Going to the museum is always relaxing for me, so I was looking forward to this. However, I found it a bit difficult to relax in the Black Power Naps exhibit. Not sure if it was because it felt crowded or because I felt weird laying down and resting in the middle of MoMA. Also, this week I’ve been wrapping up final projects and had that anxiety (the need for speed that Bailey criticizes) in the back of my head.
Another point I wanted to make is that the exhibit was a space for persons of color, but I didn’t see many there. Also, most of the attendees were glued to their phones instead of resting. This makes me think about past discussions and how we all find rest to be a luxury…Going to MoMA is another luxury. And as Heather Agyepong pointed out, others have gone through similar situations as hers. This leads me to question why would the artists choose this venue for their exhibit? It could be because they wanted to create a welcoming space for persons of color at MoMA but I guess they didn’t consider that most of these people can’t afford to be there(due to no time off and museum entry prices).
Lastly, the highlight of my experience was the Traveling Biblioteca and the dream journal. This space had really good vibes and a soothing energy. Earlier that day, I was updating my summer reading list and looking into Gloria Anzaldúa. I was excited when I saw two books about her in the Traveling Biblioteca. I decided to pick one up and flip through the pages. To my surprise, I found a flower inside (see attached pic.). It made me smile, and I took it as a good omen.
Thanks for organizing this, Katina!
Just in case, the book is the Gloria Anzaldúa Reader
My thoughts after reading “Everything is a Metaphor: Care as Praxis”…
Not sure if it’s because of the plant references, but I really enjoyed reading this. The forest metaphor and poem really got me thinking. It teaches us that to care is to evolve. When you care for others and yourself, you grow (from plant to forest). A forest is an abundance of life and its ecosystem is a community. This makes me think back to the Tsing reading we did on the first day about mushrooms and communities.
Two lines that stood out:
“Ultimately, he identified that part of his challenge in defining care stemmed from the fact that it looks different for everyone and manifests differently in different contexts.” -Perhaps today is a good time to re-define care as a collective. How do we all re-define care? As this reading suggests, care varies from person to person. But as the semester progressed we’ve all been constantly defining and redefining power, precarity and care. Since the first day of class and up until last week, I’ve been thinking about care as “self-care”. But now that I’m working on my final projects (they’re about community and feminism) I find myself rethinking my definition of care. Now, I see care as “community care”. Perhaps the best way I embody it is through respecting others and practicing active listening .
“Care requires both time and attention. Time. And. Attention.” -This is the million dollar question I’ve had all semester. I’d love to practice this type of pedagogy. My question is How? What if we as students + adjuncts don’t have the time? How can we properly care for other AND ourselves at the same time? I still feel like this seems hard to achieve due to our precarious position in the institution.
*This piece reminded me of issues posted by Lorgia García Peña and Moya Bailey
*”The neoliberal university expects representation but resists transformation” –> This quote is everything! Our semester in a nutshell.
*Thinking about care as gendered and feminized: These women feel strongly about their work. Using them for “housekeeping” to counteract and prevent backlashes is humiliating and almost victimizing them all over again. Who “cares” for them? What are alternatives that institutions use? Are there any?
*As you all know I’m in my first year, but so far I’ve had a positive experience with CUNY. I think that the best tools this institution has given me are the curriculum and freedom of craft. Still, I’d like to know what are other tools that CUNY has to counteract the issues presented by Risam? In that sense, how does CUNY differ from other institutions?
Today I tried experimenting with fotor.com and made a collage. I’ve learned that it’s important for me to do something creative whenever I feel overwhelmed. This act of self-care helps me maintain my sanity whenever the semester gets hectic. My collage is inspired by the My Pandemic video. It was inevitable to remember my pandemic experience as I saw images of online learning, plants, people painting and others engaging with nature. I know it was a tough time for all of us, for some more than others. But I’d like to reflect on my own experience and how I was able to cope by preforming acts of care. I’ll do so by briefly explaining what each picture represents.
