"Lajja"-Taslima Nasreen

Sagorika Sen

The year was 1992. The Bharatiya Janata party, the Hindu Right wing political party of India partook in the destruction of the Babri mosque in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. Immediately the mood in the air was of distrust, hatred & absolute war between two of the main religions in India- the Hindus & the Muslims. Communal rioting had spread across states, neighbours killed neighbours, brothers turned haters in the name of religion. It is this troublesome political clime that makes for the basis of the plot for Taslima Nasrin’s novella titled “ Lajja” meaning “Shame”. Published in 1993 “Lajja” takes on myriad issues of subcontinental culture particularly in the country of Bangladesh. Through the story and characters of the Hindu Dutta family she discusses issues of communalism (being bigger than nationalism) , she underscores the lower social status relegated to women in her country and boldly discusses the sensitive relationship between the Hindu minorities & Muslim majority .



From a globalisation perspective, even though Taslima’s novella breaks the the barriers of language and transcends through the minds of several readers from multiple nations, her book was banned in her own homeland of Bangladesh. The radical Bangladeshi Islamists had trouble conceding with the views expressed against the treatment of minority hindus in a riot inflicted Bangladesh. Muslim advocacy groups issued a “fatwa” or a religious ban against her that has till date kept her away from her country for the last eighteen years. Even though culturally Bangladeshi Hindus & Muslims are similar their different religions have bred a culture of animosity between them. In Chapter 3 of the “Globalization & Culture” book , SamueL Huntington talks about the “clash of civilizations” as a perspective on cultural difference. Historically too, these two communities have been at war since 1947 and the Partition of colonial India. Sudhamoy one of the protagonists in the story, has immense amount of belief in his motherland & so do his wife & children. His son however soon comprehends the futility of his beliefs and soon turns toward violence against the Muslims to avenge his family’s plight.



Taslima’s work also makes one question the issue of cultural identity in a nation that preaches secularism but is home to a large population of Muslims & a tiny proportion of Hindus. Suddenly being Bangladeshi is no longer important but religion become the central periphery of everything.



From the point of view of covergence culture Taslima’s book was widely appreciated across nations. The content of “Lajja” was seeked out accross various platforms and important national organizations have even bestowed upon Taslina several awards for her boldness and her sheer spirit of humanism. The country of France has even offered her free citizenship. This is also extremely weird since France today is dealing with it’s own issues of extreme immigration from the “Maghreb “ region of Africa.



I truly believe that Taslima Nasrin’s novella “Lajja” truly encompasses the globalisation & convergence culture schools of though and is an impressive cultural work that has inspired not only member states of the subcontinent but has transcended through national & cultural borders


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Lauren Jones

In his work entitled “The Question of Cultural Identity”, Henry Jenkins states that the idea of a convergence culture signifies the way in which we relate to and think about media and, furthermore, how this relationship with media shapes the world in which we live. Looking at media, then, what does our world say about us?

external image Cultural_identity.jpg

Take, for example, the website Gawker, a self-proclaimed “news and gossip sheet for followers of entertainment, media, and business.” Through hybridization, and the public’s desire for scandal, this particular style of blog has become common in modernity, i.e. The Huffington Post, Perez Hilton and Tosh.O on television. Hybridity, as defined by Marwan Kraidy in the book, “Hybridity, or the Culture Logic of Globalization”, refers to a paradigm where the incurring themes and ideas all at once contradict and reinforce one another. In today’s culture, we have created a source for obtaining knowledge where the line between fact and entertainment is blurred, between what is real and what is amusing. In this way, today’s society is creating something new, something with it’s own language and method of interpretation. The idea of satire is certainly not novel, instead it is the context within which the genre is utilized – news. Are we tired of the seemingly endless, increasingly depressing news cycle and need a more comical portrayal? Or do we just prefer our current events to be displayed in an entertaining, and rather crude, context?

