Friday, June 09, 2006
Friday, April 21, 2006
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Firstly met Moufle from NYC who came into London; she was joined by Bingo Little and .danimal from Bristol, as well as .Danny from Cambridge. Quite a brigade . We had lunch in Bloomsbury and took a little walk down to Shoreditch where we went to the Eagle on City Road. (See its mention in this nursery rhyme here.)
There we met the London Flickr group and did half their walk with them. (We left early as had to do other stuff).
It was grand to meet people and cemented the idea that while it is great to communicate on a global scale there is never anythung quite so humane as being in aface to face situation.
On Sunday we had our own Sheffield Flickrmeet in The Showroom. It ws our fourth meeting and a couple of new people came along which is good. We voted on the winer of the Cathedral shot competition and have set up a series of new projects. We are also planning an exhibition of our work and want to show it somewhere central. Bristol have done something similar. It is interesting again that while we enjoy the mixing on a global scale we relish the idea of meeting new people in our locality ... all people we would never otherwise have come into conatct with. Fascinating. (However there are those who do NOT come to the meets and so we cannot run far with that idea.)
And finally, in checking out arrangements for when we go to NYC in a couple of weeks, we found that the New York group is using Wayfarer to show aspects of their city as they see it. I love this idea of bringing a personal perspective on the maps available and labelling the world in this manner. You add a photo and a description to a wayfarer map. This is Niznoz's work .. must have taken him ages. (Small world, Niznoz is Moufle's cousin.) TT also had a go here.
We have come a long way since the ol metaphysicals drew up maps and discovered the world was round .. but that really was quite a discovery!
Here is Moufle:
and here are TT and Little Bingo (thankfully in the controlled zone):
Oh yes. One more thing ... I got chucked out of a Flickr group today ... have yet to discover why. Now I am over the trauma (do I look like I care?) I am amused by all this and must consult Iona and Peter to check out why some kids on the playground feel compelled to set up rules so that they have hardly anyone left to play with... (the group has gone down to only 8 members now - from loads and loads)
Monday, April 10, 2006
The images are ones I would expect to be able to see in many locations in my home town.
While the exotic exotic images today come from Rigamarole:
I would not expect to be able to see these scenes anywhere in the UK.
So the first two, taken by Tampen of his daughter, show me somethng from my everyday world but with the feel of the exotic - they are richly semiotic. And the second two photos show us Rigmarole's images from Bombay. These are sights which belong to 'other people's' everyday experiences and are probably mundane to them, but unfamiliar to me. I think that both the pairs of photos show us images which are 'strongly cultural'; they seem more heavily saturated with semiotic stuff than many other images from the same culture may have been. They tell me all sorts of things about how life goes on, values etc. That is to say the images say so many things about the culture from which they come and I think that this is why I find both pairs very powerful.
I like the way I can see such a rich cultural mix of images on Flickr, and looking at the images side by side like this, we can see the primitive roots of aspects of western fashion. Photographs from less technologically advanced countries are the ones which seem the most exotic and 'othered' on Flickr however. i think this must be because they are mainly (but not exclusively) brought to Flickr by people from technologically advanced cultures. This is 'the norm' of the Flickr perspective.
Friday, April 07, 2006
Thursday, April 06, 2006
If you are a witness to this event, you will laugh too as you will see what teenage boys are really like.
And if you are the teenage boy then you will be happy too.
I am sorry to have disturbed you.
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
At first I might have to make photos accessible only to those who were part of the class - and maybe their parents, to get them 'on side'. In fact I think I would have a Flickr evening to show them how to do it all). That's for starting off when people are scared and go on about weird stuff like having your identity/soul stolen.
For some projects I would invite a teacher from elsewhere to involve her class - and then do a joint project on say - 'places I like to go' or 'interesting angles of everyday life and objects' or 'guess what this is?' type stuff. Or whatever. They could then all be 'friends and family' and see the photos but others may not. (This would be in the run up to going totally public with the photos.) This activity would be great as a way of making tentative online links etc but mainly just fun and would make the kids look more carefully at the images if they were from another class.
