Making Meaning Matter

The Evergreen State College

Category: CST (Page 2 of 8)

Eric final CST

This week what I witnessed during observations was, everyone working to complete the last iterations of Blue Rabbit projects. We had a tutorial on in-design taught by John and Academic statement class taught by Sarah and Arlen. Everyone expressed their opinions on what the 5th iteration of the Blue Rabbit project should look like. This issue was resolved by a group of students who decided the proper font. It was good that these students took the initiative to solve this problem. With Class coming to a close it has been a thrill observing everyone’s projects. The time and effort applied by everyone is inspiring.

CST Week 9 – Live the Ride

Sperling, Karen. Roller Coaster Dreams #8. n.d. Web. 4 Dec. 2014.
Sperling, Karen. Roller Coaster Dreams #8. n.d. Web. 4 Dec. 2014.

Something happened in the maze, between entering it and leaving it, they lost their cares…As they neared the exit, they started to strategize about the best ride to go on next” (Doctorow, 362).

The ride is coming to an end. For most of us, it was worth every moment. But that doesn’t matter. We rode the ride. Bewildered, we started in the abstract, heading straight up the pike. At the pinnacle, we free-fell, hands up, at warp speed through the conceptual. Enacted, yet enervated, we finally arrived at the concrete. We laughed, and sometimes cried, and we lived to tell about it. We even got a souvenir to take home. And it was fun, and scary, and exciting, and confusing, and intimidating, and frustrating, and weird, and familiar, and ours. It’s our story.

‘Shut up…Don’t talk about magic. Live magic’” (Doctorow, 363).

Emma’s CST Observations week 8

Once such a concept is revealed to us by way of a definition capable of identifying and distinguishing this concept from others, the unknown word is immediately transformed from a meaningless sound or letter arrangement into a meaningful entity. (Malafouris, 96)

The concept of three-D printing was once a new and unfamiliar concept, one that some people in the class thought that they would never be able to master. To quote Ben Russell from our artist lecture series, “Everything starts as something you don’t understand.” Learning something new opens up whole new worlds of areas of interest, of mastery, and of possibility. At first we saw printing as something intimidating, something easy to learn and hard to master, but really, the only way to grow and broaden your horizons is to open the door and go through. Learning anything new is always a challenge but the hardest part is accepting that you don’t fully understand something yet but you want to know.

CST Post #7 Week 8 -Shaye Riano 12/2/2014

“What if someone prints an AK-47 with it?”

“No ones going to print a working AK-47 with this, Its too brittle. AK-47 manufacturing is already sadly in great profusion across our inner cities anyways.”


Doctorow, C. (2009). Makers (p. 312). New York: Tor.



Human ingenuity, intelligence and stupidity alike, cannot be stopped. The exponential growth, evolution, and reinvention of our society and biology represented in the physical 3rd dimension, or reality through that which we make, AKA tools and technology and systems or structures. It is the human condition to move in time and space, just as all things change, what we make makes us, just as “nature” shaped us, we shape nature.


CST/11/30/14/Devin Bender

After the readings from this week and my observations from field work a couple themes that seem to be recurring in my psyche is one the notion that during this week everybody’s levels of attention and intention were raised due to the holidays nearing along with our deadlines. The other is of how art and the youths passion towards it will revolutionize and is revolutionizing modern culture, for it is taking us beyond a world of ideological strife, cultural concepts, egoism, and materialist marginalizing science, and making way for a new world of imagination, play, adventure, and a vitalized biosphere.

CST Field Notes Week 8

December 1st 2014

“What I mean is that image How things Shape the Mindmakes it possible for the visual apparatus to interrogate itself and thus acquire a previously unavailable sense of perceptual awareness.”(Malafouris, 2o4)


In Week 8 it became apparent to me that there were some people in our class that were having troubles with the book ‘How Things Shape Mind’, while others in the class seem to be fully grasping the concepts of the book. One of the students that was having trouble asked me for help with chapter 8. I was able to help them understand some of the concepts in ch. 8 better then had they had previously understood. And isn’t this what the Maker Community is about people with diverse strengths and abilities come together to teach and learn from each other to create amazing things.