What can we say about this on a global scale? Through technological advancements, we are able to see what is happening on the other side of the world at the click of a button. As previously mentioned, syndications such as the ones listed above tend to favor more salacious headlines - how, then, are we as nations portraying ourselves? Gawker, along with a slew of other news publications (including the Lede, the New York Times blog), has recently reported the on-goings of one Vladimir Putin and his battles with the punk-rock band Pussy Riot. The general consensus is that this particular ‘news’ item is that it is yet another one of the Russian President’s publicity stunts; indeed, some of his more memorable photo-ops include tigers, helicopters and the President, himself, shirtless.

In President Putin’s attempt to create an image for himself, he is also building one for his country – as is the case with all political figures. Stuart Hall discusses at length in his book, “The Question of Cultural Identity” the effects of globalization on a nation’s identity – and the loss there of. He states that nationality is not something that we as citizens are inherently born with, that it is learned and based on our environment. How has Putin, then, affected his nation in terms of identity? How has the world’s scrutiny on the country’s leadership also affected said identity? Our interactions with Gawker media and the dialogue it creates with our peers, in essence, builds the society, the network society, in which we live today, as stated by Manuel Castells in his work, “Materials for an Exploratory Theory of the Network Society”. Politics especially, says Castells, has become “a horse race, and a tragicomedy motivated by greed…a genre increasingly indistinguishable from TV scripts.”

When it is difficult to discern the difference between articles for amusement and articles for fact, how then are we to perceive the world around us? Critically. The aforementioned Henry Jenkins goes on to say that as a convergence culture, we are to collectively pool our knowledge together so as to make sense of our world (a collective intelligence). Various blogs, including Gawker, offer comment sections for discussions of the articles displayed. In this way, we are to work out our ideas of what is fact and what is entertainment as a whole. To decipher meaning from the onslaught of information, gossip and news alike, we must draw from each other and from many sources. In this way, our identity and our culture is what we make of it.

Works Cited:
http://advertising.gawker.com/gawker/

http://gawker.com/vladimir-putin/

http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/06/putin-jokes-about-orgies-to-cast-pussy-riot-protesters-as-degenerates/

Stuart Hall, "The Question of Cultural Identity," excerpt from Stuart Hall, David Held, Don Hubert, and Kenneth Thompson, eds. Modernity: An Introduction to Modern Societies. Oxford, UK; Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 1996.

Henry Jenkins, "Introduction to Convergence Culture," excerpt from Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York, NYU Press, 2008.

Marwan Kraidy, Hybridity, or the Cultural Logic of Globalization. (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2005).



Elizabeth-Burton Jones - Week 2 Wiki

Once there was a girl named Kady. She was from South Africa. When Kady’s parents made her move from South Africa to the United States, she was thrown into a school environment that was deeply segregated. This environment was….. high school.

After feeling alone in high school, she decided to become friends with Janis and Damian. However, Janis had an evil plan to seek revenge against the most popular girls in school, The Plastics.

But, how would they combine forces to conquer The Plastics? The answer was Kady. She was the inside scoop she was the way that they would create change. Kady’s mission was to become friends with The Plastics while simultaneously ruining their group. However, with her eye on the prize of ultimately making friends, she did not realize the gravity of the situation. She did not realize that she would create a hybrid race.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YjSIvmNjT8


SPOILER ALERT:

To make a long story short, Kady accomplished her mission. She ruined The Plastic group thus creating harmony in the high school. In the end, the high school broke down all of the barriers and came together as one group. The exclusive groups were no longer exclusive (at least not completely exclusive). But the point is, the groups started to coexist instead of being separate. The people were mixing. The traditions of wearing certain colors on certain days vanished. A new group was formed.

I believe that the movie Mean Girls is similar to cultural hybridity and applicable to this week’s topic because of the transformation and the result.


http://www.google.com/imgres?q=mean+girls+makeup&num=10&um=1&hl=en&client=safari&rls=en&biw=1197&bih=705&tbm=isch&tbnid=gXSqsSb4xOLI3M:&imgrefurl=http://screenshadowsgroup.com/2011/11/03/fakery-in-film-3-fresh-meat-2011-2/&docid=qfhPR_xZiyeQwM&imgurl=http://screenshadowsgroup.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/pic_1153884843_1.jpg&w=300&h=375&ei=58hOUMekK-2K0QH4voGQCA&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=443&vpy=137&dur=1999&hovh=251&hovw=201&tx=119&ty=102&sig=105619340114338739909&sqi=2&page=1&tbnh=167&tbnw=139&start=0&ndsp=18&ved=1t:429,r:2,s:0,i:78


