Author: Nick Frai

-3rd Year Concordia Student -Rapper -&other stuff

Blog 3- Bodies & Spaces Online

Some users are so entranced and consumed by their online communities and social media that these platforms begin to substitute as human interaction. Therefor, the only aspects of their “friends” lives that they are aware of are the ones they observed online. What once was “Jeff really likes SubWay, he told me last week,” has become “Jeff really likes Subway. I know because I saw he liked their Facebook page.” These online interactions act as a suitable replacement for real contact, due to their authenticity. This authenticity derives from the production of bodies and space online. “But Nick, how can a body or space be formed on the Internet?” Well extremely corny Segway, I’ll try and paint a vivid picture. You see, the Internet is embodied by a plethora of imagined communities. An imagined community is community that is not based off of and does not require every day face-to-face interaction between its inhabitants. These imagined (online) communities, just as those in real life, have social constructs and basic every day norms. Online, these would be actions such as posting a profile picture, providing “about” information, and liking fan pages. Just like societal norms; many partake in them, while others choose to not. These communities gain a feel of authenticity due to their many surveillance features. Through vlogs, blogs, Instagrams, tweets, statuses, etc. one could be aware of another’s daily routine, without even speaking to them. When accepting that friend request, or following that account, you’re signing a contract to survey that person until the day one of you deletes your account. To put it on a greater scale, the incorporation of sousveillance enhances the online user with an even more advanced sense of authenticity to their experience. With play counts and view trackers, users are aware of the exact amount of times their media has been accessed. This factor has altered sites like YouTube and transformed them into online stages, if you will, where the performer as well as anyone inquiring, may keep track of their viewership.

Another factor contributing to the authenticity of these online communities is that just like real communities, their nature is dependent on their inhabitants. Whether it be a music sharing platform, of vampire chat room, these communities must provide codes of conduct and restrictions that cater to their specific users. An adult rated “hookup” site will have very different restrictions and limits than a family friendly, using that term VERY loosely, such as Facebook. People have become so in tune with online communities, that certain content can trigger real emotions and even offend particular viewers. The creators deem what is “appropriate” and “inappropriate” for their sites based off of their users. Their control is both positive and negative.

Unfortunately in the case of Rupi Kaur, the artist who displayed a picture of herself on Facebook with menstrual blood on her pants, she endured the negative aspect to the creator’s control over content, and felt the true power of bodies and space embodying the Internet. Facebook removed the photo, but later re posted it to Instagram. It’s removal was due to Facebook wishing to portray a specific image to the content they allow. This alone, produces a body and space online. This media alone provided Facebook technicians with the stress of offending users, so much to the point where they deleted the photo. That’s power, if you ask me. The image created space online through it’s condition, the type of body in the image, its description, and Facebook’s Terms of Service contract. Were she not menstruating, the photo would be lost in the thousands that consume the web. Were it a boy with a red stain on his pants, the photo may be interoperated differently, and in a less drastic way. Were it described differently and it was an add for juice, implying the stain on her pants was spilled fruit punch, then the photo would not have had as much of an impact. The body and space it consumed was strictly based on the factors that allowed it to be “controversial”, as some may put it. Of course, these examples can be applied to any photo. Finally, the Facebook Terms of Service contract also plays a huge role into how space exists online. Due to the accept button you probably clicked without reading, Facebook owns your content. That being said, any inappropriate content can be an issue for them. This meaning that Kaur’s photo provided them with a enough stress, that they had to take it down.

 

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Question 1: Do you feel that standard should be placed on social media sites in regards to what is appropriate to post and what is inappropriate? If so, how do you feel this standard should be reached?

Question 2: Have social standards, not those of the website in use, caused you to delete something you once posted online?

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Re-Orientation

My favourite place, stated in my earlier blog post (and of course, still is my favourite place), is the Y Country Camp. The camp sits on an extremely large ground, with 2 hockey courts, 3 lakes, 11 unit living spaces, and much more. Applying Lefebvre’s spatial triad, one can begin to see the camp in many different ways. My previous post I had posted a view of the grounds from above, looking downward. But, thinking in the context of representations of space, the camp can be viewed in the form of a map. MAP

Now, the camp is seen in a completely different way. When I think of YCC, this is not the mode I envision it. This representation of the camp does not provide the same warm, and hospitable feeling I feel when I think of camp or am physically at camp. In fact, this very picture is at the beginning of my supervisor manual, containing all the rules, camp standards, and supervisor responsibilities. This is why when I see this picture I actually envision memories of work and stressful times. These are two very different reactions, to two different representations of the same space. Many parents check the YCC website before deciding if they should send their kids to camp or not, but viewing the camp in this mode (map) does not provide the viewer with the same impression they would get if they were to visit the camp in person.

