Things I’ve Learnt

Through this term I have learnt a lot about myself and the way I work. I will tell you about it now. The course I chose was Smells Like Teen Spirit, it has been amazing and so interesting from not only a personal perspective but a working perspective too. The course has been about looking into material culture and how different aspect of it can convey meaning. All aspects of material culture portray meaning weather it be from their clothes, shoes, tattoos or accessories. Weather it be political or personal, these subcultures say something thought their use of colour, pattern and form. Often talking about important social issues such as politics, shape, gender and race which are very fired up topic even today. Their clothing is a statement that they feel can’t be said out loud and wearing it instead will receive a bigger acknowledgement. Borrowing from the past is a prevalent aspect which they change up and manipulate to create new meanings. Street style is creative and uses itself to make discussions about establishment and popular culture. Its a fascinating thing with so many different view points and references to look into. I found it intriguing how subcultures can take inspiration from multiple reference points to create unique looks which bring up important discussions. Subcultural groups are different from what is considered to be the norm and usually want to be free from the establishment and the social constructs they place on society. I think what made the topic so inserting for me is that I consider myself in a subcultural group, so looking at how outsiders view our style is intriguing to me. Although interesting the lesson in hand wasn’t really to focus on subcultural styles it had a bigger picture. Being able to deconstruct the people in front of us in class gave me new skills in order to better my own work and take a step back to look at the bigger picture. These skills I can take and use for the rest of my life. This in particular has really influenced my work and has helped me to further analysis the meaning in my own work. Asking myself why have I done this? And what is it saying about me the designer. Taking this critical distance to deconstruct my work is key in developing and moving forward in my discipline. Its helped me to think differently about not only my own work but the others artists around me. Its of great significance to be able to better myself and I feel the skills I’ve gained from this class can help me to improve myself everyday.  

Now I want to talk about me as a learner. Through my time at uni so far I have kept up an extensive blog about my work, I think this has really helped me to think about what I’m doing and it gives me time to step back and be critical with myself. Usually I wouldn’t have these alone times to myself but allowing myself an hour each night to sit down and write has given me time to think and reflect which has had a positive effect on my learning. Another thing I’ve improved over my first year has been my academic writing skills, they still aren’t the best as I’m sure you can tell but I have made incredible improvement. My work is now informed with evidence and theory. Being able to use these quotes from distinguished writers such as Steele, Hopkinson and Spooner has defiantly put my writing on a new level and helps to prove points I’ve made. In my last essay for constellation I didn’t use any quotes and my writing was awful, I was uninformed about the subject and had no passion for the topic. This term I have really enjoyed the topic which helps when writing as It’s not my favourite things to do. I feel I have certainly improved from the last essay and I’m quite proud of the fact. I felt I had more control in this subject which ended in a concluded interesting essay. Some things I still need to work on is my academic writing skills, although they have improve its still not up there. I also need to look more into my grammar and spelling as they are not up to par. These skills really need to be checked as they are important for my Graphic Design work, being able to spot grammatical errors is so important for work for print. It also shows professionalism which I’m always striving to get better at. Another skill I have gotten better at is paraphrasing. At first I found it to hard shorten down paragraphs to sentences only including the important information but with practice things get easier. Practice is usually how I address most the challenges I face, the more I tackle something I’m bad at the better I get. This goes for the academic writing and grammar too. I practised lots before this essay was due and I feel it certainly helped to improve my writing. Somethings i’m still overcoming are off course my academic writing, grammar and spelling but also my concentration. Throughout the previous project and this most recent one, I find it hard to really concentrate and get things done. It has been an issues i’ve tried to overcome for years and hinders me still quite frequently. It delays my working and sometimes prevents me from getting thing done to the best of their ability. This can also be transferred to my graphic design work and I need to keep up a level of profesionism at all times from now on, in order to make it in this harsh environment. Therefore this is one of the biggest issues I need to face, it’ll hopefully help with my next term at uni and allow me to keep improving. 

