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ordinary lives introduction - highmore


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ordinary lives introduction - highmore

  1. 1. introduction / ordinary lives<br />ben highmore | 2011<br />
  2. 2. introduction<br /><ul><li> how can one call attention to “non-events” without simply turning them into “events”?
  3. 3. everything can become ordinary: the greatest blessing and the greatest handicap
  4. 4. everyday is the accumulation of small things becoming an expansive and hard-to-register big thing
  5. 5. everyday is the field of experience in continuous flux
  6. 6. deCerteau-ian: rather than pin-pointing its characteristic content, just draw its grammar
  7. 7. everday is con-fusion: fusing together of disparate material in ways that are not reconciled into clear and discrete synthesis</li></li></ul><li>nothing much<br /><ul><li>nothing much: the everyday: does not haveanything in particular to talk about
  8. 8. ‘real’ nothing: drifting – the observational stage that everyday is forgotten, or realized unimportant??
  9. 9. modernity causes an existential loss that it fills with the agitated spectacular culture of the modern (Charney, 1998)
  10. 10. BUT, according to Highmore, drift is not the emptiness of the ordinary, but the ordinary submerged</li></li></ul><li>ordinary life, ordinary lives<br /><ul><li> when thinking about the ordinary, the sense of collectivity is central
  11. 11. “the ordinary speaks of the commonality without necessarily intoning the ideological set pieces of the silent majority.” (p.5) – deCertau’s marginality of the majority & the ability of the everyday to connect anything that is extraordinary and taking them to the background
  12. 12. ordinariness is a process where things pass from unusual stage to usual stage
  13. 13. creativity is the daily business of making sense of what’s around us... – like Williams (p.7)
  14. 14. ... or seeing the possiblity of adventure in ordinary – like Stewart (p.8)
  15. 15. this book focuses on areas of routine and habit with
  16. 16. three overlapping themes in the centre: aesthetics, humanism & intimacy</li></li></ul><li>aesthetics<br /><ul><li> emotion = aesthetic sphere of the mind
  17. 17. 4 qualities of aesthetics that makes it crucial for this book:</li></ul> for aesthetics, emotions come from without not from within<br /> for aesthetics as a theorising of passions, passions are not passive states of being but modes of action and orientation<br /> aesthetics is the attempt to approach human creature through being attuned to sensations, senses, perception, sentiments, etc.<br /> aesthetics, though re-defined by commercial forces, is not reducible to them<br /><ul><li> Lefebvre misses that, our life practices are not just “consumer choices”, but sensual and ethical responses to a world that makes its own demands on us (p.12) – the contribution of creativity??</li></li></ul><li>humanism<br /><ul><li> general criticizing of earlier understandings of “humanism”
  18. 18. for Althusser, there is no way to escape idealism by taking man as both subject and object
  19. 19. for Foucault, by erasing “man” from cultural studies, replacements like discourse, power and apparatus will appear for “human nature”
  20. 20. Highmore believes that human is a “heuristic device for an experimental approach to life that is dedicated to the process of species-becoming rather than to the fulfillment of a foregone destiny”
  21. 21. this book tries to adopt a sense of humanism that questions about being human yet not seeking answers simply in “best” knowledge</li></li></ul><li>intimacy<br /><ul><li> everyday is full of intimate knowledges because everyday is the arena of the world most closely met – intimacy of everyday
  22. 22. two aspects of life is meant by intimate:</li></ul> that arena of life that is materially closest to us<br /> the loss of a clear seperation between public and private – the mobilisation of intimacy (public intimacy)<br /><ul><li> examples of public intimacy – social networking sites, reality TV shows, intimate cultural politics...
  23. 23. with the mobilisation of intimacy in the modern world, cold intimacy is produced
  24. 24. that breaks down the seperation between private and public – a complex part of the modern everyday</li></li></ul><li>structure of the book<br /><ul><li> this book seeks to explore the ordinary aspects of aesthetics, humanism and intimacy</li></ul> everyday aesthetics: laying foundations for achieving an aesthetics of the ordinary<br /> familiar things: trying to get in between objects and to “map-out” the grammar of their relations and the way they gain subjectivity<br /> doing time: explaining the work as structuring and emptying a sense of time at once<br /> absentminded media: explaning the media as distraction, that is linked to an absorption process, like Benjamin and the drift as the dispersed attention over the media forms<br /> senses of the ordinary: describing con-fusion as melding together of sensual and mental experiences<br /> towards a political aesthetics of everyday life: pointing out the political perspective of the ordinary life – possesing the fear and threat as much as reassurance and safety<br />
  25. 25. thanks for listening<br />