Tag Archives: thinking out loud

Shadow Girl Reflects VI: Sharing

“World building” is somehow a difficult concept to attribute to the world–proper, so to speak. Actually, it’s kind of a hard term to think of the world in/with because the world is built, isn’t it? All around us, there are these constructed and contrived places. Infrastructure and institutions. Spaces with such seemingly benign, or, should I say, obvious stories that even considering them as storied spaces at all is bizarre. Like, I know why the library is in the center of main campus–access and availability. And, a library is a resource center, one that provides books for your needs/interests so long as you have a card with the institution. It’s all very prescribed. Background noise at this point. Facts my brain doesn’t need time with to process and sort.

And, yet…

There is a world that exists behind or beyond that kind of dictated, socio-culturally enforced, shallow surface. When I think of the library, utilitarian purposes don’t exclusively come to mind. The books I’ve checked out do. The conversations I had with the librarians do. The friendship I formed with one of the librarians does. Even, all my anxiety about tripping down the library’s totally trippable steps comes to mind when I think of the library! (Don’t judge. I’m afraid of heights equally and I’ve seen more than a couple of people miss those tricky steps~)

Anyway, it still sounds weird to think of my own personal experiences with an environment or place as being “world building” but, I guess it is. I mean, it’s how I see my world–through my interactions with it. Those interactions inform how I navigate and how I structure my life. If I had a poor experience at a certain restaurant, I probably won’t go back there, regardless of how hungry I may be and my proximity (i.e ease of access) to it. Through a utilitarian lens, when hungry, I should go to the nearest place that provides food. But, that’s just not the reality of the world. Not the one I live in, at least. I’m not eating someplace where I don’t like the service. End of story.

I’m not sure if there’s a means of communicating all the stories a space can accumulate in a way that isn’t overwhelming or too selective, still. Like I said earlier, my brain can process a place’s utilitarian, dictated purposes like second nature. Increasing the amount of info (i.e stories) it would need to process in a short amount of time may become more of an interference in how I’m informed about a space instead of improving that. Maybe. Our brains can process such an abundance of info though–but it takes time to do it well. And, I think when it comes to attaching a multitude of associations to a place, time becomes a reasonable concern. Over-stimulation, a major concern. Plus, how much does every person who walks through/uses the library need to know about my fear of falling down the stairs? What would that meaningfully add to their concept of the space? Would they walk a little slower down the steps? Maybe. If they cared. Which is another thing.

I may know the technical purpose of a space and know the intended use of a space, but that doesn’t mean I care. For another example, the Quick Check’s (local convenience store) back lot by my high school may have been intended for parking–and it was used for parking–but everyone also knew it was a great place to skateboard after the skate park closed. And, to be honest, that function superseded the original because it was the only one most anyone cared about. The police would come by and round you up every now and again but that didn’t deter anyone. So, that was my roundabout way of explaining that there is a level of care that goes into the conceiving of a place. It’s the functions that everyone cares about that become a place’s associations, become what it is renowned for. Applying this idea to storied spaces, to me, means that people will still only care about a select few stories themselves because there’s nothing stopping them from doing that. Attempting to give a place a greater depth of meaning though attributing more stories to it, while admirable and overall nice, doesn’t ensure any intentions will stick. Sorry to be a Debbie Downer :/

Still, I think there’s some merit to using digital means or digital storytelling to help inform people about how to conceive of a place, how to build it. At the very least, it can provide a place for a record of another place’s experiences. Like, a lot of museums have apps now that allow you to explore the entire museum via your phone. Some have cool activities you can do whilst meandering through the galleries. Essentially, those who do care about what lies below the surface of a space can dive in. I don’t think it’s entirely unreasonable for other spaces like universities to have apps specifically for cataloging the experiences of their students in order to possibly enrich experience of the entire space overall. For any place, really, I don’t think that’s unreasonable or, too far off from reality. Not with the way technology is developing. (

Let me know if any apps already exist that are attempting to do what I just spent for-freakin’- ever describing!)

Sharing Stories

Apparently, I was in a sharing mood this week. Adding a dash of “feelings” to both this week’s blog post and to the Padlet. Just couldn’t help myself.

So, if you’re interested in learning more about the purpose (or, intended purpose, should I say) or, really, the person, behind the writing on this blog, I’d check out this week’s post. Also, if you want to hear me curse at Audacity. And, read a story in my own voice….