In regards to transformation, the Kady character completely followed Marwan M. Kraidy’s idea of"trend to blend" (Kraidy 1). The Kady character actually blended in. She changed her physical appearance to fit in with The Plastics. While trying to fit in she became a blended character torn by her allegiance to Janice and her allegiance to The Plastics. Therefore, her “fusion” bridged the gap between the unpopular people and the popular people (Kraidy 5).

But, how did the division start. Well in the movie Mean Girls, the division was based on the high school stereotypes. Are you a nerd? Are you a jock? The people were characterized and then made to conform to these groups. Therefore, the groups started to develop a sense of pride, which is similar to Hall’s idea of the “national family”. Hall states, “however different its members may be in terms of class, gender, or race, a national culture seeks to unify them into one cultural identity, to represent them all as belonging to the same great national family” (Hall 616). The sense of belonging is not only evident when Kady yearns for high school friends but also evident with all of the school groups.

So why are there so many groups? The groups are in tact because of Regina. Regina is worshiped. She is feared. She is seeks to “expel the ‘others’ who threaten [her] identity” (Hall 615). In the beginning of the film, her power is everywhere. She controls the boys and the trends of the school. To “expel” others she logs people into her “Burn Book” and she also starts rumors about people. Of course there are other reasons as to why the high school is divided, but for the purpose of the paper, we can say that Regina has carefully picked her group of friends and tried to control the high school.

Regina is the force of main resistance. So why is she so resistant? The answer is the purity of it all. Besides the fact that Regina was a seriously mean girl, she (like many groups that wish to hold fast to their identities) was afraid of the chance of change. She did not want to lose the tradition and the power (Hall 599).

Therefore, I believe that “major resistance to accepting mixed identities in the world” exists because people are still afraid. No matter how open we are to people that are different, no matter how much we long for equality, there is always that fear, that little voice that warns us not to change. The voice represents everything that we long for: tradition and identities (Hall 622).

Being pro-hybridity, I believe that one day we will all figure out how to hold onto our beloved traditions while embracing the mixed identities of the world. Is it possible? Only time can tell.

My questions:

Where do we go from here? If we are meant to be hybrids, if we are truly meant to come together, where do we stand? Where do we pledge our allegiance?

Works Cited:

Marwan Kraidy, Hybridity, or the Cultural Logic of Globalization. (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2005). Read Preface and Chapter 1.

Stuart Hall, "The Question of Cultural Identity," excerpt from Stuart Hall, David Held, Don Hubert, and Kenneth Thompson, eds. Modernity: An Introduction to Modern Societies. Oxford, UK; Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 1996, pp. 596-601, 611-623.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0377092/quotes

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YjSIvmNjT8

http://www.google.com/imgres?q=mean+girls+makeup&num=10&um=1&hl=en&client=safari&rls=en&biw=1197&bih=705&tbm=isch&tbnid=gXSqsSb4xOLI3M:&imgrefurl=http://screenshadowsgroup.com/2011/11/03/fakery-in-film-3-fresh-meat-2011-2/&docid=qfhPR_xZiyeQwM&imgurl=http://screenshadowsgroup.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/pic_1153884843_1.jpg&w=300&h=375&ei=58hOUMekK-2K0QH4voGQCA&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=443&vpy=137&dur=1999&hovh=251&hovw=201&tx=119&ty=102&sig=105619340114338739909&sqi=2&page=1&tbnh=167&tbnw=139&start=0&ndsp=18&ved=1t:429,r:2,s:0,i:78


