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The attendance at today’s symposium was rather dismal. Seems like actor-network theory is a hard task for many of us, so much so that our tutor brought glucose in the form of homemade fudge to fuel our tired brains. Yes, it is Monday, but having spent the majority of the last week and the whole weekend doing work for Broadcast Media, we’re all in need of a good night’s sleep.

To begin our discussion, we watched the same Youtube video I watched at home when trying to establishing a grasp on the methodology. A number of participants voiced their concern of simply not seeing the point of ANT, especially in regards to any kind of practical application it may have.

Our tutor, Elliot, emphasised the importance of ANT as being generative, a mode of mapping out the fundamental connections between things to they can be better understood. In and of itself, ANT doesn’t try to do anything, rather, it is a lens by which to view connections.

ANT considers the ability of A to affect B – the ability of one actor to act upon another. An actor can also be an organisation or a group of individuals who on some level are considered to be a collective.

We discussed semiotics – the study of signs, signifiers and symbols – and Latour’s position on the discipline. Essentially, Latour is not a fan. Semiotics isn’t important to ANT as ANT is more simply about the mapping of connections, rather than their meaning.

I also find some application of semiotics difficult, particularly in the context of study texts, as we did at school. Too often we were asked the purpose or meaning of choosing one word over another, or employing a certain literary ‘device’. This happened continuously when we were studying poetry which really bothered me because as a writer myself, sometimes I write something purely because I like how it sounds or its aesthetic, rather than to inject a hidden meaning into my prose. Of course, this only applies in certain cases, but trying to evoke meaning out of something that has none deeper than sensual pleasure seems to undermine its significance.

After listening to others’ questions and tried explanations of ANT, I asked whether the framework might just be about not jumping to conclusions or making too many assumptions without considering all factors or ‘actors’ that may influence these connections. While this is very simplistic and merely formative, Elliot was pretty happy with my summation, which in turn, left me feeling like I had a greater grasp of ANT overall.

To finish up, while discussing our final niki on Ray Kurzweil, Director of Engineering at Google, in class, someone brought up the website Let Me Google That For You. I’d never heard of it before but will be sure make use of it – in jest – the next time someone asks me a daft question they’d resolve much faster through asking Dr Google themselves.

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 4.15.41 pmWithout saying too much (and there’s not much to say anyhow), you’re basically provided with a visual guide on how to conduct a Google search. But I suggest you take and use it with caution, just in case your hint comes across as being a little too sarcastic or passive-aggressive.

‘Morning, love!’

‘Oh, morning, Martin! How does your garden grow?’

His blue, red and yellow roses stand

Quite spritely, all in a row.

 

 

The Junior School, the teacher on duty

Stops to take in the smell,

Of freshly pruned trees and bushes, clipped

Before turning inside, at the bell.

 

 

The girls are a-playing with buckets and spades

While Martin makes his way ’round;

They chatter and wave at a friendly face

Standing side by side with a mound

Of mulch, of spawning, nourished soil

By Martin’s own pair of hands,

He distributes the fertile food for the plants

And tends with a lively command.

 

 

The rose garden blooms in the springtime,

And the teachers are treated in turn

To their own petalled rose, as a gesture

From a man always showing concern

For the wellbeing of students and nature,

For the staff and the parents and friends,

Who visit on days and take in with awe

The gardens he lovingly tends.

 

 

On hot summer days, near the gym in the school,

Girls gather and stutter and shout,

For the cool lemon icy poles, raspberry, too

Our Martin distributes about.

The same in July at the birthday

Of Ivanhoe Girls’ every year,

Chocolate cake comes, and girls snake around

For a slice and a hug and a cheer.

 

 

Always so conscious, aware and in motion

A belove’d and dedicated chum,

For 32 years he created a world,

All praise for his natural green thumb.

 

 

While tragedy struck in January’s heat

It’s only so fittingly so,

That Martin did leave us, a peaceful, proud man

In the grounds of his dear Ivanhoe.