(Speaking of, the items I used to make the sound effects are, in order, sticks of vine charcoal for the tinkling sound in the beginning, 2 faux-skulls banged together for the steady beat + mortar & pestle, a stick of vine charcoal snapped in half for snapping bird bones, and a handful of tortilla chips I crushed for the crunching bone sound. Kind of difficult guesses. Sorry~ but not really)

Creative Enterprise (i.e that section you can skip if you don’t care~ I’ll only cry myself to sleep a little bit)

This week saw a grand total of….*drum beat* bot story written.

Skin Girl

This is largely due to the fact that I have a new-found addiction to My Favorite Murder. That podcast I mentioned in my blog post this week. It’s ruining my life (i.e productivity) and I love it. Highly recommend.

Anyway, before I became a raging addict, I did manage to finish a jewelry-making project–a necklace that I’m still describing as “blood-splatter wings” because I haven’t picked a name yet…. Like I said, this has been a poor past few days for getting sh*t done.

Also, I’ve managed to acquire some bones (chicken, relax, and ethically gathered) for my project I’m working on now. Have a new friend who dabbles in taxidermy. Score. So, definitely check back to see how that turns out.

Hopefully, the creativity will pick back up. I’m like half-way through the podcast’s archive so I’m on my way to getting it out of my system. Or, you know, maybe I’ll accept moderation into my heart….

Final Thoughts

I like the idea of storied spaces catching on. Would make the world feel “homier”, I think. Less indoctrinated and more lived in.

Actually, it would be cool, I think, to create a kind of storied space with my writing an art. Like a show or an exhibit that sought to join the two mediums together via a personal interjection of some sort. Maybe that could be accessed in a digital format. I’d like to find some way to get people to hear me reading my stories too–so, that could also be an element to this concept. Think that would be pretty cool and be a way to “story a space” because everyone would have their own interactions and experiences with the exhibit to add to the ones that are already installations of it. It’s something to think about anyway.

Shadow Girl signing off~

****

 

 

 


Tagged: digital storytelling, netnarr, Networked Narratives, personal, reflection, rough week, Shadow Girl Reflections, storytelling, thinking out loud, weeklies, what do you think?

Shadow Girl Reflects V: Silent

So, you may have noticed that I’ve been rather silent this week. Or, maybe you haven’t….

Anyway, the reason why Shadow Girl has been on the down-low these past few days is because she is currently–and unfortunately–without a reliable mode of access to the digitalscape 😦

Last Wednesday, in fact, my laptop decided to–moment of silence–die. At least, that’s the official diagnosis till I hear back from the repair techs. (And, tbh, they’re outlook was not very encouraging.) Since, I’ve been relegated to an ancient–see, shitty–tablet that I haven’t used for a while. As you can imagine, my internet travels have been quite slow. I wish I could say I’m taking the, uh, scenic route but, I can’t really see the images yet. They’re still loading….

To make a long story short, I was unable to play around on Audacity this week or with using sounds to create a narrative. Hopefully, I will be able to do that soon but now was a really bad time for my laptop to pull a kamikaze. (See, financially) But, I will figure something out.

Sorry to ditch once more on an opportunity for me to share my voice. Keeps seeming to happen…. First on the Studio Visit and now with Audacity T_T For some reason, the universe is conspiring against me, it seems. (Vengeance shall be wreaked, mark my words. My revenge will be inevitable, Universe.)

Creative Enterprise

Despite my difficulties–see, struggles with ancient relics of the technological age–I was able to add to my own creative pursuits. A poem and a story.

Attrition~ poem I posted to YWP about how hard hope can be to welcome inside, more, how hard it can be to accept an invitation out. (Look out for more posts from me on YWP!)

Split Girl~ Another twisted tale ^.^ This one may be a little disturbing for anyone struggling with their gender identity–may evoke gender dysphoria–so fair warning.

**My writing is never meant to offend but I am aware that it still can. And, I’m sorry if that happens. Let me know if there are any Tags I can add to help that be less of an issue :)**

Aside from these new works, I’ve a few others I’m rather proud of (All can be found under the Killing It tag):

Bone Girl~ If they could be read, what fortune would your bones hold for you?

Bone Girl .V~ Every bird hatches from some egg…

Wasteland Girl~ How dangerous can you be?

Dream Girl~ How much can you take before you crack?

