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robertogreco : joannemcneil   31

The Windshield and the Screen | u n t h i n k i n g . p h o t o g r a p h y
"A Google Street View car in Los Angeles once captured a picture of Leonard Cohen. It happened a couple of years before he died. He was sitting with an acquaintance on lawn chairs outside his modest home in the Mid-Wilshire neighbourhood. The driver was an accidental paparazzi. Cohen didn’t even notice him.

The picture of Leonard Cohen on Google Street View is part of the database lore circulated on internet forums. Hobbyists and virtual world trawlers trade Street View links—oddities and pranks and wonders, like a man on the street in a horse mask, someone escaping a house with a makeshift rope of bed sheets tied together, and the 'Hallelujah' songwriter in his front yard enjoying a lovely day. A project as ambitious and omnivorous as Street View could only have these wonders, although not on purpose or by design. Street View isn’t photography as aesthetic representation, but the production of leftovers that happen to be images. These images are the husk — the dead skin of a surveillance charade. This archive can be fascinating and even useful to spectators—the users of it. But this data created and cleaned at scale is a source of Google’s power."



"Users have been tapped as distributed teachers to driverless cars. Granted, this is no guarantee of success: the Waymo project keeps missing its deadlines, and even the most ambitious timelines seem to fall beyond the near future. And just as the Street View online archive exists almost as a refuse of data mining, the security function of reCAPTCHA has just about outgrown its usefulness. Bots and spammers crack it all the time. Humans —those “not a robot” — and human labor serves another purpose: a link in the chain, rather than an end in itself."

[See also:
"Jean-Luc Godard sur Street View? Les internautes en sont persuadés"
https://www.huffingtonpost.fr/2016/07/29/jean-luc-godard-google-maps-buzz_n_11254606.html

via (and also by Joanne McNeil)
https://jomc.substack.com/p/animal-crackers ]
joannemcneil  photography  screens  googlestreetview  maps  mapping  2019  leonardcohen  recaptcha  jean-lucgodard  anne-mariemiéville  cameras 
march 2019 by robertogreco
2015 Arts Writing Award grantee Joanne McNeil debuts Just Browsing - Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation
"The recipient of our 2015 Arts Writing Award in Digital Art, Joanne McNeil has completed her grant-supported project Just Browsing, a five-part video series investigating what it means to be an internet user. Just Browsing will premiere at Fridman Gallery in New York City on Oct. 19. McNeil and her coproducer Nicole Antebi will be in attendance and will introduce each episode in the series. The screening is to be followed by a Q&A session with the filmmaker and her coproducer.

Each episode in McNeil’s series begins with a topic of inquiry and leads the audience through the narrator’s own investigation of overlapping subjects using books and a web browser. The episodes toggle between new and old forms of media along with animation and live-action sequences filmed at New York’s legendary speakeasy bookstore Brazenhead Books.

Written and directed by McNeil, with cinematography, editing, and motion graphics by Antebi and music by Vince Clarke, Just Browsing will go live on the artist’s website later this year.

Joanne McNeil is a writer interested in the ways that technology is shaping art, politics, and society. She was a recipient of the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation 2015 Arts Writing Awards in Digital Art and a resident at Eyebeam. Her essays and reviews have appeared in the New York Times, Domus, Dissent, Frieze, The Baffler, and other publications. She is working on a book about internet users called Lurk.

Nicole Antebi works in non-fiction animation, motion graphics, installation. She was the 2015 animator-in-residence at Circuit Bridges, New York and was recently awarded a Jerome Foundation Grant in Film/Video for a forthcoming animated film about El Paso and Ciudad Juàrez in the early 1990’s. Her work has been shown at Anthology Film Archives, Torrance Art Museum, The Crocker Museum, Dallas Contemporary, and the Armory Center for the Arts, among other art institutions and alternative spaces."
justbrowsing  joannemcneil  film  towatch  nicoleantebi  internet  web  online  2017 
october 2017 by robertogreco
things weren't better then, they just spent less time nostalgic for the past
"Have you seen Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer lately? It popped up when something else I was playing on Youtube ended and I can’t stop thinking about it. Now I want to send it to every VR guy who says something like, “well, actually it took fifty years of film before Citizen Kane..” Well, actually it took four years of MTV before they made this:

[image]

Why isn’t VR as good as music videos were in the 80s? This week people went wild over an AR recreation of A-ha's “Take on me.” It’s a technical achievement but not a creative one. A creative achievement would be to this moment what “Take on me” was in 1984. Something doesn’t need to be technically advanced to capture people’s imaginations as that video did, but I don’t see any entry points in the industry or attempts to nurture that kind of talent. 

VR/AR is ad-tech. Everything built in studios (except for experimental projects from independent artists) is advertising something. That empathy stuff? That's advertising for nonprofits. But mostly VR is advertising itself. While MTV was advertising musicians, the scale and creative freedom meant that it launched careers for people like Michel Gondry, Antoine Fuqua, David Fincher, Spike Jonze, Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, etc. A band from a town like Louisville or Tampa could get in touch with a local filmmaker and collaborate on a project and hope that 120 Minutes picks it up. There were entry points like that. And the audience was eager to see something experimental. But a VR audience is primed to have something like a rollercoaster experience, rather than an encounter with the unexpected. The same slimy shapeshifter entrepreneurs that could just as well build martech or chatbots went and colonized the VR space because they have a built in excuse that it took film "fifty years before Orson Wells." Imagine that. A blank check and a deadline in fifty years.

