On Saturday 16th June 2012 Ana Kronschnabl was invited to present a paper at the World Cinema On-Demand workshop held at Queen’s University in Belfast. Her paper was titled “plugincinema & The pluginmanifesto: A Retrospective” which aimed to explore the issues raised by her manifesto and to exhibit some of the films she made for plugincinema as part of her research.
The series of workshops was funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council under the Digital Transformations scheme. World Cinema On-Demand is a networking research project that aims to investigate the impact of streaming services on World cinema distribution, consumption and teaching.
You can view the films Ana made for plugincinema here: www.mefeedia.com/channel/154290
Listening to the radio yesterday the woman talking was describing items in their latest exhibition on irons. She went into great detail about the subtle differences, the introduction of the the electric iron and she described the beautiful ceramic surface… and then she recounted the difference this had made to women. These electric irons, these small household appliances had been part of a massive change in women’s lives. I knew this. I knew that the face of housework had been changed dramatically by these inventions. But I hadn’t understood was the repercussions of these inventions, certainly not from a social point of view.
Women’s time had been freed up…or rather it was now possible for us to do even more housework with greatly improved gadgets. What the voice on the radio had told me though, was that these revolutionary irons had led to women becoming far more lonely within the home.
Washing days had changed from being group activities where women gathered, washed, hung their washing out and ironed their clothes together. These devices had brought technology into their homes, changing the sociable activity of wash day into a solitary domestic chore. It made me think about social media: about all of our technological pursuits; all of my ‘friends’ on Facebook, the social games I play. Do we really believe that sitting behind a keyboard, behind a monitor, behind a computer is making us social, sociable? What does that mean? Is liking your friend’s birthday on facebook, their latest photo etc. really a replacement for a cup of tea and a chat?
Women’s lives were once full of drudgery, or so we’re told, but it was genuinely sociable drudgery. We, in the civilised world, no longer have this type of drudgery in our lives. Now they are full of social games and sociable apps. and linked-in to everyone we’ve ever encountered, or not? Is playing a network game the same as sitting in a room and playing a game with your friends? I wonder are we now, as they would have us believe, much better off with our household appliances, individual laptops and our digitally sanitised, drudgery-free social networks?
Last week we announced the winner of our muisc competition for UrZoo. As promised we will be showcasing our shortlist of entries all this week!
Today’s entry comes from Oscar Van Der Burgh, a sound design student from The Netherlands.
“Main Them” by Oscar Van Der Burgh