[iDC] Theory Thread and Why are women watching but not talking?

Adriene Jenik ajenik at ucsd.edu
Wed Jul 12 11:41:39 EDT 2006

Hello all,

I would probably have watched this conversation scroll up my screen, 
or file it "for later perusal - hah!) except for Laura's post...thank 
you Laura...you encapsulated in the form of your post something which 
I was trying to imagine how to articulate.
Here are a few additional thoughts that I'll go ahead and risk writing.

I find it extremely difficult to sustain a considered and reflective 
reading experience in small squished together type that flows 
endlesslessly down a page. I find myself starting out, keenly 
interested in what is being written, determined to finish it, but by 
the end of a long post, I'm skipping past whole sentences.

I have no problem reading whole books, but for some reason probably 
already explained eloquently in a previous post here(!) I cannot 
sustain attention on an email unless it is a) broken into smaller 
chunks, b) is something deeply personal that requires my response, or 
c) I print them out and read them offline.

In the end the method of receipt of a list (interrupting an already 
heavy flow of work and project-related email) makes it difficult for 
me to thoughtfully digest all of what is being passed around, much 
less come up with a cohesive worthwhile response.

Laura's post (which I read to the end!) also pointed out something 
less tangible - not that I need my theory to be entertaining - but 
her formatting made the text more readable somehow - it gave highs & 
lows & punctuation points - lists are supposed to be more like 
conversations than books, but this post reminded me of how much more 
para-formatted reading is the activity of a list - not hearing and 
being responsive within a conversation.

Also, I'm an artist - I like theory, I read it, I learn from it (from 
you), but I do not write it myself - I express myself in somewhat 
more simple ways. Writing for me is often a painful process (though I 
do it because it is important). I do not want others to simplify what 
they are saying at all! but I have to admit that I'm intimidated at 
times about responding to a thread in my simple language and "voice", 
so I just sit back and let others more worthy carry the thread.

I find that I (like most of you) spend alot of time on the computer 
(I make my artwork on it, communicate with students & colleagues, 
keep in touch with long distance friends & family) and something has 
to give - I have many many of your posts on file for that day when I 
have "extra" time (when I'm finally hospitalized from overwork?)...so 
I do register them as important, but I can't keep up with many 
discussions because of limited time and...

My aging body is fucked up (in part because of all the computer 
usage). It hurts. alot. most of the time. Because I move around alot 
for work I have portable computers I work on and my ergonomic 
"environment" is a joke. Like many of you, I sometimes leave my body 
while in a period of intense work on the machine. Alot of times (even 
now!) I find myself poised to write up a contribution, but realize 
that it would probably be much better if I stretched a bit. Oh, but 
then after I stretch I'm reminded of a meeting or a production list 
or a book I need to grab, or...and I'm off to address immediate demands.

There are probably a few more things, but I'm finding it hard to 
continue even now as I have a meeting in 20 mins at a coffee shop 
down the street & I'm still naked and dripping wet from my shower.

Thanks Laura, again, for allowing your voice to come through your 
post, which made me feel like there might be a space for mine...


Adriene Jenik
Associate Professor, Computer & Media Arts
Visual Arts Dept., University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Dr., La Jolla, CA 92093-0084
tel. 858 822-2059       fax 858 534-7976

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