No one wants to get inside some sweaty uncomfortable headset unless they are going to be rewarded with something at least as good as music videos were in 1984. But who is ushering in talent rather than hype? VR is starting as an institutional and commercial monster rather than scaling into institutional power. It’s like if the art market came before art."
joannemcneil  2017  vr  ar  virtualreality  augmentedreality  mtv  musicvideos  art  advertising  michelgondry  spikejonze  antoinefuqua  davidflincher  jonathandayton  valeriefaris  experimentation  unexpected  surprise  creativity  artmarket 
july 2017 by robertogreco
Reading generously
"Last weekend, I read a number of Mark Fisher’s pieces after the sad news of his death. Simon Reynolds wrote a very moving remembrance. [https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/18/mark-fisher-k-punk-blogs-did-48-politics ] I’ve also been thinking about this pair of tweets from James Butler:

[https://twitter.com/piercepenniless/status/820338388171706369
https://twitter.com/piercepenniless/status/820338591268241408 ]

“Just echoing friends on here, but: if you think someone’s work is great - if it’s meaningful or important to you - tell them.”  “And I wish, sometimes, we could read people in life with the charity, generosity and clear perspective we do in death.” 

Here’s a pretty classic Fisher bit on the the contrast between the obsolescence of technology with the relative lack of obsolescence in music trends [http://thequietus.com/articles/13004-mark-fisher-ghosts-of-my-life-extract ]: "While 20th Century experimental culture was seized by a recombinatorial delirium, which made it feel as if newness was infinitely available, the 21st Century is oppressed by a crushing sense of finitude and exhaustion. It doesn’t feel like the future. Or, alternatively, it doesn’t feel as if the 21st Century has started yet. We remain trapped in the 20th century, just as Sapphire and Steel were incarcerated in their roadside café.…there’s an increasing sense that culture has lost the ability to grasp and articulate the present. Or it could be that, in one very important sense, there is no present to grasp and articulate any more.”

It never ever hurts to read more generously. I am feeling that sense of being "trapped in the 20th century" intensifying. And yet, I can't go back to a time when those PKD paperbacks were on so many friends' shelves. Anyway, if culture isn't pushing forward, I guess that means looking left and right instead of straight ahead. Just don't stop looking."
joannemcneil  markfisher  howeread  reading  2017  jamesbutler  finitude  exhaustion  obsolescence  technology  philipkdick  oppression  present  generosity  k-punk 
january 2017 by robertogreco
Why Do I Have to Call This App ‘Julie’? - The New York Times
"Technologies speak with recorded feminine voices because women “weren’t normally there to be heard,” Helen Hester, a media studies lecturer at Middlesex University, told me. A woman’s voice stood out. For example, an automated recording of a woman’s voice used in cockpit navigation becomes a beacon, a voice in stark contrast with that of everyone else, when all the pilots on board are men.

Ms. Hester lives in London, where the spectral sound of robotic women is piping from nearly every corner. Enter the Underground and you hear a disembodied woman announcing “the next station is Mornington Crescent” and the train’s signature canned message, “please mind the gap between the train and the platform.”

A similar voice — emotionless, timeless, with an accent difficult to place — emits from clocks and traffic lights, and inside elevators and supermarkets. The “coldness, the forthrightness of the voice” is what Ms. Hester finds striking. What human speaks with such emotionless authority? And, as Ms. Hester points out: “It’s not real authority. There’s a maternal edge to all of it. It is personal guidance rather than definite directions.”

And, she says, these voices can even play into people’s expectations of male authority because they aren’t actual women. People hear a woman’s voice, realize it is robotic, and “imagine a male programmer” did the actual work.

No one seems to market tech products in the image of the most famous virtual assistant in film history. Hal from “2001: A Space Odyssey” was so brilliant and manly that it attempted to kill off the crew of the spacecraft it was built to manage. Instead, people build what I call “Stepford apps.” These are the Internet’s answer to those old sci-fi robots in dresses mopping floors with manufactured enthusiasm."
ai  artificialintelligence  gender  joannemcneil  voices  siri  cortana  alexa  2015  sexism  apple  amazon  microsoft 
december 2015 by robertogreco
Still Water blog · Personal Touch: Joanne McNeil on Digital Intimacy
"The Thoma award is intended to “promote understanding of digital art,” and it’s easy to see why the jury chose McNeil for this mission. Neither fanboy nor pedant, she puts thoughts into words that are clear yet nuanced, unencumbered by the jargon that weighs down so much scholarship.

Many of her essays pivot on a concrete detail: a broken iPhone screen, a photo of the Eiffel tower, an unlikely 3d puzzle available on a Chinese ecommerce site. These grains of digital texture aren’t haphazard observations, floating by like Facebook posts about a delicious breakfast or pretty sunset. They are tiny gateways to understanding the unseen forces busily automating society, unseen because they are too vast to grasp except on a global scale, or because they are too intimate to experience except subliminally. Forces surveyed in McNeil’s essays include Twitter algorithms that encourage stalking and automated birthday notices that turn anniversaries into occasions for harassment.

Among my favorite essays is “iPhone Dreams,” precipitated by McNeil’s discovery of a website displaying imagined renderings of what was soon to become the Apple phone. The site compiles unofficial mockups that ordinary artists and designers concocted in October of 2006, shortly after news broke that Apple had struck a deal with a phone company. Unlike the elegant touchscreen slab that Apple would eventually unveil, these clunky, button-cluttered prototypes look more like iPods–or even Princess phones–revealing how our imaginations can be shackled to the past. (The first tractors were equipped with leather reins so farmers could get used to steering them.) Despite its ostensible critique of tech forecasters and Apple groupies, “iPhone Dreams” ends in a confession of infatuation by the author as well. When she eventually gets her hands on the real phone, she brings it to sleep with her, concluding, “I have to remember to put it down.”

McNeil’s confessional tone can be infectious–it gives us readers permission to consider whether we’ve felt parallel digital dreads or desires. But her confessions have a purpose beyond titillation or gossip. She reminds us that the feminist adage “the personal is political” also applies to personal computing, whether in an essay written with Astra Taylor on the industry’s historically inaccurate bias towards the mansplaining “Dads of Tech,” or in a remark on how search engines have changed the meaning of the word “search,” whose original connotation of longing has been demurely expunged to leave only the objective act of research.

