Surprised with my resistance to Jessica Barnes’ artist statement, which I read after exploring her soundmap for quite some time. I didn’t appreciate being told what my experience was. I didn’t appreciate being told what “the user learns.” And I want to say that as a user I never learned “to use the space heuristically.” Perhaps I just used the space heuristically because that’s what we do with designed spaces. Humans are “form seeking animals,” as Berthoff likes to say. My experience with Barnes’ art space/soundscape enacts this for me. I found myself noticing patterns, rhythms in this case, stacking sounds in different patterns to satisfy a layering that felt fitted. The visuals, interestingly, enhanced in their spareness; I barely noticed them. Rather I noticed a genre–a kind of steampunk tonality to the textures and visuals.
Of course this week’s readings contribute much to our discussions of the effects of digital media (dm), the ways dm reflects and shapes how we think and behave. In fact one of the most memorable and necessary ideas emerging from the readings for this course appears here, I think, in Cindy Selfe’s “The Movement of Air, the Breath of Meaning.” Here she paraphrases Patricia Dunn: