the logic of spectacle entertainment, contemporary television exhibits more hi-tech glitter, faster and glitzier editing, computer simulations, and with cable and satellite television, a fantastic array of every conceivable type of show and genre. TV is today a medium of spectacular programs like The X-Files or Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, and spectacles of everyday life such as MTV's The Real World and Road Rules, or the globally popular Survivor and Big Brother series. Real life events, however, took over TV spectacle in 2000-2001 in, first, an intense battle for the White House in a dead-heat election, that arguably constitutes one of the greatest political crimes and scandals in U.S. history (see Kellner 2001). After months of the Bush administration pushing the most hardright political agenda in memory and then deadlocking as the Democrats took control of the Senate in a dramatic party re-affiliation of Vermont’s Jim Jeffords, the world was treated to the most horrifying spectacle of the new millennium, the September 11 terror attacks and unfolding Terror War that has so far engulfed Afghanistan and Iraq. These events promise an unending series of deadly spectacle for the foreseeable future.6 Hence, we are emerging into a new culture of media spectacle that constitutes a novel configuration of economy, society, politics, and everyday life. It involves new cultural forms, social relations, and modes of experience. It is producing an ever-proliferating and expanding spectacle culture with its proliferating media forms, cultural spaces, and myriad forms of spectacle. It is evident in the U.S. as the new millennium unfolds and may well constitute emergent new forms of global culture. Critical social theory thus faces important challenges in theoretically mapping and analyzing these emergent forms of culture and society and the ways that they may contain novel forms of domination and oppression, as well as potential for democratization and social justice. Works Cited Debord, Guy. Society of the Spectacle. Detroit: Black and Red, 1967. Gabler, Neil. Life the Movie. How Entertainment Conquered Reality. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1998. Kellner, Douglas. Grand Theft 2000. Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield, 2001. Kellner, Douglas. From 9/11 to Terror War: Dangers of the Bush Legacy. Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield, 2003. Kellner, Douglas. Media Spectacle. London and New York: Routledge, 2003. Ritzer, George. The McDonaldization Thesis: Explorations and Extensions. Thousand Oaks, Cal. and London: Sage, 1998. Wolf, Michael J. Entertainment Economy: How Mega-Media Forces are Transforming Our Lives. New York: Times Books, 1999. Notes 1 See Douglas Kellner, Media Spectacle. London and New York: Routledge, 2003. 2 Wolf's book is a detailed and useful celebration of the "entertainment economy," although he is a shill for the firms and tycoons that he works for and celebrates them in his book. Moreover, while entertainment is certainly an important component of the infotainment economy, it is an exaggeration to say that it drives it and is actually propelling it, as Wolf repeatedly claims. Wolf also downplays the negative aspects of the entertainment economy, such as growing consumer debt and the ups and downs of the infotainment stock market and vicissitudes of the global economy. 3 Another source notes that "the average American household spent $1,813 in 1997 on entertainment -- books, TV, movies, theater, toys -- almost as much as the $1,841 spent on health care per family, according to a survey by the US Labor Department." Moreover, "the price we pay to amuse ourselves has, in some cases, risen at a rate triple that of inflation over the past five years" (USA Today, April 2, 1999: E1). The NPD Group provided a survey that indicated that the amount of time spent on entertainment outside of the home –- such as going to the movies or a sport event – was up 8% from the early to the late 1990s and the amount of time in home entertainment, such as watching television or surfing the Internet, went up 2%. Reports indicate that in a typical American household, people with broadband Internet connections spend 22% more time on all-electronic media and entertainment than the average household without broadband. See “Study: Broadband in homes changes media habits” (PCWORLD.COM, October 11, 2000). 4 Gabler’s book is a synthesis of Daniel Boorstin, Dwight Macdonald, Neil Poster, Marshall McLuhan, and other trendy theorists of media culture, but without the brilliance of a Baudrillard, the incisive criticism of an Adorno, or the understanding of the deeper utopian attraction of media culture of a Bloch or Jameson. Likewise, Gabler does not, a la cultural studies, engage the politics of representation, or its economics and political economy. He thus ignores mergers in the culture industries, new technologies, the restructuring of capitalism, globalization, and shifts in the economy that are driving the impetus toward entertainment. Gabler does get discuss how new technologies are creating new spheres of entertainment and forms of experience and in general describes rather than theorizes the trends he is engaging. 5 The project was designed and sold to the public in part through the efforts of the son of a former President, George W. Bush. Young Bush was bailed out of heavy losses in the Texas oil industry in the 1980s by his father's friends and used his capital gains, gleaned from what some say as illicit insider trading, to purchase part-ownership of a baseball team to keep the wayward son out of trouble and to give him something to do. The soon-to-be Texas governor, and future President of the United States, sold the new stadium to local taxpayers, getting them to agree to a higher sales tax to build the stadium which would then become the property of Bush and his partners. This deal allowed Bush to generate a healthy profit when he sold his interest in the Texas Rangers franchise and to buy his Texas ranch, paid for by Texas tax-payers (for sources on the scandalous life of George W. Bush and his surprising success in politics, see Kellner 2001 and the further discussion of Bush Jr. in Chapter 6). 6 See Douglas Kellner, From 9/11 to Terror War: Dangers of the Bush Legacy. Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield Citation reference for this article Substitute your date of access for Dn Month Year etc... MLA Style Kellner, Douglas. "Engaging Media Spectacle " M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture< http://www.media-culture.org.au/0306/09-mediaspectacle.php>. APA Style Kellner, D. (2003, Jun 19). Engaging Media Spectacle . M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture, 6,< http://www.media-culture.org.au/0306/09-mediaspectacle.php>

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O'Brien, Charmaine Liza. "Text for Dinner: ‘Plain’ Food in Colonial Australia … Or, Was It?" M/C Journal 16, no.3 (June22, 2013). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.657.

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In early 1888, Miss Margaret Pearson arrived in Melbourne under engagement to the Working Men’s College there to give cookery lessons to young women. The College committee had applied to the National School of Cookery in London—an establishment effusively praised in the colonial press—for a suitable culinary educator, and Pearson, a graduate of that institute, was dispatched. After six months or so spent educating her antipodean pupils she published a cookbook, Cookery Recipes For The People, which she described in the preface as a handbook of “plain wholesome cookery” (Pearson 3). The book ran to three editions and sold more than 13,000 copies. A decade later, Hanna Maclurcan, co-proprietor of the popular Queen’s Hotel in Townsville, published Mrs Maclurcan’s Cookery Book: A Collection of Practical Recipes, Specially Suitable for Australia. A review of this work in the Brisbane Courier described it, positively, as a book of “good plain cooking”. Maclurcan had gained some renown as a cook after the Governor of Queensland, Lord Lamington, publicly praised the meals he had eaten at the Queen’s as “exceptionally good and above the average of Australian hotels” (Morning Bulletin 5). The first print run of Mrs Maclurcan’s Cookery Book sold out in weeks, and a second edition was swiftly produced. By 1903 there were 26,000 copies of Maclurcan’s book in print—one of which was deposited in the library of Queen Victoria. While the existence of any particular cookbook does not constitute evidence that any person ever reproduced a recipe from it, the not immodest sales enjoyed by Pearson and Maclurcan can, at the least, be taken to indicate a popular interest in the style of cookery, that is “plain cookery”, delineated in their respective works. If those who bought these books never actually turned them into working copies—that is, cooked from them—they likely aspired to do so. Practical classes in plain cookery were also popular in Australia in the latter part of the nineteenth century. The adjectival coupling of the word “plain” to “cookery” in colonial Australia can be seen then to have formed an appealing duet at that time If a modern author or reviewer described the body of recipes encapsulated in a cookbook as “plain cookery”, it would not serve to recommend it to the contemporary market—indeed it would likely condemn such a publication to pulping, rather than sales of many thousands—as the term would be understood by most modern cooks, and eaters, to describe food that was dull and lacking in flavour and cosmopolitan appeal. We now prefer cookery books that offer instruction on the preparation of dishes that are described as “exotic”, “global”, “ethnic”, “seasonal”, “local”, and “full of flavour”, and that lend those that prepare and consume the dishes they contain the “glamour of culinary ethnicity” (Appadurai 10). It would seem to be stating the obvious then to say that “plain cookery” meant something entirely different to colonial Australians, except that modern Australians commonly believe that their nineteenth century brethren ate an “abominable”, “monotonous”, “low standard” diet (Santich, The High and The Low 37), and therefore if they preferred their meals to be plain cooked, that these would have been exactly as our present-day interpretation would have them. Yet Pearson describes plain cookery as an “art” (3), arguably a rhetorical epithet, but she was a zealous educator and would not have used such a term to describe a style of cookery that she expected to turn out low quality dishes that were vile and dull. What Pearson and Maclurcan actually present in their respective books is English cookery: which was also known as plain cookery. The Anglo-Celtic population of Australia in the nineteenth century held varied opinions—ranging from obsequious to hateful—about England, depending on their background. The majority, however, considered it their natural home—including many who were colonial born—and the cultural model they reproduced, with local modifications, was that of the “mother country” (Abbott 10) some 10,000 long miles away. English political, legal, economic, and social systems were the foundation of white Australian society. In keeping with this, colonial cooks “perpetuated an English style of cookery, English food values, [and] an English meal structure” (Santich, Looking for Flavour 6) and English cookbooks were the models that colonial cooks and cookery writers drew upon. When Polly, the heroine of Henry Handel Richardson’s novel The Fortunes of Richard Mahoney, teaches herself to make pastry from a cookbook in her rudimentary kitchen on the Victorian goldfields circa 1853, historical accuracy requires her to have employed an imported publication to guide her. It was another decade before the first Australian cookbook, Edward Abbott’s The English And Australian Cookery Book, was published in 1864. Prior to the appearance of Abbott’s work, colonial cooks wanting the guidance of a culinary manual were reliant on the imported English titles stocked by Australian booksellers, such as Eliza Acton’s Modern Cookery for Private Families, Beeton’s Book of Household Management and William Kitchiner’s The Cook’s Oracle. These three particular cookbooks were amongst the most successful and influential works in the nineteenth century Anglo-sphere and were commonly considered as manuals of plain cookery: Acton’s particular work is also the source of the most commonly quoted definition of “plain cookery” as “the principles of roasting, boiling, stewing and baking” (Acton 167) and I am going let it stand as the model of such in this piece. If a curt literary catalogue, such as that used by Acton to delineate plain cookery, were used to describe any cuisine it would serve to make it seem austere, and the reputation of English food and cookery has likely suffered from a face value acceptance of it (and by association so has its Australian culinary doppelganger). A considered inspection of Acton’s work shows that her instructions for the plain methods of roasting, boiling, and stewing of food, cover 13 pages, followed by more than 100 pages of recipes for 19 different varieties of meat, poultry, and game that are further divided into numerous variant cuts. Three pages were dedicated to instruction for boiling potatoes properly. When preparing any of these dishes she enjoins her readers to follow the “slow methods of cooking recommended” (167) to ensure a superior end product. The principles of baking were elucidated across several chapters, taking under this classification the preparation of various types of pastry and a multitude of baked puddings, cakes and biscuits: all prepared from base ingredients—not a packet harmed in their production. We now venerate the taste of so-called “slow cooked” food, so to discover that this was the method prescribed for producing plain cooked dishes suggests that plain cookery potentially had more flavour than we imagine. Acton’s work also challenges the charge that the product of plain cookery was monotonous. We have developed a view that we must have a multitudinous array of different types of food available, all year round, for it to be satisfactory to us. Acton demonstrates that variety in cookery can be achieved in other ways such as in types and cuts of meat, and that “plain” was not necessarily synonymous with sameness. The celebrated twentieth century English food writer Elizabeth David says that Modern Cookery was the “most admired and copied English cookery book of the nineteenth century” (305). As the aspiration of most colonial cooks was the reproduction of English cookery it is not unreasonable to expect that Acton’s work might have had some influence on those that wrote cookery manuals for them. We know that Edward Abbott borrowed from her as he writes in his introduction that he has combined “the advantages of Acton’s work” (5) into this own. Neither Pearson or Maclurcan acknowledge any influence at all upon their works but their respective manuals are not particularly original in content—with the exception of some unique regional recipes in Maclurcan—and they must have drawn upon other cookery manuals of the same style to develop their repertoire. By the time they were writing, “large portions [of Acton’s] volume [had] been appropriated [by] contemporary [cookbook] authors [such as Abbott] without the slightest acknowledgment” (Acton 4): the famous Mrs. Beeton is generally considered to have borrowed heavily from Acton for the cookery section of her successful tome Household Management. If Pearson and Maclurcan did not draw directly on Acton—and they well might have—then they likely used culinary sources that had subsumed her influence as their inspiration. What was considered to constitute plain cookery was not as straightforward as Acton’s definition; it was also “generally understood” to be free of any French influence (David 35). It was a commonly held suspicion amongst nineteenth century English men and women that Gallic cooks employed sauces and strong flavourings such as garlic and other “low and treacherous devices” (Saunders 4), to disguise the fact that they had such poor quality ingredients to work with. On the other hand, the English “had such faith” in the superior quality of their native produce that they considered it only required treatment with plain cookery techniques to be rendered toothsome: this culinary Francophobia persisted in the colonies. In the novel, The Three Miss Kings, set in Melbourne in 1880, the trio of the title take lodgings with a landlady, who informs them from the outset that she is “only a plain cook, and can’t make them French things which spile [sic] the stomach” (Cambridge 36). While a good plain cook might have defined herself by the absence of any Gallic, or indeed any other “foreign”, influence in the meals she created, there had been a significant absorption of elements of both of these in the plain cookery she practised, but these had become so far embedded in English cookery that she was unaware of it. A telling example of this is the unremarked inclusion of curry in the plain cookery cannon. While the name and hom*ogenised form of this dish is of British invention, it retained the varied spices, including pungent chillies, of the Indian cuisine it simulated. Pearson and Maclurcan, and Abbott, all included recipes for curries and curried dishes in their respective cookery books. Over time, plain cookery seems to have become conflated with “plain food”, but the latter was not necessarily the result of the former. There was little of Pearson’s “art” involved in creating plain food, except perhaps an ability to keep this style of food so flavourless and dull that it offered neither pleasure nor temptation to eat any more than that required to sustain life. This very real plainness was actively sought by some as “plain food was synonymous with moral rectitude […] and the plainer the food the more virtuous the eater” (Santich, Looking 28). A common societal appreciation of moral virtue is barely perceptible in modern Australian society but it was an attribute that was greatly valued in the nineteenth century Anglo-world and the consumption of plain food a necessary practice in the achievement of good character. (Our modern habit of labelling of foods “good” or “bad” shows that we continue to imbue food with moral overtones.) The list of “gustatory temptations” “proscribed by the plain food lobby” included “salt, spices, sauces and any flavourings that might have cheered the senses” (Santich, Looking 28). If this were the case then both Pearson and Maclurcan’s cookbooks would have dramatically failed to qualify as manuals of plain food. The recipes contained in their respective works feature a much greater use of components associated with flavour enhancement than we imagine to have been employed in plain cookery, particularly if we erroneously believe it to be analogous to plain food. Spices are used extensively in sweet and savoury dishes, as are various fresh green herbs and lemon juice and rind; homemade condiments such as mushroom ketchup (a type of essence pressed from a seasonal abundance of fungi), and a liberal employment of sherry, port, Madeira, and brandy that a “virtuous” plain food advocate would have considered most intemperate. Pearson and Maclurcan both give instructions for preparing rich stocks and gravies drawn from meat, bones and aromatic vegetables, and prescribe the end product of this process as the foundation for a variety of soups, sauces, and stews. Recipes are given for a greater diversity of vegetables than the stereotyped cabbage and potatoes of colonial culinary legend. Maclurcan displays a distinct tropical regionalism in her book providing recipes that use green bananas and pawpaw as vegetables, alongside other exotic species—for that time—such as eggplant, choko, mango, granadilla, passionfruit, rosella, prickly pear, and guava. Her distinct location, the coastal city of Townsville, is also reflected in the extensive selection of recipes for local species of fish and seafood such as beche-de-mer, prawns, and barramundi, which won Maclurcan a reputation as an expert on seafood. Ultimately, to gain a respectably informed understanding as to the taste, aroma, and texture of the plain cookery presented in the respective works of Pearson and Maclurcan one needs to prepare their recipes: I have done so, reproducing a wide selection of dishes from both books. Admittedly, I am a professionally trained cook with the skills to execute recipes to a high standard, but my practice is to scrupulously maintain the original listing of ingredients in the reproduction and follow the method as best I can. Through this practice I have made some delicious discoveries, which have helped inform my opinion that some colonial Australians, and perhaps significant numbers of them, must have been eating meals that were a long way from dull, flavourless and monotonous. It has been said that we employ our tongues for the “twin offices of rhetoric and taste” (Jaine 61). Words can exercise a significant influence on how we value the taste of—or actually taste—any particular food or indeed a cuisine. In the case of the popularly held opinion about the unappetizing state of colonial meals, it might be that the absence of rhetoric has contributed to this. Colonial food writers such as Pearson and Maclurcan did not “mince words” (Bannerman 166) and chose to use “plain titling” (David 306) and language that lacked the excessive adjectives and laudatory hyperbole typically employed by modern food writers. Perhaps if Pearson or Maclurcan had indulged in anointing their own works with enthusiastic recommendation and reference to international influences in their recipes, this might have contributed to a more positive impression of the food of our Anglo-Celtic ancestors. As an experiment with this idea I have taken a recipe from Cookery Recipes For The People and reframed its title and description in a modern food writing style. The recipe in question is titled “White Sauce” and Pearson writes that “this sauce will answer well for boiled fowl” (48): hardly language to make the dish sound appealing to the modern cook, and likely to confirm an expectation of plain cookery as tasteless and boring. But what if the recipe remained the same but the words used to describe it were changed, for example: the title to “Salsa Blanca” and the introductory remark to “this luxurious silky sauce infused with eschalot, mace, lemon, and sherry wine is perfect for perking up poached free-range chicken”. How much better might it then taste? References Abbott, Edward. The English And Australian Cookery Book: Cookery For The Many, As Well As The Upper Ten Thousand. London: Sampson Low, Son, & Marston, 1864. Acton, Eliza. Modern Cookery for Private Families. London: Longman, Brown, Green, Longmans, and Roberts, 1858. Appadurai, Arjun. “How to Make a National Cuisine: Cookbooks in Contemporary India”. Comparative Studies in Society and History 30 (1988): 3–24. Bannerman, Colin. A Friend In The Kitchen. Kenthurst NSW: Kangaroo Press, 1996. Brisbane Courier. “Mrs Maclurcan’s Cookery Book: A Collection of Practical Recipes, Specially Suitable for Australia [review].” Brisbane Courier c.1898. [Author’s manuscript collection.] Cambridge, Ada. The Three Miss Kings. London: Virago Press, 1987 (1st pub. Melbourne, 1891). David, Elizabeth. An Omelette and a Glass of Wine. London: Penguin, 1986. Freeman, Sarah. Mutton and Oysters: The Victorians and their Food. London: Victor Golllancz, 1989. Humble, Nicola. Culinary Pleasures. London, Faber & Faber, 2005. Jaine, Tom. “Banquets and Meals”. Pleasures of the Table: Proceedings of the Fifth Symposium of Australian Gastronomy (1991): 61–4. Jones, Shar, and Otto, Kirsten. Colonial Food and Drink 1788-1901. Sydney: Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales, 1985. Hartley, Dorothy. Food in England. London: Macdonald General, 1979. Hughes, Kathryn. The Short Life & Long Times of Mrs Beeton. London: Harper Perennial, 2006. Maclurcah, Hannah. Mrs Maclurcan’s Cookery Book: A Collection of Practical Recipes, Specially Suitable for Australia. Melbourne: George Robertson, 1905 (1st pub. Townsville, 1898). Morning Bulletin. “Gossip.” Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton) 10 May 1898: 5. Pearson, Margaret. Cookery Recipes for the People. Melbourne: Hutchinson, 1888. Richardson, Henry Handel. The Fortunes of Richard Mahony. London: Heinemann, 1954. Santich, Barbara. What the Doctors Ordered: 150 Years of Dietary Advice in Australia. Melbourne: Hyland House, 1995. ---. “The High and the Low: Australian Cuisine in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries”. Journal of Australian Studies 30 (2006): 37–49. ---. Looking For Flavour. Kent Town: Wakefield, 1996 Saunders, Alan. “Why Do We Want An Australian Cuisine?”. Journal of Australian Studies 30 (2006): 1-17. Young, Linda. Middle-Class Culture in the Nineteenth Century: America, Australia and Britain. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmilian, 2002.

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Lyubchenko, Irina. "NFTs and Digital Art." M/C Journal 25, no.2 (April25, 2022). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2891.

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Abstract:

Introduction This article is concerned with the recent rise in popularity of crypto art, the term given to digital artworks whose ownership and provenance are confirmed with a non-fungible token (NFT), making it possible to sell these works within decentralised cryptocurrency art markets. The goal of this analysis is to trace a genealogy of crypto art to Dada, an avant-garde movement that originated in the early twentieth century. My claim is that Dadaism in crypto art appears in its exhausted form that is a result of its revival in the 1950s and 1960s by the Neo Dada that reached the current age through Pop Art. Dada’s anti-art project of rejecting beauty and aesthetics has transformed into commercial success in the Neo Dada Pop Art movement. In turn, Pop Art produced its crypto version that explores not only the question of what art is and is not, but also when art becomes money. In what follows, I will provide a brief overview of NFT art and its three categories that could generally be found within crypto marketplaces: native crypto art, non-digital art, and digital distributed-creativity art. Throughout, I will foreground the presence of Dadaism in these artworks and provide art historical context. NFTs: Brief Overview A major technological component that made NFTs possible was developed in 1991, when cryptographers Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta proposed a method for time-stamping data contained in digital documents shared within a distributed network of users (99). This work laid the foundation for what became known as blockchain and was further implemented in the development of Bitcoin, a digital currency invented by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008. The original non-fungible tokens, Coloured Coins, were created in 2012. By “colouring” or differentiating bitcoins, Coloured Coins were assigned special properties and had a value independent of the underlying Bitcoin, allowing their use as commodity certificates, alternative currencies, and other financial instruments (Assia et al.). In 2014, fuelled by a motivation to protect digital artists from unsanctioned distribution of their work while also enabling digital art sales, media artist Kevin McCoy and tech entrepreneur Anil Dash saw the potential of blockchain to satisfy their goals and developed what became to be known as NFTs. This overnight invention was a result of McCoy and Dash’s participation in the Seven on Seven annual New York City event, a one-day creative collaboration that challenged seven pairs of artists and engineers to “make something” (Rhizome). McCoy and Dash did not patent their invention, nor were they able to popularise it, mentally archiving it as a “footnote in internet history”. Ironically, just a couple of years later NFTs exploded into a billion-dollar market, living up to an ironic name of “monetized graphics” that the pair gave to their invention. Crypto art became an international sensation in March 2021, when a digital artist Mike Winklemann, known as Beeple, sold his digital collage titled Everydays: The First 5000 Days for US$69.3 million, prompting Noah Davis, a curator who assisted with the sale at the Christie’s auction house, to proclaim: “he showed us this collage, and that was my eureka moment when I knew this was going to be extremely important. It was just so monumental and so indicative of what NFTs can do” (Kastrenakes). As a technology, a non-fungible token can create digital scarcity in an otherwise infinitely replicable digital space. Contrary to fungible tokens, which are easily interchangeable due to having an equal value, non-fungible tokens represent unique items for which one cannot find an equivalent. That is why we rely on the fungibility of money to exchange non-fungible unique goods, such as art. Employing non-fungible tokens allows owning and exchanging digital items outside of the context in which they originated. Now, one can prove one’s possession of a digital skin from a videogame, for example, and sell it on digital markets using crypto currency (“Bible”). Behind the technology of NFTs lies the use of a cryptographic hash function, which converts a digital artwork of any file size into a fixed-length hash, called message digest (Dooley 179). It is impossible to revert the process and arrive at the original image, a quality of non-reversibility that makes the hash function a perfect tool for creating a digital representation of an artwork proofed from data tampering. The issued or minted NFT enters a blockchain, a distributed database that too relies on cryptographic properties to guarantee fidelity and security of data stored. Once the NFT becomes a part of the blockchain, its transaction history is permanently recorded and publicly available. Thus, the NFT simultaneously serves as a unique representation of the artwork and a digital proof of ownership. NFTs are traded in digital marketplaces, such as SuperRare, KnownOrigin, OpenSea, and Rarible, which rely on a blockchain to sustain their operations. An analysis of these markets’ inventory can be summarised by the following list of roughly grouped types of artistic works available for purchase: native crypto art, non-digital art, distributed creativity art. Native Crypto Art In this category, I include projects that motivated the creation of NFT protocols. Among these projects are the aforementioned Colored Coins, created in 2012. These were followed by issuing other visual creations native to the crypto-world, such as LarvaLabs’s CryptoPunks, a series of 10,000 algorithmically generated 8-bit-style pixelated digital avatars originally available for free to anyone with an Ethereum blockchain account, gaining a cult status among the collectors when they became rare sought-after items. On 13 February 2022, CryptoPunk #5822 was sold for roughly $24 million in Ethereum, beating the previous record for such an NFT, CryptoPunk #3100, sold for $7.58 million. CryptoPunks laid the foundation for other collectible personal profile projects, such Bored Ape Yacht Club and Cool Cats. One of the ultimate collections of crypto art that demonstrates the exhaustion of original Dada motivations is titled Monas, an NFT project made up of 5,000 programmatically generated versions of a pixelated Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci (c. 1503-1506). Each Monas, according to the creators, is “a mix of Art, history, and references from iconic NFTs” (“Monas”). Monas are a potpourri of meme and pop culture, infused with inside jokes and utmost silliness. Monas invariably bring to mind the historic Dadaist gesture of challenging bourgeois tastes through defacing iconic art historical works, such as Marcel Duchamp’s treatment of Mona Lisa in L.H.O.O.Q. In 1919, Duchamp drew a moustache and a goatee on a reproduction of La Joconde, as the French called the painting, and inscribed “L.H.O.O.Q.” that when pronounced sounds like “Elle a chaud au cul”, a vulgar expression indicating sexual arousal of the subject. At the time of its creation, this Dada act was met with the utmost public contempt, as Mona Lisa was considered a sacred work of art and a patron of the arts, an almost religious symbol (Elger and Grosenick 82). Needless to say, the effect of Monas on public consciousness is far from causing disgust and, on the contrary, brings childish joy and giggles. As an NFT artist, Mankind, explains in his YouTube video on personal profile projects: “PFPs are built around what people enjoy. People enjoy memes, people enjoy status, people enjoy being a part of something bigger than themselves, the basic primary desire to mix digital with social and belong to a community”. Somehow, “being bigger than themselves” has come to involve collecting defaced images of Mona Lisa. Turning our attention to historical analysis will help trace this transformation of the Dada insult into a collectible NFT object. Dada and Its Legacy in Crypto Art Dada was founded in 1916 in Zurich, by Hugo Ball, Tristan Tzara, Hans Richter, and other artists who fled their homelands during the First World War (Hapgood and Rittner 63). One of Dada’s primary aspirations was to challenge the dominance of reason that brought about the tragedy of the First World War through attacking the postulates of culture this form of reason produced. Already in 1921, such artists as André Breton, Louis Aragon, and Max Ernst were becoming exhausted by Dada’s nihilist tendencies and rejection of all programmes for the arts, except for the one that called for the total freedom of expression. The movement was pronounced dead about May 1921, leaving no sense of regret since, in the words of Breton, “its omnipotence and its tyranny had made it intolerable” (205). An important event associated with Dada’s revival and the birth of the Neo Dada movement was the publication of The Dada Painters and Poets in 1951. This volume, the first collection of Dada writings in English and the most comprehensive anthology in any language, was introduced to the young artists at the New School by John Cage, who revived Tristan Tzara’s concept that “life is far more interesting” than art (Hapgood and Rittner 64). The 1950s were marked by a renewed interest in Dadaism that can also be evidenced in galleries and museums organising numerous exhibitions on the movement, such as Dada 1916 –1923 curated by Marcel Duchamp at the Sidney Janis Gallery in 1953. By the end of the decade, such artists as Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg began exploring materials and techniques that can be attributed to Dadaism, which prompted the title of Neo Dada to describe this thematic return (Hapgood and Rittner 64). Among the artistic approaches that Neo Dada borrowed from Dada are Duchampian readymades that question the status of the art object, Kurt Schwitters’s collage technique of incorporating often banal scraps and pieces of the everyday, and the use of chance operations as a compositional device (Hapgood and Rittner 63–64). These approaches comprise the toolbox of crypto artists as well. Monas, CryptoPunks, and Bored Ape Yacht Club are digital collages made of scraps of pop culture and the everyday Internet life assembled into compositional configurations through chance operation made possible by the application of algorithmic generation of the images in each series. Art historian Helen Molesworth sees the strategies of montage, the readymade, and chance not only as “mechanisms for making art objects” but also as “abdications of traditional forms of artistic labor” (178). Molesworth argues that Duchamp’s invention of the readymade “substituted the act of (artistic) production with consumption” and “profoundly questioned the role, stability, nature, and necessity of the artist’s labor” (179). Together with questioning the need for artistic labour, Neo Dadaists inherited what an American art historian Jack D. Flam terms the “anything goes” attitude: Dada’s liberating destruction of rules and derision of art historical canon allowed anything and everything to be considered art (xii). The “anything goes” approach can also be traced to the contemporary crypto artists, such as Beeple, whose Everydays: The First 5000 Days was a result of assembling into a collage the first 5,000 of his daily training sketches created while teaching himself new digital tools (Kastrenakes). When asked whether he genuinely liked any of his images, Beeple explained that most digital art was created by teams of people working over the course of days or even weeks. When he “is pooping something out in 45 minutes”, it “is probably not gonna look that great comparatively” (Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg). At the core of Dada was a spirit of absurdism that drove an attack on the social, political, artistic, and philosophical norms, constituting a radical movement against the Establishment (Flam xii). In Dada Art and Anti-Art, Hans Richter’s personal historical account of the Dada movement, the artist describes the basic principle of Dada as guided by a motivation “to outrage public opinion” (66). Richter’s writings also point out a desensitisation towards Dada provocations that the public experienced as a result of Dada’s repetitive assaults, demanding an invention of new methods to disgrace the public taste. Richter recounts: our exhibitions were not enough. Not everyone in Zurich came to look at our pictures, attending our meetings, read our poems and manifestos. The devising and raising of public hell was an essential function of any Dada movement, whether its goal was pro-art, non-art or anti-art. And the public (like insects or bacteria) had developed immunity to one of kind poison, we had to think of another. (66) Richter’s account paints a cultural environment in which new artistic provocations mutate into accepted norms in a quick succession, forming a public body that is immune to anti-art “poisons”. In the foreword to Dada Painters and Poets, Flam outlines a trajectory of acceptance and subjugation of the Dadaist spirit by the subsequent revival of the movement’s core values in the Neo Dada of the 1950s and 1960s. When Dadaism was rediscovered by the writers and artists in the 1950s, the Dada spirit characterised by absurdist irony, self-parody, and deadpan realism was becoming a part of everyday life, as if art entered life and transformed it in its own image. The Neo Dada artists, such as Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Claes Oldenburg, Roy Lichtenstein, and Andy Warhol, existed in a culturally pluralistic space where the project of a rejection of the Establishment was quickly absorbed into the mainstream, mutating into the high culture it was supposedly criticising and bringing commercial success of which the original Dada artists would have been deeply ashamed (Flam xiii). Raoul Hausmann states: “Dada fell like a raindrop from heaven. The Neo-Dadaists have learnt to imitate the fall, but not the raindrop” (as quoted in Craft 129). With a similar sentiment, Richard Huelsenbeck writes: “Neo-Dada has turned the weapons used by Dada, and later by Surrealism, into popular ploughshares with which to till the fertile soil of sensation-hungry galleries eager for business” (as quoted in Craft 130). Marcel Duchamp, the forefather of the avant-garde, comments on the loss of Dada’s original intent: this Neo-Dada, which they call New Realism, Pop Art, Assemblage, etc., is an easy way out, and lives on what Dada did. When I discovered ready-mades I thought to discourage aesthetics. In Neo-Dada they have taken my ready-mades and found aesthetic beauty in them. I threw the bottle-rack and the urinal into their faces as a challenge and now they admire them for their aesthetic beauty. (Flam xiii) In Neo Dada, the original anti-art impulse of Dadaism was converted into its opposite, becoming an artistic stance and a form of aesthetics. Flam notes that these gradual transformations resulted in the shifts in public consciousness, which it was becoming more difficult to insult. Artists, among them Roy Lichtenstein, complained that it was becoming impossible to make anything despicable: even a dirty rug could be admired (Flam xiii). The audience lost their ability to understand when they were being mocked, attacked, or challenged. Writing in 1981, Flam proclaimed that “Dada spirit has become an inescapable condition of modern life” (xiv). I contend that the current crypto art thrives on the Dada spirit of absurdism, irony, and self-parody and continues to question the border between art and non-art, while fully subscribing to the “anything goes” approach. In the current iteration of Dada in the crypto world, the original subversive narrative can be mostly found in the liberating rhetoric promoted by the proponents of the decentralised economic system. While Neo Dada understood the futility of shocking the public and questioning their tastes, crypto art is ignorant of the original Dada as a form of outrage, a revolutionary movement ignited by a social passion. In crypto art, the ambiguous relationship that Pop Art, one of the Neo Dada movements, had with commercial success is transformed into the content of the artworks. As Tristan Tzara laconically explained, the Dada project was to “assassinate beauty” and with it all the infrastructure of the art market (as quoted in Danto 39). Ironically, crypto artists, the descendants of Dada, erected the monument to Value artificially created through scarcity made possible by blockchain technology in place of the denigrated Venus demolished by the Dadaists. After all, it is the astronomical prices for crypto art that are lauded the most. If in the pre-NFT age, artistic works were evaluated based on their creative merit that included considering the prominence of the artist within art historical canon, current crypto art is evaluated based on its rareness, to which the titles of the crypto art markets SuperRare and Rarible unambiguously refer (Finucane 28–29). In crypto art, the anti-art and anti-commercialism of Dada has fully transformed into its opposite. Another evidence for considering crypto art to be a descendant of Dada is the NFT artists’ concern for the question of what art is and is not, brought to the table by the original Dada artists. This concern is expressed in the manifesto-like mission statement of the first Museum of Crypto Art: at its core, the Museum of Crypto Art (M○C△) challenges, creates conflict, provokes. M○C△ puts forward a broad representation of perspectives meant to upend our sense of who we are. It poses two questions: “what is art?” and “who decides?” We aim to resolve these questions through a multi-stakeholder decentralized platform of art curation and exhibition. (The Museum of Crypto Art) In the past, the question regarding the definition of art was overtaken by the proponent of the institutional approach to art definition, George Dickie, who besides excluding aesthetics from playing a part in differentiating art from non-art famously pronounced that an artwork created by a monkey is art if it is displayed in an art institution, and non-art if it is displayed elsewhere (Dickie 256). This development might explain why decentralisation of the art market achieved through the use of blockchain technology still relies on the endorsing of the art being sold by the widely acclaimed art auction houses: with their stamp of approval, the work is christened as legitimate art, resulting in astronomical sales. Non-Digital Art It is not surprising that an NFT marketplace is an inviting arena for the investigation of questions of commercialisation tackled in the works of Neo Dada Pop artists, who made their names in the traditional art world. This brings us to a discussion of the second type of artworks found in NFT marketplaces: non-digital art sold as NFT and created by trained visual artists, such as Damien Hirst. In his recent NFT project titled Currency, Hirst explores “the boundaries of art and currency—when art changes and becomes a currency, and when currency becomes art” (“The Currency”). The project consists of 10,000 artworks on A4 paper covered in small, coloured dots, a continuation of the so-called “spot-paintings” series that Hirst and his assistants have been producing since the 1980s. Each artwork is painted on a hand-made paper that bears the watermark of the artist’s bust, adorned with a microdot that serves as a unique identification, and is made to look very similar to the others—visual devices used to highlight the ambiguous state of these artworks that simultaneously function as Hirst-issued currency. For Hirst, this project is an experiment: after the purchase of NFTs, buyers are given an opportunity to exchange the NFT for the original art, safely stored in a UK vault; the unexchanged artworks will be burned. Is art going to fully transform into currency? Will you save it? In Hirst’s project, the transformation of physical art into crypto value becomes the ultimate act of Dada nihilism, except for one big difference: if Dada wanted to destroy art as a way to invent it anew, Hirst destroys art to affirm its death and dissolution in currency. In an ironic gesture, the gif NFT artist Nino Arteiro, as if in agreement with Hirst, attempts to sell his work titled Art Is Not Synonymous of Profit, which contains a crudely written text “ART ≠ PROFIT!” for 0.13 Ether or US$350. Buying this art will negate its own statement and affirm its analogy with money. Distributed-Creativity Art When browsing through crypto art advertised in the crypto markets, one inevitably encounters works that stand out in their emphasis on aesthetic and formal qualities. More often than not, these works are created with the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI). To a viewer bombarded with creations unconcerned with the concept of beauty, these AI works may serve as a sensory aesthetic refuge. Among the most prominent artists working in this realm is Refik Anadol, whose Synthetic Dreams series at a first glance may appear as carefully composed works of a landscape painter. However, at a closer look nodal connections between points in rendered space provide a hint at the use of algorithmic processes. These attractive landscapes are quantum AI data paintings created from a data set consisting of 200 million raw images of landscapes from around the world, with each image having been computed with a unique quantum bit string (“Synthetic Dreams”). Upon further contemplation, Anadol’s work begins to remind of the sublime Romantic landscapes, revamped through the application of AI that turned fascination with nature’s unboundedness into awe in the face of the unfathomable amounts of data used in creation of Anadol’s works. These creations can be seen as a reaction against the crypto art I call exhausted Dada, or a marketing approach that targets a different audience. In either case, Anadol revives aesthetic concern and aligns himself with the history of sublimity in art that dates back to the writings of Longinus, becoming of prime importance in the nineteenth-century Romantic painting, and finding new expressions in what is considered the technological sublime, which, according to David E. Nye. concentrates “on the triumph of machines… over space and time” (as quoted in Butler et al. 8). In relation to his Nature Dreams project, Anadol writes: “the exhibition’s eponymous, sublime AI Data Sculpture, Nature Dreams utilizes over 300 million publicly available photographs of nature collected between 2018- 2021 at Refik Anadol Studio” (“Machine Hallucinations Nature Dreams”). From this short description it is evident that Anadol’s primary focus is on the sublimity of large sets of data. There is an issue with that approach: since experiencing the sublime involves loss of rational thinking (Longinus 1.4), these artworks cease the viewer’s ability to interrogate cultural adaptation of AI technology and stay within the realm of decorative ornamentations, demanding an intervention akin to that brought about by the historical avant-garde. Conclusions I hope that this brief analysis demonstrates the mechanisms by which the strains of Dada entered the vocabulary of crypto artists. It is probably also noticeable that I equate the nihilist project of the exhausted Dada found in such works as Hirst’s Cryptocurrency with a dead end similar to so many other dead ends in art history—one only needs to remember that the death of painting was announced a myriad of times, and yet it is still alive. Each announcement of its death was followed by its radiant return. It could be that using art as a visual package for monetary value, a death statement to art’s capacity to affect human lives, will ignite artists to affirm art’s power to challenge, inspire, and enrich. References Assia, Yoni et al. “Colored Coins Whitepaper.” 2012-13. <https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AnkP_cVZTCMLIzw4DvsW6M8Q2JC0lIzrTLuoWu2z1BE/edit>. Breton, André. “Three Dada Manifestoes, before 1924.” The Dada Painters and Poets: An Anthology, Ed. Robert Motherwell, Cambridge, Mass: Belknap Press of Harvard UP, 1989. 197–206. Butler, Rebecca P., and Benjamin J. Butler. “Examples of the American Technological Sublime.” TechTrends 57.1 (2013): 9–10. Craft, Catherine Anne. Constellations of Past and Present: (Neo-) Dada, the Avant- Garde, and the New York Art World, 1951-1965. 1996. PhD dissertation. University of Texas at Austin. Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg, Kasia. “Creativity Is Hustle: Make Something Every Day.” The Atlantic, 7 Oct. 2011. 12 July 2021 <https://www.theatlantic.com/video/archive/2011/10/creativity-is-hustle-make-something-every-day/246377/#slide15>. Danto, Arthur Coleman. The Abuse of Beauty: Aesthetics and the Concept of Art. Chicago, Ill: Open Court, 2006. Dash, Anil. “NFTs Weren’t Supposed to End like This.” The Atlantic, 2 Apr. 2021. 16 Apr. 2022 <https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/04/nfts-werent-supposed-end-like/618488/>. Dickie, George. “Defining Art.” American Philosophical Quarterly 6.3 (1969): 253–256. Dooley, John F. History of Cryptography and Cryptanalysis: Codes, Ciphers, and Their Algorithms. Cham: Springer, 2018. Elder, R. Bruce. Dada, Surrealism, and the Cinematic Effect. Waterloo: Wilfried Laurier UP, 2015. Elger, Dietmar, and Uta Grosenick. Dadaism. Köln: Taschen, 2004. Flam, Jack. “Foreword”. The Dada Painters and Poets: An Anthology. Ed. Robert Motherwell. Cambridge, Mass: Belknap Press of Harvard UP, 1989. xi–xiv. Finucane, B.P. Creating with Blockchain Technology: The ‘Provably Rare’ Possibilities of Crypto Art. 2018. Master’s thesis. University of British Columbia. Haber, Stuart, and W. Scott Stornetta. “How to Time-Stamp a Digital Document.” Journal of Cryptology 3.2 (1991): 99–111. Hapgood, Susan, and Jennifer Rittner. “Neo-Dada: Redefining Art, 1958-1962.” Performing Arts Journal 17.1 (1995): 63–70. Kastrenakes, Jacob. “Beeple Sold an NFT for $69 million: Through a First-of-Its-Kind Auction at Christie’s.” The Verge, 11 Mar. 2021. 14 July 2021 <https://www.theverge.com/2021/3/11/22325054/beeple-christies-nft-sale-cost-everydays-69-million>. Longinus. On the Sublime. Lewiston/Queenston: Edwin Mellen, 1987. Mankind, “What Are PFP NFTs”. YouTube. 2 Feb. 2022 <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Drh_fAV4XNM>. “Machine Hallucinations.” Refik Anadol. 20 Jan. 2022 <https://refikanadol.com/works/machine-hallucination/>. “Machine Hallucinations Nature Dreams.” Refik Anadol. 18 Apr. 2022 <https://refikanadol.com/works/machine-hallucinations-nature-dreams/>. Molesworth, Helen. “From Dada to Neo-Dada and Back Again.” October 105 (2003): 177–181. “Monas”. OpenSea. 17 Feb. 2022 <https://opensea.io/collection/monas>. Museum of Crypto Art. 23 Jan. 2022 <https://museumofcryptoart.com/>. Nakamoto, Satoshi. “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.” 2008. <https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf>. Richter, Hans. Dada: Art and Anti-Art. London: Thames and Hudson, 2016. Rhizome. “Seven on Seven 2019.” rhizome.org, 26 Mar. 2019. 16 Apr. 2022 <https://rhizome.org/editorial/2019/mar/26/announcing-seven-on-seven-2019-participants-details/>. “Synthetic Dreams.” OpenSea. 23 Jan. 2022 <https://opensea.io/collection/synthetic-dreams>. “The Currency.” OpenSea. 15 Feb. 2022 <https://opensea.io/collection/thecurrency>. “The Non-Fungible Token Bible: Everything You Need to Know about NFTs.” OpenSea Blog, 10 Jan. 2020. 10 June 2021 <https://blog.opensea.io/guides/non-fungible-tokens/>.

40

Masten, Ric. "Wrestling with Prostate Cancer." M/C Journal 4, no.3 (June1, 2001). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1918.

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February 15, 1999 THE DIGITAL EXAM digital was such a sanitary hi-tech word until my urologist snuck up from behind and gave me the bird shocked and taken back I try to ignore the painful experience by pondering the conundrum of hom*osexuality there had to be more to it than that "You can get dressed now" was the good doctor’s way of saying "Pull up your pants, Dude, and I’ll see you back in my office." but his casual demeanor seemed to exude foreboding "There is a stiffness in the gland demanding further examination. I’d like to schedule a blood test, ultrasound and biopsy." the doctor’s lips kept moving but I couldn’t hear him through the sheet of white fear that guillotined between us CANCER! The big C! Me? I spent the rest of that day up to my genitals in the grave I was digging. Hamlet gazing full into the face of the skull "Alas poor Yorick, I knew him well, Horatio. Before scalpel took gland. Back when he sang in a bass baritone." desperate for encouragement I turn to the illustrated brochure the informative flyer detailing the upcoming procedure where in the ultrasound and biopsy probe resembled the head of a black water moccasin baring its fang "Dang!" says I jumping back relief came 36 hours later something about the PSA blood test the prostate specific-antigen results leading the doctor to now suspect infection prescribing an antibiotic of course five weeks from now the FOLLOW-UP APPOINTMENT! and as the date approaches tension will build like in those Mel Gibson Lethal Weapon films when you know there’s a snake in the grass and Danny Glover isn’t there to cover your ass *** April 2, 1999 As it turns out, at the follow-up appointment, things had worsened so the biopsy and bone scan were re-scheduled and it was discovered that I do have incurable metastatic advanced prostate cancer. Of course the doctor is most optimistic about all the new and miraculous treatments available. But before I go into that, I want you to know that I find myself experiencing a strange and wonderful kind of peace. Hell, I’ve lived 70 years already — done exactly what I wanted to do with my life. All worthwhile dreams have come true. Made my living since 1968 as a "Performance Poet" — Billie Barbara and I have been together for 47 years — growing closer with each passing day. We have four great kids, five neat and nifty grandchildren. All things considered, I’ve been truly blessed and whether my departure date is next year or 15 years from now I’m determined not to wreck my life by doing a lousy job with my death. LIKE HAROLD / LIKE HOWARD like Harold I don’t want to blow my death I don’t want to see a lifetime of pluck and courage rubbed out by five weeks of whiny fractious behavior granted Harold’s was a scary way to go from diagnosis to last breath the cancer moving fast but five weeks of bitching and moaning was more than enough to erase every trace of a man I have wanted to emulate his wife sending word that even she can’t remember what he was like before his undignified departure no — I don’t want to go like Harold like Howard let me come swimming up out of the deepening coma face serene as if seen through undisturbed water breaking the surface to eagerly take the hand of bedside well wishers unexpected behavior I must admit as Howard has always been a world class hypochondriac second only to me the two of us able to sit for hours discussing the subtle shade of a mole turning each other on with long drawn out organ recitals in the end one would have thought such a legendary self centered soul would cower and fold up completely like Harold but no — when my time comes let me go sweetly like Howard *** April 7, 1999 The treatment was decided upon. Next Monday, the good Doctor is going to pit my apricots. From here on the Sultan can rest easy when Masten hangs with his harem. Prognosis good. No more testosterone - no more growth. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking forward to giving up the family jewels. I must say that over the years they’ve done me proud and to be totally honest I don’t think Billie Barbara will be all that disappointed either. I’m told that Viagra will help in this area., However, I’m also told that the drug is very expensive. Something like twelve bucks a pop. But hell, Billie Barbara and I can afford twenty four dollars a year.. Some thoughts the morning of— Yesterday I did a program for the Unitarian Society of Livermore. About 60 people. I had a bet with the fellow who introduced me, that at least 7 out of the 60 would come up after the reading (which would include my recent prostate musings) and share a personal war story about prostate cancer. I was right. Exactly 7 approached with an encouraging tale about themselves, a husband, a brother, a son. I was told to prepare myself for hot flashes and water retention. To which Billie Barbara said "Join the club!" I ended the presentation with one of those inspirational poetic moments. A hot flash, if you will. "It just occurred to me," I said, " I’m going to get rich selling a bumper sticker I just thought of — REAL MEN DON’T NEED BALLS A couple of days after the event The Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula is referred to as CHOMP, and the afternoon of April 12th I must say this august institution certainly lived up to it’s name. The waiting room in the Out Patient Wing is an event unto itself. Patients huddled together with friends and family, everyone speaking in hushed voices. The doomed keeping a wary eye on the ominous swinging doors, where a big tough looking nurse appeared from time to time shouting: NEXT! Actually the woman was quite sweet and mild mannered, enunciating each patient’s name in a calm friendly manner. But waiting to have done to me what was going to be done to me - the chilling word "NEXT!" is what I heard and "Out Patient Wing" certainly seemed a misnomer to me. Wasn’t the "Out-Patient Wing" where you went to have splinters removed? Of course I knew better, because in the pre-op interview the young interviewer, upon reading "Bilateral Orchiectomy" winced visibly, exclaiming under her breath "Bummer!" I recently came across this haiku — bilateral orchiectomy the sound a patient makes when he learns what it is Our daughter April lives in New York and couldn’t join the Waiting Room rooting section so as her stand in she sent her best friend Molly Williams. Now, Molly works as a veterinarian in a local animal shelter and a when I told her my operation was supposed to take no more than half an hour, she laughed: "Heck Ric, I’ll do it in five minutes and not even use gloves." NEXT! My turn to be led through those swinging doors, pitifully looking back over my shoulder. Wife, family and friends, bravely giving me the thumbs up. Things blur and run together after that. I do remember telling the nurse who was prepping me that I was afraid of being put to sleep. "Not to worry" she said, I’d have a chance to express these fears to the anesthetist before the operation would begin. And as promised the man did drop by to assure me that I would get a little something to ease my anxiety before he put me under. When the moment finally arrived, he said that I might feel a slight prick as he gave me the relaxant. Of course, that is the last thing I remember - the prick! Obviously, I‘d been suckered in by the mask man’s modus operandi. On the other side of this I surface to begin the waiting. WAITING for the catheter to be removed — for the incision to heal — WAITING to see if the pain subsides and I can loose the cane — WAITING to learn if my PSA will respond to treatment. Waiting—waiting—waiting—and I’ve never been a cheerful waiter. *** May 7, 1999 The doctor tells me I must keep taking Casodex— one a day at eleven dollars a cap - for the rest of my life. And no more doctor freebees. No wonder the listed side effect of this pricey medication is depression. But the recent funk I’ve fallen into is much deeper than dollars and cents. In the past I’ve had my share of operations and illnesses and always during the recuperation I could look forward to being my old self again. But not this time .... Not this time. Funny bumper stickers can only hold reality at bay for a short while. And anyway Billie had me remove the homemade REAL MEN DON’T NEED BALLS bumper sticker from the back of our car — She didn’t like the dirty looks she got while driving around town alone. *** Eight months later BILATERAL ORCHECTOMY never could look up words in the dictionary in a high school assignment writing an autobiography I described my self as a unique person scribbled in the margin the teachers correction fairly chortled "unique" not "eunuch" how could he have known that one day I would actually become a misspelling backed against the wall by advanced prostate cancer I chose the operation over the enormous ongoing expense of chemical castration "No big deal." I thought at the time what’s the difference they both add up to the same thing but in the movies these days during the hot gratuitous sex scene I yawn…bored... wishing they’d quit dicking around and get on with the plot and on TV the buxom cuties that titillate around the products certainly arn’t selling me anything I realize now that although it would probably kill them the guys who went chemical still have an option I don’t philosophically I’m the same person but biologically I ‘m like the picture puzzle our family traditionally puts together over the holidays the French impressionist rendition of a flower shop interior in all it’s bright colorful confusion this season I didn’t work the puzzle quite as enthusiastically... and for good reason this year I know pieces are missing where the orchids used to be "So?" says I to myself "You’re still here to smell the roses." *** January 13, 2000 Real bad news! At the third routine follow-up appointment. My urologist informs me that my PSA has started rising again. The orchectomy and Casodex are no longer keeping the cancer in remission. In the vernacular, I have become "hormone refractory" and there was nothing more he, as a urologist could do for me. An appointment with a local oncologist was arranged and another bone scan scheduled. The "T" word having finally been said the ostrich pulled his head from the sand and began looking around. Knowing what I know now, I’m still annoyed at my urologist for not telling me when I was first diagnosed to either join a support group and radically change my diet or find another urologist. I immediately did both - becoming vegan and finding help on-line as well as at the local Prostate Cancer Support Group. This during the endless eighteen day wait before the oncologist could fit me in. *** IRON SOCKS time now for a bit of reverse prejudice I once purchased some stockings called "Iron Socks" guaranteed to last for five years they lasted ten! but when I went back for another pair the clerk had never heard of them as a cancer survivor… so far in an over populated world I consider the multi-billion dollar medical and pharmaceutical industries realizing that there is absolutely no incentive to come up with a permanent cure *** From here on, I’ll let the poems document the part of the journey that brings us up to the present. A place where I can say — spiritually speaking, that the best thing that ever happened to me is metastatic hormone refractory advanced prostate cancer. *** SUPPORT GROUPS included in this close fraternity... in this room full of brotherly love I wonder where I’ve been for the last 11 months no — that’s not quite right… I know where I’ve been I’ve been in denial after the shock of diagnosis the rude indignity of castration the quick fix of a Casodex why would I want to hang out with a bunch of old duffers dying of prostate cancer? ignoring the fact that everybody dies we all know it but few of us believe it those who do, however rack up more precious moments than the entire citizenry of the fools paradise not to mention studies showing that those who do choose to join a support group on average live years longer than the stiff upper lip recluse and while I’m on the subject I wonder where I’d be without the internet and the dear supportive spirits met there in cyber-space a place where aid care and concern are not determined by age, gender, race, physical appearance, economic situation or geological location and this from a die-hard like me who not ten years ago held the computer in great disdain convinced that poetry should be composed on the back of envelopes with a blunt pencil while riding on trains thank god I’m past these hang-ups because without a support system I doubt if this recent malignant flare-up could have been withstood how terrifying… the thought of being at my writing desk alone… disconnected typing out memos to myself on my dead father’s ancient Underwood *** PC SPES in the sea that is me the hormone blockade fails my urologist handing me over to a young oncologist who recently began practicing locally having retired from the stainless steel and white enamel of the high tech Stanford medical machine in the examination room numbly thumbing through a magazine I wait expecting to be treated like a link of sausage another appointment ground out in a fifteen minute interval what I got was an 18th century throw back a hands-on horse and buggy physician with seemingly all the time in the world it was decided that for the next three weeks (between blood tests) all treatment would cease to determine how my PSA was behaving this done, at the next appointment the next step would be decided upon and after more than an hour of genial give and take with every question answered all options covered it was I who stood up first to go for me a most unique experience in the annals of the modern medicine show however condemned to three weeks in limbo knowing the cancer was growing had me going online reaching out into cyberspace to see what I could find and what I found was PC SPES a botanical herbal alternative medicine well documented and researched but not approved by the FDA aware that the treatment was not one my doctor had mentioned (I have since learned that to do so would make him legally vulnerable) I decided to give it a try on my own sending off for a ten day supply taking the first dose as close after the second blood test as I could two days later back in the doctors office I confess expecting a slap on the wrist instead I receive a bouquet for holding off until after the second PSA then taking the PC SPES container from my hand and like a Native American medicine man he holds it high over his head shaking it "Okay then, this approach gets the first ride!" at the receptionist desk scheduling my next appointment I thought about how difficult it must be out here on the frontier practicing medicine with your hands tied *** PREJUDICE "It's a jungle out there!" Dr. J. George Taylor was fond of saying "And all chiropractors are quacks! Manipulating pocket pickers!" the old physician exposing his daughter to a prejudice so infectious I suspect it became part of her DNA and she a wannabe doctor herself infects me her son with the notion that if it wasn’t performed or prescribed by a licensed M.D. it had to be Medicine Show hoopla or snake oil elixir certainly today’s countless array of practitioners and patent remedies has both of them spinning in their grave but Ma you and Grandpa never heard the words hormone-refractory even the great white hunters of our prestigious cancer clinics don't know how to stop the tiger that is stalking me and so with a PSA rising again to 11.9 I get my oncologist to let me try PC SPES a Chinese herbal formula yes, the desperate do become gullible me, reading and re-reading the promotional material dutifully dosing myself between blood tests and this against the smirk of disapproval mother and grandfather wagging their heads in unison: "It won’t work." "It won’t work." having condemned myself beforehand the moment of truth finally arrives I pace the floor nervously the doctor appears at the door "How does it feel to be a man with a PSA falling to 4.8?" it seems that for the time being at least the tiger is content to play a waiting game which is simply great! Mother tell Grandpa I just may escape our families bigotry before it’s too late *** HELPLINE HARRY "Hi, how are you?" these days I'm never sure how to field routine grounders like this am I simply being greeted? or does the greeter actually want a list of grisly medical details my wife says it's easy she just waits to see if the "How is he?" is followed by a hushed "I mean… really?" for the former a simple "Fine, and how are you?" will do for the latter the news isn't great indications are that the miracle herbal treatment is beginning to fail my oncologist offering up a confusing array of clinical trials and treatments that flirt seductively but speak in a foreign language I don't fully understand so Harry, once again I call on you a savvy old tanker who has maneuvered his battle scared machine through years of malignant mine fields and metastatic mortar attacks true five star Generals know much about winning wars and such but the Command Post is usually so far removed from the front lines I suspect they haven't a clue as to what the dog-faces are going through down here in the trenches it's the seasoned campaigners who have my ear the tough tenacious lovable old survivors like you *** "POOR DEVIL!" in my early twenties I went along with Dylan Thomas boasting that I wanted to go out not gently but raging shaking my fist staring death down however this daring statement was somewhat revised when in my forties I realized that death does the staring I do the down so I began hoping it would happen to me like it happened to the sentry in all those John Wayne Fort Apache movies found dead in the morning face down — an arrow in the back "Poor devil." the Sergeant always said "Never knew what hit him." at the time I liked that... the end taking me completely by surprise the bravado left in the hands of a hard drinking Welshman still wet behind the ears older and wiser now over seventy and with a terminal disease the only thing right about what the Sergeant said was the "Poor devil" part "Poor devil" never used an opening to tell loved ones he loved them never seized the opportunity to give praise for the sun rise or drink in a sunset moment after moment passing him by while he marched through life staring straight ahead believing in tomorrow "Poor devil!" how much fuller richer and pleasing life becomes when you are lucky enough to see the arrow coming *** END LINE (Dedicated to Jim Fulks.) I’ve always been a yin / yang - life / death - up / down clear / blur - front / back kind of guy my own peculiar duality being philosopher slash hypochondriac win win characteristics when you’ve been diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer finally the hypochondriac has something more than windmills to tilt with the philosopher arming himself with exactly the proper petard an anonymous statement found in an e-mail message beneath the signature of a cancer survivor’s name a perfect end line wily and wise quote: I ask God: "How much time do I have before I die?" "Enough to make a difference." God replies *** STRUM lived experience taught them most of what they know so MD's treating men diagnosed with androgen-independent advanced prostate cancer tend to put us on death row and taking the past into account this negativity is understandable… these good hearted doctors watching us come and go honestly doing what they can like kindly prison guards attempting to make the life we have left as pleasant as possible to be otherwise a physician would have to be a bit delusional evangelical even… to work so diligently for and believe so completely in the last minute reprieve for those of us confined on cell block PC doing time with an executioner stalking it is exhilarating to find an oncologist willing to fly in the face of history refusing to call the likes of me "Dead man walking." *** BAG OF WOE there are always moments when I can almost hear the reader asking: "How can you use that as grist for your poetry mill? How can you dwell on such private property, at least without masking the details?" well... for the feedback of course the war stories that my stories prompt you to tell but perhaps the question can best be answered by the ‘bag of woe’ parable the "Once Upon a Time" tale about the troubled village of Contrary its harried citizens and the magical mystical miracle worker who showed up one dreary day saying: I am aware of your torment and woe and I am here to lighten your load! he then instructed the beleaguered citizens to go home and rummage through their harried lives bag up your troubles he said both large and small stuff them all in a sack and drag them down to the town square and stack them around on the wall and when everyone was back and every bag was there the magical mystical miracle worker said: "It’s true, just as I promised. You won’t have to take your sack of troubles home leave it behind when you go however, you will have to take along somebody’s bag of woe so the citizens of Contrary all went to find their own bag and shouldering the load discovered that it was magically and mystically much easier to carry --- End ---

