Handout: King, for "Stories & Epistemologies," 601: WMST Approaches I, UMD, 11 Sept 2012 Map/Territory & critique of representation

: http://epistemostory.blogspot.com/2012/09/taking-comfort-in-uncertainty.html; pinterest site: http://pinterest.com/katkingumd/khipus/ Katie King, Women's Studies, University of Maryland, College Park/Email: katking@umd.edu Home Page: http://katiekin.weebly.com/ ; follow on twitter @katkingumd
“How do you entangle design, science, fact and fiction in order to create this practice called ‘design fiction’ that, hopefully, provides different, undisciplined ways of envisioning new kinds of environments, artifacts and practices.... Design Fiction is making things that tell stories. It’s like science-fiction in that the stories bring into focus certain matters-ofconcern, such as how life is lived, questioning how technology is used and its implications, speculating bout the course of events; all of the unique abilities of science-fiction to incite imagination-filling conversations about alternative futures. ...It’s meant to encourage truly undisciplined approaches to making and circulating culture by ignoring disciplines that have invested so much in erecting boundaries between pragmatics and imagination.” (Bleecker 2009)

• “People often cannot see what they take for granted until they encounter someone who does not take it for granted.” (Bowker and Star 1999: 305) • all kinds of fictions as fictions about knowledges or “science” – SF – scientifiction, science fiction, speculative fiction, speculative feminisms, science communication and fabulation, wormholes & the plasticities of embedded realities – ecological across systems and multiplicities, amid emergent self-organizing agencies TRANSCONTEXTUAL PRACTICES: Transdisciplinary work befriends and experiences a range of academic and other genres of writing, entailment and analysis, befriends and experiences their consequent and diverging values, sometimes in tacit collaboration, but here in perpendicular examination. Transcontextual feminisms as I have come to understand them, have to scope and scale among ecologies of knowledge. They work to remain curious: about both the passionate affiliations that intensive knowledge work done among close and precise disciplinary grains of detail require and produce, and also the necessarily recursive and speculative wanderings among knowledge worlds to produce extensive pattern-makings that transdisciplinary work makes possible. Khipu teaches us: USE DIFFERENT PARTS OF SENSORIUM TO GRASP DIFFERENT VARIABLES Salomon points out “the fact that data can be formulated as speech is not the point. The quipocamayo process would have compacted social process into an impressively data-dense medium whose clarity did not depend on expansion into words.” (Salomon 2001:266) In chapter after chapter Solomon teaches us how to understand in detail a highly complex and multiply embedded Andean system of social organization, • both hierarchical but also contingently collective among possible groupings; one with • different kinds of interactivities possible with each range of connection in attention, as well as • altered in cycles that do not recur in any simple way; and one • always imperfectly “known,” in any time period, to any set of people, both cooperative but also idiosyncratic. He calls khipu in this context “reciprocity made visible” (2004:279), but means by this something more variantly sensible than vision as they “allow one to use different parts of the sensorium for grasping the different variables.” (281) WHICH VARIABLES AND WHAT SENSORIUM? COMPLEX PERSONHOOD & WORLDLY COMPLEXITY “The map is not the territory” & “the menu is not the meal” are crucial – and also only too complex: which bit is which in a complex network of: perceptions, sensory channels, affective transferences, abstractions that become concrete material agents, boundary objects that distribute different bits of information among different communities of practice in collaboration, many non-conscious processes – collective and individual, ecological and human – among them the unconscious…. TRANSFORMS & RELATIONSHIPS AMONG OBJECTS (& PEOPLE) him (Winnicott) > yr mother [ > desirable substitution] mother/infant relationship ≈ analyst/patient ≈ attachments [≈ similar to] book > < mother-in-the-head [> < both more than and dependent on] writing book < doing something useful [undesirable substitution for] act-of-writing-book ≥ gets mom out of head [≥ leads to or equals] book-in-world: p23: “involuntary torrent of words and images” > p24 “the Hogarth Press, which she founded with her husband, Leonard” publishes Freud, which VW reads ten years later ….

Network of Freud, Strachey, Woolfs, Winnicott, expressed as set of maps & territories, in artful literacies & design fictions: Map – Territory relationalities: • not necessarily mediated by words • (think zooming in and out of google map) can have greater and lesser density of information, greater and lesser grain of detail, from more capacious to more elegant • modeling work: included in itself: recursive Menu – Meal relationalities: • worded menus may belong to the technologies of rhetoric & logic, created to persuade other humans and may be pleasurably beautiful or artful. • menus may be indicators of elements abstracted about meals (think grades for learning for example, or laws for social judgments about action) When is elegance especially valued? Why? In what ways? simplicity, plain speech, transparency….

how close is the menu to the meal? • printed menu in words • pictures of kinds of food • sample foods to choose among • automat item itself representing itself as a choice

Some references:
• • • • • • • • • • • • Bechdel, A. (2012) Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama. NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Bleecker, J. (2009) Design Fiction: A Short Essay on Design, Science, Fact and Fiction. http://nearfuturelaboratory.com/2009/03/17/design-fiction-a-short-essayon-design-science-fact-and-fiction/ Boone, E. H., & Mignolo, W. (Eds.). (1994). Writing without words: alternative literacies in Mesoamerica and the Andes. Durham: Duke. Bowker, G. C., & Star, S. L. (1999). Sorting things out: classification and its consequences. Cambridge: MIT. Brokaw, G. (2010). A history of the khipu. New York: Cambridge UP. Haraway, D. (2011) SF: Science Fiction, Speculative Fabulation, String Figures, So Far: The Pilgrim Award Speech. Talk and Video online. http://people.ucsc.edu/~haraway/PilgrimAward.html Klein, J. T. (2004b). Prospects for transdisciplinarity. Futures, 36(4), 515-526. Latour, B. (1993 [1991]). We have never been modern (C. Porter, Trans.). Cambridge: Harvard. Salomon, F. (2001). How an Andean "Writing Without Words" Works. Current Anthropology, 42(1), 1-27. Salomon, F. (2004). The cord keepers: khipus and cultural life in a Peruvian village. Durham: Duke. Schmandt-Besserat, D. (1992). Before writing. Austin: U Texas. Urton, G. (2003). Signs of the Inka Khipu: binary coding in the Andean knotted-string records. Austin: U Texas.

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