Zoot Suits

The zoot suit was a type of subculture around after WW II. They were recognised with their suits featuring exaggerated feature such as lapels, length of jacket and trousers. The zoot suits break rules of the norm for the time with bright colour, vivid patterns and a baggy appearance. To paraphrase Alford his suggestions of the function of the zoot suit is that of identity. It was a way for the african-american male to express their own personal style while being an emblem for their ethnicity. Wearing them to show who you were and where you wanted to go, it was a statement for others. Tulloch’s quote about zoot suits were relating to common subcultural concepts. He explains that zoot suits were a political statement for the time much like many others subcultural styles like punk and hiphop. The suits were a statement about Americas position in WW II and that they should have had a Example of Zoot Suitslarger stance in defending ethnic minorities. To feed into this the large amount of fabric used in the suits was to reference the rationing that was taking place during WW II.
The zoot suits were a powerful identity statement, they were ‘instruments that empowered the body’ to contradict what was correct at this time. Karaminas explains that they came with certain connotations such as rebellion and nonconformist which ’emerge as powerful agents for change’. This is a common factor for subcultural groups who want to impact the public and promote change. Others things that the zoot suits have in common is resignification such as using the Crombie top coat which iconically is a sophisticated  item that is associated with high-class members of society. The african-american boys took this and used it as a symbol for ethnicity, changing the original meaning. They also showed this by taking out the pocket lining so it was visible which otherwise was not done, it was a secret language to those who followed the trend. Zoot suit wearers were politically motivated which follows other subcultural groups including the hippies, with which both have very identifiable and iconic styles.

Sources Used:

  • Karaminas, V (eds) (2009) The Men’s Fashion Reader. Oxford: Berg
  • Tulloch, C (2006) „My Man, let me pull your coat to something‟ Malcolm X
    in Bruzzi, S; Church Gibson, P (eds) (2006) Fashion Cultures. Theories, Explorations and Analysis London: Routledge
  • Elms, R (2005) The Way We Wore, Picador, London, pp46-47
  • Jefferson, T (1976) Cultural Responses of The Teds in McNeil, P; Karaminas, V (eds) (2009) The Men’s Fashion Reader, Berg: Oxford pp366-369
  • Alford, H (2009) The Zoot Suit: Its History and Influence In McNeil, P; Karaminas, V (eds) (2009) The Men’s Fashion Reader. Oxford: Berg Karaminas, V (2009) Introduction – Subculture: Style and Resistance in McNeil, P;

Public Enemy

Public Enemy

Subcultures must exhibit a distinct enough shape and structure to make them identify different from their ‘parent’ culture. This is really important to note, as some styles may look very similar but in fact are very different on closer inspection. In this class we were looking at 80’s hip hop street style. Which can be described as wearing sporting clothes of well-known expensive brands to show their wealth. Even wearing large gold chains or car badges as jewelry to signify wealth and respect. Car badges weren’t the only things they would resignify they would also wear trainers but take the laces out making them useless for the original purpose. This also was a secret code within the subculture as a nod to other like-minded people. Hip hop is still very much about gaining respect and hierarchy in a sense to show off. Tagging is another example of this which would be a way of letting others know they were here. The vandals can seem big without getting caught by authorities.


Sources Used:

  • Whitley, Z (2011) Dressing Viciously: Hip-Hop music, fashion and cultural crossover In Adamson, Pavitt (eds) (2011) Postmodernism. Style and Subversion 1970-1990. V&A publishing, London
  • Kellner, D (1997) Aesthetics, Ethics and Politics in the films of Spike Lee In Reid, M (ed) (1997) Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing, Cambridge
  • Clarke, S; Hall, S; Jefferson, T; Roberts, B (1975) Subcultures, Cultures and Class In Gleder, K; Thornton, S (eds) (1997) The Subcultures Reader, Routledge, London pp100-111

Peek-A-Boo

This week we looked at the gothic subculture. Goth is probably the subculture I identify with most, I am usually wearing black floaty dress’ or PVC skirts. I have black hair and wear dark makeup the identifying features of goth. Although my style is taken from the many subcultures within goth and I couldn’t say an exact style I fully follow, this is the Siouxsie Siouxbeauty of this culture.  I love this quote from Spooner; ‘Goth encompasses a diverse set of visual styles and subcultural practices that commentators should be aware of homogenizing’. This is exactly right and I feel outsiders don’t see these very different styles.

