Thursday, April 26, 2007

Backdoor of C-80


It opens to the backyard of the house where I grew up, but everytime I used to open it, it opened up a whole new fragmented world of mine. I remember being standing by it after I lost my nth water flask in school, although nothing much have changed till today itself, I like this whole notion of cuddling up memories behind that backdoor.

In the clustered, compartmentalized and symmetrical houses we used to live, thanks to OIL INDIA LIMITED c-type quarters, every backdoor was just the same in around 300 houses around me. I could see the backyard of my next line of c-type quarters from my backdoor. so, it opens up to a common backyard which was around 20-25 feet apart, what lies in between is the world I am talking about.

Ducks 'quack quack' ing and galloping with their young loved ones behind them, toddling towards the lonesome pool of muddy water thanks to the incessant daily tropical rains in Assam. If people were not careful in my place, we would have had the best rain forest surpassing Amazon. Thanks to OIL’s regular cleaning up of our backyard, probably I never wanted the Duck to turn into an endangered species lost in the rain forest. Now, from Ducks to home breed local hens which use to fly marvelously when chased around. You have no control on their promiscuous behavior, and no control over where they shall decide to lay eggs. At times, I remember my Dad used to go out with a torch in late evenings with my Mom worried leaning over our backdoor waiting for one of our super cool dude of a rooster to come home. She sighs "Where can he be? Helping the neighbors chicken to lay eggs, that lousy rooster, I think we can eat him for lunch tomorrow (sigh!!)."

So, there we are, my two brothers gasping in horror behind me, I holding the stretched skin on the neck of the helpless roosters and my Dad whispers a 'sura' from the Quran, and the life of the roosters escapes to the almighty, until he struggles to let go of it. Another sad end of a cool dude of a rooster, the neighboring chickens will lose a string of cool 'DNA' for ever I guess.

A dirty multi layered nala (sewage) used to overflow right behind the backdoor, during the continuous rains in summers, when Mom makes pakora and chai, which I am still crazy about. I enjoy the sight outside my house, water filling up every flower pots of my Mom's dream and pricey owned garden of our C-80 quarter. The backyard is then the neglected door of our house, because if you attempt to open the backdoor, water used to flush in and spoil my Mom carefully crafted dinning room. So, no opening the backdoor during those downpours. I still used to do that, to just feel the excitement of the water flushing in and leaving its marks, its like playing a distorted guitar peace, when your partner is sleeping while driving on the long road in serene suicidal Dubai roads.

Truly the ‘backdoor’, I can’t stop talking about. It opens you up to a these whole new possibilities for fractured memories knocking on your door of nostalgia. All you need to do, open your backdoor and let them in for the moment, to bask the glory of degenerated present living, where new memories shun you for being you in this tattered piece of the world which is left, where you live miles away from home where all the memories lie, and you seek to make new memories without them.

Friday, April 13, 2007

a moment for a right reason


On the opening page of UNDERSTANDING MEDIA (1946), Marchal McLuhan remarked that "the 'content' of any medium is always another medium. The content of writing is speech, just as the written word is the content of print, and print is the content of the telegraph"

As his problematic example suggest, McLuhan was not thinking of simple repurposing, but perhaps of a core complex kind of borrowing in which one medium is itself inroporated or represented in another medium. Dutch painters incorporated maps, globes, inscriptions, letters, and mirrors in their works. In fact, all our examples of hypermediacy are characterized by this kind of borrowing, as is also ancient and modern eKPHRASIS, the literacy descriptions of works of visual art, with W.J.T Mitchell (1994) defines as "the verbal representation of visual representation". Again, we call the representation of one medium to another REMEDIATION, and we will argue that remediation is a defining characteristic of the new digital media. What might seem at first to be an esoteric practice is so widespread that we can identify a spectrum of different ways in which digital media remediate their predecessors, a spectrum depending on the degree of perceived competition or rivalry between the new media and the old.
At one extreme, an older medium is highlighted and represented in digital form without apparent irony or critique. Examples include CD-ROM (or DVD) picture galleries (digitized paintings or photographs) and collection of literary texts. There are also numerous websites that offer pictures galleries (digitized paintings or photographs) and collection of literary texts. There are also numerous web sites that offer pictures or text for users to download. In these cases, the electronic medium is not set in opposition to painting, photography, or printing; instead, the computer is offered as a new means of gaining access to these older materials, as if the content of the older media could simply be poured into the new one. Since the electronic version justifies itself by granting access to the older media, it wants to be transparent. The digital medium wants to erase itself, so that the viewer stands in the same relationship to the content as she would if she were confronting the original medium. Ideally, there should be no difference between the experience of seeing a painting in person and on the computer screen, but is never so. The computer always intervenes and makes its presence felt in some way, perhaps because the viewer must click the button or slide a bar to view a whole picture or perhaps because the digital image appears grainy or with untrue colors. Transparency, however, remains the goal.

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