Eventually my projects would all be public and we would see if we got comments from everywhere. (But I would tell other teachers to have a look and see if I could get their kids involved in commenting. A bit of off line coercian in other words.)
I would be interested in doing things like:
- Getting the kids to produce a narrative with five separate shots.
- Asking the kids to look at different pages on Flickr to get ideas for groups and sets. Ask them to set up sets themselves which the whole class could try to contribute to. Talk with them about the affect of bringing together lots of photos with similarities. I would ask them ' What are we learning about people?' 'What can we learn about ourselves?''What choices do people make when they take a photo`?' 'What do we think about the choices people make?' (Cultural stuff; stuff to do with visuals).
- Use the notes function to get kids to label stuff in a photo a bit like this. The kids from another class could look at them and could be encouraged to comment (nicely of course.) on the stuff each other is showing. They can ask questions; describe; offer information. Guy did a project where kids brought in stuff from home in shoeboxes. That would be good to get them to photograph a shoebox of their stuff and label it. I can't find his article (where is it Guy?) but this is another similar thing I guess:
Boxing clever: using shoeboxes to support home-school knowledge exchange by Greenhough, Pamela - Scanlan, Mary - Feiler, Anthony - Johnson, David - Yee, Wan
Ching - Andrews, Jane - Price, Alison - Smithson, Maggie - Hughes, Martin (from here.)
- Get kids to look at titles across the Flickr site and give their own photos titles. Ask pupils to make suggestions through the comments facility for new titles for all the photos. The owner of the photo decides which is the best title and why.
- Introduce them to tags. Show them the Flickr tag cloud and how you can search for photos. We could discuss what is popular and what is not. Get them to tag their own photos and to find particular tags. Make cultural comparisons about 'weddings', and even things like 'reading' .
- Get kids to be photographers on sports day (yukky) and on trips out etc. They can then comment in captions giving recollections and memories.
- Get kids to be photographers showing positive images of the school to show everyday life there.
- Sets of photos showing a 'typical day' in their school life. Make comparisons. Get the kids to caption these and to comment on each others.
- Gather photos of current events across the world or important places that may be relevant to other classroom work.
- Look carefully at composition and framing. In a drama lesson get kids to produce freeze frames. Take photos from a range of angles and think about how the meanings may change.
- Get them to look at Flickr toys and produce magazine covers of the magazine they would like to read themselves.
- I would get them to look at the 'interestingness' pages and see if they agree that the photos are interesting.
- We would have lots of conversations about images and what is missing from them (sound, moveent, words) and what you get 'extra' - opportunity to look again, see in detail, see in greater relief, use of different effects (photoshop).
I see here that Brooks and others have beaten me to a list like this, and I really like this bit on Edu-gadget:
The thing I like about getting images from flickr is the students can see that there are real people behind the images, not some generic, faceless website. Real people, like them, have created the pictures, shared them with everyone else, and usually only asked to be credited. There are all kinds of lessons to be taught in those actions.
Mister teacher has got a lot of excellent ideas here in his technorati stream.
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Blogs by people into literacy and digital stuff at that.
Also went over to the other side of the pond, to Day in the life and Flaneuse.
(Did I ever tell you how marvellous all the people were , who I met in Miami? Dana and Sarah are so funky and funny and clever. And DrKate will meet them here soon I guess. )
I would love to spend all day reading blogs and papers and writing.
Oh hang on a minute. That IS what I have done all day.
And now I fear for my schedule.
Before I hop off and get back down to it, let me say ...
I am really looking forward to going to this:
Wednesday 5 July 2006
Bishop Grosseteste College
The ‘Trapped underground.jpg’: Why did this image become iconic?
In this presentation, I plan to use examples drawn from a range of digital technologies to explore what strikes me as two interesting social phenomena: the emergence of new forms of civic participation; and, shifts in our view of play and creativity. It seems to me that an exploration of these two currents might tell us something useful about the influence of digital technologies on the everyday life of our society and as a consequence, their significance for school-based literacy practices.