The latter insight comes from her catalogue essay for the exhibition “Touch To Feel,” in which McNeil astutely notes how gestural interfaces like tablets and smartphones have similarly consigned touch, our most carnal sense, to the role of a pragmatic intermediary:

The word ‘touch’ is likewise recalibrated, with a focus on the motion of touching rather than sensing the texture of something. The uniformly smooth surface of a ‘touch interface’ has no friction. Touch is never the point of a digital experience, not the way that code is written for us to hear or see. We touch surfaces that do not tug back or prick our fingers. We touch to alter images, to turn the volume down. We touch to engage other senses.

It’s tempting to blame digital tools for stripping away the sensuous meanings of these formerly hot-blooded verbs. Is there a deliberate corporate agenda here, to refocus our erotic attention on nouns that can be bought and sold–like the facts returned by a Google search, or the iPhone we cozy up next to in bed? McNeil doesn’t sermonize on this point; she opens the door and lets us walk through on her own. She has, as we say, a light touch.

We need more writers who can draw our attention to the intimate dimensions of the gadgets that have cozened their way onto our wrists and into our pant pockets. Enough of my mansplaining–go read her yourself."
joannemcneil  writing  nuance  digital  astrataylor  technology  2015  newmedia  jonippolito  experience  jargon  scholarship  academia  accessibility 
june 2015 by robertogreco
This Mesh We're In: Why Communities Are Building An Internet That's More Local | Fast Company | Business + Innovation
"Recently, a pair of artists in New York put forward an unusual plan for teaching middle school students about the Internet: specifically, by teaching them how to get off it and build their own.

OurNet will combine two series of lessons: one on building a social network, and the other dedicated to constructing a private network, or "darknet," in the classroom. In the process, write Joanne McNeil and Dan Phiffer in their proposal, students will learn important concepts about how the Internet works. Last week the project was awarded a $35,000 grant from a MacArthur Foundation digital learning initiative.

Unlike the physical networks of Time Warner and Verizon or the virtual networks of Facebook and Instagram, however, the networks they and their students build will be noncommercial, and limited to people in their Wi-Fi range. That’s not just a way to simplify the lesson: It’s a deliberate choice to help students think about alternatives to corporate Internet providers and platforms built around advertising and tracking.

"This is an opportunity for the students to see what kind of middlemen they don’t need to connect—the idea that you can socialize with people without going on Facebook, or the idea that you can actually have a network that’s not through an ISP," says McNeil.

OurNet is part of a growing movement that aims to consider and build alternative computer networks. The wireless network idea adds to a growing number of small, independent, nonprofit wireless community networks, often organized as so-called "mesh networks" for their weblike, decentralized design, in which each node—a phone, for instance, or a sophisticated wireless router—relays the connection onwards to the next node. OurNet, with one central classroom router, will have an even simpler structure, though it shares the mesh networks' philosophy of decentralization.

The ad hoc approach has gained attention for its usefulness in more extreme situations. Various mesh networks have been deployed to improve communication at Occupy Wall Street and at Hong Kong's Occupy Central, for instance, and the State Department has funded their installation in Detroit and Tunisia, where they're thought of as a way to extend Internet service and avoid government surveillance. They've also been used to improve communications after disasters to replace severed communications links.

One network in Red Hook, Brooklyn, built by activists as a way to help the neighborhood stay connected and get emergency updates after superstorm Sandy struck New York in 2012, last week received a grant from one of the city's resiliency initiatives."
joannemcneil  danphiffer  education  internet  ournet  wireless  meshnetworks  ows  occupywallstreet  occupy.here  sarahgrant  subnodes  stevenmelendez  infrastructure  shahselbejerthorpe  guifi  guifi.net  hyperboria  isp  chicagomeshnetjefflunt  nycmesh  history  web  raspberypi  projectideas  edtech 
may 2015 by robertogreco
FACETS
"An interdisciplinary creative coding, interactive art, and videogames un-conference.

FACETS is a conversational based creative un-conference with a focus on underrepresented voices and demographics in STEM and art."



"MISSION STATEMENT

FACETS grew out out of a need for a new type of conference and a new type of conversation. Art, interactive technology, new media and game design are making innovative, beautiful things and are using similar tools and having similar, ground breaking discoveries and conversations but not with each other. What can a game designer learn from the linear mathematics used from procedurally generated music? What can the new media academic teach the creative technologist? How does technology inform storytelling, and how will video game design change cinema? The aim of FACETS is to create a cross disciplinary conference that facilitates conversation, mentorship, innovation, and ideation across these disciplines. We all make amazing things, let's make them together.

Organized by Caroline Sinders and created by Caroline Sinders, Mohini Freya Dutta, Phoenix Perry, and Jane Friedhoff, FACETS started out of a frustration with a lack of places to discuss interactive art, media, and game design, particularly with talented and underrepresented demographics in STEM."
facets  events  nyc  brooklyn  2015  coding  art  videogames  unconferences  carolinesinders  janefriedhoff  phoenixperry  mohinidutta  rachelbinx  sarahjaffe  paoolopedercini  ingridburrington  joannemcneil 
april 2015 by robertogreco
The Most Important Thing on the Internet Is the Screenshot | WIRED
"Screenshots can also be almost forensic, a way to prove to others that you're really seeing the crazy stuff you're seeing. The first viral hit of the screenshot age was the often-filthy autocorrect errors in SMS. Now screenshots hold people accountable for their terrible online words. When Australian videogame reviewer Alanah Pearce was getting harassed online, she discovered that many of her trolls were young boys. She tracked down their mothers and sent a screenshot to one (who then demanded her son handwrite a letter of apology). DC writers eagerly pounce on politicians' social media faux pas, preserving them before they can vanish down the memory hole—part justice, part gotcha.

Even more arrestingly, though, screenshots let you see other people's screenworlds, increasingly where we all do our best thinking. They invite a useful voyeurism. Venture capitalist Chris Dixon tweeted a link to an article on how “Nikola Tesla predicted the iPhone” and got 109 retweets; when he tweeted a readable screenshot of the piece, it got over 4,200. Indeed, one of the more delightful aspects of screenshot culture is how often people share text instead of just the clickbaity headline. Developers have strained for years to devise technologies for “collaborative reading.” Now it's happening organically.