From left to right, the first row starts with a COVID map of Puerto Rico, a picture of Metropolitan Hospital and the front page of my MA thesis. These were my main stressors during the early pandemic days. I was away from my family in P.R. and my husband (who is a high risk COVID candidate) was working the COVID ICU. Amidst all that stress and confinement, I had to take zoom classes and write my MA thesis. The next two rows are acts of care that helped me get through everything. From left to right, the second row starts with a picture of springtime in the city, the Apple FaceTime logo, a shrimp salad and a Zoom Wedding. I started taking roadtrips around and outside the city as a way to escape my tiny apartment. I think this was an act of care for myself and my husband (Also, having quarantine at-home dinner date nights helped!). In order to maintain relationships with friends and family, the best act of care I could do was be present for them via FaceTime and Zoom. I did this with family almost every day and with friends at least every 2 weeks. Lastly, self care was crucial (and still is!). You’ll see this on the third row. (From left to right) I took up painting, bought plants, took pottery classes online, and started working out at home. I know I’m not a pro, but I have to say that pottery and painting are the best de-stressors. Taking care of ourselves is perhaps the best way we can take care of others. And care definitely started to “have a moment” during the pandemic.
P.S. I don’t have rights to some pictures. The P.R. map is from The New York Times, the hospital image belongs to the NYC Health and Hospitals website, the FaceTime logo belongs to Apple and the working out image belongs to iStock.
Fotor Review: Not the best tool. I had trouble downloading the image. Once I downloaded it, I noticed it gets blurred out whenever I zoom in.
I’m still making my way through the readings for next week but as I do my mind has been shifting in different directions. I think that as I continue reading I will most likely have other thoughts and questions. To do something different, I’ve decided to use my post to write my initial reaction instead of my final reflection. I just read “Empathy is an Ideology” and am now working on “Connection Established”.
Further down in the Manifesto’s “Audience” section they write to those in positions of power. “If you are a decision maker, a person with power, a dean, provost, VP or president at UVA reading this: the following are not suggestions or requests, but demands…We want to remind you that you do have power. Many of you have people on your payrolls. Some of you can grant your workers healthcare. You can do away with grades. You can leverage UVA’s strong financial position to borrow more money for workers. You can use UVA’s immense resources to lobby politicians. We all have levers we can pull.” This made me go back to Moya Bailey’s article and her call for community building. It’s clear that everyone, including those in power, needs to work together in order to have a fully functional community of care capable of overriding precarity.
As I continue reading I find myself thinking about the following questions: Who performs care? Who should be performing care in order for it to be effective? Do we consider care as something positive, negative or both?
Also, I’m curious to know how others reacted to the picture above…
I got my final project idea from the Data Feminism piece. Data Feminism presents Maria Salguero’s use of counterdata to map the locations of femicides in Mexico. As we’ve read, her work has been a crucial tool and it has provided visibility for the victims. Contrary to Mexico, in Puerto Rico we have the Observatorio de Equidad de Género (OEG). This is an entity that traces these cases and has documented the data on a list. The OEG has shared its data so that it can be part of a Latin-American femicide map. However, that map is yet to be created. In the meantime, I would like to create a map that focuses on Puerto Rican femicides, mimicking Salguero’s model. It will be the first one of its kind and it will also be bilingual (I doubt that the Latin-American map will be in English). I will use Google Maps, just as Salguero did and my main source will be the list from the OEG. The OEG has missing information such as names, specific locations, time of crime etc. As a goal, I’d like to try and fill in these gaps by looking into local media and news. I will work my way backwards from 2023 and hope to map femicides up until April 2021.
I’m going to supplement the map with a rationale where I’ll write about my motives, inspiration, expected audience, experience etc. Some of my goals are to find patterns within seasons, locations and age groups. Some things that I will do that differ from Salguero and the OEG are: 1- I’ve chosen to refrain from the term victim and refer to these women by their first names. 2- I will set their first names as labels to each pin, to make them even more alive/visible when people see the map at first glance. 3-I’m going to do research so that I can place the pin in the exact location of their femicide (not just the town).
