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[Xmca-l] Re: The Emergence of Boundary Objects


Here is how McNeill summarizes the way he is structuring or organizing the features of his theory. (see page 5)

"The metaphoricity of the gesture was in this way an ESSENTIAL feature of speech and thought, and the linkage of both to context."

Does McNeil "adequately" convince that THIS way of organizing the features (metaphoricity, gesture, speech, thought, context) describes the  continuing way we move together as place making (meaning).

THIS  micro analysis of the features of place making as capturing a feature ( the metaphoricity of gesture that is ESSENTIAL) means that if this feature is missing then place making does not come into being/form.

The bringing into form /structure  the image-speech dialetic depends on the NECESSITY of the metaphoricity of  gesture.

-----Original Message-----
From: "Rolf Steier" <rolfsteier@gmail.com>
Sent: ‎2015-‎07-‎20 6:18 AM
To: "Andy Blunden" <ablunden@mira.net>; "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: The Emergence of Boundary Objects

I think that a particular institution or government system could
potentially be a boundary object depending on how the concept is applied.
Star describes three criteria: 1) interpretive flexibility 2) material/
organizational structure and 3) scale/ granularity in which the concept is

She argues that boundary objects are typically most useful at the
organizational level - so I would say that one would have to justify the
utility of applying the concept to a particular institution, as opposed to,
say, an object within an institution.