41

Burns, Alex. "Oblique Strategies for Ambient Journalism." M/C Journal 13, no.2 (April15, 2010). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.230.

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Alfred Hermida recently posited ‘ambient journalism’ as a new framework for para- and professional journalists, who use social networks like Twitter for story sources, and as a news delivery platform. Beginning with this framework, this article explores the following questions: How does Hermida define ‘ambient journalism’ and what is its significance? Are there alternative definitions? What lessons do current platforms provide for the design of future, real-time platforms that ‘ambient journalists’ might use? What lessons does the work of Brian Eno provide–the musician and producer who coined the term ‘ambient music’ over three decades ago? My aim here is to formulate an alternative definition of ambient journalism that emphasises craft, skills acquisition, and the mental models of professional journalists, which are the foundations more generally for journalism practices. Rather than Hermida’s participatory media context I emphasise ‘institutional adaptiveness’: how journalists and newsrooms in media institutions rely on craft and skills, and how emerging platforms can augment these foundations, rather than replace them. Hermida’s Ambient Journalism and the Role of Journalists Hermida describes ambient journalism as: “broad, asynchronous, lightweight and always-on communication systems [that] are creating new kinds of interactions around the news, and are enabling citizens to maintain a mental model of news and events around them” (Hermida 2). His ideas appear to have two related aspects. He conceives ambient journalism as an “awareness system” between individuals that functions as a collective intelligence or kind of ‘distributed cognition’ at a group level (Hermida 2, 4-6). Facebook, Twitter and other online social networks are examples. Hermida also suggests that such networks enable non-professionals to engage in ‘communication’ and ‘conversation’ about news and media events (Hermida 2, 7). In a helpful clarification, Hermida observes that ‘para-journalists’ are like the paralegals or non-lawyers who provide administrative support in the legal profession and, in academic debates about journalism, are more commonly known as ‘citizen journalists’. Thus, Hermida’s ambient journalism appears to be: (1) an information systems model of new platforms and networks, and (2) a normative argument that these tools empower ‘para-journalists’ to engage in journalism and real-time commentary. Hermida’s thesis is intriguing and worthy of further discussion and debate. As currently formulated however it risks sharing the blind-spots and contradictions of the academic literature that Hermida cites, which suffers from poor theory-building (Burns). A major reason is that the participatory media context on which Hermida often builds his work has different mental models and normative theories than the journalists or media institutions that are the target of critique. Ambient journalism would be a stronger and more convincing framework if these incorrect assumptions were jettisoned. Others may also potentially misunderstand what Hermida proposes, because the academic debate is often polarised between para-journalists and professional journalists, due to different views about institutions, the politics of knowledge, decision heuristics, journalist training, and normative theoretical traditions (Christians et al. 126; Cole and Harcup 166-176). In the academic debate, para-journalists or ‘citizen journalists’ may be said to have a communitarian ethic and desire more autonomous solutions to journalists who are framed as uncritical and reliant on official sources, and to media institutions who are portrayed as surveillance-like ‘monitors’ of society (Christians et al. 124-127). This is however only one of a range of possible relationships. Sole reliance on para-journalists could be a premature solution to a more complex media ecology. Journalism craft, which does not rely just on official sources, also has a range of practices that already provides the “more complex ways of understanding and reporting on the subtleties of public communication” sought (Hermida 2). Citizen- and para-journalist accounts may overlook micro-studies in how newsrooms adopt technological innovations and integrate them into newsgathering routines (Hemmingway 196). Thus, an examination of the realities of professional journalism will help to cast a better light on how ambient journalism can shape the mental models of para-journalists, and provide more rigorous analysis of news and similar events. Professional journalism has several core dimensions that para-journalists may overlook. Journalism’s foundation as an experiential craft includes guidance and norms that orient the journalist to information, and that includes practitioner ethics. This craft is experiential; the basis for journalism’s claim to “social expertise” as a discipline; and more like the original Linux and Open Source movements which evolved through creative conflict (Sennett 9, 25-27, 125-127, 249-251). There are learnable, transmissible skills to contextually evaluate, filter, select and distil the essential insights. This craft-based foundation and skills informs and structures the journalist’s cognitive witnessing of an event, either directly or via reconstructed, cultivated sources. The journalist publishes through a recognised media institution or online platform, which provides communal validation and verification. There is far more here than the academic portrayal of journalists as ‘gate-watchers’ for a ‘corporatist’ media elite. Craft and skills distinguish the professional journalist from Hermida’s para-journalist. Increasingly, media institutions hire journalists who are trained in other craft-based research methods (Burns and Saunders). Bethany McLean who ‘broke’ the Enron scandal was an investment banker; documentary filmmaker Errol Morris first interviewed serial killers for an early project; and Neil Chenoweth used ‘forensic accounting’ techniques to investigate Rupert Murdoch and Kerry Packer. Such expertise allows the journalist to filter information, and to mediate any influences in the external environment, in order to develop an individualised, ‘embodied’ perspective (Hofstadter 234; Thompson; Garfinkel and Rawls). Para-journalists and social network platforms cannot replace this expertise, which is often unique to individual journalists and their research teams. Ambient Journalism and Twitter Current academic debates about how citizen- and para-journalists may augment or even replace professional journalists can often turn into legitimation battles whether the ‘de facto’ solution is a social media network rather than a media institution. For example, Hermida discusses Twitter, a micro-blogging platform that allows users to post 140-character messages that are small, discrete information chunks, for short-term and episodic memory. Twitter enables users to monitor other users, to group other messages, and to search for terms specified by a hashtag. Twitter thus illustrates how social media platforms can make data more transparent and explicit to non-specialists like para-journalists. In fact, Twitter is suitable for five different categories of real-time information: news, pre-news, rumours, the formation of social media and subject-based networks, and “molecular search” using granular data-mining tools (Leinweber 204-205). In this model, the para-journalist acts as a navigator and “way-finder” to new information (Morville, Findability). Jaron Lanier, an early designer of ‘virtual reality’ systems, is perhaps the most vocal critic of relying on groups of non-experts and tools like Twitter, instead of individuals who have professional expertise. For Lanier, what underlies debates about citizen- and para-journalists is a philosophy of “cybernetic totalism” and “digital Maoism” which exalts the Internet collective at the expense of truly individual views. He is deeply critical of Hermida’s chosen platform, Twitter: “A design that shares Twitter’s feature of providing ambient continuous contact between people could perhaps drop Twitter’s adoration of fragments. We don’t really know, because it is an unexplored design space” [emphasis added] (Lanier 24). In part, Lanier’s objection is traceable back to an unresolved debate on human factors and design in information science. Influenced by the post-war research into cybernetics, J.C.R. Licklider proposed a cyborg-like model of “man-machine symbiosis” between computers and humans (Licklider). In turn, Licklider’s framework influenced Douglas Engelbart, who shaped the growth of human-computer interaction, and the design of computer interfaces, the mouse, and other tools (Engelbart). In taking a system-level view of platforms Hermida builds on the strength of Licklider and Engelbart’s work. Yet because he focuses on para-journalists, and does not appear to include the craft and skills-based expertise of professional journalists, it is unclear how he would answer Lanier’s fears about how reliance on groups for news and other information is superior to individual expertise and judgment. Hermida’s two case studies point to this unresolved problem. Both cases appear to show how Twitter provides quicker and better forms of news and information, thereby increasing the effectiveness of para-journalists to engage in journalism and real-time commentary. However, alternative explanations may exist that raise questions about Twitter as a new platform, and thus these cases might actually reveal circ*mstances in which ambient journalism may fail. Hermida alludes to how para-journalists now fulfil the earlier role of ‘first responders’ and stringers, in providing the “immediate dissemination” of non-official information about disasters and emergencies (Hermida 1-2; Haddow and Haddow 117-118). Whilst important, this is really a specific role. In fact, disaster and emergency reporting occurs within well-established practices, professional ethics, and institutional routines that may involve journalists, government officials, and professional communication experts (Moeller). Officials and emergency management planners are concerned that citizen- or para-journalism is equated with the craft and skills of professional journalism. The experience of these officials and planners in 2005’s Hurricane Katrina in the United States, and in 2009’s Black Saturday bushfires in Australia, suggests that whilst para-journalists might be ‘first responders’ in a decentralised, complex crisis, they are perceived to spread rumours and potential social unrest when people need reliable information (Haddow and Haddow 39). These terms of engagement between officials, planners and para-journalists are still to be resolved. Hermida readily acknowledges that Twitter and other social network platforms are vulnerable to rumours (Hermida 3-4; Sunstein). However, his other case study, Iran’s 2009 election crisis, further complicates the vision of ambient journalism, and always-on communication systems in particular. Hermida discusses several events during the crisis: the US State Department request to halt a server upgrade, how the Basij’s shooting of bystander Neda Soltan was captured on a mobile phone camera, the spread across social network platforms, and the high-velocity number of ‘tweets’ or messages during the first two weeks of Iran’s electoral uncertainty (Hermida 1). The US State Department was interested in how Twitter could be used for non-official sources, and to inform people who were monitoring the election events. Twitter’s perceived ‘success’ during Iran’s 2009 election now looks rather different when other factors are considered such as: the dynamics and patterns of Tehran street protests; Iran’s clerics who used Soltan’s death as propaganda; claims that Iran’s intelligence services used Twitter to track down and to kill protestors; the ‘black box’ case of what the US State Department and others actually did during the crisis; the history of neo-conservative interest in a Twitter-like platform for strategic information operations; and the Iranian diaspora’s incitement of Tehran student protests via satellite broadcasts. Iran’s 2009 election crisis has important lessons for ambient journalism: always-on communication systems may create noise and spread rumours; ‘mirror-imaging’ of mental models may occur, when other participants have very different worldviews and ‘contexts of use’ for social network platforms; and the new kinds of interaction may not lead to effective intervention in crisis events. Hermida’s combination of news and non-news fragments is the perfect environment for psychological operations and strategic information warfare (Burns and Eltham). Lessons of Current Platforms for Ambient Journalism We have discussed some unresolved problems for ambient journalism as a framework for journalists, and as mental models for news and similar events. Hermida’s goal of an “awareness system” faces a further challenge: the phenomenological limitations of human consciousness to deal with information complexity and ambiguous situations, whether by becoming ‘entangled’ in abstract information or by developing new, unexpected uses for emergent technologies (Thackara; Thompson; Hofstadter 101-102, 186; Morville, Findability, 55, 57, 158). The recursive and reflective capacities of human consciousness imposes its own epistemological frames. It’s still unclear how Licklider’s human-computer interaction will shape consciousness, but Douglas Hofstadter’s experiments with art and video-based group experiments may be suggestive. Hofstadter observes: “the interpenetration of our worlds becomes so great that our worldviews start to fuse” (266). Current research into user experience and information design provides some validation of Hofstadter’s experience, such as how Google is now the ‘default’ search engine, and how its interface design shapes the user’s subjective experience of online search (Morville, Findability; Morville, Search Patterns). Several models of Hermida’s awareness system already exist that build on Hofstadter’s insight. Within the information systems field, on-going research into artificial intelligence–‘expert systems’ that can model expertise as algorithms and decision rules, genetic algorithms, and evolutionary computation–has attempted to achieve Hermida’s goal. What these systems share are mental models of cognition, learning and adaptiveness to new information, often with forecasting and prediction capabilities. Such systems work in journalism areas such as finance and sports that involve analytics, data-mining and statistics, and in related fields such as health informatics where there are clear, explicit guidelines on information and international standards. After a mid-1980s investment bubble (Leinweber 183-184) these systems now underpin the technology platforms of global finance and news intermediaries. Bloomberg LP’s ubiquitous dual-screen computers, proprietary network and data analytics (www.bloomberg.com), and its competitors such as Thomson Reuters (www.thomsonreuters.com and www.reuters.com), illustrate how financial analysts and traders rely on an “awareness system” to navigate global stock-markets (Clifford and Creswell). For example, a Bloomberg subscriber can access real-time analytics from exchanges, markets, and from data vendors such as Dow Jones, NYSE Euronext and Thomson Reuters. They can use portfolio management tools to evaluate market information, to make allocation and trading decisions, to monitor ‘breaking’ news, and to integrate this information. Twitter is perhaps the para-journalist equivalent to how professional journalists and finance analysts rely on Bloomberg’s platform for real-time market and business information. Already, hedge funds like PhaseCapital are data-mining Twitter’s ‘tweets’ or messages for rumours, shifts in stock-market sentiment, and to analyse potential trading patterns (Pritchett and Palmer). The US-based Securities and Exchange Commission, and researchers like David Gelernter and Paul Tetlock, have also shown the benefits of applied data-mining for regulatory market supervision, in particular to uncover analysts who provide ‘whisper numbers’ to online message boards, and who have access to material, non-public information (Leinweber 60, 136, 144-145, 208, 219, 241-246). Hermida’s framework might be developed further for such regulatory supervision. Hermida’s awareness system may also benefit from the algorithms found in high-frequency trading (HFT) systems that Citadel Group, Goldman Sachs, Renaissance Technologies, and other quantitative financial institutions use. Rather than human traders, HFT uses co-located servers and complex algorithms, to make high-volume trades on stock-markets that take advantage of microsecond changes in prices (Duhigg). HFT capabilities are shrouded in secrecy, and became the focus of regulatory attention after several high-profile investigations of traders alleged to have stolen the software code (Bray and Bunge). One public example is Streambase (www.streambase.com), a ‘complex event processing’ (CEP) platform that can be used in HFT, and commercialised from the Project Aurora research collaboration between Brandeis University, Brown University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. CEP and HFT may be the ‘killer apps’ of Hermida’s awareness system. Alternatively, they may confirm Jaron Lanier’s worst fears: your data-stream and user-generated content can be harvested by others–for their gain, and your loss! Conclusion: Brian Eno and Redefining ‘Ambient Journalism’ On the basis of the above discussion, I suggest a modified definition of Hermida’s thesis: ‘Ambient journalism’ is an emerging analytical framework for journalists, informed by cognitive, cybernetic, and information systems research. It ‘sensitises’ the individual journalist, whether professional or ‘para-professional’, to observe and to evaluate their immediate context. In doing so, ‘ambient journalism’, like journalism generally, emphasises ‘novel’ information. It can also inform the design of real-time platforms for journalistic sources and news delivery. Individual ‘ambient journalists’ can learn much from the career of musician and producer Brian Eno. His personal definition of ‘ambient’ is “an atmosphere, or a surrounding influence: a tint,” that relies on the co-evolution of the musician, creative horizons, and studio technology as a tool, just as para-journalists use Twitter as a platform (Sheppard 278; Eno 293-297). Like para-journalists, Eno claims to be a “self-educated but largely untrained” musician and yet also a craft-based producer (McFadzean; Tamm 177; 44-50). Perhaps Eno would frame the distinction between para-journalist and professional journalist as “axis thinking” (Eno 298, 302) which is needlessly polarised due to different normative theories, stances, and practices. Furthermore, I would argue that Eno’s worldview was shaped by similar influences to Licklider and Engelbart, who appear to have informed Hermida’s assumptions. These influences include the mathematician and game theorist John von Neumann and biologist Richard Dawkins (Eno 162); musicians Eric Satie, John Cage and his book Silence (Eno 19-22, 162; Sheppard 22, 36, 378-379); and the field of self-organising systems, in particular cyberneticist Stafford Beer (Eno 245; Tamm 86; Sheppard 224). Eno summed up the central lesson of this theoretical corpus during his collaborations with New York’s ‘No Wave’ scene in 1978, of “people experimenting with their lives” (Eno 253; Reynolds 146-147; Sheppard 290-295). Importantly, he developed a personal view of normative theories through practice-based research, on a range of projects, and with different creative and collaborative teams. Rather than a technological solution, Eno settled on a way to encode his craft and skills into a quasi-experimental, transmittable method—an aim of practitioner development in professional journalism. Even if only a “founding myth,” the story of Eno’s 1975 street accident with a taxi, and how he conceived ‘ambient music’ during his hospital stay, illustrates how ambient journalists might perceive something new in specific circ*mstances (Tamm 131; Sheppard 186-188). More tellingly, this background informed his collaboration with the late painter Peter Schmidt, to co-create the Oblique Strategies deck of aphorisms: aleatory, oracular messages that appeared dependent on chance, luck, and randomness, but that in fact were based on Eno and Schmidt’s creative philosophy and work guidelines (Tamm 77-78; Sheppard 178-179; Reynolds 170). In short, Eno was engaging with the kind of reflective practices that underpin exemplary professional journalism. He was able to encode this craft and skills into a quasi-experimental method, rather than a technological solution. Journalists and practitioners who adopt Hermida’s framework could learn much from the published accounts of Eno’s practice-based research, in the context of creative projects and collaborative teams. In particular, these detail the contexts and choices of Eno’s early ambient music recordings (Sheppard 199-200); Eno’s duels with David Bowie during ‘Sense of Doubt’ for the Heroes album (Tamm 158; Sheppard 254-255); troubled collaborations with Talking Heads and David Byrne (Reynolds 165-170; Sheppard; 338-347, 353); a curatorial, mentor role on U2’s The Unforgettable Fire (Sheppard 368-369); the ‘grand, stadium scale’ experiments of U2’s 1991-93 ZooTV tour (Sheppard 404); the Zorn-like games of Bowie’s Outside album (Eno 382-389); and the ‘generative’ artwork 77 Million Paintings (Eno 330-332; Tamm 133-135; Sheppard 278-279; Eno 435). Eno is clearly a highly flexible maker and producer. Developing such flexibility would ensure ambient journalism remains open to novelty as an analytical framework that may enhance the practitioner development and work of professional journalists and para-journalists alike.Acknowledgments The author thanks editor Luke Jaaniste, Alfred Hermida, and the two blind peer reviewers for their constructive feedback and reflective insights. References Bray, Chad, and Jacob Bunge. “Ex-Goldman Programmer Indicted for Trade Secrets Theft.” The Wall Street Journal 12 Feb. 2010. 17 March 2010 ‹http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703382904575059660427173510.html›. Burns, Alex. “Select Issues with New Media Theories of Citizen Journalism.” M/C Journal 11.1 (2008). 17 March 2010 ‹http://journal.media-culture.org.au/index.php/mcjournal/article/view/30›.———, and Barry Saunders. “Journalists as Investigators and ‘Quality Media’ Reputation.” Record of the Communications Policy and Research Forum 2009. Eds. Franco Papandrea and Mark Armstrong. Sydney: Network Insight Institute, 281-297. 17 March 2010 ‹http://eprints.vu.edu.au/15229/1/CPRF09BurnsSaunders.pdf›.———, and Ben Eltham. “Twitter Free Iran: An Evaluation of Twitter’s Role in Public Diplomacy and Information Operations in Iran’s 2009 Election Crisis.” Record of the Communications Policy and Research Forum 2009. Eds. Franco Papandrea and Mark Armstrong. Sydney: Network Insight Institute, 298-310. 17 March 2010 ‹http://eprints.vu.edu.au/15230/1/CPRF09BurnsEltham.pdf›. Christians, Clifford G., Theodore Glasser, Denis McQuail, Kaarle Nordenstreng, and Robert A. White. Normative Theories of the Media: Journalism in Democratic Societies. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2009. Clifford, Stephanie, and Julie Creswell. “At Bloomberg, Modest Strategy to Rule the World.” The New York Times 14 Nov. 2009. 17 March 2010 ‹http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/15/business/media/15bloom.html?ref=businessandpagewanted=all›.Cole, Peter, and Tony Harcup. Newspaper Journalism. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2010. Duhigg, Charles. “Stock Traders Find Speed Pays, in Milliseconds.” The New York Times 23 July 2009. 17 March 2010 ‹http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/24/business/24trading.html?_r=2andref=business›. Engelbart, Douglas. “Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework, 1962.” Ed. Neil Spiller. Cyber Reader: Critical Writings for the Digital Era. London: Phaidon Press, 2002. 60-67. Eno, Brian. A Year with Swollen Appendices. London: Faber and Faber, 1996. Garfinkel, Harold, and Anne Warfield Rawls. Toward a Sociological Theory of Information. Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers, 2008. Hadlow, George D., and Kim S. Haddow. Disaster Communications in a Changing Media World, Butterworth-Heinemann, Burlington MA, 2009. Hemmingway, Emma. Into the Newsroom: Exploring the Digital Production of Regional Television News. Milton Park: Routledge, 2008. Hermida, Alfred. “Twittering the News: The Emergence of Ambient Journalism.” Journalism Practice 4.3 (2010): 1-12. Hofstadter, Douglas. I Am a Strange Loop. New York: Perseus Books, 2007. Lanier, Jaron. You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto. London: Allen Lane, 2010. Leinweber, David. Nerds on Wall Street: Math, Machines and Wired Markets. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons, 2009. Licklider, J.C.R. “Man-Machine Symbiosis, 1960.” Ed. Neil Spiller. Cyber Reader: Critical Writings for the Digital Era, London: Phaidon Press, 2002. 52-59. McFadzean, Elspeth. “What Can We Learn from Creative People? The Story of Brian Eno.” Management Decision 38.1 (2000): 51-56. Moeller, Susan. Compassion Fatigue: How the Media Sell Disease, Famine, War and Death. New York: Routledge, 1998. Morville, Peter. Ambient Findability. Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly Press, 2005. ———. Search Patterns. Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly Press, 2010.Pritchett, Eric, and Mark Palmer. ‘Following the Tweet Trail.’ CNBC 11 July 2009. 17 March 2010 ‹http://www.casttv.com/ext/ug0p08›. Reynolds, Simon. Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-1984. London: Penguin Books, 2006. Sennett, Richard. The Craftsman. London: Penguin Books, 2008. Sheppard, David. On Some Faraway Beach: The Life and Times of Brian Eno. London: Orion Books, 2008. Sunstein, Cass. On Rumours: How Falsehoods Spread, Why We Believe Them, What Can Be Done. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009. Tamm, Eric. Brian Eno: His Music and the Vertical Colour of Sound. New York: Da Capo Press, 1995. Thackara, John. In the Bubble: Designing in a Complex World. Boston, MA: The MIT Press, 1995. Thompson, Evan. Mind in Life: Biology, Phenomenology, and the Science of Mind. Boston, MA: Belknap Press, 2007.

