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WE/ME in epedagogy design » Blog Archive » the strange sides of the seminar:

Antje

the strange sides of the seminar:

These are not to be read as critics, but what apeared to me – the new student – as new and what I recognized to effect the situation and possibly how I acted in it…

Seminar-situation

At first I felt very strange, because all the time everyone seemed to be permanently working on their laptops and I was wondering what you are doing all the time and if it effects your real-life-communication. For example, when somebody told something in a discussion or gave a presentation, the other people that I thought were the listeners did something else but listening. I thought that you are either not very interested, capable of multiple action, or maybe just pay attention to the main key-words that mostly didn’t explain me a lot.

However it was very interesting to see how you work and that there is still a lot of outcome from this behaviour. I will try to bring a laptop and be busy the next time, too.

Free-time

What disturbed me a lot during the free-time was the digital cameras as I don’t feel very comfortable with people photographing me all the time, especially when it is again and again because the photos of me do not turn out to be nice, but thank you for trying. Now that I have seen the flickr-accounts with some really good photos I wonder what is going to be left when we remember the seminar and have these photos that emphasize certain moments, situations and of course the fotogenic people. Will I be part of the memory when there is no portrait of me available? Seems a lot like some kind of visual knowledge building…

What I enjoyed very much were the stories of your personal life and your thoughts that you shared with me. I want to thank you all for letting me get to know you a bit and hope very much to continue the discussions online, in a different environment that I still have to explore a bit more. So here are the first steps into a permanent-online-social-life.

Greetings from Antje*

6 Responses to “the strange sides of the seminar:”

  1. Ralf Says:

    Hey Antje, don’t worry about the Photos. We all feel like looking nat that good I guess an der ARE beautyful Photos of you I think.
    And this computer thing, maybe we can avoid this next time if we agree before that as much as possible of the content will be fixed by one of us and the Content of the presentations will be brought to the web.
    Even thoug I might not agree with all your impressions I think it is nessesary that you tell us how it was to you!

  2. Owen Says:

    Hi Antje,

    I think the answer is “capable of multiple action”, although I think some of the time some people were actually discussing what was going on in the presentation with each other while it was going on. So in a sense they were only doing one thing – but in two ways.

    Some of the time when people were talking, for example, I would get a skype message saying something like “that’s a good idea – we should use that in our project too”.

    And I have some photographs of you in which you look wonderful 🙂 I will post them onto Flickr in a few minutes.

  3. weytan Says:

    Hiding behind LCD-Walls…

    Please, Antje, don’t hide behind a laptop, too… then I would be the last one who just got his face, his hands and some old-fashioned analog writing utensils to hide behind… 😉

    There was some meta-communication going on behind the walls of the LCD-displays, as Owen hinted, but as far as I’ve noticed, only a short amount of typing was directly linked to the actual RL discussion (or monologues) going on in front of the respective participants. Behind the white walls, there were mails to be sent to loved ones, flickr-photos to be tagged, days and evenings ahead to be planned…
    I admit that I, too, was scribbling and sketching and sometimes dreaming away, but I think it’s important to notice from time to time that someone is *looking* into your direction, that at least you are in temporary visual focus of your audience when you say something – The mourned loss of the central perspective, you could say.
    An offline-seminar should be used to soothe this online-loss somehow, I think.
    Everybody had his own little universe in front of him or her. It’s difficult enough to ‘extract meaning’ out of the speeches of the non-native english speakers, even without some dozen tiny voices whispering out of the LCD-monitor…
    Unfortunately, since this study is digitally dependent both in content and in communication/archiving on computers, I don’t see a feasible solution (yet).
    I’ll think about it.

    Life as a Photoblog…

    Well, I admit that I, too, use photos as memory-enhancers, but the obsession with photographing was something I usually would have associated with japanese tourists 😉
    Nothing wrong with that, though it would make a great meta-reflective topic: What is it you want to conserve by freezing everything into photos? Is there something which eludes you – à la Heisenberg – when you increasingly filter your presence and your memory with an objective? How about Jaron Lanier’s postsymbolic communication? Or the US-Security approach to ‘The Matrix’ (Multistate AntiTerrorism Infomation Xchange)?
    Anyone searching for an MA-topic yet? Would be a great one…

    PS.: Antje, I haven’t seen a single picture of you yet where you didn’t look beautiful. But then, feeling that snapshots of oneself are mostly ‘awful’, this is a common subjective notion if one sees oneself a) *frozen* in random moments of *life* and b) from a pretendedly objective *outside* which usually highly contrast with the subjective *inside* image one has.
    A double paradox hitting hard…

  4. Antje Says:

    Thank you everyone for telling me that there ARE beautiful photos of me 😉 I didn’t mean that I miss them, but that I don’t feel like identifying with a photo because (as Wey pointed out) they do not present me as a human being or in the way that I see myself (constantly changing outside and inside), but as a snapshot – an image of a certain moment that is not necessarily embedded in the context – and that for me it is a kind of philosophical question wether we remember only what we can keep as an image and if the memory changes in time. I have this feeling sometimes when I look at some photos that I took when I was travelling, I would like to think a bit more about that…
    ok, now I have to turn face-to-face to the friends sitting around me again – see you later

  5. weytan Says:

    I think this is an important question… what defines one’s memories?
    Somehow, icons (photos) work, they work surprisingly and reliably well, given the progress in imaging technology – but how do they work as mnemonic tools?
    There’s a thoughtful quote from Dijkstra, one of my favourite programmers/philosophers:

    “The tools we use have a profound (and devious) influence on our thinking habits, and therefore, on our thinking abilities.”
    – Edsger W. Dijkstra

    Improving technology for imaging, for archiving and for sharing images, doesn’t automatically improves our memory. It just changes the concept of what we describe and understand *as* memory.
    I’m a little bit scared of that.

  6. Alex Says:

    Thanks for your notions. I wonder if people think, that freaks like Ralf an me are antisocial (honest question, no cynism), but I don’t think so. I felt with this metacommunication I was even deeper within the topics, that were being discussed. Of course the uploading of pics might lead to somewhere else, but checking the mentioned sites helped me understanding things. The getting together and identification as an productive group is for me much more important in the informal times, which I’d liked to extend. I think you need to create dreams and emotions before you can work.
    Talking of the 360 degrees surveillance I think it’s a big experiment with an unknown result. I’m just very used to it through my many friends armed with cameras. I like the output. It’s not necessarily the capturing of the moment for later remembering but the art of fotography and filming. That’s at least why I use it to that extend.
    And in the end, it’s part of the program to me.

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