Thinking about the TFC site

•July 17, 2009 • 2 Comments

I have been watching some of the trials on the Teaching From Country website (there’s a link on this page).  At the same time I have also been exploring some web2 sites like Flickr .. such a new adventure for me and not without a feeling of risk.  I have avoided this part of the world as though it were somehow quite inimical.   But between the two sites there are some astounding contrasts.  For me the biggest is the way the TFC site makes only minimal attempts at hiding the traces of the work involved in doing Teaching From Country.  We get to see and hear and wait out with those involved, the times when things don’t work as well as when they do.  When screens shake or go blank it isn’t edited out.  It is most unusual screen play in a world hell bent on representing itself in controlled ways.  Take for instance the way people represent themselves on sites like Flickr and Facebook, with their ever more extreme (and yes, creative) avatars and names and use of language.  Mind you, given that the content of posts often seems banal in the extreme (15 versions of ‘great photo’ one after the other) it requires manipulation of the other variables to make a difference: the groovey spelling and punctuation (’Rly nice!!!!!!!!!!!!!;)), the ever more idiosyncratic self portraits; the ever more controlled and transformed representations and metaphors.  By contrast the effort not to censor the image of what TFC entails is thought provoking.  I know that some of the people involved have already spelled out the thinking behind this deliberate leaving of trails, in the article, Designing Digital Knowledge Management Tools with Aboriginal Australians (Verran et al, 2007) and that it is to do with staying located.  But what else can we say about it?  Anthea

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Blog intimiditus ..

•July 14, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I am tiptoeing my way into making this blog.  Almost my first attempt .. and my early adventures on a clumsy site two years ago have gotten lost in the developments since then anyway.  My laptop screen now looks like the computer equivalent of an aeroplane dashboard.  And yes, I see they call this editing part of the program a dashboard!  Maybe not quite as daunting as the ones I recall from recent excursions in tiny planes in Arnhem Land, and certainly not as dangerous (one hopes), but of the same quality.  So many dials.  So many switches.  So much to learn.  If I raise my eyes to the windows in front of me I see a wintry landscape, rolling green paddocks, up close a native robin.  There are no kangaroos and emus just now but there could be .. there are hoards around these parts.  It all seems so other to this screen.  I think I know it.  I think there isn’t anything I have to learn about it today.  Strange how we settle these things at some level in our minds.  Anyway, I am off exploring to see what I can bring into this site or link to it, and also to see what it is already linked to and where it might lead me.  Anthea