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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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Harrison, Paul. "Remaining Still." M/C Journal 12, no.1 (February25, 2009). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.135.

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Abstract:

A political minimalism? That would obviously go against the grain of our current political ideology → in fact, we are in an era of political maximalisation (Roland Barthes 200, arrow in original).Barthes’ comment is found in the ‘Annex’ to his 1978 lecture course The Neutral. Despite the three decade difference I don’t things have changed that much, certainly not insofar as academic debate about the cultural and social is concerned. At conferences I regularly hear the demand that the speaker or speakers account for the ‘political intent’, ‘worth’ or ‘utility’ of their work, or observe how speakers attempt to pre-empt and disarm such calls through judicious phrasing and citing. Following his diagnosis Barthes (201-206) proceeds to write under the title ‘To Give Leave’. Here he notes the incessant demand placed upon us, as citizens, as consumers, as representative cultural subjects and as biopolitical entities and, in this context, as academics to have and to communicate our allegiances, views and opinions. Echoing the acts, (or rather the ‘non-acts’), of Melville’s Bartleby, Barthes describes the scandalous nature of suspending the obligation of holding views; the apparent immorality of suspending the obligation of being interested, engaged, opinionated, committed – even if one only ever suspends provisionally, momentarily even. For the length of a five thousand word essay perhaps. In this short, unfortunately telegraphic and quite speculative essay I want pause to consider a few gestures or figures of ‘suspension’, ‘decline’ and ‘remaining aside’. What follows is in three parts. First a comment on the nature of the ‘demand to communicate’ identified by Barthes and its links to longer running moral and practical imperatives within Western understandings of the subject, the social and the political. Second, the most substantial section but still an all too brief account of the apparent ‘passivity’ of the narrator of Imre Kertész’s novel Fatelessness and the ways in which the novel may be read as a reflection on the nature of agency and determination. Third, a very brief conclusion, the question directly; what politics or what apprehension of politics, could a reflection on stillness and its ‘political minimalism’ offer? 1.For Barthes, (in 1978), one of the factors defining the contemporary intellectual scene was the way in which “politics invades all phenomena, economic, cultural, ethical” coupled with the “radicalization” of “political behaviors” (200), perhaps most notably in the arrogance of political discourse as it assumes the place of a master discourse. Writing in 1991 Bill Readings identified a similar phenomenon. For Readings the category of the political and politically inspired critique were operating by encircling their objects within a presupposed “universal language of political significance into which one might translate everything according to its effectivity”, an approach which has the effect of always making “the political […] the bottom line, the last instance where meaning can be definitively asserted” (quoted in Clark 3) or, we may add, realized. There is, of course, much that could be said here, not least concerning the significant differences in context, (between, for example, the various forms of revolutionary Marxism, Communism and Maoism which seem to preoccupy Barthes and the emancipatory identity and cultural politics which swept through literature departments in the US and beyond in the last two decades of the twentieth century). However it is also possible to suggest that a general grammar and, moreover, a general acceptance of a telos of the political persists.Barthes' (204-206) account of ‘political maximalisation’ is accompanied by a diagnosis of its productivist virility, (be it, in 1978, on the part of the increasingly reduced revolutionary left or the burgeoning neo-liberal right). The antithesis, or, rather, the outside of such an arrangement or frame would not be another political program but rather a certain stammering, a lassitude or dilatoriness. A flaccidness even; “a devirilized image” wherein from the point of view of the (political) actor or critic, “you are demoted to the contemptible mass of the undecided of those who don’t know who to vote for: old, lost ladies whom they brutalize: vote however you want, but vote” (Barthes 204). Hence Barthes is not suggesting a counter-move, a radical refusal, a ‘No’ shouted back to the information saturated market society. What is truly scandalous he suggests, is not opposition or refusal but the ‘non-reply’. What is truly scandalous, roughish even, is the decline or deferral and so the provisional suspension of the choice (and the blackmail) of the ‘yes’ or ‘no’, the ‘this’ or the ‘that’, the ‘with us’ or ‘against us’.In Literature and Evil Georges Bataille concludes his essay on Kafka with a comment on such a decline. According to Bataille, the reason why Kafka remains an ambivalent writer for critics, (and especially for those who would seek to enrol his work to political ends), lays precisely in his constant withdrawal; “There was nothing he [Kafka] could have asserted, or in the name of which he could have spoken. What he was, which was nothing, only existed to the extent in which effective activity condemned him” (167). ‘Effective activity’ refers, contextually, to a certain form of Communism but more broadly to the rationalization or systematization intrinsic to any political program, political programs (or ideologies) as such, be they communist, liberal or libertarian. At least insofar as, as implied above, the political is taken to coincide with a certain metaphysics and morality of action and the consequent linking of freedom to work, (a factor common to communist, fascist and liberal political programs), and so to the labour of the progressive self-realization and achievement of the self, the autos or ipse (see Derrida 6-18). Be it via, for example, Marx’s account of human’s intrinsic ‘capacity for work’ (Arbeitskraft), Heidegger’s account of necessary existential (and ultimately communal) struggle (Kampf), or Weber’s diagnoses of the (Protestant/bourgeois) liberal project to realize human potentiality (see also Agamben Man without Content; François 1-64). Hence what is ‘evil’ in Kafka is not any particular deed but the deferral of deeds; his ambivalence or immorality in the eyes of certain critics being due to the question his writing poses to “the ultimate authority of action” (Bataille 153) and so to the space beyond action onto which it opens. What could this space of ‘worklessness’ or ‘unwork’ look like? This non-virile, anti-heroic space? This would not be a space of ‘inaction’, (a term still too dependent, albeit negatively, on action), but of ‘non-action’; of ‘non-productive’ or non-disclosive action. That is to say, and as a first attempt at definition, ‘action’ or ‘praxis’, if we can still call it that, which does not generate or bring to light any specific positive content. As a way to highlight the difficulties and pitfalls, (at least with certain traditions), which stand in the way of thinking such a space, we may highlight Giorgio Agamben’s comments on the widespread coincidence of a metaphysics of action with the determination of both the subject, its teleology and its orientation in the world:According to current opinion, all of man’s [sic] doing – that of the artist and the craftsman as well as that of the workman and the politician – is praxis – manifestation of a will that produces a concrete effect. When we say that man has a productive status on earth, we mean, that the status of his dwelling on the earth is a practical one […] This productive doing now everywhere determines the status of man on earth – man understood as the living being (animal) that works (laborans), and, in work, produces himself (Man without Content 68; 70-71 original emphasis).Beyond or before practical being then, that is to say before and beyond the determination of the subject as essentially or intrinsically active and engaged, another space, another dwelling. Maybe nocturnal, certainly one with a different light to that of the day; one not gathered in and by the telos of the ipse or the turning of the autos, an interruption of labour, an unravelling. Remaining still, unravelling together (see Harrison In the absence).2.Kertész’s novel Sorstalanság was first published in his native Hungary in 1975. It has been translated into English twice, in 1992 as Fateless and in 2004 as Fatelessness. Fatelessness opens in Budapest on the day before György Köves’ – the novel’s fourteen year old narrator – father has to report for ‘labour service’. It goes on to recount Köves’ own detention and deportation and the year spent in the camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Buchenwald and Zeitz. During this period Köves’ health declines, gradually at first and then rapidly to a moment of near death. He survives and the novel closes with his return to his home town. Köves is, as Kertész has put it in various interviews and as is made clear in the novel, a ‘non-Jewish Jew’; a non-practicing and non-believing Hungarian Jew from a largely assimilated family who neither reads nor speaks Hebrew or Yiddish. While Kertész has insisted that the novel is precisely that, a novel, a work of literature and not an autobiography, we should note that Kertész was himself imprisoned in Buchenwald and Zeitz when fourteen.Not without reservations but for the sake of brevity I shall focus on only one theme in the novel; determination and agency, or what Kertész calls ‘determinacy’. Writing in his journal Galley Boat-Log (Gályanapló) in May 1965 Kertész suggests ‘Novel of Fatelessness’ as a possible title for his work and then reflects on what he means by ‘fate’, the entry is worth quoting at length.The external determinacy, the stigma which constrains our life in a situation, an absurdity, in the given totalitarianism, thwarts us; thus, when we live out the determinacy which is doled out to us as a reality, instead of the necessity which stems from our own (relative) freedom – that is what I call fatelessness.What is essential is that our determinacy should always be in conflict with our natural views and inclinations; that is how fatelessness manifests itself in a chemically pure state. The two possible modes of protection: we transform into our determinacy (Kafka’s centipede), voluntarily so to say, and I that way attempt to assimilate our determinacy to our fate; or else we rebel against it, and so fall victim to our determinacy. Neither of these is a true solution, for in both cases we are obliged to perceive our determinacy […] as reality, whilst the determining force, that absurd power, in a way triumphs over us: it gives us a name and turns us into an object, even though we were born for other things.The dilemma of my ‘Muslim’ [Köves]: How can he construct a fate out of his own determinacy? (Galley Boat-Log 98 original emphasis).The dilemma of determinacy then; how can Köves, who is both determined by and superfluous to the Nazi regime, to wider Hungarian society, to his neighbours and to his family, gain some kind of control over his existence? Throughout Fatelessness people prove repeatedly unable to control their destinies, be it Köves himself, his father, his stepmother, his uncles, his friends from the oil refinery, or even Bandi Citrom, Köves’ mentor in the camps. The case of the ‘Expert’ provides a telescoped example. First appearing when Köves and his friends are arrested the ‘Expert’ is an imposing figure, well dressed, fluent in German and the director of a factory involved in the war effort (Fatelessness 50). Later at the brickworks, where the Jews who have been rounded up are being held prior to deportation, he appears more dishevelled and slightly less confident. Still, he takes the ‘audacious’ step of addressing a German officer directly (and receives some placatory ‘advice’ as his reward) (68-69). By the time the group arrives at the camp Köves has difficulty recognising him and without a word of protest, the ‘Expert’ does not pass the initial selection (88).Köves displays no such initiative with regard to his situation. He is reactive or passive, never active. For Köves events unfold as a series of situations and circ*mstances which are, he tells himself, essentially reasonable and to which he has to adapt and conform so that he may get on. Nothing more than “given situations with the new givens inherent in them” (259), as he explains near the end of the novel. As Köves' identity papers testify, his life and its continuation are the effect of arbitrary sets of circ*mstances which he is compelled to live through; “I am not alive on my own account but benefiting the war effort in the manufacturing industry” (29). In his Nobel lecture Kertész described Köves' situation:the hero of my novel does not live his own time in the concentration camps, for neither his time nor his language, not even his own person, is really his. He doesn’t remember; he exists. So he has to languish, poor boy, in the dreary trap of linearity, and cannot shake off the painful details. Instead of a spectacular series of great and tragic moments, he has to live through everything, which is oppressive and offers little variety, like life itself (Heureka! no pagination).Without any wilful or effective action on the part of the narrator and with only ‘the dreary trap of linearity’ where one would expect drama, plot, rationalization or stylization, Fatelessness can read as an arbitrarily punctuated series of waitings. Köves waiting for his father to leave, waiting in the customs shed, waiting at the brick works, waiting in train carriages, waiting on the ramp, waiting at roll call, waiting in the infirmary. Here is the first period of waiting described in the book, it is the day before his father’s departure and he is waiting for his father and stepmother as they go through the accounts at the family shop:I tried to be patient for a bit. Striving to think of Father, and more specifically the fact that he would be going tomorrow and, quite probably, I would not see him for a long time after that; but after a while I grew weary with that notion and then seeing as there was nothing else I could do for my father, I began to be bored. Even having to sit around became a drag, so simply for the sake of a change I stood up to take a drink of water from the tap. They said nothing. Later on, I also made my way to the back, between the planks, in order to pee. On returning I washed my hands at the rusty, tiled sink, then unpacked my morning snack from my school satchel, ate that, and finally took another drink from the tap. They still said nothing. I sat back in my place. After that, I got terribly bored for another absolute age (Fatelessness 9). It is interesting to consider exactly how this passage presages those that will come. Certainly this scene is an effect of the political context, his father and stepmother have to go through the books because of the summons to labour service and because of the racial laws on who may own and profit from a business. However, the specifically familial setting should not be overlooked, particularly when read alongside Kertész’s other novels where, as Madeleine Gustafsson writes, Communist dictatorship is “portrayed almost as an uninterrupted continuation of life in the camp – which in turn [...] is depicted as a continuation of the patriarchal dictatorship of a joyless childhood” (no pagination, see, for example, Kertész Kaddish). Time to turn back to our question; does Fatelessness provide an answer to the ‘dilemma of determinacy’? We should think carefully before answering. As Julia Karolle suggests, the composition of the novel and our search for a logic within itreveal the abuses that reason must endure in order to create any story or history about the Holocaust […]. Ultimately Kertész challenges the reader not to make up for the lack of logic in Fatelessness, but rather to consider the nature of its absence (92 original emphasis).Still, with this point in mind, (and despite what has been said above), the novel does contain a scene in which Köves appears to affirm his existence.In many respects the scene is the culmination of the novel. The camps have been liberated and Köves has returned to Budapest. Finding his father and step-mother’s apartment occupied by strangers he calls on his Aunt and Uncle Fleischmann and Uncle Steiner. The discussion which follows would repay a slower reading, however again for the sake of brevity I shall focus on only a few short excerpts. Köves suggests that everyone took their ‘steps’ towards the events which have unfolded and that prediction and retrospection are false perspectives which give the illusion of order and inevitability whereas, in reality, “everything becomes clear only gradually, sequentially over time, step-by-step” (Fatelessness 249): “They [his Uncles] too had taken their own steps. They too […] had said farewell to my father as if we had already buried him, and even later has squabbled about whether I should take the train or the suburban bus to Auschwitz” (260). Fleischmann and Steiner react angrily, claiming that such an understanding makes the ‘victims’ the ‘guilty ones’. Köves responds by saying that they do not understand him and asks they see that:It was impossible, they must try to understand, impossible to take everything away from me, impossible for me to be neither winner nor loser, for me not to be right and not to be mistaken that I was neither the cause nor effect of anything; they should try to see, I almost pleaded, that I could not swallow that idiotic bitterness, that I should merely be innocent (260-261).Karolle (93-94) suggests that Köves' discussion with his uncles marks the moment where he accepts and affirms his existence and, from this point on begins to take control of and responsibility. Hence for Karolle the end of the novel depicts an ‘authentic’ moment of self-affirmation as Köves steps forward and refuses to participate in “the factual historical narrative of Auschwitz, to forget what he knows, and to be unequivocally categorized as a victim of history” (95). In distinction to Karolle, Adrienne Kertzer argues that Köves' moment of self-affirmation is, in fact, one of self-deception. Rather than acknowledging that it was “inexplicable luck” and a “series of random acts” (Kertzer 122) which saved his life or that his near death was due to an accident of birth, Köves asserts his personal freedom. Hence – and following István Deák – Kertzer suggests that we should read Fatelessness as a satire, ‘a modern Candide’. A satire on the hope of finding meaning, be it personal or metaphysical, in such experiences and events, the closing scenes of the novel being an ironic reflection on the “desperate desire to see […] life as meaningful” (Kertzer 122). So, while Köves convinces himself of his logic his uncles say to each other “‘Leave him be! Can’t you see he only wants to talk? Let him talk! Leave him be!’ And talk I did, albeit possibly to no avail and even a little incoherently” (Fatelessness 259). Which are we to choose then? The affirmation of agency (with Karolle) or the diagnosis of determination (with Kertzer)? Karolle and Kertzer give insightful analyses, (and ones which are certainly not limited to the passages quoted above), however it seems to me that they move too quickly to resolve the ‘dilemma’ presented by Köves, if not of Fatelessness as a whole. Still, we have a little time before having to name and decide Köves’ fate. Kertész’s use of the word ‘hero’ to describe Köves above – ‘the hero of my novel…’ – is, perhaps, more than a little ironic. As Kertész asks (in 1966), how can there be a hero, how can one be heroic, when one is one’s ‘determinacies’? What sense does it make to speak of heroic actions if “man [sic] is no more than his situation”? (Galley Boat-Log 99). Köves’ time, his language, his identity, none are his. There is no place, no hidden reservoir of freedom, from which way he set in motion any efficacious action. All resources have already been corrupted. From Kertész’s journal (in 1975): “The masters of thought and ideologies have ruined my thought processes” (Galley Boat-Log 104). As Lawrence Langer has argued, the grammar of heroics, along with the linked terms ‘virtue’, ‘dignity’, ‘resistance’ ‘survival’ and ‘liberation’, (and the wider narrative and moral economies which these terms indicate and activate), do not survive the events being described. Here the ‘dilemma of determinacy’ becomes the dilemma of how to think and value the human outside or after such a grammar. How to think and value the human beyond a grammar of action and so beyond, as Lars Iyer puts it, “the equation of work and freedom that characterizes the great discourses of political modernity” (155). If this is possible. If such a grammar and equation isn’t too all pervasive, if something of the human still remains outside their economy. It may well be that our ability to read Fatelessness depends in large part on what we are prepared to forsake (see Langar 195). How to think the subject and a politics in contretemps, beyond or after the choice between determination or autonomy, passive or active, inaction or action, immoral or virtuous – if only for a moment? Kertész wonders, (in 1966), ”perhaps there is something to be savaged all the same, a tiny foolishness, something ultimately comic and frail that may be a sign of the will to live and still awakens sympathy” (Galley Boat-Log 99). Something, perhaps, which remains to be salvaged from the grammar of humanism, something that would not be reducible to context, to ‘determinacies’, and that, at the same time, does not add up to a (resurrected) agent. ‘A tiny foolishness, something ultimately comic and frail’. The press release announcing that Kertész had been awarded the Nobel prize for literature states that “For Kertész the spiritual dimension of man lies in his inability to adapt to life” (The Swedish Academy no pagination). Despite the difficulties presented by the somewhat over-determined term ‘spiritual’, this line strikes me as remarkably perspicuous. Like Melville’s Bartleby and Bataille’s Kafka before him, Kertész’s Köves’ existence, insofar as he exists, is made up by his non-action. That is to say, his existence is defined not by his actions or his inaction, (both of which are purely reactive and functional), but rather by his irreducibility to either. As commentators and critics have remarked, (and as the quotes given from the text above hopefully illustrate), Köves has an oddly formal and neutral ‘voice’. Köves’ blank, frequently equivocal tone may be read as a sign of his immaturity, his lack of understanding and his naivety. However I would suggest that before such factors, what characterizes Köves’ mode of address is its reticence to assert or disclose. Köves speaks, he speaks endlessly, but he says nothing or almost nothing - ‘to no avail and even a little incoherently’. Hence where Karolle seeks to recover an ‘intoned self-consciousness’ and Kertzer the repressed determining context, we may find Köves' address. Where Karolle’s and Kertzer’s approaches seek in some way to repair Köves words, to supplement them with either an agency to-come or an awareness of a context and, in doing so, pull his words fully into the light, Köves, it seems to me, remains elusive. His existence, insofar as we may speak of it, lies in his ‘inability to adapt to life’. His reserves are not composed of hidden or recoverable sources of agency but in his equivocality, in the way he takes leave of and remains aside from the very terms of the dilemma. It is as if with no resources of his own, he has an echo existence. As if still remaining itself where a tiny foolishness, something ultimately comic and frail.3.Is this it? Is this what we are to be left with in a ‘political minimalism’? It would seem more resignation or failure, turning away or quietism, the conceit of a beautiful soul, than any type of recognisable politics. On one level this is correct, however any such suspension or withdrawal, this moment of stillness where we are, is only ever a moment. However it is a moment which indicates a certain irreducibility and as such is, I believe, of great significance. Great significance, (or better ‘signifyingness’), even though – and precisely because – it is in itself without value. Being outside efficacy, labour or production, being outside economisation as such, it resides only in its inability to be integrated. What purpose does it serve? None. Or, perhaps, none other than demonstrating the irreducibility of a life, of a singular existence, to any discourse, narrative, identity or ideology, insofar as such structures, in their attempt to comprehend (or apprehend) the existent and put it to use always and violently fall short. As Theodor Adorno wrote;It is this passing-on and being unable to linger, this tacit assent to the primacy of the general over the particular, which constitutes not only the deception of idealism in hypostasizing concepts, but also its inhumanity, that has no sooner grasped the particular than it reduces it to a thought-station, and finally comes all too quickly to terms with suffering and death (74 emphasis added).This moment of stillness then, of declining and remaining aside, represents, for me, the anarchical and all but silent condition of possibility for all political strategy as such (see Harrison, Corporeal Remains). A condition of possibility which all political strategy carries within itself, more or less well, more or less consciously, as a memory of the finite and corporeal nature of existence. A memory which may always and eventually come to protest against the strategy itself. Strategy itself as strategy; as command, as a calculated and calculating order. And so, and we should be clear about this, such a remaining still is a demonstration.A demonstration not unlike, for example, that of the general anonymous population in José Saramago’s remarkable novel Seeing, who ‘act’ more forcefully through non-action than any through any ends-directed action. A demonstration of the kind which Agamben writes about after those in Tiananmen Square in 1989:The novelty of the coming politics is that it will no longer be the struggle for control of the state, but a struggle between the State and the non-State (humanity) […] [who] cannot form a societas because they do not poses any identity to vindicate or bond of belonging for which to seek recognition (Coming Community 85-67; original emphasis).A demonstration like that which sounds through Köves when his health fails in the camps and he finds himself being wheeled on a handcart taken for dead;a snatch of speech that I was barely able to make out came to my attention, and in that hoarse whispering I recognized even less readily the voice that has once – I could not help recollecting – been so strident: ‘I p … pro … test,’ it muttered” (Fatelessness 187 ellipses in original).The inmate pushing the cart stops and pulls him up by the shoulders, asking with astonishment “Was? Du willst noch leben? [What? You still want to live?] […] and right then I found it odd, since it could not have been warranted and, on the whole, was fairly irrational (187).AcknowledgmentsMy sincere thanks to the editors of this special issue, David Bissell and Gillian Fuller, for their interest, encouragement and patience. Thanks also to Sadie, especially for her comments on the final section. ReferencesAdorno, Theodor. Minima Moralia: Reflections on a Damaged Life. London: Verso, 1974.Agamben, Giorgio. The Coming Community. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1990.———. The Man without Content. Stanford: Stanford U P, 1999.Barthes, Roland. The Neutral. New York: Columbia U P, 2005.Bataille, Georges. Literature and Evil. London: Marion Boyars, 1985.Clarke, Timothy. The Poetics of Singularity: The Counter-Culturalist Turn in Heidegger, Derrida, Blanchot and the Late Gadamer. Edinburgh: Edinburgh U P, 2005.Deák, István. "Stranger in Hell." New York Review of Books 23 Sep. 2003: 65-68.Derrida, Jacques. Rogues. Two Essays on Reason. Stanford: Stanford U P, 2005.François, Anne-Lise. Open Secrets. The Literature of Uncounted Experience. Stanford: Stanford U P, 2008.Gustafsson, Madeleine. 2003 “Imre Kertész: A Medium for the Spirit of Auschwitz.” 6 Mar. 2009 ‹http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/articles/gustafsson/index.html›.Harrison, Paul. “Corporeal Remains: Vulnerability, Proximity, and Living On after the End of the World.” Environment and Planning A 40 (2008): 423-445.———.“In the Absence of Practice.” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space forthcoming.Heidegger, Martin. Introduction to Metaphysics. London: Yale U P, 2000.Iyer, Lars. Blanchot’s Communism: Art, Philosophy and the Political. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004.Karolle, Julia. “Imre Kertész Fatelessness as Historical Fiction.” Imre Kertész and Holocaust Literature. Ed Louise O. Vasvári and Steven Tötösy de Zepetnek. West Lafayette: Purdue U P, 2005. 89-96.Kertész, Imre. 2002 “Heureka!” Nobel lecture. 6 Mar. 2009 ‹http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/2002/kertesz-lecture-e.html›.———. Fatelessness. London: Vintage, 2004.———. Kaddish for an Unborn Child. London: Vintage International, 2004.———.“Galley Boat-Log (Gályanapló): Excerpts.” Imre Kertész and Holocaust Literature. Ed Louise O. Vasvári and Steven Tötösy de Zepetnek. West Lafayette: Purdue University Press, 2005. 97-110.Kertzer, Adrienne. “Reading Imre Kertesz in English.” Imre Kertész and Holocaust Literature. Ed Louise O. Vasvári, and Steven Tötösy de Zepetnek. West Lafayette: Purdue U P, 2005. 111-124.Langer, Lawrence. Holocaust Testimonies: The Ruins of Memory. London: Yale U P, 1991.Melville, Herman. Bartleby the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street. New Jersey: Melville House, 2004.Marx, Karl. Capital Volume 1. London: Penguin Books, 1976.Readings, Bill. “The Deconstruction of Politics.” In Deconstruction: A Reader. Ed Martin McQuillan. Edinburgh: Edinburgh U P, 2000. 388-396.Saramago, José. Seeing. London: Vintage, 2007. The Swedish Academy. "The Nobel Prize in Literature 2002: Imre Kertész." 2002. 6 Mar. 2009 ‹http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/2002/press.html›.Weber, Max. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. London: Routledge, 1992.

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Khamis, Susie. "Nespresso: Branding the "Ultimate Coffee Experience"." M/C Journal 15, no.2 (May2, 2012). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.476.