On Mon, Jul 20, 2015 at 2:46 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> Phew!
> So would it be correct to describe the government institutions and
> political system are "boundary objects"?
> Andy
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> *Andy Blunden*
> http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
> On 20/07/2015 9:42 PM, Rolf Steier wrote:
>> Hi Andy -
>> Good catch! I believe that is a typo and should read "despite a LACK of
>> consensus". Thank you for pointing that out.
>> I also wanted to follow up on a suggestion that Greg made in the other
>> thread suggesting we look at David McNeill's work. I had only been familiar
>> with his earlier work on gesture, but after doing a bit of reading over the
>> weekend, I found his concept of  'unexpected metaphors' potentially useful
>> in dealing with some of my questions.(
>> http://mcneilllab.uchicago.edu/pdfs/unexpected_metaphors.pdf )
>> Here is a relevant quote describing unexpected metaphors as a form of
>> gesture:
>>     /The logic is that unexpected metaphors arise from the
>>     need to create images when the culture does not have
>>     them readily at hand. These images join linguistic
>>     content as growth points and differentiate what
>>     Vygotsky (1987) called psychological predicates, or
>>     points of contrast in the immediate ongoing context of
>>     speaking. Unexpected metaphors, precisely because they
>>     are outside the conventions of language and culture,
>>     can capture abstractions in novel ways and provide the
>>     fluidity of thought and language that is the essence
>>     of ongoing discourse./
>> On Mon, Jul 20, 2015 at 1:00 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:
>> ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:
>>     Rolf, what did you mean by "the achievement of
>>     cooperation despite consensus"?
>>     p. 131,
>>     Andy
>>     ------------------------------------------------------------
>>     *Andy Blunden*
>>     http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
>>     <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
>>     On 17/07/2015 8:45 AM, Rolf Steier wrote:
>>         Are we allowed to ask questions about our paper as
>>         well? I hope so!
>>         For a little context -in our paper, we identified
>>         particular kinds of
>>         episodes in which participants from different
>>         disciplines seek coherence
>>         and continuity of shared representations through
>>         bodily action. These
>>         actions include gesture, movement and physical
>>         performance linking the
>>         present material artifacts to objects of design.
>>         Most of these episodes
>>         seem to involve some form of improvisation,
>>         resourcefulness or creativity,
>>         and I'm not fully sure how to characterize these
>>         aspects of the
>>         interactions. In most cases, the participants seem
>>         to be searching for the
>>         best words or material representation to convey a
>>         particular intention -
>>         when this becomes problematic or limiting - they
>>         almost fall back on what
>>         is available - these improvised bodily
>>         performances - as a way of
>>         maintaining continuity, and of inviting
>>         co-participants into a shared and
>>         imagined space. These bodily actions don't seem to
>>         begin the proposals, but
>>         are in a sense *discovered* by the participants.
>>         I think there is something really fascinating
>>         about this kind of creativity
>>         and resourcefulness in interaction that could be
>>         explored more deeply - and
>>         that I'm having trouble articulating. Maybe some
>>         of you have some thoughts
>>         on this? Alfredo - I know we've talked about this
>>         a bit before so maybe you
>>         can add a little clarity to my question.
>>         On Thu, Jul 16, 2015 at 9:37 PM, HENRY SHONERD
>>         <hshonerd@gmail.com <mailto:hshonerd@gmail.com>>
>>         wrote:
>>             Alfredo,
>>             Thank you very much for the sketch of your
>>             roots. I taught English in
>>             Puigcerda and Barcelona for 5 years back in
>>             the early 70s, just before
>>             Franco died. (He died the day I boarded the
>>             plane back to the U.S.) Place
>>             and language are interesting, especially where
>>             language varieties meet.
>>             Boundaries. I know mostly from my familiarity
>>             with the music of Catalunya
>>             and Mallorca that the speech communities in
>>             each of those places treasure
>>             their unique languages (Catalan and
>>             Mallorquin), yet see a commonality
>>             vis-a-vis their separateness from Castilian
>>             Spanish, the national language
>>             of Spain from 1492 on. I see a parallel
>>             between your work on boundary
>>             objects, where individual persons collaborate
>>             to create spaces, AND
>>             boundary objects “negotiated” by groups of
>>             people who live in real spaces.
>>             I am thinking, among other things, of
>>             indigeneity, a big topic here in New
>>             Mexico, with so many Native Americans.
>>             Assymetries of power. Bullying.
>>             Testing and curriculum become instruments of
>>             war by other means. I hope my
>>             tone does not distract from, nor diminish, the
>>             optimism created by this
>>             thread. Yet I think that optimism is so
>>             precious because of the ground (the
>>             world) of the dialog.
>>             Henry
>>                 On Jul 16, 2015, at 12:13 PM, Alfredo
>>                 Jornet Gil <a.j.gil@iped.uio.no
>>                 <mailto:a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>>
>>             wrote:
>>                 Well, you could say that I am partly
>>                 Catalan. I grew up in the province
>>             of Valencia, where Catalan language is
>>             official language together with
>>             Castilian Spanish. Although Valencia (the
>>             county) and Catalonia are
>>             different regional counties, Catalan is spoken
>>             in Catalonia, Valencia, and
>>             the Balear Islands. Some call the three
>>             together as the Catalan Countries.
>>             I don't like borders, but I respect and enjoy
