When we were told that we would be able to demonstrate what we learned throughout the semester in the form of a creative project, I was excited because the material we have been dealing with is so hard to contain on a sheet of paper. Though it took a little while to pin down exactly what we wanted to do, because the choices were practically unlimited, it was so fun working with my group to try to portray Bennett’s ideas of edible matter and agency through a medieval-themed cooking show. It was also so interesting, surprising (in a good way!), and enlightening, to see how the other students in the class dealt with the concepts we’ve talked about this semester. It really made it clear that traces of these theories can be found pretty much everywhere from Lady Gaga to pecan pies.
A lot of people dealt with similar concepts as my group did, dealing with assemblages and how individual parts come together to create a whole action or ‘thing’: Thomas’ kinexs (sorry if I spelled this wrong Thomas!), our pottage, Austin’s writing process etc. Some of the projects that interested me the most in a “wow I never would have thought of that!” sort of way was Autumn’s re-naming of the lais and Victor’s Lady Gaga presentation. Not only were Autumn’s books beautiful but they really made you think about how the lais we read would have been greatly altered if their object of focus was not human action but some of the actants we talked about. For example, In Guigemar, if the hermaphroditic deer was the center of the story, the story would end when she/he died. We would never know or really care what happened to Guigemar except that he was cursed for killing this deer. Also I felt so much more for the poor nightengale who was so wrongly killed and never wanted to be involved in these neighbors love affair when Autumn put it in her new lais perspective.
When Victor got up to present and Lady Gaga came on the screen I thought, “Ok, how on earth is he going to make this work?” and he did! So well too! I can completely see how Lady Gaga has removed her human identity from herself and taken on so many different personas and even objects to make a cultural, political, or environmental point. She was a great example of how a person can un-objectify herself and, to use Jane Bennett’s description, shimmy back and forth between object and thing.
Basically, good job everyone! I very much enjoyed listening to/painting/eating/watching your presentations!