Monday, April 03, 2006
I am going to write something for a journal about representations of domesticity and the everyday on Flickr - which will feed into a paper I hope to present at a conference next January.
The abstract I sent off is this:
Drawing on a study of a photosharing website (Flickr.com), this paper explores ways in which domestic life is represented and talked about through online screen based images, where traditional boundaries between the public and private spheres are being extended, challenged or eroded. The paper reflects on the presentation and subject of the images; the narratives around them, and at how new digital tools and practices are impacting on the ways in which we see and represent ourselves within the domestic setting. Third space theory (Soja, 1996) is invoked to explore aspects of the global/local practices on Flickr, and to reflect on the processes of online social learning, with particular reference to the domestic.
So that is what I want to present about for the conference but I want to write a fuller paper for a journal. Here are a few examples of the kind of thing I am interested in:
- Every day aspects of life dignified, or made arty here. This is a kind of home as museum approach. Cultural studies stuff. This is in fact from 'The New Domesticity group' which describes itself like this:
Domestic life has changed drastically in the past 50 years. What does your domestic life look like? Sewing, cooking, houseplants, crafts, aprons, I'd love to see photos of anything that fits into your domestic life. My hope is
to showcase a younger generation\'s style and shape of domesticity.
- Another example of life as art is here and I notice that this photo is also in the set up shots/not quite a still life pool as well as the 'everyday life pool'. I love this kind of example which asks people to share in their life, with a descriptions saying, 'this is not about the photography but the content (apple pie).
- In the kitchen allows people to show off their cooking a bit or again there is a kind of museum/cultural studies approach. And I love this which is also in the 'experimental' group. By looking at the cross sections of groups that people put their photos in, you get an idea of the intention behind the photo. Similarly the group: 'Domesticity: artful photos from around the house' concentrates on things looking good. Very self conscious presentations of identity in the images like this washing up one. or the pegs.
- And here is a really interesting glimpse into habitual ways of living and cooking (with a bowl resting on a cheese grater.) Note the sets this photo is in - it is in one to do wth 'family' and one to do with travel. Here the associations run through strongly with family, holiday and food. I feel like this one is a bit less like a 'good house keepings' photo.
- I love this one which gives me ideas of what to get for dinner. Here is a delicious meal. A million genre of cookbook and magazine can be seen here.
- An insight into life alone from the apartment life group. There's a whole load of stuff to do with food issues again resonating here.
- Hapakorean has been a contact of mine for a long ,long time and I saw the toddler in this photo from ultrasound shots even before he was born. HK documents the lives of her kids in detail and has just started enjoying vimeo. Here she has a movie of her son feeding his grandma 'numnums.' Just an episode of a few minutes showing the great American dream; the ideal family here with beautiful children and home. In addition I have traced through the story of how HK met her sister for the first time through Myspace. A lot revealed in these lives here through Flickr and HK has quite a following. Completely fascinating all this stuff as life moves seemlessly through the wrinkled binaries of life online and offline. (HK went to a Flickr meet a short while ago. )
- Of course festivals like Christmas, weddings and Mother's day are all excellent areas for me to look at in terms of representations of the domestic. So far a quick glimpse shws me they display things carefully. Apart from this exceptional photo of a 'divorced grandparents' domestic'.
- And so is 'what's in my cupboard?' , 'what's in your bag?' , 'inside your drawers', 'deskspace', fridge and so on.
- I want of course to also look at representations of family other than the type HK has shown - which are really quite traditional despite the new medium. I find this a brave image - showing a choild looking pretty uncared for - but I am sure this is not so, it is just the presentation has not been 'cleaned up.'
- I love the groups which try to emulate particular photographers. So this photo of a Dad and uncle (twin brothers) is in the Diane Arbus group. So the display is mediated through what is known about a photographer.
- This one is presented like a social history display in a museum again, using artefcats of identity to represent something of character and time.
- And also I want to look at the comments people are making, since this is often at least as revealing as the photo and more stuff is shown of the domestic through the comments quite often.
