Edek Sher

In 2014 I saw a punk outside a venue. She was punk because of the ripped, black leather jacket with studs. It was torn. She wore all black. Her punk jacket was covered in band’s logo-patches. She turned away from me. On her back, in the center, the biggest patch said: ugh.

LA LA LA

Joseph Hocking

I first encountered the term “memetics” in writings by Christiane Paul.1 Intrigued by the idea, tying together as it does my background in biology and interests in epistemology, I later found a more complete description at Principia Cybernetica Web. Here is their definition:2

Meme: An information pattern, held in an individual’s memory, which is capable of being copied to another individual’s memory.

Memetics: The theoretical and empirical science that studies the replication, spread, and evolution of memes.

Put another way, memetics is an evolutionary epistemology that treats information in an analogous way to genes. As with genes, units of information (called “memes”) replicate by being passed from one individual to another. Also as with genes, certain memes become reduced in frequency and eventually disappear altogether, while other memes are favored and propagate quickly, resulting in a net evolution of the information community. The theory was first proposed by Richard Dawkins in 1976, and has since become an important area of research. Instead of seeing knowledge as constructed by the social system, it sees social systems as constructed by knowledge processes. Indeed, a social group can be defined by the fact that all its members share common memes.

I must reiterate the important point that I am not saying, nor do I believe, that memetics is the correct and true theory of human culture. I am simply pointing out that this is one useful model through which to filter one’s experience of reality.

1 Paul, Christiane Digital Art (New York: Thames and Hudson, 2003)
2 http://pespme1.vub.ac.be/MEMES.html

I Think You Know That I Know That You Think: Epistemology and Interactive Digital Art

Hye Yeon Nam

Self Portrait

In these videos, I seek to portray the difficulty of living in this “room” that is America.

Self-Portrait is an attempt to literally represent my psychological and bodily displacement as a means of representing the experience of immigration to non-immigrants. Since moving two years ago, I now feel as if I live in a different skin. Many of the simple tasks that seemed inborn to me in Korea are now completely foreign.

My body, as a result, feels different. I feel like it occupies both Korea and the United States and my arms and legs feel incredibly elongated, as if I cannot see the end of my body. This space of being neither here in America nor there in Korea is precisely what I try to convey in Self-Portrait. In the video performances, I attempt to show what displacement feels like. Because the displacement one feels from immigrating is difficult and complex to communicate, I decide to demonstrate how one’s daily, commonplace behaviors suddenly become unfamiliar.

By performing these simple tasks gone awry and recording them on video, I escape from the hardship I have felt in the last couple years.

Self Portrait

Lisa Iaboni

Plumes

In my Plumes series I work with digital images of news events found on Google image search.

I specifically chose images that have appeared and reappeared in media. In each I attempt to remove the cause, or the wider context, from the effect of the event, the plume. Work that is part of this series isolates acts of protest (Egypt), retaliation (missile launches, drone attacks in Afghanistan and Libya) terrorism (September 11, 2001) and other man-made catastrophes (explosion of the space shuttle Challenger).

I thought about this project when I was reflecting on my experience as a photo editor. The goal is to find the image that will tease the content of the article it runs with. As my experience looking at images increased, I was definitely drawn to images that were unique—something I hadn’t seen before.

The starkest images were those that depicted grisly events in a beautiful way. Did it get my attention because it was beautiful or because it artfully presented a horrific event? In either case, it got my attention. And it most likely would intrigue our viewers because of its beauty or because we presented something awful in a beautiful way.

Lisa Iaboni: Plumes

Hye Yeon Nam

The expectation to conform culturally weighs on me heavily.

Recently, I was having breakfast when the server asked how I would like my eggs prepared and if I wanted them “sunny-side up.” I had never heard this term before and had misunderstood him as saying “sun inside up.”

I could have easily answered him affirmatively but instead I questioned him as to what “sun inside up” meant. This led to a frustrating interaction where he could not understand what I was saying and I could not understand the colloquialisms associated with ordering eggs.

