Thursday, February 23, 2017

TODAY'S CLASS: • Project Prototype & LB1: 1/4 grade >> 22 February


What medium will your final project be in as you imagine so far? 
What DIFFERENT medium did you choose for this first prototyping activity? 
What is diegetic prototyping? Design fiction? 
How do we analyze these? How do we practice these and why?  


Thursday 22 February, Prototypings

1) Attendance Portraits: Eva will take charge of these now.
2) Show and tell what you brought today: around the circle:
=What medium will your final project be in as you imagine so far?
=What DIFFERENT medium did you choose for this first prototyping activity?
=What did you learn from this activity so far?
3) Eva introduces Feedback handout and discusses what is at stake.
=How can we use this for general discussion about our prototypes so far?

1) Intro to diegetic prototyping and the TAB for it. 
=Kirby, near future lab & Bleecker and Sterling, SF & social justice warriors, Octavia's Brood web

=Design Fiction: diegetic prototypes online here:
=See a pdf of Kirby's original article here: Kirby2010 Prototypes 

=Where are we in the structure of the class? 
• end of experience set 1: Humans questioning everything, including Human; All the rest that exists too
• next time begin set 2: Protest Now! Action, Activist Research & Scholarship, How to do it 



WMST488_FeedbackGuide by Eva Peskin on Scribd  


Experience Set 1: Humans questioning everything, including Human; All the rest that exists too
Thursday 22 February, DUE PROJECT PROTOTYPE & LOGBOOK 1: Th 22 Feb, attendance required 

Experience Set 2: Protest Now! Action, Activist Research & Scholarship, How to do it  
WORKSHOP 1: Th 9 Mar: Status paper & handout & workshop attendance & LB2  

Experience Set 3: Making and Non-Human Emergences 
WORKSHOP 2: Th 13 Apr: Project & poster & pics & workshop attendance & LB3 

Experience Set 4: Reflection Makes It All Stick: New Knowledges in the World/s
LEARNING ANALYSIS & PROCESS REVIEW: Th 11 May: & attendance last day & FINAL LB4 

• Kirksey. 2015. Emergent Ecologies. Duke.

Thursday 2 March: hope: 2/3 book in any order you like
Thursday 9 March: multispecies: finish the book up & <WORKSHOP 1>: ACTION! Status paper & handout and attendance

READINGS FOR EXPERIENCE SET 3: 2/3 of each book in any order you like
• Svedmark. 2016. Becoming Together and Apart. Linköping.
• Chen. 2012. Animacies. Duke.
• Marcus. 2015. Self Care for Activists. Mocana.

Thursday 16 March: affectChen
Thursday 23 March spring break: read some of all
Thursday 30 March: techno-emotions: Svedmark
Thursday 6 April: self-care: Marcus

READINGS FOR EXPERIENCE SET 4: finish up all 3 books
• Svedmark. 2016. Becoming Together and Apart. Linköping.
• Chen. 2012. Animacies. Duke.
• Marcus. 2015. Self Care for Activists. Mocana. 

Thursday 20 April: apartSvedmark
Thursday 27 April: spillChen
Thursday 4 May: activisms: Marcus


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Parables: breathing and experiencing and tagging and prototyping

Thursday 16 February, Parables: 
• CHOOSE & READ: choose stories in about half of Octavia's Brood. Be able to say how you chose the ones you did: have a rationale and practice to share.
• EXPLORE WEBSITE: #Letusbreathe Collective site
• CONSIDER everything under the assignments TAB carefully
• KIT ITERATION: bring your kit to use for thinking about PROTOTYPES!
• MAKING AT BEGINNING OF CLASS: 2 min. Attendance Portraits (Barry 2014)
• MAKING IN SECOND PART OF CLASS: working on paper prototypes, cut and connect. THINK ABOUT PLATFORMS.

Why is today's class entitled Parable?
Why was the last class entitled Emergence?
What is a prototype?   
What is a logbook

1) Attendance Portraits: Eva will take charge of these now.
2) READ PARAGRAPH from story, p. 178: you are there. 
3) LISTEN TO R.A.I.N MEDITATION, as if the activist experience you just read about were the one you were working on for yourself.
4) next 20 mins: READ OR REREAD "Kafka's Last Laugh" by Vagabond in Octavia's Brood, pp. 177-186. If finish before, review the Lothian essay.
5) IN PAIRS (with class buddy?), consider how you would make content notes, tag, or warn readers about this story. What should be noted and why? Why is this science fiction? A story? From social justice movements?
6) tactical breathing exercise, then EXPLORE #Let Us Breathe Collective website.