Paulina Johnson:: Week 2

The television, cinema, and computer industries are interesting forms of media in which convergence has taken place. Consumers are now able to view their favorite shows and movies on demand and are only limited by the speed of their internet connections. Televisions are engineered to provide enhanced media viewing capabilities, and these features extend to laptops, tablets, and cell phones as well. Disruptive innovators such as Netflix have come in and completely altered the multimedia entertainment industry. external image netflix-iphone1.jpgVideo rental retail stores like Blockbuster have had to adapt to these changes by instituting partnerships with satellite companies such as Dish Network (2). Through Blockbuster, Dish offers an enhanced video-on-demand experience and inventory. Jenkins describes convergence as “the flow of content across multiple media platforms [and] the cooperation between multiple media industries,” and this description illustrates this phenomenon brilliantly (3). Hybridity is not only witnessed among people, but is also evident in the very mediums through which culture is shared. It is now commonplace, at least in the West, to enjoy entertainment among differing mediums of technology—no one would think twice about it. In this sense, hybridity has a role in defining culture.

The idea of globalized culture can be a challenge to wrap around, because it can be construed in many different ways. I concur with the notion that globalization is uneven and therefore reinforces hegemonic societies in our world today. However, globalization does give us the means to share cultural experiences more fluidly, and one example of this is YouTube. YouTube allows everyone to become his or her own broadcaster, bringing the mass media down to the individual level (1). YouTube distribution has taken the concept of sharing and put it into practice, with huge benefits. It has become a pioneer of media forms, capitalizing on the notion of choice---we each can choose specifically how we wish to be entertained and are even given the option to entertain others with our own contributions, be they videos, remixes, or mere comments.

“He is hybrid because that’s the way his world is” (4). People themselves are products of globalization and a mix of culture. Though globalization involves a cultural hybridity of sorts, many people hold to the notions of tradition and origin. Wars are fought entirely over differences in national origin, religion, and other cultural identifiers. Will we ever reach a point where there will be less resistance to mixed identities, in spite of the fact that each of our identities is comprised of many factors?

:::

Anders Fagerjord, "After Convergence: YouTube and Remix Culture," in J. Hunsinger et al. (eds.),International Handbook of Internet Research, Springer Science+Business Media, 2010.

Daw, David. "DISH, Blockbuster Announce $10/Month Alternative to Netflix."PCWorld. N.p., 23 Sept. 2011. Web. 11 Sept. 2012. <http://www.pcworld.com/article/240493/dish_blockbuster_announce_10month_alternative_to_netflix.html>.

Henry Jenkins, "Introduction to Convergence Culture," excerpt fromConvergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York, NYU Press, 2008.

Jan Nederveen Pieterse,Globalization and Culture: Global Mélange(2nd ed. Rowman & Littlefield, 2009).


CCTP725: Week 2


Meggie Schmidt

Jan Nederveen Pieterse’s book titled “Globalization and Culture: Global Melange” states “A common thesis in media and cultural studies is global cultural homogenization.” She goes on to explain that many have hypothesized about a connection between modernity and globalization. This statement is obviously debatable. Although it is apparent that connections are drawn globally between various cultures and the impact of modernity, can that really be grounds for hybridity across cultures? I disagree with this notion that modernity has brought hybridity of cultures globally. Although the technology of modernity like the internet by means of art, music, and entertainment as well as streams of communication, have decreased the gap between cultures, hybridity may by a strong word to apply to the growing commonalities in terms of technology and communication worldwide. Modernity is important for its impact on connecting cultures globally and exposing the world to a new perspective on others.

Marwan Kraidy states in “Hybridity, or the Cultural Logic of Globalizaiton:" “…three interconnected realms of race, language, and ethnicity.” Although he elaborate on the three different realms, I think that most distinguishable is ethnicity. Ethnicity can include many factors such as one’s culture. This can consist of a common race, language, history, and tradition. In my opinion ethnicity is a catch all word because it really encompasses the three realms that Kraidy goes on to describe. Hybridity is characterized by ethnicity. Kraidy gives the examples of when the British settled India and the United States territory bringing with them their people, language, culture, and traditions. Their impact on these regions has influenced these territories and I believe helps other to understand the controversial word of Hybridity.

From the blending of people from different ethnicities, the term hybridity really takes on its full meaning. This influence could have brought about the term to define other things. Despite the commonalities that are found between cultures globally, there are still stereotypes that are associated with certain cultures, creating barriers to others of mixed identity.

