Craft, Digital-Making and Gender Connotations

Go and search on Google the words ‘craft’ and ‘making.

If you don’t possess the weird and sporadic search results where Google suggests that you’re a divorced, middle-aged, suburban mother, you’ll probably notice a marked difference between the two definitions.

‘Making’ yields the stereotypically gruff and manly images of individuals creating various bits of furniture and vehicles and such. With maybe two out of the first set of images showing anything but individuals engaged in metalwork or woodwork, it’s pretty obvious that the role of ‘making’ is something that is typically mature-aged and male-centric.

making - Google Search

And in contrast, ‘crafting’.

craft - Google Search

The bright pastel colours and the utility of the objects is pretty distinguishing.

And although the latter may come off as juvenile and dainty in some way, there is opportunity for a line to be blurred with the introduction of 3D-printing.

Would 3D-printing be classified as craft? Initially, yes. Simply assumed to fill a niche market in society, the technology to 3D-print objects of growing utility (such as generated Minecraft worlds, to entire engines) has massively blurred the definition and gender connotations to both terms.

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JRNL101 – Portraits: Amy

amy_portrait

To accompany the afternoon of guilt associated to our week long procrastination, Amy is asked what she would change in history in the event that she was given a time machine. After a lengthy thought, she replied, “I’d probably go back in time and stop Kim Kardashian from making her first sex tape and becoming so famous as a result of it. I’m so dang sick of hearing about all the stupid and unimportant events in her life. Like, I could not care less about the fact she dyed her hair blonde. Good for her but that is just not newsworthy in the slightest!”

 

 

South Park, Scientology, and the Public Sphere

Envisioned as a 17th Century coffee-house, Jürgen Habermas’s concept of the ‘public sphere’ is both an observation and an ideology which is apparent throughout the modern world.

Without accidentally regurgitating information from my source lecture for this topic, the observation of the public sphere revolves around the notion that a public forum be enacted to discuss the everyday occurrences and issues faced by individuals. Free of economic and political influence, the occupants would discuss topics of the day in a tangible environment. Except, in the intangible, no such environment exists. Not one free from economic and political influence in any case.

Habermas goes on in scrutiny of this theorized environment that this coffee-house would be devoid of both minorities and anyone who weren’t the Upper-class. This is an accurate observation for his time. For the public spheres, and the ability to voice concerns over issues as equals, would only be held by those with power. Generally aristocratic in nature.

His criticism turns to voicing his thoughts on the process, seeing the public sphere as an egalitarian establishment, with all values and view equal in weight.

In the modern age, starting from the inception of media and its inexplicable evolution, this is not the case. Not all voices are heard, and not all are given equal weight. This can almost instantly be attributed to the incredibly obvious political and economic influences that are evident in individuals. No one wants to know their ideology is wrong, and will fight tooth and nail to defend it, even if it results in silencing opposition.

In a singular public sphere an individual with no wealth or political connections is guaranteed to be without a voice; silenced by their peers and those with political aspirations and money. In a fragmented society, and in a fragmented public sphere, they’re almost are guaranteed a voice. With a lesser audience, it can be assumed that you will be heard. Conversely with a large audience, you will not. The phrase “You need to be silent to be spoken to” comes to mind in relation to both of these statements.

With these fragmented societies and offshoot public spheres, the inclusion of minorities and the lower class is evident and welcome. This isn’t to say however that they are without political and economic influence. The biggest issue within the public spheres is scrutinizing what power the media may hold, if any. Do they influence perspective? Maybe through dog-whistling issues that should be ‘focused’ on, to control the narrative of everyday life?

A show not far from the forefront of stirring up controversy and debate, Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s ‘South Park’ takes an exceedingly brutish and hilarious take on criticizing Scientology in the episode “Trapped in the Closet”. The episode, like many of its preceding, caused outrage and absolutely vile backlash against the creators. It was even assumed that this is what led to the voice actor, Isaac Hayes’ (Voice of ‘Chef’) departure.

In a mild synopsis of the episode, the character Stan joins the Church of Scientology and it’s discovered that he’s the apparent reincarnation of L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the church. Introduced satirized characters such as Tom Cruise, John Travolta, and R. Kelly (all real life prominent members of the church apparently), all attempt to convince Stan to lead the church of Scientology, which leads to the trio trapping themselves in Stan’s closet.
When the church’s president reveals that the establishment is really a scam, Stan admits this to the world. Claiming he is not the  reincarnation of L. Ron Hubbard. And on that bombshell, his followers grow angry and just decide to threaten him with litigation as they depart.