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Introduction In December 2010, Nespresso, the world’s leading brand of premium-portioned coffee, opened a flagship “boutique” in Sydney’s Pitt Street Mall. This was Nespresso’s fifth boutique opening of 2010, after Brussels, Miami, Soho, and Munich. The Sydney debut coincided with the mall’s upmarket redevelopment, which explains Nespresso’s arrival in the city: strategic geographic expansion is key to the brand’s growth. Rather than panoramic ubiquity, a retail option favoured by brands like McDonalds, KFC and Starbucks, Nespresso opts for iconic, prestigious locations. This strategy has been highly successful: since 2000 Nespresso has recorded year-on-year per annum growth of 30 per cent. This has been achieved, moreover, despite a global financial downturn and an international coffee market replete with brand variety. In turn, Nespresso marks an evolution in the coffee market over the last decade. The Nespresso Story Founded in 1986, Nespresso is the fasting growing brand in the Nestlé Group. Its headquarters are in Lausanne, Switzerland, with over 7,000 employees worldwide. In 2012, Nespresso had 270 boutiques in 50 countries. The brand’s growth strategy involves three main components: premium coffee capsules, “mated” with specially designed machines, and accompanied by exceptional customer service through the Nespresso Club. Each component requires some explanation. Nespresso offers 16 varieties of Grand Crus coffee: 7 espresso blends, 3 pure origin espressos, 3 lungos (for larger cups), and 3 decaffeinated coffees. Each 5.5 grams of portioned coffee is cased in a hermetically sealed aluminium capsule, or pod, designed to preserve the complex, volatile aromas (between 800 and 900 per pod), and prevent oxidation. These capsules are designed to be used exclusively with Nespresso-branded machines, which are equipped with a patented high-pressure extraction system designed for optimum release of the coffee. These machines, of which there are 28 models, are developed with 6 machine partners, and Antoine Cahen, from Ateliers du Nord in Lausanne, designs most of them. For its consumers, members of the Nespresso Club, the capsules and machines guarantee perfect espresso coffee every time, within seconds and with minimum effort—what Nespresso calls the “ultimate coffee experience.” The Nespresso Club promotes this experience as an everyday luxury, whereby café-quality coffee can be enjoyed in the privacy and comfort of Club members’ homes. This domestic focus is a relatively recent turn in its history. Nestlé patented some of its pod technology in 1976; the compatible machines, initially made in Switzerland by Turmix, were developed a decade later. Nespresso S. A. was set up as a subsidiary unit within the Nestlé Group with a view to target the office and fine restaurant sector. It was first test-marketed in Japan in 1986, and rolled out the same year in Switzerland, France and Italy. However, by 1988, low sales prompted Nespresso’s newly appointed CEO, Jean-Paul Gillard, to rethink the brand’s focus. Gillard subsequently repositioned Nespresso’s target market away from the commercial sector towards high-income households and individuals, and introduced a mail-order distribution system; these elements became the hallmarks of the Nespresso Club (Markides 55). The Nespresso Club was designed to give members who had purchased Nespresso machines 24-hour customer service, by mail, phone, fax, and email. By the end of 1997 there were some 250,000 Club members worldwide. The boom in domestic, user-friendly espresso machines from the early 1990s helped Nespresso’s growth in this period. The cumulative efforts by the main manufacturers—Krups, Bosch, Braun, Saeco and DeLonghi—lowered the machines’ average price to around US $100 (Purpura, “Espresso” 88; Purpura, “New” 116). This paralleled consumers’ growing sophistication, as they became increasingly familiar with café-quality espresso, cappuccino and latté—for reasons to be detailed below. Nespresso was primed to exploit this cultural shift in the market and forge a charismatic point of difference: an aspirational, luxury option within an increasingly accessible and familiar field. Between 2006 and 2008, Nespresso sales more than doubled, prompting a second production factory to supplement the original plant in Avenches (Simonian). In 2008, Nespresso grew 20 times faster than the global coffee market (Reguly B1). As Nespresso sales exceeded $1.3 billion AU in 2009, with 4.8 billion capsules shipped out annually and 5 million Club members worldwide, it became Nestlé’s fastest growing division (Canning 28). According to Nespresso’s Oceania market director, Renaud Tinel, the brand now represents 8 per cent of the total coffee market; of Nespresso specifically, he reports that 10,000 cups (using one capsule per cup) were consumed worldwide each minute in 2009, and that increased to 12,300 cups per minute in 2010 (O’Brien 16). Given such growth in such a brief period, the atypical dynamic between the boutique, the Club and the Nespresso brand warrants closer consideration. Nespresso opened its first boutique in Paris in 2000, on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. It was a symbolic choice and signalled the brand’s preference for glamorous precincts in cosmopolitan cities. This has become the design template for all Nespresso boutiques, what the company calls “brand embassies” in its press releases. More like art gallery-style emporiums than retail spaces, these boutiques perform three main functions: they showcase Nespresso coffees, machines and accessories (all elegantly displayed); they enable Club members to stock up on capsules; and they offer excellent customer service, which invariably equates to detailed production information. The brand’s revenue model reflects the boutique’s role in the broader business strategy: 50 per cent of Nespresso’s business is generated online, 30 per cent through the boutiques, and 20 per cent through call centres. Whatever floor space these boutiques dedicate to coffee consumption is—compared to the emphasis on exhibition and ambience—minimal and marginal. In turn, this tightly monitored, self-focused model inverts the conventional function of most commercial coffee sites. For several hundred years, the café has fostered a convivial atmosphere, served consumers’ social inclinations, and overwhelmingly encouraged diverse, eclectic clientele. The Nespresso boutique is the antithesis to this, and instead actively limits interaction: the Club “community” does not meet as a community, and is united only in atomised allegiance to the Nespresso brand. In this regard, Nespresso stands in stark contrast to another coffee brand that has been highly successful in recent years—Starbucks. Starbucks famously recreates the aesthetics, rhetoric and atmosphere of the café as a “third place”—a term popularised by urban sociologist Ray Oldenburg to describe non-work, non-domestic spaces where patrons converge for respite or recreation. These liminal spaces (cafés, parks, hair salons, book stores and such locations) might be private, commercial sites, yet they provide opportunities for chance encounters, even therapeutic interactions. In this way, they aid sociability and civic life (Kleinman 193). Long before the term “third place” was coined, coffee houses were deemed exemplars of egalitarian social space. As Rudolf P. Gaudio notes, the early coffee houses of Western Europe, in Oxford and London in the mid-1600s, “were characterized as places where commoners and aristocrats could meet and socialize without regard to rank” (670). From this sanguine perspective, they both informed and animated the modern public sphere. That is, and following Habermas, as a place where a mixed cohort of individuals could meet and discuss matters of public importance, and where politics intersected society, the eighteenth-century British coffee house both typified and strengthened the public sphere (Karababa and Ger 746). Moreover, and even from their early Ottoman origins (Karababa and Ger), there has been an historical correlation between the coffee house and the cosmopolitan, with the latter at least partly defined in terms of demographic breadth (Luckins). Ironically, and insofar as Nespresso appeals to coffee-literate consumers, the brand owes much to Starbucks. In the two decades preceding Nespresso’s arrival, Starbucks played a significant role in refining coffee literacy around the world, gauging mass-market trends, and stirring consumer consciousness. For Nespresso, this constituted major preparatory phenomena, as its strategy (and success) since the early 2000s presupposed the coffee market that Starbucks had helped to create. According to Nespresso’s chief executive Richard Giradot, central to Nespresso’s expansion is a focus on particular cities and their coffee culture (Canning 28). In turn, it pays to take stock of how such cities developed a coffee culture amenable to Nespresso—and therein lays the brand’s debt to Starbucks. Until the last few years, and before celebrity ambassador George Clooney was enlisted in 2005, Nespresso’s marketing was driven primarily by Club members’ recommendations. At the same time, though, Nespresso insisted that Club members were coffee connoisseurs, whose knowledge and enjoyment of coffee exceeded conventional coffee offerings. In 2000, Henk Kwakman, one of Nestlé’s Coffee Specialists, explained the need for portioned coffee in terms of guaranteed perfection, one that demanding consumers would expect. “In general”, he reasoned, “people who really like espresso coffee are very much more quality driven. When you consider such an intense taste experience, the quality is very important. If the espresso is slightly off quality, the connoisseur notices this immediately” (quoted in Butler 50). What matters here is how this corps of connoisseurs grew to a scale big enough to sustain and strengthen the Nespresso system, in the absence of a robust marketing or educative drive by Nespresso (until very recently). Put simply, the brand’s ascent was aided by Starbucks, specifically by the latter’s success in changing the mainstream coffee market during the 1990s. In establishing such a strong transnational presence, Starbucks challenged smaller, competing brands to define themselves with more clarity and conviction. Indeed, working with data that identified just 200 freestanding coffee houses in the US prior to 1990 compared to 14,000 in 2003, Kjeldgaard and Ostberg go so far as to state that: “Put bluntly, in the US there was no local coffee consumptionscape prior to Starbucks” (Kjeldgaard and Ostberg 176). Starbucks effectively redefined the coffee world for mainstream consumers in ways that were directly beneficial for Nespresso. Starbucks: Coffee as Ambience, Experience, and Cultural Capital While visitors to Nespresso boutiques can sample the coffee, with highly trained baristas and staff on site to explain the Nespresso system, in the main there are few concessions to the conventional café experience. Primarily, these boutiques function as material spaces for existing Club members to stock up on capsules, and therefore they complement the Nespresso system with a suitably streamlined space: efficient, stylish and conspicuously upmarket. Outside at least one Sydney boutique for instance (Bondi Junction, in the fashionable eastern suburbs), visitors enter through a club-style cordon, something usually associated with exclusive bars or hotels. This demarcates the boutique from neighbouring coffee chains, and signals Nespresso’s claim to more privileged patrons. This strategy though, the cultivation of a particular customer through aesthetic design and subtle flattery, is not unique. For decades, Starbucks also contrived a “special” coffee experience. Moreover, while the Starbucks model strikes a very different sensorial chord to that of Nespresso (in terms of décor, target consumer and so on) it effectively groomed and prepped everyday coffee drinkers to a level of relative self-sufficiency and expertise—and therein is the link between Starbucks’s mass-marketed approach and Nespresso’s timely arrival. Starbucks opened its first store in 1971, in Seattle. Three partners founded it: Jerry Baldwin and Zev Siegl, both teachers, and Gordon Bowker, a writer. In 1982, as they opened their sixth Seattle store, they were joined by Howard Schultz. Schultz’s trip to Italy the following year led to an entrepreneurial epiphany to which he now attributes Starbucks’s success. Inspired by how cafés in Italy, particularly the espresso bars in Milan, were vibrant social hubs, Schultz returned to the US with a newfound sensitivity to ambience and attitude. In 1987, Schultz bought Starbucks outright and stated his business philosophy thus: “We aren’t in the coffee business, serving people. We are in the people business, serving coffee” (quoted in Ruzich 432). This was articulated most clearly in how Schultz structured Starbucks as the ultimate “third place”, a welcoming amalgam of aromas, music, furniture, textures, literature and free WiFi. This transformed the café experience twofold. First, sensory overload masked the dull hom*ogeny of a global chain with an air of warm, comforting domesticity—an inviting, everyday “home away from home.” To this end, in 1994, Schultz enlisted interior design “mastermind” Wright Massey; with his team of 45 designers, Massey created the chain’s decor blueprint, an “oasis for contemplation” (quoted in Scerri 60). At the same time though, and second, Starbucks promoted a revisionist, airbrushed version of how the coffee was produced. Patrons could see and smell the freshly roasted beans, and read about their places of origin in the free pamphlets. In this way, Starbucks merged the exotic and the cosmopolitan. The global supply chain underwent an image makeover, helped by a “new” vocabulary that familiarised its coffee drinkers with the diversity and complexity of coffee, and such terms as aroma, acidity, body and flavour. This strategy had a decisive impact on the coffee market, first in the US and then elsewhere: Starbucks oversaw a significant expansion in coffee consumption, both quantitatively and qualitatively. In the decades following the Second World War, coffee consumption in the US reached a plateau. Moreover, as Steven Topik points out, the rise of this type of coffee connoisseurship actually coincided with declining per capita consumption of coffee in the US—so the social status attributed to specialised knowledge of coffee “saved” the market: “Coffee’s rise as a sign of distinction and connoisseurship meant its appeal was no longer just its photoactive role as a stimulant nor the democratic sociability of the coffee shop” (Topik 100). Starbucks’s singular triumph was to not only convert non-coffee drinkers, but also train them to a level of relative sophistication. The average “cup o’ Joe” thus gave way to the latte, cappuccino, macchiato and more, and a world of coffee hitherto beyond (perhaps above) the average American consumer became both regular and routine. By 2003, Starbucks’s revenue was US $4.1 billion, and by 2012 there were almost 20,000 stores in 58 countries. As an idealised “third place,” Starbucks functioned as a welcoming haven that flattened out and muted the realities of global trade. The variety of beans on offer (Arabica, Latin American, speciality single origin and so on) bespoke a generous and bountiful modernity; while brochures schooled patrons in the nuances of terroir, an appreciation for origin and distinctiveness that encoded cultural capital. This positioned Starbucks within a happy narrative of the coffee economy, and drew patrons into this story by flattering their consumer choices. Against the generic sameness of supermarket options, Starbucks promised distinction, in Pierre Bourdieu’s sense of the term, and diversity in its coffee offerings. For Greg Dickinson, the Starbucks experience—the scent of the beans, the sound of the grinders, the taste of the coffees—negated the abstractions of postmodern, global trade: by sensory seduction, patrons connected with something real, authentic and material. At the same time, Starbucks professed commitment to the “triple bottom line” (Savitz), the corporate mantra that has morphed into virtual orthodoxy over the last fifteen years. This was hardly surprising; companies that trade in food staples typically grown in developing regions (coffee, tea, sugar, and coffee) felt the “political-aesthetic problematization of food” (Sassatelli and Davolio). This saw increasingly cognisant consumers trying to reconcile the pleasures of consumption with environmental and human responsibilities. The “triple bottom line” approach, which ostensibly promotes best business practice for people, profits and the planet, was folded into Starbucks’s marketing. The company heavily promoted its range of civic engagement, such as donations to nurses’ associations, literacy programs, clean water programs, and fair dealings with its coffee growers in developing societies (Simon). This bode well for its target market. As Constance M. Ruch has argued, Starbucks sought the burgeoning and lucrative “bobo” class, a term Ruch borrows from David Brooks. A portmanteau of “bourgeois bohemians,” “bobo” describes the educated elite that seeks the ambience and experience of a counter-cultural aesthetic, but without the political commitment. Until the last few years, it seemed Starbucks had successfully grafted this cultural zeitgeist onto its “third place.” Ironically, the scale and scope of the brand’s success has meant that Starbucks’s claim to an ethical agenda draws frequent and often fierce attack. As a global behemoth, Starbucks evolved into an iconic symbol of advanced consumer culture. For those critical of how such brands overwhelm smaller, more local competition, the brand is now synonymous for insidious, unstoppable retail spread. This in turn renders Starbucks vulnerable to protests that, despite its gestures towards sustainability (human and environmental), and by virtue of its size, ubiquity and ultimately conservative philosophy, it has lost whatever cachet or charm it supposedly once had. As Bryant Simon argues, in co-opting the language of ethical practice within an ultimately corporatist context, Starbucks only ever appealed to a modest form of altruism; not just in terms of the funds committed to worthy causes, but also to move thorny issues to “the most non-contentious middle-ground,” lest conservative customers felt alienated (Simon 162). Yet, having flagged itself as an ethical brand, Starbucks became an even bigger target for anti-corporatist sentiment, and the charge that, as a multinational giant, it remained complicit in (and one of the biggest benefactors of) a starkly inequitable and asymmetric global trade. It remains a major presence in the world coffee market, and arguably the most famous of the coffee chains. Over the last decade though, the speed and intensity with which Nespresso has grown, coupled with its atypical approach to consumer engagement, suggests that, in terms of brand equity, it now offers a more compelling point of difference than Starbucks. Brand “Me” Insofar as the Nespresso system depends on a consumer market versed in the intricacies of quality coffee, Starbucks can be at least partly credited for nurturing a more refined palate amongst everyday coffee drinkers. Yet while Starbucks courted the “average” consumer in its quest for market control, saturating the suburban landscape with thousands of virtually indistinguishable stores, Nespresso marks a very different sensibility. Put simply, Nespresso inverts the logic of a coffee house as a “third place,” and patrons are drawn not to socialise and relax but to pursue their own highly individualised interests. The difference with Starbucks could not be starker. One visitor to the Bloomingdale boutique (in New York’s fashionable Soho district) described it as having “the feel of Switzerland rather than Seattle. Instead of velvet sofas and comfy music, it has hard surfaces, bright colours and European hostesses” (Gapper 9). By creating a system that narrows the gap between production and consumption, to the point where Nespresso boutiques advertise the coffee brand but do not promote on-site coffee drinking, the boutiques are blithely indifferent to the historical, romanticised image of the coffee house as a meeting place. The result is a coffee experience that exploits the sophistication and vanity of aspirational consumers, but ignores the socialising scaffold by which coffee houses historically and perhaps naively made some claim to community building. If anything, Nespresso restricts patrons’ contemplative field: they consider only their relationships to the brand. In turn, Nespresso offers the ultimate expression of contemporary consumer capitalism, a hyper-individual experience for a hyper-modern age. By developing a global brand that is both luxurious and niche, Nespresso became “the Louis Vuitton of coffee” (Betts 14). Where Starbucks pursued retail ubiquity, Nespresso targets affluent, upmarket cities. As chief executive Richard Giradot put it, with no hint of embarrassment or apology: “If you take China, for example, we are not speaking about China, we are speaking about Shanghai, Hong Kong, Beijing because you will not sell our concept in the middle of nowhere in China” (quoted in Canning 28). For this reason, while Europe accounts for 90 per cent of Nespresso sales (Betts 15), its forays into the Americas, Asia and Australasia invariably spotlights cities that are already iconic or emerging economic hubs. The first boutique in Latin America, for instance, was opened in Jardins, a wealthy suburb in Sao Paulo, Brazil. In Nespresso, Nestlé has popularised a coffee experience neatly suited to contemporary consumer trends: Club members inhabit a branded world as hermetically sealed as the aluminium pods they purchase and consume. Besides the Club’s phone, fax and online distribution channels, pods can only be bought at the boutiques, which minimise even the potential for serendipitous mingling. The baristas are there primarily for product demonstrations, whilst highly trained staff recite the machines’ strengths (be they in design or utility), or information about the actual coffees. For Club members, the boutique service is merely the human extension of Nespresso’s online presence, whereby product information becomes increasingly tailored to increasingly individualised tastes. In the boutique, this emphasis on the individual is sold in terms of elegance, expedience and privilege. Nespresso boasts that over 70 per cent of its workforce is “customer facing,” sharing their passion and knowledge with Club members. Having already received and processed the product information (through the website, boutique staff, and promotional brochures), Club members need not do anything more than purchase their pods. In some of the more recently opened boutiques, such as in Paris-Madeleine, there is even an Exclusive Room where only Club members may enter—curious tourists (or potential members) are kept out. Club members though can select their preferred Grands Crus and checkout automatically, thanks to RFID (radio frequency identification) technology inserted in the capsule sleeves. So, where Starbucks exudes an inclusive, hearth-like hospitality, the Nespresso Club appears more like a pampered clique, albeit a growing one. As described in the Financial Times, “combine the reception desk of a designer hotel with an expensive fashion display and you get some idea what a Nespresso ‘coffee boutique’ is like” (Wiggins and Simonian 10). Conclusion Instead of sociability, Nespresso puts a premium on exclusivity and the knowledge gained through that exclusive experience. The more Club members know about the coffee, the faster and more individualised (and “therefore” better) the transaction they have with the Nespresso brand. This in turn confirms Zygmunt Bauman’s contention that, in a consumer society, being free to choose requires competence: “Freedom to choose does not mean that all choices are right—there are good and bad choices, better and worse choices. The kind of choice eventually made is the evidence of competence or its lack” (Bauman 43-44). Consumption here becomes an endless process of self-fashioning through commodities; a process Eva Illouz considers “all the more strenuous when the market recruits the consumer through the sysiphian exercise of his/her freedom to choose who he/she is” (Illouz 392). In a status-based setting, the more finely graded the differences between commodities (various places of origin, blends, intensities, and so on), the harder the consumer works to stay ahead—which means to be sufficiently informed. Consumers are locked in a game of constant reassurance, to show upward mobility to both themselves and society. For all that, and like Starbucks, Nespresso shows some signs of corporate social responsibility. In 2009, the company announced its “Ecolaboration” initiative, a series of eco-friendly targets for 2013. By then, Nespresso aims to: source 80 per cent of its coffee through Sustainable Quality Programs and Rainforest Alliance Certified farms; triple its capacity to recycle used capsules to 75 per cent; and reduce the overall carbon footprint required to produce each cup of Nespresso by 20 per cent (Nespresso). This information is conveyed through the brand’s website, press releases and brochures. However, since such endeavours are now de rigueur for many brands, it does not register as particularly innovative, progressive or challenging: it is an unexceptional (even expected) part of contemporary mainstream marketing. Indeed, the use of actor George Clooney as Nespresso’s brand ambassador since 2005 shows shrewd appraisal of consumers’ political and cultural sensibilities. As a celebrity who splits his time between Hollywood and Lake Como in Italy, Clooney embodies the glamorous, cosmopolitan lifestyle that Nespresso signifies. However, as an actor famous for backing political and humanitarian causes (having raised awareness for crises in Darfur and Haiti, and backing calls for the legalisation of same-sex marriage), Clooney’s meanings extend beyond cinema: as a celebrity, he is multi-coded. Through its association with Clooney, and his fusion of star power and worldly sophistication, the brand is imbued with semantic latitude. Still, in the television commercials in which Clooney appears for Nespresso, his role as the Hollywood heartthrob invariably overshadows that of the political campaigner. These commercials actually pivot on Clooney’s romantic appeal, an appeal which is ironically upstaged in the commercials by something even more seductive: Nespresso coffee. References Bauman, Zygmunt. “Collateral Casualties of Consumerism.” Journal of Consumer Culture 7.1 (2007): 25–56. Betts, Paul. “Nestlé Refines its Arsenal in the Luxury Coffee War.” Financial Times 28 Apr. (2010): 14. Bourdieu, Pierre. Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1984. Butler, Reg. “The Nespresso Route to a Perfect Espresso.” Tea & Coffee Trade Journal 172.4 (2000): 50. Canning, Simon. “Nespresso Taps a Cultural Thirst.” The Australian 26 Oct. (2009): 28. Dickinson, Greg. “Joe’s Rhetoric: Finding Authenticity at Starbucks.” Rhetoric Society Quarterly 32.4 (2002): 5–27. Gapper, John. “Lessons from Nestlé’s Coffee Break.” Financial Times 3 Jan. (2008): 9. Gaudio, Rudolf P. “Coffeetalk: StarbucksTM and the Commercialization of Casual Conversation.” Language in Society 32.5 (2003): 659–91. Habermas, Jürgen. The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1962. Illouz, Eva. “Emotions, Imagination and Consumption: A New Research Agenda.” Journal of Consumer Culture 9 (2009): 377–413. Karababa, EmInegül, and GüIIz Ger. “Early Modern Ottoman Coffehouse Culture and the Formation of the Consumer Subject." Journal of Consumer Research 37.5 (2011): 737–60 Kjeldgaard, Dannie, and Jacob Ostberg. “Coffee Grounds and the Global Cup: Global Consumer Culture in Scandinavia”. Consumption, Markets and Culture 10.2 (2007): 175–87. Kleinman, Sharon S. “Café Culture in France and the United States: A Comparative Ethnographic Study of the Use of Mobile Information and Communication Technologies.” Atlantic Journal of Communication 14.4 (2006): 191–210. Luckins, Tanja. “Flavoursome Scraps of Conversation: Talking and Hearing the Cosmopolitan City, 1900s–1960s.” History Australia 7.2 (2010): 31.1–31.16. Markides, Constantinos C. “A Dynamic View of Strategy.” Sloan Management Review 40.3 (1999): 55. Nespresso. “Ecolaboration Initiative Directs Nespresso to Sustainable Success.” Nespresso Media Centre 2009. 13 Dec. 2011. ‹http://www.nespresso.com›. O’Brien, Mary. “A Shot at the Big Time.” The Age 21 Jun. (2011): 16. 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 House, 1989. Purpura, Linda. “New Espresso Machines to Tempt the Palate.” The Weekly Home Furnishings Newspaper 3 May (1993): 116. Purpura, Linda. “Espresso: Grace under Pressure.” The Weekly Home Furnishings Newspaper 16 Dec. (1991): 88. Reguly, Eric. “No Ordinary Joe: Nestlé Pulls off Caffeine Coup.” The Globe and Mail 6 Jul. (2009): B1. Ruzich, Constance M. “For the Love of Joe: The Language of Starbucks.” The Journal of Popular Culture 41.3 (2008): 428–42. Sassatelli, Roberta, and Federica Davolio. “Consumption, Pleasure and Politics: Slow Food and the Politico-aesthetic Problematization of Food.” Journal of Consumer Culture 10.2 (2010): 202–32. Savitz, Andrew W. The Triple Bottom Line: How Today’s Best-run Companies are Achieving Economic, Social, and Environmental Success—And How You Can Too. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2006. Scerri, Andrew. “Triple Bottom-line Capitalism and the ‘Third Place’.” Arena Journal 20 (2002/03): 57–65. Simon, Bryant. “Not Going to Starbucks: Boycotts and the Out-sourcing of Politics in the Branded World.” Journal of Consumer Culture 11.2 (2011): 145–67. Simonian, Haig. “Nestlé Doubles Nespresso Output.” FT.Com 10 Jun. (2009). 2 Feb. 2012 ‹http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/0dcc4e44-55ea-11de-ab7e-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1tgMPBgtV›. Topik, Steven. “Coffee as a Social Drug.” Cultural Critique 71 (2009): 81–106. Wiggins, Jenny, and Haig Simonian. “How to Serve a Bespoke Cup of Coffee.” Financial Times 3 Apr. (2007): 10.

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Taylor, Josephine. "The Lady in the Carriage: Trauma, Embodiment, and the Drive for Resolution." M/C Journal 15, no.4 (August14, 2012). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.521.

