Blog Post

HASTAC and me, perfect together.

Ok, so my title for my first blog post on HASTAC does a few things-  one, it places me in New Jersey in the 1980's, and two, it summarizes my feelings about being part of a collaboratory such as this one!  I am so pleased and honored to have been selected as a HASTAC Scholar, and am looking forward to being a part of this community!

Before I go any further- a huge thank you goes out to Dr Tanya Clement & Dr Matt Kirschenbaum from Digital Cultures & Creativity, at UMD, and Fiona Barnett here at HASTAC for this opportunity. 

Now-  onto what I hope to do while I'm here (and where I hope my collaboration with the HASATC community will take me):

explore digital cultures (duh). but really, explore what this term means academically-  I just ran a 6 week digital cultures living-learning program for high school students this past summer, and I am also graduate assistant for the new Digital Cultures & Creativity Living-Learning program in the Honors College at UMD.  This means that I am deeply involved in the molding of minds in relation to this terminology, this thing we call culture.

Digital Cultures are more than the sum of their technological parts- How do technologies get used differerently by different people?  Are they automatically part of the learning process? How much of the 'culture' is taken for granted- as in, how much do people download and not think about the architecture (physical, social, commercial)  and systems (race, class, genders, religion, sexualities) that put the content there for them to begin with? 

As they learn about the systems that make up our current digital understandings, wiill they voluntarily become 'real' creators, and not just armchair uploaders? And why doesn't being an armchair uploader count?

embody the internets (or digital spaces).  How do we tell or stories differently based on our digital location? What is the difference between how I present myself here, on Twitter, on my personal website, or on social media sites? For people in the Digital Humanities and Arts- how do we 'professionalize' our digital lives? How does this change when you are queer? or non-normative?

What does it mean to be digitally embodied anyway?

interrogate cultural memory & forgetting. What about memory?  the archive?  How does something like Facebook or Twitter, or our own blogs and websites, or the 'cloud' help us to tell our stories?  How is it different from the almost 15 years of journals that I not only wrote, but kept?  How does this intertwine with the 'digital' and 'analog' paintings, sketches, poems, pictures, etc, that I also created during this time?  Does it contribute to, or mix with digital memory? What does this archive mean? 

Can it, does it, contribute to the 'story' of the queer american jew? (because there is already an 'accepted' narrative for that)

What about forgetting?  or purposely self-deleting? I was on Twitter at the very begining of Twitter -time, but after awhile, I decided to pare down my digital footprint - and I *GASP* deleted every tweet, deleted my account, and recently began anew.  Is there meaning here? What about when self-deleting happens in order to gain a job? power?

perform digital networks (aka digital culture jamming). I currently use performance as a methodology to interrogate how shifting internal identities and external histories are produced through non-visible social networks - my hope to is to interrogate how these are made present through mobile technologies and ubitquitous digital objects, and then perform these systems in order to (potentially) subvert them. Can these systems be jammed? How do digital networks gets performed differently than other systems of oppression?

queer digital knowledges. As a process-focused queer artist, my work and interests tend to revolve around systems and the apparatus of knowledges, which leads to exposing the underside of things- mainly at the intersections of power, process and ritual in public spaces. How do digital knowledges differ according to our own stories and understandings? Can intersectionality be mobilized more easily (or not) with these new interventions?

Finally. This post is long enough, and should simply serve as a an introduction to my ways of thinking- a place to begin a long, exciting process of collaboration with the rest of you, and not an outcome unto itself.

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