>>             cultural diversity.
>>                 Standardized testing, and the whole
>>                 assumptions behind it, are an issue
>>             also in Spain and in Catalonia; but education
>>             has been so battered during
>>             the last years of right-wing government that I
>>             the debate have been more
>>             about means and access than about contents and
>>             aims. Which in some sense
>>             may be good because it moves the debates away
>>             from performance. But I have
>>             been living outside of Spain for eight years
>>             now, so I am not the best to
>>             update you on this either.
>>                 Best wishes,
>>                 Alfredo
>>                 ________________________________________
>>                 From:
>>                 xmca-l-bounces+a.g.jornet=iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>                 <mailto:iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>>             <xmca-l-bounces+a.g.jornet=iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>             <mailto:iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu>> on
>>             behalf of
>>             HENRY SHONERD <hshonerd@gmail.com
>>             <mailto:hshonerd@gmail.com>>
>>                 Sent: 16 July 2015 19:54
>>                 To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>                 Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: The Emergence of
>>                 Boundary Objects
>>                 Alfredo,
>>                 Yes, you have answered my question very
>>                 nicely! I especially appreciate
>>             that you were willing to wrestle with my
>>             question, despite your lack of
>>             familiarity with the issues here in the U.S.
>>             Am I wrong, or are you
>>             Catalan? In which case your experience in
>>             Catalunya would take you to a
>>             different place in critiquing schooling there,
>>             though not necessarily
>>             unconnected to yours and Rolf’s work on
>>             boundary objects. I just met for
>>             the second day in a row with a friend who is
>>             the liaison between our public
>>             school district and a children’s science
>>             museum called Explora. I feel like
>>             I’m swimming in this thread, talk about a
>>             mixed metaphor!
>>                 Henry
>>                     On Jul 16, 2015, at 12:18 AM, Alfredo
>>                     Jornet Gil <a.j.gil@iped.uio.no
>>                     <mailto:a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>>
>>             wrote:
>>                     I am sorry, Henry, but I am not very
>>                     familiar with high-stakes
>>             standardized testing (as different to
>>             standardized testing in general) or
>>             with common core (which I quickly read is an
>>             issue in US). But I would say
>>             that, if (school) curricula were to be
>>             consistent with the view of
>>             education as the practice of creating
>>             conditions for certain attitudes and
>>             dispositions to emerge--which is what I was
>>             suggesting in the paragraph you
>>             copy--curricula would not be so much about
>>             standardized contents, but about
>>             human sensitivities and relations. So, I would
>>             say, no, standardized
>>             testing is not in principle in line with what
>>             I was trying to say.
>>                     I was trying to make a distinction
>>                     between trying to design someone's
>>             particular experience, and trying to design
>>             conditions for the development
>>             of attitudes and orientations. The first is
>>             likely impossible. The second
>>             seems to make more sense.
>>                     One may of course wonder whether those
>>                     attitudes and orientations can
>>             be considered general, and then form part of
>>             standardize measures instead
>>             of the traditional "contents and skills". But
>>             measuring assumes some
>>             quantitative increment in a particular aspect
>>             as the result of learning.
>>             Growth and development, however, are about
>>             qualitative change. So, as soon
>>             as you start measuring you would be missing
>>             growth and development. So,
>>             again, no. I would not say that high-stakes
>>             standardized testing is in line
>>             with what I was trying to say.
>>                     I hope I have answered your question,
>>                     Alfredo
>>                     ________________________________________
>>                     From:
>>                     xmca-l-bounces+a.g.jornet=
>> iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>                     <mailto:iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>>             <xmca-l-bounces+a.g.jornet=iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>             <mailto:iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu>> on
>>             behalf of
>>             HENRY SHONERD <hshonerd@gmail.com
>>             <mailto:hshonerd@gmail.com>>
>>                     Sent: 16 July 2015 07:48
>>                     To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>                     Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: The Emergence of
>>                     Boundary Objects
>>                     Alfredo, you say:
>>                     "However, we cannot aim at determining
>>                     any particular
>>             situation/experience. The same may be said
>>             about EDUCATION. We cannot
>>             intend to communicate the curriculum and make
>>             it the content of the
>>             students' experience in the way we intend. But
>>             we can try to create the
>>             conditions for certain attitudes and
>>             dispositions to emerge."
>>                     Would you say that high-stakes
>>                     standardized testing is in line with
>>             your construal of curriculum design? How about
>>             common core?
>>                     Henry
>>                         On Jul 15, 2015, at 5:29 PM,