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Dream, 2008Go to visit a friend with vulvodynia who recently had a baby only to find that she is desolate. I realise the baby–a little boy–died. We go for a walk together. She has lost weight through the ordeal & actually looks on the edge of beauty for the first time. I feel like saying something to this effect–like she had a great loss but gained beauty as a result–but don’t think it would be appreciated. I know I shouldn’t stay too long &, sure enough, when we get back to hers, she indicates she needs for me to go soon. In her grief though, her body begins to spasm uncontrollably, describing the arc of the nineteenth-century hysteric. I start to gently massage her back & it brings her great relief as her body relaxes. I notice as I massage her, that she has beautiful gold and silver studs, flowers, filigree on different parts of her back. It describes a scene of immense beauty. I comment on it.In 2008, I was following a writing path dictated by my vulvodynia, or chronic vulval pain, and was exploring the possibility of my disorder being founded in trauma. The theory did not, in my case, hold up and I had decided to move on when serendipity intervened. Books ordered for different purposes arrived simultaneously and, as I dipped into the texts, I found startling correspondence between them. The books? Neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot’s lectures on hysteria, translated into English in 1889; psychiatrist W.H.R. Rivers’s explication of a biological theory of the neuroses published in 1922; and trauma neurologist Robert C. Scaer’s interpretation, in 2007, of the psychosomatic symptoms of his patients. The research grasped my intellect and imagination and maintained its grip until the ensuing chapter was done with me: my day life, papers and books skewed across tables; my night life, dreams surfeited with suffering and beauty, as I struggled with the possibility of any relationship between the two. Just as Rivers recognised that the shell-shock of World War I was not a physical injury as such but a trigger for and form of hysteria, so too, a few decades earlier, did Charcot insistently equate the railway brain/spine that resulted from railway accidents, with the hysteria of other of his patients, recognising that the precipitating incident constituted trauma that lodged in the body/mind of the victim (Clinical 221). More recently, Scaer notes that the motor vehicle accident (MVA) from which whiplash ensues is usually of insufficient force to logically cause bodily injury and, through this understanding, links whiplash and the railway brain/spine of the nineteenth century (25).In terms of comparative studies, most exciting for a researcher is the detail with which Charcot described patient after patient with hysteria in the Salpêtrière hospital, and elements of correspondence in symptomatology between these and Scaer’s patients, the case histories of which open most chapters of his book, titled appropriately, The Body Bears the Burden.Here are symptoms selected from a case study from each clinician:She subsequently developed headaches, neck pain, panic attacks, and full-blown post-traumatic stress disorder, along with significant cognitive problems [...] As her neck pain worsened and spread to her lower back, shoulders and arms, she noted increasing morning stiffness, and generalized pain and sensitivity to touch. With the development of interrupted, non-restorative sleep and chronic fatigue, she was ultimately diagnosed by a rheumatologist with fibromyalgia (Scaer 107).And:The patient suffers from a permanent headache of a constrictive character [...] All kinds of sound are painful to his ear, and he does his best to avoid them. It is impossible for him to fix his attention to any matter, or to devote himself to anything without speedily experiencing very great fatigue [...] He has insomnia and is frequently tormented by horrible dreams [...] Further, his memory appears to be considerably weakened (Charcot, Clinical 387).In the case of both patients, there was no significant physical injury, though both were left physically, as well as psychically, disabled. In the accidents that precipitated these symptoms, both were placed in positions of terrified helplessness as potential destruction bore down on them. In the case of Scaer’s patient, she froze in the driver’s seat at traffic lights as a large dump truck slowly reversed back on to her car, crushing the bonnet and engine compartment as it moved inexorably toward her. In the case of Charcot’s patient, he was dragging his barrow along the road when a laundryman’s van, pulled at “railway speed” by a careering horse, bore down on him, striking the wheel of his barrow (Clinical 375). It took some hours for the traumatised individuals of each incident to return to their senses.Scaer describes whiplash syndrome as “a diverse constellation of symptoms consisting of pain, neurologic symptoms, cognitive impairment, and emotional complaints” (xvii), and argues that the somatic or bodily expressions of the syndrome “may represent a universal constellation of symptoms attributable to any unresolved life-threatening experience” (143). Thus, as we look back through history, whiplash equals shell-shock equals railway brain equals the “swooning” and “vapours” of the eighteenth century (Shorter Chap. 1). All are precipitated by different causes, but all share the same outcome; diverse, debilitating symptoms affecting the body and mind, which have no reasonable physical explanation and which show no obvious organic cause. Human stress and trauma have always existed.In modern and historic studies of hysteria, much is made of the way in which the symptoms of hysterics have, over the centuries, mimicked “real” organic conditions (e.g. Shorter). Rivers discusses mimesis as a quality of the “gregarious” or herd instinct, noting that the enhanced suggestibility of such a state was utilised in military training. Here, preparation for combat focused on an unthinking obedience to duty and orders, and a loss of individual agency within the group: “The most successful training is one which attains such perfection of this responsiveness that each individual soldier not merely reacts at once to the expressed command of his superior, but is able to divine the nature of a command before it is given and acts as a member of the group immediately and effectively” (211–12). In the animal kingdom, the herd instinct manifests in behaviour that impacts the survival of prey and predator: schools of sardines move as one organism, seeking safety in numbers, while predatory sailfish act in silent concert to push the school into a tighter formation from which they can take orchestrated turns to feed.Unfortunately, the group mimesis created through a passive surrender of the individual ego to the herd, while providing a greater sense of security and chance of survival, also made World War I soldiers more vulnerable to the development of post-traumatic hysteria. At the Salpêtrière, Charcot described in meticulous detail the epileptic-like convulsions of hysteria major (la grande hystérie), which appeared to be an unwitting imitation of the seizures of epileptic inmates with whom hysteria patients were housed. Such convulsions included the infamous arc en circle, or backward-arched bodily semicircle, through which the individual’s body was thrust, up into the air, in an arc of distress only earthed by flexed feet and contorted neck (Veith 231). The suffering articulated in this powerful image stayed with me as I read, and percolated through my dreams.The three texts in which I remained transfixed had issued from different eras and used different language from each other, but all three contained similar and complementary insights. I found further correspondence between Charcot and Scaer in their understanding of the neurophysiology underlying hysteria/trauma. Though he did not have the technology to observe it, Charcot insisted that the symptoms of hysteria were the result of real changes in the nervous system. He distinguished between “organic” causes of disease, and the “functional” or “dynamic” causes of such disorders as hysteria and epilepsy: as he noted of the “hystero-traumatic paraplegia” of a patient, “it depends upon a dynamic lesion affecting the motor and sensory zones of the grey cortex of the brain which in a normal state preside over the functions of that limb” (Clinical 382). He proposed a potentially reversible “dynamic alteration” in the brain of the hysteric (Clinical 223–24). Compare Scaer: “Clinical syndromes previously categorized as ‘nonphysiological,’ ‘psychosomatic,’ or ‘functional’ may be based on demonstrable dynamic neurophysiological changes in the brain” (xx–xxi).Another link between the work of Charcot and Scaer is their insistence on the mind/body as a continuum, rather than separate entities. The perspicacity of the two researcher/clinicians forms bookends to a model separating mind from body that, in the wake of the popularisation and distortion of Freudian theory, characterised the twentieth-century. Said Charcot: “the physician must be a psychologist if he wants to interpret the most refined of cerebral functions, since psychology is nothing else but physiology of a part of the brain” (cited by Goetz 32). Says Scaer: “The distinction between the ‘psychological’ and physical pathological manifestations of traumatic stress, as suggested in the term ‘psychosomatic,’ needs to be discarded” (127). He proposes that, instead, we consider a mind/brain/body continuum which more accurately reflects, “the pathophysiological, neurobiological, endocrinological, and immunological changes induced by trauma” and the bodily manifestations of disease which follow (127).Charcot’s modernity is perhaps most evident in his understanding of equivalence between mind and brain, and his belief in what we now call “neuroplasticity”. Dealing with two patients with hysterical (traumatic) paralysis, Charcot recognised the value of friction, massage, and passive movements of the paralysed limb, not to build muscle strength, but to “revive” the “motor representation” in the brain as a necessary precursor to voluntary movement (Clinical 310). He noted the way in which, through repetition, movement strengthens. The parallel between Charcot’s insight, and recent research and practice which indicates that intense exercise for stroke victims assists the retrieval of motor programmes in the nervous system, in turn facilitating increased strength and movement, is quite astounding (Doidge Chap. 5).Scaer, like Rivers before him, understands the “freeze” or immobility response to threat as a very primitive or arcane level of the survival instinct. When neither fight nor flight will ensure an animal’s survival, it often manifests the freeze response, playing “dead”. After danger has passed, the animal might vibrate and shake, discharging the stored energy, physiologically “effecting” its defence or escape, and becoming fully functional again. Scaer describes this discharge process in animals as being “as imperceptible as a shudder, or as dramatic as a grand mal seizure” (19). The human, being an animal, also instinctually resorts to immobility when that is the reaction that will best ensure survival. As a result of this response, energy that would have been discharged in fighting or fleeing is bound up in the nervous system, along with accompanying terror, rage and helplessness. Unlike other animals that naturally discharge this energy when safe, humans often cognitively override the subtle but essential restorative behaviours that complete the full instinctual response, leaving them in a vicious cycle of fear and immobility and ultimately generating the symptoms of trauma.Scaer writes, “this apparent lack of discharge of autonomic energy after the occurrence of freezing [...] may represent a dangerous suppression of instinctual behavior, resulting in the imprinting of the traumatic experience in unconscious memory and arousal systems of the brain” (21). He proposes a persuasive model of “somatic dissociation” in which the body continues to manifest a threat to survival through impairment of the region of the body that perceived the sensory messages, and disability that reflects the incomplete motor defence (100). He writes of his patients in a chronic pain programme: “We invariably noticed that the patient’s unconscious posture reflected not only the pain, but also the experience of the traumatic event that produced the pain. The asymmetrical postural patterns, held in procedural memory, almost always reflect the body’s attempt to move away from the injury or threat that caused the injury” (84).Scaer’s concept of somatic dissociation, when applied to some of Charcot’s case studies, makes sense of their bodily symptoms. Charcot’s patient P— experiences no life threat, but a shock that involves grief and shame (Clinical 131–39). On a fox-hunting outing, he mistakes his friend’s dog for a fox, accidently shooting it dead. The friend is distraught, and P— consequently deeply distressed. He continues with the hunt, but later, when he raises his fire-arm to shoot a rabbit, collapses with a paralysis of the right side (he is right-handed), and then a loss of consciousness, with consequent confused recollection. Charcot’s lecture focuses on the “word-blindness” P— evidences, apparently associated with post-traumatic memory-deficits, but what is also arresting is the right-sided paralysis which lasts for some days, and the loss of vision on his right side. It is as if the act to shoot again is prevented by a body, shocked by its former action. The body parts affected hold meaning.In the case of the barrow man discussed earlier; although he has no lasting organic damage to his legs, nevertheless, his “feet remain literally fixed to the ground” (Clinical 378) when he is standing, perhaps reproducing the immobility with which he faced the rapidly looming van as it bore down on him. His paralysis speaks of his frozen helplessness, the trauma now locked in his body.In the case of the patient Ler—, aged around sixty, Charcot links her symptoms with a “series of frights” (Lectures 279): at eleven she was terrorised by a mad dog; at sixteen she was horrified by the sight of the corpse of a murdered woman; and, at the same age, she was threatened by robbers in a wood. During her violent hystero-epileptic attacks Ler— “hurls furious invectives against imaginary individuals, crying out, ‘villains! robbers! brigands! fire! fire! O, the dogs! I’m bitten!’” (Lectures 281). Here, the compilation of trauma is articulated through the body and the voice. Given that the extreme early childhood poverty and deprivation of Ler— were typical of hysterical patients at the Salpêtrière (Goetz 193), one might speculate that the hospital population of hysterics was composed of often severely traumatised women.The traumatised person is left with a constellation of symptoms familiar to anyone who has studied the history of hysteria. These comprise, but are not limited to, flashbacks, panic attacks, insomnia, depression, and unprovoked rage. The individual is also affected by physical symptoms that might include blindness or mutism, paralysis, spasms, skin anaesthesia, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel, migraines, or chronic pain. For trauma theorist Peter A. Levine, the key to healing lies in completing the original instinctual response; “trauma is part of a natural physiological process that simply has not been allowed to be completed” (155). The traumatised person stays stuck in or compulsively relives trauma in order to do just that. In 1885, Jean-Martin Charcot lectured at the Salpêtrière hospital in Paris, including among his case studies the patient he names Deb—. She resides more evocatively in my imagination as “the lady in the carriage”, a title drawn from Charcot’s description of her symptoms, and from the associated photographs which capture static moments of her frenzied and compulsive dance:Now look at this patient [...] In the first phase, rhythmical jerkings of the right arm, like the movements of hammering, occur [...] Then after this period there succeeds a period of tonic spasms, and of contortions of the arm and head, recalling partial epilepsy [...] Finally, measured movements of the head to the right and the left occur; rapid movements defying all interpretation, for I ask you, what do they correspond to in the region of physiological acts? At the same time the patient utters a cry, or rather a kind of plaintive wail, always the same [...] You see by this example that rhythmical chorea may be in certain cases a grave affection [affliction]. Not that it directly menaces life, but that it may persist over a very long period of time, and become a most distressing infirmity [...] The chorea has lasted for more than thirty years [...] The onset occurred at the age of thirty-six. About this time, when out driving in a carriage with her husband, she fell over a precipice with the horse and carriage. After the great fright which she had thus experienced she lost consciousness for three hours. This was followed by a convulsive seizure of hysteria major, by rigidity of the limbs of the right side, and cries like the barking of a dog (Clinical 193–95).I found this case study early in my reading of Charcot, but the lady in the carriage stayed with me as a trope of the relentless embodiment of trauma in its drive to be conclusively expressed, properly acknowledged, and potentially understood. Hence the persistent pain and distress of Scaer’s MVA patients; the patients treated by Rivers, with limbs and vocal-chords frozen in a never-ending moment of self-defence; the dramatic hysterical attacks of the impoverished patients in Charcot’s Salpêtrière; and the rhythmical chorea of the lady in the carriage, her involuntary jerky dance a physical re-enactment of her original trauma, when the carriage in which she was driving went over a precipice. Her helplessness in the event which precipitated her hysteria is a central factor in her continuing distress, her involuntary passivity removing her sense of agency and, like the soldier confined endlessly and powerlessly in the trenches waiting for inevitable terrifying action, rendering her unable to fight or flee.The fact that the lady in the carriage may be stuck in a traumatic incident experienced more than thirty years before attests to the way in which trauma insistently pushes to be resolved. Her re-enactment is literal, but Levine acknowledges the relevance of a “repetition compulsion” (181), expressed originally by Freud as the “compulsion to repeat” (19). This describes the often subtle way in which we continue to involve ourselves in situations that are replays of traumatic themes from childhood—symbolic re-enactments. Levine revitalises the idea however, by focusing on the interrupted instinctual response that calls for physiological resolution: “the drive to complete the freezing response remains active no matter how long it has been in place” (111).The knowledge a traumatised person seeks is, in trauma, literally locked in the body/mind. It rises up through dreams and throws itself aggressively at one in memories that are experienced as a terrifying present. It twists limbs in painful contractures and paralyzes the limb that was lifted in defence. The fear of turning to face this knowledge locks the individual in a recurring cycle of terror and immobility. At its end-point, s/he survives in the pathological limbo of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), avoiding any arousal that might trigger all the physiological and emotional events of the original trauma. The original threat or trauma continues to exist in a perpetual present, with the individual unable to relegate it to the past as a bearable memory.It is possible to interpret such suffering in many ways. One might, for instance, focus on the pathology of an apparent system malfunction, which keeps the body/mind inefficiently glued to an unsolvable past. I choose to emphasise here, however, the creativity and persistence of the human body/mind in its drive to resolve the response to trauma, recover equilibrium and face effectively the recurrent challenges of life. As well as physical symptoms which exact attention, this drive or instinct might include the prompting of dreams and the meaningful coincidences we notice as we open our eyes to them, all of which can lead us down previously unconsidered paths. Does the body/mind only continue to malfunction due to our inability to correctly decipher its language? In relation to trauma, the body/mind bears the burden, but it might also hold the key to recovery.References Charcot, Jean-Martin. Lectures on the Diseases of the Nervous System. Trans. George Sigerson. London: The New Sydenham Society, 1877.---. Clinical Lectures on Diseases of the Nervous System: Volume 3. Trans. Thomas Savill. London: The New Sydenham Society, 1889.Doidge, Norman. The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science. Melbourne: Scribe, 2008.Freud, Sigmund. “Beyond the Pleasure Principle.” The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud. Ed. and Trans. James Strachey. London: Hogarth Press, 1955. 7–64.Goetz, Christopher G, Michel Bonduelle, and Toby Gelfand. Charcot: Constructing Neurology. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.Levine, Peter A. Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma: The Innate Capacity to Transform Overwhelming Experiences. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 1997.Rivers, W. H. R. Instinct and the Unconscious: A Contribution to a Biological Theory of the Psycho-Neuroses. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1922.Scaer, Robert C. The Body Bears the Burden: Trauma, Dissociation, and Disease. 2nd ed. New York: Haworth Press, 2007.Shorter, Edward. From Paralysis to Fatigue: A History of Psychosomatic Illness in the Modern Era. New York: Free Press, 1992.Veith, Ilza. Hysteria: The History of a Disease. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1965.

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Bruns, Axel. "What's the Story." M/C Journal 2, no.5 (July1, 1999). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1774.

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Practically any good story follows certain narrative conventions in order to hold its readers' attention and leave them with a feeling of satisfaction -- this goes for fictional tales as well as for many news reports (we do tend to call them 'news stories', after all), for idle gossip as well as for academic papers. In the Western tradition of storytelling, it's customary to start with the exposition, build up to major events, and end with some form of narrative closure. Indeed, audience members will feel disturbed if there is no sense of closure at the end -- their desire for closure is a powerful one. From this brief description of narrative patterns it is also clear that such narratives depend crucially on linear progression through the story in order to work -- there may be flashbacks and flashforwards, but very few stories, it seems, could get away with beginning with their point of closure, and work back to the exposition. Closure, as the word suggests, closes the story, and once reached, the audience is left with the feeling of now knowing the whole story, of having all the pieces necessary to understand its events. To understand how important the desire to reach this point is to the audience, just observe the discussions of holes in the plot which people have when they're leaving a cinema: they're trying to reach a better sense of closure than was afforded them by the movie itself. In linearly progressing media, this seems, if you'll pardon the pun, straightforward. Readers know when they've finished an article or a book, viewers know when a movie or a broadcast is over, and they'll be able to assess then if they've reached sufficient closure -- if their desires have been fulfilled. On the World Wide Web, this is much more difficult: "once we have it in our hands, the whole of a book is accessible to us readers. However, in front of an electronic read-only hypertext document we are at the mercy of the author since we will only be able to activate the links which the author has provided" (McKnight et al. 119). In many cases, it's not even clear whether we've reached the end of the text already: just where does a Website end? Does the question even make sense? Consider the following example, reported by Larry Friedlander: I watched visitors explore an interactive program in a museum, one that contained a vast amount of material -- pictures, film, historic explanations, models, simulations. I was impressed by the range of subject matter and by the ambitiousness and polish of the presentation. ... But to my surprise, as I watched visitors going down one pathway after another, I noticed a certain dispirited glaze spread over their faces. They seemed to lose interest quite quickly and, in fact, soon stopped their explorations. (163) Part of the problem here may just have been the location of the programme, of course -- when you're out in public, you might just not have the time to browse as extensively as you could from your computer at home. But there are other explanations, too: the sheer amount of options for exploration may have been overwhelming -- there may not have been any apparent purpose to aim for, any closure to arrive at. This is a problem inherent in hypertext, particularly in networked systems like the Web: it "changes our conception of an ending. Different readers can choose not only to end the text at different points but also to add to and extend it. In hypertext there is no final version, and therefore no last word: a new idea or reinterpretation is always possible. ... By privileging intertextuality, hypertext provides a large number of points to which other texts can attach themselves" (Snyder 57). In other words, there will always be more out there than any reader could possibly explore, since new documents are constantly being added. There is no ending if a text is constantly extended. (In print media this problem appears only to a far more limited extent: there, intertextuality is mostly implicit, and even though new articles may constantly be added -- 'linked', if you will -- to a discourse, due to the medium's physical nature they're still very much separate entities, while Web links make intertextuality explicit and directly connect texts.) Does this mark the end of closure, then? Adding to the problem is the fact that it's not even possible to know how much of the hypertextual information available is still left unexplored, since there is no universal register of all the information available on the Web -- "the extent of hypertext is unknowable because it lacks clear boundaries and is often multi-authored" (Snyder 19). While reading a book you can check how many more pages you've got to go, but on the Web this is not an option. Our traditions of information transmission create this desire for closure, but the inherent nature of the medium prevents us from ever satisfying it. Barrett waxes lyrical in describing this dilemma: contexts presented online are often too limited for what we really want: an environment that delivers objects of desire -- to know more, see more, learn more, express more. We fear being caught in Medusa's gaze, of being transfixed before the end is reached; yet we want the head of Medusa safely on our shield to freeze the bitstream, the fleeting imagery, the unstoppable textualisations. We want, not the dead object, but the living body in its connections to its world, connections that sustain it, give it meaning. (xiv-v) We want nothing less, that is, than closure without closing: we desire the knowledge we need, and the feeling that that knowledge is sufficient to really know about a topic, but we don't want to devalue that knowledge in the same process by removing it from its context and reducing it to trivial truisms. We want the networked knowledge base that the Web is able to offer, but we don't want to feel overwhelmed by the unfathomable dimensions of that network. This is increasingly difficult the more knowledge is included in that network -- "with the growth of knowledge comes decreasing certainty. The confidence that went with objectivity must give way to the insecurity that comes from knowing that all is relative" (Smith 206). The fact that 'all is relative' is one which predates the Net, of course, and it isn't the Internet or the World Wide Web that has destroyed objectivity -- objectivity has always been an illusion, no matter how strongly journalists or scientists have at times laid claims ot it. Internet-based media have simply stripped away more of the pretences, and laid bare the subjective nature of all information; in the process, they have also uncovered the fact that the desire for closure must ultimately remain unfulfilled in any sufficiently non-trivial case. Nonetheless, the early history of the Web has seen attempts to connect all the information available (LEO, one of the first major German Internet resource centres, for example, took its initials from its mission to 'Link Everything Online') -- but as the amount of information on the Net exploded, more and more editorial choices of what to include and what to leave out had to be made, so that now even search engines like Yahoo! and Altavista quite clearly and openly offer only a selection of what they consider useful sites on the Web. Web browsers still hoping to find everything on a certain topic would be well-advised to check with all major search engines, as well as important resource centres in the specific field. The average Web user would probably be happy with picking the search engine, Web directory or Web ring they find easiest to use, and sticking with it. The multitude of available options here actually shows one strength of the Internet and similar networks -- "the computer permits many [organisational] structures to coexist in the same electronic text: tree structures, circles, and lines can cross and recross without obstructing one another. The encyclopedic impulse to organise can run riot in this new technology of writing" (Bolter 95). Still, this multitude of options is also likely to confuse some users: in particular, "novices do not know in which order they need to read the material or how much they should read. They don't know what they don't know. Therefore learners might be sidetracked into some obscure corner of the information space instead or covering the important basic information" (Nielsen 190). They're like first-time visitors to a library -- but this library has constantly shifting aisles, more or less well-known pathways into specialty collections, fiercely competing groups of librarians, and it extends almost infinitely. Of course, the design of the available search and information tools plays an important role here, too -- far more than it is possible to explore at this point. Gay makes the general observation that "visual interfaces and navigational tools that allow quick browsing of information layout and database components are more effective at locating information ... than traditional index or text-based search tools. However, it should be noted that users are less secure in their findings. Users feel that they have not conducted complete searches when they use visual tools and interfaces" (185). Such technical difficulties (especially for novices) will slow take-up of and low satisfaction with the medium (and many negative views of the Web can probably be traced to this dissatisfaction with the result of searches -- in other words, to a lack of satisfaction of the desire for closure); while many novices eventually overcome their initial confusion and become more Web-savvy, others might disregard the medium as unsuitable for their needs. At the other extreme of the scale, the inherent lack for closure, in combination with the societally deeply ingrained desire for it, may also be a strong contributing factor for another negative phenomenon associated with the Internet: that of Net users becoming Net junkies, who spend every available moment online. Where the desire to know, to get to the bottom (or more to the point: to the end) of a topic, becomes overwhelming, and where the fundamental unattainability of this goal remains unrealised, the step to an obsession with finding information seems a small one; indeed, the neverending search for that piece of knowledge surpassing all previously found ones seems to have obvious similarities to drug addiction with its search for the high to better all previous highs. And most likely, the addiction is only heightened by the knowledge that on the Web, new pieces of information are constantly being added -- an endless, and largely free, supply of drugs... There is no easy solution to this problem -- in the end, it is up to the user to avoid becoming an addict, and to keep in mind that there is no such thing as total knowledge. Web designers and content providers can help, though: "there are ways of orienting the reader in an electronic document, but in any true hypertext the ending must remain tentative. An electronic text never needs to end" (Bolter 87). As Tennant & Heilmeier elaborate, "the coming ease-of-use problem is one of developing transparent complexity -- of revealing the limits and the extent of vast coverage to users, and showing how the many known techniques for putting it all together can be used most effectively -- of complexity that reveals itself as powerful simplicity" (122). We have been seeing, therefore, the emergence of a new class of Websites: resource centres which help their visitors to understand a certain topic and view it from all possible angles, which point them in the direction of further information on- and off-site, and which give them an indication of how much they need to know to understand the topic to a certain degree. In this, they must ideally be very transparent, as Tennant & Heilmeier point out -- having accepted that there is no such thing as objectivity, it is necessary for these sites to point out that their offered insight into the field is only one of many possible approaches, and that their presented choice of information is based on subjective editorial decisions. They may present preferred readings, but they must indicate that these readings are open for debate. They may help satisfy some of their readers' desire for closure, but they must at the same time point out that they do so by presenting a temporary ending beyond which a more general story continues. If, as suggested above, closure crucially depends on a linear mode of presentation, such sites in their arguments help trace one linear route through the network of knowledge available online; they impose a linear from-us-to-you model of transmission on the normally unordered many-to-many structure of the Net. In the face of much doomsaying about the broadcast media, then, here is one possible future for these linear transmission media, and it's no surprise that such Internet 'push' broad- or narrowcasting is a growth area of the Net -- simply put, it serves the apparent need of users to be told stories, to have their desire for closure satisfied through clear narrative progressions from exposition through development to end. (This isn't 'push' as such, really: it's more a kind of 'push on demand'.) But at the same time, this won't mean the end of the unstructured, networked information that the Web offers: even such linear media ultimately build on that networked pool of knowledge. The Internet has simply made this pool public -- passively as well as actively accessible to everybody. Now, however, Web designers (and this includes each and every one of us, ultimately) must work "with the users foremost in mind, making sure that at every point there is a clear, simple and focussed experience that hooks them into the welter of information presented" (Friedlander 164); they must play to the desire for closure. (As with any preferred reading, however, there is also a danger that that closure is premature, and that the users' process or meaning-making is contained and stifled rather than aided.) To return briefly to Friedlander's experience with the interactive museum exhibit: he draws the conclusion that visitors were simply overwhelmed by the sheer mass of information and were reluctant to continue accumulating facts without a guiding purpose, without some sense of how or why they could use all this material. The technology that delivers immense bundles of data does not simultaneously deliver a reason for accumulating so much information, nor a way for the user to order and make sense of it. That is the designer's task. The pressing challenge of multimedia design is to transform information into usable and useful knowledge. (163) Perhaps this transformation is exactly what is at the heart of fulfilling the desire for closure: we feel satisfied when we feel we know something, have learnt something from a presentation of information (no matter if it's a news report or a fictional story). Nonetheless, this satisfaction must of necessity remain intermediate -- there is always much more still to be discovered. "From the hypertext viewpoint knowledge is infinite: we can never know the whole extent of it but only have a perspective on it. ... Life is in real-time and we are forced to be selective, we decide that this much constitutes one node and only these links are worth representing" (Beardon & Worden 69). This is not inherently different from processes in other media, where bandwidth limitations may even force much stricter gatekeeping regiments, but as in many cases the Internet brings these processes out into the open, exposes their workings and stresses the fundamental subjectivity of information. Users of hypertext (as indeed users of any medium) must be aware of this: "readers themselves participate in the organisation of the encyclopedia. They are not limited to the references created by the editors, since at any point they can initiate a search for a word or phrase that takes them to another article. They might also make their own explicit references (hypertextual links) for their own purposes ... . It is always a short step from electronic reading to electronic writing, from determining the order of texts to altering their structure" (Bolter 95). Significantly, too, it is this potential for wide public participation which has made the Internet into the medium of the day, and led to the World Wide Web's exponential growth; as Bolter describes, "today we cannot hope for permanence and for general agreement on the order of things -- in encyclopedias any more than in politics and the arts. What we have instead is a view of knowledge as collections of (verbal and visual) ideas that can arrange themselves into a kaleidoscope of hierarchical and associative patterns -- each pattern meeting the needs of one class of readers on one occasion" (97). To those searching for some meaningful 'universal truth', this will sound defeatist, but ultimately it is closer to realism -- one person's universal truth is another one's escapist phantasy, after all. This doesn't keep most of us from hoping and searching for that deeper insight, however -- and from the preceding discussion, it seems likely that in this we are driven by the desire for closure that has been imprinted in us so deeply by the multitudes of narrative structures we encounter each day. It's no surprise, then, that, as Barrett writes, "the virtual environment is a place of longing. Cyberspace is an odyssey without telos, and therefore without meaning. ... Yet cyberspace is also the theatre of operations for the reconstruction of the lost body of knowledge, or, perhaps more correctly, not the reconstruction, but the always primary construction of a body of knowing. Thought and language in a virtual environment seek a higher synthesis, a re-imagining of an idea in the context of its truth" (xvi). And so we search on, following that by definition end-less quest to satisfy our desire for closure, and sticking largely to the narrative structures handed down to us through the generations. This article is no exception, of course -- but while you may gain some sense of closure from it, it is inevitable that there is a deeper feeling of a lack of closure, too, as the article takes its place in a wider hypertextual context, where so much more is still left unexplored: other articles in this issue, other issues of M/C, and further journals and Websites adding to the debate. Remember this, then: you decide when and where to stop. References Barrett, Edward, and Marie Redmont, eds. Contextual Media: Multimedia and Interpretation. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT P, 1995. Barrett, Edward. "Hiding the Head of Medusa: Objects and Desire in a Virtual Environment." Barrett & Redmont xi- vi. Beardon, Colin, and Suzette Worden. "The Virtual Curator: Multimedia Technologies and the Roles of Museums." Barrett & Redmont 63-86. Bolter, Jay David. Writing Space: The Computer, Hypertext, and the History of Writing. Hillsdale, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1991. Friedlander, Larry. "Spaces of Experience on Designing Multimedia Applications." Barrett & Redmont 163-74. Gay, Geri. "Issues in Accessing and Constructing Multimedia Documents." Barrett & Redmont 175-88. McKnight, Cliff, John Richardson, and Andrew Dillon. "The Authoring of Hypertext Documents." Hypertext: Theory into Practice. Ed. Ray McAleese. Oxford: Intellect, 1993. Nielsen, Jakob. Hypertext and Hypermedia. Boston: Academic Press, 1990. Smith, Anthony. Goodbye Gutenberg: The Newspaper Revolution of the 1980's [sic]. New York: Oxford UP, 1980. Snyder, Ilana. Hypertext: The ELectronic Labyrinth. Carlton South: Melbourne UP, 1996. Tennant, Harry, and George H. Heilmeier. "Knowledge and Equality: Harnessing the Truth of Information Abundance." Technology 2001: The Future of Computing and Communications. Ed. Derek Leebaert. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT P, 1991. Citation reference for this article MLA style: Axel Bruns. "What's the Story: The Unfulfilled Desire for Closure on the Web." M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 2.5 (1999). [your date of access] <http://www.uq.edu.au/mc/9907/closure.php>. Chicago style: Axel Bruns, "What's the Story: The Unfulfilled Desire for Closure on the Web," M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 2, no. 5 (1999), <http://www.uq.edu.au/mc/9907/closure.php> ([your date of access]). APA style: Axel Bruns. (1999) What's the story: the unfulfilled desire for closure on the Web. M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 2(5). <http://www.uq.edu.au/mc/9907/closure.php> ([your date of access]).

