Re: [xmca] Artifacts, Tools, Classroom and AERA

From: Wolff-Michael Roth (
Date: Fri Jan 20 2006 - 12:46:41 PST

The gaze and the unfamiliar texts may or may not be filtered out, and
the meaning that is shared may or may not be shared with a whole
group. I see that particularly for youth and young adults that the
lack of familiarity with travel or an awareness of surveillance may
lead to a dis-identification -- a disconnection -- because a lack of
meaning or an awareness of power differences creates its own
meanings. Still, I'm not comfortable with talking about this as a
constraint of the text because it does not prevent discussion; it
simply fails to promote discussion. I think an important question is
what effect do the artifacts/tools/signs always have on the activity
and what do they simply make possible.

Hi all,
it is easy to slip into a discourse that separates tools and
artifacts from other things, which happens here, too. We then think
in terms of "effects" that one thing has on another--but effects
imply causal relations, which are quantitative rather than
qualitative, which they need to be if they mediate. . .

Tools are tools because of their implication in specific activities
rather than because they are tools in themselves. A piece of wire may
be a coat hanger in one activity and an electrode in another--
different tools! I cannot talk about a tool independent of the
activity of which it is a constitutive part.



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