and apparently (to my surprise) this book is still being read and used so here’s a ibook link
Being pre-occupied with administrative duties (Interim Director of Women’s Studies and then Director of American Culture Studies) – I have not been blogging as much as I might have in the past 3 to 4 years. Now revisiting all my online venues for writing since not only have I completed my term as ACS director, I have also finally completed the book Cyberculture and the Subaltern.
I will be presenting continuing work in relation to cyberculture and subalternity at NCA – this further examines socio-financial networks and extends it to other sites. It is forthcoming in Rae Lynn Schwartz-DuPre’s book on
Communicating Colonialism: Readings on Postcolonial Theory(s) and Communication
I will slowly translate my ideas from and in relation to the book Cyberculture and the Subaltern – extensions and thoughts – at http://www.cybersubalternity.com/
As I re-read each chapter – I realize there is much subtext and unpacking and continuation to do. This may indeed lead to the sequel I’ve been promising – but in the meanwhile – the blog.
Next set of forthcoming articles/book chapters based on materiality of “immaterial labor” and affect as praxis
I study nooks and cranies
Here and there
I do not study the Other as past
I do not study the modern as present.
I study the present as it unfolds
And endlessly inter links
Or fades away
To re emerge in yet another present.
Its time to write some of those tangents and cross-thoughts and by-products…
and maybe I will.
My publisher and I ended up deciding we should just call it an edited issue – I have so many collaborators woven into the project as authors – I would have loved to add on more chapters – authored by some more people – but maybe next time.
The chapters in the book are a result of several years of conversations and collaborations. So here’s a footnote from chapter one (page 53 or so of the book if the pages dont change as the production process continues) that notes this:
“… we illustrate our arguments through examples and understandings drawn from a long term collaborative research project that includes interdisciplinary participants and which was started in 2004 and 2005 when the first author of this chapter [Radhika] and her collaborator at that time, Annapurna Mamidipudi, worked on a project with the BASIX livelihood promotion institute (http://www.basixindia.com/) where they investigated the possibility of using online portals for the training of fieldworkers who worked in livelihood promotion. Financial inclusion services are provided by this institute, in addition to training and other livelihood promotion services. These financial services include rural microcredit lending. Later, the first and third authors [Anca] of this chapter began to look at online networks for the empowerment of women along with a few other collaborators who had worked on projects resulting in the publication examining lexicons of women’s empowerment and online non—profits (Gajjala, Zhang and Dako—Gyeke 2010). The first and third authors of this chapter thus encountered kiva.org during that research project and proceeded to investigate (Gajjala and Birzescu 2010). We drew in a development economist and a few other graduate student collaborators (see Gajjala, Gajjala, Birzescu and Anarbaeva, 2011) along the way, and the second author of this chapter then ended up taking up particular aspects related to the digitization of race in online microfinance and elaborating on this aspect in his dissertation. The first and third author still continue to examine digital financializationand non—profits online through a transnational feminist lens in relation to offline non—profits and movements to empower the subaltern in Romania and India. The second author of the current chapter proposes to look at issues of empowerment through the Internet in relation to the Ghana context. ”
Introduction: Subaltern empowerment, socio-economic globalization and digital divides
1. Producing the Global: Microfinance Online
with Franklin Yartey and Anca Birzescu
2. Philanthrophist or Investor? Microlending to the Other
with Anca Birzescu, Franklin Yartey
3. Snapshots from Sari Trails, Cyborgs Old and New
with rad Zabibha
4. Framing the Loom: An Indian Context
with Seemanthani Niranjani and B. Syamasundari
5. Kente Cloth and Adinkra in the Global Market
Precious Yamaguchi and Franklin Yartey
Conclusion: Multiple interfacings with the so-called subaltern: To be continued
Key Concepts and Terms
About the Author
One aspect of it will possibly be presented soon (details forthcoming) as
“Gandhi’s Granddaughters Scattered Worldwide: Spinning, Weaving and other Craft(ed) Networks in (Post)Modernity”
“Sankranti is the Sanskrit word in Indian Astrology which refers to the transmigration of the Sun from one R?shi (sign of the zodiac) to another. Hence there are 12 such sankrantis in all. However, the Sankranti festival usually refers to Makara Sankaranti, or the transition of the Sun from Dhanu rashi (Sagittarius) to Makara rashi (Capricorn).” (wikkipedia).