47

Deer, Patrick, and Toby Miller. "A Day That Will Live In … ?" M/C Journal 5, no.1 (March1, 2002). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1938.

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By the time you read this, it will be wrong. Things seemed to be moving so fast in these first days after airplanes crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the Pennsylvania earth. Each certainty is as carelessly dropped as it was once carelessly assumed. The sounds of lower Manhattan that used to serve as white noise for residents—sirens, screeches, screams—are no longer signs without a referent. Instead, they make folks stare and stop, hurry and hustle, wondering whether the noises we know so well are in fact, this time, coefficients of a new reality. At the time of writing, the events themselves are also signs without referents—there has been no direct claim of responsibility, and little proof offered by accusers since the 11th. But it has been assumed that there is a link to US foreign policy, its military and economic presence in the Arab world, and opposition to it that seeks revenge. In the intervening weeks the US media and the war planners have supplied their own narrow frameworks, making New York’s “ground zero” into the starting point for a new escalation of global violence. We want to write here about the combination of sources and sensations that came that day, and the jumble of knowledges and emotions that filled our minds. Working late the night before, Toby was awoken in the morning by one of the planes right overhead. That happens sometimes. I have long expected a crash when I’ve heard the roar of jet engines so close—but I didn’t this time. Often when that sound hits me, I get up and go for a run down by the water, just near Wall Street. Something kept me back that day. Instead, I headed for my laptop. Because I cannot rely on local media to tell me very much about the role of the US in world affairs, I was reading the British newspaper The Guardian on-line when it flashed a two-line report about the planes. I looked up at the calendar above my desk to see whether it was April 1st. Truly. Then I got off-line and turned on the TV to watch CNN. That second, the phone rang. My quasi-ex-girlfriend I’m still in love with called from the mid-West. She was due to leave that day for the Bay Area. Was I alright? We spoke for a bit. She said my cell phone was out, and indeed it was for the remainder of the day. As I hung up from her, my friend Ana rang, tearful and concerned. Her husband, Patrick, had left an hour before for work in New Jersey, and it seemed like a dangerous separation. All separations were potentially fatal that day. You wanted to know where everyone was, every minute. She told me she had been trying to contact Palestinian friends who worked and attended school near the event—their ethnic, religious, and national backgrounds made for real poignancy, as we both thought of the prejudice they would (probably) face, regardless of the eventual who/what/when/where/how of these events. We agreed to meet at Bruno’s, a bakery on La Guardia Place. For some reason I really took my time, though, before getting to Ana. I shampooed and shaved under the shower. This was a horror, and I needed to look my best, even as men and women were losing and risking their lives. I can only interpret what I did as an attempt to impose normalcy and control on the situation, on my environment. When I finally made it down there, she’d located our friends. They were safe. We stood in the street and watched the Towers. Horrified by the sight of human beings tumbling to their deaths, we turned to buy a tea/coffee—again some ludicrous normalization—but were drawn back by chilling screams from the street. Racing outside, we saw the second Tower collapse, and clutched at each other. People were streaming towards us from further downtown. We decided to be with our Palestinian friends in their apartment. When we arrived, we learnt that Mark had been four minutes away from the WTC when the first plane hit. I tried to call my daughter in London and my father in Canberra, but to no avail. I rang the mid-West, and asked my maybe-former novia to call England and Australia to report in on me. Our friend Jenine got through to relatives on the West Bank. Israeli tanks had commenced a bombardment there, right after the planes had struck New York. Family members spoke to her from under the kitchen table, where they were taking refuge from the shelling of their house. Then we gave ourselves over to television, like so many others around the world, even though these events were happening only a mile away. We wanted to hear official word, but there was just a huge absence—Bush was busy learning to read in Florida, then leading from the front in Louisiana and Nebraska. As the day wore on, we split up and regrouped, meeting folks. One guy was in the subway when smoke filled the car. Noone could breathe properly, people were screaming, and his only thought was for his dog DeNiro back in Brooklyn. From the panic of the train, he managed to call his mom on a cell to ask her to feed “DeNiro” that night, because it looked like he wouldn’t get home. A pregnant woman feared for her unborn as she fled the blasts, pushing the stroller with her baby in it as she did so. Away from these heart-rending tales from strangers, there was the fear: good grief, what horrible price would the US Government extract for this, and who would be the overt and covert agents and targets of that suffering? What blood-lust would this generate? What would be the pattern of retaliation and counter-retaliation? What would become of civil rights and cultural inclusiveness? So a jumble of emotions came forward, I assume in all of us. Anger was not there for me, just intense sorrow, shock, and fear, and the desire for intimacy. Network television appeared to offer me that, but in an ultimately unsatisfactory way. For I think I saw the end-result of reality TV that day. I have since decided to call this ‘emotionalization’—network TV’s tendency to substitute analysis of US politics and economics with a stress on feelings. Of course, powerful emotions have been engaged by this horror, and there is value in addressing that fact and letting out the pain. I certainly needed to do so. But on that day and subsequent ones, I looked to the networks, traditional sources of current-affairs knowledge, for just that—informed, multi-perspectival journalism that would allow me to make sense of my feelings, and come to a just and reasoned decision about how the US should respond. I waited in vain. No such commentary came forward. Just a lot of asinine inquiries from reporters that were identical to those they pose to basketballers after a game: Question—‘How do you feel now?’ Answer—‘God was with me today.’ For the networks were insistent on asking everyone in sight how they felt about the end of las torres gemelas. In this case, we heard the feelings of survivors, firefighters, viewers, media mavens, Republican and Democrat hacks, and vacuous Beltway state-of-the-nation pundits. But learning of the military-political economy, global inequality, and ideologies and organizations that made for our grief and loss—for that, there was no space. TV had forgotten how to do it. My principal feeling soon became one of frustration. So I headed back to where I began the day—The Guardian web site, where I was given insightful analysis of the messy factors of history, religion, economics, and politics that had created this situation. As I dealt with the tragedy of folks whose lives had been so cruelly lost, I pondered what it would take for this to stop. Or whether this was just the beginning. I knew one thing—the answers wouldn’t come from mainstream US television, no matter how full of feelings it was. And that made Toby anxious. And afraid. He still is. And so the dreams come. In one, I am suddenly furloughed from my job with an orchestra, as audience numbers tumble. I make my evening-wear way to my locker along with the other players, emptying it of bubble gum and instrument. The next night, I see a gigantic, fifty-feet high wave heading for the city beach where I’ve come to swim. Somehow I am sheltered behind a huge wall, as all the people around me die. Dripping, I turn to find myself in a media-stereotype “crack house” of the early ’90s—desperate-looking black men, endless doorways, sudden police arrival, and my earnest search for a passport that will explain away my presence. I awake in horror, to the realization that the passport was already open and stamped—racialization at work for Toby, every day and in every way, as a white man in New York City. Ana’s husband, Patrick, was at work ten miles from Manhattan when “it” happened. In the hallway, I overheard some talk about two planes crashing, but went to teach anyway in my usual morning stupor. This was just the usual chatter of disaster junkies. I didn’t hear the words, “World Trade Center” until ten thirty, at the end of the class at the college I teach at in New Jersey, across the Hudson river. A friend and colleague walked in and told me the news of the attack, to which I replied “You must be f*cking joking.” He was a little offended. Students were milling haphazardly on the campus in the late summer weather, some looking panicked like me. My first thought was of some general failure of the air-traffic control system. There must be planes falling out of the sky all over the country. Then the height of the towers: how far towards our apartment in Greenwich Village would the towers fall? Neither of us worked in the financial district a mile downtown, but was Ana safe? Where on the college campus could I see what was happening? I recognized the same physical sensation I had felt the morning after Hurricane Andrew in Miami seeing at a distance the wreckage of our shattered apartment across a suburban golf course strewn with debris and flattened power lines. Now I was trapped in the suburbs again at an unbridgeable distance from my wife and friends who were witnessing the attacks first hand. Were they safe? What on earth was going on? This feeling of being cut off, my path to the familiar places of home blocked, remained for weeks my dominant experience of the disaster. In my office, phone calls to the city didn’t work. There were six voice-mail messages from my teenaged brother Alex in small-town England giving a running commentary on the attack and its aftermath that he was witnessing live on television while I dutifully taught my writing class. “Hello, Patrick, where are you? Oh my god, another plane just hit the towers. Where are you?” The web was choked: no access to newspapers online. Email worked, but no one was wasting time writing. My office window looked out over a soccer field to the still woodlands of western New Jersey: behind me to the east the disaster must be unfolding. Finally I found a website with a live stream from ABC television, which I watched flickering and stilted on the tiny screen. It had all already happened: both towers already collapsed, the Pentagon attacked, another plane shot down over Pennsylvania, unconfirmed reports said, there were other hijacked aircraft still out there unaccounted for. Manhattan was sealed off. George Washington Bridge, Lincoln and Holland tunnels, all the bridges and tunnels from New Jersey I used to mock shut down. Police actions sealed off the highways into “the city.” The city I liked to think of as the capital of the world was cut off completely from the outside, suddenly vulnerable and under siege. There was no way to get home. The phone rang abruptly and Alex, three thousand miles away, told me he had spoken to Ana earlier and she was safe. After a dozen tries, I managed to get through and spoke to her, learning that she and Toby had seen people jumping and then the second tower fall. Other friends had been even closer. Everyone was safe, we thought. I sat for another couple of hours in my office uselessly. The news was incoherent, stories contradictory, loops of the planes hitting the towers only just ready for recycling. The attacks were already being transformed into “the World Trade Center Disaster,” not yet the ahistorical singularity of the emergency “nine one one.” Stranded, I had to spend the night in New Jersey at my boss’s house, reminded again of the boundless generosity of Americans to relative strangers. In an effort to protect his young son from the as yet unfiltered images saturating cable and Internet, my friend’s TV set was turned off and we did our best to reassure. We listened surreptitiously to news bulletins on AM radio, hoping that the roads would open. Walking the dog with my friend’s wife and son we crossed a park on the ridge on which Upper Montclair sits. Ten miles away a huge column of smoke was rising from lower Manhattan, where the stunning absence of the towers was clearly visible. The summer evening was unnervingly still. We kicked a soccer ball around on the front lawn and a woman walked distracted by, shocked and pale up the tree-lined suburban street, suffering her own wordless trauma. I remembered that though most of my students were ordinary working people, Montclair is a well-off dormitory for the financial sector and high rises of Wall Street and Midtown. For the time being, this was a white-collar disaster. I slept a short night in my friend’s house, waking to hope I had dreamed it all, and took the commuter train in with shell-shocked bankers and corporate types. All men, all looking nervously across the river toward glimpses of the Manhattan skyline as the train neared Hoboken. “I can’t believe they’re making us go in,” one guy had repeated on the station platform. He had watched the attacks from his office in Midtown, “The whole thing.” Inside the train we all sat in silence. Up from the PATH train station on 9th street I came onto a carless 6th Avenue. At 14th street barricades now sealed off downtown from the rest of the world. I walked down the middle of the avenue to a newspaper stand; the Indian proprietor shrugged “No deliveries below 14th.” I had not realized that the closer to the disaster you came, the less information would be available. Except, I assumed, for the evidence of my senses. But at 8 am the Village was eerily still, few people about, nothing in the sky, including the twin towers. I walked to Houston Street, which was full of trucks and police vehicles. Tractor trailers sat carrying concrete barriers. Below Houston, each street into Soho was barricaded and manned by huddles of cops. I had walked effortlessly up into the “lockdown,” but this was the “frozen zone.” There was no going further south towards the towers. I walked the few blocks home, found my wife sleeping, and climbed into bed, still in my clothes from the day before. “Your heart is racing,” she said. I realized that I hadn’t known if I would get back, and now I never wanted to leave again; it was still only eight thirty am. Lying there, I felt the terrible wonder of a distant bystander for the first-hand witness. Ana’s face couldn’t tell me what she had seen. I felt I needed to know more, to see and understand. Even though I knew the effort was useless: I could never bridge that gap that had trapped me ten miles away, my back turned to the unfolding disaster. The television was useless: we don’t have cable, and the mast on top of the North Tower, which Ana had watched fall, had relayed all the network channels. I knew I had to go down and see the wreckage. Later I would realize how lucky I had been not to suffer from “disaster envy.” Unbelievably, in retrospect, I commuted into work the second day after the attack, dogged by the same unnerving sensation that I would not get back—to the wounded, humbled former center of the world. My students were uneasy, all talked out. I was a novelty, a New Yorker living in the Village a mile from the towers, but I was forty-eight hours late. Out of place in both places. I felt torn up, but not angry. Back in the city at night, people were eating and drinking with a vengeance, the air filled with acrid sicklysweet smoke from the burning wreckage. Eyes stang and nose ran with a bitter acrid taste. Who knows what we’re breathing in, we joked nervously. A friend’s wife had fallen out with him for refusing to wear a protective mask in the house. He shrugged a wordlessly reassuring smile. What could any of us do? I walked with Ana down to the top of West Broadway from where the towers had commanded the skyline over SoHo; downtown dense smoke blocked the view to the disaster. A crowd of onlookers pushed up against the barricades all day, some weeping, others gawping. A tall guy was filming the grieving faces with a video camera, which was somehow the worst thing of all, the first sign of the disaster tourism that was already mushrooming downtown. Across the street an Asian artist sat painting the street scene in streaky black and white; he had scrubbed out two white columns where the towers would have been. “That’s the first thing I’ve seen that’s made me feel any better,” Ana said. We thanked him, but he shrugged blankly, still in shock I supposed. On the Friday, the clampdown. I watched the Mayor and Police Chief hold a press conference in which they angrily told the stream of volunteers to “ground zero” that they weren’t needed. “We can handle this ourselves. We thank you. But we don’t need your help,” Commissioner Kerik said. After the free-for-all of the first couple of days, with its amazing spontaneities and common gestures of goodwill, the clampdown was going into effect. I decided to go down to Canal Street and see if it was true that no one was welcome anymore. So many paths through the city were blocked now. “Lock down, frozen zone, war zone, the site, combat zone, ground zero, state troopers, secured perimeter, national guard, humvees, family center”: a disturbing new vocabulary that seemed to stamp the logic of Giuliani’s sanitized and over-policed Manhattan onto the wounded hulk of the city. The Mayor had been magnificent in the heat of the crisis; Churchillian, many were saying—and indeed, Giuliani quickly appeared on the cover of Cigar Afficionado, complete with wing collar and the misquotation from Kipling, “Captain Courageous.” Churchill had not believed in peacetime politics either, and he never got over losing his empire. Now the regime of command and control over New York’s citizens and its economy was being stabilized and reimposed. The sealed-off, disfigured, and newly militarized spaces of the New York through which I have always loved to wander at all hours seemed to have been put beyond reach for the duration. And, in the new post-“9/11” post-history, the duration could last forever. The violence of the attacks seemed to have elicited a heavy-handed official reaction that sought to contain and constrict the best qualities of New York. I felt more anger at the clampdown than I did at the demolition of the towers. I knew this was unreasonable, but I feared the reaction, the spread of the racial harassment and racial profiling that I had already heard of from my students in New Jersey. This militarizing of the urban landscape seemed to negate the sprawling, freewheeling, boundless largesse and tolerance on which New York had complacently claimed a monopoly. For many the towers stood for that as well, not just as the monumental outposts of global finance that had been attacked. Could the American flag mean something different? For a few days, perhaps—on the helmets of firemen and construction workers. But not for long. On the Saturday, I found an unmanned barricade way east along Canal Street and rode my bike past throngs of Chinatown residents, by the Federal jail block where prisoners from the first World Trade Center bombing were still being held. I headed south and west towards Tribeca; below the barricades in the frozen zone, you could roam freely, the cops and soldiers assuming you belonged there. I felt uneasy, doubting my own motives for being there, feeling the blood drain from my head in the same numbing shock I’d felt every time I headed downtown towards the site. I looped towards Greenwich Avenue, passing an abandoned bank full of emergency supplies and boxes of protective masks. Crushed cars still smeared with pulverized concrete and encrusted with paperwork strewn by the blast sat on the street near the disabled telephone exchange. On one side of the avenue stood a horde of onlookers, on the other television crews, all looking two blocks south towards a colossal pile of twisted and smoking steel, seven stories high. We were told to stay off the street by long-suffering national guardsmen and women with southern accents, kids. Nothing happening, just the aftermath. The TV crews were interviewing worn-out, dust-covered volunteers and firemen who sat quietly leaning against the railings of a park filled with scraps of paper. Out on the West Side highway, a high-tech truck was offering free cellular phone calls. The six lanes by the river were full of construction machinery and military vehicles. Ambulances rolled slowly uptown, bodies inside? I locked my bike redundantly to a lamppost and crossed under the hostile gaze of plainclothes police to another media encampment. On the path by the river, two camera crews were complaining bitterly in the heat. “After five days of this I’ve had enough.” They weren’t talking about the trauma, bodies, or the wreckage, but censorship. “Any blue light special gets to roll right down there, but they see your press pass and it’s get outta here. I’ve had enough.” I fronted out the surly cops and ducked under the tape onto the path, walking onto a Pier on which we’d spent many lazy afternoons watching the river at sunset. Dust everywhere, police boats docked and waiting, a crane ominously dredging mud into a barge. I walked back past the camera operators onto the highway and walked up to an interview in process. Perfectly composed, a fire chief and his crew from some small town in upstate New York were politely declining to give details about what they’d seen at “ground zero.” The men’s faces were dust streaked, their eyes slightly dazed with the shock of a horror previously unimaginable to most Americans. They were here to help the best they could, now they’d done as much as anyone could. “It’s time for us to go home.” The chief was eloquent, almost rehearsed in his precision. It was like a Magnum press photo. But he was refusing to cooperate with the media’s obsessive emotionalism. I walked down the highway, joining construction workers, volunteers, police, and firemen in their hundreds at Chambers Street. No one paid me any attention; it was absurd. I joined several other watchers on the stairs by Stuyvesant High School, which was now the headquarters for the recovery crews. Just two or three blocks away, the huge jagged teeth of the towers’ beautiful tracery lurched out onto the highway above huge mounds of debris. The TV images of the shattered scene made sense as I placed them into what was left of a familiar Sunday afternoon geography of bike rides and walks by the river, picnics in the park lying on the grass and gazing up at the infinite solidity of the towers. Demolished. It was breathtaking. If “they” could do that, they could do anything. Across the street at tables military policeman were checking credentials of the milling volunteers and issuing the pink and orange tags that gave access to ground zero. Without warning, there was a sudden stampede running full pelt up from the disaster site, men and women in fatigues, burly construction workers, firemen in bunker gear. I ran a few yards then stopped. Other people milled around idly, ignoring the panic, smoking and talking in low voices. It was a mainly white, blue-collar scene. All these men wearing flags and carrying crowbars and flashlights. In their company, the intolerance and rage I associated with flags and construction sites was nowhere to be seen. They were dealing with a torn and twisted otherness that dwarfed machismo or bigotry. I talked to a moustachioed, pony-tailed construction worker who’d hitched a ride from the mid-west to “come and help out.” He was staying at the Y, he said, it was kind of rough. “Have you been down there?” he asked, pointing towards the wreckage. “You’re British, you weren’t in World War Two were you?” I replied in the negative. “It’s worse ’n that. I went down last night and you can’t imagine it. You don’t want to see it if you don’t have to.” Did I know any welcoming ladies? he asked. The Y was kind of tough. When I saw TV images of President Bush speaking to the recovery crews and steelworkers at “ground zero” a couple of days later, shouting through a bullhorn to chants of “USA, USA” I knew nothing had changed. New York’s suffering was subject to a second hijacking by the brokers of national unity. New York had never been America, and now its terrible human loss and its great humanity were redesignated in the name of the nation, of the coming war. The signs without a referent were being forcibly appropriated, locked into an impoverished patriotic framework, interpreted for “us” by a compliant media and an opportunistic regime eager to reign in civil liberties, to unloose its war machine and tighten its grip on the Muslim world. That day, drawn to the river again, I had watched F18 fighter jets flying patterns over Manhattan as Bush’s helicopters came in across the river. Otherwise empty of air traffic, “our” skies were being torn up by the military jets: it was somehow the worst sight yet, worse than the wreckage or the bands of disaster tourists on Canal Street, a sign of further violence yet to come. There was a carrier out there beyond New York harbor, there to protect us: the bruising, blustering city once open to all comers. That felt worst of all. In the intervening weeks, we have seen other, more unstable ways of interpreting the signs of September 11 and its aftermath. Many have circulated on the Internet, past the blockages and blockades placed on urban spaces and intellectual life. Karl-Heinz Stockhausen’s work was banished (at least temporarily) from the canon of avant-garde electronic music when he described the attack on las torres gemelas as akin to a work of art. If Jacques Derrida had described it as an act of deconstruction (turning technological modernity literally in on itself), or Jean Baudrillard had announced that the event was so thick with mediation it had not truly taken place, something similar would have happened to them (and still may). This is because, as Don DeLillo so eloquently put it in implicit reaction to the plaintive cry “Why do they hate us?”: “it is the power of American culture to penetrate every wall, home, life and mind”—whether via military action or cultural iconography. All these positions are correct, however grisly and annoying they may be. What GK Chesterton called the “flints and tiles” of nineteenth-century European urban existence were rent asunder like so many victims of high-altitude US bombing raids. As a First-World disaster, it became knowable as the first-ever US “ground zero” such precisely through the high premium immediately set on the lives of Manhattan residents and the rarefied discussion of how to commemorate the high-altitude towers. When, a few weeks later, an American Airlines plane crashed on take-off from Queens, that borough was left open to all comers. Manhattan was locked down, flown over by “friendly” bombers. In stark contrast to the open if desperate faces on the street of 11 September, people went about their business with heads bowed even lower than is customary. Contradictory deconstructions and valuations of Manhattan lives mean that September 11 will live in infamy and hyper-knowability. The vengeful United States government and population continue on their way. Local residents must ponder insurance claims, real-estate values, children’s terrors, and their own roles in something beyond their ken. New York had been forced beyond being the center of the financial world. It had become a military target, a place that was receiving as well as dispatching the slings and arrows of global fortune. Citation reference for this article MLA Style Deer, Patrick and Miller, Toby. "A Day That Will Live In … ?" M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 5.1 (2002). [your date of access] < http://www.media-culture.org.au/0203/adaythat.php>. Chicago Style Deer, Patrick and Miller, Toby, "A Day That Will Live In … ?" M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 5, no. 1 (2002), < http://www.media-culture.org.au/0203/adaythat.php> ([your date of access]). APA Style Deer, Patrick and Miller, Toby. (2002) A Day That Will Live In … ?. M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 5(1). < http://www.media-culture.org.au/0203/adaythat.php> ([your date of access]).

