Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Future of the Humanities

When I first read this, I thought it was bullshit. I didn't understand how Digital Humanities had anything to do with Deformed Humanities but after going back and reading it, it all makes sense. Why I misunderstood was because when the article says, "This is a portmanteau that combines the words performance and deform into an interpretive concept premised upon deliberately misreading a text, for example, reading a poem backwards line by line." I thought, this has nothing to do with DH! But after, I started to understand that Deformed Humanities isn't just about the digital world, yes it does play a big role, but it's about taking a part something and created something new. You're always looking to create something different than the original piece.

Deformed Humanities is about learning new things in a different way. I thought a great example from the article was "Carpentry aspires to build from scratch, whereas the Deformed Humanities tears apart existing structures and uses the scrap." That's why this is evolving so much in this generation because it's something that people aren't used to doing. We're used to creating works of art instead of taking one and making something new. Poststructuralists can relate to the Deformed Humanities and DH because both the theories and concept have similar characteristics. Poststructuralists believe that there's no one meaning, they believe a text can have multiple meanings. It relates to DH because DH strives to find new things and to create a different meaning or to make it seem that way. In class, when we talked about how after reading a poem online, you can insert a hyperlink and have that link go to something completely different, making the reader find a new meaning to that poem. DH is really going to change the way we analyze texts and other works. I think it will open up more doors instead of strictly create a work, analyze it and letting people read it.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Bhabha: Movement Between Difference (and Dimensions)


This photograph is titled “Reality disfunction : Portal.” Its surrealist and magical qualities are representative of Homi Bhabha’s concept of the “beyondness” as discussed in the introduction of The Location of Culture. He describes the postmodern, postolonial, postfeminist, etc. “present” as a moment which understands itself as being “beyond.” He describes “beyond” as that which is “here and there, on all sides, fort/da, hither and thither, back and forth” (1). Much like Homi Bhabha’s understanding of the present “beyondness,” the box in this photograph is simultaneously present and not, appearing to flux between a definitive and solid space and some ethereal other place which reduces the object to a phantasm.
Jean-. Reality Disfunction : Portal. 2009. Flickr. Web. 25 Apr. 2015. 

Homi Bhabha is ultimately interested in the construction and function of cultural identity, especially as it emerges of “intererstices- the overlap and displacement of domains of difference – that the intersubjective and collective experiences of nationness, community interest, or cultural value are negotiated. How are subjects formed ‘in-between’, or in excess of, the sum of the ‘parts’ of difference?” (2). Again, I look to the box in this photograph. How can I understand the object at hand to be a box when it exists here inbetween two opposing dimensions, each assumedly containing different parts?

Bhabha suggests there to be evidence for “a more transnational and translational sense of the hybridity of imagined communities” (5). In other words, communities are not created necessarily by similarity, but must be mediated and move between difference. It is this movement between opposition that prevents “settling into primordial polarities” and neglects need for hierarchy (4). He writes, “private and public, past and present, the psyche and the social develop an interstitial intimacy. It is an intimacy that questions binary divisions through which such spheres of social experiences are often spatially opposed” (13). It is the movement between two opposed realms that collapses these binary oppositions which claim social difference and hierarchy, thus allowing for the development of community. Returning to the photograph once again, we acknowledge an impression of a trans-dimensional box which has been created by its movement between two opposed spaces, one physical and one ethereal. Its trans-dimensionality is essential to our critical interpretation of it as a meaningful subject of art. To understand this we must understand its movement, thus bringing us back again to Bhabha’s understanding of identity within movement between difference.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Bhabha

