CMNS 354 Week 8 Lecture

In tutorial today we presented our Module 2 research. We will do the same topic for module three. I think we should continue our research: maybe by doing a probe colouring exercise to identify areas of communites where people feel unsafe. Or we could design something around a subscription based home security system, or a more-connected block watch program for the 21st century. We could research the mobile security apps and services available now, and research the rights of renters and homeowners for increasing the security of their property (what are the rules around installing cameras, fences, etc.) What are the laws governing how neighbours interact with each other? What are the boundaries of when a block watch goes too far and becomes neighbour surveillance?

Friday afternoon downtown = fred’s office hours. Or email him.

This week: Exposing the connections between the methodologies and theories we learned in the course.

Recap: Lash-up (Harvey Moloch). There are others that use a similar concept but with a different name. How things connect, how things are embedded with other things and meanings.

Infrastructure: Becomes visible when it breaks down.

Formats: (John Stern, format theory reading) – Looking at lash ups in digital music. He looks at the MP3 format and considers the massive infrastructure that includes this specific format. Considers what implications the specific format holds for the music industry. Piracy, sharing, flexibility in the industry’s infrastructure depends on the format. The format itself was created / reproduces ideas of how music should be created and shared. EEx/ the early research into te MP3 format was researching the audible register of the human ear.  The MP3 gets rid of huge sections of sound inaudible to the human ear.

Classification, caregories and standards: (Bowker and Star)

Classification system: Ex/ this is what sound is and this is how it works. This assumption/set of ideas has downstream implications for how things are then designed. It defines the values and ideas we think are important. Lash ups etc are ways of exposing potential overlooked values.

Categories; Inerwoven and taken for granted as they disappear into the infrastructure. Ex/ Letter grades, full vs part time student, nationality, AM vs FM radio. These are all categories that organize classification systems. We take them for granted as the arbitrary structure to our lives.

Standard: Ex/ VHS and QWERTY as a set of agreed-upon rules for the productin of textual  and material objects.

OUR PROJECT: Create an infrastructure to support the popularization and use of a new standard for block watch / home security. User agreements group should make a creative commons liscencing options / public education an expected standard that consumers hold businesses to.

Enabling an constraining: All category systems always both constrain and enable. We need to be attentive to what they allow and leave out.

Interface: A way to think about lashups and apply them. An object is always being dissassembled and reassembled as an object in a set of relations (lash-ups). When we think about brands, we usually dont think about them as things. Or when we think of them as things, we think about a logo. But what Lury argues in his paper is that a brand has many things including a logo, but the most important thing is to keep in mind that a brand is a series of relations, lash-ups, which are organized between producers and consumers. In commodity culture we use brands as a special type of lash ups that allow consumers to better understand certain types of products, and allows producers to better understand consumers. Ex/ when you think ‘social media” you think “facebook”, the logo, the branding, the products and services, the ways that this idea organizes information around the infrastructure, between consumer and producer.

The platform as a type of lash-up:

Using the term platform to be more specific of a certain type of digital medium. Unlike ‘tv’ or other  media, where the institutional structure of production and distribution is clearer and more static, in the age of youtube, these relations are more dynamic and can change quickly. Gillespie, (p.408) says the term platform is perfect for things like youtube because of the way it lashes up all sorts of weird and complicated things. Youtube wants and needs user generated content, but on the other hand it uses a lot of advertising. So it on one hand is a tool for user content and remixing, while also being a tool to host protected works under copyright. ‘platform’ does not tell someone what to say or how to say it, and anyone can use it. The platform gives a landscape for use. It can have multiple uses for multiple audiences (for creators, viewers, advertisers).

Ex/ Youtube –

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