We're going to need better apps to help us share, sort, and make sense of this new flood. Screenshots are more semantically diverse than typical snapshots, and we already struggle to manage our photo backlog. Rita J. King, codirector of the Science House consultancy, has thousands of screenshots from her online ramblings (pictures of bacteria, charts explaining probability). Rummaging through them reminds her of ideas she's forgotten and triggers new ones. “It's like a scrapbook, or a fossil record in digital silt,” King says. A lifetime of scraps, glimpsed through the screen."
clivethompson  screenshots  internet  online  communication  perspective  pov  chrisdixon  2015  evernote  joannemcneil  photography  digital  imagery  computing  mobile  phones  smartphones 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Automate emotional labor in Gmail messages. [emotional-labor.email]
"emotional-labor.email
Automate emotional labor in Gmail messages.

Lighten up your email with the Emotional Labor extension. Works on any email sent through Gmail.

First write an email. Then click the smiley face to brighten up the tone of the email before sending."

[Describes in this post:
https://medium.com/message/canned-email-eb6f4ba843d9

"I feel more acutely aware of the strain of feigned enthusiasm when I am writing email. I guess it is not much different than day to day interactions like answering “things are going good” when asked, when actually things are not so great. But some email correspondence feels like a race to collect and dispense exclamation marks and xoxos. As if we could cash them all in for prizes upon achieving — Darth Vader voice, flashlight under chin — inbox zero.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Xoxooxoxooxooxoooooooooxooxoxoxooxoxo!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Xoxooxoxooxooxoooooooooxooxoxoxooxoxo!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Xoxooxoxooxooxoooooooooxooxoxoxooxoxo!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Xoxooxoxooxooxoooooooooxooxoxoxooxoxo!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Xoxooxoxooxooxoooooooooxooxoxoxooxoxo!!!!!!!!!!!

That paragraph I just wrote appears more cynical than I intended. But that’s my point. It is hard to communicate in words. It is work. What was once the concern of professional writers is now a burden we all share, as we communicate all day long over email and texts.

We might garnish our messages with emoticons and emojis like strewing garland and bunting to demonstrate emotion. Sometimes that comes out naturally. But that fake smile, “yeah, things are going good,” way of deflecting attention, and containing unhappiness, plays out differently in written correspondence. When I attempt to display an emotion I don’t actually feel over email, I fret over sounding insincere or abrupt or otherwise upsetting someone unintentionally.

That’s why I made this: the Emotional Labor email extension. Install it in Chrome, then click on the smiley face after composing an email in Gmail to brighten up the mood of the letter. It replaces serious words with playful ones, swaps out periods for exclamation marks, and a adds cheerful introductory text.

Everyone has a story you tell again and again. But you alter it a bit upon each re-telling don’t you? You edit it for length, you play up certain details depending upon company. Customer service is where that line blurs. It can be impossible to tell whether a voice on the phone is automated or a real person speaking committedly to a script.

I was inspired to create the extension after many futile attempts to start using canned responses. “Canned responses” — email written in advance to send again and again — is a common bullet point on content listicles suggesting ways someone might improve their productivity. Canned responses are kind of like a one-on-one FAQ. If people often ask directions to your office, you can write a canned response to send rather than writing the directions out over and over. Or, if you are a vendor that often receives the same question from customers, you can send a canned response with the answer instead of cutting-and-pasting again and again. I have a few shortcuts for texting on my phone (autocorrect “OMW” to “On my way!” has saved me precious seconds when I’ve needed to remove my gloves to text someone in the cold.) But I never found a reason to use canned answers. Nothing in my life is structured for its use.

The Emotional Labor extension is also a response to an app released last year: Romantimatic. It automates sending texts like “I love you” and other sweet nothings to a person’s love interest. While canned answers were developed for professional use, the Romantimatic app less ambiguously demonstrates where credence to authenticity should outweigh urgency and obligation. One of the suggested messages to send is “I can’t get you off my mind,” which is ridiculously untrue if this app is in use.

The Emotional Labor email extension looks fake. That’s the point. I wanted to reveal my exhaustion, my fatigue in needing to attend to so much correspondence. Until there is an emoticon for “Things are kind of not great but I don’t want to disturb you let’s just pretend things are fine,” that’s the grey area where this project resides. I made this to reveal the friction in my indecisiveness — how many xs do I normally sign off — one, two, three?

Perhaps it may be of some use!!!! Or, at the very least, I hope you find it amusing!!!!!

XOXO"]
extensions  gmail  email  joannemcneil  writing  communication  2015  tone  correspondence  automation  emotions  emotionallabor  cannedresponses  productivity 
february 2015 by robertogreco
jomc.links (Types of art)
"Time based media work to examine the stages and transformations of a single loaf #staleart

An inquiry into the everyday realities of large marine cetaceans, including mimicking surface behavior #whaleart

Performances consider the use and distance of unpaved lanes. Often received in the form of a mixture of dried fruits and nuts #trailart

Practice is concerned with colors of low saturation and associated paraphernalia #paleart

Art inspired by a creature entering new homes as territories of resistance. Slime residue traces the pattern of a psychogeographic inquiry #snailart

Gestures involving sedimentary rock as accelerationism of rare systems. Steam injection as provocative enterprise and critique of unsustainable practices. #oilshaleart

Explores coverings of many forms and textures. #veilart

Appropriating tactical reconnaissance substrates. Making underlying power structures hitherto visible. #maleart

(some rando text file I wrote about a year ago. no idea where to put it so i’m putting it here….i also have no idea what the thing was that annoyed me but it apparently was a long complicated joke about surveillance art being a boys club)"

[via: http://notes.caseyagollan.com/post/109923232318/types-of-art ]
joannemcneil  2015  art  psychogeography  gender  whales  textures  texture  coverings  veils  oilshale  systems  systemsthinking  color  humor  power  patriarchy  resistance 
february 2015 by robertogreco
New Topics in Social Computing: Online Abuser Dynamics by EyebeamNYC
"In this discussion we will review the dynamics and patterns of online abuse on social networks. How does a minor scuffle so quickly become an avalanche of online harassment? Why are women, people of color, and the queer and trans community disproportionately targeted? What are steps we can take to build safe spaces on the internet? A killfile or block button is no longer a sufficient tool to prevent abuse and the common advice “don’t feed the troll” ignores the contemporary climate of online abuse. We will discuss tactics to minimize online abuse and the potential for structural change.

