web and technology
For our final performance, my group created an online chat room about sex robots in which each of us took on anonymous personas. We participated in the chat from separate locations, and only one member (the one who created the chat room) knew who each of us were. This was both a fun and frustrating process. First of all, it made me realize the inefficiency of technology. I thought that creating my screen name and logging in to the chat would take but a few minutes. I was wrong. I had to have at least three people help me create an account, download the correct program, and figure out how to connect to the chat. Technology was not working for me. Because I have a Mac, I had to download a specific type of AIM, which then didn't seem to work with other members.
While discussing gaming, I was interested in the difference between virtual reality and “meatspace.” Meatspace refers to the publicly shared physical reality of our society—it’s where most people carry out their daily lives. A lot of avid gamers seem to give up this reality, at least to some extent. But no matter how invested a person becomes in a virtual life, they can never fully escape the fact that they are still a part of the collective meatspace, and exist in this reality, too.
My final project was a collaborative one with cr88, in which we created word clouds of the full texts of The Plague and The Origin of Species to look at 1) the differences and commonalities between scientific and literary texts, as embodied by this bizarre representational form, and 2) different forms of literary analysis outside of the ones we are used to and how they can be useful. These were the images we produced:
The Origin of Species
After watching the film Teknolust, I thought back to my first web paper that addressed the idea of humanizing technology. In this paper I discussed the cyborg and the future of gender in robotics; I looked at various types of robot technology and the attribution of gender/ human characteristics to these technologies. I claimed that, "the more we actively interact with technology, the more desire there seems to be to humanize it--to make it not only an extension of ourselves, but to recreate what it means to be 'human' altogether." Thinking about this paper and these technologies in relation to Teknolust, I began wondering what it is about humans that makes us want to create things that look like us.
Our in class conversation on Monday with author Michael Chorost's skype was certainly dynamic. Although I enjoyed the topics discussed, I found that at one point I asked the wrong question and didn't get the more appropriate one across. If I could get the chance to speak with Chorost again, I'd ask him the following:
I thought others might enjoy images from a 2010 exhibit at Princeton called "Art of Science". They're really quite fascinating and beautiful.
From the "About" page:
"The Art of Science exhibition explores the interplay between science and art. These practices
both involve the pursuit of those moments of discovery when what you perceive suddenly
becomes more than the sum of its parts. Each piece in this exhibition is, in its own way, a
record of such a moment.