Dear Adrian

via the Email:

Just wondering with the Essay component of the group assessment, (it’s a little brief in the outline) obviously we will be directly drawing from research/work/information of the author our statement is about for example my group has chosen the one that directly relates K-film structure to Barthes.

I realise that either way some further research will probably be necessary, but in terms of research and references, what’s the expectation on this one?

Or are we just supposed to delve deep in Barthes work/text in relation to our work…

Good question, though in the spirit of the article that todays lecture began with, let’s flip this around. I’m an academic, most of the rest of you are students. (Well, technically I’m a student too.) If the description is not prescriptive, i.e. doesn’t spell out exactly what is needed, why might this be the case?

The main reason is to give you room to drive something into that space. Shift the topic, deflect it, bend it. Do something with it. Have some agency in relation to the topic and the ideas and what you could do with them. Or not. Also, I think you’ve answered your own question. As an academic teacher how do you think I respond to work that uses one reading, to one that has tried to use five? What does that tell me? And what does it tell you? :-)

The Performative

Erin has more notes around Barthes, work and text. Zoe ends up with J.L. Austin and speech act theory. Wind that back a bit. Austin looks at performative speech acts, things that do at the same time as we say (e.g. “I promise” is to say something while at the same time to undertake a promise). These are a special category of speech, but one way we think about them today is that all speech has some sort of ‘force’. But more interestingly, performative speech acts offer a great way to think about links in hypertext, the web, and in Korsakow. A link is performative, in clicking you are both ‘saying’ and ‘doing’ – you don’t click then do something else, the link then is just like a promise, it undertakes to do something (even when unsuccessful) in the very action of doing it.

Roland meet Florian

Ned while suffering the loss of wisdom (teeth) has a good outline gleaned from you all about Barthes. Taylah helps us all by joining up some Barthes to Korsakow (Roland, meet Florian, Florian, Roland…). We need to do some of this thinking in classes, after all, what’s the point of it in relation to the subject, making online interactive videos, and ‘integrated media’?

Barthes, It’s a bit of a Saga Really

Georgina writes out some notes on Barthes from before the most recent lecture picking up some of the points from which you can begin to frame your own way to get value from Barthes. Thomas also does a good job. The stuff about genders is hard without it becoming simplistic, but from a very male point of view the rather old fashioned question “what do women want?” versus “what do men want?” is surprisingly useful. The first comes from an assumption of unknowability, the second its opposite. Liviana has useful colour coded notes from the lab around work and text and Erin also has a good précis of the lecture. Georgina brings in Scott McCloud to think about Barthes and the performative text. Sacha contributes notes and uses Sigur Ros as an example. Zoe finds that lit and integrated share some stuff.

Fabien has an outstanding post about Barthes’ seven propositions and notes that it is “neither vertical or horizontal” and poetic. Fabien joins this to de Certeau’s ‘making do’ and tactics to think about process and making and event rather than outcome. Madeleine has a nice allegory come analogy where her blog is her instrument and the course the materials, a place to play in and with things.

Grace provides an outstanding outline come connecting to Fluxus which I mentioned in the lecture. And follows it up with a good discussion out of the lecture, where an idea or two are followed along, rather than the mad capture the dot points. Thomas found the Reilly versus Joyce example useful and Megan has done a great job of high and low lights from Roland.

Reviewing the Work

So, we are busy reviewing the first sketch Korsakow films. Carla has some notes and warns about “crappy Final Cut effects” because I don’t like them. No, but do you? Erin writes hers up too, thinking through what some of the questions raised where, and why they were raised. Zoe too, picking up the points and seeing the intention of what was being said and why. This is one of the reason’s why this first task is only worth 20% but is also very important for the next one.

We Are?

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The Thursday class is small, so we’ve turned it into a studio. Which means we are all working on the same concept, but in three groups. We are using the “We are…” prompt, and from that everyone is going to do 5 short video sketches in the coming week as a first step around any or all of:

  • strength/power
  • rhythm/rhythmical
  • being pragmatic
  • connected/connection
  • destruction/destructive
  • freedom/free
  • people/human
  • ‘being’/to be
  • emotions/emotional
  • moving/movement/flow

These should be filmed from the personal, just film, collect, it is the video equivalent of brainstorming, and then next week we see what the shapes might be…