In the article “Modernity: An Introduction to Modern Societies” globalization is associated with consumerism and “cultural homogenization.” The main argument is that through globalization, cultures, even those in “Third World” countries are able to see the rich consumerist nations of the west and emulate them by means of fashion, expressions, music, etc. Although this may be viewed as a blending of cultures, is it really grounds for categorizing certain nations as a hybrid? The article below describes how fashion in Iraq is become more westernized. Could this be a result of modernity or could it could be out of rebellion?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/culture-clash-emerges-in-iraq-as-conservative-clerics-battle-sassy-western-styles/2012/09/03/3d88a8ae-f591-11e1-863c-fe85c95ce4ed_story.html

There is no denying that modernity has had a major affect on globalization, specifically within the cultural component. However, I do not feel that hybridity is the proper characterization for describing the advances in communication and technology that are spreading globally.

References
Jan Nederveen Pieterse, Globalization and Culture: Global Melange, 2nd edition, Rowan & Littlefield
Marwan Kraidy in “Hybridity, or the Cultural Logic of Globalizaiton,”

“Modernity: An Introduction to Modern Societies”
The Washington Post, “Culture Class Emerges in Iraq as Conservative Clerics battle sassy Western Style,” Associate Press. 3 September 2012.



Seminar Discussion Week 2

Langford WIggins

When considering globalization and its effects, I think of global news and the access granted, through the internet, for all cultures to experience. My birthday being 9/11, I always gain experience in seeing the people who were affected by the tragedy. According to an article from History.com, “People around the world agreed: The terrorist attacks of the previous day had felt like attacks on everyone, everywhere. They provoked an unprecedented expression of shock, horror, solidarity and sympathy for the victims and their families. Citizens of 78 countries died in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania on September 11, and people around the world mourned lost friends and neighbors.” The coverage of this event is a prime example of globalization at work, using “sympathy” as the main component for bringing the world together. Though this may have been unintentional by journalists, newspapers, and networks around the world, the impact was still great.

Issues still arise in different cultures, when the question of globalization and its role in advancing the world are contemplated. According to the reading, globalization is an uneven process uplifting the developing and technologically advanced countries but isolating the poverty stricken countries. (Pieterse) While working at Voice of America, I have witnessed the journalists working to cover news that affects all areas of the globe, while promoting the democratic views of our country. We contribute objective views and spread awareness of inequalities around the world, with entities broadcasting to 43 different languages. However, when speaking with Cuban religious leaders, who were victims of persecution due to religious beliefs, were unable to access the radio waves, television coverage, or internet sites due to their government and lack of resources. The view of uneven globalization is prevalent, not causing harm to underdeveloped countries, but not increasing productivity as compared to the advanced countries.

Is globalization a means for competition in the corporate world or is it intended to bring humanity together? Many countries utilize technology along with the new media as a factor for connecting the world, for example Japan and Canon cameras via Facebook. Technology has also boosted many countries’ economic standings esp. China, with 45% growth since 2007(Escobar). I consider globalization a non-ending trend that has been in effect for centuries and has been utilizing the arts, via books, music, magazines, and fashion and TV/website productions. I do not see globalization being used in the most positive way, but I do notice the action it invokes in the public. While looking at the link below (Courtesy of YouTube another means of globalization) I noticed the major impact globalization and media have on different cultures.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6HRt1bH_dw


References
Pepe Escobar, 2011, The collapse of neoliberalism capitalism, http://www.salon.com/2011/09/26/asia_global_capitalism/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6HRt1bH_dw
loonyBG, 2011 Facts of Japan-Top of the world in technology, http://loonybg.hubpages.com/hub/Facts-of-Japan-Technologically-advanced
Jan Nederveen Pieterse, Globalization and Culture: Global Melange, 2nd edition, Rowan & Littlefield


