Electronic Page

Construct an abject electronic monument for understanding a personal/cultural loss

Several theorists of the electronic have argued that its logic differs from that of alphabetic literacy since it is more associative rather than inductive or deductive. Eisenstein's theory of montage suggests that any two things can be linked associatively, if you can find a connecting point between them. The connecting point can be metaphorical, metonymic, poetic (a visual rhyme), rhythmic, intellectual, etc. Since associative thinking (such as Freud's "dream logic") does not have formal proofs, as in deduction, students are not required to "prove" their linkage between the sacrifice and the cultural values they are using. They also do not have to "prove" any personal associations they have to either the sacrifice or the cultural values. The strongest student monuments often make surprising juxtapositions, such as the association between Americans' over-use of prescription drugs and the "sacrifice" of Elvis. These surprising juxtapositions survive in memory better than the "merely" logical.

A key to this project is to find images of figures who embody the values and losses. Before we begin this project, we study visual codes in photography (by way of Roland Barthes' Image, Music, Text) and in Hollywood film (by way of the essays on Casablanca and Bambi). Ideally, the class should undertake a study of American mythology and visual codes before undertaking an electronic monumentality project.