‘One characteristic set of media responses labels the subculture as comically pretentious, self-indulgent and middle class’ A fair statement I would say, thought perhaps not very nice is quite accurate. The subcultures prides itself on its appearance this along with music are the most important aspects of a gothic lifestyle. ‘Important influences have been the fetish scene’. Where music is concerned bands like Siouxsie and The Banshees, The Cure and Joy Division were incediably influencial.


Sources Used:

  • Hopkinson, P (2007) Gothic Music and Subculture
    In Spooner, C; McEvoy, E (eds) (2007) The Routledge Companion to Gothic, Routledge, Oxon
  • Spooner, C (2006) Contemporary Gothic, Reaktion Books, London
  • Steele, V (2008) Gothic. Dark Glamour, Yale University Press, New Haven

God Save the Queen

Sex Pistols Album Cover by Jamie Read

Smells like Teen Spirit: Subcultures and Street Style, my new constellation class. This one I was so happy to get, I personally love subcultures and think I’ll be able to give an incite into whats its like being in a subculture.

In todays lesson we were looking into punk identity. Seeing as my boyfriend is a punk Jordan and Jubileeand I have been enjoying the subculture for quite a few years I already knew lots about it and what it stood for. We were asked to summarise the visual styles, which I would say is ‘confrontation dressing’ using existing t-shirts and vandalising them to fit their anti-establishment agender. They would also would use re-signification by taking safety pins or lavatory chains as jewellery. ‘Breaking the rules’ is a huge part of the punk subculture, using hair dyes to look as abnormal as possible. Vivian Westwood was a huge designer for punk fashion, she was one of the starting designers for the subculture.

Punk had a good relationship with social context at the time, they were coinciding with the feminist movement that was going on. The punks were very much for women having equal rights and to express themselves. Not conforming to traditional norms, redefining the new feminine style. It’s ok to be angry. They wanted to challenge stereotypes.


Sources Used:

  • Barnard, M (2007) Fashion Theory: A Reader, London: Routedge (p256-266)
  • LeBlanc, L (2002) Pretty In Punk: Girls Gender Resistance in a Boys‟ Subculture. Rutgers University Press, New Jersey
  • O‟Brien, L (1999) The Woman Punk Made Me in Sabin (ed) (1999) Punk Rock : So What, Routledge, London

Are the scientist of today getting any closer to a future like Haviland Tuf’s?

“Make no choice, and you have chosen. Failure to decide, because you lack the right, is itself a decision” – George R.R. Martin, Tuf Voyaging

In this essay I am going to be examining and comparing the ethnographical day-to-day life of Haviland Tuf with the documentary Comet Catchers. Haviland Tuf is a fictional character from the popular novel Tuf Voyaging by George Martin. In which he beautifully creates this world of self-discovery, learning and adventure. This theme perfectly ties in with the premise of the Rosetta Mission. Although Tuf’s spacecraft, The Arc, is imaginary so in reality is far more complex than our knowledge at this time. I will be exploring Tuf Voyaging and Comet Catchers versions of experience and also how they differ in the wide scope of space technology. Arguing the question, are the scientist of today getting any closer to a future like Haviland Tuf.

Tuf Voyaging features the notorious Haviland Tuf, a solitary space trader who owns The Arc. A 30 kilometre long ’seedship’ with ecological engineering capabilities. The entire premise to the novel is a segment of Tuf’s life and his day-to-day mischief concerning his job. His customs and habits are for the most part quite regular and normal. Although some are a little different to what we may see toady. He loves to better himself with learning and reading. Each day is different from the last with Tuf.