I should do more research workshops in my weaving room (the other living room in my house) – around cultural work, craft, economy, nationalism, Gandhi, Marx, affect, labor, value, everyday rural (and urban) practice and globalization…
Y O, D P, A B and I had a very engaging conversation intertwined with demonstration of four harness loom use and Y J’s modelling of the Kanjeevaram sari
As I said the other day on my Facebook status update.
There is method to my madness even if it looks more like madness to my method.
(but really that’s just the point isn’t it – method does not just happen. its carved out ofmadness).
So now I’m struggling through knitting. My UFO s now include knitting, quilt patches, weaving and crochet…
Thinking through issues of value, labor, affect…
Most of my patterns are improvised as those who view my UFOs and FOs on rav know by now. My main modes of fiber expression have so far been designing quilt patches mostly from handloom fabric (from India), crocheting with handdyed/handpainted yarn which is mostly (even if not always) handspun. My so-called knitting project frogged because I cannot sustain interest long enough nor do I have time away from my day job (which is really an all day all evening and all night job depending on what time of year it is and what writing and teaching projects I am in the middle of) to learn more on knitting. I tried many times to commit to buying a sewing machine but I dont see myself being able to spend time at a sewing machine – so my quilting designs are mostly simple hand sewing (with practice I hope to be better at the sewing – for now I just enjoy putting the designs together in patches I may someday sew into a quilt).
I recently (well its getting to be two years since I took my first lesson and a little over a year since I bought my four harness table loom – at a fiber market day – and my ashford antique spinning wheel -off e-bay and some spindles – off etsy…) started weaving and spinning – and have had warp anxiety and so on … the spinning wheel I have has broken parts and repairing those I am told may be more expensive than getting a new one.. .. I am waiting an thinking before getting a spinning wheel – it will have to be small and portable for now – so a spindle does the job fine and I am still learning – I have watched my mother with the charkha and the takhli spindle and since I am still in awe of her perfection in craft – I wont be able to succeed in learning those just yet (my mother has tried teaching me many things – crochet, beading, cooking, sewing, takhli spinning, charkha spinning – but I have never been successful in the face of my mother’s careful perfectionist mode of expectation and teaching – I have had to journey through learning spaces on my own and try to learn in memory – visual in my mind or through finding teachers who allowed me to make mistakes over and over again …. I am not good with paying attention when people are teaching – because once I start watching someone else doing something – I am fascinated and my mind wanders into a land of enchanted craft possibilities – if only I knew the skill – dont know if this makes sense to anyone else – I am the same when reading – therefore a very slow reader … I live and think to my own rhythm in my head – have always done so – but not many people know this – they may see this as fanciful, flightly, distracted or just plain obstinate and lazy:))
so… my crocheting practice comes from slyly watching my mother (slyly because if I let her know of my interest she will try to teach me – and I cannot learn from her! and depending on when in her age span she has tried to teach me she retreats in irritation or hurt – but I think at some level she does understand now that what I have learned I have learned from her. My father never actively tried teaching me anything (maybe some math or algebra when I was in high school – but not really) so it was easier to learn his ways – he let me lurk around – I dont know if he knew I learned that way or he was just an older father not knowing what to do with his youngest daughter born later in his life when he was fully caught up in an international travelling/journeying career.)
my crochet designs then – are free flowing but very much from having watched my mother never actually use a pattern (or so I thought – she may have poured over paper patterns but rarely) she mostly got the patterns off actual artefacts that others made and was meticulous in following that pattern (this practice she learned from her mother-in-law – who made intricate white cotton doilies and table cloths I recently discovered… will share a snapshot sometime of a piece my sister found amongst my mother’s things a while ago) – I however can neither follow a paper based (on website based ) pattern, a how to video nor can I consciously and with awareness of the stitches – get a pattern off an existing artefact.
I just crochet.