It Will Be Satisfied~ Bad karma’s a b*tch.

Ghost Girl~ Loss like dust on glass always lingers…

And, my long-running series (which should be back to weekly updates by next week, fingers crossed….)

Living Dead Girl

Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV,

**All are inspired in some way by random, bot posts. Some more closely, other loosely. In my opinion, using bot posts for writing prompts is an easy way to incorporate technology into the classroom in a meaningful way and, it is lots of fun ^.^ Unexpected and nonsensical but full of endless creative, well, enterprise.

Speaking of….

Not digital storytelling related exactly but, remember that scalex analogy I gave at the end of this post? Remember that scalex protects one side of a metal piece while the other is enameled? Well, I’ve finally finished that piece I was working on!

 

Untitled (Working On It) Copper, enamel, epoxy & resin

Like I said, this isn’t related to digital storytelling, per say, as it is to creativity itself. But, all of my work is related in some way to my writing and this piece will certainly be a part of my future combined-thesis-&-show ^.^ Does it look like how I write?

Final Thoughts

I’ve had a rough week. Productive in some ways but disheartening and aggravating in others. Hopefully, next week will be something worth writing home about!

Catch you all on the flip side!
 

 

 


Tagged: digital storytelling, netnarr, Networked Narratives, personal, reflection, rough week, storytelling, thinking out loud, weeklies, word weaving alchemist

Shadow Girl Reflects V: Silent

So, you may have noticed that I’ve been rather silent this week. Or, maybe you haven’t….

Anyway, the reason why Shadow Girl has been on the down-low these past few days is because she is currently–and unfortunately–without a reliable mode of access to the digitalscape 😦

Last Wednesday, in fact, my laptop decided to–moment of silence–die. At least, that’s the official diagnosis till I hear back from the repair techs. (And, tbh, they’re outlook was not very encouraging.) Since, I’ve been relegated to an ancient–see, shitty–tablet that I haven’t used for a while. As you can imagine, my internet travels have been quite slow. I wish I could say I’m taking the, uh, scenic route but, I can’t really see the images yet. They’re still loading….

To make a long story short, I was unable to play around on Audacity this week or with using sounds to create a narrative. Hopefully, I will be able to do that soon but now was a really bad time for my laptop to pull a kamikaze. (See, financially) But, I will figure something out.

Sorry to ditch once more on an opportunity for me to share my voice. Keeps seeming to happen…. First on the Studio Visit and now with Audacity T_T For some reason, the universe is conspiring against me, it seems. (Vengeance shall be wreaked, mark my words. My revenge will be inevitable, Universe.)

Creative Enterprise

Despite my difficulties–see, struggles with ancient relics of the technological age–I was able to add to my own creative pursuits. A poem and a story.

Attrition~ poem I posted to YWP about how hard hope can be to welcome inside, more, how hard it can be to accept an invitation out. (Look out for more posts from me on YWP!)

Split Girl~ Another twisted tale ^.^ This one may be a little disturbing for anyone struggling with their gender identity–may evoke gender dysphoria–so fair warning.

**My writing is never meant to offend but I am aware that it still can. And, I’m sorry if that happens. Let me know if there are any Tags I can add to help that be less of an issue :)**

Aside from these new works, I’ve a few others I’m rather proud of (All can be found under the Killing It tag):

Bone Girl~ If they could be read, what fortune would your bones hold for you?

Bone Girl .V~ Every bird hatches from some egg…

Wasteland Girl~ How dangerous can you be?

Dream Girl~ How much can you take before you crack?

It Will Be Satisfied~ Bad karma’s a b*tch.

Ghost Girl~ Loss like dust on glass always lingers…

And, my long-running series (which should be back to weekly updates by next week, fingers crossed….)

Living Dead Girl

Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV,

**All are inspired in some way by random, bot posts. Some more closely, other loosely. In my opinion, using bot posts for writing prompts is an easy way to incorporate technology into the classroom in a meaningful way and, it is lots of fun ^.^ Unexpected and nonsensical but full of endless creative, well, enterprise.

Speaking of….

Not digital storytelling related exactly but, remember that scalex analogy I gave at the end of this post? Remember that scalex protects one side of a metal piece while the other is enameled? Well, I’ve finally finished that piece I was working on!