CST Post Week 8

Otis Lambert   “If you choose to reject the dualism, you end up either with a disembodied mind or with no mind at all,” – Malafouris. The dualism between the mind and body, and in extension the world and objects around it, can cause a desire to look for a separation between the two. I … Continue reading »

CST week eight

Having the week off has given me a chance to look at all the different ways that I could print my glasses, and which programs I could use. I am excited to begin the final stages of printing and to be able to start working the lenses and seeing how they will fit, and what I will need to do to better the lenses. Its fun to see everyone coming so far in their projects as well.

Zev’s Dope CST Post / Week Eight

An untitled self-portrait by Francesca Woodman
An untitled self-portrait by Francesca Woodman

“It was two weeks before Death Waits could sit up and prod at a keyboard with his broken hands.” (Doctorow 287)

Can impairment lead to profundity?

It would be less than insightful to point out the fact that abundance and availability makes for a situation where certain tools and freedoms are taken for granted. It wouldn’t be nonsensical, in this case, to promote self-controlled limitations. Is this not why Whitney’s Polaroid travels peaked much of our classes’ attention? And didn’t we practically shun the iPhone-instant-photo device as some sort of atrocity? Perhaps some of us found beauty, not just in the haunting faded-memory impact portrayed by the photographs, but in the admirable restrictions Whitney was able to impose upon the documenting of her vacation?

Austin’s Week 8 CST

“So  how’d he get Disneyland built” (Doctorow 308)

“He quit.” (Doctorow 308)

On Monday, using the cookie cutter technique we used to make the french table leg, I accidentally created something that received some interest from my classmates. In particular, Katie was very excited about it.   It was amazing to see how something I did on accident could have such a positive effect on someone.  At first, I thought my little discovery was kind of cool, but after I spoke with Katie I was excited.  It is amazing how something so unintentional can be taken to another level by an outside interest.


From one side you see “A”, and “U” from the other.



Last week the scanning continued as 2 more students put themselves into the virtual via the hacked Kinect. This got me thinking about the ways in which we separate the virtual from reality, as if the virtual exists as another reality in which we live. While virtual reality is something that exists as a reality, it exists as a sub compartment of tangible reality. The phrase “IRL” meaning “In real life” has become a common phrase used today in the virtual to describe something in the physical, yet the “URL” exists in the “IRL” regardless, so why do we treat our virtual lives as a separate entity in which we perform differently? Where does this presumption come from that we perform differently in the physical than we do in virtual spaces? How do our virtual performances help inform the ones we have in the physical? Why does this separation exist and what can be done in which to bridge this gap?

week 8 CST

“Death was used to drawing stares even before he became a cyborg with a beautiful woman beside him, but this was different” (Doctorow, 339).

Speaking of cyborgs and stares… I wanted to make my cyborg have movable limps to bring more life to ‘her’ movements. John and I designed a socket attachments that would allow the arms and legs to move. We also found an already proven, similar model on tinkercad. We pulled the arms and legs off of my virtual body which was creepy and fascinating.

TESC Maker Space – Chuck


“Go ahead Chuck, you can work on your own” Suzanne smiled. (Makers)



The Evergreen State College is a far better maker space then any other I’m aware of.
Beyond 3D printers and the software that powers them, we have access to just about any software imaginable. With we also have instruction in how to use all that software. There are also carbon based life forms in the Computer Center, CAL, and Quasar to help with hardware and software issues. It gets better.

There is a great metal shop available to us, as well as a wood shop. Both of them provide proficiency training so that anyone can use the tools safely. There is even a neon shop, a scanning electron microscope, a farm, media loans, and an excellent library. In sort, there is access to enough tools and information to create just about anything.

Sarah’s Week 9 CST

“It looks like a tool, like a thing that you uses to better your life, but in reality, it’s a tool that Disney uses to control your life.” (Doctorow 342)


As the end of the quarter draws near, the attention given to the printers seems to be increasingly intensified. The printers are printing constantly, humming and chirping away, as students hover around them, eagerly anticipating the arrival of new objects. The “mis-prints” are looking more and more like something, the pieces are becoming more recognizable, more finished. In fact one piece was printed seemingly all the way to completion, until the last corner was being finished at which point the extruder must have choked, spitting a huge silver egg sack onto the print edge. This atmosphere in the CAL is making me think of two things. The first of which is that as our work as a program has advanced and evolved, printing more iterations of one object and refining the designs with each go around, the print glitches are also becoming more evolved and finished looking. With this in mind I am wondering if the knotty twisted glitches I have been collecting were only a product of our orientation to these machines and their process. The second thing the atmosphere in the CAL is making me think of is how much it seems like people are orienting themselves towards the printers as time is coming to a close, as things are being made and we are being made to wait.