Breathe in for a count of 4
Hold the breath for a count of 4
Breathe out for a count of 4
Hold for a count of 4

see Górska. 2016. Breathing Matters. Linköping. 192-3.
see also:

=FREEWRITE: on associations of term platform.
=Who is Vagabond? How is this book his platform and for what?
=What sort of platform is Octavia's Brood? How is it NOT autonomous?
=What sort of platforms do social justice movements need? Use? Find themselves on?
2) WHAT IS A PROTOTYPE? What sort of prototype will your project need?
3) working on a paper prototype. A PROTOTYPE IS DUE NEXT CLASS.

=bring in your project prototype, your project planning sheet completed, and Logbook 1. 


2) READ PARAGRAPH from story, p. 178: you are there. 

3) LISTEN TO R.A.I.N. MEDITATION, use as if this experience were the one you were working on. 




Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Emergence: be able to report on all our materials & begin projects

Have you read everything under the assignments TAB carefully? Please do so for class! We will be brainstorming projects! Please bring your kit to use for thinking about projects! Please read everything with an eye to projects! 


NOTE THAT on website the AT A GLANCE PIC (scroll down) you can see now that it says "all materials, structure class, thoughts on projects" >>>

This means that you should try to find out as much as possible about all our books, transmedia, and materials as you can for the next class. Read intros and conclusions and first and last sentences of chapters, be able to explain to others in the class what each item is about. LOOK THINGS UP ON THE WEB! be a detective about these items! Show off your discovery skills! 

And of course, read the stuff everyone was supposed to have read for last week: Lothian for example. (see below for what else you should have explored too.) 

It's a lot to read and think about and be able to tell others about for sure! Do as much as you can! kk

We will talk more about how the class will be structured and ALSO COME IN WITH IDEAS ABOUT PROJECTS! And the second version of your KIT if you have decided it could be even more useful for making projects and posters for workshops. 

And enjoy! Katie

PS. This might help too! How to Read a Book in Two Hours or Less from Inside Higher Ed's GradHacker.  

From the assignments TAB, think carefully about this stuff: read and re-read! 

First of all, FUN MATTERS! Let’s work together to make sure that happens, no matter what!

All during the semester you will be working on a senior project. At four points in the semester you will be either
• prototyping what is coming,
• sharing your process,
• showing off what you've done, or
• reflecting on what happened.

Each part will be 1/4th of your grade, so just doing the project will not get you a full grade, and sharing your process carefully will.

Two times during the semester we will be creating class workshops together. 

[graphic from this website: ]

=For the first workshop you will do a paper that details your project justifications and current status, accompanied by a handout, all to flesh out the prototype you will already have begun.

=For the second workshop you will do a poster that accompanies your project itself. The poster will visually detail your research questions, methods, outcome, and conclusions. It will explain the project you are sharing at that time too.

You cannot get full credit for any assignment until after you also present in the workshop sessions, and participate in follow-ups.

In other words, just the written paper or the poster or the project does not in itself complete the assignment. If an emergency or illness kept you from participation in the workshop that week, to get full credit you will have to 1) meet in a mini-workshop with two other students from our class that you make happen, contacting and preparing for, to share your work and their work outside class together, and 2) write up the experience and what you learned from it to complete the participation portion of that grade.

DO NOT MAKE OTHER PLANS FOR DUE DATES: BUILD THEM CAREFULLY INTO YOUR SCHEDULE FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE TERM! Put them into your logbook from the beginning so that attending them will always be at the forefront of your term plans. This is especially true of the final day of class, when you discuss your learning analysis with everyone else. Full credit FOR THE COURSE requires attendance and participation on that last day.