 

Untitled (Working On It) Copper, enamel, epoxy & resin

Like I said, this isn’t related to digital storytelling, per say, as it is to creativity itself. But, all of my work is related in some way to my writing and this piece will certainly be a part of my future combined-thesis-&-show ^.^ Does it look like how I write?

Final Thoughts

I’ve had a rough week. Productive in some ways but disheartening and aggravating in others. Hopefully, next week will be something worth writing home about!

Catch you all on the flip side!
 

 

 


Tagged: digital storytelling, netnarr, Networked Narratives, personal, reflection, rough week, storytelling, thinking out loud, weeklies, word weaving alchemist

Shadow Girl Reflects IV: Immersed in the Chaos

When it comes to chaos and order, I find it fascinating how often ideas of each can be swapped to mean the reverse. For example, some people, like Howard Rheingold, dislike order because it places you in a routine, tells you where to sit and when to stand. It makes decisions for you.

But, there are many people out there, like one person in the studio visit with Howard Rheingold this past week, who see structuring forces as necessary–especially in formative years–and ultimately beneficial. They prefer having parameters. Makes them comfortable, not stifled.

And, when it comes to chaos, there are more divergent feelings towards similar concepts. Some see non-organization and a lack of structure and oversight as inherently incapable of producing anything meaningful or worth nurturing. More, they see it as scary or, as Howard said, risky. Chaos is uncontrollable, unmanageable and so cannot be allowed free rein.

Others, of course, find freedom in the chaos. Find space to explore something deeper and decidedly more ineffable when unfettered by the tenets of order. To them, non-organization is not scary. It is thrilling–exhilarating because there are no rules. You cannot be wrong in chaos. You just be.

Isn’t it fascinating? How easily what you take pride in, what fills you with fear can be quite the opposite to someone else? Kind of makes you wonder if there is any meaning at all here in order and chaos–if their meanings can vary so drastically. How can any sense be made–even if that sense is nonsense? Don’t know? Me either.

Sense or nonsense, let’s see what we can find.

Network Effect

It’s more than a little mind-boggling just how much content is out there on the internet. Perhaps even more mind-boggling is just how little we absorb from all of wanderings on the web. There are so many voices and stories out there and yet, how many do appreciate? How many do you?

Not nearly enough.

I believe the reason why my online experience and yours probably is shallow is because, despite how much connection the internet seemingly fosters, we are all disconnected in our own little niches. Far removed from reality because we don’t perceive the internet as being as real. There’s a disconnect between me and you, online, in large part because of our ideas of what the internet is–commonly, an escape, a dream space, a confessional that ceases to exist when the screen goes dark.

Though, I do think those ideas are changing these days. Still, you have the chaos/order problem–different perceptions towards the same phenomena. It not only disconnects/ distances us from each other by convincing us we’ll never understand each other, it discourages us from even trying.

But, is there anything being done about this?

Yes. Network Effect is a project meant to help others understand the underlying humanity of us all in the internet age. The simulation is meant to imitate the flux and overwhelming-ness that is the online space but in such a way that you realize how similar we all are in our complexities. How human we all are behind those dark screens. The internet is infinite but so are we.

2017-02-28.png

What struck me most was how the greatest times for posting about grief on Twitter were 7am & 7pm

Through incorporating outlets like news headlines and Twitter mentions, I think this project was able to inject that personal element online spaces seem to lack in their vastness. I loved the Twitter commentary and then the collections of words most commonly associated with the verbs you could explore the site through. I found that an interesting way to order the chaos–through us, usually such tiny blips.

I don’t recall feeling frustrated by the time-limit imposed upon my exploration of the site. Many things in my own life right now are running on schedules I only have minimal control over. So, I’m unfortunately used to it.

Not to sound too sentimental, but I think the time limit made me treasure what I discovered more. Like, I appreciated what I was able to get out of the experience–that greater sense of personal connectedness because there was only so much time to explore and so much content to sift through.

Definitely recommend checking out.

Studio Visit

Honestly, I don’t even know what to say about last week’s studio visit. Howard and Mamie were just full of so much insight that provided such a wealth of rich, meaningful discussion.

Particularly, I guess, I enjoyed what Howard had to say about the public sphere–how it can affect public policy and create change because it is the voice of the people. That story he told about the woman who didn’t give up on searching the polling booth’s codes until she cracked it and then how it spread online was just amazing. To me, it was such a great example of the potential the public sphere has now that it can operate in an online space.

