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A Reparative Field Guide: Media Kinon

keywords: fields, rest, community, media, history, kin, reparative practice, anti-racism, consent, agency, intention

Published onNov 29, 2020
A Reparative Field Guide: Media Kinon
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What is a "Field"?

Fields are places of exploration where events occur. A field is a topology of dynamics and relations which remind us to avoid commonsensical divisions; a field is not reducible to the objects within it (because within each object, is another field of interacting relations ad infinitum). 

Agriculturally, a field is a demarcated space of potential sustenance. A field also represents the notion of calculable observation. A field of vision denotes all the points of an environment that can be perceived at a given moment. What shifts when a field moves from a knowable and measurable object of cultivation, to an unknowable, mutable entity? 

When a magnetic field is cut in half, it is immediately repaired and redistributed such that polarity remains present in each portion. In this way, the concept of a field, as a space which preserves the tension of opposites, may be considered a resilient role model for interdisciplinary inquiries; helping us as artist-researchers to avoid re-discovering what we already know.

How do we locate a field? In navigational and land surveying techniques, triangulation is a way of determining location “by measuring angles to it from known points at either end of a fixed baseline, rather than measuring distances to the point directly”, allowing for a more confident measurement.1 Triangulation is also used as a method in qualitative and quantitative research, used to evaluate consistency of findings,2 and theoretical triangulation uses multiple theoretical perspectives “to examine and interpret data”.3 Additionally, our technologically mediated movements across landscapes rely on GPS, a technology of triangulation. 

We are not surveyors of the field, we are not standing at an authoritative distance with focused binoculars observing and critiquing the minutiae that specialized equipment permits us to witness. Rather we are guests in the field, finding ourselves in a perpetual state of becoming, we are mercurial tessellations in the plane of immanence. Somersaulting in and out of, over, underneath and through the field. We emerge from each tumble to discover ourselves in a new location; an ever-shifting vantage point. In the field we play with the uncertain, invite the accidental, and welcome the yet-to be-known. “A relational field is unlimited in the sense that it is full of un-actualized potential for value creation, both economic and affective, and for the generation of events and newness. But at the same time a relational field is limited in the sense that there are certain points beyond which it does not go.”4

What is Kinon

This cooperatively-authored "field guide" was created in the Fall of 2020 in response to the communication-based, curricular and experiential challenges which arose while participating in remote learning environments. Working with the support of the USC School of Cinematic Arts’ Interdisciplinary Media Arts and Practice division, we became aware of the need to develop community around sharing techniques for rest and repair during times of existential and cultural crisis; the notion of kinon, as a hybrid and term combining kin + canon, emerged as an artifact from those exchanges. 

Kinon offers a repositioning in relation to the canon. While the canon represents fixed, and authoritative constructs of history or a field, the kinon moves away from the hegemonic and immutable, towards a construct of knowledge which embraces plurality, and many worlds.5

While there are varying practices and cultural definitions of kinship, we draw from the idea of kinship as a form that goes beyond ancestry and genealogy.6 In using ‘kin’ to position this work, we consider community as beholden, connected,  and existing in states of care for each other. 

Working from the position of kinon aligns with our intention to repair and explore forms of community. Specifically, kinon has been a strategy to  find and develop reparative practices for engaging with problematic material including racially charged assigned media; and reparative practices for remote learning. Borrowing from the Japanese practice of 金継ぎ [kintsugi], which is a form of golden joinery, we seek to honor breakage and repair as inevitable aspects of history and growth; we treat the act of mending as a transformative practice, something to be made visible rather than disguised.


Fields: 

(Dis)Orientations, Strategies, sequences, episodes, (breakout) groups, layers, dimensions, invitations, un-ceded territories


Methodology of Non-methodology?

Work being done in parallel with these in-progress projects: link & link 

Questions: 

  • How does arts-based research incorporate uncertainty into practices of knowing? How might techniques of intentional disorientation be applied to a non-methodological research methodology? 

  • Drawing on Massumi's notion that 'good' questions "wear inconclusivenses like a badge of honor"; exploring the premise that fieldwork enhances philosophy, suggesting disorientation as a tool for perspectival-exchanges with others. 

Readings: 

  • Casteneda, Carlos. (1991). Florinda. The Eagles Gift.

  • MacLure, Maggie. (2013). Researching without representation? Language and materiality in post-qualitative methodology, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education.

  • Myonihan, Thomas. (2019) Cervical Perspectus. Spinal Catastrophism: pg xx Urbanomic.