>>                         Alfredo Jornet Gil
>>                         <a.j.gil@iped.uio.no
>>                         <mailto:a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>>
>>             wrote:
>>                         Thanks a lot for the
>>                         clarifications. I see now why it
>>                         may be said that
>>             designers can aim at designing for constrains
>>             but not for affordances. I
>>             see that this way of talking is part of a
>>             designers' way to get things
>>             done, and that it may indeed be an effective
>>             way to design for
>>             place-making, as in the example that Michael
>>             gives of MOMA. Indeed, much of
>>             what we report in our study is about designers
>>             talking about how spatial
>>             features might afford some experiences in the
>>             museum while constraining
>>             others.
>>                         I must admit, however, that I
>>                         still consider the distinction
>>             problematic from an analytical perspective
>>             whenever our object of study is
>>             experience, situated action, or design as
>>             situated practice. A more correct
>>             way to talk is that affordances and constrains
>>             are the positive and
>>             negative sides/interpretations of a single
>>             unitary category. As an actual
>>             and concrete phenomenon, walking into a musuem
>>             implies both affordances and
>>             constrains at the same time, whether intended
>>             or not. Which makes me wonder
>>             whether other terminology, such as Ingold's
>>             notion of "correspondence,"
>>             might be more appropriated when we talk about
>>             how materials and actions
>>             become entangled into particular trajectories.
>>                         In any case, and as Rolf
>>                         emphasizes, what the designers in
>>                         our study
>>             indeed do is to IMAGINE ways of being in the
>>             museum. Imagination versus
>>             prediction may be an interesting topic
>>             emerging here for further inquiry
>>             into design work.
>>                         Another important (and related)
>>                         issue that I think is emerging here
>>             has to do with the level of generality at
>>             which design intentions can be
>>             expected to work (just as Bateson argued with
>>             regard to prediction). At the
>>             level of generic social processes, and given a
>>             particular
>>             cultural-historical background, we as
>>             designers may try to make some
>>             generic situations more likely to occur than
>>             others (facilitating that more
>>             or less people end up together in a given
>>             place). However, we cannot aim at
>>             determining any particular
>>             situation/experience. The same may be said about
>>             EDUCATION. We cannot intend to communicate the
>>             curriculum and make it the
>>             content of the students' experience in the way
>>             we intend. But we can try to
>>             create the conditions for certain attitudes
>>             and dispositions to emerge.
>>                         Alfredo
>>                         ________________________________________
>>                         From:
>>                         xmca-l-bounces+a.g.jornet=
>> iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>                         <mailto:iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>>             <xmca-l-bounces+a.g.jornet=iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>             <mailto:iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu>> on
>>             behalf of
>>             Glassman, Michael <glassman.13@osu.edu
>>             <mailto:glassman.13@osu.edu>>
>>                         Sent: 15 July 2015 23:30
>>                         To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>                         Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: The
>>                         Emergence of Boundary Objects
>>                         Hi Alfredo,
>>                         I think Rolf may have addressed
>>                         the question of the differences
>>             between affordances and constraints in his
>>             post. The way he described the
>>             designers as possibly setting up the corner
>>             with Pollock at MOMA.  It was a
>>             long time ago so I'm not sure if this is the
>>             way it was or the way I
>>             remember it, but let's just believe this is
>>             the way it was.  The painting,
>>             I think there were three were set up in a
>>             corner off a main corridor.  The
>>             lighting was dark, which if you have ever been
>>             to MOMA is different, in
>>             many other parts of the museum there is a good
>>             deal of natural light (there
>>             was this great fountain, I wonder if it is
>>             still there).  The paintings
>>             were on tripods rather than hung on the walls
>>             and they were surrounded on
>>             three sides by walls.  All of these I think
>>             would be considered restraints
>>             - pushing me in to the works rather than
>>             stepping back away.  It was
>>             impossible for more than two or three people
>>             to view the paintings at one
>>             time and movement was limited, so there were
>>             fewer chances for social
>>             interactions (you were not going to pick up
>>             anybody looking at Jackson
>>             Pollock).  The atmosphere was brooding, making
>>             it more likely that viewers
>>             would move towards internal reflection.  All
>>             of these were constraints that
>>             canalized perspectives and feelings viewing
>>             the paintings.  You really had
>>             only two choices, you moved in to the
>>             paintings or you moved on, which I
>>             had done every previous time coming upon them.
>>                         The painting itself though became

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