November 8, 2010

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November 4, 2010

The first page…

Was written today. Finally!

I’ve started writing about avatars, what they are, and what Caprica’s avatars are – holographic avatars representing the user, not the playable characters  of video games.

But I wonder, should this thesis be written in English? The show has not yet aired in Norway (and most likely never will), most/all relevant theory is in English and there is a better chance for any sort of recognition if it is published in English.

What are your thoughts?

November 1, 2010

Plot!

Today I finished both the second and the third draft of Caprica’s plot line. Ok, I still miss one episode, but it shouldn’t take long. It’s sooo good to have this over with!

At the same time, I’m very happy about two thing. One is that I today, finally, received the e-mail confirming that I have an office waiting for me at the university. The second is that I, from the end of January to the end of June, will be teaching at a local high school! It’s very close to the university as well, so I can make good use of the time I’m not in a class room!

October 28, 2010

Caprica canceled

Today I heard that SyFy is canceling Caprica. One of the most intelligent shows at the moment is being cut, and at the same time a new prequel to Battlestar Galactica has been announced. Why not build on what you have already established? Why does SyFy think they will have greater success making a new prequel?

September 29, 2010

2nd supervision

This is two weeks old, but better late than never, right?

This is my notes from my supervision with both supervisors.

Theorists:

  • Descartes (Imitations)
  • Toffoletti
  • Baudrillard
  • Beauvoir

The cyborg as phenomenon/the posthuman is a large field with a political, ideological superstructure. It problematizes dualistic entities. Why is the cyborg important for my project? Caprica uses both the cyborg and dualism.

How to separate between nature and culture? The visual vs. the material?

Two levels: virtual, cyborg/machine. How do they effect my thesis that Caprica is a feminist project?

NB! Content analysis: What?! Thematics! Text as case. What happens? What’s the effect? Agents??

September 28, 2010

Writing

After a few weeks of standstill, I’ve actually done something these past two days. Yesterday I started writing out the plot line. I didn’t start this last week, as I thought Bordwell and Thompson would have some tips on this in the Film Art, as my supervisor suggested. There might have been something in his book, but in the current edition, I didn’t find much. So, I guess are good ways of doing this, and less good ways. I’ve gone with a semi-functioning way. I understand now why Ingvil said I’ll have to do this over and over, cuz, man, it takes time! I know I am being too thorough, but I figure it’s better to get everything down in pixels and then formatting it, editing out the things I don’t need and such later.

And, it’s not like I haven’t done anything over the past couple of weeks, I just haven’t done as much as I’d like. I feel like I don’t really know where to begin. There’s to be a group seminar on Friday, though, so I hope to get some input then. Was told it’s be good if I could send something in beforehand, but I think the plotline documents are a bit too much. Maybe I can write a first draft of the table of contents tomorrow?

September 14, 2010

Approved!

I’ve been sick over the last couple days and the work I needed to put into the finalization of my research proposal has been on hold… Until I got a mail from my supervisor yesterday evening. The deadline for submission isn’t until tomorrow, the 15th, but he suggested we’d get together and go through it. So, a meeting was set up for this morning at 11. Him, me, and Ingvil, my co-supervisor.

Sooo very nervous, even though I know I shouldn’t be – they’ve said that pretty much everything is accepted (if this is because everyone works enough on their proposal to get approved, or if they approve just about anything, remains unclear). Put in an hour last night (just a bit about methodology and analysis) and sent it on its way this morning.

Very happy when Ingvil told me the research question was very good! That pretty much made my day. She also commented on how I’ve “found” Toffoletti and said she’s one I can definitely use in my thesis. I was also led in the direction of Beauvoir, which I now see if obvious, but which I didn’t before. That’s good. Also Beudrillard, who I had made a mental note of, but not read much of or about because I wanted to ask for advice first.

The meeting didn’t last for more than maybe 15 minutes, as Cato thought it had to be more formal than it does, and Ingvil had to rush to another meeting.

Next supervision is October 1st, and a group-serupvision regarding methodology and theory. Hope to get some input then, because, man, I feel a little lost!

To do:

  • Draft: Table of content
  • Plot line
August 31, 2010

Progress!

Oh, wow! What a day!

I met with my co-supervisor Ingvil today. We set up an appointment last week, because I really needed some help figuring out what I actually want to do! I was also to write a draft for the research/project proposal by Friday at noon. So, ideally, I’d talk to Ingvil before then, but she is super-super-busy. I did write something, but after the talk we had today, not much of it is relevant anymore. Also, she did all the talking, more or less, but it really helped, and from what I had written (which had been forwarded to her from the institute), she managed to read what I wanted to do, even though I had been unsuccessful in “writing it out”.

