M Téllez

#LIFEONLINE Worksheet: Reminiscing for Defense

What happens when you don’t have a physical body or can exist in multiple places at once?

The Life Online workshop debuted at the 2014 Allied Media Conference in Detroit, inviting participants to share their experiences & memories of life online. We discussed early online memories, anonymous/fractured personas, strange/unsafe/nurturing cyberspaces & supervision (or lack thereof), and speculated what’s to become of our cyberselves in the growing state of big data algorithms and total identification.

It’s been a long time coming but the worksheet available at the AMC session is now available for download in PDF form. Click on any of the pictures below.

Life Online worksheet page 1life-online-worksheet-02life-online-worksheet-03

1st PART: HOW TO USE THE WORKSHEET (sheets 1 + 2)
You are collecting memories, remembering what used to exist, how you used to feel, what kinds of things you did and where, when you first began to have an identity somewhere other than In Real Life. You will use these memories for an important 2nd step. You can fill out the worksheet questions alone, individually, or read them out loud, with a group.

In our experience reading the questions off one-by-one with your group, then going back over them one at a time together is a super fun thing to do. People get excited remembering and sharing things they don’t really talk about in public. It’s also really cool when your group is made up of people from different age groups/generations, places, genders, and cultures because the things people remember can be super different and interesting.

If you are doing the worksheet as a group activity or part of a discussion, we recommend marking a good chunk of time just for talking. You can also have someone who keeps track of time so you don’t all get waaay way off track all hype talking about chatrooms and IMs and TOP 8s.

~ Write, map, draw your responses ~

  1. Describe an early or past experience you had online.
    This can be a description of virtual place/s or space/s, an event, a habitual occurrence, a feeling or atmosphere–– anything!
  2. “Where” was it?
    Examples: A chat room, fansite, forum, MMORPG, message board, AIM/Yahoo/MSN chat window, blog or journal platform, text exchange, etc.
  3. What were the “physical” characteristics of the virtual space/s?
    Examples: Design/layout & colors, event sounds, other users present, etc.
  4. What were the “cultural” characteristics in the space/s?
    Examples: Etiquettes, community morals/rules, handle/screen name conventions, in-jokes, taboo actions/behaviors, etc.
  5. Did you choose to “be” someone other than who you were In Real Life (IRL)? What was this virtual self (or selves) like? Describe the personality, abilities, appearance, relationships, or anything else you remember.
  6. What were your actual physical surroundings like? Were other people present? How old were you? What was the device you used to get online like? Did you have rules or limitations for using the device or being online?

2nd PART: TALK ABOUT HOW LIFE ONLINE FEELS NOW (sheet 3):
A whole lot of us experience life online nowadays almost explicitly through using Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Google, and other corporate owned social media networks that gather all manner of information/data from us in exchange for using their “services.” For a lot of us, these cyber spaces are very different from the ones we first encountered years ago. Many of us feel like we have to exist in these cyber spaces and networks in order to know what’s going on In Real Life anymore. Even the way we access these cyber spaces/places—the physical devices and interfaces we use—might be really different, from a big desktop computer to the smartphone in our hand. We think it is important and useful to compare and dissect current cyber spaces of today from ones we remember.

  1. Why do we all use these online spaces? Why do they look and feel and run the way they do? What are the consequences of my participation in these online spaces?
  2. Who made these cyber spaces? Why? What do they gain from them? How were they built and how do they run?
  3. What’s missing from these cyber spaces of today?
  4. How can I tell??
  5. Is there a kind of life online that I wish existed? What would I do differently than what currently exists?

Yea I miss the days when cyberspace was space. Now it's like a shitty mall full of mirror stores.

3rd PART: HOW DO YOU FEEL? REFLECTING & DOING
The worksheet is a meditation. It is a tool to help you think about what used to be, and how you felt, and how you feel today. For those of us in Metroplarity, life online used to be glorious anonymity in an AOL role-playing chatroom, a familiar digital dormroom in a text-based Multi User Dungeon, a PHPbb forum where your avatar, signature, and post count were the currency of cool, before Likes and Followers existed. For us now, life online is frustrating, surveilled, and a distraction from things we wish we were doing. We wonder what life online is like for children, teenagers, youth, for people whose lives IRL are being negatively impacted because they don’t have a connection to the networks. We wonder how our lives will be shaped by the ambitions of the governments, advertisers, and telecom corporations who harvest our data, and the privileged gatekeepers who will decide what to do with it.

This is a meditation.

