A ranting inspired by Sitting, Writing, Speaking, Yearning: Reflections on Scholar-Shaping Techniques

“The human body can no longer be figured either as a bounded entity or as a naturally given and distinct part of an unquestioned whole that is itself conceived as the “environment.” The boundaries between bodies and their components are being blurred, together with those between bodies and larger ecosystems” (Smelik, Lykke x)
-Bits of Life

In seminar last week, I noticed the way we talked about the technological community at a distance- “they” and we spoke about American culture as a whole, a broad America, and about the relationship between technology and human interaction in pedagogy. The only thing missing in our conversations was our own presence, our own insertion of self and therefore self awareness, into the dialogue. We spoke as if we were not in the technological community ourselves dispite our constant engagement with it in and outside the classroom, as if Americans were animals in a zoo we had recently visited and not in fact our own culture, and we spoke of learning as if we ourselves are not students. It was quite strange.

You may have notices that sometimes I roll around on the floor. I stretch my legs over my head, I twist my back and reach my arms up and up and up overhead.  Sometimes people stare at me. Maybe they don’t know why I am rolling on the floor of the classroom? Well I am doing it because it feels good, it circulates my blood, it brings energy into my brain. Referencing the body so overtly in a room designed for intellectual exercise only- seems to make people uncomfortable, embarrassed, or at the very least, interested.

This comes back to the moment where a man holding a scanner, leashed to a computer dutifuly held by another (man) circle my body in the corner of a computer lab. Circling while I stand with out moving. Circling while others stream over to watch. Circling while me behind, where I am aware of my body in the classroom, my body on the screen, that I am a woman, the contours of my ass, the shape I am becoming, the fact I didnt brush my hair. This is the literal process of creating plastic reproduction- the DNA of my miniature 3D plastic self. There is something uncomfortably physical about the copulating of digital and physical world to create another person- the lifeless and plastic mini self that is birthed through 3D printer. My classmates, witness to this dance, are drawn to reproduction in the way, and get scans of themselves in turn.

Lykke, Nina. “An Introduction.” Bits of Life: Feminism at the Intersections of Media, Bioscience, and Technology. Ed. Anneke Smelik. Seattle: U of Washington, 2008. X. Print.