And of course, not every single camper there sees it in the same way either. Referring to representational space, we can assume that depending on people’s age, background, and imagination, they may all see the camp in a different way. Despite the camp being HUGE, the younger campers probably see it as much bigger than it actually is. The campers who are having a bad summer, may imagine the camp as a prison. Of course, there are certain instances where even I repurpose spaces in camp with my imagination. For example, this summer my unit used the football field as a quidditch field. Following Lefebvre’s idea of representational space, we used our imaginations to view the field differently, repurposing it.

Referring to Judith Butler’s idea of gender performative, its fair to say that YCC to an extent instills their campers with gender performances. The girls do participate in sports, and the boys arts, but when deciding the daily schedules the girls have priority over activities such as: arts & crafts, drama, and dance. This shapes the idea that girls are meant to do art and boys sports. In camp, campers’ participation is a huge factor in regards to their staff viewing them as a “good” or “bad” camper. This means that if a girl is not interested in arts and wants to play sports, just because she is a girl she is forced into having to be at this activity, and if she wishes to be viewed as a “good” camper she must also participate in this activity. This is her performing a gender: doing arts and crafts simply because that’s what girls are “supposed to do” at camp.

Concordia’s Online Virtual Tour

Although Concordia’s Sir George Williams campus may be considered a familiar locale to some, our virtual video tour is designed to inform anyone of the space by giving them a short personalized tour. The tour’s route leads the viewer to five locations selected by us, two current Concordia students.

This virtual video tour disrupts the idea of a traditional campus tour by choosing places that are either widely unknown, even to most Concordia students, (the eleventh floor lounge/study area in the EV building, and the greenhouse) or seem banal to those who frequent the SGW campus often (the center of the library building, the metro entrance connecting to Concordia’s underground tunnels, and the Hall building’s eighth floor lounge/study area). By choosing locations not typical of an official guided Concordia tour we re-define the usual perception of the locations demonstrated in the video.

-Dori & Nick

ABOUT ME: Blog Post 1

Hey guys, I’m Nick. Remember, the guy who sits in the back? This will be my sixth semester at Concordia, and I’m set to be here for one more. I have little idea what I want to do afterwards, but as a past time I love to make music. I consider myself to be a social person, and much prefer to be around groups of people than alone. Don’t get me wrong though, some alone time is always nice.

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My life is essentially made up of five components. 99% of the time I’m doing one of five things: editing videos for work (I work at an entertainment company), working at my other job (Yeh Yogurt), school, hanging with friends, or making music. That other 1% of the time is saved for spontaneity I guess haha.

My goal for this class is to better understand the impact bodies have on environment, and the effects one of the two can have on each other when the other is changed. I’ve always found it very interesting that we are creatures of habit, and the second our routines are broken we seem to reach utter chaos.

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My favorite space is the summer camp I work at: Y Country Camp. It’s situated up north in Huberdeau, Quebec. I’ve seen many summer camps in the past, but YCC seems to always be the more beautiful camp. Aside from the sentimental value this place has to me, the camp is also visually aesthetic. With it’s many forests, lakes, and unit spaces, it is impossible to not admire the up north tranquility and beauty. Seeing as it is such a large camp, I do a lot of walking there, which is always good to stay in shape. I swim in the lakes while I’m there, as well as participate in a lot more sports than I would in the city.

Five things faculty do that make it hard to learn:

  1. Rushing through lessons
  2. Not clarifying with students if everyone has comprehended
  3. When it is difficult to understand the power points/notes
  4. Constantly lecturing (only)
  5. Not taking an interest in the students other than whether or not they respond “here” for attendance

Five things faculty do that make it easy to learn:

  1. Being patient with all students
  2. Reaching out to student’s if the Prof sees they are struggling
  3. Providing comprehensible and relevant slides/notes
  4. Including activities as well as discussion into the class
  5. Keeping in mind that some participate in class, some on the server/blog. Not everyone is extremely talkative