In his article "The Location Of Culture", Bhabha reflects upon the concept of the beyond, and how it is skewed to institute this idea of transcendence from person to person. Contrarily, Bhabha's representation of the beyond is a return to the present where in which we tend to reorganize and re inscribe a set of political and cultural ideas "Being in the beyond, then, is to inhabit an intervening space, as any dictionary will tell you. But to dwell in the beyond is also, as I have shown, to be part of a revisionary time, a return to the present to re institute our cultural contemporaneity, to re inscribe our human historic commonality; to touch the future on its hither side." Despite turmoil in regards to socio economic difference, class position, and sex, Bhabha argues that the discourse, or intersecting calamity between favorable and unfavorable leads to the construction of nationess. From a minority perspective, difference is seen to be "A complex, on going negotiation that seeks to authorize cultural hybridities that emerge in moments of historical transformation." Intriguingly, Bhabha uses a stairwell to embody the binaries between up and down, heaven and hell, etc.

Identifying the chaotic unfolding of history, the stairwell serves as a mediator, or middleman that lies between the extremities of polarities and striking opposites. Otherwise, the stairs are"an interstitial passage between fixed identifications that open up the possibility of cultural hybridity that entertains difference without an assumed or imposed hierarchy".


For my picture describing my take of the reading, I decided to use a simple freight train. Linearly, it runs a singular line within the realm of time, making pit stops to signify a new beginning, or segue into a moment in which each coming stop is underlined by the present when we arrive at our destination. Additionally, the influence of people, where they stand, and at which moment they get on and off constructs a sense of feverish angst. While people move around, come in, and dash out, the coming attractions in life are stiff armed by a hungry present, bound in certainty, but unable to detach from itself the label of a perpetual present grounded in rambling turmoil

306107-EARM-P1350047            

Cultural Hybridity

I think the 19 page "Introduction" of deserves a better title; but I digress.

Homi Bhabha articulates in his "Introduction" his ideas on culture and identity. It is not something that is fixed, but rather something that is ever shifting. He writes:
The move away from the singularities of 'class' or 'gender' as primary conceptual and organizational categories, has resulted in an awareness of the subject positions - of race, gender, generation, institutional location, geopolitical locale, sexual orientation - that inhabit any claim to identity in the modern world. What is theoretically innovative, and politically crucial, is the need to think beyond narratives of originary and initial subjectivities and to focus on those moments or processes that are produced in the articulation of cultural differences. These 'in-between' spaces provide the terrain for elaborating strategies of selfhood - singular or communal - that initiate new signs of identity, and innovative sites of collaboration, and contestation, in the act of defining the idea of society itself (Location of Culture, 1). 

I chose this image, for a few reasons. First, it shifts our vision a map. Rather than focusing solely on the map of the United States, you are forced to remember that our identity is not singular. We are not just "American," but we are a gathering, blending, and integration of many cultures from across the world.

Secondly, there is something uniquely temporary about this picture. It is not protected, as it is on a wall. Therefore this painting will be altered--colors will fade, likes will blur. Additionally, it could be painted over at any time. Or perhaps, it is not finished, perhaps the artist will choose to fill in each continent with color. It is not a finished product, but something that will continue to evolve.

Bhabha writes:
"It is in the emergence of the interstices-the overlap and displacement of domains of difference-that the intersubjective and collective experiences of nationness, community interest,or cultural value are negotiated"  
Similarly, the images of this map are overlapped and displaced.  The map demonstrates a collision of culture, which Bhabha argues is cultural hybridity.

Image Source

Living on the Borderlines of the Present

After only reading a few lines of the Introduction to The Location of Culture by Homi K. Bhabha, one particular jumped out at me and resonated with me. In the first paragraph, Bhabha says "Our existence today is marked by a tenebrous sense of survival, living on the borderlines of the 'present'" (Bhabha 1). This quote makes me think of how everyone is just trying to survive in this world. It's like were always on edge in the present waiting for something to happen in the future. This is my interpretation as to what borderlines of the present meant. I am not sure if I am looking at this quote wrong, but this makes sense to me. Bhabha continues his thoughts to talk about the "beyond" which he describes as being "neither a new horizon, nor a leaving behind of the past.....we find ourselves in the moment of transit where space and time cross to produce complex figures of difference-and identity, past and present, inside and outside, inclusion and exclusion" (Bhabha 2).