  • Kohn, Eduardo. (2013). The Living Future (and the Imponderable weight of the Dead). How Forests Think: Toward an Anthropology Beyond the Human. pg xx University of California Press.

  • Wagner, Roy. (2018). The reciprocity of perspectives. Social Anthropology, 26(4), 502–510. https://doi.org/10.1111/1469-8676.12573

  • Ingold, Tim. (2013). The Materials of LIfe. Making: Anthropology, Archaeology, Art and Architecture. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203559055

  • Taussig, Michael. (2021). Catastrophe: The Solar Inversion of Satanic Denial. Mastery of Non-Mastery in the Age of Meltdown . pg XX University of Chicago Press. https://doi.org/10.7208/9780226698700

  • Feld, S., & Brenneis, D. (2004). Doing Anthropology in Sound. American Ethnologist, 31(4), 461-474. Retrieved November 24, 2020, from http://www.jstor.org/stable/4098863 ø

  • Metzinger, T. (2009). Out of the Body and Into the Mind: Body Image, Out of Body Experiences and the Virtual Self. The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self. In The Ego Tunnel. Pg 75. Basic Books.

Soundings:

Acoustemologies of catastrophic landscapes 2020 (yellowstone): Herding Bison

Depth as Memory

Audio 1

Sounds from the E(h)sophical Listening Lab 2019: Fugitive Silences in the Conagree Natl Park (echolocating bats)

Hummingbird's space flight 2020: link

Suggested Interventions: 


Presence ‡


work done in parallel with this research: link

Questions:

  • If we think of ourselves as in possession of two bodies—a physical body and a data body—how do our understandings of ethics, consent, sensibility, sensuality, sovereignty, pleasure / pain, knowledge, legibility and identity apply to the convergence of these two ways-of-being in the world? What hybrid possibilities exist for being physical and data?

  • Across modalities that are usually considered separately—remote labor, education, and health, videoconferencing, mixed reality and multiplayer gaming, etc. where do we find our common history of computational presence?

  • Drawing on post-pandemic notions of locality, community, and embodiment—with a particular focus on the promises of peer-to-peer technology—can we reflexively resist, generate and/or hack the medium we are presently entangled with? 


a-temporal and non-euclidean Media Histories

Work being done in parallel with this project: link

Questions:

  • How does media challenge the linearity of history? How can we use media to explore and understand historical events in ways beyond cause and effect?  

  • Retroactive causation? 

  • How has this history of extraction been laminated into our bodies? How does it support this moment?

  • Drawing on research into human/uranium relations; u

    sing media to explore the circularity of radio active fallout, encountering the strangeness of uranium mining as paradoxically destabilizing the planet while facilitating exponential and irreversible growth of urban/technological infrastructure.

Readings: 

  • Morton, Tim. (2013). A Quake in Being, An Introduction to Hyperobjects. Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World. (pp. 1-24) University of Minnesota Press. https://doi.org/10.5749/j.ctt4cggm7

  • Kahn, D. (2013). Sounds From the Underground. Earth sound earth signal: energies and earth magnitude in the arts. (1st ed.). University of California Press.

  • Borges, J., Yates, D., & Irby, J. (2008). A New Refutation of Time. Labyrinths : selected stories & other writings . New Directions.

  • Massumi, B. & Erin Manning (2015). Affective Attunement in the Field of Catastrophe. Politics of affect . Pg xx. Polity. link

  • Nocek, A. (2018). Geology, Myth, Media. SubStance, 47(2), 84–106.

  • Grattan, T. (2016). Geomythology, Theodicy and the Continuing Relevance of Religious Worldviews on Repsonses to Volcanic Eruptions.  Living Under the Shadow: Cultural Impacts of Volcanic Eruptions. In Living Under the Shadow (Vol. 53). Taylor and Francis.

Media soundings: 

  • Spragmos and Silence; Acoustemologies of Burrow Canyon Mine 2020: link

  • Photo documentation of Burrow Canyon Mining complex 2020: link

  • Oral histories of the Downwinders: link

  • Jacob Kirkegard's Chernobyl project: link

  • Karen Barad EGS lecture(s): Troubling Times and Ecologies of Nothingness: link

    Karen Barad. Troubling Time/s and Ecologies of Nothingness. 2017


Reintroducing tools for navigating our engagement with media—best practices for how we view, listen and sense, to how we perform, be audience, adapt and re-use methods. 

dismantling constructions of a spectacularly-oriented, normalizing We, in which compulsory (non-consensual, un-disclosed, irreversible) modes of engagement fix our identity and our interpretation ... simply put, living Glissant's notion of a moment of departure, where we "consent not to be a single being."