There are five important focus points I want to touch on first before I go more in-depth. They include technology, science, imagination, experience and culture. I want to briefly compare Tufs relevance to the subjects with some aspects from comet catchers. Doing this made it possible to see which topic I could talk more about concerning my argument. One that was a possible choice was imagination, Tuf uses imagination in his everyday life by coming up with clever answers to problems. He creates creatures to combat issues but needs to make sure they don’t cause even more issues. This is quite similar to how the scientist think in Comet Catchers by coming up with inventive solutions. For example using the four prog device on their harpoon was a brilliant idea because they knew the surface on the comet was very brittle but weren’t sure how much. Imagination is a huge part to both Tuf and the scientists way of life without it they would achieve nothing, so considering this and humans imaginations we could possibly reach a future likes Tufs. The only thing holding is back is our scientific knowledge. This was another contender for my chosen subject. Science in Tufs universe is far more complex than our own he and can quickly clone new animals even ones that don’t already exist. Something that we just haven’t accomplish yet and although the scientists are ahead in Comet Catchers they just don’t share the scientific knowledge that Tuf does, maybe in our future perhaps but not now. This point argues that maybe we couldn’t actually have a future like Tufs maybe that is just to far out of our reach. Contradictingly we have no idea what will happen in the future. In Comet Catchers Rosetta is a self-sustaining craft which generates power off the sun much like The Arc which also self sustains creating food for both Tuf and his cats. Screenshot From Comet Catchers (2014)Our technology is certainly not to a Tuf standard but from the documentary you can see that we are certainly getting there. The scientists broke records with the longest burn ever attempted of a spacecraft, it was also the first to match a comets speed. Could this mean that the scientist will continuously break records? Could we reach a technological achievement similar to a universe like Tufs?Perhaps. Tuf experiences failure on a regular basis it’s what helps him to move forward and improve. His experiences help him to overcome challenges. At first he has no experience but by failing he forces himself to improve. This works with Comet Catchers also which gives us hope that maybe one day we can have a more technologically advanced future. For example in the documentary its starts by waking Rosetta up because there previous attempt failed, which made the scientists try even harder this time and they became more creative in their thinking. Lastly is culture, Tuf himself has little culture he is simple, solitary man. The culture in the novel comes from the planets he visits, they share new habits and customs with him which extend his thinking. Different cultures are also quite important in our thinking it allows us to see in different ways. In Comet Catchers there is little culture to analyse, the technology itself doesn’t have much culture but the technology does create culture. In the sixties the moon landing were a huge worldwide voyage and infected everything from music to fashion. Culture affects everything and everyone sometimes without us even knowing but is it going to help us get to a scientifically more advanced level. In the way we think it certainly could help…

Now looking in to a scene from Tuf Voyaging in which technology is spoken about which is when they first come across The arc. A seedship floating in space which they needed to board to save their own lives from suffocation. The crew recognise that this is a battleship which has the capabilities of being ‘priceless’ yet with a wealth of knowledge. Tuf explains that ‘though perhaps abandoned and derelict, it is nonetheless dutiful. Witness the efficiency with which it defended itself against our approach.’ ‘The seedship had vast cell libraries and cloning materials from literally thousands of worlds preserved in a stasis field’. Anittas worry about entering the ship was completely reasonable. She explained ‘even the most sophisticated systems can go down from time to time, experiences failures and glitches.’ Although there was nothing else that could be done and they had to enter. On board it was complete ‘intellectual fascination’ for all, the ‘instruments were incomprehensible’ even for the experienced crew members.

A comparable scene in Comet Catchers is when they find out that their chosen comet is made from a material which could resemble ‘gravel soup or a gravel cloud. Where this stuff is loosely bound by gravity’. A scientist mentions that ‘the dusty regions are not like anything we experience on earth’. This new issue they face is a difficult one, they have no idea what the material is like with this different gravity and ‘if Philae lands in one of these regions then its ice screws may not work’. The scientists need to find a way to keep the spacecraft on the comet long enough to take samples. They struggle on this idea but finally reach a moment of clarity, using ‘two copper barilium harpoons to secure Philae to the surface. Moving at 201 miles per hour’. It may work but they could’ t be completely sure until the much awaited time comes.

Technology is rife in both my subjects. In Tuf Voyaging he uses technology to assist him in his trading business but also to help other planets out. For example the cloning machine that is spoken about is used frequently in the book to combat problems and create new animals like his menagerie of cats. Of course Tuf is living in an imaginary world where technology is limitless so his will always be better that ours. Comet Catcher was aired in 2014 so only a couple of years ago now and although we have progressed significantly from then it is nowhere near the scope of Halivand Tuf’s world. We do share similar tropes to Tuf including failure and self-doubt among technology. In a quote by Anitta, Tufs crew member, she says that ‘even the most sophisticated systems can go down from time to time’. It is true for us, in the end the Rosetta’s mission did fail. The scientists learn a lot on this year-long task but in the end the technology we had just couldn’t get the results we needed. Maybe in a hundred years with the amount of progress we are making now with technology that dream can come true. The more we fail the more we can learn and improve which only takes time. So in the future having a universe similar to Tufs doesn’t seem that far off.