For my photo, I chose this picture which I found on Flickr. This photo is called Sunset and is owned by Mikael Svensson.  I chose this picture because when reading about the "beyond" all I could think of was a sunset. The lake or water setting reminded me of the present, the current, while the sun and clouds reminded me of the future, was yet to come. The in between, where the sky would meet the water made me think of the "beyond", that in between the now and the coming. This also made me think about the cultural segregation that Bhabha talked a lot about. The division of people, like the middle of the sunset divides the water and the sky.

 
 

I guess I am really curious as to what others thought of the beyond and what they chose for pictures to represent such an ideal. I hope that people can understand what I was getting to here with my picture and my explanation. It makes perfect sense to me, but I am wondering if it is easily distinguishable to others. Would Bhabha understand this interpretation?

Who's Story Will Be Told?

This photo represents immigration, a new beginning, and a movement of culture from one place to another. In a way, creating a new culture by contact. I chose to search for “immigrant” when picking a picture for this post because I thought it best represented this quote from the reading: “Where, once, the transmission of national traditions was the major theme of a world literature, perhaps we can now suggest that transnational histories of migrants, the colonized, or political refugees-these border and frontier conditions- may be the terrains of new world literature” (Bhabha 12).



This quote in particular, stuck out to me. The Bhabha reading was centered around the idea of multiculturalism and the representation of culture. Who’s stories are told, how they are represented and who gets to tell them… This also ties in with another important aspect of the Introduction, that there are competing factors within ethnic groups to express their cultures, as well as the overall competitiveness between different groups to represent their culture. Bhabha stresses the importance for cultural differences, however he makes sure that it is understood the difficulties in achieving this. 

Photo Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/minnesotahistoricalsociety/5096894782/in/photolist-8LoVff-aLHdX-nJCvU-4DgZBV-kx93J6-7WE52m-5GfS4d-4DmaPh-Jtirf-4DmP5m-dLN9CY-4Dhvpa-5D8qa3-5G4Cr6-5fWum5-5zSGqh-mYXyi-JtmUH-mZ75w-mYXyj-kkRho-bi5bz-7Yd8VR-5sVXCq-4Dm1jA-4DhsFz-7WE7Po-8FUBGu-dTmtQQ-57d8Qg-4Dhct6-dNnRnX-aGgTnt-7YgocU-4Dm913-n9JZ7-4oGDNZ-dgEW1-cXdV6w-8APDW1-77FGU8-7AtWwF-rbKBMK-9gV233-bzAiLY-hPK1R-aJsF2H-bzAiG9-mZaN6-mYnok

Race and Bhabha


"Social differences are not simply given to experience through an already authenticated cultural tradition; they are the signs of the emergence of community envisaged as a project – at once a vision and a construction – that takes you ‘beyond’ yourself in order to return, in a spirit of revision and reconstruction, to the political conditions of the present”

I chose this quote from Bhabha because I took it as, how you portray yourself in any culture is only based on the social characteristics of one’s culture. Although it does play a part, it isn’t based on just that. Who you are is based on multiple factors and the culture behind race, gender, etc is only one contributing factor.
 
The picture I used was of two children of different races, whether it's African-American, American, Asian, etc, it doesn't matter because it's how our society constructs them. There culture is changing because of what is around them instead of the history of their culture.

Articulating Culture



Homi Bhabha’s Location of Culture describes the time and place at which the ideas of cultures are created. One culture’s identity and community is formed when it comes in contact with another culture. The definition of each culture is redefined with every cultural/ethnic boundary. Social differences are constructed by the represented members of cultures. These differences are things that are “articulated.” This articulation of difference, as Bhabha says, is “a complex, on-going negotiation.” There is not a single and steadfast definition for each constructed culture. It is constantly changing based on its surroundings and its contact with others. 



