October 26, 2012

Public Secrets

Daniel's hypertext "Public Secrets" is clearly another example of genre crossing. While we see a central aim for her discourse, that is to better the women's prison system, it is her approach to this goal through this hypertext that needs review. I feel like if this was a narrative to spark action, it lacked in conviction. The visuals, if used needed compliment the text. Her addition of their audio clips along with their transcripts does give us a touch of relativism with these women, because their voices sound less like monsters, which they are normally perceived as, and more like real people. The array of interviews gives her argument depth and strength in numbers. Aside from the content and back over to the context, Daniel doesn't give us bold colors but rather relaxing color schemes that conflict with her purpose. In relation to Miller's "genre as social action," Daniel fails to use a medium with enough accessibility for change. Why had I not heard about this project before? Why was it part of a site with a large number of other projects on it? If this medium wanted to spark change its first task should be to be made aware of.  

8 comments:

Victoria said...

I actually disagree. I'm not sure where in the essay you felt she lacked conviction, but on the subject of visuals, I think she accomplished everything she set out to do. The color scheme she uses is meant to be seen in stark contrast to one another, like the realities of indoor/outdoor life. It is not meant to be relaxing, but alienating, therefore I don't think it conflicted with her purpose at all. I do however agree with your opinion of the voice transcripts, as I hadn't thought about the uses of actual voices in that context before, which makes it all the more powerful, I think.

MeganW said...

Your idea about genre crossing brings to mind Miller's essay and her topic of trying to work with genres through different theorist and rhetorical situations. We discussed in class how genre is situational and what is included depends on the goal and society's point of view, so I bring to question is this website really genre crossing or is it a genre in itself? I mean we have already study one case similar to this one (Pinepoint) that had the same context. While this presentation is said to be a critique of the women's prison I saw it more as an informative piece because like you said there was not much cal to action similar to the Pinepoint presentation there was no call to action it was simply there to give the public a view from the inside. So I wonder if Miller was viewing these websites based of the theory of genre being a social action if she would classify them as a new type of genre or if she would declare them to be just an extension of something else?

michelle reyes said...

Realizing how much emphasis you weighed on the medium and whether or not that its awareness is readily available is something I did not do. I also saw as a text that contained interchangeable characteristics that made it a critique on the prison facility. We had very different views on the piece and I believe you had a couple of angles that I did not pick up on to make this essay an example of genere crossing.

Megan Conner said...

I think Daniel does a fine job of representing her point visually.The colors aren't necessarily soothing, but more somber and boring, as life in prison is. I agree that hearing the actual voices of the inmates adds credibility to the work because it makes the women more normal and human. I disagree with you in that I think the use of her medium was completely successful and she was able to get her point across.

tgraban said...

Did anyone notice the explicit calls to action throughout the essay? I remember at some point (although, I couldn't go back and reproduce the moment) seeing a link to "what you can do," or "more on Justice Now," which was the organization Daniel worked with while she was writing the essay. The Editor's Introduction may give more insight into this ...

The "Exit" node took me to a completely different place, as well. I began to see a speech act much more like a direct appeal to get involved in Justice Now. This raised to my consciousness the importance of some of the other questions that are being discussed on the blog right now ... i.e., whether we identify different voices as heteroglots if they only represent Daniel's agenda, or does she present the multivocality as a medium for other agendas?

It's worth checking out these threads, and determining whether they do (or even should) cause us to read differently.

-Dr. G

Stephen Craun said...

I believe that Daniel wasn't so much concerned with the asthetic appeal of the medium(in regards to colors and other superficial traits) rather than the dynamic accumulation of perspectives contained within her critique itself. What i mean to say is that Daniel's article illustrates the principles of heteroglossia in the way that she combines her own perspective based upon referential evidence with the pesonal testimony(voices) of various immates to illustrate the faults in our epistemologically based false sense of the fundamental concepts we cherish so greatly.In doing this she is in a certain respect transcending the genre of the critique of the Women's correctional system by allowing for the critique of the greater corretional system, termed the "prison industrial complex" Although her focus is primarily based on the correctional institutions, or prison industrial complex,her critique can also easily be expanded to serve as an illustrative critique of the hypocrisy of the socially recognized justifications for the existane of the prison industrial complex itself, which is based upon the social recognition of "unknown knowns" that we socially embody as "public secrets"

Shawn Binder said...

This makes me wonder how much of the visuals of a text contributes to how much people are drawn to it. We live in a time where so much of our world is visual. McCloud makes a point that we tend to identify more with things that look like us or we attempt to try and relate ourselves even to things. I wonder if Daniels included the voice recordings and other things in an attempt to make us relate even more to the prisoners.

Zach van Dijk said...

I don't think you can really fault the project's function because of a lack of reader awareness..there are plenty of worthwhile projects that are overlooked because of a lack of promotion. I do agree with your conception of the project itself though, a leading compilation that lacks conviction. While the multiplicity of content and viewpoints does create tone, there holes you poke in the medium (and Daniel's presentation through this medium) in my opinion diminish the intended tone.

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