This weeks lecture was “thick” with context and back story and connecting ideas. We spent most of the lecture discussing “units”. Some points I took from the ideas about units:
- Units are thing/collections of things.
- Units are self contained and can be part of bigger units.
- Units have no preferred scale.
- The important thing about units is the relationships between them.
Adrian gave the example of himself as a unit. Within the unit of self we have biological units, and we ourselves make up a part of external units as well:
Are we any one part of the units that make us? Or are we all the parts combined? After all can we say any one of the units that make us up contain our essence? Or do any of the units that we make up give us our essence? Or can we say all of the parts are but then become ourselves infinite?
“What happens if we shift the point of view?”
If external relations between the units can offer us different points of view, and these points of view become the centre instead of “us”… then “the world becomes a different thing.”
Just as the world was once considered the centre of the universe, so we consider ourselves the centre of our own universe.
The questions then is, “Why do I think I’m in charge?”.
“Things exist in relations. Relations are outside of things. Relations constitute how things matter”.
Adrien said to us, “You are media students in the middle of a communications technology revolution, why do you think there is an edge?” Objects (like smart phones as an example) have no edges anymore. They’re physically designed in one place, made in another, marketed and sold in yet another. They can be used to access information, media, entertainment from anywhere in the world. They’re linked to phone companies, the internet, bluetooth, infared, networks and more.
There are no edges.
Blogs don’t have edges either. Where does my blog end when my posts can be reposted on other blogs, I can be linked to from anywhere (outside of my control too!), anybody can leave a comment and I can link to content that isn’t mine.
“This is relational media”, and the importance lies in the relationships between the units.