Reading Question 3/6 Welcome to Pine Point

“This isn’t Facebook: the photos have scratches, wrinkles, and dust- people awkwardly framed and with half-closed eyes. Just pictures taken with the hope they might preserve a moment. They reminded me of my own family album. My dad died in 1999. When I try to picture him, I don’t see him- I see photos of him.”

This really made me think of Barthes when he says, “The Photograph is an extended, loaded evidence — as if it caricatured not the figure of what it represents (quite the converse) but its very existence … The Photograph then becomes a bizarre (medium), a new form of hallucination: false on the level of perception, true on the level of time: a temporal hallucination, so to speak, a modes shared hallucination (on the one hand ‘it is not there,’ on the other ‘but it has indeed been’): a mad image, chafed by reality.”  I have to wonder what Barthes would think of this, would he agree or disagree that social media/technology has changed the purpose of photography?

Reading Question 3/6 (Pine Point)

“Memory is funny. Specific and vague. Visceral and unreliable. Truth and fiction” (Simons).

“When you decide to get rid of a town, there are odd considerations and effects. For instance, once it’s gone, has it really, truly disappeared?” (Simons).

Despite the fact that the Pine Point town doesn’t really have much of a physical existence anymore in the space it once occupied, there is this collection of pictures, video clips, government documents that mention the closing of the town, and the collective (if selective) memories held of the town by each of the former residents. Given these remnants still exist even after the town itself is no more, it seems that there is a certain sense in which the town never truly disappeared entirely, but rather its story is merely forever paused.

However, Simons also touches on how the memories of the former Pine Point residents are incomplete in some aspects, and even selective in some instances. I am reminded of Barthes’ attempts to remember his mother as she was, and how despite his efforts, he only recognized her in fragments.

This brings me to the questions: When the collective memory of a town such as this is fragmented and piecemeal, has the town truly disappeared if it cannot be recalled in its entirety? What constitutes a “good enough” collection of memories for something to live on, in a sense? When the former residents themselves are no longer around, will the imagery left of the town be enough to give others an accurate glimpse of what was? Or does complete accuracy not matter so much for the visual memory as long as people are given glimpses of what this town was like?

Brooke Notes: Welcome to Pine Point

Citation

Shoebridge, P., & Simons, M. (2011). Welcome to Pine Point. NFB Interactive.

 

Keywords

Interactive PDF, memory, multimodality, Pine Point, community.

 

Summary

Shoebridge and Simons document the life and death of Pine Point: a small mining town in Canada’s North Territories that was demolished shortly after the mine closed in 1987. Going through various townspeople recollections, the authors explore several themes: the enigma of human memory, nostalgia, insiders and outsiders, and physicality and mentality.

 

Quotes

“Memory is funny. Specific and vague. Visceral and unreliable. Truth, and fiction.”

“From the moment an event occurs, it is simplified and purified in memory. We shave off the rough edges and what happened becomes a story or even, over time, a legend. It we’re not careful, though, we grind it down to raw superlatives, with none of the banalities or complications that make truth feel true. So often a memory depends on who we need to be at the moment of remembrance. Sometimes it’s better to believe that we accomplished the impossible.”

“Who can relate to an entire town closing except people whose town has closed?”

 

Question

Throughout the piece, the authors speculate on the ways memory is or is not accurate. In some cases, they question its accuracy. For example, the town bully: he remembers himself as being an undefeated champion in a sport, while the authors speculatively present his memory. On the other hand, they claim that the Pine Pointers’ memories are untouched because the town’s original infrastructure was untouched (or never developed–no Arby’s), their “recollection will always be the most accurate version of that place and time.”

So what are things that cloud memory? Is it clouding, or is Truth so inaccessible, especially reflectively, that memory is truth? Can truth and memory even be compared?

Big Idea 3/6

A humanistic approach to product design, usability testing, and artifact development allows designers to explain and improve the rhetorical aspects of generative knowledge design. Although Internet users experience complex cultural, geographical, and spatial networked relationships, these experiences go unnoticed and misunderstood. As Drucker discusses in Graphesis, with a humanistic perspective, the designer can ask: “How can we create fragmented and correlated points of view that connect one mode of analysis and display to another in a way that makes their connections legible?” (189). [LW]

3/6 Bibliography

When I searched “Welcome to Pine Point” on Google Scholar, only four sources have cited it, and they are all listed below. In addition to these scholarly sources, I also included the website, Pine Point Revisited. This is the website that was discussed at the end of Welcome to Pine Point. [HD]

Harley, D., & Lachman, R. (2014). CHI PLAY 2014: The bellman: Subtle interactions in a linear narrative. Proceedings of the First ACM SIGCHI Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play, 343-346.