I chose this picture of artwork on a chalkboard to represent some of Bhabha’s ideas. I think the chalkboard is important, because Bhabha points to the poststructural nature of cultural articulation and cultural differences. Because it is poststructural, the meaning that each culture or each representer/member of culture holds is defined by the surrounding cultures and the communication between the two. Therefore, it seems that cultures could be like art drawn on a chalkboard: intricate, detailed, and multifaceted, but able to be altered and erased by any hand that wishes to communicate with it. 
Also, the artwork can be seen as depicting the contact between cultures. If each kid in the drawing is a representer of culture, then their dance would be a negotiation that defines each of them. Without the context of their surroundings, they wouldn't have cultural identity.



Image:"Waldorf Chalkboard Drawing" Flickr Image by Xeaza

The Bhabha Must Not Be Hasitly Read

The representation of difference must not be hastily read as the reflection of pre-given ethnic or cultural traits set in the fixed tablet of tradition. The social articulation of difference, from the minority perspective, is a complex, on-going negotiation that seeks to authorize cultural hybridities that emerge in moments of historical transformation.

- The Location of Culture, page 2, Homi K. Bhabha.


I spent too long scouring the depths of Flickr for a Creative Commons/appropriate picture to pertain to this excerpt. Ingenious searches such as "minority identity" and "skin hybrid" bared unfruitful results, but of course a search as obvious as "paint" returned a number of exploitable images.

It took a quick glance strict democratic process, but eventually the committee settled on this one:




This painting represents a lot of different aspects of being within a minimalistic palette (the painting really only uses about five different colors). Below, I've broken down how each line of the excerpt relates to the painting.

The representation of difference must not be hastily read as the reflection of pre-given ethnic or cultural traits set in the fixed tablet of tradition. In other words, different cultures should not be distinguished by the presumptions of society. If we look at each color as single ethnic groups, there is clearly difference and uniqueness within the individual groups. For example, not all "green people" are the same - some are striped, some have cat-like eyes, some have circular eyes, etc. We should not differentiate a culture as singular based on what we assume is an overall understanding of the entire ethnicity. We should not liken the different ethnicities in Africa to each other based on our own understandings of "Africa."

 The social articulation of difference, from the minority perspective, is a complex, on-going negotiation that seeks to authorize cultural hybridities that emerge in moments of historical transformation. The social articulation refers to the "negotiated" singular identity created in order to address the wholeness of "others." What's striking is that the articulation of difference seeks to authorize hybridities, or hybrids. This sounds counterintuitive, as a hybrid would not be individualistically distinguishable, just as the gray soup of rainbow ice cream does not allow for separation of the individual flavors of the unmixed rainbow ice cream. The painting shows a cultural hybrid, what looks like a monster of joined color groups. In moments of historical transformation the social articulation of difference (or S.A.D.) wants to hybridize the separate cultures involved. In other words, history wants to be simplified. This could take away from what might be called micro-identities, such as the homosexual African-American culture, where S.A.D. would want to remember the homosexual struggle and the African-American struggle as one big struggle, but not as joint.

On the other hand, S.A.D. may be trying to allow for the distinguishing remembrance of hyper-minorities, such as the social group of homosexual African-Americans. This idea may concur with the idea of the minority perspective, which observes the emergence of hyper-minorities within the Venn diagram of history. In this way, the painting symbolizes a complex hyper-minority of several different identities. It no longer looks like a monster, but a beautiful piece of united and hybridized struggle, an authorized spotlight on a silent group beyond the larger social struggles of gender, race, economic class, and etc.

I hope I've done Bhabha justice, but if not...it's his fault.

- What is the connection between minority perspective and the "beyond" mentioned elsewhere in Bhabha's writing?

- How does the "borderline of the 'present'" and its constant shifting correlate to Derrida's constantly shifting center, and how do the changes in history shift the borderline?

