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Which clippings match 'Useful Significance' keyword pg.1 of 2
17 DECEMBER 2015

Even tails can have unexpected affordances

"Affordance is a term used to describe the potential uses or actions latent in materials and designs. Glass affords transparency and brittleness. Steel affords strength, smoothness, hardness, and durability. Cotton affords fluffiness, but also breathable cloth when it is spun into yarn and thread. Specific designs, which organize these materials, then lay claim to their own range of affordances. A fork affords stabbing and scooping. A doorknob affords not only hardness and durability, but also turning, pushing, and pulling. Designed things may also have unexpected affordances generated by imaginative users: we may hang signs or clothes on a doorknob, for example, or use a fork to pry open a lid, and so expand the intended affordances of an object."

Caroline Levine (2015) "Forms: Whole, Rhythm, Hierarchy, Network", Princeton University Press.

Fig.1 YouTube clip titled "What tails are for!" showing an unexpected affordance for a dog's tail.

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TAGS

affordancescandid videochildhood agencychildhood imaginationchildhood innocence • children and their pets • designed thingsdivergent thinkingdog • dogs tail • free range playimaginative thinking • imaginative users • intended affordances • Lance Ellis • latent actions • latent uses • mischievous behaviour • painting a picture • perceivable action possibilities • potential actions latent in designs • potential actions latent in materials • potential uses latent in designs • potential uses latent in materials • rethinking limitations • tail • technology affordances • unexpected affordances • useful significanceyoung child

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
05 JULY 2013

Technologies, Texts and Affordances

"In contrast to recent sociological emphases on the social shaping of technology, this article proposes and illustrates a way of analysing the technological shaping of sociality. Drawing on the concept of affordances (Gibson 1979), the article argues for a recognition of the constraining, as well as enabling, materiality of artefacts. The argument is set in the theoretical context of one of the most recent and comprehensive statements of anti–essentialism (Grint and Woolgar 1997). The position is illustrated through a reinterpretation of some case studies used by proponents of the radical constructivist position."

(Ian Hutchby, 2001)

Ian Hutchby (2001). "Technologies, Texts and Affordances" Sociology May 2001 vol. 35 no. 2 441–456.

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
10 FEBRUARY 2013

Archaeology is about our relationships with what is left of the past

"Archaeology is what archaeologists do. This answer is not a tautology. It refers us to the practices of archaeology. And to the conditions under which archaeologists work – the institutions and infrastructures, the politics and pragmatics of getting archaeological work done.

Archaeologists work on what is left of the past. Archaeology is about relationships – between past and present, between archaeologist and traces and remains. Archaeology is a set of mediating practices – working on remains to translate, to turn them into something sensible – inventory, account, narrative, explanation, whatever.

Archaeology is a way of acting and thinking – about what is left of the past, about the temporality of remainder, about material and temporal processes to which people and their goods are subject, about the processes of order and entropy, of making, consuming and discarding at the heart of human experience.

'Archaeological Sensibility' and 'Archaeological Imagination' are terms to summarize components of these mediating and transformative practices. Sensibility refers us to the perceptual components of how we engage with the remains of the past. Imagination refers us to the creative component – to the transforming work that is done on what is left over."

(Michael Shanks)

TAGS

archaeological imagination • archaeological sensibility • archaeologist • archaeologybetween past and presentclassificationconsumingconsumptioncultural significance of objects • discarding • entropyephemerahuman experienceinterpretationinventorymakingmaterial processesmaterial worldmaterialitymediating practices • Michael Shanks • orderremainder • remains • remains of the pastsymbolic meaning • tautology • temporal processes • temporality • the discipline of things • theory buildingthingstraces • transformative practices • useful significancewhat is left of the past • what is left over