So when warping requires a different level of planning I struggle a little – but I think I will figure that out too so I can work around my own demons of perfection and my practice of learning my watching and lurking when others are not
focusing their attention on me…
Traces of existence and interaction
I have always looked for signs
Some others did not consider
Relevant or as existing
Awake before dawn much of my life
Feeling and “seeing”
And hearing and smelling
Databases and archives
In material and mind
This child my body brought forth
My mind wonders how he could have grown
In his home
The magic wonderlands
As we tried not to think of material we could not afford to own
Stories in our heads in his and mine
My not being able to narrate as my mother did
Lacking the time to be present to him in continuity
Were in narration through writing and drawing technologies he codes now
As in his home I see his
Built dawn …
Light after light that gently
Like in the fairy tales and science fiction he narrated to
In his childhood.
This morning I see tesla working with vishwakarma
Today in my inbox
arrived a poem from a dear dear friend
of expecting age to arrive with clarity….
and I turned inward thinking of my age(ing)…
I in turn
am engulfed in trying to distinguish what is memory
what is a thought
I have taken to reaching for the earth through my mother’s Gandhian
her rural memories
haunt me to return
to places that no longer exist
I imagine I spin
I spin a mental image instead
I weep afresh for the pain of disagreement between old friends
and freedom fighters
like Nehru and Gandhi
member my father’s voice as he tells me of the sadness
I weep afresh knowing I have felt this in my life in different ways
I turn to the past searching for the future
I turn to the spindle and wool roving
dreaming of my mother’s charkha
hearing her sing
watching her spin
I did not expect
that getting older for me
would mean returning to memories I do not
memories that belonged to my parents
in the lives they lived
that possess me
as I try to reconstruct histories and presents
not knowing why
on a journey to return to their past
where do mine begin and where do theirs end?
Happy winter solstice to all! Whether we call it that or not – whatever the reason any and all of us celebrate – can it be the objective truth that the stars do – in this time period and in relation to the planet earth – align in a particular configuration on this day – and this indeed is common to all?
season’s greetings – whatever it is you are celebrating this season:)
my current immersion in a network leads me back to the theme of mobility and immobility and the (problematic ) assumptions about nomadic life as mobility….
building (new) “families” as families fade and delink … what epistemic shifts in relationality occur?
what sorts of avoidance and rerouting around trauma?
and the assumption that this is is done through a particular kind of “outside of community” choice is further problematic.
nomads are never delinked or outside.
this returns us to the issue of assumptions embedded in how individual agency is interpreted and referenced in everyday discourse (not just in many theoretical writings) – as implicitly non-relational…
I probably need to return to taking a look at Braidotti and put it in conversation with Sassen…and the role of micronarratives
But for now I head back to caste, craft, colonial nation and ethnographic state.
[my initial instinct is to put this post on my LJ and/or in a private setting - and maybe I will change this into a private setting later...even here]
Being part of multiple contexts – as I immerse myself here, there and then there and here – following the connections – I am once again sinking in and getting lost in being within them – the angst, joys and practices carrying me through – I have to remind myself to write – to pick up those scattered post it notes and scribblings in the margins and make them into sentences and paragraphs… linking them to the parallel journey of reading that each intersection leads me to in order to get a broader view or more detailed historical context for….
How do I write all this without freezing and type-casting – how can the act of writing and theorizing record the active fluidity while noting the nodes and shifts and connections with clear evidence that what I see is happening?
Starting with a story that dates back to 2006 to note what seemed like a power imbalance when viewed through language and image – that hid expertise and located the Othered body in local weavers… then finding out about how existing binaries are mired in historical rewritings and encounters with various forms of romanticizing and Othering – while the materiality of everyday life shifted because of policy made in response…
how do I stack these up (do I “Stack”) – organize and write?