This source is challenging to find information about, because it was published in the conference proceedings of the 2014 ACM SIGCHI Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play, held in Canada. It also seems as though the PDF needs to be purchased to be viewed in full. However, the abstract says that the paper presents an internet adaption of a novella and it details how interaction affects narrative.

Kiuttu, S. (2013). Integrate multimedia, make fingers happy: Journalistic storytelling on tablets. Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, University of Oxford. Retrieved from http://reutersinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk/sites/default/files/INTEGRATE%20MULTIMEDIA,%20MAKE%20FINGERS%20HAPPY-%20JOURNALISTIC%20STORYTELLING%20ON%20TABLETS.pdf

This 2013 Reuters Institute Fellowship Paper is a 42-page document that describes how stories are told through the use of tablets. The major sections of the paper include the background of tablets, key characteristics of storytelling on tablets, a comparative analysis with genres such as newspaper apps, and a look at the future of tablet storytelling. Welcome to Pine Point is discussed briefly at the end of the report, and is used as an example of multimedia narration.

Pine Point Revisited. (2015). Retrieved from http://pinepointrevisited.homestead.com/

This website was created and maintained by former Pine Point resident Richard Cloutier, who used to be “The Bully” and is now referred to as “The Protector.” The website has not been updated since 2015, but it seems to offer more pictures and history, in addition to what was provided in Welcome to Pine Point.

Pope, J. (2013). The way ahead: The teaching of hyper-narrative at Bournemouth University. New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing, 10(2), 206-218.

This article is aimed at writers and teachers who want to learn about creative writing and its connections to new-media. The author also wants to bring awareness to “hyper-narrative,” which includes more sophisticated multi-media writing and design tools that can be used to create interactive narratives. The article discusses ways to create multi-media stories and describes software to do so.

Wong, A. (2015). The whole story, and then some: ‘Digital storytelling’ in evolving museum practice. MW2015: Museums and the Web 2015. Retrieved from http://mw2015.museumsandtheweb.com/paper/the-whole-story-and-then-some-digital-storytelling-in-evolving-museum-practice/

The author explores digital storytelling and argues that it is actually unproductive. The abstract says that Wong does argue for museums to invest in “developing staff as storytellers with fluency in the narrative capacities afforded by the interactions between people, space, content, and technology.” The abstract also mentions that museums also need to think about storytelling as spatial; mobile; location, context, and audience aware; interactive; transmedial; and intermedial.

Glossary Terms (3/6)

Communicative Artifact: Foss explains that a communicative artifact of visual rhetoric is an actual image where visual symbols are used to communicate; it is the “product of the creative act” and, although not every visual object constitutes visual rhetoric, communicative artifacts encompass three main features – symbolic action, human intervention, and presence of audience (143, 144). [JS]

Rhetorical Perspective: Foss describes rhetorical perspective as a “critical-analytical tool or a way of approaching and analyzing visual data that highlights the communicative dimension of images” (145). Foss states that this theoretical perspective involves examination of the symbolic or communicative features of visual rhetoric. To successfully understand the possible effect a visual may have on an audience, a scholar must understand those communicative features – nature of the image, function of the image, and evaluation of the image (146). [JS]

Reading Question – 3/6

“We look at interface as a thing, a representation of computational processes that make it convenient for us to interact with what is ‘really’ happening. But the interface is a mediated structure that supports behaviors and tasks. It is a space between human users and procedures that happen according to complicated protocols” (Drucker 139).

This excerpt reminds me a lot of writing more broadly. All sorts of people–students, non-writing instructors, administrators, and the public–often think about writing as a thing–a textual product. Yet, we know writing is a recursive, social process that is contextually and rhetorically situated. Despite all the time and research it took to inform our understanding of writing as a process, there are still people who don’t get it, who still view writing as only a product. I’m curious what the process will look like to reframe interfaces as an interactive structure that exists between human users and protocol-informed procedures, as opposed to a static thing. What will need to happen throughout this process to create a meaningful paradigm shift for composition / TPC / interface design scholars, as well as other stakeholders such as students, non-writing instructors, administrators, and the public more broadly?