Panelists: Erin Kissane, Sydette Harry and Melissa Gira Grant

eyebeam.org/events/new-topics-i…ine-abuser-dynamics "
joannemcneil  erinkissane  sydetteharry  melissagiragrant  2014  abuse  online  internet  violence  web  socialnetworking  socialnetworks  socialmedia  sexism  racism  harassment  blocking  trolling  security  privacy  safety  newtopics  socialcomputing  society  marginalization 
november 2014 by robertogreco
The Dads of Tech - The Baffler
"The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house,” Audre Lorde famously said, but let Clay Shirky mansplain. It “always struck me as a strange observation—even the metaphor isn’t true,” the tech consultant and bestselling author said at the New Yorker Festival last autumn in a debate with the novelist Jonathan Franzen. “Get ahold of the master’s hammer,” and you can dismantle anything. Just consider all the people “flipping on the ‘I’m gay’ light on Facebook” to signal their support for marriage equality—there, Shirky declared, is a prime example of the master’s tools put to good use.

“Shirky invented the Internet and Franzen wants to shut it down,” panel moderator Henry Finder mused with an air of sophisticated hyperbole. Finder said he was merely paraphrasing a festival attendee he’d overheard outside—and joked that for once in his New Yorker editing career, he didn’t need fact-checkers to determine whether the story was true. He then announced with a wink that it was “maybe a little true.” Heh.

Shirky studied fine art in school, worked as a lighting designer for theater and dance companies; he was a partner at investment firm The Accelerator Group before turning to tech punditry. Now he teaches at NYU and publishes gung-ho cyberliberation tracts such as Here Comes Everybody and Cognitive Surplus while plying a consulting sideline for a diverse corps of well-paying clients such as Nokia, the BBC, and the U.S. Navy—as well as high-profile speaking gigs like the New Yorker forum, which was convened under the stupifyingly dualistic heading “Is Technology Good for Culture?”

And that’s tech punditry for you: simplification with an undercurrent of sexism. There are plenty of woman academics and researchers who study technology and social change, but we are a long way from the forefront of stage-managed gobbledygook. Instead of getting regaled with nods and winks for “inventing the Internet,” women in the tech world typically have to overcome the bigoted suspicions of an intensively male geek culture—when, that is, they don’t face outright harassment in the course of pursuing industry careers."



"No wonder, then, that investors ignore coders from marginalized communities who aspire to meet real needs. With an Internet so simple even your Dad can understand it as our guiding model, the myriad challenges that attend the digital transformation, from rampant sexism, racism, and homophobia to the decline of journalism, are impossible to apprehend, let alone address. How else could a white dude who didn’t know that a “bustle” is a butt-enhancing device from the late nineteenth century raise $6.5 million to start a women’s content site under that name? Or look at investors racing to fund the latest fad: “explainer” journalism, a format that epitomizes our current predicament. Explainer journalism is an Internet simple enough for Dad to understand made manifest. Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight, the New York Times’ The Upshot, and Ezra Klein’s Vox (which boasts a “Leadership Team” of seventeen men and three women) all champion a numbers-driven model that does not allow for qualification or uncertainty. No doubt, quantification can aid insight, but statistics shouldn’t be synonymous with a naive, didactic faith that numbers don’t lie or that everything worth knowing can be rendered in a series of quickly clickable virtual notecards. Plenty of news reports cry out for further explanation, because the world is complex and journalists often get things wrong, but like Internet punditry before it, these explainer outlets don’t explain, they simplify."



"Most of all, the dominance of the Dad’s-eye-view of the world shores up the Internet’s underlying economic operating system. This also means a de facto free pass for corporate surveillance, along with an increasing concentration of wealth and power in the coffers of a handful of advertising-dependent, privacy-violating info-monopolies and the men who run them (namely Google and Facebook, though Amazon and Apple are also addicted to sucking up our personal data). Study after study shows that women are more sensitive to the subject of privacy than men, from a Pew poll that found that young girls are more prone than boys are to disabling location tracking on their devices to another that showed that while women are equally enthusiastic about technology in general, they’re also more concerned about the implications of wearable technologies. A more complicated Internet would incorporate these legitimate apprehensions instead of demanding “openness” and “transparency” from everyone. (It would also, we dare to hope, recognize that the vacuous sloganeering on behalf of openness only makes us more easily surveilled by government and big business.) But, of course, imposing privacy protections would involve regulation and impede profit—two bête noires of tech dudes who are quite sure that Internet freedom is synonymous with the free market.

The master’s house might have a new shape—it may be sprawling and diffuse, and occupy what is euphemistically referred to as the “cloud”—but it also has become corporatized and commercialized, redolent of hierarchies of yore, and it needs to be dismantled. Unfortunately, in the digital age, like the predigital one, men don’t want to take it apart."
astrataylor  joannemcneil  2014  sexism  technology  culture  siliconvalley  dads  nodads  patriarchy  paternalism  gender  emotionallabor  hisotry  computing  programming  complexity  simplification  nuance  diversity  journalism  clayshirky  polarization  exclusion  marcandreessen  ellenchisa  julieannhorvath  github  careers  audrelorde  punditry  canon  inequality 
november 2014 by robertogreco
The Good Girl Doesn’t Mind — The Message — Medium
"The subtlety of the boundary crossed is why I often think of this experience. Mr. Charmer acted disrespectfully to the three of us, flaunting the power inequity at the table. His wife is nominally his professional equal, but it would appear she is not an equal partner in the relationship, which he demonstrated to us. She also acted as his enabler. My friend and I are established in our careers, but nowhere near his wealth and clout.