The positioning of particular theoretical knowledge and expertise – production modes in the space of practice – while placing others in the domain of Theory, Abstraction and drawing them into policy… when traced through history go back into a intertwining of both colonial and nationalist imaginaries… decisions made through multiple kinds of exchanges and dialogues across contexts to place them in one…
Indeed, even the writings of nationalist leaders Gandhi and Nehru reveal that they were very aware of these binaries in practice… resistance movements and later national policy was developed with this awareness..
yet the policies perpetuated some of these – and solidified particular ethnographic observations as actuality – so that even when at the time of writing those ethnographic writings were as much partial truths and shaped by ideologies and viewpoints of those writing them – as they wrote them as “history” – these ethnographic observations are now acted on as the only historical reality…
multiple histories of social movements, political movements and industrialization provide the possibility of re-routing through another strand… what sorts of shifts and collaborations might those lead to?
would this happen through grassroots everydayness, networks of active resistance, planned policy intervention?
yes the writing has to commence – but where do I start?
what are the limits to unravelling? The key nodes/knots formed that refuse to unravel – these might be the moments to stop and reflect on before unravelling further and …
[[ok ok - I will stop with the roving metaphor - there is a point when it cannot go back further -
and the metaphor can carry me to a logic that wont allow me to see something else...]]
This is why, of course, it is a good thing the MS for the Weavings book is at a stage where I cant drag it back into a full overhaul – even though I will likely add and revise a bit more before the final stage of going to press in the next couple months….
These questions will organize a into a next book project – based on which intersection I land on in the articulation of that project.
I realize now that the question “has the internet empowered the subaltern woman” is not the question to ask – in one sentence – the answer could be “yes” – in another reply the answer could be “no” – but…. it tells us nothing about what I set out to investigate in the past 18 or so years…
the point is that the “internet” is part of a logics that are even in place in processes offline – and from before the “internet” came along to “empower” the subaltern (at the risk of sounding repetitive and restating what many others have stated).
the issue then is why is the “internet” considered an outsider and who does the “west” vs “rest” binary serve.
My articles from Development in practice and Gender and Development – from 1999 – both fail to extricate themselves from this binary… because they start with the question and assumption of empowerment through the internet – which is a question imposed from a logic that such research is forced into – and therefore is a logic even non-profits and ngos are complicit in.
more on this in the book – perhaps.
As I work on the final revisions on the book manuscript while the publishers examine the camera-ready samples – I once again got caught in an archive search frenzy.
Also my continuing work and leisure in various mostly women-centered networks (because the practice of knitting and related fiber craft is still gendered as a female activity) made me think back on the spoon collective listprocs I founded and ran in the 1990s – women-writing-culture, third-world-women and sa-cyborgs.
Discussions on that are still relevant – and suddenly I need to find archives if I am to historicize net presences of women writing and creating and connecting through the internets…
Early morning hours of reading and writing and thinking….
Today’s understanding…. Encapsulated by code words hook and spindle….
No sunrise yet at the time of writing and reading
curtains not yet pulled apart to see if…
But I anticipate a beautiful mood…
The other day it was:
So there’s this one word I am fixated on
going back, going into texts, looking at histories, going bck – relooking at the relationshp. unpacking, layering
temporarily, multi contextually, placing it in various relationships…
the day before that it was …
Yesterday, it was
and then …
today – I am back to leafing through pages in books (hardcopy and on kindle and google) searching for the “exigency” – two points in history – two totally different geographical locations that weave virtual and real in ways that pose yet again when is virtual and when real – why did these practices and focus on process (as opposed to product for sale) re- surge in this way…
and did one of these re-surgences further the binary of practice vs theory in this context
while the other blurred it in the moment – but continues the binary because of the impossibility of archiving without freezing?
yet can the practice be “re-surged” without resorting to archives – how is practice coded outside of bodily experience when intergenerational exchange and apprenticeship has been disrupted through modern modes of production and standardization?
perhaps I need to look for the relationship (sometimes hidden and barely visible and not always noted) of learning and doing intergenerationally – in spaces of so-called leisure…
October 11 to 13 I will be at AOIR
October 14 and 15 – I will be at the New Media Symposium in U of Oregon
November 15 to 20, 2011 I will be at NCA
June 28-30 2012 – I will be at “Digital Crossroads”
“Digital diasporas” occur at the intersection of local/ global, national/
international, private/public, offline/online and embodied/disembodied. In
digital diasporas, a multiplicity of representations, mass media broadcasts,
textual and visual performances and interpersonal interactions occur. The
term *”digital diaspora”* is most often used to talk about how diasporic
populations the world over use the Internet to connect to each other.
