Qulture: A Digital Space for Equality

jonathan October 30, 2012 0
Qulture: A Digital Space for Equality
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As some of you may already know– I am in gradate school, developing this website into a full service application for mobile devices. Yeah, soon there will be a video app for this too!

I wrote a paper for my theory class about creating social transformation for marginalized communities, breaking down the global powers in place,  using  digital landscapes to hone new political agendas within our social and cultural struggles as queer people of color.

For all of the big readers, philosophers, academics, etc., I copied and pasted my article down below.

For those of you who want a quick outline: 

  • The creation of a Trans-Queer person of color electronic application can reach millions, without the dominant involvement of large corporations.
  • Karl Polanyi, he predicts the opening of a new era in the history of humanity that calls for the institution of a mixed economy, broadly regulated within a national framework and yet also highly respectful of individual rights.
  • To create a space that allows users to express their views, stories, art, lives and cultures with each other.
  • To connect artists,  students, community organizers social leaders and academics to strengthen the reverse force of the dominant power.
  • “to cross borders, connecting and re-wiring a variety of disciplines and always take full advantage of the free spaces in the media that are continually re-appearing.”
  • Electronic space is inscribed, and to some extent shaped, by power, concentration, and contestation, as well as by open-ness and decentralization.
  •  The values that shape “net and self” or the human’s self portrait from the digital, global and surveillanced web universe, creates an alternative digital and collective diaspora of identity for misrepresented, oppressed cultures. Today’s artists, are networked human beings that share highly watched videos, blogs, podcasts, music, visual art, and poetry about being Queer-Trans to create a cultural identity online.
  • ” a space that has consultants that represent and contribute to the diversity of Qulture, through their sexual identifiers as transexual male-to females, female-to-males, cis-gendered, bisexual, lesbian, gay, ally; or humans that can identify in cultural context as Pan African, Asian American, Chicana/os, Indigenous, Jewish, South American, etc.
  • Qulture, can be a viable way of reaching thousands of people; to release their inner cultural beauty and true self, cry, rant, express through art, diversity and cultural acceptance. However, it’s social structure as a possible non-profit or collective that can generate money to create more media and fund projects is still in question.
  • Our examination of business models and approaches to network and fund are still in discussion. One day, the mission that we wish to gain from this project may too be one day questioned, studied and discussed as a case study in the digital arts.

To commemorate the pre-production stage of my mobile application, Qulture (a multi-platform application/ an electronic space/ a multi-media exchange outlet), I would like to discuss the philosophical framework that is going to drive my project as a part of discovering it’s direction, mission and goals. It is becoming more apparent that as I conduct research and read academic essays, that Qulture’s function has to have digitally reconstructive nature for diasporic marginalized communities, specifically, but not limited to the United States. The creation of a Trans-Queer person of color electronic application can reach millions, without the dominant involvement of large corporations, allowing users to express their views, stories, art, lives and cultures with each other. Our development team can use digital space as a form of connecting artists,  students, community organizers social leaders and academics to strengthen the reverse force of the dominant power.

Bourriad’s essay Relational Aesthetics would define this focus as “a production that produces the visual otherwise put “looped information” of the dominant culture” (24). It’s a space that allows for the reconstruction of our own identities as people of color through its collective nature and process constructed by the group, that represents all spectrums of the Trans-Queer community. Although this project may be described as “hedonistic, or zealously euphoric” per Lovink and Garcia’s view on new virtual landscapes with a political or socially revolutionary agendas, their essay, The ABC of Tactical Media; defends the risky way of approaching a project focused on “human beings over money” by saying “to cross borders, connecting and re-wiring a variety of disciplines and always take full advantage of the free spaces in the media that are continually re-appearing. Their work challenges the dichotomies that have not facilitated cultural transformation for migrant communities into a wider movement. The heterosexist, patriarchial, culturally oppressive system that dominates the web needs to be challenged and joined in a way that doesn’t regurgitate the same oppressive qualities of the current society. We want to create a space that has consultants that represent and contribute to the diversity of Qulture, through their sexual identifiers as transexual male-to females, female-to-males, cis-gendered, bisexual, lesbian, gay, ally; or humans that can identify in cultural context as Pan African, Asian American, Chicana/os, Indigenous, Jewish, South American, etc.

Qulture’s own integrity, as being culturally inclusive, this application has generated a new space for the creation of political discourse about our identities as people of color within the White and Westernized consumer driven digital globe (or perhaps better described as digital universe). Electronic space is inscribed, and to some extent shaped, by power, concentration, and contestation, as well as by open-ness and decentralization as described by Sassen (194). Therefore, the major challenge will be for this art creation to rely on it’s own human popularity and grassroots marketing approaches to become an interactive art project of “social interisce”. The interstice term was use by Karl Marx to describe trading communities that elude the capitalist economic context by being removed from the law of profit: barter, merchandise, autarkic types of production, etc.

 

In the last chapter of The Great Transformation by anthropologist, Karl Polanyi, he predicts the opening of a new era in the history of humanity that calls for the institution of a mixed economy, broadly regulated within a national framework and yet also highly respectful of individual rights. Brian Holmes supports that in explaining that “the systemic crisis or it’s “looming shadow that has motivated the increasing levels of social change (209).” It’s evident that our society is transforming in a way that queerness and cultural identity is discussed within new digital spaces and “modernizing pores that enforces our abstraction from historical and cultural traditions (Holmes, 212).” The values that shape “net and self” or the human’s self port

rait from the digital, global and surveillanced web universe, creates an alternative digital and collective diaspora of identity for misrepresented, oppressed cultures. Today’s artists, are networked human beings that share highly watched videos, blogs, podcasts, music, visual art, and poetry about being Queer-Trans to create a cultural identity online. One example is Xicano activist and poet, Yosimar Reyes (http://vimeo.com/3400169) who is brings his poetry into collectives, universities and web groups that document his work and share it through their digital networks. Los Angeles-based artist, Daniel Morales is considered “a link to various niche and ethnic markets for traditional and new media projects.” His blog, Besetu.com, is an official news source for monolingual Latino gay men http://besetu.com/). “Queer Videos of Color for studs, bubbles, girlies, and weirdos of all kinds” is how New Yorker and queer musician, B. Steady, describes herself on Youtube where she uses her voice, talents in electronic music composition and video production to create media spreading cultural awareness.


The execution and launch of our Trans-Queer person of color electronic community, Qulture, can be a viable way of reaching thousands of people; to release their inner cultural beauty and true self, cry, rant, express through art, diversity and cultural acceptance. However, it’s social structure as a possible non-profit or collective that can generate money to create more media and fund projects is still in question. Our examination of business models and approaches to network and fund are still in discussion. One day, the mission that we wish to gain from this project may too be one day questioned, studied and discussed as a case study in the digital arts.

 

Works Cited
Nicholas Bourriaud, Relational Aesthetics (Les Presses du Reel, 1998), 7-
Saskia Sassen, “Electronic Space and Power” in Globalization and Its Disconnects (New York: The New Press, 1998) 177-194
Ed. Will Bradbury & Charles Esche The Revenge of the Concept: Artistic Exchanges, Networked Resistance in Art and Social Change  (New York: Harry N Abrams, 2007)

Karl Polanyi The Great Transformation (1944)

Media References
Yosimar Reyes For Colored Boys Who Speak Softly, Vimeo http://vimeo.com/3400169
Daniel Morales, Besetu.com, http://besetu.com/).
B Steady Hey Girl Hey http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdR5n-H4450

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