Check it out! (I will get to Vialogues hopefully soon. It was Shadow Girl’s birthday weekend this past one. I was a little busy. Sorry)

Alchememetrix

(Really, when will Death come??)

Speaking of the public sphere, working with gifs and memes this week helped me come to this realization that memes and gifs are expressions of this/our public voice. Referring especially to the more well-known ones, they have this ability to say something we can immediately understand and connect with. Like it or not, there are lots of gifs and memes out there that are meaningful to the public audience.

We relate to them! They make us laugh! Provide an outlet to express frustrations or to reveal absurdity. (Read more about that here.)

Honestly, there is a kind of reveling in the chaos that memes and gifs engage in. But, also, a kind of ordering of it–putting it into a context with certain connotations. At least, I felt like that was the case while I was creating my memes and gifs this week.

Creative Enterprise

This week, the third installment in my Living Dead Girl series–inspired by this tweet— went up. It’s about Necromancers, Reapers, and death 🙂 Ghosts and mythos and magic abound. So, totally feel free to check it out and let me know how you’re feeling it.

Part I, Part II

My other stories so far include:

Bone Girl

Bone Girl .V

Wasteland Girl (Check the comments section, too, on this one)

Hopefully one more by tonight….~~~

(All can be found under the Killing It tag–and you can find a list of frequently used tags in the navigation bar at the bottom of this page. Just click the little “Up” arrow in the right-hand corner.)

All loosely networked narratives, I know, but lots of fun I think 🙂

Final Thoughts

This week, I think I received some valuable insight on how to navigate online spaces more meaningfully. To navigate the chaos. To see chaos as something that can be cherished instead of spurned. Hopefully, I can keep that in mind when I go wandering on the web. The internet could definitely use more acceptance. More appreciative practice all around. The public sphere certainly needs a constant influx of new voices in order to remain healthy and effectively functional.

As for sense vs. nonsense, does it matter? Think the answer to that question says more about you and your context than it does about either of those notions.

Links

Daily Digital Alchemies

Video I find compelling when it comes to thinking about truth, the public sphere, and online spaces

Catch you on the flip side!

 

 


Tagged: digital storytelling, gifs, howard rheingold, Mamie rheingold, netnarr, network effect, Networked Narratives, personal, studio visit, thinking out loud, weeklies

Shadow Girl Reflects IV: Immersed in the Chaos

When it comes to chaos and order, I find it fascinating how often ideas of each can be swapped to mean the reverse. For example, some people, like Howard Rheingold, dislike order because it places you in a routine, tells you where to sit and when to stand. It makes decisions for you.

But, there are many people out there, like one person in the studio visit with Howard Rheingold this past week, who see structuring forces as necessary–especially in formative years–and ultimately beneficial. They prefer having parameters. Makes them comfortable, not stifled.

And, when it comes to chaos, there are more divergent feelings towards similar concepts. Some see non-organization and a lack of structure and oversight as inherently incapable of producing anything meaningful or worth nurturing. More, they see it as scary or, as Howard said, risky. Chaos is uncontrollable, unmanageable and so cannot be allowed free rein.

Others, of course, find freedom in the chaos. Find space to explore something deeper and decidedly more ineffable when unfettered by the tenets of order. To them, non-organization is not scary. It is thrilling–exhilarating because there are no rules. You cannot be wrong in chaos. You just be.

Isn’t it fascinating? How easily what you take pride in, what fills you with fear can be quite the opposite to someone else? Kind of makes you wonder if there is any meaning at all here in order and chaos–if their meanings can vary so drastically. How can any sense be made–even if that sense is nonsense? Don’t know? Me either.

Sense or nonsense, let’s see what we can find.

Network Effect

It’s more than a little mind-boggling just how much content is out there on the internet. Perhaps even more mind-boggling is just how little we absorb from all of wanderings on the web. There are so many voices and stories out there and yet, how many do appreciate? How many do you?

Not nearly enough.

I believe the reason why my online experience and yours probably is shallow is because, despite how much connection the internet seemingly fosters, we are all disconnected in our own little niches. Far removed from reality because we don’t perceive the internet as being as real. There’s a disconnect between me and you, online, in large part because of our ideas of what the internet is–commonly, an escape, a dream space, a confessional that ceases to exist when the screen goes dark.

Though, I do think those ideas are changing these days. Still, you have the chaos/order problem–different perceptions towards the same phenomena. It not only disconnects/ distances us from each other by convincing us we’ll never understand each other, it discourages us from even trying.

