Onward to block 2

The visual artefacts have been fantastic – I had real trouble tearing myself away from them this weekend, there’s so much to say about each one. It makes no sense to try to summarise such rich diversity of  thinking and expression. However it does seem to me that a few themes have tended to dominate: the utopia/dystopia opposition; the question of text/image and the ways in which meaning emerges differently across different media; the nature of identity and the way we manage our digital existences across multiple nodes of the network; and – perhaps more subtly – the implications of all this for the digital ‘classroom’.

I think we should extend the commenting period for a few days, while also turning attention to the next block of study – it’s going to be interesting to see how these themes extend into the next few weeks. This is where you conduct a piece of ethnographic micro-research in an attempt to think through the notion of online ‘community’. The plan is that this week we will discuss ideas for communities that you’d like to look at, and share thoughts on media you might use for presenting your ethnography, while also doing the readings. We’ll kick off discussion in the – until now barely used! – discussion board and see how it goes. I imagine ideas will migrate from there to blogs and to Twitter.

After this week, you’ll be working largely alone in conducting and presenting your ethnography, though in week 7 we should have some good exchanges going on around the ethnographic representations as they start appearing. This seemed to work really well for the visual artefacts.

Thanks everyone for the work you’ve put in over the last few weeks – it’s been really terrific.

3 Responses to “Onward to block 2”

  1. Tony McNeill says:

    Great pic – it’s the politics of the cabinet of curiosities again though no?

  2. sian says:

    Not if you follow the link through to the Saatchi Gallery! – I think this image *is* the artist, critquing notions of the ethnographic, and doing what one critic described as:

    “investigating the larger issues around representation in the 19th Century of the subject races, studio portraiture, the ideas of decoration and the gaze.”

    see http://www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk/artists/pushpamala_n.htm

  3. Tony McNeill says:

    Exactly, that’s what I meant – critical take on race/class/gender politics of European collecting and classifying – see http://digitalculture-ed.net/tonym/2009/10/15/worrying-about-the-cabinet-of-curiosities/