This week has been about ways of inhabiting and mapping spaces, about how text and language constitute community within them, inflected by affording mediating technologies. I’ve been dwelling in the ‘habitable sphere’ Hine mentions (2011) and Bayne’s ‘smooth space’ (2004).
My lifestream has automagically become a house with decorated walls; friendly, permeable dividers which delineate my area within the EDC community. The soundtrack has featured doors banging, voices and footsteps sounding and receding as fellow-students come and go. I’ve met them in various technologies and Eli has adorned our public place with a map of the physical sphere with our habitations marked upon it.
Friends have dropped by and I’ve popped out to graffiti other walls. I’ve relocated to my mooc space, noting tensions about travel. It’s a more structured and less penetrable lodging, where, as I spend more active engagement and lurker time, I’m getting to chart more of the territory. All the while, my lifestream pad has been getting increasingly untidy, littered with tweets which need gathering and sorting and full of uncommented posts which I’d be embarrassed for anyone to see before I’ve tidied up.
In all spaces I have been considering observation and perception – thoughts muddled with the phenomenology I’ve been reading about in the mooc – being both perceiver and documenter. Thoughts about whether phenomenology might help with the postmodern ethnographer’s crisis involving ‘reconsiderations of the nature of representation, description, subjectivity, objectivity …’ (Hine, 2000, quoting Marcus) or hinder it, or just stop where it is, examining my confusion …
Like a binary star, the subjective and objective orbit each other
(Mooc leader, Professor Dan Lloyd, Trinity College)
Hine, C. (2011) The Sage Handbook of Online Research Methods, Virtual Ethnography: Modes, Varieties, Affordances. Sage Publications Ltd. https://mr.crossref.org/iPage?doi=10.4135%2F9780857020055
Hine, C. (2000). The virtual objects of ethnography, Chapter 3 of Virtual Ethnography. London: Sage. pp. 41-66
Bayne, S. (2004). Smoothness and Striation in Digital Learning Spaces, E-Learning and Digital Media. Vol 1(2). pp. 302 – 316