I would also like to give recognition to the runner-up picture for this post, it was a tough decision:

 
 
Works Cited
Bhabha, Homi K. "Locations of Culture." Introduction. The Location of Culture. London: Routledge, 1994. 1-18. Internet Archive. Web. 23 Apr. 2015.
Howard, Gail. Doodle Painting Symbiosis 2 120 X 40 Cm. Digital image. Flickr. N.p., 19 July 2012. Web. 23 Apr. 2015.
Pereira, Michaela. Bon and Painting. Digital image. Flickr. N.p., 4 July 2014. Web. 23 Apr. 2015.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Locations of Culture: Multiculturalism

One of the key themes of this article is culture. The article mentions cultural differences as well as cultural diversity. A key term, which the article examines is Multiculturalism. We know from various English classes, that multiculturalism is all about cultural diversity and that it focuses on how cultural diversity evolves over time.
This image is from historias.biz which has a lot of interesting information about multiculturalism. In the image, we see what appears to be Earth and it is covered in various flags from various countries all over the world. It does not say which countries are which and it doesn't express anything about race which is essential because it shows that all cultures intertwine with one another, regardless of location, race, etc. Renee Green, an African American artist mentioned in the article, expressed her views on multiculturalism and the importance of understanding it.
She also mentions that there is a struggle for power between various ethnic groups as to who gets to speak and who represents who? Communities are generally and unfortunately divided up by race, such as the latino community and the white community etc. It is things like this that challenge multiculturalism which is what Renee focuses on.
This image represents a multicultural community and is worth viewing. Renee asks "What is a community anyway?" What do people in general think of the term community? Do you necessarily think of multi racial/cultural when you think of community? Or do people naturally divide community with race, economic status and neighborhoods etc.? These questions are up for debate!

To Difference... and 'Beyond'

For this blog, I've chosen a picture of a free spirited woman executing her freedom. In this image, we get a sense of what 'beyond' is. As Bhabha says, "beyond- neither new horizon nor a leaving behind of the past..." is exhibited here. She appears to remain where her feet are planted, but her body language conveys that she wants to take off into flight somehow and go somewhere else. Bhabha also says, "There is a sense of disorientation, a disturbance of direction, in the 'beyond'; an exploratory, restless movement."

I searched 'freedom' on flickr to find this image and I don't think any image could have more perfectly conveyed the biggest takeaway I had from Bhabha's reading. Without the idea of the 'beyond' there can be no multicultural difference. The woman in this image is showing her desire to move beyond. You can see the openness and the freedom of the ocean in the horizon, but the cliffs also serve as a barrier from the total freedom that could be. Bhabha examines this idea in a more broad discussion, citing cultures such as Korea, Mexico, Los Angeles, and others. Difference reaches far beyond the ocean.

Bhabha "Theories on colonialism and post colonialism"


Credit to Garrett Miller for the photo titled, "Segregation". In this article, Bhabha attempts to explain colonialism and post colonialism. Obviously, one of my first thoughts about it was the idea of segregating the "other" from the "norm". Segregation was a great tool for colonialism to make the colonizers feel good about what they were doing. They were not harming the natives, they were helping them. If they weren't helping them, then it didn't matter because the natives were "othered" thus dehumanizing them. The problem of racism traces back all the way to animal instinct. 


The quote above is from Bhabha's article, which asks the question of why this representation of empowerment exists as well as unnecessary conflict and antagonization. This photo helped me explain this on a more natural, genetic level. It is natural for animals to have a "pack mentality". The things that look and act like me are safe and those who don't are not. In this picture, there are two different groups of animals separated from one another. Although they know each other are not inherently predator and prey, they keep their distance. Racism can be traced back to this wariness of what is different from our own personal normal. 


This is a quote that discusses the purpose of "newness" as a way of defining past and present. I am sure there is much more to be gathered from this quotation, so I am hoping we have time to discuss it in class. Otherwise, thanks for reading!

