This week has been a heavy one for our country. I’m looking at the theme of vulnerability. I don’t think anything can make a human more vulnerable then being forced to follow directions from a person of authority who is holding a gun at them in point blank range. Especially when they live with the knowledge that they are 700% more likely to be profiled and shot if they are a black male. Can we start to change the political discourse that is heightening fear, hate, and violence? Can we start to be the United States rather than the Divided States.
This is what happens when you pick a neghborhood based on commuting… and then you end up working from home. Next time, I’ll go for community with trees.
- What types of “involvement” – and by the author/creator(s), participant(s), and/or audience – are apparent in this story? In this story the public art serves as the creator or author for the piece. Those who pass by become the participants if the choose to engage with the lights. I suppose the shouting and whooping from the participants makes the author light up and interact with the audience and participants. The audience could be anyone walking by, people watching the groups of people making the lights flicker. It would also be anyone who is engaging with the video and watching after the fact.
- How would you characterize the “literacy dimensions” present in this story? This story has no traditional story line. I find this a very postmodern display of public art where each interaction with a participant is unique. How loud they yell, or scream, or hoot, and woot makes the lights move in response. My interpretation is that this is an example of fan art with a digital mode of drawing. In this digital clip the music adds a dimension of cohesion to the interaction with the lights. In another clip another clip we see more of the participants experience with the lights and as an audience we are reading their expressions and group interaction more.
- What are the online spaces and sites that bring this story to life? Why do these spaces and sites matter to the impact of the given story? I originally found this digital story online through PBS however, I went to the Vimeo site to find the clip above. Within the article it adds more discussion around using art that interacts with the audience and the meaning this creates. I think finding the video alone allowed me to give my own interpretation. I was drawn to this because I can imagine that many people at first may feel a little silly or vulnerable yelling up at the lights, but quickly the interaction and narrative begin to develop as the interaction is seen as playful and fun.
- Based upon your assessment of involvement and literacy dimensions, what modifications and changes to this digital story might improve aspects of narrative, production, media usage, and/or audience engagement? I think that there could have been a little more text in the video to give some context to the piece. Of course the narrative in this piece is really based on the interaction with the participants. The creator, Virdee, “thinks there is broad potential for this kind of thinking in the storytelling space, particularly as the nature of narrative changes when a multitude of voices can contribute to a work even just by viewing it” (Nord). I think the production quality could have been a little better, I enjoyed hearing the interaction, but would have like to see the people’s expression. I think remixing the clip with the second clip with all the participants would be interesting. This would have strengthened the audience engagement since showing the participation was important to really see the narrative play out.
This week the idea of thinking about writing about the self was probably the most terrifying, and yet, needed distraction. I have had one of those weeks where I feel I am being forced to own my story because of the connections in my life. I have been operating this week with a constant thrush of adrenaline buzzing under my skin. It’s like been stuck in flight or flight mode when you really wish there was an easy button to press to get you back to neutral. I have wanted to hide under the covers, but also know I need to stand in the truth of my life. This is what vulnerability feels like, but it allows us to write a brave new ending if we choose. It’s times where you are trying to be brave that the real people in your life show up and allow you to been seen, heard, and supported. I am truly grateful for this and them.
This is where I should probably say, “I’m sorry, that may have been a little TMI!” However, I’m not going to do that because in this weeks readings there was the idea of our authentic self and on how we write about the self in this digital space. According to Davies and Merchant (2006), “Writing online provides us with the opportunity to “author the self ”(Holland et al. 1998), to sustain a narrative of identity (Giddens 1991), and even to explore a number of different stories of the self, but these identities always are forged through our connection with others” (pg.26). Writing online is in itself a act of vulnerability, it will be seen, read, and commented on. I have wanted to figure out what my narrative would sound like online, but I have never had the courage to place my words into the public’s hands. And here I am today, doing it when I feel pretty raw and open, so I’m going to take the advice of Dr. Brene Brown when it comes to reading comments.
However, it does seem that, “allowing the boundaries between seriousness and play, between home and academ-ic lives to blur is a new way of writing that blogging promotes” (Davies and Merchant, 2006, pg.21). This new way of writing indicates that this form may allow for a more authentic voice to come through, one that combines the elements of live that make up who we are. I was interested in the idea or Expressive Writing and how this form of writing is used. When I used to be a victim advocate writing was a tool for healing. It was often private and not placed in the digital space, but through the act of writing survivors started thriving again. They would often become speakers and advocates themselves. John Evans (2012) suggests, “often, expressive writing is turbulent and unpredictable, and that is Ok. Expressive writing is not so much what happened as it is about how you feel about what happened or is happening.” So my guess is this type of writing is not meant a blog. Step 4 states, “Write only for yourself: You may plan to destroy or hide what you are writing. Do not turn this exercise into a letter. This exercise is for your eyes only” (Evans, 2012). I suppose that this exercise could lead to a honest understanding of how you are feeling, which may get written into a blog at some point. I think there can be a community within the digital space and perhaps I’ll find my way in to one.
I am late to the arena this week, but I made it to the arena! This week that means I’m still learning and engaging with life. Activities that felt a little daunting earlier this week, so I’ll take that win and go with it.
There is always something that throws me off each week. I used WordItOut to create a wordcloud that represents my experience in this course so far. For the life of me, I cannot get the wordcloud to display on this page. I have included the link to my creation. If anyone has any suggestions of how to get this to display, I am happy to take them and try again. It was fun to create, just not as much fun to post!