But, is there anything being done about this?

Yes. Network Effect is a project meant to help others understand the underlying humanity of us all in the internet age. The simulation is meant to imitate the flux and overwhelming-ness that is the online space but in such a way that you realize how similar we all are in our complexities. How human we all are behind those dark screens. The internet is infinite but so are we.

2017-02-28.png

What struck me most was how the greatest times for posting about grief on Twitter were 7am & 7pm

Through incorporating outlets like news headlines and Twitter mentions, I think this project was able to inject that personal element online spaces seem to lack in their vastness. I loved the Twitter commentary and then the collections of words most commonly associated with the verbs you could explore the site through. I found that an interesting way to order the chaos–through us, usually such tiny blips.

I don’t recall feeling frustrated by the time-limit imposed upon my exploration of the site. Many things in my own life right now are running on schedules I only have minimal control over. So, I’m unfortunately used to it.

Not to sound too sentimental, but I think the time limit made me treasure what I discovered more. Like, I appreciated what I was able to get out of the experience–that greater sense of personal connectedness because there was only so much time to explore and so much content to sift through.

Definitely recommend checking out.

Studio Visit

Honestly, I don’t even know what to say about last week’s studio visit. Howard and Mamie were just full of so much insight that provided such a wealth of rich, meaningful discussion.

Particularly, I guess, I enjoyed what Howard had to say about the public sphere–how it can affect public policy and create change because it is the voice of the people. That story he told about the woman who didn’t give up on searching the polling booth’s codes until she cracked it and then how it spread online was just amazing. To me, it was such a great example of the potential the public sphere has now that it can operate in an online space.

Check it out! (I will get to Vialogues hopefully soon. It was Shadow Girl’s birthday weekend this past one. I was a little busy. Sorry)

Alchememetrix

(Really, when will Death come??)

Speaking of the public sphere, working with gifs and memes this week helped me come to this realization that memes and gifs are expressions of this/our public voice. Referring especially to the more well-known ones, they have this ability to say something we can immediately understand and connect with. Like it or not, there are lots of gifs and memes out there that are meaningful to the public audience.

We relate to them! They make us laugh! Provide an outlet to express frustrations or to reveal absurdity. (Read more about that here.)

Honestly, there is a kind of reveling in the chaos that memes and gifs engage in. But, also, a kind of ordering of it–putting it into a context with certain connotations. At least, I felt like that was the case while I was creating my memes and gifs this week.

Creative Enterprise

This week, the third installment in my Living Dead Girl series–inspired by this tweet— went up. It’s about Necromancers, Reapers, and death 🙂 Ghosts and mythos and magic abound. So, totally feel free to check it out and let me know how you’re feeling it.

Part I, Part II

My other stories so far include:

Bone Girl

Bone Girl .V

Wasteland Girl (Check the comments section, too, on this one)

Hopefully one more by tonight….~~~

(All can be found under the Killing It tag–and you can find a list of frequently used tags in the navigation bar at the bottom of this page. Just click the little “Up” arrow in the right-hand corner.)

All loosely networked narratives, I know, but lots of fun I think 🙂

Final Thoughts

This week, I think I received some valuable insight on how to navigate online spaces more meaningfully. To navigate the chaos. To see chaos as something that can be cherished instead of spurned. Hopefully, I can keep that in mind when I go wandering on the web. The internet could definitely use more acceptance. More appreciative practice all around. The public sphere certainly needs a constant influx of new voices in order to remain healthy and effectively functional.

As for sense vs. nonsense, does it matter? Think the answer to that question says more about you and your context than it does about either of those notions.

Links

Daily Digital Alchemies

Video I find compelling when it comes to thinking about truth, the public sphere, and online spaces

Catch you on the flip side!

 

 


Tagged: digital storytelling, gifs, howard rheingold, Mamie rheingold, netnarr, network effect, Networked Narratives, personal, studio visit, thinking out loud, weeklies

Learning to Listen aka “How can the Bar be this Low and You’re Still Tripping Over It?”

Hearing, I believe, is one of the senses most taken for granted. Listening, subsequently, a skill most under-developed. Relegated to a secondary concern. An afterthought. Oh, I should’ve listened…. It’s an unfortunate development in and of itself but what it seems a symptom of is perhaps even more troubling/upsetting.

