Thursday, February 23, 2012

Soundseeing Exercise

Perform in small groups or on your own before our next meeting on March 7.

Some projects to view/consider first:
Make notes immediately following each step (these can be in the form of writing, audio recording or any kind of mark making).
Part 1: Ear Opening
Go to the first location on the map: The open space between East of Temple Buell Hall and South of the Bell Tower.
Stand still and close your eyes for a couple of minutes. What is the quietist sound you can hear? What is the most distant sound you can hear? The closest? How big does your soundspace seem? What sounds of your own body can your hear? What is the mix of human and non-human sounds?
Pay attention to sounds that travel through your listening space, as you might watch visual phenomena. Try to notice a sound just as it becomes audible, and follow it until it is barely perceptible. What kind of information does this sound convey about what is making it (how fast is it moving, how big is it)?
Consider what prior knowledges you bring to your listening. When you recognize (or think you recognize) particular sounds, how do you attribute meaning to those sounds?

Part 2: Hearing Front/Back Regions
As you walk to location 2 (try to walk alone, or at least without talking to others): Try to distinguish between sounds that designate a "front" or "back" region. Which sounds do you imagine are functioning in a "public" way? Which sounds seem to be intended for "private" or limited consumption? What sounds tell you something about the workings of a place (or part of a place) not accessible to vision?

Part 3: Acoustic Territoriality (From Front to Back)
As you enter and walk through location 2, observe the audible changes in space and their impact on your perception of the space. Do certain sounds attract or repel you in going further? What do the specific sounds that are present tell you about the space? Are some spaces unified (or, alternatively, distinguished) acoustically? How does what you hear relate to what you see? Are there contrasts?

A Historical Narrative for Location 2 (The UI Histories Project)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Virtual Divides: Biometrics, Borders and Bodies, March 6 lecture

This should be very good and is a topic closely linked with our discussions on territoriality.

"Virtual Divides: Biometrics, Borders and Bodies" by Javier Durán, Associate Professor of Spanish and Border Studies, University of Arizona

Tuesday, March 6, 2012 7:30 P.M. Levis Faculty Center (Third Floor) 919 W. Illinois Street, Urbana

This paper analyzes the reconfiguration of state power into new immaterial forms such as virtual and biometric borders, and the impact of this reconfiguration in the cultural representation of migrant subjects and transborder communities. It attempts to elucidate what happens when security mutates from an abstract notion to a series of practices that become part of the nation-state’s dominant discourse. Drawing from what Muller (2008) calls the ‘dispositif of security,’ the first part discusses some interconnections between the biometric state, the culture of securitization and the growing perception that borders are becoming quasi-permanent states of exception. The second part establishes connecting lines between visual securitization images and other recent representations of the biometric border in popular film and narrative using a detailed discussion of the film Sleep Dealer (2008) as a primary example of these interconnections.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Territorial Walking Exercise (in class)

In preparation for a potential outing next class (weather permitting), I'd like us to consider a few different representations of our local landscape, while adding discussions of territories and borders offered by Multiplicity and Delaney to our methods for 'reading the landscape.'
Champaign understood through:
Various municipal policy frameworks (TIF and zoning districts, demographics, etc)
Local watersheds
A close reading of the interactions of non-human and human ecologies
We will look at these in class before taking our brief journey, but it would be helpful to check them out briefly before class if possible.


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