Lots of data huh? Whoever said that blogs were a waste of time?? I am finding a structure for this paper I think. And some questions.
I am wondering as I am looking at these photos whether the images themselves break down any boundaries? Are they pretty stereotypical of other photos we see in magazines? Family photos? Are we presenting family and domestic life in new ways? Or are the photos the same as they ever were? (Just more of them?) ... while the nature of Flickr is allowing new conversations and new insights into our lives? Hmm those are things I will think about. Maybe it is the community and the talk around the photos that are bringing in the new?
Shall I submit this article to Visual Communication or somewhere else?
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
ooh er Missus. This is a bit scary. Check out the first in a series of reports in the Pasedena Star News. All very amusing, note the text which explains:
Cavemen did it. So did Roman soldiers, political dissidents and generations of lovers. They left their names, thoughts, complaints, slogans and drawings scratched on walls for the world to see - graffiti.(Thanks to Wackydoodler for posting about this on Flickr.)
I have been thinking about street art in another context this week too. You may already know that there are quite a lot of people on Flickr who are interested in street art. For example there is a Banksy group or this one with work from arofish . I like this one that is ccalled NOT Banksy. There are also groups with mixes like this one. Stickers are popular too.
So streetart makes quite an easy transition onto the web; the people's art, free art a kind of democratic art 'of the people' by and for the people. (To put it romantically.) Lots of people on Flickr, funnily enough, put up stickers, stencils and other types of streetart then photograph it and upload to Flickr.So it moves back and forth, in and out. C-monster, based in the states, even makes stickers, (who TT made contact with on Flickr, through a shared interest in streetart), and sent some to TT and others to put around the place, to photograph, email to her, so she can upload to Flickr for this international collaborative set. So, OK. All quite fascinating in terms of fluid geographical borders, and fluid spatial borders in terms of:
- Journeys everywhere
Imagine my interest then, when Kid Acne complained about his work being shown on Flickr. KA has pretty much taken over the London Road area in Sheffield, with art work mushrooming particularly in recent months. He has sent e mails apparently, asking people to remove their photos from the web. (Not disclosed here for ethical reasons!) But he is really cross about the fact that a new group has been set up on Flickr which is dedicated to showing his work. See the discussion thread here. K
Is this an example of web phobia where someone is OK about their work being in an off line public domain, but edgy about it going online? Or is it to do with wanting to control something for reasons of profit - he is currently wanting to brng a book out; has an exhibition on in Barcelona and one coming up in Sheffield.
And in the Picture? TT crosses borders taking a photo of a Banksy, for Flickr:
Thursday, March 23, 2006
I spent four and a half hours wading my way through one student's doctoral work (Chapter 3) and then when I sent it back with comments her inbox was full as usual so it just pinged straight back.
(But I thought of a solution; I have opened a new hotmail account and have sent her the address and password etc. She can go there and get everything I have sent her in the last three months!!
I thought this was a very clever thing to do. I wonder if it will work.)
But also, I thought I would be able to quickly review an article for Discourse, send a few e mails about other stuff and then get on with the REAL work of the day.
Mind you it was nice to hear from NESTA who want to quote from my conference paper on Flickr from last July. (Blimey. Can you imagine that? ) I liked that e mail.
And that's nice that they asked and they also sent me a draft of an excellent piece they are writing on Social Software and Learning. ('They' are Martin Owen, Lyndsay Grant and Keri Facer). It looks really good. Maybe they will become my new friends.
A piece of BIG NEWS is that one of my contacts from Flickr has got kicked out of Flickr. I am pretty gutted as I really liked him and his photos and had enjoyed a few e mails and comment exchanges with him on Flickr. He had also commented on my blog a few times. (But funnily enough I have seen a new account which includes pictures very like Zombizi's). Good game. Will he win?
Interesting. Just when you think it is the creative commons and that you are all playing your own game, you suddenly realise there is a panopticon. The all seeing Flickr police flicked the lights out on all his photos and stuff. Zombizi Gone .