I know this will be an emotional experience for me which is why I’ve started a Word document that will become my journal. I plan to do short free writing exercises chronicling my thoughts each day that I spend working on the map. I don’t think I’ll be sharing the journal (unless anyone wants to read it) because it will not be polished writing. I’m eager to explore this type of data activism and hopeful that it might generate urgent conversations around gender-based violence. Any type of ideas, suggestions, constructive criticism is always welcomed and much appreciated!
*Other comments: I will be using the term feminicide instead of femicide. Here’s a link to my map in case you want to follow along (I’ve only added 4 pins). Please excuse the missing accents in Spanish, it’s just a draft. This is all for now, more details soon.
I decided to try out ChatGTP. This is my first time using it and it was interesting to see the disclaimer in the beginning saying that the conversations will be monitored and that would appreciate if I provided feedback about my experience. I wondered whether this was a good thing or if it’s more like the fake restrictions that were exposed in the Dall-E Reddit page.
Below are the three questions I asked (based on the 2 readings about AI). I was fairly impressed with the quality and depth of answers I received. But I’m not entirely satisfied with the first answer. In specific I din’t like the air of uncertainty in the last sentence “the long-term effects of AI on the workforce are difficult to predict”. I don’t know how AI could be good for labor in the long term if it’s devaluing human labor in the short term. This being said, I did like the answer to my second question. For the sake of time/space I will simply say that I see both good and bad in the third answer. I’m happy to discuss and elaborate more during class.
… Q: Is the emergence of AI devaluing human labor?
A:The emergence of AI is certainly changing the nature of work and the skills that are required in the workforce. AI is increasingly being used to automate routine and repetitive tasks, which can lead to a reduction in the need for some types of human labor. This can potentially devalue the labor of those who perform these tasks. However, it’s important to note that AI is also creating new opportunities for human labor. As AI takes on more routine tasks, humans are freed up to focus on tasks that require creativity, critical thinking, and interpersonal skills, which are difficult for AI to replicate. In addition, AI is creating new industries and jobs that were previously unimaginable. Ultimately, the impact of AI on human labor will depend on how it is implemented and the policies that are put in place to ensure that the benefits of AI are shared fairly. While some workers may see their labor devalued in the short term, the long-term effects of AI on the workforce are difficult to predict, and it’s possible that AI could create more opportunities for human labor than it displaces.
Q: What important cultural or historical aspects from our past are being overlooked by AI?
A: AI is a powerful tool for analyzing large amounts of data and identifying patterns that may not be immediately apparent to human observers. However, AI may also overlook important cultural or historical aspects from our past, particularly those that are not well represented in the data sets that are used to train AI algorithms. One example of this is the representation of marginalized or underrepresented groups in AI data sets. If the data sets used to train AI algorithms are biased or incomplete, then the resulting AI systems may perpetuate these biases and overlook important cultural or historical aspects from the perspectives of these groups. Another example is the complexity of human experience and emotion. While AI is becoming increasingly sophisticated at recognizing and interpreting facial expressions, body language, and other nonverbal cues, it may still struggle to understand the subtleties and nuances of human communication and emotion. This can lead to AI overlooking important cultural or historical aspects related to interpersonal communication, emotional expression, and social dynamics. To overcome these limitations, it is important for AI developers to prioritize diversity and inclusion in their data sets, and to work closely with experts from a variety of fields to ensure that AI systems are sensitive to the complex cultural and historical contexts in which they operate. ….
Q: Is AI a tool for control and marginalization?