“I want to redesign this thing so it gets converted from something that controls to something that gives you control.” (Doctorow 342)

CST Week 8: When will it ever be finished?

A common theme I’ve seen in many people’s projects is that there is always a way to optimize but when should one stop to call it finished? In my project I chose a fairly attainable goal, but even then I see ways to optimize. Is a project ever really finished? Even huge projects such as the new Assassin’s Creed Unity game was released before it was fully functional.

CST Week #8 Thomas Bouwer

What does one do when they don’t know what to do?

“He (Death) went back to writing…” Makers, Doctorow, 289

Through this quote, I mean that by doing what you need to do, one can find out how to do it. Something I’ve been kicking around in my head for the last couple of weeks is that I see a lot of people not asking for help, but simply trying things out and seeing what works. I think it’s an interesting approach to working things through. It doesn’t always work out, for example, I just threw myself into my duck design and it took my about three weeks to get the beak down. It’s something I see people doing a lot though. I wonder if it’s worked out better for other people.

Graham CST post week #9

“Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.” Makers 401

Why is clear thinking so often associated with clear speech?  Obviously one who has the capacity to be intelligent and has the gift of language would not be considered a fool but why do we automatically assume the most vocal to be the most worldly?  Why are speech impaired people called “dumb”?  In my experience the most intelligent people do little talking, they are often the ones who listen to what others are saying and perceive their conclusions many steps in advance.  I believe in many cases people who vocalize their ideas are sharing them in order to help themselves fully understand them and to offer them up for peer scrutiny which is not a negative exercise but if they fully understood the concept it certainly would not be necessary to externalize it.  I believe language is a knowledge refining process.  One has to filter ideas through language to be able to share it and interrogate it.  True knowledge does not have a dialogue; it merely exists and is utilized in its pure form, enacting itself without the mediator of language.  Some of the most intelligent people in the world cannot speak.  Are babies still human before they gain speech?  Are they any more intelligent after they’ve learned?

Forbes’ CST post week 9

“I’ve never seen any place designed the way I’d design one.  Maybe I’ll do that someday.” (Doctorow 297)

What would happen if everyone designed their own surroundings?  Design is something that takes a lot of thought and understanding of the object being designed.  Many people feel at some point in time that what’s in front of them is severely flawed and that they could do it better.  I believe that a designer’s expertise is essential to functionality and actually bringing something into being, but it is very important for a designer to understand how someone might want to use what they make and how to make it jive with the user.  The example in my head while I write this is the “” page.  I find it to be far from straight forward or navigable.  The only reason I get use out of it now is because I have been instructed in specific ways to use it (which links to click).  While becoming familiar with this page I really felt I could have designed a better layout.  However, I know nothing about web design, so I believe my input would be most useful alongside an expert, rather than just on its own.

CST Week 8 Peter

“material culture is language or text” (Malafouris, 91).

“Things act most powerfully at the non-discursive level, incorporating qualities (such as color, texture, and smell) that affect human cognition in ways that are rarely explicitly conceptualized” (Malafouris, 95).

In what alternative way(s) can an individual recognize, conceptualize, identify, embrace, apply the empowerment of material interaction into a personalized experience of vocational purpose? Do all material cultures expand and construct upon prospects of longevity?

The overall progression of the Blue Rabbit projects has been inspirational to watch. Many of the ideas being researched and presented have evolved to challenge critical issues pertaining to current and future discourse of the world. This makes me very interested to see the short presentations on each object tuesday and what “non-discursive” qualities are provided along with how they differ. There will be an apparent record of linear effort established behind the differing aesthetics of the finished objects. Even if the printer does fail to produce a design or creates some kind of distortion, that design will still hold and represent a visual history of the 8 week process for development. Every object will have an unwritten story, however that story will be just as appreciable as if it were written.

Week 8 Entry

During Week 8 I had another 3d scanning experience.  This time not only was I being watch by my fellow classmates but also by Evergreen’s photographer Shauna Bittle.  As I was scanning Jordan my image was also being taken, a scan within a scan.  I suddenly could understand the self consciousness described by those I had previously scanned as I felt it for myself with every photo Shauna snapped.  Is my hair okay? Am I standing up straight?  At the end of the experience, my overall feeling was positive.  These experiences are what makes us more comfortable next time.