Flickrites are up in ARMS.
Well. It's all good for the research.
(See this paper here on The Internet and the panopticon idea.)
And tomorrow is another day (when I will be interviewing the Director of this.)
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
I love doing these photos. I think that it is much more difficult to get a satisfying picture when taking other types of shot taken from life as it moves along . But nevertheless I love to take these shots so close up and showing me what I cannot see with the 'naked' eye.
I have wondered whether this is partly because I am aware that my sight is getting worse and that I want to see everything more clearly.
But I also think I appreciate the carnivalesque qualities of this kind of shot. I love to use saturation and to make these images look like adverts. It somehow transforms things into popular culture artifacts by making them huge, exaggerated images. That is, I associate bright colours, the celebration of the frivolous and the seemingly unimportant, with popular culture. Some people see these characteristics as vulgar and garish. Unlike the subtle subdued tones of high culture - a restrained way of carrying on. But I like 'in your face' stunning things happening around me. (Which is probably why I am a fashion junkie too.)
BTW did you catch the Lady Chatterley Affair, about the 1963 Chatterley trial the other night? By Andrew Davies? That had a LOT of rude words in it and made me feel very depraved indeed to watch it. It were grand.
At the time when Lady Chatterley's Lover was written people thought it showed no restraint at all and so believed it might be dangerous. The problem was they did not know whether it was OK to like it as it may have been vulgar. They needed it to be declared as high culture.
It was only released from its banned status because posh, educated people said that it made grand statements about life, humanity and relationships. Hmm. I am not sure I agree that it should have been 'unbanned' just because posh clever people said it was 'worthy'. Why does everything have to be justified on moral grounds?
Lets enjoy a bit of unexpurgated vulgarity round here.
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Monday, March 20, 2006
Once I am in the House of Ladies I am going to institute quite a FEW CHANGES.
- For a start of there will be pink curtains put up at the windows in The House.
- All academics will be given a GIGANTIC pay rise in order to help them catch up with teechers.
- Girl academics will be given additional cash for shoes and clothing and will be given time off for facials.
- Homework in schools will be banned and no one will ever have to do tests as they are wicked.
- Further suggestions will be considered by me and all my lady friends.
Friday, March 17, 2006
Thursday, March 16, 2006
What a line up of wonderful researchers and practitioners.
Here are photos ..
Firstly here are some of the contributors to Kate and Jennifer's new book. We are:
Gunther Kress, Barbara Comber, Hilary Janks, Jennifer Rowsell, Kate Pahl, Julia Davies and Pippa Stein.
Jennifer and Kate were our wonderful editors:
And the day today was not only a book launch but a showcase for excellent research arsing from Creative Partnerships locally and excellent practice globally. See here, here and here.
You may be interested to know I have been writing this post whilst having the multimodal experience of listening to a Flickr podcast from New York: from here. Fabulous - they have a documentary, interviews, pictures from NYC and a map of the tour they made whilst recordeing the broadcast.
TT was very excited as Star not Star was mentioned - a group he set up aaaages ago. And our friend moufle was on.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Why are we so interested in doorways?
Is it because they provide opportunities for new beginnings? Openings into new situations? New possibilities?
SimplyClare and I loved this doorway
which opened out into this new secret land:
This is cool.
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
I just said that to wind up Guy.
Today it is about dogs on the beach.
I went to Exmouth even though it was called Plymouth University. This was extremely confusing but turned out to be very nice.
In the morning I went on the beach and saw lots of our canine relatives having a dash about.
Their owners did not seem very enthusiastic today though.
Monday, March 13, 2006
I will be four hours on the train and so am taking plenty to read and do.
Unfortunately this means I cannot travel light despite my determination to find small reads. Books are so heavy and although I could take my laptop and read CDs or something, aftrer a while I feel my eyes may be burning up.
And indeed they seem to be as I have one of THESE growing.
You will be interested to know I have been told not to worry.
Ok then chaps.
I also have this in the other eye.