Scholars such as Anna Everett (2009) and Jeniffer Brinkerhoff (2009) have
each used the phrase in relation to very specific situated histories of
forced migrations (African American histories of slavery) and transnational
travel respectively. The link to labor flows and hierarchies of colonialisms
and digital globalization is clear in both. In most general usage of the
phrase “digital diaspora,” however, it is used to describe migrant
populations without attention to the specific conditions of subjectivity
that produces diasporas. Further, it is interesting that international NGOs
(specifically the United Nations) and Transnational corporations as well as
National businesses have mobilized the notion of digital diaspora in
“reverse brain-drain” efforts where very materially successful
transnationals and migrants with moneys to invest actually get to return
In the past I have edited a couple publications that center around South
Asian Digital Diasporas (a Special Section of New Media and Society in 2006)
and South Asian Technospace (a co-edited collection of essays). My intent
with this next volume on digital diasporas is to include material that helps
elaborate on the more current platforms where links between transnational
capital and labor flows can be mapped in the context of the increasing
NGOization and ITization of the globe. Thus questions include (but are not
limited to) – why “digital diaspora” and why now? What forms a “digital
diaspora” within gaming environments and social networks? How are
non-profits and transnational corporations (similarly or differently)
mobilizing this idea of digital diaspora in relation to labor and capital
flows? How does a “digital diaspora” form – how does it “look” – how does it
function and so on.
>From prospective contributors, I will need an extended abstract of 800 to
1000 words that fleshes out the theoretical and methodological approaches in
relation to a specific site that will be examined.
1] Extended abstract due on July 26th, 2011
2] You will hear back about your abstracts by August 15th 2011 – with
suggestions on how
you can proceed if the abstract is considered acceptable for the collection
3] Full essays are due by October 1, 2011.
If you have questions regarding the publisher and what exactly I’m looking
for and so on – feel free to email me -
twitter hashtag – #platpol11
Program and Flier Attached
see also blog – http://blogs.bgsu.edu/raceandaffect/
twitter stream http://twitter.com/#!/search?q=%23drabgsu2011
[for citation details - email me]
Changes, Transitions, Upgrading, Rewriting… what stayed constant if anything?
I started work on this book during a post dot.com socio-economic era soon after I had completed my last book. The last book (Gajjala, 2004) to be based fully on my own research endeavours and collaborations drew on the work I’d done both for my dissertation and towards tenure, during the mid to late 90s. In the midst of that book project and this current one (and I anticipate the same for the next one I am embarking on as I shut the covers on this one) – shifts have occurred. These shifts have reaffirmed for me that what I was observing at these cross-sections are indeed impacting our presents and futures in ways that compel us to re-seat ourselves from disciplinary comfort zones. What is discussed in this book that you are reading the “conclusion” of, for instance, does not just impact our social and cultural lives as if those were separate from political and the economic. These online/offline intersections are changing the way we need to respond to situations around us – whether in our domestic everyday or in the world-wide political milieu. What is most compelling is not that there are shifts or there is change – these are givens in any era. Our urgent attention and reflexive engagement is needed to observe carefully how this so-called speed of change allows a loss of memory that permits status quo hierarchies to be unchanged generation after generation. While bodies and cultural objects are coded as interchangeable and made visible as agents of difference, democracy and multiculturalism – code is standardized and these individual agents of so-called change are placed on naturalized technical platforms. Code is made invisible. Does this mean that the cod-ers – the labor that codes – have the power? Does this mean that the complex literacies involved in producing the platforms and networks are created by the labor-force that codes them? What configurations of practices, literacies and assumptions underpin how this labor force is trained and simultaneously rendered powerless while they labor to produce “us” in the interface?
Should the Humanities and Social Sciences be left out of these kinds of inter-disciplinary practices of standardizing socio-cultural financial code named as “technical” and “Technology,” as we continue incestuously “blind” peer-reviewing each other’s work, gatekeeping to ensure there is not more than a bit of fashionable dissonance and multiplicity in voicing – as we maintain outdated hierarchies of knowledge-production?