When Tuf first begins his new life on The Arc he has little experience but through immense reading, failure and commitment to learning he gains so much more. Toward the end of the book there is a scene where Tuf goes back to a planet he failed to save twice before. His knowledge has gotten to his head and feels like he can defeat anything, he feels almost god like. He says to Tolly Mune, a crew member, ‘twice i failed as ecological engineer. Now I suppose to succeed as the god that S’uthlam requires. Should I approach the problem as human a third time, I would surly fail a third time, and then your difficulties would be resolved by gods ruler than myself. Therefore, I must set aside my humanity, and act as god’. Tuf feels as though will his wealth of experience and knowledge he can act as god, choosing life or death. Experience brings knowledge and knowledge brings power, with that power you can make almost anything happen.

Looking at experience in Commit Catcher is difficult. The whole mission isn’t off experience, it is the first time the scientists have ever attempted this. ’30 years of planning, $1.7 billion of investment and the reputation of some of the worlds most influential scientists and engineers. Rosetta was launched over 10 years ago. Its mission to chase down and plant a lander on a comet. Thought in order to save power she was shut Screen Shot From Comet Catchersdown nearly 3 years ago. No one has heard from her since.’ There is so much at stake with this mission, the fact that it has never been done before leaves a lot of questions to be answered. Even to attempt this mission they need a certain amount of experience in space travel to pull this off. Their experience imperative to the success of this mission. Through out the programme they have learnt a lot from their mistakes and hopefully this willingness to achieve will bring them into a more scientifically advantage place in the future. Perhaps like Tufs…

Everybody gains experience from life. The scientists gain experience through trial and error, much life Haviland Tuf. The way in which the scientist from the Rosetta mission move forward in their technological knowledge is through experimentation. From the 60’s we have come leaps and bounds in space travel, we have achieved so much. Our questions are being answered which teachers us so much more. If we continue to experience and learn at this rate there is no reason why we couldn’t reach a future like Tufs. He gains knowledge the same way we do, he is only human. But being human can have there draw backs. The speech from Tuf where he talks about himself as god, shows the more experience you have the more confident you become, the more risks you take. If we as humans keep gaining this confidence we could continue making great strides in space technology.

In conclusion to my question Are the scientist of today getting any closer to a future like Haviland Tuf’s? the short answer is yes of course. There is obviously no way of actually telling if we can reach a future like that, its in the future and we can’t see that. Although from what I have looked at in Comet Catchers and comparing to Halivand Tuf’s world, although fiction, we share similar characterises to him. We as humans experience, we learn, we grow. The documentary shows that we may have failed in the end but we have so much courage and enthusiasm to succeed with that we can do anything. With our ever improving technology we can surely reach a more scientifically advanced future, perhaps one like Halivand Tufs.


Sources Used:

  • Tuf Voyaging by George R. R. Martin (1986) Baen Books
  • Comet Catchers: Rosetta Mission (2014) National Geographic Channel

Tuf vs. Comet Catchers – First Draft

Choose a spacecraft from fiction and write an ethnography of the day-to-day life of it’s crew. Compare these finding with Comet Catchers.

In this essay I am going to be examining and comparing the ethnographical day-to-day life of Haviland Tuf with the documentary Comet Catchers. Haviland Tuf is a fictional character from the popular novel Tuf Voyaging by George Martin. In which he beautifully creates this world of self-discovery, learning and adventure. This theme perfectly ties in with the premise of the Rosetta Mission. Although Tuf’s spacecraft, The Arc, is imaginary so in reality is far more complex than our knowledge at this time. I will be exploring Tuf Voyaging and Comet Catchers versions of experience and also how they differ in the wide scope of space technology. Arguing the question, are the scientist of today getting any closer to a future like Haviland Tuf.

“Make no choice, and you have chosen. Failure to decide, because you lack the right, is itself a decision” – George R.R. Martin, Tuf Voyaging

Tuf Voyaging features the notorious Haviland Tuf, a solitary space trader who owns The Arc. A 30 kilometre long ’seedship’ with ecological engineering capabilities. The entire premise to the novel is a segment of Tuf’s life and his day-to-day mischief concerning his job. His customs and habits are for the most part quite regular and normal. Although some are a little different to what we may see toady. He loves to better himself with learning and reading but also everyday needs to clone more cats which he uses for his own benefit. Each day is different from the last with Tuf even though he’s rather set in his ways.