Which is exotic.
Luckily I have these as spares
(Hope I didn't make you feel sick.)
Has anyone else got some interesting medical history?
Sunday, March 12, 2006
I call this photograph 'cupcake cleavage', because it made me laugh. Cupcakes are very 'sex and the city' - if you can remember that. (For a previous post - with recipes - on cupcakes see here. )
You would not believe how many definitions of cleavage I found on the web. Nearly all of them are to do with science.
This one amused me. Even Homer Simpson gets a mention.
One that was missing was the one that John Peel invented. This is where if you walk between two nuns, you score a 'cleavage'. If there are more than two nuns this is worth more points.
I bet you didn't know that.
(Photo courtesy Rakka)
So this was a post about the English language, using photographs to illustrate.
Thursday, March 09, 2006
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Hanging about on the street; Rosita really is a street child.
I am puzzled by this composition;
- Why was it shot like this?
- Does it make you feel uncomfortable?
- Is it ethical? (Can you tell just by looking at the image?)
- If you are / were a teacher would you use it in the classroom? (How?)
- Do I sound like Ted Wragg?
Monday, March 06, 2006
And these days I also turn my head to look at things which I would otherwise not even be aware of, or would not believe were even 'to do with' me when I went past. Such as street art (a term I now use) or graffiti, or even palimpsest. I would have missed this before:
And I certainly would not have got up early to get a shot of this before the traffic got busy.
I would say that I have been interested in photography for years, but never as much as now, where I take photos and look at them addictively. Aware of the world more, as well as being aware of the affordances of a photograph. I have become aware of how a photograph can have a smaller or greater relationship with the subject it took and can be cropped or processed in ways that make it look different, convey something different.
Kris Cohen in his article on photoblogging writes that the photobloggers he interviewed, all now take more pictures than they ever have before. And that they take pictures of 'the everyday', 'the banal', 'the boring'. (Their words).
I think this is interesting, as this is what we see so much of on Flickr. (Not exclusively.) It is as if with digital photography, (for that is the cause of all this visual proliferation) people are also trying to capture what is apparently not usually under our gaze. It is as if we are trying to reveal the world anew all the time. So photo-technology allows us to bring into view, the peripheral; and the web allows us to share with others.
And we digikids always carry our cameras everywhere we go - just in case we need to catch a moment that we want everyone else to see. And we go to daft, off the wall, out of the way places to catch something no one else will!
Are we all turning into journalists?
Anyway, before I go, wanna sweetie?
Sunday, March 05, 2006
That is that one speaker, (usually me because I am also taking notes) misunderstands something the first speaker says. I find that in reviewing interviews, that even where I reply inappropriately and it is clear I have misunderstood, the first speaker does not correct me. Out of four errors I made in listening, none were corrected. Instread, the first speaker finds a way of making me understand by re-capping later and re-emphasizing in some way. This is not a new observation, and has been observed as a common phenmenon amongst speakers. We susually glide over hiccups and smooth them out.
(It is of course just one of the many things linguists have been able to observe and learn with technology. Nevertheless I felt surprised to observe it in my interviews. )
It was fascinating to see how the people I was interviewing showed great conversational dexterity in the manner they repaired the conversation; they avoided correcting me (they would have felt this was rude, I imagine - or maybe even thought they were not being clear enough.) And then they later, unobtrusively, wove in the correct information as a kind of 'by the way' mentioning.
Fascinating stuff, which reflects a good deal of cultural knowledge as well as linguistic skill.
I have noticed on Flickr how incredibly careful people sometimes are when they leave comments on photos or on blogs. (look at this polite little exchange across the globe.) Some people are so tactful and diplomatic and gushingly kind it can make you feel ill (not to me in fact but I have observed this and do not wish to do any pointing here.