This post got one comment...It's from someone special though...Anyone recognize the name?

This post got one comment…It’s from someone special though…Anyone recognize the name?

Connor’s CST Week 9

“Just for completeness’s sake, she went on some of the rides.” (Doctorow, 345)

Going on break almost threw me off a little bit regarding my project. Being unable to print my many bead designs put it at a standstill of sorts. This quote relates to my feelings about my project because at this point – and I’m sure I’m not alone in this – I just want my project to be done. I’m excited to see how these beads will print out, and I’m really looking forward to the process of crafting the necklaces I have planned.

CST Week 8

Chrissy G.
30 Nov 2014

“People who care about their jobs work here. It’s easy to forget that when you’re thinking about Disney, a company whose reputation these days has more to do with whom they sue than with what they make. But oh, what they make.” (Doctorow 354)

“In this transnational world, what is fake and what is real? Who are the creators and who are the imitators?” (Lin 5)

“In the case of material signs, we do not read meaningful symbols; we meaningfully engage meaningless symbols. Material signs have no meaning in themselves; they merely afford the possibility of meaning, as a door affords the possibility of being opened.” (Malafouris 118)

How much value within the Blue Rabbit projects will be placed upon our 3D printed object? Once the object comes out of the printer, do the ideas that we’ve spun into the project become complete? Ideas can be much bigger than material objects; it’s easier to make a mind map than a spider web. For eight short weeks we’ve studied the 3D printer, which is why we are pushing their limits to exert our big ideas out of the tiny extruder. The contingency has, of course, caused complications. Some of us are realizing that the language barriers between Tinkercad, the lab aids, the printer, ourselves, and our ideas are getting tangled in the web of precious time. How will we ultimately interact with our 3D printed object; how will it change our ideas?

Yarden CST wk 9

“Hence, with nanotechnology, matter has become programmable only to the extent that nano systems actualize new atomic functions whose future potentials are unpredictable because their movement and position in space cannot be anticipated and thus measured a priori.” (Niet Normaal Foundation, 157)

The article Synthetic Nature, A Nanotechnological Future, from  Yes Naturally opened my eyes to the idea of matter, and  the relationship between natural and synthetic matter. Through time and evolution it seems that our beliefs around matter has changed and become something completely tangible.  People have tapped into the atomic world and now are manipulating it, and in a sense a playing a prime creator. I see how humans are a part of the earths evolution, and how there is nothing unnatural about the way the evolution occurs, but I can’t help but feel discomfort at the idea of a synthetic future. Because we are a part of evolution, does that make our chaos and corruption acceptable? There are many visions of the future that have potential to manifest, but which ones do we really want to see happen?

Are we treating ourselves like the machine we create? Are we programming ourselves?

Katie Inside Out 2014-11-30 21:32:31

Janszen, Eric. 22 Dec. 2010. Web. 30 Nov. 2014.
Janszen, Eric. 22 Dec. 2010. Web. 30 Nov. 2014.

It was beautiful, but it was an accidental beauty. The ride was the important thing, but the story was its effect” (Makers, 316).

Using the same step-by-step process we used to make a 3D french table leg, Austin made a 3D version of his name. Seen from both the front and right perspectives one sees his name in block letters. From the back and left perspective, you see the same letters, only backward. However, if you look at it from any other angle, you see a strange new alphabet appear, where one letter changes into another in a matter of 90 degrees. He seems inspired by what he created, even if by accident, and yet, somewhat frustrated that he has yet been unable to make a meaningless tchotchke. The 3D printer seems to be the important thing as we all struggle through our projects. But the 3D printer is really just the technology; what we get to bring to life through our projects, through our struggle, is our story. That’s pretty awesome.

But these people convinced him that they were right, that the story had to be important. After all, it had inspired all of them hadn’t it? The ride was just the technology–the story was what the ride was for” (Makers, 316).