Homi Bhabha-Boundaries

In the introduction to his book The Location of Culture, Homi Bhabha focuses heavily on the boundaries that are created between cultures and how by existing in the "beyond" in between such boundaries, one can gain a better understanding of the present. He argues that although the purpose of these so-called boundaries is to point out differences, there is nothing natural about them. Boundaries are constructed to point out differences because differences must be recognized if any kind of hierarchy is to be established. He says, "social differences are not simply given to experience through an already authenticated cultural tradition; they are signs of the emergence of community envisaged as a project - at once a vision and a construction - that takes you 'beyond' yourself in order to return, in a spirit of revision and construction, to the political conditions of the present" (p. 3). By existing in the "beyond" that is between boundaries, he thinks that one gets a more accurate experience of the present and the way of telling what will be history. He believes that "to dwell 'in the beyond' is...to be part of a revisionary time, a return to the present to redescribe our cultural contemporaneity; to rein scribe our human historic commonality; to touch the future on its hither side" (p. 7). 

The image that I chose is what I believe to represent that mystical area of the "beyond". The photo is called "Newsham Road TMO Level Crossing" by Jonathon Hurley and I found it on Flickr. I chose it because the image depicts a railroad passing between two fences (aka boundaries). I would think that a train passing on the tracks through this area would be existing in a kind of 'beyond' like Bhabha talks about.



While I thought Bhabha was a little hard to follow at times, especially when he referred to so many other literature and artistic works to make his points, I liked his idea of this "beyond". I think there's a lot of truth in the idea of getting a more authentic view of the present by existing a place between boundaries because you never really recognize your own culture until you step outside of it. There is just what you have determined as normal and how other cultures are different from your version of normal. By existing between two cultures, it would force you to look at both at the same time, rather than one based off the other, and I think that is what Bhabha is trying to make clear.

What did other people think about this mysterious "beyond"? Have you ever had an experience where you recognized how strange your own culture is by being in a place with a completely different culture?

Homi Bhabha


I am using an image of Mary Shelley's monster in Frankenstein to describe Bhabha's introduction to The Location of Culture because he represents confusion, dissonance, and interstice. He lives a tormented life, trapped between inclusion and exclusion, lacking any tradition or identity. He is completely isolated and without any past, leading a liminal existence, searching for something to call his own, but coming up with nothing. He eventually adopts a European identity, but he never assimilates into the culture because his appearance prevents him from being accepted as "the same". In similar ways, our postcolonial world still segregates people based on their physical appearances, languages, or dialects (i.e. AAVE).

The African American culture in the United States, for example, has grown from a dark past, flourishing and influencing the United States in fundamental ways, but there's still a divide between white and black America. How do two cultures, occupying the same geographic area, converge?

Homi Bhabha elaborates on this idea when he says, "we find ourselves in the moment of transit where space and time cross to produce complex figures of difference and identity, past and present, inside and outside, inclusion and exclusion. For there is a sense of disorientation, a disturbance of direction, in the 'beyond': an exploratory, restless movement" (1). 

One of the fundamental issues with colonialism was hegemony. Hegemony created the divide between "right" and "wrong" or "self" and "other", influencing colonized countries to lose sight of their own worth and identity. Our postcolonial world is shattered, and I think Bhabha believes we should pick up the pieces together, not as a culturally divided society.

Image Citation:


The Bride of Frankenstein. 31 December 1934. Promotional photo. Owens Archive/RKO Photos, Stamford, Connecticut. Web.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankenstein

Segregation as a Construct

Kashfi Halford 2006 (flickr.com)


I selected this photograph beacuse it clearly represents a very physical example of segregation in modern society. Bhabha states in the reading: “Social differences are not simply given to experience through an already authenticated cultural tradition; they are the signs of the emergence of community envisaged as a project.” I feel that this quote fits well with the photograph because it describes social differences as a construct that is created within the mind of an individual and implemented in the physical world; not the other way around. This is very similar to the way that the wall in the image itself would have been created. It would first be an idea then it would be passed to an architect and then to a builder before it would finally even begin to become a reality. In much the same way as segregation, this cannot happen in the oposite order. Segregation, or the creation of barriers between social differences, is not represented in the natural world and then implemented into a culture. Rather it must start with an idea that spawns within a single indevidual and is then transverssed to others to reinforce or create a physical representation of their own internal barrier.