There are five important focus points I want to touch on first before I look into Tuf’s ethnographical day-to-day life. They include technology, science, imagination, experience and culture. I want to briefly compare Tufs relevance to the subjects with some aspects from comet catchers. Doing this made it possible to see which topic I could talk more about concerning my argument. One that was a possible choice was imagination, Tuf uses imagination in his everyday life by coming up with clever answers to problems. He creates creatures to combat issues but needs to make sure they don’t cause even more issues. This is quite similar to how the scientist think in Comet Catchers by coming up with inventive solutions. For example using the four prog device on their harpoon was a brilliant idea because they knew the surface on the comet was very brittle but weren’t sure how much. Imagination is a huge part to both Tuf and the scientists way of life without it they would achieve nothing, so considering this and humans imaginations we could possibly reach a future likes Tufs. The only thing holding is back is our scientific knowledge. This was another contender for my chosen subject. Science in Tufs universe is far more complex than our own he and can quickly clone new animals even ones that don’t already exist. Something that we just haven’t accomplish yet and although the scientists are ahead in Comet Catchers they just don’t share the scientific knowledge that Tuf does, maybe in our future perhaps but not now. This point argues that maybe we couldn’t actually have a future like Tufs maybe that is just to far out of our reach. Contradictingly we have no idea what will happen in the future. In Comet Catchers Rosetta is a self-sustaining craft which generates power off the sun much like The Arc which also self sustains creating food for both Tuf and his cats. Screenshot From Comet Catchers (2014)Our technology is certainly not to a Tuf standard but from the documentary you can see that we are certainly getting there. The scientists broke records with the longest burn ever attempted of a spacecraft, it was also the first to match a comets speed. Could this mean that the scientist will continuously break records? Could we reach a technological achievement similar to a universe like Tufs?

Perhaps. Tuf experiences failure on a regular basis it’s what helps him to move forward and improve. His experiences help him to overcome challenges. At first he has no experience but by failing he forces himself to improve. This works with Comet Catchers also which gives us hope that maybe one day we can have a more technologically advanced future. For example in the documentary its starts by waking Rosetta up because there previous attempt failed, which made the scientists try even harder this time and they became more creative in their thinking. Lastly is culture, Tuf himself has little culture he is simple, solitary man. The culture in the novel comes from the planets he visits, they share new habits and customs with him which extend his thinking. Different cultures are also quite important in our thinking it allows us to see in different ways. In Comet Catchers there is little culture to analyse, the technology itself doesn’t have much culture but the technology does create culture. In the sixties the moon landing were a huge worlwide voyage and infected everything from music to fashion. Culture affects everything and everyone sometimes without us even knowing but is it going to help us get to a scientifically more advanced level. In the way we think it certainly could help…


Sources Used:

My Life as a Spacecraft

In this blog I’m going to be reflecting back upon what I’ve learnt from my constellation lessons. This will also help me find aspects to talk about in my essay which I’m currently working on.

Our first week was mainly an introduction into the class and what we will be learning about in the coming weeks. The study group was going to ‘use the proposition of seeing from the perspective of a spacecraft to consider how imagination, experience and culture interacts with science and technology’. I found it a really fascinating subject and one that I could link back to my graphics course. For example we learnt about how at the time the space craze infected every aspect of modern society, from fashion to music. This included design so was interesting to see how worldwide events could affect the manufacturing of visual communication.

Week two we were introduced to Hannah Arendt’s complex essay, ‘The Conquest of Space and the Stature of Man’ published 1963. Just before Arendts text in 1962 President Kennedy said that they will safely land on the moon, ‘before the year is up’. At this time space technology was gaining momentum and was becoming a much talked about topic. I researched the space travel timeline and I think it will be important to include in my essay argument.

Experience and technology was the focus for week three. We examined the question ‘what do spacecrafts experience?’. Looking back now this was an important week for the exploration of my essay subject. In my question I’m going to be looking further into these two category’s although with Tuf and Comet Catchers instead. Something important I learnt from the subject was that I need to look into what the emotional journeys of both spacecrafts are. This will allow me to reflect and pick out things they have in common and things that differ.