The two prominent topics sparked throughout the episode pertained to the satirized sexuality of Tom Cruise (A topic, long since discussed apparently), and the ethics surrounding the Church of Scientology.

The reactions to this episode were wide-reaching, from abuse and threats of litigation from the actual Church of Scientology, to the departure of one of the show’s long-standing voice actors. The latter of which is interesting to note the cognitive dissonance between the lack of Hayes’ disputes over the repetitive attacks on Christianity throughout the show, but the lack of tolerance towards a single episode dedicated to mocking Scientology.

Now ignoring the actual content of the reactions, the actual pandemic of outrage fell short from the discussion it sparked. Even years after the episode, criticism of the Church was still justifiably widespread.

So overall, it can be assumed that the media can absolutely contribute to the debate within the public sphere. Allowing the ability to mock (there is a distinction between mocking and slander by the way) is incredibly pivotal to allowing debate within the public sphere. The media’s ability to open organisations up is dog-whistling and just pandering, but it isn’t without its merits. Because such mocking can lead to scrutiny and protection for those who may become too influenced or intimidated by an organisation.

I would like to hear someone else’s thoughts at all, but be sure to address the topic, rather than the content. I’m not the biggest fan of the show, and I do believe Hayes was slightly correct in the intolerance the show exhibits under the guise of ‘satire’, but his positioning and hypocrisy really makes his point moot. 

Anyway, yeah, say words.

Copyright, Content, and their Creators

Attached to the bottom of this post is a Prezi presentation thingy which focuses on the issues and possible solutions behind the problems surrounding copyright in industry media.

My opinion on the matter boils down to ensuring that content creators are both properly protected in the creation of their work, which permits adequate compensation and such if need be, but also allows some transparency and freedom of usage with content.
Regarding conglomerates specifically, the exposure that they can provide content creators is invaluable, and without it, work can be worthless. However, they’re not the same as individuals and shouldn’t be afforded the same protections as such.

Although I have no conceivable solution that can help, this is just my general reflection on the matter.

http://prezi.com/9ldoddzlsfn_/

Semiotics, Fabienne Cherisma, and Perspective [GRAPHIC]

I’ll begin by writing that this post will contain some incredibly graphic images, but I’ll try and articulate the pictures and add the images beyond the further reading tag.

Taken in the aftermath of the 2010 Haitian earthquakes, the first image shows the body of a 15 year-old girl shot dead, laying atop a small pile of picture frames. Unmistakable in how shocking the image is, it shows blood streaming from the site, down towards the photographer, with little to no interest shown by passersby who they themselves are scavenging what they can from the devastation of the earthquake.

The image quite obviously conveys disdain and disgust to what the girl was subjected to, and what she has now amounted to – just another tragic loss in a pretty fractured landscape.
It seems that the photographer(s) intend to suggest that she was shot for looting the picture frames, and it’s quite obvious how an audience would react to such shocking imagery. I mean, in a time of desperation, a near-child is shot for supposedly stealing from her local arts-and-crafts store?
The ideology this particular image warrants is that of an ‘understanding’ of the brutality and shear desperation people will go to in a third-world nation. I say this in a semi-sarcastic way in that the stereotypical opinion of an audience will be that desperation and cruelty would only occur in third-world nations, when this is in fact wrong.

HOWEVER

The second image, while just as shocking and graphic, shows an even worse scene. So just picture, the same lifeless body of Fabienne strewn across only half of the frame, is contrast against the dozen or so photographers vying for the best angle of her body. I’m talking a whole 9 photojournalists just encircling her body, not unlike vultures.

The context behind the second of these images is simply put as the photographer wishing to capture a scene of his colleagues working in the field. Inadvertently this second image brings additional connotations surrounding the ethics and integrity of the media. While to be fair, regardless of the photographers’ presence, the girl would’ve remained dead however this doesn’t exactly instill a level of empathy and compassion the photographer was trying to establish within the first of these images.
The ideology within this image require the audience to think to themselves on whether the lengths that people go to to bring them news is ‘worth it’. And regardless of whether they think it is or isn’t, should these events be brought to light be considered less of a waste – because if people refuse to read or watch news brought before them, then why bother.

Anyway, if you’re feeling that curious, look at the attached images and additional sources below to give some accurate context to the images, and maybe write and say whether or not it’s justified to be that invasive for the sake of a story.

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