I Survived Research Days!!!

Hey~

So, since you’re reading this, I survived my Research Days presentation on my thesis project!

It went off so well! I couldn’t imagine a better outcome, tbh! I had my tables all set up basically the way I wanted. (The only think I wished were different is that the laptop connected to the SmartTV had a longer cord so I could have placed it on the table and let people peruse the site. During the presentation, people had to come around the table and I think that discouraged some people from doing it.) Overall, I was very happy with the experience. I saw my vision realized.

 

img_8570.jpg

Photo Credit @KareLNavyBluGuy

Photo Credit @ambitiousisshe1

Photo Credit @KareLNavyBluGuy

Photo Credit @ColorfulWriter2

I was so concerned that people would be uninterested in the work or that they wouldn’t be receptive to participating in the project but so many people were very down to do arts & crafts inspired by the internet. More, so many of my friends, loved ones, and supporters were there engaging with my work and ensuring that other people engaged with it as well. Their help and support ensured my project was fully multimodal. I’m so grateful for everyone who came it for the exhibit.

Photo Credit @MiaZamoraPhD

Photo Credit @soto_leighann

img_8609.png

Photo Credit @_teachreadwrite

I loved hearing the different perspectives I got from so many different people in different specializations. Some people were unsure of my work until I got them talking about digital culture or memes or gifs, etc. Then, they were so excited to tell me about their fave memes or sites or [insert internet phenomena here]. It was heartening to see my work resonate with so many different people across disciplines and mindsets. It felt like people were lining up to talk to me about my work.

That said, I do wish I could have jumped in more on the Twitter or in the Google Hangout. I feel like I was moving a million miles a minute and I just didn’t get to spend as much time as I wish I could have. I’d have loved to respond more o tweets and questions from my online supporters. The people in our #netnarr tag are responsible for expanding so much of my own perspective on digital culture and I wish I could have given them more attention during the exhibit. I think the NetNarr class did a good job in my stead though and, again, I’m grateful to have had them by my side (with their tiger masks and all).

Anyway, I’m still collecting my thoughts on the whole experience but I’ll be sure to discuss the whole experience on my thesis blog by this weekend! Please, check out #takemeseriouly for more photos documenting the exhibit and people’s experience of it! Share your own thoughts too, if you’d like! Thank you to everyone who has kept with me on this wild and crazy journey! You made my presentation possible!

****

~Till next time~

memequeen

Advertisements

Making A Comeback

So….

I’m back.

jokerclap

And, I’m not going to lie, I took a major break from working on my thesis over our winter recess. Some things in my personal life were really affecting me deeply and keeping me from feeling inspired or motivated to work–despite loving my subject matter. I’m not trying to make any excuses, just state reality. I was unable to find the inspiration to work for most of my break. There were many late nights spent up trying so hard to work and finding nothing but frustration and, I’ll admit, some tears. It’s not that I didn’t want to work; I couldn’t.

Towards the end of winter recess, I did begin writing some more and completing two additional sections of my thesis. I think they could be “bulked up” some but, overall, they have thoughtful ideas in them and a focus. Thinking about my thesis as more of a map of my own thinking and mapping for this project has helped me generate content. I’m less worried about making some grand statement or about impressing anyone and more concerned with making my project make sense to others. I want my own thinking to be center stage. I believe it is my perspective that makes this work compelling. More, I want to write my thesis in my own voice and with my own words. I don’t want to use recycled, academic jargon. I don’t want to be a part of some academic circle-jerk.

In this process, I’ve been really thinking about Hugo Ball’s quote, “This humiliating age has not succeeded in winning our respect” and how I want to convey that kind of tenacity and courageous belligerence through my work. Ultimately, I think it is the courageous and rebellious spirit of Dadaism and new forms of digital content creation that resonates with me and, I believe, with others. That’s a large part of where the connection lies. These emergent, digital expressions like Eliterature, memes, shitposting, etc. are our responses to the utter bullshit the world has become in so many ways. This is how we sass the powers that be. This is how we snark. How we rebel. How we drag the powers that be back down into the dirt and dust they left us in and remind them that we are still here and those powers that be have NOT earned a speck of our respect. Perhaps its pathological but it’s definitely ideological.

The more I read and the more I think about this subject matter the more compelled I am to believe that this is a revolutionary shift in thinking and in creating. Online spaces and the digital realm have provided us with so much opportunity and resource to unionize. Ideas are powerful in these spaces. They can have real world impact. I think it is so important now more than ever to understand that and to want to understand how. That’s what I feel like I am doing with my work. More, it feels like I’m trying to develop this new analytical lens to look at content like this because, quite frankly, I think our traditional lenses are antiquated and not super suited to do this job. I hope that by combining a literary lens with an art historical one, there can be new understanding. There can be a new recognition and appreciation of meaning.

So often, new forms of creating are dismissed for not being “meaningful” enough. Especially content like memes and gifs and shitposting–they’re all discounted and dismissed as being another meaningless aspect of Millennial culture. It’s insulting. Also, it’s ignorant and negligent and seems to be the powers that be trying desperately to neutralize a challenge to their power. Trying to stave off a challenge to the establishment.

But, I don’t think it’s working. And, I think those powers know that.

New forms of content creation are how we communicate with each other now. They are how we express our feelings of pride and contempt. They have become conduits , deeply embedded with rich and diverse meaning. If they seem like challenges to the powers that be, that’s because they are. These symbols say “we know what’s going on”. They say “we know and f*ck you for thinking we wouldn’t”.

Maybe I’m projecting some of my own feelings onto this medium but I think that, if even half of what I’m saying applies to this subject, then that is noteworthy and it is sure as hell meaningful.

I was beaten down at the beginning of this break but, after everything and remembering Hugo Ball’s words, I’m back up on my feet and ready to take some swings at the establishment. I’m ready to fight back. Bite back. I’m pissed that I let anything stop me from doing what I love to do–writing and calling out assh*les for being assh*les. For only seeing garbage where’s there’s solid gold.

Best believe I’m making a comeback and coming for the crown.

This humiliating age has not succeeded in winning my respect. That’s for damn sure.

****

Down nine times but I get up ten.

~Till next time~