BONUS PART: RECOMMENDED READING

WHAT CAN AN ALGORITHM DO? by Josh Scannell

The consequence of “whitewashing” data collection obviously materializes in the policing of the “real world.” IBM claims that their data analytic programs helped reduce crime in Memphis by over 30%. Microsoft, with the NYPD, hopes that the Domain Awareness System’s capacity to do things like digitize and compute bodily radiation levels and human spatial mobility will effectively nullify the emergence of criminal behavior. Every time a body is stopped and frisked by the NYPD, the relationship that is enacted is not a one-to-one, but also a production and performance of data, virtualizing the dissolving and dangerous body of crime into a graspable and controllable horizon of the real. These spectral data bodies are not preempting the real; they are actively producing the real. Data is neither representational nor hauntological (Derrida 2000), it is ontogenetic.

WHAT DO WE SAVE WHEN WE SAVE THE INTERNET? by Ian Bogost
Do we have such a “better world” thanks to the “free and open” Internet that we can feel 100% great about “saving” it? You’ll say “yes,” I know you will. Even to pose the question is considered obscene. You might even say so, posting angrily on multi-billion dollar services like Twitter and Facebook and Tumblr. Such “discourse” is the very point! The system is working!

BIG DIARIES: THEA BALLARD ON THE SURVEILLED EXPRESSIONS OF YOUNG WOMEN
By far the more formative of these platforms was LiveJournal, a space of intense feeling and ecstatic opinions, often a way to self-consciously posit myself as a person of a certain taste in a way that felt impossible elsewhere. Entries see-sawed between meditations on insecurity and an uneven family life, proclamations of new indie music or fashion magazine discoveries—a hint of honest, unhinged adolescent emotion tempered by re-imagining myself through cultural signifiers. This was viewed by a small circle of friends and a few internet acquaintances acquired through pop-punk message boards and Last.FM. But the fact that it was viewed at all served as a validation of my existence, injecting realism into the imagined selves about which I wrote.

COMING OF AGE WITH THE INTERNET: REMEMBERING WEB 1.0 by Jacob Savage
Back in 1994, AOL wasn’t even hooked into the World Wide Web—you couldn’t browse web pages—so we did the only thing we could do: we went into chat rooms and pretended to be people we weren’t.

PEOPLE WHO WRITE ABOUT THE 90S INTERNET AND HOW CYBERSPACE WAS THIS CRAZY SPACE BACK IN THE DAY by Maggie Eighteen
WHAT WERE THESE CYBERFEMINIST ACADEMICS DOING ON THE 1990S INTERNET?
WHY GLAZE OVER THE BASE? THE EMBARRASSING INTERNAL SEXUAL WORLD WHICH WAS THE NET? THE PREDECESSOR TO NOW? WHY FORGET THE MICRO GOVERNANCES & TRIBE LAWS OF AOL GUILDS? OF BULLETIN BOARDS AND FORUMS? OF MIRC? ::WONDERS WHY THEY NEVER MENTION ALL THE UNDERSTOOD RULES OF MARKING ACTION:: OR HOW THE CHATROOM COMMANDS DICTATED OUR BEHAVIORS? THE IMPORTANCE OF A FONT AND COLOR, THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE 10 CHARACTER AND 16 CHARACTER SCREENAMES? THE MALICIOUS TOS BOOT?
THE LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAG?

http://cyborgmemoirs.tumblr.com/tagged/life-online


A/S/L: Where Looks Don’t Matter and Only the Best Writers Get Laid by Elvia Wilk

Rather than proving to each other that they were humans, users of the developing system had fantasies of transcending their bodies altogether

TEENS REACT TO 90s INTERNET

KIDS REACT TO OLD COMPUTERS

A BRIEF GUIDE TO INTERNET NOSTALGIA by Gavin Haynes
…featuring the Hampster Dance, AskJeeves, Badger Badger Badger, and a few more.

some throwback 90s memorabilia jawns
http://cyborgmemoirs.com/map
http://oneterabyteofkilobyteage.tumblr.com/
http://www.internetarchaeology.org/
http://www.oocities.org/
http://reocities.com/

OrDeR Of ThE ShAdOw Wolf cyberzine
http://www.legowelt.org/cyberzine.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Originally posted here 26 February 2015
More METROPOLARITY

STYLE OF ATTACK REPORT

2017 Lambda Literary Award Finalist in LGBTQ SF/F/Horror
"Style of Attack is amazing! It's like our generation's Snow Crash but way better; feel like it's exactly the kind of work that people need to be making and reading right now. Metropolarity is killing it."
METROPOLARITY is a DIY sci-fi collective based, bred, and tested in the colliding future-present of Philadelphia. This Style of Attack Report contains select work from METROPOLARITY's four founding members, who contribute theory, practice, and experience of home grown speculative visioning for both historical documentation as well as personal and collective survival. The collection serves as a model and a record of how Black, brown, queer, low-resource, working, ill and in-recovery people can project themselves into the future, conjuring resources, technology, and magic that aid us in the present.

