He’s Not Dead Yet, Keep Scrolling

KeepScrolling1

‘The machine is temperamental, so when you thread the microfilm through, don’t be surprised if it won’t stay put. We use this little sellotape tab to hold it in place, but it doesn’t always work.’

I look around at the other machines. ‘Should I use another one?’

‘Oh no. They’re actually broken.’

I am in Bristol Central Library. They’ve recently suffered funding cuts and can’t afford new machines, so really this could be any library. I am here to research the local Jewish community for an exhibition. [1] See? I tweeted about it, which makes it Proper Research With Impact, and also Networking.

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No Jumper in Nowhere

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May I present you a conversation of two women in the Sahara.

K: I really saw that red body in the dark, it just disappeared in front of me! Right here! Then it was pitch dark again! It was so quiet, nothing was here!

J: But who was that? No one dresses in red here. I was here 5 minutes after you came. There was nothing red as you say. How do you know you saw it?

K: I knew because I experienced it, with my eyes! I am telling you that there was a gigantic red body, a female of some sort. How can you not see it, if you were here 5 minutes ago?? Do I seem like I’m not making sense to you?

J: What I am saying is that if I am here, at where you saw it, at almost at the same time, if it is so big, I would have seen it, but I did not. Just logically speaking. I think you have it wrong. It simply doesn’t exist… and you appear exhausted to me. Are you sure you weren’t spacing out this time?

K: You are again just judging me based on your ‘logic’, but this time I truly felt it’s presence. Not because my body is tired. My mind is very clear that the red person was here bouncing in front of me. I can feel my body reacting to it!

J: Well, are you paying attention? I told you the reasons, and I can’t relate to you at all. Now that we don’t get to see it, it doesn’t exist. So instead of insisting, I suggest that you go and rest.

As we have already noticed: to K there was, to J there was not.

K was the sole witness of “the red body” in the desert, when the body of the former athletic high-jumper Giota P was presented digitally in the open field momentarily. Does it matter if the red body only existed in K’s experience? Not until K started to share her memories with others, she realised that the red body is isolated in her subjective territory. Her experience did not extend to J at all. The moment K started sharing, J registered a judgement in her mind to make sense of K’s non-sense. J simply connected the dots that 1) she did not see anything at the same time and place, 2) therefore she rejected the existence of the red body (and K’s experience) as a subjective conclusion, 3) so K is in doubt and messed with her feelings (again). If the red body was ’there’, it might have taken on a life of its own in K’s mind. Now, may I raise a question with curiosity, what if the red body was never witnessed?


Video and text © Yarli Allison L, a Hong Kong-Canadian born, London-based artist whose work explores psychological and emotional conditions with a primary focus on distant states of displacement, disconnection, and detachment. Her multidisciplinary practice traverses sculpture, performance, video, installation, painting, and sound. In the working process, she relies heavily on physical strength and long durations of repetitive manipulation of materials as an attempt to re-live between states of dissociation and reality. These physical and psychological tensions are often represented in Yarli’s performances, where audiences are invited to interact with the artist and object(s). http://yarliallison.com

Keynote: Ego-Media – A Group Portrait

who-does-the-internet-think-you-areEds’ note: we chose our inaugural Online Symposium theme ‘Digital Selves’ because we as PhD researchers wanted to think more critically about how we engage with our subjects of study.

We wondered how we were different as researchers because of how we access and create our work: how does working between books and pixels, pens and touchscreens, affect our methods and conclusions? How does being able to look more closely than real life at manuscripts with a pinch and zoom, relying on journal search algorithms over catalogue cards, or using ctrl+F to skim for keywords make our work different to the pre-digital academic?
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#DigitalSelves Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon: Friday 29 July

Join the conversation @stillpointLDN   //   #DigitalSelves   //   Join our Facebook event

As part of our inaugural online symposium Digital Selves in Research, we’re hosting a Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon at the beautiful Maughan Library, Chancery Lane, from 3-5:45pm on Friday 29 July.

Inspired by previous ‘Wikithons’ from around the world – including Art+Feminism‘s annual global event, which last year added a staggering 334 pages for women artists – we will be getting together to create or improve Wikipedia articles on the subjects closest to our hearts: from medieval sci-fi to Victorian agriculture to contemporary beat poetry.

Why are we embarking on such a project? Simply put, we love to share our research, and Wikipedia is the ultimate open-access journal. Quite often, our research pays loving attention to under-studied subjects, people, stories, and places: whether they are women, people of colour, from outside of Western Europe or the US. We might also be making ‘new’ discoveries: names, dates, works of literature or art that have been hidden away, uncatalogued and invisible in plain sight in archives, libraries, or homes. And, let’s be honest, Wikipedia is still a point of call for many of us when a key date or name has popped out of our heads – so why not use it like our own researcher’s notebook?

The Maughan Library will be a great base, with access to online and real life journals, books, and a music and DVD collection. We will also have some snack supplies to keep us going! Best of all, post editing we’ll all relocate to Ye Olde Cock Tavern, 22 Fleet St, London EC4Y 1AA, for the symposium after-party 6-8pm.

Take part in the #DigitalSelves Edit-a-thon: in person

Everyone is welcome to drop in any time between 3-5:30pm at the Maughan Library but please note: if you are a student or researcher at any of these institutions, you must bring your ID card.

If you are NOT registered at an institution on the list, just drop us an email with your full name, contact details, and what time you’ll be arriving to blog[at]thestillpointjournal[dot]com.

Editing Wikipedia is simple, and members of the blog team will be on hand to help. You don’t have to do any planning before the session, although it would save some time if you scope out which pages you’re interested in that might need a little TLC, what books and journals are available in the King’s library catalogue, and if you can register on Wikipedia before you arrive.

Take part in the #DigitalSelves Edit-a-thon: wherever you are!

Can’t make it to the Maughan? Wherever you are (out of London, or out of the UK!) you are very welcome to join the edit-a-thon virtually. We will be twittering and facebooking our progress and we would love to hear from far-flung participants. Remember we’re on British Summer Time, 3-5:30pm.

Whether you’re planning on taking part at the Maughan or from wherever you are in the world, we’d love to hear your plans and progress. Whether you make just a tiny reference edit, or end up creating an encyclopedic series of new pages, we want to keep track of all the knowledge shared on the 29 July.

Tweet us @stillpointldn or use the tag #DigitalSelves. You can also join our Facebook event. Even simpler, comment below.

Get the details in your diaries, start gathering your ideas, and we can’t wait to meet you and your Wikipedia pet projects.

#DigitalSelves Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon: meet up for researchers to edit Wikipedia pages together @ The Maughan Library, Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1LR.

Find out what else is going on, see our full symposium programme.

For the uninitiated, here’s Wikipedia’s own wiki on how to get started with editing (yes, it’s a wiki about a wiki), or take a look at the video below.