Summary of assignments:
• Project Prototype & LB1: 1/4 grade >> 22 February 
• Event 1: Status paper & handout & workshop attendance & LB2: 1/4 grade >> 9 March 
• Event 2: Project & poster & pics & workshop attendance & LB3: 1/4 grade >> 13 April 
• Final Learning Analysis & Process Review & attendance last day & FINAL LB4: 1/4 grade

All assignments are intended to give you familiarity with some important, sometimes professional, styles of creating and sharing activist-scholarly research. Please notice how much of our work together will be collective. This means that your individual ability to meet deadlines will collectively affect everyone in the class. So make attention to this a top priority, and if you find yourself needing help organizing yourself and planning for these kinds of things, please come to Katie asap to discuss and get help. If for any reason you find yourself falling behind (any reason, good or bad!) please try to be mindful as this begins to happen and come to Katie immediately. Working collectively is complex, but it can be supportive, and FUN too!

To create our own community of thinkers, makers, doers, of scholars and activists, we want to all get to know each other and work with each other. Ours here is an active and ambitious learning community visioning and revisioning together. I want to get to know each of you personally! I want to know how the class is working for you, what touches and excites you, how your projects are going.

Let me know in office hours or after class when you need help, or any special accommodations, the sooner the better. Folks with disabilities or who need time from class to observe religious holidays, please contact Katie ASAP to make any arrangements necessary. If you are experiencing difficulties in keeping up with the academic demands of this or any other course, you can also contact the Learning Assistance Service, 2202 Shoemaker Building, 301-314-7693. They have educational counselors who can help with time management, reading, math learning skills, note-taking and exam preparation skills. All their services are free to UMD students.


Thursday 9 February, Emergence:

• INVESTIGATE all materials, that is find out as much as you can about them! Be able to say how you did this, and share your process here.
• BRING IN thoughts on projects, projects! Our mantram for now!
• CONSIDER everything under the assignments TAB carefully
• KIT ITERATION: bring your kit to use for thinking about projects!
=WEB ASSIGNMENTS: Brené Brown podcast, TENSION video
=READ: Lothian 2016.
• MAKING IN CLASS: 2 min. Attendance Portraits (Barry. 2014. Syllabus. Drawn & Quarterly. p. 56.)

1) Attendance Portraits & next Kit iteration
2) DISCUSS LOTHIAN READING FROM LAST CLASS! Includes discussion of • our gut reactions, second reactions, reactivities, triggers, care-abouts using reading as jump off point. Can refer to Tension video as well.
3) Think projects: how? Think class structure: note transmedia & emergence
4) Next class: read Octavia's Brood, ½ book, rationale and practice to share

1) groups to give presentations on materials to entire class, point to ways to inspire projects or to model or illustrate project-work
2) Noting meditation?
3) construction paper play as prototyping

=choose stories to be about half of the book. Be able to say how you chose the ones you did: have a rationale and practice to share.

[Image from: feminist groups disrupting bro-tech culture:  ]


SO WHAT IS TRANSMEDIA? what did we say, refer to, put up as a picture last class post?
>>TODAY CONSIDER EMERGENCE and how it is a property of direct action and activism

(Emergence is the title of today's class!!)
From the Wikipedia, Emergence > emergent properties and processes: [emphasis mine]   

"An emergent behavior or emergent property can appear when a number of simple entities (agents) operate in an environment, forming more complex behaviors as a collective. ...The processes from which emergent properties result may occur in either the observed or observing system, and can commonly be identified by their patterns of accumulating change, most generally called 'growth'. Emergent behaviours can occur because of intricate causal relations across different scales and feedback, known as interconnectivity. The emergent property itself may be either very predictable or unpredictable and unprecedented, and represent a new level of the system's evolution. The complex behaviour or properties are not a property of any single such entity, nor can they easily be predicted or deduced from behaviour in the lower-level entities, and might in fact be irreducible to such behavior. The shape and behaviour of a flock of birds [3] or school of fish are good examples of emergent properties.

"One reason why emergent behaviour is hard to predict is that the number of interactions between components of a system increases exponentially with the number of components, thus potentially allowing for many new and subtle types of behaviour to emerge. Emergence is often a product of particular patterns of interaction. Negative feedback introduces constraints that serve to fix structures or behaviours. In contrast, positive feedback promotes change, allowing local variations to grow into global patterns. Another way in which interactions leads to emergent properties is dual-phase evolution. This occurs where interactions are applied intermittently, leading to two phases: one in which patterns form or grow, the other in which they are refined or removed.