topics: peer-to-peer, consentful tech, design justice

Readings: 

  • Hall, Stuart. “Encoding/decoding.” In Stuart Hall, Dorothy Hobson, Andrew Love, and Paul Willis (eds.), Culture, Media, Language, pp. 128–38. London: Hutchinson, 1980. link

  • bell hooks "oppositional gaze" ℭ

  • Lee, Una, and Dann Toliver. Building Consentful Tech. 2017, p. 28. link

  • Glissant, É., & Diawara, M. (2010). Conversation with Édouard Glissant Aboard the Queen Mary II (August 2009). Afro Modern: Journeys through the Black Atlantic, 58-63. link

  • Muñoz, Jose Esteban "disidentifications" ℭ

  • Moten, Fred “Consent not to be a single being” link


Indigeneity and Media ⊔


Questions: 

  • What is a media history authored by and of indigenous practice? 

  • What are the aesthetics and strategies of indigenous media practice?

Readings:

  • Beat Nation: Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture. (n.d.). Retrieved November 23, 2020, from https://macm.org/en/press-release/beat-nation-art-hip-hop-and-aboriginal-culture/

  • Cadena, M. D., & Blaser, M. (2018). A world of many worlds. Durham: Duke University Press.

  • De la Cadena, M. (2010). Indigenous cosmopolitics in the Andes: Conceptual reflections beyond “politics”. Cultural anthropology, 25(2), 334-370.

  • Garneau, D. (2018). Electric Beads: On Indigenous Digital Formalism. Visual Anthropology Review, 34(1), 77-86. doi:10.1111/var.12155

  • Law, J. (2015). What's wrong with a one-world world?. Distinktion: Scandinavian Journal of Social Theory, 16(1), 126-139.

  • Lewis, J. E., Abdilla, A., Arista, N., Baker, K., Benesiinaabandan, S., Brown, M., ... & Duncan, K. (2020). Indigenous Protocol and Artificial Intelligence Position Paper.

  • Nagam, Julie, et al. "Decolonial Interventions in Performance and New Media Art: In Conversation with Cheryl L’Hirondelle and Kent Monkman." Canadian Theatre Review, vol. 159, 2014, p. 30-37. Project MUSE muse.jhu.edu/article/550433.

  • Scudeler J. “Indians on Top”: Kent Monkman’s Sovereign Erotics. American Indian culture and research journal. 2015;39(4):19-32. doi:10.17953/aicrj.39.4.scudeler

Media viewings: 

  • A Tribe Called Red. (2011, January). Electric Pow Wow Drum. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpkUISUx3Lo&ab

    A Tribe Called Red - Electric Pow Wow Drum (Official Video)

     

  • Jason Edward Lewis. (n.d.). Retrieved November 23, 2020, from http://jasonlewis.org/ 

  • Punk Inuit throat singer | Tanya Tagaq | TEDxMet - YouTube. (2015, September). Retrieved November 23, 2020, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dumvYzfuT0w

    Punk Inuit throat singer | Tanya Tagaq | TEDxMet

     

  • Skawennati. (n.d.). Retrieved November 23, 2020, from http://www.skawennati.com/

  • Malidoma Patrice Somé: Grief, Ritual and Sacrifice. link

    Malidoma Somé: Grief, Ritual and Sacrifice
  • For Zitkála-Šá, directed by Raven Chacon: link

    For Zitkála-Šá, directed by Raven Chacon


Media of Touch — Towards an Anti-hegemonic Study of Attention 



Work done in parallel with this research.

in-progress work visible here

Questions: 

  • What is reparative touch? What is embodied knowing?

  • What shifts when we read the body in kin, or the touch-body, through the lens of matter and making? 

  • How can touch reconnect us to our embodied selves, to move beyond the boundaries of self? And how do our bodies reach across external thresholds.. those that are imposed, unavoidable or desired? How is touch part of an a/synchronous screen-mediated community? 

  • What elements of touch are transmitted through screens and computational systems? What aren’t? What is lost during digital transmission of touch ? Can we reinvent and decolonize these systems? 

Media viewings:

  • T. (2011, October). Performance 12: On Line/Marie Cool and Fabio Balducci. Retrieved November 22, 2020, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uy_o-WCq2Cc&ab&ab

    Performance 12: On Line/Marie Cool and Fabio Balducci Jan 17-20, 2011
  • Sweidan, S. (2015, July). Performative Prototyping (Diagram). Retrieved November 22, 2020, from https://tinyurl.com/y2864ze4

Readings:

  • Barad, K. (n.d.). Posthumanist Performativity: Toward an Understanding of How Matter Comes to Matter. Materialität Denken. doi:10.14361/9783839403365-008

  • Buxton, B. (2010). 31.1 : Invited Paper: A Touching Story: A Personal Perspective on the History of Touch Interfaces Past and Future. SID Symposium Digest of Technical Papers, 41(1), 444. doi:10.1889/1.3500488

  • Crary, J. (1992). Techniques of the observer: On vision and modernity in the nineteenth century. MIT press.