~Anthony’s CST Post Week 9~

“Signification is construed as a ‘”stands for”‘ or ‘”means”‘ relationship between a signified and a signifier that implies what the anthropolgist Edmund Leach (1976) termed a “‘communication event”‘ — that is, the transmission of a message between a sender and a receiver.” (Malafouris 91)

“Stories are how we understand the world, and technology is how we choose our stories” (Doctorow 176)

It is true that I am not the only one who has ever used my phone in class, and this CST is written to focus on the question; Why is it that we are numbing or hiding ourselves from the education that we emerge ourselves into in the first place? May I start by discussing the structure of the classrooms we are in. Now that there are more screens than ever for students to look at I believe that this may also subliminally teach us that it is okay to pull out yet another one, because what extra harm can it cause? This may also come into context with the strength that an individual has to focus on something without being disturbed by the buzz of a cellphone. With iPads being used in public education instead of textbooks isn’t this going against the “no technology in class” rule? In my high school the approach to technology was not to fight it but to work with it. We were allowed to pull out our phones in the middle of class because fighting it in the first place never did any good. Teachers just stopped caring. What is stopping us in class to commit ourselves to a “communication event” that is outside of class and with the technology we have today what is stopping us from traveling to a different part of our reality mentally by the simple use of a cellphone, but still remain in class physically? This technology is taking us to a different story outside of class. One definition for “screen” is something that protects or conceals something, but I believe a more proper use of this definition today would be something that protects or conceals “someone” instead of “something.”

wk8 CST

This week what I witnessed during observations was, everyone working in Tinkercad on desired projects. As week 9  creep over the horizon it seemed like this sort of frenzy sweep through the air. Questions rose about the possibility of printing over the holidays and the answer was no its closed all week. On Wednesday we had an artist lecture about time, and how so many feet of film amounts to a certain amount of time. On Thursday we discussed this concept and the 3d printing of food it was a good discussion. I am excited to see how this following week turns out.

week 8 CST


Does it matter what meaning was behind (the symbol), or does it only matter how we interpret it now?

In my opinion the meaning that the symbol had is very important because of how symbols usually represent complex concepts and larger ideas. For example the star symbol that the Wiccan religion uses can get confused with the satanic star leading people to often confuse the two. Now the Wiccan religion is still practiced by small groups of people today but let’s just say for the sake of argument that the religion died out. Years from that point people would start to get the two symbols mixed up and if we believed that the past meaning of the symbols didn’t matter then they would eventually become synonymous and eventually the religions could, in theory, blend together in the public mind making what they represent meaningless. In conclusion symbols are complex things and deserved to be treated as such.

CST Observations Week 7

How has the significance of three-D scanning changed as the class has continued with their pursuit of three-D printing objects?

It was interesting this week in class to watch John take a three-D scan of Zev in front of the class. Scanning is something that so many people in class have expressed to be a very intimate understanding between scanner and subject of the implication of taking a complete image of ones body, and here we are, with 30+ students’ gaze on this process. The openness of this action demonstrates the comfort that all of my peers have with one another. In week seven I have noticed the importance that three-D scanning has taken in everyone’s project. Even my own project has now grown to include three-D scanning in order to simplify the modeling process of glasses frames. The act of three-D scanning in class demonstrates the importance of this technology as well, with three-D scanning being the yin to three-D printing’s yang.

CST Post #6 Week 7 -Shaye Riano 11/17/2014

“Suzanne narrowed her eyes and looked away, the table fell quiet-even the kids sensed something was up. Who’s? watching the ride Lester? Tjan asked quietly.”

“Its shut, he said cheerfully.”


Doctorow, C. (2009). Makers (p. 271). New York: Tor.

In this program I am getting very involved and interested in the notion of moving ideas from one medium to another. I am interested in how this enables or inhibits us from sharing ideas and material things, I am interested in accessibility and exclusivity. Speaking different languages can open up different doors, and there are many technological languages that I think are important and want to learn. Markup language like XML or HTML are text based “code” that can be read (or deciphered) by humans and machines. This code specifies formatting, layout, style, of computer software files such as SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics – Adobe Illustrator into Tinker cad-STL-Stereolithography-3D printing, Physical object) and webpages.



CST 11/17/2014

“…The primacy of the inherent bodily orientation in the mapping…. The primacy of bodily experience in the structuring of human conceptual processes.” 


We have been going through this process for about 8 weeks now and I see everyone getting deeper and deeper into their projects. Its exciting to see how invested my peers are, and also to see how much we have learned. Especially with all the different aspects of devices that we could use to design our objects to have them printed. I’m looking forward to the rest of the process and to continually understand more and more things.

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