Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Comparing Spaces as Glitch

It’s safe to say that I definitely prefer DL1 over 2449 Mason Hall. In comparing my trek to class, I prefer DL1. I don’t mind taking the bus because riding the bus is peaceful. Meanwhile, walking in large open public spaces, like Central Campus, makes me nervous because I have social anxiety. My fear of the Diag’s stifling mob is probably irrational. North Campus just feels less claustrophobic; it’s surrounded by trees. The trees on Central Campus appear unnatural to me. It’s as if the buildings came first, then we erected these trees to make the buildings seem less artificial. That’s why the squirrels act so strange; they’re really aliens.

Despite being on campus for 3+ years, I still get confused about where Angell, Mason, and Tisch are. After all, it's one enormous building. I also find it odd that you have to walk up a flight of stairs to be on “the first floor" because the ground level is labeled as “the lobby.” When comparing the names of the two spaces, DL1 is just easier to remember than 2449 Mason Hall. DL1 demands its own authority because it’s the Design Lab; there is only one Design Lab and it’s in the Duderstadt. 2449 Mason Hall, however, is just another room, a cubicle on the second floor of Mason Hall in the colossus that is the Angell Hall building. That was a mouthful.

Sometimes I feel like I'm cold blooded because I’m extremely susceptible to temperature. I get hot too easily. I get cold too easily. If asked to choose between living in the Caribbean Islands or the Arctic Circle, however, I would pick the latter. You can always put more layers on, but you can’t really strip off your skin. What I’m trying to say is “I would rather be cold in DL1 than awkwardly sweating in 2449.”

There’s also more to look at in DL1. People-watching through the glass wall beats staring at white walls. I think it allows us to productively space out. Maybe it’s more accurate to say think non-linearly. As a consequence, DL1 functions as a tangential learning space. An analogy that best describes my understanding of learning in the two spaces involves the concept of glitchr art, creative expression translated from digital malfunctions and errors. If DL1 is glitchr art, 2449 Mason Hall is a glitch. If I’m not making sense, this video might help.

The artist, on Vimeo, describes the piece as such:
The video captures an episode of the popular TV show in the act of being shared by thousands of users on bittorent. The video simultaneously acts as a visualisation of bittorrent traffic and the practice of filesharing and is an aesthetically beautiful by product of the bittorrent process as the pieces of the original file are rearranged and reconfigured into a new transitory in-between state.It also avoids infringing the copyright of Madmen as it is incomplete.


  1. So are you saying that catching bits of people's lives in the Dude, is beautiful despite not knowing their full story?

  2. That's not what I meant to say, but I think I agree with you. People-watching in general is beautiful because they can be whoever you want them to be. It's all in your head and you sort of make up characters. I tend to do this wherever, not just in the Dude. It's just nice to have a change of scenery. In class, I usually try to sit somewhere so that I can look out a window, unless it's really hot. Hope this answers it?