Project 1


Screen Self-Portrait (assem­blage)
“Ensem­ble Expe­ri­ence”: Net­worked Community?


      Due: 27-Sep; 20 points
      — sug­gested sites: Wix, Prezi, Word­Press (use pages + links), Google Sites. (oth­ers? Wee­bly? Yola?)
      — Com­po­si­tion guide: Page

        — related: see post on modes of infor­ma­tion (+ dig­i­tal rhetoric) here



  • Chal­lenge: How to con­vey the lived dimen­sion of medi­ated expe­ri­ence — com­mu­nity, group, social par­tic­i­pa­tion in net­worked pub­lic sphere?

  • Goal: Express your expe­ri­ence of being net­worked (com­mu­nity?) in the new media ecol­ogy, in terms of iden­tity and behav­ior.
  • Task: Cre­ate a mul­ti­me­dia and mul­ti­modal com­po­si­tion, “assem­blage self-portrait”,
    using Word­Press (or another web­site) to accom­plish this goal; work in Elec­tracy appa­ra­tus, with respec­tive mode and cul­tural inter­face
    (rather than explain­ing crit­i­cally or pre­sent­ing objec­tive account as in an ana­lytic essay).
  • Reflex­ive knowl­edge: implicit in project;
    state explic­itly in required Poet­ics dis­cus­sion. (see below)



Strat­egy 1:

    1)     Apply­ing rhetor­i­cal knowl­edge from your research (expe­ri­ence + obser­va­tions), com­pose mul­ti­me­dia expres­sion of net­work iden­tity in the new media ecology:

    • Using con­tem­po­rary cul­tural form as guide for com­pos­ing assem­blage,
      design a small-scale web­site (e.g. Word­Press, Wix, Prezi) using mul­ti­ple media and modes

    • The Inter­net as liv­ing monument…delivers or gives the con­sul­ta­tion as a col­lec­tive fig­ure.” (Elec­tronic Mon­u­ments p. 155); “the
      bor­ders of identity—of the group sub­ject (between indi­vid­ual and collective)—become writable.” (xviii)

        Task: cre­ate a “screen self-portrait,” an aes­thetic fig­ure for your medi­ated expe­ri­ence of the net­worked pub­lic sphere and imagined/felt com­mu­nity.
        Use modes other than Lit­er­acy (ratio­nal, crit­i­cal, ana­lytic argu­ment); cre­ate a com­pos­ite sketch using mate­ri­als from your per­sonal data­bases:
        — auto­bi­og­ra­phy, school/career, com­mu­nity, pop cul­ture
        (see com­pos­ing guide Page).


    • In Elec­tracy, “the bor­ders of identity—of the group sub­ject (between indi­vid­ual and collective)—become writable.” (Elec­tronic Mon­u­ments p. 155)

        Task: present spe­cific instance(s) of your idea/experience of iden­tity in Elec­tracy, for indi­vid­u­als within a medi­ated social net­work
        (remem­ber: rhetor­i­cal plat­form + media fea­tures)
        “Per­form” — doc­u­ment, dis­play, sim­u­late, express — this idea
        (like cul­tural forms such as mash-up songs, games, com­edy sketch, par­ody video, etc.)


    • Apply all of your knowl­edge and insights gen­er­ated from research to address this task, decid­ing reflex­ively and pur­pose­fully; remem­ber­ing that iden­tity (sub­jec­tiv­ity) changes in each appa­ra­tus. This is the per­spec­tive of new media to apply and attempt, rather than defin­ing/explaining in “ratio­nal argu­ment,” (for instance, cause-and-effect case of “Face­book users”). Avoid gen­er­al­iz­ing or draw­ing broad con­clu­sions; instead, present rep­re­sen­ta­tive exam­ples (sketches / snap­shots) in your com­pos­ite “self-portrait.“


Strat­egy 2 (from Ulmer):


  • Add to your site the doc­u­men­ta­tion of an exem­plary story from your com­mu­nity, about a per­son or event that your com­mu­nity iden­ti­fies with and tells about itself in its cel­e­bra­tions, fes­ti­vals, nam­ing practices…[and] memo­ri­als.” (Inter­net Inven­tion p. 191)
    • While these instruc­tions sound rooted in Oral­ity appa­ra­tus, they can be adapted to Elec­tracy using your research both aca­d­e­mic (our read­ings) and empir­i­cal (direct expe­ri­ence) to under­stand and apply the rhetor­i­cal and medial sit­u­a­tion. The key prin­ci­ple is that the com­mu­nity must be spe­cific and actual, directly engaged rather than accessed indi­rectly (e.g. as stud­ied in school), even if it is vir­tual — in sense of “imag­ined” or “felt” dis­tinc­tion.
    • Tip from Ulmer to this end: “notice how the com­mu­nity […] focal­izes the story”; “locate the inter­pel­la­tion, what the com­mu­nity thinks for us, and prior to us” (Inter­net Inven­tion p. 191–2).
      Although not (likely) appear­ing in the project, this prac­tice helps guide our view of the social net­work being expressed here:
      → “find the point of view that expresses the val­ues of the com­mu­nity” (192); encode this in your com­po­si­tion, rather than explain­ing (ana­lytic mode / argu­ment dis­course).
      Note: this item (story/event/reference) should be one that you’re aware of indi­rectly or directly; you might have par­tic­i­pated, or the story might not involve you at all (e.g. from the past).





Poet­ics page


    300–400 words; aca­d­e­mic dis­course (ratio­nal, “crit­i­cal think­ing”; direct account, not mul­ti­modal)
    *post on Project 1 page on your blog

  • Describe the process of com­pos­ing, explic­itly stat­ing your method and ratio­nale; this includes the spe­cific lessons from “Relay” sources (3 min.), as well as the the­ory and instruc­tions from notes on read­ings (3 min.). Points should be pre­cise and con­cise (yet more descrip­tive than Inven­tory notes), iden­ti­fy­ing par­tic­u­lar items/aspects of your project with con­nec­tion to research and relays; most impor­tant is your ratio­nale, which explic­itly describes the inven­tive process and “hybrid dis­course” (mul­ti­modal) with regard to method and aims, espe­cially Appa­ra­tus The­ory.
    • Method note: “The point to stress is that our exam­ples are relays: the poets and philoso­phers are to mys­tory as ped­a­gogy, what pro­fes­sional ath­letes are to phys­i­cal exer­cise. They are experts but what they are per­form­ing is pos­si­ble and nec­es­sary for every­one.” (Ulmer Inter­net Inven­tion p.69)



  1. It sounds like doing a project about a tra­di­tion from my home town would work best? Just wanted to dou­ble check and make sure that would work.

    • Using a story of a “tra­di­tion” — in terms of annual/regular event? — would work well, pre­sent­ing a story as anec­dote or scene.
      Per­haps a fes­ti­val, cer­e­mony, activ­ity, event related to a com­mu­nity (inter­est, con­cern, value, par­tic­i­pa­tion, effort) — more specif­i­cally than geog­ra­phy.
      Home­town is easy for us because we’ve prob­a­bly heard plenty about and observed these events.
      Cam­pus groups or Boul­der events would work too in this way.

  2. In my home town we have an annual fes­ti­val called straw­berry days. I was think­ing about using this as an exam­ple of my town as a com­mu­nity. Going into detail about the events that take place would give an idea of what its like to live in Glen­wood Springs. It would show the val­ues that we par­take in.

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