In week four we looked into science and culture and how they impact each other. Fascinating thoughts were brought up such as your views on science can all depend on your our cultural experiences. For example you may view our effort to explore space a waste of time and are resources should be spent other places. ‘In 2005 NASA had a budget of $16.2 billion; this includes not only the human spaceflight division, but also other engineering projects, and science funded by NASA. The total federal spending budget in 2005 was on the order of $2 trillion’. That is a huge sum that others might rather be seen making our own planet a better place. Culture can have a big effect on how we view space exploration and if we even should.

Week five we were asked to question ‘what is the technological imaginary of a spacecraft?’. Imagination is fantasy, dreamlike, surrealism and is created by the individual so is a personal concept. This linked in really nicely with my essay question as I’m looking at Tuf Voyaging by George, Martin which is an imaginary character with imaginary situations. In the class it was interesting to compare both my essay subjects on their imagination complex and see how it affects their spacecrafts.

Culture and technology. At first ‘space technology can seem to have no culture. They are not fashion statements owned and customised by individuals. Spacecrafts are functual, scientific and therefore supposedly culturally neutral’. I thought I could use this statement to further look into and reference in my essay. On one hand space technology has little culture but on the other it has created so much culture. From the futuristic fashion styles from the 60’s to now, its influenced our modern culture and still does today.

Overall this subject has been extremely thought-provoking and beneficial to not only my personal love of space technology but to my graphic work to. Learning more about the space travel timeline and how it affects modern society is a crucial part of our design history.


Sources used:

Do Spacecrafts Imagine?

The focus for today constellation class was looking at how technology can interact with imagination. Asking the question; what is the technical imaginary of a spacecraft? I found this quite relevant to the question as I’ll have to look into an imaginary spacecraft. The question I chose was to pick a spacecraft from fiction and write an ethnography of the day-to-day life of its crew. Comparing these finding with ones from Comet Catcher. The spacecraft I have picked is very different to how Comet Catchers works.

I’m using a spacecraft called The Arc run by Havilland Tuf, a solitary space trader who has a great love for cats. This character is from a book called Tuf Voyaging by George Martin. It is a fascinating look at how he runs his ships and how he wants to better himself everyday. I thought it was a very different look into a spacecraft compared to Comet Catchers so would make for an in-depth essay.

I have started to look into Tufs customs, habits and mutual differences which are relevant for an ethnographical look at his life. Some basics are that he is a vegetarian with a love for animals. He clones his cats for his benefit, having sonic abilities helps Tuf  read people’s minds. It is a big part of his day, looking after and creating more cats. Tuf also spends most of his time learning and bettering himself something he shares with the premise of Comet Catchers. I am going to compare the two much more in the coming days and hopefully will start the basis for my argument.

20 Questions to Ask an Object

For my reading task in my second constellation lesson we had to answer 20 questions on an object of our choosing, then write a paragraph on the answers. This is my outcome:

My object is a portable piece of history. Consequently only in grayscale and features a quite content looking lady in a beautiful black dress. When touched it feels soft and dirty as if it’s been wore down by human hands. The smell matches its feel with an earthy, dusty scent quite comforting for me. So thank you H. H. Dudley for your beautiful photography and thank you ‘Auntie Evie’ for wanting to capture the past. My item was probably made in a small factory or printing press somewhere in Worcester. After kept by loving family members, who kept this postcard sized piece of card sacred for decades. Loved and cherished by her family, loved and cherished by me. Stored away in my collection of old photographs, all giving me a sense of happiness and wonder when I look upon them. She holds so much history, so many secrets and i’m so curious to find out what. Who are you ‘Auntie Evie’? and what could you tell me? I imagine something considering class. She must have been fairly upper class so own a dress such as hers and the beautiful furniture around her. It was custom to take portraits in times before, much like we do now although back then it actually meant something. You weren’t taking a picture to show your friends how drunk you were last night, you’d take pictures to send as gifts to loved ones far away or to remember a significant events. A time when objects like this meant something. Now where are they? Just discarded to the charity shops where I find them. Each one distinct and each one adored holding so much personal value to me. My photograph of ‘Auntie Evie’.