In retrospect, I wonder if I should have just agreed with my server rather than causing the confusion to occur? Or was it best that I asked him so that not only did I have my eggs prepared the way I actually wanted them to be prepared but so that I could also learn what “sunny side up” meant to avoid future such situations? How should I have proceeded in the way that was most culturally complacent?

What does cultural complacency imply?

Self Portrait

Peter Segerstrom

Galleries are good places to look at things. They have been designed that way. The discourse about the white cube is far-reaching and diverse in its positive and negative readings. My work has an ambiguous relationship to the gallery. The gallery was and is important to the degree that space is important. And space isn’t important anymore. Now we have the internet, ipods and cell phones.

The Street Is A Noisy Place

Monica Ong

Why is it important that image and sound come together? I hold a personal opinion that we consume with our eyes but give with our ears.

Speak

Tim Wang

While new mediums like 3D scanning, modeling, and printing are on the frontier of technology, they are perhaps best suited for capturing the past, the act of inevitably fragmented retrospection, the conflicted experience of articulating one’s conception of one’s own identity and the roles memory and the external world play therein. Thus, the past finds poignant expression and manifestation in the new, the internal in the external.

BAH

Laura Alesci

Please Watch Over Me

March 8 2010_Alesci_TECH_Thesis

I was waiting for you. You were running late. You were out on patrol and just received a call to be on desk duty. I have to be on desk duty tonight.

I head out of my apartment to meet you. I get on the bus and it drops me off in front of the main station. As I am walking in I hear a knock on the window, I turn around to see if it was you. It wasn’t.

I walk into the station and tell the women at the front desk that I was there to meet you. Just wait a moment.

A bulletproof glass panel divides the reception area and the seating area for civilians. After a few minutes of waiting, you notice me and signal me in. The receptionist buzzes me into the restricted area.

You show me where you go to clear your mind.

It’s Quiet Here No One Bothers You Here

The next night I return to the docks on my own. I take an image and plan to give you a print of it the next time we meet.

Once in the main hallway, I wait outside another door. You come open the door for me. We walk into the main headquarters office. It is divided into three separate rooms that open into each other.

The middle room contains two rows of cubicles, each cubicle space has a computer. Glass window panels separate the adjacent rooms on either side. To left is the chief’s office and to the right is the desk duty station along with the reception area.

The reception area is where individual complaints and reports are taken. The receptionist was busy. She was talking to a woman in the waiting area I was in minutes before.

We walk over to the desk that you are assigned to for the night.

The chief needs to speak to me, I will be right back.

It’s a gray office, fully carpeted with blue borders running along the floor. I wait at our desk.

When you return, you tell me about report procedures. Part of desk duty is approving and merging reports. All reports must be reviewed. Once approved the report enters a record system through a process called merging. Once the report is merged with this system it is ready for distribution and available to the public.

I ask if I can approve one. You are not sure at first. After a couple of minutes you let me approve one.

Three other officers walk in. They gather around the desk for a quick talk. One of them speaks to you. Looking to go downtown tonight? I am working out. Have to keep up with the younger guys.

I comment on his jacket, Where did you get that?

He names a place quickly. He tells me how I can get a coat just like it, It looks just like the other coats that are required for all the officers to wear. You know you can even get your numbers sewn in with gold.

 

Please Watch Over Me

Samuel Galison

I don’t see imitation as a weakness or a lack, and I don’t think the “sincerest form of flattery” view quite does justice to the complexity of mimesis. Imitation is central to any kind of ethics, and it’s the trellis on which more intricate forms of human relationships can coalesce and grow. Mimicry isn’t just an interpretation of or reaction to external impelses, it’s how we understand the world on a basic level. I see glints of mirroring at the core of empathy, learning, even friendship, and definitely love. Maybe that’s why imitation’s such a sensitive subject for so many; whether it’s copyright infringement or parody, adoration or critique, being mimicked pokes at something deep.

FOR A MOMENT