Elisabet Diaz Sanmartin

In 2003, the documentary Capturing the Friedman’s won The Grand Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival, and became a significant piece on the documentary film genre. The director Andrew Jareki, portrays the dismemberment of a regular American family after the accusation and imprisonment of two family members for child molestation. What makes the film unique is that majority of the footage was taken from the families home movie archives recorded during the late 1980’s, several years before the “explosion” of YouTube as a new media phenomenon (Fagerjord 187). These family films were not meaning to be shown in film festivals, local theatres and different countries so the film depicts footage is direct and that has not been altered with the intention of being exhibited. Even so, the perception of what is truth, authentic and real remains tarnished.
Capturing the Friedmans 1.jpeg
Friedman's Family

Documentary Film as a genre has always centered itself around the delicate boundaries that separate reality, representation and reproduction. The complications with regards to maintaining a pure representation of reality arise when choosing the subject, the mean and the medium of the reproduction. After this process, reality becomes representation. This is because reality is linked with the way we understand ourselves and this perception is unique to every individual, as Stuart Hall states, “The fully unified, completed, secure, and coherent identity is a fantasy”. (Hall 598)
With the digital revolution, technology has been democratized, and a common person can have access to represent his own reality without investing a large amount of money in technology and distribution. Moreover, with net platforms like YouTube (especially YouTube), the distribution of a media product can reach any part of the globe with net coverage, without older restrictions of money, time and space. Now, everybody can be a documentary filmmaker, at least an amateur one. (Fagerjord 198.)
The editor of the website Rhizome describes one of the main risks of this process, stating that “We are in a time where the representation of reality is starting to assume the role of reality”. (Pinneaple_Jedi) One example of how encapsulating reality in a media product can be closer to a fantasy than to truth is the concept of Reality Shows. Under the guise of ¨reality¨, reality show participants have survived in remote jungles, bachelors have dated dozens of girls at one time and unknown people have lived together in a hermetic house for a year. But it is not only the mise-en-scéne that has been highly manipulated. Both, pre-production and production process with harsh castings and directors forcing situations in order to please the needs of the spectacle play a role. There is a large difference between documentaries and reality shows but theoretically they share the aim to represent reality. The omnipresence of reality shows on television has influenced the postmodern subject´s sense of identity and consequently the subject that Documentaries Films plans to depict (Hall 598).
Bachelor's Pad Reality show.jpeg
Bachelor's Pad. Reality Show


But where risk looms there is also reward. With the development and accessibility of new technology, new possibilities have reached the documentary genre. For example, the filmmaker Sepideh Farsi recorded Tehran without Permission with her cell phone “Nokia N95”. To a large extent she achieved a representation of Iranian’s capital without being noticed, thus, shortening the distance between reality and its representation. http://webp2.moma.org/explore/multimedia/videos/90/517
On the other hand, participatory culture has promoted amateur filmmakers and I believe that the easy access to recording, editing and distribution is creating a better understanding of the audiovisual language that cannot fully be achieved just by being a simple and passive spectator. Using Bruno Latour´s analogy “if there is a link between the invention of the newspaper and the possibility for citizens to articulate political opinions” there can be a link between the emerged digital technologies and the possibility for citizens to develop a better audiovisual culture which leads to a higher quality of the audiovisual medium and the expansion of film culture.


WORKS CITED
Anders Fagerjord, "After Convergence: YouTube and Remix Culture," in J. Hunsinger et al. (eds.), International Handbook of Internet Research, Springer Science+Business Media, 2010.
Stuart Hall, "The Question of Cultural Identity," excerpt from Stuart Hall, David Held, Don Hubert, and Kenneth Thompson, eds. Modernity: An Introduction to Modern Societies. Oxford, UK; Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 1996.
Pinneaple_Jedi. Representations on Reality. Online posting. 2011 http://rhizome.org/artbase/exhibitions/view/1508/
Bruno Latour, "Networks, Societies, Spheres: Reflections of an Actor-Network Theorist," International Journal of Communication 5 (2011).

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Arielle Orem- Week 2 Wiki

The theories of globalization, global-network theory, and remix culture can all be employed to analyze new media art, such as that displayed in the Whitney Museum of American Art’s exhibition Artport. As the museum’s website indicates, Artport is the museum’s “portal to Internet art and an online gallery space for commissions of net art and new media art… [providing] access to original art works commissioned specifically for artport by the Whitney; documentation of net art and new media art exhibition at the Whitney; and new media are in the Museum’s collection.” For this discussion, I would like to introduce a specific work displayed in Artport, a performance art piece by UBERMORGAN.COM entitled CLICKISTAN, which launched December 2, 2010.



