Saturday, November 05, 2011

The art of change #Change11

I'm going to take Nancy White's invocation of weaving together theorizing with a less wordy response and look at the social artistry as a reflection on change.

Changes can be mapped in the symbolic representations of rebranding for example.
When places I have worked have sought to throw out the old, the attachment to visual representations seemed especially hard.

Its also in the things that move from the margins and unaccepted spaces and into the exotic, and high brow spaces of the arts.
I have just obtained a copy of artist Nik Davez social-linguistice art: a translation of Roland Barthes The pleasure of the text into txtese: d PlsUR ov d txt
This beautiful rendition on the pleasure of reading and writing states:

it iz d rythm of wot iz red & wot iz & not red dat crE8z d plSUR of d gr8 nar8ivz
and so it is with change, what is done and not done, what is in the spaces, what is pushed through, and as Neil postman asks of technology,what does it undo as much as what it does...
"change is not additive; it is ecological. I can explain this best by an analogy. What happens if we place a drop of red dye into a beaker of clear water? Do we have clear water plus a spot of red dye? Obviously not. We have a new coloration to every molecule of water. That is what I mean by ecological change. A new medium does not add something; it changes everything."

and so change gets conveyed visually.
And in reflections on what happens with change and seeing allegorical representations, especially where things might otherwise be unacceptable. Patti Lather's the ache of wings comes to mind on her writing and reflections of researching women living with aids.

And in the stimulation to think about not only affecting change, but also in patterns of resistance (in ant change is always about resistance). The spiders of Nina Katchadourian dont like or appreciate the help extended. Well intentioned others; a reminder that change always involves alternate possibilities, and moral bias that may conflict with others realities.

But more than any other musings is Latour he talks (2002) of technology as catching a garland in time, past and present being brought together...and technology as the art of the curve.
Im being loose with my connections here...but if technology is as Ursula Franklin suggests the way we do things round here, then change and technology might be loosely the same thing :)

A bodacious curvaceous approach. Thanks Nancy.

Franklin, U. (1999). The real world of technology (Revised ed.). Toronto, Canada: House of Anansi Press.
Lather, P. (1997). Creating a multilayered text: Women, AIDS, and Angels. In W. G. Tierney & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), Representation and the text: re-framing the narrative voice (pp. 233-258). New York, NY: State Univeristy of New York Press.
Latour, B. (2002). Morality and technology. The end of the means. Theory, Culture & Society, 19(5/6), 247–260.
Postman, N. (1998). Five things we need to know about technological change. Retrieved from


  1. Anonymous3:11 AM

    Awesome, with these masterpieces of arts - where traces of change & patterns of resistances are reflected & vividly displayed. A new medium does not add something; it changes everything. And an idea ripples through your wonderful post, resonating in my mind. Thanks for making me think further, about changes in life through such visualisation.

  2. and the way you write of this helps me also, it reminds me of an article wrtitten by Colin Lanksheare and Michelle Knowble on digital literacies- what is possible with web 2 changes everything, as the medium alters expectations of participation and engagement in knowledge production. They provide the example of mashups as a new form of literacy. But just downloading a clip as no different from going to a library, so just coz it involves IT doesnt mean a new literacy and may simply be new wine in old bottles.
    Lankshear, C., & Knobel, M. (2007). Researching new literacies: Web 2.0 practices and insider perspectives. E-Learning and Digital Media, 4(3), 224-240. Retrieved from doi:10.2304/elea.2007.4.3.224