I didn’t follow up on his invite to the event. If I were younger and starting out, I probably would have gone. What are a few awkward touches if it means hobnobbing with people that might open up some golden doors for me? It is hard to explain the particular power bargains that many women make in their careers. Roughly it amounts to putting up with minor acts of abuse, partly because of the threat that no one will believe you, but also because in the long run you are positioning yourself to a career placement where you are less likely to be a victim of these encounters. He would not act this way with women he regards as equals.

***

If you had the misfortune of looking at /r/TheFappening/ you might have picked up on a particularly disturbing sentiment commonly expressed in the subreddit’s threads. The community dismissed the victims tweeting angrily about the leaked nude photos, while applauding women whose photos were stolen who appear unfazed by this hack. The good girls are the ones who act within their demarcated ideals of behavior. They are rewarded because they don’t complain. It is likely they are the ones who will be spared if another hack takes place."
joannemcneil  gender  power  2014  behavior  entitlement  abuse  inequality 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Improving Reality | Joanne McNeil
"My talk was concerned with the strangely malleable qualities of time.

What if a digital photograph taken several years from now looks exactly like an image taken today? Digital content appears with minimal visual language distinguishing yesterday from tomorrow and today. Now habits have emerged in which we communicate with the past and even mistake it for the present. Is time itself something mutable on the web, available to us to reimagine and remix?"



"Google privileges the relevant over the new — and our search habits on the web work the same. Why might I have guessed that after sitting there abandoned for thirty years, it would be gone just as I had the chance to see it? I made the mistake the people using that Haiti image had done — confused the past for the present.

I went out anyway, to see for myself, see the place in context, see if there was anything left. I stood there looking at my iPhone with Google Earth satellites telling me I should be in the middle of this fantastic place. But I was only standing in the pieces of what used to be.

The web has changed the way we think of time. We see examples of contemporary culture remixing the past, present, and future in celebrity holograms, instagram filters, WW2 in real time tweets.

We can communicate with the past online. Here you see, on an actress’s IMDB page. This conversation went on from 2007 to just recently. Who knows how long people will discuss “does she have a boyfriend or husband?” Until she’s in a confirmed committed relationship? Until she dies? Until the end of IMDB? We’ve never had anything like this before. Messages in the bottle or bathroom graffiti never had a lifespan, accessibility, and community like this.

The mutability of time as its represented online isn’t a cause for alarm. It’s something we can play with, have a little fun —

Early last year, I logged in Friendster after many years of leaving it inactive. And it occurred to me…all these photos of me were old, my favorite movies, books, nothing related to the way I am today. Most of these “friends” I’d lost touch with long ago….it was all frozen in time from the last time I used it, about 2006.

And I began to wish there were a rewind button. That I could look at its first iteration. What I was like when I signed up for the service, my favorite books, my friends then.

So, for a laugh, I created a brand new profile. One as I would have created it a decade before. And I asked my friends — my new friends — to come join me there. These are people I didn’t know then. I got to share my history in an unusual way — show what I used to be like. I would post status updates complaining about my job as a waitress or bragging about reading Ursula LeGuin….
via:litherland  2012  joannemcneil  time  change  internet  web  profiles  avatars  friendster  photography  digital  images  memory  memories  reality  storytelling  howwechange  identity  mallealility  future  past  present 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Screenshots as POV — The Message — Medium
"Screenshots are a sister to the POV footage that is taking over YouTube and Vimeo. Generally filmed with GoPro or Google Glass, the point of view of the image-maker is much more pronounced than with still photographs — you can tell how tall someone is, or if they tripped while walking. There’s a reason why that demo footage always features action-intensive activities like extreme sports and roller coaster rides. But most of us aren’t on hot air balloons or skydiving at this very moment. If you want to see what I see right now, let me take a screenshot."



"You could print a flipbook of your web activity that goes on infinitely. Like old GoPro footage of an afternoon cycling, these screenshot images bring you back to where you were looking at that minute."
joannemcneil  screenshots  2014  pov  photography  screens  gopro  cameras 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Sound and Memory — The Message — Medium
"We need an Instagram for field recordings"



"Soundcloud is designed for community feedback rather than quick sharing and simple faving/liking activity. The ideal app would be lightweight and keep files neatly organized. Twitter was recently reported to be in talks with the company, but the deal fell through. Licensing would be a challenge, but not if the community is encouraged to share the sounds of a place rather than someone else’s music.

Recently, I lost the metadata for my files saved in Voice Memos. The recordings defaulted to “12/31/11” as the file names and dates. Writing this post, I listened to a few tracks at random. Among these files was my recording of a gamelan performance on a hot night in Bali. Another track was captured the time I stumbled upon a band playing weepy rock music in a small club in Taipei. Some rain on my windows, a lot of it is just me talking to myself. Another track I recorded from the backseat of a car in Moscow. It is the music playing on the radio (that’s artist Constant Dullaart you hear, saying it’s Christmas time). Often a gust of wind blocks out whatever it was I hoped to capture or my sleeve rubs against the device and interrupts things, but for the most part the sound quality is pretty good."
sound  audio  joannemcneil  maps  mapping  instagram  soundcloud  2014  soundscapes  sounds  fieldrecording 
may 2014 by robertogreco
Internet of Dreams - Missed Connection - m4w
"Craigslist is a blank white box. You can write whatever you want. The network can be better than any literary journal. Tell it your stories."
internetasliterature  internet  literature  missedconnection  craigslist  joannemcneil  2013  internetasfavoritebook 
august 2013 by robertogreco
Mirror with Memory and a Blind Spot — Medium
"Think of this in relation to Google Glass videos with first person point-of-view perspective — for example this video of Gangnam Style through Glass. There is no gesture to indicate the video has begun. It is seemless. On and off, beginning and end — this is mutable now. Consider the context of this heavily documented moment in time — of CCTV footage, machine vision, satellite aerials, dashcams, GoPro headsets, the devices in our pockets, the seemingly non-stop capture — the “constant moment,” as Clayton Cubitt has called it. Photography, Cubitt writes, is less about being physically present; we’ve expanded “the available window of temporal curation from ‘here and now’ to ‘anywhere and anytime.’”

