Week 5: Emily Priebe

For the midterm paper, I’m really interested in looking at the concept of structuralism that appears in Digital Culture. Structuralism is a theory that says human culture must be understood in terms of a relationship to an overarching structure. I think this concept is challenged by some of the works that we’ve studied so far, particularly The Interview Project. The stories in each individual video can stand alone, but are part of an overarching project and theme. The context behind the videos is also shaped by the viewers’ individual experiences as well. I’m hoping to investigate the tension there.

I’m also interested in looking at Stephanie Rothenberg’s Garden of Virtual Kinship. In this work, she has constructed a structure through which the project can be understood. It can also be examined under a variety of overarching structures: economic, political, social. This project is also an interesting one to view under concept of spreadability. With this project the phrase “if it doesn’t spread, it’s dead” means literal life and death for the project.


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1 comment to Week 5: Emily Priebe

  • abk@uoregon.edu

    I’ve been thinking about this notion of Structuralism for my paper as well. I am glad that you dug the Garden of Virtual Kinship project, because I personally thought it fell somewhat flat in terms of being tangible to the public eye. Perhaps I need to revisit it. I have a broad sense of connecting this idea to a few projects, but I’ve actually been digging on Helen’s Lunch Love Community project.

    I think there are some cool ties to be made between health education and relating it to the devolving culture of American consumerism and the priorities we place on the overabundance of crap as compared to lesser quantities of quality. I think it’d be intriguing to compare this idea of introducing kids to their quantitative role in digital culture. By showing that they are just another piled up number in a demographic of obesity and poor health, I feel you can inspire them to live healthier by inspiring them to escape getting lumped into a mass of collective failure. Show them that they are the result of a traceable line of agendas to emphasize the non-imperative parts of a solid human existence. And also like you say Emily, this also ties into the spreadability factor as this is an opportune way to get kids to care about themselves and promote it to other children. It’s kind of two levels of spreadability. One is getting the actual project shared and out there in the world – the other is getting the main argument behind the project to spread out past the project itself.

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