Stage III Assemblage Testimony
Cognitive Mapping — Optical Unconscious
- Due: (TBA)
500 words (minimum)
10 points; see general criteria.
Media: include expressive media element (image, video, etc.) to convey cognitive map perspective
— optional / extra credit: use (create, edit) original media (e.g. custom/edited image)
» Additional tips & examples in comments below…
» Assignment (Electronic Monuments p.94):
- “The strategy is to allegorize the particulars of the situation, to promote them to personifications of the forces or powers that they embody or represent…”
- “Think about your own life in these terms. Do for your experience what Pierson did for Wojtowicz (locate and foreground that narratable unifying thread).”
“Extract from the assemblage a set of instructions for how to transpose a life situation into a system of meaning (cognitive map). Apply this map to your own situation.”
Ulmer states that it is “important to find or compose the shape of the egent’s situation in order to move from MEmorial to testiomy” (94).
This exercise uses a story/event from any Popcycle database (see pp. 20–1)
in order to recognize & understand one’s own position via “cognitive mapping”: identifying aspects of the situation (values, ideas, forces, “blind spots”?) previously “unseen” or under-theorized, by means of visible/perceptible details.
Present your insights that result from your cognitive mapping, about the situation, through concrete details and particular examples.
Rather than describe the process (sequence), use the examples as supportive illustrations of your new ideas, presented in Ulmer’s terms and perspective.
(In other words: limit/avoid summary and description of the narrative and situation in favor of analysis and conclusions about the “system of meaning” newly understood as a result.)
Strategies & Other Tips
“A MEmorial is one way to accomplish what [Jameson] calls ‘cognitive mapping’, which is needed to help citizens grasp their position within a historical field.” (p.90)
Jameson focuses on “the background, setting, or place of the drama, and the way the film transforms this site into a figure of an otherwise unthinkable transformation of the world by transnational capitalism.” (91)
“His reading of Dog Day Afternoon shows where to look for this allegorical collective (popcycle) dimension in an entertainment narrative.” (91)
Guided perspective: consider “the implications for EmerAgency consulting and the possibilities of a virtual civic sphere of the displacement from the problems…” (p.93)
» key technique: Ficelle (focalization: Community story, expressing Value)
- Type of “displacement”: “In the news story that Frank Pierson turned into a screenplay, the transsexual is a ‘ficelle’, a secondary character or supporting role in a drama about a bank robbery. His focus is on recasting the event into an entertainment (fictional) narrative.” (p.89)
“The formula for the syncretic project of electracy is to locate the ideological other quilting or suturing (“sutra”) together one’s cultural point of view, and then switch the dominant focalization (usually so familiar that one does not even experiece it as such) for an unfamiliar one associated with the ficelle.” (Internet Invention, p.195)