We are hardly talking about images any more. We are talking about experience saved as visuals. Representations of the past in pixels. The digital media accumulates like a snake sheds its skin."
photography  joannemcneil  googlestreetview  pov  images  mirrors  reflections  cameras  rexsorgatz  oliverwendellholmes  2013  claytoncubitt  googleglass  hereandnow  anytimeanywhere 
july 2013 by robertogreco
Stealth Wear Aims to Make a Tech Statement - NYTimes.com
"Adam Harvey, an artist and design professor at the School of Visual Arts and an early creator of stealth wear, acknowledges that countersurveillance clothing sounds like something out of a William Gibson novel.

“The science-fiction part has become a reality,” he said, “and there’s a growing need for products that offer privacy.”

Mr. Harvey exhibited a number of his stealth-wear designs and prototypes in an art show this year in London. His work includes a series of hoodies and cloaks that use reflective, metallic fabric — like the kind used in protective gear for firefighters — that he has repurposed to  reduce a person’s thermal footprint. In theory, this limits one’s visibility to aerial surveillance vehicles employing heat-imaging cameras to track people on the ground.

He also developed a purse with extra-bright LEDs that can be activated when someone is taking unwanted pictures; the effect is to reduce an intrusive photograph to a washed-out blur. In addition, he created a guide for hairstyling and makeup application that might keep a camera from recognizing the person beneath the elaborate get-up. The technique is called CV Dazzle — a riff on “computer vision” and “dazzle,” a type of camouflage used during World War II to make it hard to detect the size and shape of warships.

Mr. Harvey isn’t the only one working on such products. …"
surveillance  countersurveillance  uniformproject  razzledazzle  light  facerecognition  clothing  wearables  wearable  privacy  2013  adamharvey  googleglass  drones  beckstern  toddblatt  joannemcneil  janchipchase  camouflage  jennawortham  fashion  technology  fabric  dazzle 
june 2013 by robertogreco
[this is aaronland] The "Drinking Coffee and Stealing Wifi" 2012 World Tour
"On some levels, you could reduce this entire talk down to a very simple question: Why are keeping any of this stuff? Or rather: If we as public institutions, or even private ones that wish to bask in the warm fuzzy glow of the public "trust", can't figure out how to provide access to all of this stuff we're collecting then what exactly are we doing?

We tend to justify these enourmous and fabulous buildings we create to showcase our collections on the grounds that they will, sooner or later, be the spotlight that embraces the totality of the things we keep. Yet that doesn't really happen, does it?"
mapping  maps  metadata  objects  parallel-flickr  sebchan  pharlap  australia  paolaantonelli  cooper-hewitt  databases  data  macguffin  revdancatt  gowanusheights  identification  integers  privatesquare  joannemcneil  jamesbridle  flickr  penelopeumbrico  collections  museums  archiving  archives  2012  aaronstraupcope 
december 2012 by robertogreco
Stories from the New Aesthetic : Joanne Mcneil
"It's a blank box, you can enter in whatever you want. You can take it as representation or you can bend it."

"It is full of things that never happened — human abstractions, examples of us acting in make believe. The avatars, the sock puppets, false identities, mockups, renders, the fake. Reality is blended in it. And sometimes, it is the program or the network telling stories to us. Something not as intended, more accidental storytelling."

"The internet will never be a mirror. Nor is it a window. It's pictures."

"…some people —real people — might not be treated as such online. …Civil Rights Captcha…supposes that if you are lacking a base level of compassion, if you express bigotry, you are relegated to second class bot level status on the internet."

"Facebook is where you share your success, not your suffering…this behavior means the picture is incomplete."

"while the people are an afterthought on the street…when it comes it businesses, they are central to the point."

[Video here: https://vimeo.com/51595243 ]
mapping  maps  time  place  2012  humans  people  cartography  trapstreets  theskyontrapstreet  sharing  twitter  googlestreetview  facebook  compassion  civilrightscaptcha  captcha  vulnerability  tears  personalbanking  banking  liebooks  lies  cronocaos  code/space  remkoolhaas  anaisnin  storytelling  stories  reality  location  clementvalla  brunolatour  adamharvey  web  internet  art  melissagiragrant  doramoutot  willwiles  aaronstraupcope  jamesbridle  joannemcneil  newaesthetic  storiesfromthenewaesthetic 
october 2012 by robertogreco
Living inside the Machine | booktwo.org
"We used to posit this space, the network, the notional space, as being elsewhere, the other side of the screen. But increasingly we have these images of the machine as something that surrounds us, that we live inside, within. As something that enfolds us."

"The “abstract machine” is Deleuze and Guattari’s term for the sum of all machines—in their terminology, this includes the body, society, language, interpretation: like the rhizome it stands both for the sum and its parts. So the network too is one of these abstract machines: a mainframe, a terminal, a laptop, a wireless LAN, a string of satellites. And us too, living inside the machine, a part of the network.

That notional space."

[Video here: https://vimeo.com/51675237 ]
storiesfromthenewaesthetic  hippo  eniac  harryreed  future  present  history  ibm  joannemcneil  aaronstraupcope  society  rhizome  systems  notionalspace  machines  abstractmachines  guattari  deleuze  williamgibson  jgballard  computires  computing  mainframes  networks  georgedyson  2012  newaesthetic  jamesbridle  deleuze&guattari  gillesdeleuze  félixguattari 
october 2012 by robertogreco
[this is aaronland] signs of life [These quotes are only from the beginning. I recommend reading the whole thing.]
"I've been thinking a lot about motive & intent for the last few years. How we recognize motive &… how we measure its consequence.

This is hardly uncharted territory. You can argue easily enough that it remains the core issue that all religion, philosophy & politics struggle with. Motive or trust within a community of individuals.

…Bruce Schneier…writes:

"In today's complex society, we often trust systems more than people. It's not so much that I trusted the plumber at my door as that I trusted the systems that produced him & protect me."