A: AI has the potential to be a tool for control and marginalization, but it is not inherently so. The way in which AI is developed and deployed can have significant impacts on society, and if AI is used without proper oversight and regulation, it could be used to reinforce existing power structures and exacerbate inequalities. One way in which AI could be used for control and marginalization is through surveillance. As AI technology advances, it is becoming easier and more affordable to collect and analyze large amounts of data from individuals, including their movements, behaviors, and online activities. This could be used by governments or corporations to monitor and control populations, especially marginalized groups such as political dissidents or minority communities. AI could also be used to automate decision-making processes, such as hiring or loan approvals, which could potentially exacerbate existing biases and discrimination. If AI is trained on biased or incomplete data sets, it could perpetuate these biases and further marginalize already disadvantaged groups. However, it’s important to note that AI also has the potential to be used for positive social change, such as improving healthcare, increasing access to education, and promoting sustainability. The way in which AI is used will depend on the values and priorities of the individuals and organizations that are developing and deploying it. To ensure that AI is not used for control and marginalization, it’s important to have strong ethical guidelines and oversight mechanisms in place. This includes ensuring diversity and inclusivity in AI development teams, transparency in AI decision-making processes, and accountability for the impacts of AI systems on individuals and society as a whole.
Many of the things that were said in “Precarious Labor and the Digital Humanities” were new to me, yet they were unsurprising. But the section about summer seminars was simply ridiculous. I couldn’t believe that they had to take out money from their already precarious salary to invest in a seminar that will make them seem more “apt” in the eyes of universities.
All of that aside, there was a line that raised some questions for me. It reads, “Digital laborers face particular challenges in mentorship and advancement in university contexts. Their work, and their positions, is often new to the university, so there is little institutional memory about how best to succeed”(4). I ask myself. could this be a good thing? I know mentorship is key, but maybe not having a mentor could be an opportunity to have more agency over your project? I’m not sure.
Some of the issues that this article brings up, in a way, made me recall the issues with Ethnic Studies that Lorgia Garcia Peña raises in Community as Rebellion: A Syllabus for Surviving Academia as a Woman of Color. I don’t know much about DH and am not sure if it’s even fair to compare the overlooking of Ethnic Studies to the overlooking of DH. But I’d love to hear what other’s have experienced in the realm of DH. Whether lack of mentorship is a pro or a con and if it’s fair to compare DH issues to Ethnic Studies issues? (or not)
Thanks Jen and Sean for all the readings! I especially enjoyed “Dismantling Tech as a Bad Romance in Its Continued Master-Slave Relationship”. The Bina48 section gave me a lot to consider and I went down a rabbit hole researching other takes on the term “Black Siri”. In my search I came across this GIF (sorry! I could only attach its image format) and article. In a nutshell, it discusses how some people have felt validated by the updated “diverse” versions of virtual assistant voices. Yet, it has also brought up concerns about gendered and racial biases. Is it really better to have a woman or a person of color act as your virtual assistant? I’m not sure where I stand with this. Either way, the article reinforces what the Bad Romance piece tells us. It’s essential that we start opening up spaces for more diverse persons in these positions of power, so that they (with their own lived experiences) can improve the technology we have and hopefully even make it accessible to more people.
For me, it was easier to engage with the 2023 CUNY document than the 2021 version. I guess that has to do with the intended audience. One is advocating for the institution and requesting money from funders while the other is simply a financial audit. I noticed how funds are not distributed equitably between senior and community colleges. In particular, I’m curious to know the reason behind why there is more full time faculty allotted to senior colleges while community colleges still have many adjuncts. Another thing that stood out was that most of the money comes from the State and the students. This made me question how come is the city (and perhaps the federal government) not as involved in supporting senior colleges? Their involvement could potentially ease the burden of tuition for many students (considering that many CUNY students come from underprivileged backgrounds).
The line that gave me the most to think about when reading the 2023 document was in the Student Success section under Graduate Success. It reads, “The University will also invest additional funds for doctoral stipends to remain competitive nationally by ensuring our PhD graduate-level students are compensated to meet their living and academic-related expenses while they complete their studies” (4). Unfortunately, our funds are not enough. I understand that the university is only a “middleman” between the funders and us. However, after reading the Teagle document I wonder how would things look like if funds were distributed differently.
I’d like to hear thoughts on the 2021 version and what others made of the comparison. Also, I’d like to know about your experiences with the payroll website.