Sunday, April 26, 2015
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
Thursday, April 23, 2015
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
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).
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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 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
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:
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
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.
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.
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?
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?
The Bride of Frankenstein. 31 December 1934. Promotional photo. Owens Archive/RKO Photos, Stamford, Connecticut. Web.
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
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.
(poorly copy and pasted annotations posted below)