Also this sci-fi is FIRE cuz the crew don't play.


122 pages
4.25" x 7"
13.00 USD

Buy Now
For wholesale, contact metropolarity at gmail.
Request a copy at your local library.
Add it to your Goodreads.

UNCOLLECTED TALES

The Ark Charted Prism That Promised It's Light
Galactic
The Three Known Tales of Hatim Muzumbo
And Now I Am the Loveliest

FUTURE NOW EPISODE

JOURNAL OF SPECULATIVE VISION & CRITICAL LIBERATION TECHNOLOGIES: SE 2 EP 1

FULL PDF
A Young Thug Confronts His Own Future
IT IS OKAY - Laura Pollard
SPONSORED MESSAGES from grey nebraska
commentary from Azeem Hill, Fred Pinguel, n Carolyn Lazard
BATTLEFIELD REPLICA SYMMETRY RETROSPECTA - Moor Mother
THE 40TH ST. CON - Skribbly LaCroix
CONSTANTEMIEDOCONSTANTE - Natis
DISTRICTS - Aja Beech
FLYBOYS - Billie Blazer
G.P.S. - Althea Baird
LIFE ONLINE WORKSHEET - Eighteen & Ras
PORTRAIT OF THE ACTIVIST AS A YOUNG SUPER-HERO - Alex Smith
BLACK QUANTUM FUTURISM - Rasheedah Phillips

2013 ARCHIVE SPECIAL

JOURNAL OF SPECULATIVE VISION & CRITICAL LIBERATION TECHNOLOGIES: PILOT + SE01 EP01

FULL PDF
Gentry
Yolanda
The Great Collapse and Our New Community
D.I.Y. Wormhole
IS SCI-FI POLITICAL: Our intentions
In Which Afro-Barista Dreams of a White Dwarf Star

PILOT EPISODE - THE POLITICAL

Hello Hello - Shane Jenkins
The PTSD - R.Phillips
Redundancies - Warren Longmire
Culling the Herd - C. Renee Stephens
Cyborg Apocalypse - M Eighteen Téllez
Networks
Resource Spotlight
Crew Love

EPISODE 01- SPACE INVADERS

The Adhesion of the Eyelids - Patrokolos
A 21st Century Mind Revolution - Melissa Moore
Creating New Space-Times - R. Phillips
centerfold - Pyroglyphics/Shawn Alleyne
Networks
Resource Spotlight
Crew Love

AUDIO & VIDEO

LISTEN

DESIRE HOPE DESPAIR Speculative Storytelling podcast
DEBRIEF: (1) SOFT TARGETS (2) LASER LIFE
YOU HAVE 4 MESSAGES
A Glimpse at Death - Dystopian Fiction x Grind Music
Performance: Sent(a)Mental Project

WATCH & LISTEN

DEBRIEF: (1) SOFT TARGETS (2) LASER LIFE
Our Church LASER LIFE: a video recap
Smut, Cyberspace, and Hard SF: A video situation with Ras and R.Phillips
This is Our Church: A Laser Life Recap
In Which Afro-Barista Dreams of a White Dwarf Star
FILE THIS SHIT UNDER THE GENRE OF GOOD: Laser Life, the lifeblood.
THE WORLD HAS MOVED ON: A Wednesday evening
NODE CONSTRUCTION: A SUNDAY AFTERNOON
PERFECT TEXT BASED WIT: Ras Mashramani reads at Moonstone Arts Center
"Jenna is making love to a woman wearing a Louis Vuitton hazmat Suit . . ."
Previously at the Laser Life . . .

WORKSHEETS & POSTERS

#LIFEONLINE Worksheet PDF
WEAPONS OF PERCEPTION Poster PDF

REVIEWS

No Spoilers Beyond Episode 1 anime review series continues! Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress
The Town Without Me / finally some anime
Alex Smith in Stories For Chip
"Elysium" by Jennifer Marie Brissett
Why I Kinda, Sorta Don't Really Totally Love the Edy Hardjo's "The Secret Life of Super-Heroes" or Whatever
What's That On Her Bookshelf: Our year-end media picks
Media Blackout: Game one of our media review series