I really enjoyed this reading not only beacsue of the excellent use of language but because of the way the information is presented. For me it has always felt strange that other people could care so much about the way that others live. However after reading this article I can more easily understand the ease at which people accept segregation. If the barrier between cultures is already in place when someone is learning about the world, they will percieve the barrier as being something natural, something that has always and will always be in place. From that perspective it is easy for me to understand how segregation flourishes so much in modern society. It is because we have allowed these social barriers, these constructs, to exist for so long that our culture has forgotten that they are no more natural than a plastic doll. In order to break down these walls, we as a society must understand that the barriers are fake and as such, have no place in the physical, the real, world. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

I Jacques La-literally-can't

I, Emmett Warren, am not a professional theorist, or a psychologist. I have my limits, and they are shallow.

I understand this: The mirror stage (or phase) is a time in an infant's life when it recognizes itself in the mirror - and stop. The explanation by many goes on past this, but the words run together and I'm out.

I wanted to say yes, of course I'll get this, I got through Judith Butler and Freud - so a conglomeration of the two would be at least manageable, right?

When I heard "mirror stage" I immediately thought of the Rugrats episode "mirrorland." I looked it up and tried to apply it.

(Don't mind the backwards frames to avoid copyright issues, it actually sort of works in a way, since it's mirrored)

 

This is the section I  really wanted to understand - it is the first paragraph of the body of Gesalt
It seems this excerpt talks about "an exteriority in which this form is certainly more constituent than constituted" and "a castrating size that fixes it and a symmetry which inverts it...in conflict with the turbulence of the motions which the subject feels animating him" - so the infant knows it's moving, its behavior, but maybe not why.

The Rugrats video depicts a group of infants trying to determine what they are viewing in the mirror. I realized while typing this that the mirror stage must actually mean imitation of others more than just "looking in a mirror." To revive this, you might say that in every Rugrats episode, the infants do attempt to imitate grown-ups. In this sense, the video helps explain the connection between  development and observation. 

Lacan and psychoanalysis

Even with a helpful number of resources, absorbing all the content in Lacan's essay was an arduous endeavor to embark on. If I were to address a key theme or underlying principal, it's based off the distortion between identification and serving as an object of multiple identifiers. In other words, we're "certainty more constituent than constituted", which proposes that we struggle to embody a whole rather than to be the whole. A human beings first gaze at his or her own reflection is an expression of "situational apperception", Churning the start of deep seeded intellectual development. One of the pressing fundamentals of the mirror stage is segregated between producing a sense of self and adhering to a skewed interpretation of what we're led to believe constitutes our behavior and being. This notion can be exemplified based on the conceptualization of  an "ideal I", which is the unfiltered byproduct of desire, left to be chased, but never obtained by man or woman cloaked in outside objectivity and interpretation "The symbolic matrix in which the I is precipitated in a primordial form, before it is objectified in the dialectic of identification with that other, and before language restores to it, in the universal, its function as subject." The mirror I is reconstituted in a socially woven edit of what comprised our former selves before ego could grow wings.  Fragmented body image, or to rephrase, the distortion between acknowledging who you are and inability to express who you are is legitimized under the pretenses of being far too infantile to configure meaning and understanding. The conflict of illusion shows its colors when body and ego pry for dominance. Each mangled by a competition to manifest a human's psyche, fertilizing brain soil with uncertainties and convoluted introspection.  Lacan's essay was a formidable challenge to take on and read, and while I feel i grasped some concepts, others elude me. I'm interested in unfolding his theories in class.

 (poorly copy and pasted annotations posted below)