  • Garrety, B. (2004). User-Centered Design and the Normative Politics of Technology. Science, Technology, & Human Values, 29(2), 191–212. https://doi.org/10.1177/0162243903261946

  • Hayes, L., & Rajko, J. (2017, June). Towards an aesthetics of touch. In Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Movement Computing (pp. 1-8).

  • Sedgwick, E. K. (2003). Touching feeling: Affect, Pedagogy, Performativity. Duke University Press.

  • Woodward, K., & Bruzzone, M. (2015). Touching like a state. Antipode, 47(2), 539-556. 


Politics of User


A provocation / manifesto-in-progress: link

Questions:

  • What constitutes 'user'? How do we trace shifts from viewer to user in media authorship and consumption?

  • What are the performances, protocols and actions of 'user'?

  • What  are strategies and practices of creating for the 'user'?

  • How have mechanics and materialities of 'user' shifted as algorithmic economies and economies of attention expand?

  • What is an Anthropocenic or Chthulucenic formulation of 'user'? 

  • What are the politics of user-platform relationships? How is user administered?

  • In what ways have media practitioners worked with the materiality and object of 'user'?

Media viewings:

  • Dragons, L. (n.d.). Category: User Agreement. Retrieved November 23, 2020, from https://luckydragons.org/category/user-agreement/

  • T. (2011, October). Performance 12: On Line/Marie Cool and Fabio Balducci. Retrieved November 22, 2020, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uy_o-WCq2Cc&ab&ab

Readings: 

  • Ask, S. (2019). The politics of user-platform relationships: Co-scripting live-streaming on Twitch.tv. First Monday. https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v24i7.9648

  • Bishop, Claire, ed. Participation: Documents of Contemporary Art. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2006

  • Bratton, B. (2014). The black stack. e-flux journal, 53, 1-12.

  • Buzon, D. (2020, November 03). Design Thinking is a Rebrand for White Supremacy. Retrieved November 23, 2020, from https://dabuzon.medium.com/design-thinking-is-a-rebrand-for-white-supremacy-b3d31aa55831

  • Dourish, P. and Mainwaring, Scott D. (2012). Ubicomp’s colonial impulse. UbiComp '12: Proceedings of the 2012 ACM Conference on Ubiquitous Computing. 133-142

  • Kimbell, L. (2011). Rethinking Design Thinking: Part I. Design and Culture, 3(3), 285-306. doi:10.2752/175470811x13071166525216

  • Massanari, A. L. (2010). Designing for imaginary friends: information architecture, personas and the politics of user-centered design. New media & society, 12(3), 401-416.

  • Simon, V. (2020). Guided by Delight: Music Apps and the Politics of User Interface Design in the iOS Platform. Television & New Media, 21(1), 60-74.

  • Williams, Lauren. "The Co-Constitutive Nature of Neoliberalism, Design, and Racism." Design and Culture 11.3 (2019): 301-321.


Collaboration, Co-creation, Co-inquiry

Readings: 

  • Cizek, K., Uricchio, W., & Lachman, R. (n.d.). Collective Wisdom · Works in Progress. Retrieved November 23, 2020, from https://wip.mitpress.mit.edu/collectivewisdom

  • Cahill, C. (2007). The personal is political: Developing new subjectivities through participatory action research. Gender, place and culture, 14(3), 267-292.

  • Gutiérrez, J (2016) 'Participatory Action Research (PAR) and the Colombian Peasant Reserve Zones: The Legacy of Orlando Fals Borda', Policy & Practice: A Development Education Review, Vol. 22, Spring, pp. 59-76.

  • Gwern. (2009, January 27). Essays. Retrieved November 23, 2020, from https://www.gwern.net/index

  • Shildrick M, Carnie A, Wright A, et al Messy entanglements: research assemblages in heart transplantation discourses and practices Medical Humanities 2018;44:46-54 link

  • Scholz, Trebor, editor. Digital Labor: The Internet as Playground and Factory. Routledge, 2013.  


TBD


A space that will never be filled. A reminder that the undetermined is infinite.

Comments
1
Luke Fischbeck:

same phenomenon with holograms? minds?