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
17 DECEMBER 2012

Material Synthesis: Negotiating experience with digital media

"Given the accessibility of media devices available to us today and utilising van Leeuwen's concept of inscription and synthesis as a guide, this thesis explores the practice of re–presenting a domestic material object, the Croxley Recipe Book, into digital media. Driven by a creative practice research method, but also utilising materiality, digital storytelling practices and modality as important conceptual frames, this project was fundamentally experimental in nature. A materiality–framed content analysis, interpreted through cultural analysis, initially unraveled some of the cookbook's significance and contextualised it within a particular time of New Zealand's cultural history. Through the expressive and anecdotal practice of digital storytelling the cookbook's significance was further negotiated, especially as the material book was engaged with through the affective and experiential digital medium of moving–image. A total of six digital film works were created on an accompanying DVD, each of which represents some of the cookbook's significance but approached through different representational strategies. The Croxley Recipe Book Archive Film and Pav. Bakin' with Mark are archival documentaries, while Pav is more expressive and aligned with the digital storytelling form. Spinning Yarns and Tall Tales, a film essay, engages and reflects with the multiple processes and trajectories of the project, while Extras and The Creative Process Journal demonstrate the emergent nature of the research. The written thesis discusses the emergent nature of the research process and justifies the conceptual underpinning of the research."

(Sasha McLaren, 2008)

McLaren, Sasha (2008). "Material Synthesis: Negotiating experience with digital media", MA thesis, The University of Waikato, Aotearoa New Zealand.

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TAGS

2008 • affective digital medium • anecdotal practice • Aotearoa New Zealand • archival documentaries • conceptual frame • cookbook • creative practice research method • creative process journal • Croxley Recipe Book • Croxley Recipe Book Archive Film • cultural analysis • cultural historycultural significance of objects • digital film works • digital mediadigital mediumdigital storytelling • digital storytelling form • digital storytelling practices • domesticdomestic material objectDVD • emergent nature • emergent nature of the research • experience • experiential digital medium • expressive practice • film essay • inscription and synthesis • MA • material book • material synthesis • materiality • materiality-framed content analysis • media devicesmoving imageobject • Pav Bakin with Mark • reflective journalrepresentational strategiesresearchresearch processsocial construction of knowledge • spinning yarns • tall tales • Theo Van Leeuwen • thesis • University of Waikato • useful significanceWaikato • written thesis

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
22 JULY 2012

Fountain: an ordinary article of life without useful significance

"Fountain is one of Duchamp's most famous works and is widely seen as an icon of twentieth–century art. The original, which is now lost, consisted of a standard urinal, laid flat on its back rather than upright in its usual position, and signed 'R. Mutt 1917'. The Tate's work is a 1964 replica and is made from glazed earthenware painted to resemble the original porcelain. The signature is reproduced in black paint. Fountain is an example of what Duchamp called a 'readymade', an ordinary manufactured object designated by the artist as a work of art. It epitomises the assault on convention and good taste for which he and the Dada movement are best known.

The idea of designating such a lowly object as a work of art came from a discussion between Duchamp and his American friends the collector Walter Arensburg and the artist Joseph Stella. Following this conversation, Duchamp bought an urinal from a plumbers' merchants, and submitted it to an exhibition organised by the Society of Independent Artists. The Board of Directors, who were bound by the constitution of the Society to accept all members' submissions, took exception to the Fountain and refused to exhibit it. Duchamp and Arensburg, who were both on the Board, resigned immediately in protest. An article published at the time, which is thought to have been written by Duchamp, claimed, 'Mr Mutt's fountain is not immoral, that is absurd, no more than a bathtub is immoral. It is a fixture that you see every day in plumbers' shop windows. Whether Mr Mutt with his own hands made the fountain has no importance. He CHOSE it. He took an ordinary article of life, placed it so that its useful significance disappeared under the new title and point of view – created a new thought for that object.' ('The Richard Mutt Case', The Blind Man, New York, no.2, May 1917, p.5.)"

(Sophie Howarth, April 2000)

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1917196420th centuryabsurdAlfred Stieglitzartart historyassault • assault on convention • assault on good taste • avant-garde • black paint • contextconventioncultural signalscultural significance of objectscurationDadaDada movement • designated by the artist • Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven • everydayexhibition • fixture • Fountain (work of art) • glazed earthenware • good taste • icon of twentieth-century art • immoral • information in context • Joseph Stella • layers of meaning • lowly object • Marcel Duchampmodern artobjet trouve • ordinary article of life • ordinary manufactured objectporcelain • R. Mutt 1917 • readymadereplica • Society of Independent Artists • Tate Modern • took exception • twentieth-century art • urinaluseful significance • Walter Arensburg • work of art

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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