Human/NonHuman Relationships- Internet Tools

Hi all,

I’m currently at work on the final chapter of my MA thesis, “Dissenting Voice(s).” Here’s a little snippet, where I look at social media, Anonymous/Wikileaks hacktivism and the implications of intensified blending of the personal and the political:

The human-tool interaction, in the case of social medias like YouTube, is one of publication, of announcement, of transmittal to some imagined public.  Procedures inherent in online social medias extend to the user a relationship affirmed through participation online—the affordance of a broadcastable voice, of listeners and responses, of discussion, conversation and reception. The assemblage invites collaboration, and steers collaborations toward contrast—specifically, political differences that become visibly apparent in seemingly-objective spaces like the standard social media interface.

Do we agree, disagree or find ourselves somewhere in the middle?

Hoping to end the summer on a high note by landing a job I can be proud of. In the meantime, my free time is spent reading, writing my novel and hanging out with at least 30 others nightly at the Albright-Knox art gallery in downtown Buffalo playing Pokemon Go.

-JDR

10 July 2016

There is a man living somewhere in the Elmwood Village strip of Buffalo who plays saxophone or air-flute, closing his eyes willing into existence the sound of jazz through pure, unapologetic imagination.

The instruments do not exist, and I hear no sound.  I’m not a musician, only a listener, pale ears in a crowd, calloused hands that clap at the end of a tune, dry eyes that blink when the wind speeds up.

He sits on the front porch steps of various local businesses, or leans against the graffitied-wall of the 7/11, or perches on the bus-stop bench and leaves the bus driver waiting.

His cup is filled with (someone else’s)(day-old) coffee.

He does not collect tips.

The man does not appear every night.  I assume he has a social life, though he does not talk when we wish him well.  He comes sometimes, his white sleeves rolled up, and moves his fingers to the sound of pedestrians growling to the hum of traffic-ants crossing the city streets, traversing the distance, bridging the gaps.

They say he comes from Chile to live with his son, who married an American he met in a club.

He always wears a bow-tie.

Many think he’s homeless.

Today I passed a service in memorial for Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.  The eyes of the mourners beckoned me over to join them. Still, even now, the whole thing leaves me confused.

The man’s cup is filled with someone else’s day-old coffee.

He does not accept tips.

The coffee is not even his.