Empyre Articles: Feminism, Ontology, and Representationalism

The first article I read within Empyre was by Catherine D’Ignazio in which she ponders upon the idea that she’s teaching non-technical students how to work with data in a way that prefaces stories for public interest and what she calls, “cleaning to visualize.” This point really stuck out to me because it characterizes how I came into this class. I’m unaware as to what defines feminist technology, what data bodies are, and how we use such data visualization or “Big Data” to create something moving, something bigger than ourselves through juxtaposition of images and artifacts. She emphasizes the idea of taking oppression by operationalizing this power and designing it into “stuff” that is a representational embodiment. I think the foundation of our class has a similar idea to our class project in which we are supposed to find the foundations of feminist technology and make it applicable to everyday life, to focus on one faulty aspect and create it into something people can actually relate to and deconstruct.

In another article, Erin Leland discusses data visualization through Thomas McGlynn’s sculpture of Our Lady of Fatima in which dissects a priest’s desire to care of McGlynn’s apartment where he created the actual piece. This coincides with the idea of the aura in which the presence of the original creates a mimetic and authentic feeling that can not replace or transfer in a photo copy or replica. Eliciting to the idea there is something to say about the aesthetic being of the original and the condition to what the original piece and space were left in; to which McAlister attempts to preserve. It’s the ability to hone in on the atmosphere and energy of the original to really capture its illuminating presence and relay its impact.

In Christina Mcphee’s On the limits of critique and the limits of representation, she deconstructs Catherine Ignazio’s idea as she emphasizes on the reliance of representationalism in order to appear natural. Highlighting the invention of the digital or the photographic image because it is granular and evolving. Andre Bazin’s concept of the ontology of the photographic image derives from the relationship between nature and reality, in hopes the photographic lens serves as the closest medium able to prefect its immitation of the real . Through the spatial relationships the camera surpasses Ignazio questions where representationalism fits within the misrepresentation or perceptual freedom of the artist’s ability to adapt their own sense of the real. In which she believes the idea post representationalism is succeeded by the ontological object. Concluding their is something to say about the plastic arts and it’s capability to remove the temporal and spatial boundaries in which first confined the high arts. Not only is there now room for more creative freedom but there is another dimension the artist can create in.

All in all, I’m hopeful this class can create a piece of art that can elicit the same impact and power than that of a camera’s ability to perfectly replicate an image. Going to show the right representation holds impact and solidarity.


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