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Teaching and Learning Multimodal Communications

Alyssa Arbuckle, Alison Hedley, Shaun Macpherson, Alyssa McLeod, Jana Millar Usiskin, Daniel Powell, Jentery Sayers, Emily Smith, Michael Stevens, Authors
7. Roundtable, page 1 of 22
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Imitation Versus Mediation: Working in Online and Offline Space

In his "Theses on the Philosophy of History," Walter Benjamin makes a distinction between historicism and historical materialism, claiming that "historicism gives the 'eternal' image of the past," while historical materialism supplies a "unique experience with the past" (262). Given that all three of our projects are explicitly interested in how to represent the past in the present, which, according to Benjamin and the historical materialist, is not a "transition," but a notion in "which time stands still and has come to a stop" (262), we wish to take up the cause of historical materialists. By avoiding an imitation of the past in favour of a mediation of it, we hope to produce not an "eternal image of the past" but rather a "unique experience" using media such as Scalar.
Angelus Novus, Paul Klee (1920)

The overarching question our presentation will address is: how does the nature of online space change the offline experiences that our individual projects seek to mediate via Scalar?
  • For Emily, this is art as event, experienced through walking.
  • For Jana, this is the serendipitous experience of sifting through the archives.
  • For Shaun, this is the face-to-face encounter of an academic colloquium.
To find out more about our projects and their concerns, click here.
To see our presentation, click here.
To see our handout, click here.

Authors: Shaun Macpherson, Jana Millar Usiskin, Emily Smith
Word Count: 222
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