In continuing work my call to fellow researchers is to scrutinize closely every practice, every code, every interface, woven designs, crochet patterns, spoken word – for what seams seamless. We have been looking at and reveling in the discovery of “ruptures” and celebrating them or pointing to them as evidence of hopeful change. But we are missing what hides in the background of the ruptures we see “popping up.” What are the non-changing factors that are hidden by the fast appearing manner in which the “newness” of the place/space/time/body intersections seem to have the potential for reproducing “old” oppressive regimes in brand new bytes great speed and less time for reflection and contemplation.
How do we “upgrade” the lens that sees – what do we look for and why. How is an “unscripted entry” (here I refer to a recent podcast interview of Larry Gross where he talks about the unscripted entry of Justin Beiber and the likes into the mainstream) into the mainstream actually a product of status quo production mechanisms that have shifted and been hidden through the continual and simultaneous upgrading and standardization of layers of access and literacy. What do we write and publish for and why – if we reproduce consistencies in the name of discovery of newness?
CFP: Digital Diasporas and Transnational Social Movements: Capital, Labor, Mobility and Identity
Editor – Radhika Gajjala
(see http://personal.bgsu.edu/~radhik )
“Digital diasporas” occur at the intersection of local/ global, national/ international, private/public, offline/online and embodied/disembodied. In digital diasporas, a multiplicity of representations, mass media broadcasts, textual and visual performances and interpersonal interactions occur. The term “digital diaspora” is most often used to talk about how diasporic populations the world over use the Internet to connect to each other. Scholars such as Anna Everett (2009) and Jeniffer Brinkerhoff (2009) have each used the phrase in relation to very specific situated histories of forced migrations (African American histories of slavery) and transnational travel respectively. The link to labor flows and hierarchies of colonialisms and digital globalization is clear in both. In most general usage of the phrase “digital diaspora,” however, it is used to describe migrant populations without attention to the specific conditions of subjectivity that produces diasporas. Further, it is interesting that international NGOs (specifically the United Nations) and Transnational corporations as well as National businesses have mobilized the notion of digital diaspora in “reverse brain-drain” efforts where very materially successful transnationals and migrants with moneys to invest actually get to return home.
In the past I have edited a couple publications that center around South Asian Digital Diasporas (a Special Section of New Media and Society in 2006) and South Asian Technospace (a co-edited collection of essays). My intent with this next volume on digital diasporas is to include material that helps elaborate on the more current platforms where links between transnational capital and labor flows can be mapped in the context of the increasing NGOization and ITization of the globe. Thus questions include (but are not limited to) – why “digital diaspora” and why now? What forms a “digital diaspora” within gaming environments and social networks? How are non-profits and transnational corporations (similarly or differently) mobilizing this idea of digital diaspora in relation to labor and capital flows? How does a “digital diaspora” form – how does it “look” – how does it function and so on.
From prospective contributors, I will need an extended abstract of 800 to 1000 words that fleshes out the theoretical and methodological approaches in relation to a specific site that will be examined.
1] Extended abstract due on June 1st, 2011
2] You will hear back about your abstracts by June 30th 2011 – with suggestions on how
you can proceed if the abstract is considered acceptable for the collection.
3] Full essays are due by September 1, 2011.
If you have questions regarding the publisher and what exactly I’m looking for and so on – feel free to email me –
email@example.com with the subject header “digital diasporas.”
Recently I wrote/published a bunch of articles on conceptualization of identity in Secondlife space – and am back doing further immersive ethnographies in various virtual worlds in relation to building monetary value for social identities and in relation trans-nations, inter-nations and the local and global. Some of what I write next will both contest and extend what I have written and published in the previous phase of immersive online and offline (and offline trans- rural as well as trans- urban “deep hanging out”) ethnographies.
As usual – some of this will be co-authored and other essays will be single-authored with a clear acknowledgement of its collaborative nature. Am working in bits and pieces with multiple groups of people both within and outside the Western academy as well as both within and outside virtual worlds.