 

 

A treasure, a master, a man of his trade,

In overalls green, he did stand;

We’ll all miss that smile in the morning,

Our Martin, the King of the Land.

Apart from having the pleasure and privilege to continue my internship at artsHub and publishing articles there each week, last week I also had two other quite different pieces published.

My poem The Station was published as part of an anthology of poems displayed on a map. The title of the anthology is Impressions of Banyule and was published by Poets@Watsonia. I attended the launch of Impressions with my parents and was asked to read my poem. It was my first experience of a poetry reading, and it was interesting and enjoyable.

In addition, a while back I submitted a reflective piece for the next issue of Ricochet Magazine. After a selection process and contact with lovely members of the Ricochet team, my piece, Friday Night, was published as part of The Flashback Edition, launched last Tuesday morning. It is available for free download. This work is dedicated to my family, and anyone who has been lucky enough to spend a Friday night at the humble abode of S, M & A.

Peruse and enjoy at your own leisure.

The lines from St V’s are straight and lit

Quite different to those lines being shot down on the streets below

My lines are bright and artificially blown

Showing buildings and houses below

 

The lines from my window are straight

They’re not blockades

Not blockages but a way forward

Further and outwards, in wards, left and right

 

The lines are blatant and obvious

Parallels, squares, right-angled

They’re pretty

Little ant cars move slowly down the artificially blown pathways

 

The lines visible from 8 up at St V’s.

Disconnected.

Leakages, broken chains, links damaged.

Taking time away from what you know to heal and recover.

But being left feeling out of sight and out of mind, of some.

When is disconnection validated, verified, expected, accepted?

What are the different types of connection? Because from these connective points we can learn the elements that make up a connection and how to dismantle each one, through a process, steps of reason and promise.

Disconnection.

A person. Sever contact. Block calls, delete messages, private your number, screen contact. Delete, unfriend, unfollow, untag, report. Just stop replying.

A group. Disassociation. No similarities, no shared interests or values. Stand on your own. Don’t give in to personal or peer pressure, whether externally imposed or self-constructed.

From yourself. Extract the mind from the brain from the skull from the body. Place the mind/brain/body/skull side by side next to the rest of the whole and notice the lack of sparks flying between the nerves, left to disintegrate and die without a life source.

But through this disconnection, healing can occur, and thus, REconnection.

It’s bizarre.

Through taking time for oneself, a part of one, a specific entity, a section, a discrete idea.

It can be an opportunity for blooming, creativity and a life starting a new.

But take it slowly. Give it time.

You can’t expect to heal yourself or your own while you’re constantly connected to everything and everyone else in depth.

Disconnection is not negative but it is time out. Time out for self. Time out for reflection. Time out for work and thinking. Time to be selfish for now, to be helpful later.

Disconnected. For you.

Screen Shot 2013-05-27 at 8.20.20 PM

I started an internship with artsHub today. artsHub’s About page states the site’s ‘editorial coverage is wide-ranging and comprehensive. 1,500 contributors support our in-house editorial team in covering thousands of large and small arts events throughout the year with reviews, previews, interviews, artist profiles and opinion pieces’. I look forward to my time with them.

The pieces I published can be found below:

PAINTING IS ALL IN THE MIND

DAVID GULPILIL, OAM WINS 2013 RED OCHRE AWARD

$250,000 SCULPTURE COMMISSION UP FOR GRABS

JK ROWLING AND THE NEXT ADVENTURE

CASH AND EXPOSURE FOR MUSICIANS

DRAMA IN FAMILY AS BELL JUNIOR WINS PLAYWRIGHT AWARD

I’m up against 1122 other blogs

So am asking you, your parents and dogs

To vote for me and my little space

On the inter web, a kind of place

For me to write and you to read

About life and stuff and hence I plead

You please click on the button down south

And spread it round by word of mouth

‘Cause if I win I’ll be a happy gal

And happy gals are better pals 😉

Counting Letters is my name

So vote for me to win this game

www.surveymonkey.com/s/BAB2013