Donna Haraway’s treatment of ‘Vision’ in her 1988 Situated Knowledge text is extremely helpful for my work, as it explores Vision in a political and epistemological context, giving a switched on academic framing to my use of (audo)visual research techniques. Haraway uses Vision as a metaphor to unpack ways of seeing, knowing and positioning.
She criticises the all-seeing Eye of the God-trick (the conquering gaze from nowhere that represents and marks bodies, while itself remaining unrepresented and unseen).
She advocates for embodied situated Vision that recognises and deconstructs it’s own positionality, specificity, difference, technologies and prosthetics for seeing; in the process making itself accountable, responsible, answerable.
She problematises ‘Seeing from Below’ and the vantage points of the subjugated:
Feels like the emotional aspect of Covid19 and self-isolation is hitting home now. I think I was running on adrenalin for ages, getting everything ready for self-isolation. Now the tiredness and numbness is rising. Writing the first blog on this yesterday was helpful. Thank you. I realised that fear and tension were lurking in my being and I had to breathe them out, channel them, address them, rest… or this wasn’t going to be sustainable.
I was going to start blogging a research diary anyway but there is a whole extra urgency to that now under Covid19 confinement. I’m working at home with my little one, and my Dad will be joining us once we have all completed quarantine. Working as a single parent (and carer) regularly feels a like mission impossible. Now in self-isolation, the level of difficulty has now zoomed up again onto a radically higher level.
In parallel with the storytelling themes, I’m asking Who are the Storytellers? as a way of proactively problem-solving some intersectional issues in the research project. For example, key literature regarding my fieldwork with Decidim Barcelona has a very limited range of authors in terms of gender. In contrast, during my fieldwork, I could see many women authoring and creating Decidim Barcelona. And of course if we are going to look at gender, we also have to look at the full range of intersectionality (race, class, dis/ability, caring responsibilities, etc.). In order to recognise a more accurate range of authors and creators, I am working with a broader idea of authorship in my research, and developing the profile of the Storytellers alongside the Storytelling themes. And I’m also trying to connect with my own lived experience (especially my caring responsibilities) and articulate how all those intersectionalities come together in the research process.
Work will start going public soon and I’m excited to develop storytelling tactics to give the material the best chance of travelling on it’s own two feet.
I’m working on three storytelling devices to carry all the more technical, formal and less accessible detail (outlined below). Meanwhile, I’m also exploring the question of Who are the Storytellers?as a way of addressing intersectionality in an integrated and pro-active way.
I have some relatively advanced work on a “universe” of concepts around Collective Intelligence. Many very different politics surface in a collective intelligence space, from a Brexity “Will of the People” to Zapatista inspired swarming strategies. Mapping out these concepts has many uses, and potentially it help us navigate the kind of “cognitive slippage” between left and right popular approaches. For any map to be accessible and actually usable for a wide range of people, it needs to be attractive, intuitive and easy to use. Data visualisation techniques seem key here, which leads us to Gephi, and also “Arc Diagram” code which I found through the brilliant Dictionary of the Revolution project.