CLICKISTAN represents the creation of what Stuart Hall would refer to as an imagined community among audience members. Hall emphasizes that “globalization is about the compression of time and space horizons and the creation of a world of instantaneity and depthlessness” (622). CLICKISTAN compresses time by repurposing visual elements from early arcade and computer games and combining them with a form of contemporary music knows as “chiptune.” Artport’s curator best describes the ways in which this artwork challenges the way we understand space, saying “[CLICKISTAN] invents its own territory – ruled by the click… The work’s title references both early net art’s exploration of the web-territory – in its resistance to traditional notions of ownership, authority, and the nation state – and the arrival of the click as the main paradigm of interaction, overruling previously established norms of dragging and dropping.” The click of the mouse creates Hall’s instant and depthless, globalized world.



Hall introduces a number of ways in which imagined communities construct national identities, including the “narrative of the nation” and “the invention of tradition.” The artwork itself, on its introductory page, creates a national narrative, saying: “Clickistan resides between the 7th and 8th bit of every byte/ it is ruled by generosity and playful curiosity/ its inhabitants are honest and filled with life/ they had been living poorly in an analog diaspora for many years/ they took some of their remains with them back home to CLICKISTAN.” This narrative provides an orientation for the “territory” of Clickistan, a description of the values citizens of Clickistan espouse, and a brief history of national migration.



Within this artwork Artport’s curator describes how “players encounter elements of net culture, such as a reference to the famous 2000-2002 Internet meme ‘All your base are belong to us,’ a broken-English phrase originating from the opening scene of the video game Zero Wing, poorly translated from Japanese.” In this sense, CLICKISTAN relies on the audience member’s familiarity with net-culture, internet memes, and Japanese video games to create meaning within this hypertext. Manuel Castells describes the importance of the individual in interpreting hypertexts, saying: “The hypertext is the vehicle of communication, thus the provider of shared cultural codes. But these codes are formal, voided of specific meaning… their communicative power comes from their capacity to be interpreted and re-arranged in a multi-vocality of meanings, depending on the receiver… “ (21). Audience members who have little to no experience with these references will interpret CLICKISTAN in very different ways than those who spend hours engaged in online activity.



References:
  1. http://whitney.org/Exhibitions/Artport
  2. http://whitney.org/www/clickistan/home.html
  3. Stuart Hall, "The Question of Cultural Identity," excerpt from Stuart Hall, David Held, Don Hubert, and Kenneth Thompson, eds. Modernity: An Introduction to Modern Societies. Oxford, UK: Mailden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 1996. pp 596-601, 611-623.
  4. http://whitney.org/Exhibitions/Artport/Commissions/Clickistan
  5. http://whitney.org/www/clickistan/intro.html
  6. Manual Castells, "Materials for an exploratory theory of the network society," British Journal of Sociology, 51/1 (January/March 2000), 5-24.

Stevie Chancellor - Week 2 Wiki Assignment

One of my favorite ways to find new music is on Pandora, the Internet music streaming site. I use it while I am doing my schoolwork and while I am working. It lets my music run without constant curation - unlike my WinAmp playlist, where I constantly have to skip songs to create working ambience. It also gives me new ways to experience music that is indicative of convergence culture as we’ve seen this week in the readings. We also seemed to love music in our introductions last week, so let’s look at a few ways that Pandora exemplifies this new remix culture!

Pandora is a music streaming service that allows users to create their own stations revolving around specific music interests. Pandora’s backend relies on the Music Genome Project, where software notes key traits amongst users’ listening preferences to generate new music for them to listen to. As a new media technology, Pandora exhibits many elements of convergence and remix culture. Most obvious to me is that Pandora allows users to make their own stations. There are some premade stations for you to start with but most become customized over time to suit the tastes of the listener. Much like Lessig described the shift to “read/write culture”, convergence culture places the ability to remix in the hands of amateurs where new genre combinations can develop (Lessig 2007). Before this access, people had higher barriers to putting different kinds of music together.