Let the layered investigations resume (continue – actually they never stopped – but now that I have my first draft of the book manuscript on Technocultural Agency finally done – I am calling it phase two as I move this work into my next two book projects being developed)!
Mapping nodes where my research and personal journeys have (and continue to ) overlap online/offline
over the years …its mostly a personal journey on my own, not surprisingly.
Last week (not yesterday) on Saturday, I was walking the streets of London looking for an Internet Cafe where my first experience of a f2f meeting of friends (flesh meet we used to call them?) formed fully through online discussion spaces (this group were from the spoon-collective list “cybermind” http://www2.iath.virginia.edu/spoons/).
It was akin to meeting a group of pen pals – but with hardcopy snail mail letters we would not have shared the same letter with a *group* of people – some of whom we did not know we were “broadcasting” to since we were still writing as if we were writing one to one letters (I think I said something of this sort in my dissertation way back in the 90s when this was all new in my understanding and experience and it was considered a research “finding” through my cyberethnographic investigations)….
I had my 11/12 year old son with me then – and we both figured out the London underground to get there (this was our first actual venture into London city – previously we had only been at Heathrow airport en-route to the US etc) – and little did I know at that time, how much the online/offline social world would be shaping his skills and personality – future social and professional life. But knowing this and being aware of this in this very personal, applied, concrete and historically contextual manner makes me able to connect with how my undergraduate students (not just grad students) live through these contexts. The fact that I have many nieces, nephews and even a grandniece and grandnephew who are not only sophisticated with-body world travelers but are also sophisticated navigators of online/offline social networks in their personal, educational and professional lives, enhances this understanding.
I think how commonplace it is now to weave online and offline social networks and how the younger generations no longer think about this … and of course the social networks that form through each of the platforms (multiple and multifarious in present times) and software available in present times are of such a wide range…
Now, as I continue my ethnographic investigations in virtual worlds – am waiting for an upgrade again so I can re-join the 3D worlds and continue to follow the RMTs…
It would be another kind of personal journey, no doubt, if I also tried to stretch my mapping to physically travel through
all the places (not just the countries – but the actual places, nooks and crannies) I recollect from my journeys hopping from country to country in my childhood.
Greg Seigworth – co-editor for the Affect Theory reader recently released, is kindly donating time to help my grad students in trying to understanding and dialogue around issues of Affect.
(and p.s. – yes there is a connection between my following of micro-moneys, placement of affect and online/offline ethnographies – partly why my grad seminars this semester are “Subaltern Studies and Affect” and “Digital Media, Race [Labor] and Affect”)
just so I can get the “correct” aesthetic…
My research journeying to where money is being exchanged through online software is taking me into various muddyings of ideology, finance and socio-economic practice – in places of work through play.
click, click, click…
Start with the fluff and move to essentials…. microtransact away… or make essential the fluff (which is a bit different from essentializing fluff…)
[there's an interweaving commentary I have that's being staged in my head on the interweaving of social entrepreneurship, microtransactions, crowdfunding and micropolitics - but you can ask me about that f2f sometime]
Virtual worlds and social networks… looking at crowdfunding, microtransactional software, RMT and so on.
Practices of money exchange have always been “virtual” so this makes me think anew about the binary we have in the internet era – between “virtual” and “real” – in the context of money.
Parallel -ly, examining historical descriptions of finance communities and parallel as well as alternative practices of production, consumption, marketing … seeing how these trajectories allow me to push at the teleology of modernity ….(that [in]visibly underpins various current day political approaches to money and transactions of value).
So reading about Money and Liberation … Micropolitics and microtransactions – money as discourse (but of course it is – I dont see that as “new”) – exchange value, after all, is based on valuing through discourse and practice – and this connects back to Virtual worlds, RMTs and Virtual Economies (at least in my writing that is forthcoming). In that sense I am taking these issues in a different direction than that taken by some researchers of gaming cultures and virtual economies.
The body will be more vulnerable
it can be attacked
no amount of social networking and learning of skills
networking in so-called public space where the body cannot enter
voicing out loud when the body
no it is NOT
a revolution if you can only speak or write to me
I worry about what is happening to your body
and how you can protect
and shape it….
because these bodies – all we are doing
is watching you…
we cannot be there to help you
so why are we asking you to shout out to us?