I’ve got a big brain storming map now… I won’t even bother to scan it or anything (and it’s not like you’d get much out of it), but it goes something like this.

  • The Cyborg
    • SF’s “hybrid”, but Caprica uses it in a new way
  • Mind-body
    • Projection
      • Avatar – what does that mean? –> Maybe use video game terminology? –> Real world even though it is not. –> Everyone is in everyone’s “fantasy” (through Holobands). The “game” does not control them, they control the “game”, creating it. –> Crossing borders –> Cyborg (also crosses borders)
  • Zoe + Tamara
    • Feeling of otherness
      • “Bringing them back to life” is not a process of othering, but “oneing”. It is the girls themselves who feel “Other”
        • Tamara is not perceived Other. She is the Ideal, free from the troubles of the world
  • Existence without a body??
    • The Ghost in the Machine
      • The Cyborg-metaphor can be used as an example of physical vs. non-physical.
        • What constitutes their existence?
        • Why create Avatars?
        • Write the plotline.
          • What happens when the girls are “brought back to life”? How can we understand what happens?
  • Film theory: a “movie within the movie”
    • Be aware there are several layers (kind of like Inception). Writing the plotline can be a good way to keep track of which layer I’m in.
    • Film theory on avatars?
  • The Graystones at the talk show.
    • V-world as a parallel world not meant to be parallel. Escape from reality.
  • Representation studies.
    • A TV-show expresses something. Caprica expresses several things, politics, philosophy, religion, etc.
      • The expression is an expression for something else, something that carries meaning
        • How does Caprica express mind-body, technology, escape from reality? What are the effects? What are the consequences?
          • What happens to the avatar term when Tamara’s body doesn’t exist someplace else?

So, now I have to get to work. Tomorrow I’ll be re-reading Haraway’s manifesto, with all this is mind. I expressed that I felt Haraway is very much about the body, and the here and now, and the characters doesn’t really have bodies at all. Ingvil told me to re-read and make a note where I feel there’s something “missing”.

I’ll also see if I get through Braidotti and some of her Nomadic Subjects (not existing at one place at all time, ref. back to the last bullet point).

I have to have my proposal ready by the 15th, when I’ll send it to my main supervisor for approval (hopefully). I’ve set up another appointment with Ingvil at the end of October and she wants me to write the plotline before then and send it to her. But, if I find that something else is so much more exciting, I’ll write about that instead…

You’re a hero for reading all this!

Also, maybe this blog should be renamed??

August 19, 2010

Splice?

We went to see  Splice last weekend. At first I didn’t think much of it, but a few days later, it hits me how much the movie contains! Human-animal hybrid, gender patterned parenting, gender dualism, fear of the unknown, fear of intersex, heteronormativity!

I am considering “switching”, but still, something is holding me back.  I’d love some comments on this, although I realize it’s hard to comment on such a thing.

August 18, 2010

Stuck

Summer is well and truly over. The semester started on Monday, and I should be well on my way on the road to my dissertation. But I’m not. It’s time for me to really get thinking, finding out exactly what it is I’m interested in.

I’ve been reading back over the blog posts on my master’s degree over at LiveJournal, and I came across the one where I first described my project. It’s exciting to read it now, so many months later, but discouraging at the same time, since I feel I am nowhere close to start reading the necessary theory. I still have to find my research question.

But, I’ll be posting the LiveJournal post here. Maybe someone will notice the same excitment I seemed to be radiating 😉

4th-Feb-2010 07:50 pm – Topic chosen: The gendered hybrid
Oh, yeah, did I say that I figures out what my master thesis will be on yesterday? I didn’t? Maybe because I was busy relaxing and letting the weight off my shoulders.

In two of my classes we have Soja as the primary theorist, and his work with Lefebvre and their theories of thirding and moving away from dualisms, combined with hybridity got me thinking about the hybrids in Battlestar Galactica and Caprica. This thought has been spinning in my head for a few weeks and I finally worked myself up to talking to Ingvil about it yesterday, and she loved the idea! I think it will be on hybridity in those series from a presentation perspective; it’s interesting how the hybrids are presented in female bodies. Cue connection to Beauvoir and woman as The Other, or, in this case, as Thirding-as-Othering.

Wenche also liked the idea. Not sure who fits the best to be my supervisor, but I really hope I can get Ingvil to be co-supervisor at least, since she works with science fiction as well, and she’s the one who got me on this path in the first place.