Another element of remix culture is in genre-splicing and recombination to make new genres of music.
This is a cut from one of my stations, showing the logic Pandora invokes to suggest new music for you to listen to.
This is a cut from one of my stations, showing the logic Pandora invokes to suggest new music for you to listen to.
Stations are created based on specific musical preferences rather than overarching genres. Pandora will tease out the elements of a song you like and make suggestions based on those specific musical traits, or “genes” as the Music Genome Project liked to call them. In that way, users can create their own genres or “splice” things together. Fagerjord argues that, “Media and genres are combinations of many characteristics that traditionally have occurred in stable combinations….On the web, each of these characteristics, each of the variables in this equation, may be mixed into a new genre in remix culture” (Fagerjord 192). In this way, Pandora is allowing users to remix traditional elements of music genres and recombine them to make new ones that they can share.

Another element of remix/convergence culture is the access of the same media forms across different listening devices. Before remix culture, the only way to listen to the radio was...well, with a radio that tuned into a particular FM or AM frequency. As Henry Jenkins describes, convergence culture involves the “flow of content across multiple media platforms…and the migratory behavior of media audiences who will go almost anywhere in search of the kinds of entertainment experiences they want” (Jenkins 7-8). Pandora is accessible across many different devices to allow the consumer to get the so-called “entertainment experiences” they desire. Pandora is available as a standalone website, as a mobile application for your smartphone, as an app for your gaming device or certain TVs, or in your car. There are a plethora of ways to access your Pandora stations digitally rather than being forced to use one device over another.

Sources
Anders Fagerjord, "After Convergence: YouTube and Remix Culture," in J. Hunsinger et al. (eds.), International Handbook of Internet Research, Springer Science+Business Media, 2010.

Henry Jenkins, "Introduction to Convergence Culture," excerpt from Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York, NYU Press, 2008.

Lawrence Lessig. (2007). How creativity is being strangled by the law. TED: Technology, entertainment, design. Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, TED Conferences. Video recording available at http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/larry_lessig_says_the_law_is_strangling_creativity.html



My Introduction to Globalization

Sara Anderson

The idea I came to the class with about Globalization is that technology as old as language has been facilitating travel and communication between peoples for ages. I had the notion that it revolved around cultural practices and individual’s interactions with one another. Imperialism, war, and economics occupied a different space in my mind for some reason, but of course they should be considered as equal to any other welcomed interaction between cultures and nations. I still boil many interactions down to how they are made possible by technology, but my ideas on globalization are beginning to fuse more.


This interdisciplinary approach to the broad topic of globalization extends to areas of study on which I have spent little to no time. The primary aspects with which I am unfamiliar are economics and politics as overviewed in Globalization and Culture. The main question I have is what it means to be a “successful state” in terms of globalization. I know this question is very basic, and I would like to develop it more. In the section “Globalization is Uneven”, the concept of monetary “asymmetric inclusion” or “hierarchical integration” is an intuitive explanation, but it seems too simple (14). It removes agency from the political entity, and doesn’t fully explain to my satisfaction how these states become so unequal.


The idea of hybridity as a commercial asset as proposed in Hybridity, or the Cultural Logic of Globalization was also something new to me, but was more familiar than other issues raised. Questions of identity, however, are significantly more familiar territory for me. How individuals are impacted by modernity has always been my more narrow focus in this field of study. Modernity: An Introduction to Modern Societies was a good reference point for me to the other readings. Its treatment of globalization is of course more narrow, but still fits within the broader scope of Globalization and Culture in particular.



References:

  1. Jan Nederveen Pieterse, Globalization and Culture: Global Mélange (2nd ed. Rowman & Littlefield, 2009).
  2. Marwan Kraidy, Hybridity, or the Cultural Logic of Globalization. (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2005).
  3. Stuart Hall, "The Question of Cultural Identity," excerpt from Stuart Hall, David Held, Don Hubert, and Kenneth Thompson, eds. Modernity: An Introduction to Modern Societies. Oxford, UK; Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 1996, pp. 596-601, 611-623.