But I understand that as there are so many cues missing online - so many visual and auditory cues and clues that are unavailable. This means that people tend to careful - (there are exceptions of course). I have in the past though I have offended people - and onlt realised later - but then not been sure. As time has gone on, I have secured some more certain relationships online and this has taken a while - and on occasion meat space contact. But the acts of negotiation and repair are different in opnline spaces and I think we have developed tactics to compensate. In face to face meetings we know what is valued - listening to each other, trying to find agreement, eye contact, standing the right distance apart, even echoing each other etc etc.
I am wondering whether things like memes and other types of in-joke, are part of the repertoire of multimodal tactics we use to define the cultural landscape, a new landscape that does not require some of the other cultural cues. I think that some memes work right across the web, while others are more locaclised. In addition to memes helping create a shard social/cultural landscape I think the games within flickr groups and the ways in which we set out rules for each other, allow a secure space where we all start afresh with new parameters for behaving.
So, on the web we tend to be more articulate about how to behave; off line we tend to show belongingness in more subtle ways. But online, just as off line, when we get to know people we can be more experimental as we become surer of the cultural rules. These rules are partly established explicitly, and partly through practice.
I was prompted to some of these ideas by reading page 23 of this, which I mentioned last week.
Saturday, February 25, 2006
One of the sentences that popped out at me, was where they say:
'....space in itself demands closer investigation if we intend to analyze the way in which multilingualism operates in and across societies nowadays. Every communicative event develops in a particular space, and this space may influence the event in non-arbitrary ways'.
Although this paper is about different languages being used in different ways in a world where travel and cultural exchange is more frequent, the way they talk about language as 'an ideologoical object' is relevant to me in looking at ways in which language is used in online spaces. It is about the idea of language being invested with social and cultural interests, not just a vehice for denotational, neutral meaning. I want to look at the way in which language is used in specific ways in online spaces, so that in a particular online space, meaning becomes imbued with specific cultural and social messages in that space. In this way the words beging to work differently in the space and help to define that space - so that words are both constitutive and agentive.
Spaces of multilingualism: Blommaert, J., Collins, J., Slembrouck, S. (2005)Language & Communication 25: 197-216
But if you think this is all a bit OTT this may be more up your street - about reading shop windows.
This is a nice illustration I found:
Friday, February 24, 2006
When I was a kid my Mum and Dad used to sometimes have 'visitors' for tea on a Sunday. Sundays were actually VERY boring when I was a kid - there was nothing to do, EVER.
This was OF COURSE pre everything. No tv on in the day (that started in about 1981 in the UK I think); no Internet of course; we did not even have a tape recorder till I was twelve (and then it ran on batteries that my Mum and Dad could not afford to replace).
Anyway it was the olden days OK? So when we had visitors my Mum would cook cakes from Good Housekeepings Cookery book - maybe cheese straws, maybe butterfly cakes; maybe date and walnut cake.
( I now have my own copy of Good Housekeepings - bought off e-bay. It's fab.)
And we always had to Look Nice. So after Sunday dinner, ( a proper roast - I always hid the meat in my serviette and then chucked it in the coal bunker immediately afterwards), we had to go upstairs and get changed with clean clothes on.
Weird, huh? Seems so OLD.
Then the visitors would arrive and we had to go downstairs for a while to be polite. But it was always boring so we would usually go back upstairs, play, and then come down for tea - sandwiches and cake. Sometimes we sat in a line on the settee and someone (usually if Stan came, with his 'proper' camera), would take our photograph. This would appear in a frame later if we were really unlucky.
But anyway they always did this boring kind of talk as if they were on a special conversation display. And it was called 'being polite' I think. You had to act like a proper family which was weird as we already were a proper family. What reminded me of this was when I read about Vygotsky who had observed two little girls who were sisters and they said to each other 'Let's play sisters'.
I knew what those little girls meant. And I felt like when the visitors came, my whole family played families. And it was as if we were in a pretend house with special visitor food. And we had to wear itchy clothes.
There is something in here about the relationships between space, language and identity. And about how there is a push-pull relationship amongst them all; they all influence each other so that you change in the space, or the space can change, and you change your language to change the space, but the space changes your language. And you end up being like a visitor in your own house.
- ► April (13)
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- ► 2005 (378)