We don’t listen to each other because we don’t care about each other.

We have been and are being conditioned not to care about each other. Not to believe that everyone’s voice is important. That everyone’s story is worth listening to. Worth appreciating.

Listening in this age is an under-developed skill by design. The structures and powers that be benefit from our disengagement with the world and with each other. They secure their power and retain their privileges through our apathy.

Because of this, those of us who make an effort to listen and respond to what we hear become dangerous. Liabilities. Targets to discredit and criminalize at all costs.

Because listening is not just listening. It is turning sounds into story, transforming tones into the tangible. Into a foundation. For what? Empathy–ancient but awesome magic.

In this video, Radiolab co-host Jad Abumrad discusses the affordances of working in an audible medium. Chiefly, he talks about listening as being a tool for co-engagement and co-authorship–imagining story together. Which, he believes, paves the way for empathy. Or, at the very least, leaves a place for it. To grow. To be built. To live.

And, what a beautiful and optimistic idea this is–that through dreaming together we can create a better world. We can care better for each other. We can care at all. (It makes my heart want to pull a Grinch….)

It sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Which is exactly the response the powers that be want us to have. Jaded and disillusioned (applicable terms to describe most of my–bad— high school poetry coincidentally enough…)

Anyway, tangential rant over. For now.

Let’s talk about some podcasts! Well, one podcast. The Truth one I eeny-meeny-moed. You’re Not Alone. It was an experience.

Full disclosure, once upon a time, I used to listen to Welcome to Nightvale. A very popular podcast another member of our Alchemist Network–Masooch–talks about at length in this post. Check it. There are lots of links for you to explore.

So, that’s my only reference point for podcasts. A little bizarre but usually very plot-driven. Lots of ear candy–musical interludes, ample sound effects. I mean, in an audible space, everything becomes a sound effect, even silence. It’s strategic.

I found all of these preconceptions to be useful or to hold true while listening to You’re Not Alone.

In this podcast, listeners are introduced to a character to named Jared, an Afghanistan war vet suffering from PTSD. His condition seems to manifest in a cacophony of disembodied voices that follow him around, mocking and taunting him, trying to provoke him to do bad things or think bad thoughts. This portrayal kind of reminded me of what paranoid schizophrenics report experiencing. In fact, people suffering from both schizophrenia and depression are advised to maybe skip this podcast. And, I think the warning was well-warranted and very responsible of the creators.

At times, it could be incredibly overwhelming to listen. The voices kept coming, one after the other, steady whispers that turned into a deafening drone. Jared’s own voice was sometimes muffled by these voices–while the character he is interacting with sound perfectly clear to listeners. I thought that was very clever and it effectively communicated how Jared hears himself–as almost muted in the maelstrom. Every word a fight.All of this noise, too, contrasted well with the quieter, calmer moments. It instilled more meaning in them, to hear how much must be silenced in order for a scrap of calm.

The voices never really go away though. We see this at the end, when Jared is performing for his friends. The voices harmonize with him. Perhaps, they are more pacified? But, their repetition of the titular phrase still seems wholly taunting. Maybe that’s my jaded-ness speaking, though. The end of this podcast just seemed bittersweet to me.

Overall, I did feel that this podcast illustrated what Mr. Abumrad was talking about very well. Through audible means, a sense of empathy and compassion was created here. I felt for Jared. Wanted him to have a better ending. A more satisfying answer to his problems. It bothered me that I felt he didn’t get what he deserves–and, see, that’s evidence I care about him, that he has value to me. In order for someone to deserve better, they must first deserve something at all to you. Quite the concept, apparently. That latter thing.

 

I guess I digress.

 

Extra

***Kind of unrelated and a lot disturbing–great way to start a sentence–but the podcast reminded me of this story I read online a while ago. It’s one of the few that’s unsettled me and I still can’t actually click on the image attached to the story. I like to think I’m pretty unflappable but this is just one that really, well, disturbed me. It’s not audible or anything but I think its theme runs in the same vein as the podcast. Hope you enjoy ^.^***

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Tagged: "SCULLY!!", digital storytelling, how i feel listening to the news, I'm scully by the way, justlistening, MULDER, netnarr, Networked Narratives, not wanting to believe, personal, thinking out loud, xfiles

Hanging Art

Happenstance is an odd quality of life. Perhaps, its spice. Who finds who, and where. When. What you find and in what circumstances. Which strings of text align before your eyes. In books. In letters. On posters. On screens, now. Sometimes, the coherence is lacking. Other times, it’s surprisingly clear. Succinct. Poignant. Story.