I often find myself thinking about motive & consequence in the form of a very specific question: Who is allowed to speak on behalf of an organization?

To whom do we give not simply the latitude of interpretation, but the luxury of association, with the thing they are talking about …

Institutionalizing or formalizing consequence is often a way to guarantee an investment but that often plows head-first in to the subtlies of real-life."

[Video here: https://vimeo.com/51515289 ]
dunbartribes  schrodinger'sbox  scale  francisfukuyama  capitalism  industrialrevolution  technology  rules  control  algorithms  creepiness  siri  drones  robots  cameras  sensors  robotreadableworld  humans  patterns  patternrecognition  patternmatching  gerhardrichter  robotics  johnpowers  dia:beacon  jonathanwallace  portugal  lisbon  brandjacking  branding  culturalheritage  culture  joannemcneil  jamesbridle  future  politics  philosophy  religion  image  collections  interpretation  representation  complexity  consequences  cooper-hewitt  photography  filters  instagram  flickr  museums  systemsthinking  systems  newaesthetic  voice  risk  bruceschneier  2012  aaronstraupcope  aaron  intent  motive  storiesfromthenewaesthetic  canon 
october 2012 by robertogreco
Improving Reality 2012 : Joanne Mcneil
[Try this link instead: http://www.joannemcneil.com/improving-reality/ ]

"Google privileges the relevant over the new — and our search habits on the web work the same. Why might I have guessed that after sitting there abandoned for thirty years, it would be gone just as I had the chance to see it? I made the mistake the people using that Haiti image had done — confused the past for the present.

I went out anyway, to see for myself, see the place in context, see if there was anything left. I stood there looking at my iPhone with Google Earth satellites telling me I should be in the middle of this fantastic place. But I was only standing in the pieces of what used to be.

The web has changed the way we think of time. We see examples of contemporary culture remixing the past, present, and future in celebrity holograms, instagram filters, WW2 in real time tweets."
improvingreality  leilajohnston  warrenellis  anajain  taiwan  taipei  sanzhr  images  ursualeguin  memory  conversation  community  accessibility  lifespan  mutability  timecapsules  timelines  friendster  reality  twitter  instagram  atemporality  newness  relevance  culture  web  google  search  perception  time  joannemcneil  2012  via:litherland 
september 2012 by robertogreco
An Essay on the New Aesthetic | Beyond The Beyond | Wired.com
[New URL: http://www.wired.com/2012/04/an-essay-on-the-new-aesthetic/
See also: http://booktwo.org/notebook/sxaesthetic/
http://www.aaronland.info/weblog/2012/03/13/godhelpus/#sxaesthetic
http://www.joannemcneil.com/new-aesthetic-at-sxsw/
http://noisydecentgraphics.typepad.com/design/2012/03/sxsw-the-new-aesthetic-and-commercial-visual-culture.html
http://russelldavies.typepad.com/planning/2012/03/sxsw-the-new-aesthetic-and-writing.html ]

"The “New Aesthetic” is a native product of modern network culture. It’s from London, but it was born digital, on the Internet. The New Aesthetic is a “theory object” and a “shareable concept.”

The New Aesthetic is “collectively intelligent.” It’s diffuse, crowdsourcey, and made of many small pieces loosely joined. It is rhizomatic, as the people at Rhizome would likely tell you. It’s open-sourced, and triumph-of-amateurs. It’s like its logo, a bright cluster of balloons tied to some huge, dark and lethal weight.

There are some good aspects to this modern situation, and there are some not so good ones."

"That’s the big problem, as I see it: the New Aesthetic is trying to hack a modern aesthetic, instead of thinking hard enough and working hard enough to build one. That’s the case so far, anyhow. No reason that the New Aesthetic has to stop where it stands at this moment, after such a promising start. I rather imagine it’s bound to do otherwise. Somebody somewhere will, anyhow."
machinevision  glitches  digitalaccumulation  walterbenjamin  socialmedia  bots  uncannyvalley  surveillance  turingtest  renderghosts  imagerecognition  imagery  beauty  cern  postmodernity  hereandnow  temporality  pixels  culturalagnosticism  london  theory  networkculture  theoryobjects  smallpieceslooselyjoined  collectiveintelligence  digitalage  digital  modernism  aesthetics  vision  robots  cubism  impressionism  history  artmovements  machine-readableworld  russelldavies  benterrett  siliconrounsabout  art  marcelduchamp  joannemcneil  jamesbridle  sxsw  brucesterling  2012  newaesthetic  crowdsourcing  rhizome  aaronstraupcope  thenewaesthetic 
april 2012 by robertogreco
Rhizome | The Never Forgotten House
"I rarely hear anyone boast about photographic memory anymore. It's less impressive today as we can all supplement our own brains with an algorithmic search and the internet's seemingly infinite archival capacity. But this is still a period of transition…"

"We could accumulate hundreds of thousands of images throughout our lives but they will never taste like anything. An image represents and verifies a memory but the rest is left to imagination. Every essential moment of a child's life is documented if he was born in the West. With digital album after album for every birthday, every Christmas, he will never struggle to remember what his childhood home looked like. That reaching, that vague warm feeling for a place one remembers but cannot see; that is a sense now growing extinct.

A child today grows up in a never forgotten house."
memory  documentation  joannemcneil  via:frankchimero  2011  flickr  googlestreetview  childhood  search  images  photography  place  nostalgia  streetview  senses 
december 2011 by robertogreco
Caring for your online introvert
"Fellow introvert Joanne McNeil on Jonathan Rauch's classic article on introverts and what introversion might mean on the internet.

"Social media drains me like a large party might. I just deactivated Facebook. And I don't @ much on Twitter. Too often it feels like the "fog of [an extrovert's] 98-percent-content-free talk," as Rauch put it.""

[The post contains a broken link…will need to hunt down an archive.]
psychology  introversion  kottke  2010  joannemcneil  online  facebook  twitter  socialnetworking  web  relationships  internet  introverts  intorverts 
may 2011 by robertogreco

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