Presenting at NWSA today

This morning at 11am in room 518B Sabrina Starnaman and I are presenting the pilot project that we developed in the classroom before arriving at our ongoing project, The Laboring Self, at the National Women’s Studies Association annual conference. In “The Korl Woman & the Crowd: The Laboring Body as a Site of Digital Resilience/Resistance” we relate the invisibility of immaterial laborers to the recovery of a text that was near-invisible for a century, Rebecca Harding Davis’ Life in the Iron Mills. 

If you would like to follow along, you can download our presentation.

burrough and Starnaman Deliver (virtually) at Digital Frontiers

sabrina and xtine digital frontiers

This month Sabrina Starnaman and I delivered a presentation of our ongoing project (now called The Laboring Self, which was a 21st Century Korl Woman in its first iteration) to the Digital Frontiers conference audience from my classroom at UTD. This was the first time that I brought a class with me to a conference by presenting electronically from my home-podium. It was not difficult and my students enjoyed hearing a conference presentation from the seats they occupy each week.

While we couldn’t see our peers in the room at Rice University, we were delighted with their engagement in our Twitter feed. Thank you Frontiersfolk—hope to see you in person next year!

Platform Cooperativism

platform coop

I’m in New York for the Platform Cooperativism event at the New School and the buzz is in the air about an upcoming internet revolution. Will there be a revolution? Radicals here suggest alternative paradigms for sharing and owning the way we collaborate online. Other radicals (maybe with a different history or experience) talk about the potential for creating change within the present capitalist system. Yes, there is a lot of talk about capitalism, and yes, it’s time to get down to it. The event is free and it is being live-streamed. So, you can see me on this channel on 11/14 at 11am EST.

I’m delighted to be included in this monumental coming together–the third in a series of conferences at the intersection of the internet, society, and labor hosted this year by Trebor Scholz and Nathan Schneider. I’ll be providing an introduction to the “Worker’s Voice” session, with a brief nod towards some of my creative collaborations with Mechanical Turk workers and some survey findings of an experiment I ran on Mturk to determine which dimensions of online work were important to the workers. My presentation is not as great without my voice over, but you can see the visuals (including some survey findings) here.

Hi-Res at VCFA

quarter
A quarter, covered in silver paint, was payment for participants in my offline (conference) version of Mediations on Digital Labor.

I’m sitting in the Burlington airport, awaiting my flight home from a sweet time in Montpelier, Vermont during “Hi-Res.” In opposition to the MFA low-residency program that alumni undergo at VCFA (some from as long ago as 1992!), Hi-Res is the first annual, multidisciplinary alumni conference for VCFA MFA students. In the good company of visual arts grads who presented works such as Ambivalently Yours by (I was going to include her name but remembered how she likes to remain anonymous online…let’s just say a 2012 graduate) and Cards Against Brutality (Kristin Serafini 2014), I presented my recent project Mediations on Digital Labor. MFA grads from the writing programs as well as a spectacular presentation made by Beth Bradfish from the Music Composition MFA program all centered on the theme of advocacy in the arts.

I’m still abuzz from my Vermont experience. VCFA never fails to deliver a sense of belonging, community, and commitment to our practices that fills the soul.

Digital Frontiers

marked-up-pdf

I’m posting this a bit late, but I didn’t want to forget to mention how much I enjoyed presenting my current work, a collaboration with Dan Sutko titled The Women of El Toro (made possible by a grant from CalHumanities) at Digital Frontiers. It was refreshing to talk about our iOS app among like-minded peers interested in the digital, the humanities and storytelling.

I also enjoyed speaking up about women making with code. Yes! Learn to code. Learn to make. Women aren’t, typically, afraid to make a blanket for a newborn (well, I must admit, I’m a bit fearful of the sewing machine and I do recognize this is a problematic way to start the sentence but hang with me here), why should we be afraid to make apps or websites or software or anything else that requires code? It especially felt good to talk to some female grad students after the session about their practice in development.

PCA/ACA Annual Conference 2015

I’m excited to be traveling to New Orleans this week for the annual Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association Conference. The Communication and Digital Culture area, led by Mark Nunes, has been a long time theoretical “home” for me and I’m looking forward to experiencing all of the C&DC sessions this Thursday in Studio 8 at the Marriott.

This year I’ll be presenting thoughts and images from my recent exhibit Please Participate using the framework presented in Francisco Ricardo’s book, The Engagement Aesthetic: Experiencing New Media Art through Critique.

On Brands and Branding in Chapman’s 2013 Design Symposium Branding Issue

x with chapman journal
Chapman University 2013 Design Symposium: The Branding Issue, Vol. 1, Issue 1

Chapman University published its first design journal to accompany their 2013 Design Symposium. Though I wasn’t able to attend the symposium, my article, On Brands and Branding was included in the journal—a beautiful, hard-cover issue that also includes contributions from Brittany Rosenblatt, selections from the 2013 Orange County Design Awards, Iridium Group, and Armin Vit.

keep calm and carry on in pixels
From footnote 21: Remaining quiet and immobile creates a mass audience that remains passive and more easily manipulated.

My article, “On Death Brands and Dying Branding” is a selective remix of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’ 1969 book, On Death and Dying. The words “brand” and “branding” are substituted in salient quotes from Kübler-Ross’ text for the words “death” and “dying.” The Swiss-born psychiatrist developed her “5 Stages of Grief” hypothesis to help the medical industry understand the emotional processes undergone by patients suffering from terminal illnesses. By substituting “brand/branding” for Kübler-Ross’ primary target (death/dying), I suggest a culture in which brands and branding are the norm will enact a process of grieving akin to that of the terminally ill.

“On Death Brands and Dying Branding” appears on pages 39-47, but the bulk of the investigation is within the footnotes, pages 44-7.

Angelica Perez Wins Second Place!!!

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What Dog Breeds Best Suit Your Personality Type? Second Place Winner, AEJMC Best of the Web

I’m so darn proud of my student, Angelica Perez, who just graduated in May 2014 with her BA in Communications: she tied for 2nd place in the AEJMC Best of the Web (Individual/Class Projects/Web Design) competition for her final portfolio project, What Dog Breeds Best Suit Your Personality Type? Her project, coded mostly by herself (with the help, of course, of some Javascript and CSS found online), is included in a category with some very impressive works by students at Indiana University, UNC Chapel Hill and University of Nevada, Reno.

Angelica is an up and coming web designer. She just moved to Seattle. She is, I’m sure, going to be a life-long learner. She also loves dogs. This project of hers pairs dog breeds with people’s personality types based on a combination of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Test, the Keirsey Temperament Sorter and the Brain Color assessment tool.

If you like dogs, or web design, or both, you should check out her award-winning work!

Appropriation as Legitimate Practice: Rethinking Fair Use

This year my colleague Genelle Belmas and I collaborated on a presentation for the annual Popular Culture Association conference, titled Appropriation as Legitimate Practice: Rethinking Fair Use in a Networked Society. Genelle delivered our talk in Washington DC while I stayed home with my five-week old twin newborns (!). We suggest the four-pronged fair use “test” does not accurately assist a judge or jury with little or no previous visual communication knowledge to understand the nuances of appropriation art.