"On the other hand, merely having a large number of interactions is not enough by itself to guarantee emergent behaviour; many of the interactions may be negligible or irrelevant, or may cancel each other out. In some cases, a large number of interactions can in fact work against the emergence of interesting behaviour, by creating a lot of "noise" to drown out any emerging "signal"; the emergent behaviour may need to be temporarily isolated from other interactions before it reaches enough critical mass to be self-supporting. Thus it is not just the sheer number of connections between components which encourages emergence; it is also how these connections are organised. A hierarchical organisation is one example that can generate emergent behaviour (a bureaucracy may behave in a way quite different from that of the individual humans in that bureaucracy); but perhaps more interestingly, emergent behaviour can also arise from more decentralized organisational structures, such as a marketplace. [or social protest] In some cases, the system has to reach a combined threshold of diversity, organisation, and connectivity before emergent behaviour appears.

"Unintended consequences and side effects are closely related to emergent properties. ...In other words, the global or macroscopic functionality of a system with "emergent functionality" is the sum of all "side effects", of all emergent properties and functionalities.

"Systems with emergent properties or emergent structures may appear to defy entropic principles and the second law of thermodynamics, because they form and increase order despite the lack of command and central control. This is possible because open systems can extract information and order out of the environment."

Among the feminist reasons we all need to grow boundary objects and to learn the languages and knowledges of complex systems and the properties of emergence today, take a moment to consider Naomi Klein’s article in New Statesman, 29 Oct 2013:  

Klein describes: “Brad Werner…the geophysicist from the University of California, San Diego walked the crowd through the advanced computer model he was using to answer that question. He talked about system boundaries, perturbations, dissipation, attractors, bifurcations and a whole bunch of other stuff largely incomprehensible to those of us uninitiated in complex systems theory. But the bottom line was clear enough: global capitalism has made the depletion of resources so rapid, convenient and barrier-free that “earth-human systems” are becoming dangerously unstable in response…. Serious scientific gatherings don’t usually feature calls for mass political resistance, much less direct action and sabotage. But then again, Werner wasn’t exactly calling for those things. He was merely observing that mass uprisings of people – along the lines of the abolition movement, the civil rights movement or Occupy Wall Street – represent the likeliest source of “friction” to slow down an economic machine that is careening out of control. We know that past social movements have “had tremendous influence on . . . how the dominant culture evolved”, he pointed out. So it stands to reason that, “if we’re thinking about the future of the earth, and the future of our coupling to the environment, we have to include resistance as part of that dynamics”. And that, Werner argued, is not a matter of opinion, but “really a geophysics problem." 



Thursday, February 2, 2017

Experience Set 1: Humans? and What else?

Welcome to our Class! 

Our class is organized in Experience Sets that are tied together by your class project in its various stages & processes. Transmedia are your resources for BIG QUESTIONS and active MAKING! 

Thursday 2 February, What is TransMedia? 
• WEB ASSIGNMENTS: Brené Brown podcast, What Will The Theme Of Your Life Be In 2017?; What is your Activist Superpower? From Everyday Feminism; HOLDING IN TENSION video.
• READ: Lothian 2016.
• DOWNLOAD: Marcus 2015 & Svedmark 2016.
• MAKING IN CLASS: 2 min. Attendance Portraits (Barry. 2014. Syllabus. Drawn & Quarterly. p. 56.)

We will start off with our first MAKING & PROTOTYPING practice: Taking Attendance with Index Portraits, a exercise drawn and played with by cartoonist Lynda Barry.

Then we will introduce ourselves and our activist Superpower and show the KIT we brought into class. We will interview each other with Themes of our Lives; and using our cards we will the take up making class buddies, and otherwise beginning to create ourselves as a community of intellectual friends.

We will also read, interconnect, and discuss reactions, reactivities, triggers, care-abouts and other points of political meaning, emotion, and action using Lothian and our activities as points, directions, objects, shimmering nests of words.

After break we will organize the course, discuss projects and prototyping, how readings and assignments will work and so on. If we have time we may do either or both, a Noting practice and/or a Prototyping one. We may review podcast and video.


(Barry. 2014. Syllabus. Drawn & Quarterly. p. 56.)