Interacting with bots online has proven quite imaginative. Nonsensical, at times, too. But, ultimately it’s been revealing to see how literary, creative, and, even, inspiring these random text generators can be. More, it’s been fascinating to see happenstance in action. See which posts align with each other on my own, personal feed. I believe a kind of observable or discernible taste develops. You can scroll through someone’s feed and, through the bots one follows, piece together an idea of what they like–what amuses them, intrigues them, inspires them. It’s like walking through the art gallery in another’s mind.

Would you care to take a stroll through mine?

Uncertain journeys call for gods. Their guidance. Their protection. Their witness. Belief in them, of course, optional. Unnecessary in most cases. “Not believing in the devil will not save you from him,” and all that. Still, a god I found for this journey. Better safe than sorry.

mygod

With a simple greeting, a god was procured. @all_the_gods wastes little time. Knows the value of timely work. Perhaps you should procure a god of your own? If you’re going to continue following me along my travels down the rabbot hole. Shy? There are plenty of preconceived gods for the masses to choose from. I selected a patron saint of my own to accompany me as well:

patronsaintgod

My choices were sound, qualms over the rejection of screaming notwithstanding. A spell for humming without purpose seemed to leave more purpose for text. For algorithms to seek. To make up the difference.

I found poetry. Found stories. Received invitations into dreamy, other-side (of the Looking Glass) worlds. ~***Found stars, too. New constellations. For navigation.***~

Dada nonsense (free-associative) poetry is its own delight but I like glimpses through another pair of eyes a little more. Poet-bots abound. Offering a little of both, for all tastes. @poem_exe writes beautifully. (And regularly.) Short sentiments to chew on. Savor.

More thoughtful words to contemplate.

skeletonofalonelyheart

In slivers, I find myself. Between beats, a pulse. Partial res o nan ce.

Whole d  i  s  s  o   n    a   n     c       e.

There seems little science to what engages an individual. Broad ideas exist, I’m sure. But, we are in the details. (With the devil–that’s why we need our gods.)

Though this bot required less interaction than the former, I still found it interesting. Entertaining. Whatever its algorithm, it’s effective. At least 9400 other people agree. Throughout the past few days, I retweeted many poems. Wrote some. Wandered with them in my thoughts.

ghostspunishivefoundmyself

More captivating than pure poetry were the inadvertent/impromptu stories that began to decorate my feed. Every story had a surprise ending. In this one (above), the desires of ancestors were renounced in the name of self-realization, moon bearing witness to the vow. At least, that’s my story. What’s yours?

Maybe it’s just me, creating purpose where there is none. A story needs a reader to exist. Interpret. But, I like being a reader. Like the simple joy of these unexpected narratives. In school, everything is linear.Weighted ’round the neck by the collar of tradition. Word choice is highly selective. Content codified and shelved, on neat little shelves in neat little rows. I’m not knocking books–I love them as much as the next English major–but, sometimes, they can be lacking in excitement. Not necessarily the individual narratives (there are some stand-out sucky ones though, I’m sure you’ve got a list) but the system in which they exist. It tires itself out.

cannibalpeople

This is interesting story. Unexpected. Rich with possibility. Rich with the inexplicable. I ponder. Stroll through one corridor of my frontal cortex and come back ’round, to mull some more. There is so much room to walk around these words, observe them from every angle and then some imanginative ones. Make an exercise out of make-believe.

What is literary is relative, these days. Much less quantifiable. It’s exciting. Exhilerating.  Kind of scary. Kind of freeing.

Fully magickal.

suffocating

Really breathtaking.

It’s something special to watch storytelling become as expansive as it always had the possibility to be. To watch new technology help the art realize the dimensions of its potential.

I hope you enjoyed your visit to the gallery of my mind palace. The pieces exhibited are constantly being reorganized, changed, so, do be sure to drop in again. Feel free to drop an invitation to visit your own gallery, too. I’m always looking to add to my collection.

***My Recommendations***

@MythologyBot

@spacetravelbot

@str_voyage

@dreamhaver

@ninja_things

@everypunk

punktweet

(tweets gems like this)

@dungeon_bot

Tweet me your recs.

Safe travels.