“Moreover, khadi mentality means decentralisation of production and distribution of the necessities of life”
- M.K. Gandhi
S writes – “Master weavers did pick up this technology…true, it was more for furnishing products, especially when markets opened out….but I again come back to narayanpet, where master weavers have framelooms, and are making sareees on it. It does have a clear product identity (unlike a more universal fursnishing fabric), but I think what matters is the existence of a market niche or demand which drives entrepreneurs to exploit the potential (of higher productivity) in frameloom technology. But if we go back in time to consider its introduction, then it was definitely an agenda of modernization and not market demand.”
Okay – so here I am a (not seasoned and quite ruptured and awkward) consumer of saris.. a consumer of fabric…
asking if the apparel shapes me or I shape the apparel?
if I wear a sari – where must I loose weight? if I wear jeans where must I loose weight?
Did the loom make the sari or the sari make the loom?
what kinds of looms allowed what kinds of saris (we know that as they exist looms are structured around the sari concept so it is difficult to adjust them to work with fabric for other garments etc)
how did the loom shape fashion and convention
and how does our distance from the loom in the market “freeze” notions of sari as tradition – even while it is a living shifting fashion/style practice in everyday life -
as also does bollywood and tollywood (and the fashion industry internal to India) shape the notion of the correct or chic way to wear a sari …
What I write below may make absolutely no sense – but I have to insert this in the conversation – will elaborate later:
I am designing and producing saris on an online 3d social and technologically mediated environment (called secondlife) where people buy and sell clothes etc. – I have several stalls and shops and a studio there where I make these saris and sell. However different consumers respond differently to my way of designing saris (using handloom textures bought mostly from Dastkar Andhra). Some of them have museumized the notion of sari as traditional indian wear in a very particular way – and they have developed “traditions” of what it means to design and create a sari in secondlife – so they have begun to lay down the rules on what layers a sari must contain (and yet each of the sari sellers on secondlife makes them differently – some have bollywood style transparent flowy “fabric” others have pleats attached and so on) so when I adapt and shift the notion it is to experiment with how I can shift the fashion of sari wearing in that environment through providing a slightly different product – but also because of how I use the technologies that help produce these “saris” – such as digital imaging software, digital cameras and the actual building in secondlife after the raw “fabric” has been created offline and imported in….
of course there is the whole other aspect of the sari consumer on secondlife who is part of the Gor…and I dont what practices of sari designing that privileges…
Depending on who the consumer is and their prior experience with saris on secondlife I get different kinds of responses about how a “real” sari should be designed on secondlife and what sorts of practices secondlifers are used to and have come to expect in a sari.
Thus my virtual “loom” (a combination of a situated social panopticon and the digital technologies used to construct the product) shapes my particular style of sari (shall we call it “rad Zabibha pEta cheera”?;-)) – and also my offline practice and experience with sari wearing shapes the way I visualize saris – but some of the people setting the precedent for the “Tradition” of sari making may have actually never worn a sari in their life…
which version of sari is tradition and which authentic – and why
so to get back to the master weavers and niche markets – markets are formed in interaction with what the weaver can produce – that was when loom was the only technology that produced the cloth for the sari….
what can I say?
whose voices am I consuming as I say
why can I not say
when you can
but yet you want their authentic voices
what I tell you cannot be trusted
that’s what you say
as if you had heard the authentic
then why do you need me to reveal it to you
if you know what it should look like?
I’m afraid this blog is going the way of my many other blogs.
Let’s face it – I’m not much good at regular blogging on just one topic or in just one location – all the things I’ve wanted to “say” on this blog have been happening in scattered online and offline presences and writings – the talks, the exchanges in facebook reading groups (that meet offline actually), in my instagram image, in my kindle book notes and in my print book margins and offline diary/notebook pages…
Been working through the idea of subaltern citizen and cybersubalternity in relation to online publics and shifting privates…
issues of visuality, affect and the body…
issues around labor and globalization,,,
now to go back and remember the conversations. Perhaps I will write about them yet.