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Pavlidis, Adele, and David Rowe. "The Sporting Bubble as Gilded Cage." M/C Journal 24, no.1 (March15, 2021). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2736.

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Abstract:

Introduction: Bubbles and Sport The ephemeral materiality of bubbles – beautiful, spectacular, and distracting but ultimately fragile – when applied to protect or conserve in the interests of sport-media profit, creates conditions that exacerbate existing inequalities in sport and society. Bubbles are usually something to watch, admire, and chase after in their brief yet shiny lives. There is supposed to be, technically, nothing inside them other than one or more gasses, and yet we constantly refer to people and objects being inside bubbles. The metaphor of the bubble has been used to describe the life of celebrities, politicians in purpose-built capital cities like Canberra, and even leftist, environmentally activist urban dwellers. The metaphorical and material qualities of bubbles are aligned—they cannot be easily captured and are liable to change at any time. In this article we address the metaphorical sporting bubble, which is often evoked in describing life in professional sport. This is a vernacular term used to capture and condemn the conditions of life of elite sportspeople (usually men), most commonly after there has been a sport-related scandal, especially of a sexual nature (Rowe). It is frequently paired with connotatively loaded adjectives like pampered and indulged. The sporting bubble is rarely interrogated in academic literature, the concept largely being left to the media and moral entrepreneurs. It is represented as involving a highly privileged but also pressurised life for those who live inside it. A sporting bubble is a world constructed for its most prized inhabitants that enables them to be protected from insurgents and to set the terms of their encounters with others, especially sport fans and disciplinary agents of the state. The Covid-19 pandemic both reinforced and reconfigured the operational concept of the bubble, re-arranging tensions between safety (protecting athletes) and fragility (short careers, risks of injury, etc.) for those within, while safeguarding those without from bubble contagion. Privilege and Precarity Bubble-induced social isolation, critics argue, encourages a loss of perspective among those under its protection, an entitled disconnection from the usual rules and responsibilities of everyday life. For this reason, the denizens of the sporting bubble are seen as being at risk to themselves and, more troublingly, to those allowed temporarily to penetrate it, especially young women who are first exploited by and then ejected from it (Benedict). There are many well-documented cases of professional male athletes “behaving badly” and trying to rely on institutional status and various versions of the sporting bubble for shelter (Flood and Dyson; Reel and Crouch; Wade). In the age of mobile and social media, it is increasingly difficult to keep misbehaviour in-house, resulting in a slew of media stories about, for example, drunkenness and sexual misconduct, such as when then-Sydney Roosters co-captain Mitchell Pearce was suspended and fined in 2016 after being filmed trying to force an unwanted kiss on a woman and then simulating a lewd act with her dog while drunk. There is contestation between those who condemn such behaviour as aberrant and those who regard it as the conventional expression of youthful masculinity as part of the familiar “boys will be boys” dictum. The latter naturalise an inequitable gender order, frequently treating sportsmen as victims of predatory women, and ignoring asymmetries of power between men and women, especially in hom*osocial environments (Toffoletti). For those in the sporting bubble (predominantly elite sportsmen and highly paid executives, also mostly men, with an array of service staff of both sexes moving in and out of it), life is reflected for those being protected via an array of screens (small screens in homes and indoor places of entertainment, and even smaller screens on theirs and others’ phones, as well as huge screens at sport events). These male sport stars are paid handsomely to use their skill and strength to perform for the sporting codes, their every facial expression and bodily action watched by the media and relayed to audiences. This is often a precarious existence, the usually brief career of an athlete worker being dependent on health, luck, age, successful competition with rivals, networks, and club and coach preferences. There is a large, aspirational reserve army of athletes vying to play at the elite level, despite risks of injury and invasive, life-changing medical interventions. Responsibility for avoiding performance and image enhancing drugs (PIEDs) also weighs heavily on their shoulders (Connor). Professional sportspeople, in their more reflective moments, know that their time in the limelight will soon be up, meaning that getting a ticket to the sporting bubble, even for a short time, can make all the difference to their post-sport lives and those of their families. The most vulnerable of the small minority of participants in sport who make a good, short-term living from it are those for whom, in the absence of quality education and prior social status, it is their sole likely means of upward social mobility (Spaaij). Elite sport performers are surrounded by minders, doctors, fitness instructors, therapists, coaches, advisors and other service personnel, all supporting athletes to stay focussed on and maximise performance quality to satisfy co-present crowds, broadcasters, sponsors, sports bodies and mass media audiences. The shield offered by the sporting bubble supports the teleological win-at-all-costs mentality of professional sport. The stakes are high, with athlete and executive salaries, sponsorships and broadcasting deals entangled in a complex web of investments in keeping the “talent” pivotal to the “attention economy” (Davenport and Beck)—the players that provide the content for sale—in top form. Yet, the bubble cannot be entirely secured and poor behaviour or performance can have devastating effects, including permanent injury or disability, mental illness and loss of reputation (Rowe, “Scandals and Sport”). Given this fragile materiality of the sporting bubble, it is striking that, in response to the sudden shutdown following the economic and health crisis caused by the 2020 global pandemic, the leaders of professional sport decided to create more of them and seek to seal the metaphorical and material space with unprecedented efficiency. The outcome was a multi-sided tale of mobility, confinement, capital, labour, and the gendering of sport and society. The Covid-19 Gilded Cage Sociologists such as Zygmunt Bauman and John Urry have analysed the socio-politics of mobilities, whereby some people in the world, such as tourists, can traverse the globe at their leisure, while others remain fixed in geographical space because they lack the means to be mobile or, in contrast, are involuntarily displaced by war, so-called “ethnic cleansing”, famine, poverty or environmental degradation. The Covid-19 global pandemic re-framed these matters of mobilities (Rowe, “Subjecting Pandemic Sport”), with conventional moving around—between houses, businesses, cities, regions and countries—suddenly subjected to the imperative to be static and, in perniciously unreflective technocratic discourse, “socially distanced” (when what was actually meant was to be “physically distanced”). The late-twentieth century analysis of the “risk society” by Ulrich Beck, in which the mysterious consequences of humans’ predation on their environment are visited upon them with terrifying force, was dramatically realised with the coming of Covid-19. In another iteration of the metaphor, it burst the bubble of twenty-first century global sport. What we today call sport was formed through the process of sportisation (Maguire), whereby hyper-local, folk physical play was reconfigured as multi-spatial industrialised sport in modernity, becoming increasingly reliant on individual athletes and teams travelling across the landscape and well over the horizon. Co-present crowds were, in turn, overshadowed in the sport economy when sport events were taken to much larger, dispersed audiences via the media, especially in broadcast mode (Nicholson, Kerr, and Sherwood). This lucrative mediation of professional sport, though, came with an unforgiving obligation to generate an uninterrupted supply of spectacular live sport content. The pandemic closed down most sports events and those that did take place lacked the crucial participation of the co-present crowd to provide the requisite event atmosphere demanded by those viewers accustomed to a sense of occasion. Instead, they received a strange spectacle of sport performers operating in empty “cathedrals”, often with a “faked” crowd presence. The mediated sport spectacle under the pandemic involved cardboard cut-out and sex doll spectators, Zoom images of fans on large screens, and sampled sounds of the crowd recycled from sport video games. Confected co-presence produced simulacra of the “real” as Baudrillardian visions came to life. The sporting bubble had become even more remote. For elite sportspeople routinely isolated from the “common people”, the live sport encounter offered some sensory experience of the social – the sounds, sights and even smells of the crowd. Now the sporting bubble closed in on an already insulated and insular existence. It exposed the irony of the bubble as a sign of both privileged mobility and incarcerated athlete work, both refuge and prison. Its logic of contagion also turned a structure intended to protect those inside from those outside into, as already observed, a mechanism to manage the threat of insiders to outsiders. In Australia, as in many other countries, the populace was enjoined by governments and health authorities to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 through isolation and immobility. There were various exceptions, principally those classified as essential workers, a heterogeneous cohort ranging from supermarket shelf stackers to pharmacists. People in the cultural, leisure and sports industries, including musicians, actors, and athletes, were not counted among this crucial labour force. Indeed, the performing arts (including dance, theatre and music) were put on ice with quite devastating effects on the livelihoods and wellbeing of those involved. So, with all major sports shut down (the exception being horse racing, which received the benefit both of government subsidies and expanding online gambling revenue), sport organisations began to represent themselves as essential services that could help sustain collective mental and even spiritual wellbeing. This case was made most aggressively by Australian Rugby League Commission Chairman, Peter V’landys, in contending that “an Australia without rugby league is not Australia”. In similar vein, prominent sport and media figure Phil Gould insisted, when describing rugby league fans in Western Sydney’s Penrith, “they’re lost, because the football’s not on … . It holds their families together. People don’t understand that … . Their life begins in the second week of March, and it ends in October”. Despite misgivings about public safety and equality before the pandemic regime, sporting bubbles were allowed to form, re-form and circulate. The indefinite shutdown of the National Rugby League (NRL) on 23 March 2020 was followed after negotiation between multiple entities by its reopening on 28 May 2020. The competition included a team from another nation-state (the Warriors from Aotearoa/New Zealand) in creating an international sporting bubble on the Central Coast of New South Wales, separating them from their families and friends across the Tasman Sea. Appeals to the mental health of fans and the importance of the NRL to myths of “Australianness” notwithstanding, the league had not prudently maintained a financial reserve and so could not afford to shut down for long. Significant gambling revenue for leagues like the NRL and Australian Football League (AFL) also influenced the push to return to sport business as usual. Sport contests were needed in order to exploit the gambling opportunities – especially online and mobile – stimulated by home “confinement”. During the coronavirus lockdowns, Australians’ weekly spending on gambling went up by 142 per cent, and the NRL earned significantly more than usual from gambling revenue—potentially $10 million above forecasts for 2020. Despite the clear financial imperative at play, including heavy reliance on gambling, sporting bubble-making involved special licence. The state of Queensland, which had pursued a hard-line approach by closing its borders for most of those wishing to cross them for biographical landmark events like family funerals and even for medical treatment in border communities, became “the nation's sporting hub”. Queensland became the home of most teams of the men’s AFL (notably the women’s AFLW season having been cancelled) following a large Covid-19 second wave in Melbourne. The women’s National Netball League was based exclusively in Queensland. This state, which for the first time hosted the AFL Grand Final, deployed sport as a tool in both national sports tourism marketing and internal pre-election politics, sponsoring a documentary, The Sporting Bubble 2020, via its Tourism and Events arm. While Queensland became the larger bubble incorporating many other sporting bubbles, both the AFL and the NRL had versions of the “fly in, fly out” labour rhythms conventionally associated with the mining industry in remote and regional areas. In this instance, though, the bubble experience did not involve long stays in miners’ camps or even the one-night hotel stopovers familiar to the popular music and sport industries. Here, the bubble moved, usually by plane, to fulfil the requirements of a live sport “gig”, whereupon it was immediately returned to its more solid bubble hub or to domestic self-isolation. In the space created between disciplined expectation and deplored non-compliance, the sporting bubble inevitably became the scrutinised object and subject of scandal. Sporting Bubble Scandals While people with a very low risk of spreading Covid-19 (coming from areas with no active cases) were denied entry to Queensland for even the most serious of reasons (for example, the death of a child), images of AFL players and their families socialising and enjoying swimming at the Royal Pines Resort sporting bubble crossed our screens. Yet, despite their (players’, officials’ and families’) relative privilege and freedom of movement under the AFL Covid-Safe Plan, some players and others inside the bubble were involved in “scandals”. Most notable was the case of a drunken brawl outside a Gold Coast strip club which led to two Richmond players being “banished”, suspended for 10 matches, and the club fined $100,000. But it was not only players who breached Covid-19 bubble protocols: Collingwood coaches Nathan Buckley and Brenton Sanderson paid the $50,000 fine imposed on the club for playing tennis in Perth outside their bubble, while Richmond was fined $45,000 after Brooke Cotchin, wife of team captain Trent, posted an image to Instagram of a Gold Coast day spa that she had visited outside the “hub” (the institutionally preferred term for bubble). She was subsequently distressed after being trolled. Also of concern was the lack of physical distancing, and the range of people allowed into the sporting bubble, including babysitters, grandparents, and swimming coaches (for children). There were other cases of players being caught leaving the bubble to attend parties and sharing videos of their “antics” on social media. Biosecurity breaches of bubbles by players occurred relatively frequently, with stern words from both the AFL and NRL leaders (and their clubs) and fines accumulating in the thousands of dollars. Some people were also caught sneaking into bubbles, with Lekahni Pearce, the girlfriend of Swans player Elijah Taylor, stating that it was easy in Perth, “no security, I didn’t see a security guard” (in Barron, Stevens, and Zaczek) (a month later, outside the bubble, they had broken up and he pled guilty to unlawfully assaulting her; Ramsey). Flouting the rules, despite stern threats from government, did not lead to any bubble being popped. The sport-media machine powering sporting bubbles continued to run, the attendant emotional or health risks accepted in the name of national cultural therapy, while sponsorship, advertising and gambling revenue continued to accumulate mostly for the benefit of men. Gendering Sporting Bubbles Designed as biosecurity structures to maintain the supply of media-sport content, keep players and other vital cogs of the machine running smoothly, and to exclude Covid-19, sporting bubbles were, in their most advanced form, exclusive luxury camps that illuminated the elevated socio-cultural status of sportsmen. The ongoing inequalities between men’s and women’s sport in Australia and around the world were clearly in evidence, as well as the politics of gender whereby women are obliged to “care” and men are enabled to be “careless” – or at least to manage carefully their “duty of care”. In Australia, the only sport for women that continued during the height of the Covid-19 lockdown was netball, which operated in a bubble that was one of sacrifice rather than privilege. With minimum salaries of only $30,000 – significantly less than the lowest-paid “rookies” in the AFL – and some being mothers of small children and/or with professional jobs juggled alongside their netball careers, these elite sportswomen wanted to continue to play despite the personal inconvenience or cost (Pavlidis). Not one breach of the netballers out of the bubble was reported, indicating that they took their responsibilities with appropriate seriousness and, perhaps, were subjected to less scrutiny than the sportsmen accustomed to attracting front-page headlines. National Netball League (also known after its Queensland-based naming rights sponsor as Suncorp Super Netball) players could be regarded as fortunate to have the opportunity to be in a bubble and to participate in their competition. The NRL Women’s (NRLW) Premiership season was also completed, but only involved four teams subject to fly in, fly out and bubble arrangements, and being played in so-called curtain-raiser games for the NRL. As noted earlier, the AFLW season was truncated, despite all the prior training and sacrifice required of its players. Similarly, because of their resource advantages, the UK men’s and boy’s top six tiers of association football were allowed to continue during lockdown, compared to only two for women and girls. In the United States, inequalities between men’s and women’s sports were clearly demonstrated by the conditions afforded to those elite sportswomen inside the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) sport bubble in the IMG Academy in Florida. Players shared photos of rodent traps in their rooms, insect traps under their mattresses, inedible food and blocked plumbing in their bubble accommodation. These conditions were a far cry from the luxury usually afforded elite sportsmen, including in Florida’s Walt Disney World for the men’s NBA, and is just one of the many instances of how gendered inequality was both reproduced and exacerbated by Covid-19. Bursting the Bubble As we have seen, governments and corporate leaders in sport were able to create material and metaphorical bubbles during the Covid-19 lockdown in order to transmit stadium sport contests into home spaces. The rationale was the importance of sport to national identity, belonging and the routines and rhythms of life. But for whom? Many women, who still carry the major responsibilities of “care”, found that Covid-19 intensified the affective relations and gendered inequities of “home” as a leisure site (Fullagar and Pavlidis). Rates of domestic violence surged, and many women experienced significant anxiety and depression related to the stress of home confinement and home schooling. During the pandemic, women were also more likely to experience the stress and trauma of being first responders, witnessing virus-related sickness and death as the majority of nurses and care workers. They also bore the brunt of much of the economic and employment loss during this time. Also, as noted above, livelihoods in the arts and cultural sector did not receive the benefits of the “bubble”, despite having a comparable claim to sport in contributing significantly to societal wellbeing. This sector’s workforce is substantially female, although men dominate its senior roles. Despite these inequalities, after the late March to May hiatus, many elite male sportsmen – and some sportswomen - operated in a bubble. Moving in and out of them was not easy. Life inside could be mentally stressful (especially in long stays of up to 150 days in sports like cricket), and tabloid and social media troll punishment awaited those who were caught going “over the fence”. But, life in the sporting bubble was generally preferable to the daily realities of those afflicted by the trauma arising from forced home confinement, and for whom watching moving sports images was scant compensation for compulsory immobility. The ethical foundation of the sparkly, ephemeral fantasy of the sporting bubble is questionable when it is placed in the service of a voracious “media sports cultural complex” (Rowe, Global Media Sport) that consumes sport labour power and rolls back progress in gender relations as a default response to a global pandemic. Covid-19 dramatically highlighted social inequalities in many areas of life, including medical care, work, and sport. For the small minority of people involved in sport who are elite professionals, the only thing worse than being in a sporting bubble during the pandemic was not being in one, as being outside precluded their participation. Being inside the bubble was a privilege, albeit a dubious one. But, as in wider society, not all sporting bubbles are created equal. Some are more opulent than others, and the experiences of the supporting and the supported can be very different. The surface of the sporting bubble may be impermanent, but when its interior is opened up to scrutiny, it reveals some very durable structures of inequality. Bubbles are made to burst. They are, by nature, temporary, translucent structures created as spectacles. As a form of luminosity, bubbles “allow a thing or object to exist only as a flash, sparkle or shimmer” (Deleuze, 52). In echoing Deleuze, Angela McRobbie (54) argues that luminosity “softens and disguises the regulative dynamics of neoliberal society”. The sporting bubble was designed to discharge that function for those millions rendered immobile by home confinement legislation in Australia and around the world, who were having to deal with the associated trauma, risk and disadvantage. Hence, the gender and class inequalities exacerbated by Covid-19, and the precarious and pressured lives of elite athletes, were obscured. We contend that, in the final analysis, the sporting bubble mainly serves those inside, floating tantalisingly out of reach of most of those outside who try to grasp its elusive power. Yet, it is a small group beyond who wield that power, having created bubbles as armoured vehicles to salvage any available profit in the midst of a global pandemic. References AAP. “NRL Makes Desperate Plea to Government as It Announces Season Will Go Ahead.” 7News.com.au 15 Mar. 2020. 8 Mar. 2021 <https://7news.com.au/sport/rugby-league/nrl-makes-desperate-plea-to-government-as-it-announces-season-will-go-ahead-c-745711>. Al Jazeera English. “Sports TV: Faking Spectators and Spectacles.” The Listening Post 26 Sep. 2020 <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0AlD63s26sQ&feature=youtu.be&t=827>. Barron, Jackson, Kylie Stevens, and Zoe Zaczek. “WAG Who Broke into COVID-19 Bubble for an Eight-Hour Rendezvous with Her AFL Star Boyfriend Opens Up on ‘How Easy It Was’—and Apologises for ‘Really Big Mistake’ That Cost Club $50,000.” The Daily Mail 19 Aug. 2020. 8 Mar. 2021 <https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8638959/WAG-AFL-star-sacked-season-coronavirus-breach-reveals-easy-sneak-in.html>. Bauman, Zygmunt. Liquid Modernity. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2000. Beck, Ulrich. Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity. London: Sage, 1992. Benedict, Jeff. Public Heroes, Private Felons: Athletes and Crimes against Women. Boston: Northeastern Uni. Press, 1999. Benfante, Agata, Marialaura di Tella, Annunziata Romeo, and Lorys Castelli. “Traumatic Stress in Healthcare Workers during COVID-19 Pandemic: A Review of the Immediate Impact.” Frontiers in Psychology 11 (23 Oct. 2020). Blaine, Lech. “The Art of Class War.” The Monthly. 17 Aug. 2020. 8 Mar. 2021 <https://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2020/august/1596204000/lech-blaine/art-class-war#mtr>. Brooks, Samantha K., Rebecca K. Webster, Louise E. Smith, Lisa Woodland, Simon Wessely, Neil Greenberg, and Gideon J. Rubin. “The Psychological Impact of Quarantine and How to Reduce It: Rapid Review of the Evidence.” The Lancet 26 Feb. 2020. 8 Mar. 2021 <https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30460-8/fulltext>. Caust, Jo. “Coronavirus: 3 in 4 Australians Employed in the Creative and Performing Arts Could Lose Their Jobs.” The Conversation 20 Apr. 2020. 8 Mar. 2021 <https://theconversation.com/coronavirus-3-in-4-australians-employed-in-the-creative-and-performing-arts-could-lose-their-jobs-136505>. Connor, James. “The Athlete as Widget: How Exploitation Explains Elite Sport.” Sport in Society 12.10 (2009): 1369–77. 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Goodwin, Sam. “AFL Boss Left Fuming over ‘Out of Control’ Quarantine Party.” Yahoo! Sport 8 Sep. 2020. 8 Mar. 2021 <https://au.sports.yahoo.com/afl-2020-uproar-out-of-control-quarantine-party-224251554.html>. Griffith News. “New Research Shows Why Musicians among the Hardest Hit by COVID-19.” 18 June 2020. 8 Mar. 2021 <https://news.griffith.edu.au/2020/06/18/new-research-shows-why-musicians-among-the-hardest-hit-by-COVID-19>. Hart, Chloe. “‘This Is the Hardest It’s Going to Get’: NZ Warriors Open Up about Relocating to Australia for NRL.” ABC News 8 Aug. 2020. 8 Mar. 2021 <https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-08/nz-warriors-open-up-about-relocation-to-australia-for-nrl/12531074>. Hooper, James. “10 Broncos Hit with Fines as Club Cops Huge Sanction over Pub Bubble Breach.” Fox Sports 18 Aug. 2020. 8 Mar. 2021 <https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/nrl-premiership/teams/broncos/nrl-2020-brisbane-broncos-pub-covid19-bubble-breach-fine-sanctions-who-was-at-the-pub/news-story/d3bd3c559289a8b83bc3fccbceaffe78>. Hytner, Mike. “AFL Suspends Season and Cancels AFLW amid Coronavirus Crisis.” The Guardian 22 Mar. 2020. 8 Mar. 2021 <https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2020/mar/22/afl-nrl-and-a-league-press-on-despite-restrictions>. Jones, Wayne. “Ray of Hope for Medical Care across Border.” Echo Netdaily 14 Aug. 2020. 8 Mar. 2021 <https://www.echo.net.au/2020/08/ray-of-hope-for-medical-care-across-border>. Jouavel, Levi. “Women’s Football Shutdowns: ‘It’s Unfair Boys’ Academies Can Still Play’.” BBC News 10 Nov. 2020. 8 Mar. 2021 <https://www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-54876198>. Keh, Andrew. “We Hope Your Cheers for This Article Are for Real.” The New York Times 16 June 2020. 8 Mar. 2021 <https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/16/sports/coronavirus-stadium-fans-crowd-noise.html>. Kennedy, Else. “‘The Worst Year’: Domestic Violence Soars in Australia during COVID-19.” The Guardian 1 Dec. 2020. 8 Mar. 2021 <https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/dec/01/the-worst-year-domestic-violence-soars-in-australia-during-COVID-19>. Keoghan, Sarah. “‘Everyone’s Concerned’: Players Cop 70% Pay Cut.” Sydney Morning Herald 28 Mar. 2020. 8 Mar. 2021 <https://www.smh.com.au/sport/netball/everyone-s-concerned-players-cop-70-per-cent-pay-cut-20200328-p54esz.html>. Knox, Malcolm. “Gambling’s Share of NRL Revenue Could Well Double: That Brings Power.” Sydney Morning Herald. 15 May 2020. 8 Mar. 2021 <https://www.smh.com.au/sport/gambling-s-share-of-nrl-revenue-could-well-double-that-brings-power-20200515-p54tbg.html>. McGrath, Pat. “Racing Victoria Got $16.6 Million in Emergency COVID Funding: Then Online Horse Racing Gambling Revenue Skyrocketed.” ABC News 3 Nov. 2020. 8 Mar. 2021 <https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-11-03/racing-victoria-emergency-coronavirus-COVID-funding/12838012>. McRobbie, Angela. The Aftermath of Feminism: Gender, Culture and Social Change. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2009. Madden, Helena. “Lebron James’s Suite in the NBA Bubble Is Fit for a King.” Robb Report 16 Sep. 2020. 8 Mar. 2021 <https://robbreport.com/travel/hotels/lebron-james-nba-bubble-suite-1234569303>. Maguire, Joseph. “Sportization.” The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology. Ed. George Ritzer. Oxford: Blackwell, 2007. 4710–11. Mathieson, Craig. “Michael Jordan Pierces the Bubble of Elite Sport in Juicy ESPN Doco.” Sydney Morning Herald. 13 May 2020. 8 Mar. 2021 <https://www.smh.com.au/culture/tv-and-radio/michael-jordan-pierces-the-bubble-of-elite-sport-in-juicy-espn-doco-20200511-p54rwc.html>. Maurice, Megan. “Australia’s Summer of Cricket during COVID Is about Money and Power—and Men”. 6 Jan. 2021. 8 Mar. 2021 <https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2021/jan/06/australias-summer-of-cricket-during-COVID-is-about-money-and-power-and-men>. Murphy, Catherine. “Cricket Australia Contributed to Circ*mstances Surrounding Ball-Tampering Scandal, Review Finds”. ABC News 20 Oct. 2018. 8 Mar. 2021 <https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-10-29/scathing-report-released-into-cricket-australia-culture/10440972>. News.com.au. “How an AFL Star Wide’s Instagram Post Led to a Hefty Fine and a Journalist Being Stood Down.” NZ Herald 3 Aug. 2020. 8 Mar. 2021 <https://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/how-an-afl-star-wifes-instagram-post-led-to-a-hefty-fine-and-a-journalist-being-stood-down/7IDR4SXQ6QW5WDFBV42BK3M7YQ>. Nicholson, Matthew, Anthony Kerr, and Merryn Sherwood. Sport and the Media: Managing the Nexus. 2nd ed. London: Routledge, 2015. Pavlidis, Adele. “Being Grateful: Materialising ‘Success’ in Women’s Contact Sport.” Emotion, Space and Society 35 (2020). 8 Mar. 2021 <https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1755458620300207>. Phillips, Sam. “‘The Future of the Season Is in Their Hands’: Palaszczuk’s NRL Warning.” Sydney Morning Herald 10 Aug. 2020. 8 Mar. 2021 <https://www.smh.com.au/sport/nrl/the-future-of-the-season-is-in-their-hands-palaszczuk-s-nrl-warning-20200810-p55k7j.html>. Pierik, Jon, and Ryan, Peter. “‘I Own the Consequences’: Stack, Coleman-Jones Apologise for Gold Coast Incident.” The Age 5 Sep. 2020. 8 Mar. 2021 <https://www.theage.com.au/sport/afl/i-own-the-consequences-stack-apologises-for-gold-coast-incident-20200905-p55spq.html>. 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