Blog Post#3

I still remember the first time for me to go to Flushing. What attract me of that place is not what they sell or what I can eat. It is the affect. It is the feeling of home. Something so familiar that made me feel safe and settled. Just as Heather Houser points out in the  Posthuman Glossary, “[affect] is unqualified” and “affect are not recognized cognitively, they are still ‘irreducibly bodily and autonomic” (15). Not only human interaction conveys affect, the entangled relationship between physical and natural existence of the space also shaped what we feel in the area. Affect makes me love Flushing, but it also makes me feel concerned. I can feel the “vibe” change within Flushing district when I am walking around the space, so I wonder why? What leads to the differences? Is this good or bad? 

While I am working with my audio production, one of the process that is definitely necessary is noise reduction. Since I have many street scene sound sources to edit, a lot of them contain tremendous amount of noise. I start to wonder, what should I get rid of and what shouldn’t I? Noise is ” a level of interference in the communication of a message” and is “deemed meaningless by choice” (287). The process of determine if a sound is noise or effective information is very subjective and highly relied on the context. Inigo Wilkins discusses the “randomness” of noise, which randomness can be a concept that can potentially leads to great biases depending ones’ needs for information or ones’ intention in the space. When I am editing my sound source, I start to re-evaluate the concept of noise. For most of the pedestrians or residence in Flushing, sounds from the vendors, vehicles, and the crowd can disturbing. But for me, these “noise” are valuable. The signal which these “noise” conveyed may be filtered off by residence, and for me, these signals become valuable. The automatic grouping of sound, separation of noise and informational sound, reflect the natural human processing process as well. Similar automatic response often happens on many of our other attitude of matters around us. Just like when I bring in my own perception of “good and bad” while investigating the area, these preexisted perception can become problematic.

When I first start to investigate my precarity in Flushing, I had many preliminary ideas about the economic disparities happening in Flushing. However, as I continue working on my research, I found it is not exactly the case. I began to reflect the essence of my precarity. As I started to talk with the the locals, I found the most severe concerns are about housing, but not the direct threat from the business development. Originally, I thought local vendors will reject many of the restrictions to them. But surprisingly, many of them are very understanding to the current situation. I found one of the quote in the section of the Material Feminisms in the Posthuman Glossary very applicable to my research even my precarity do not have much to do with feminism. When we are trying to make effort to change the precarities, it is crucial “tp respect and meet well with, even extend care to, others while acknowledging that we may not know the other and what the best kind of care would be” (243).

When Brandon Jones is discussing the topic of Mattering, he emphases matter’s capacity to matter. He believes that “matter here is not ground or essence, but agentive, ‘produced and productive, genderated and generative’ ” (245). I hope my audio and video work can bring in the same power. I hope they can continually generate affect and create influences beyond my work. I wish my work can work as a lead, leading people to see the part of the place that they have neglected for long.

~ by Andia Yu on March 31, 2019.