Making subjectivities: How China’s DIY makers remake industrial production, innovation & the self
Date & time: 29 July, 11:30– 12:30 PM
Venue: CNM Meeting room, AS6, #03-33, 11 Computing Drive, Singapore 117416
About the talk
In this talk, Lindtner shows how the visions and practices of DIY (do it yourself) making are taken up in China. She analyzes, in particular, how DIY maker ideals of open-ness, resourcefulness and individual empowerment are formulated in relation to China’s political discourse of building a creative society. To demonstrate, she draws from my ethnographic research that traces the set-up of China’s first hackerspace to the proliferation of making through a growing number of hackerspaces, events, and partnerships between makers and manufacturers. China’s makers are driven to remake what creativity and industrial production mean today, both exploiting and challenging political rhetoric. By setting up hackerspaces, designing open technologies and starting up businesses, they enable alternative subject positions, for themselves and others. The contribution of this work is three-fold. First, it fills a gap in prior research by providing an account of a culture of technology production. Second, it proposes the analytical lens of “making subjectivities” to open up the concept of the online identity or netizen to include the use and design of technologies as central to crafting heterogeneous positions in society. Third, it demonstrates that makers alter the system from within, contributing to our understanding of the relationship between technology use, production, society, and the state.
About the speaker
Silvia Lindtner is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Irvine and at Fudan University. She studies DIY maker culture, with a focus on its intersections with manufacturing and entrepreneurialism in China, expressions of selfhood and collectivity, and globalized processes of labor. She brings together ethnographic methods with design methods, actively participating in the technology production she studies. Her interdisciplinary work contributes to and draws from STS, information and communication studies, digital media studies, design, and cultural anthropology.
CNM’s esprit de corps hit another high note this Commencement season when faculty and staff hosted the Class of 2013, older alumni, family, friends and industry partners to an evening of fun, friendship and food on 11 July at University Hall Auditorium.
Amongst the guests from industry was CNM’s Industry Advisory Council member, Han Fook Kwang. Fook Kwang who is Managing Editor, The Straits Times gave a short talk about social media, its effects and implications for communicators.
CNM alums, new and old, found the evening delightful. Said Melissa Lim (Honours, 2013): “I was rather tired after the commencement ceremony and commemorative photo-taking but I had an enjoyable evening reconnecting with some of my juniors and seniors over dinner. It was a delight to chat with the lecturers again after the end of the school term two months ago, especially in such an informal setting”.
Cheong Ka Kit (Honours, 2013) appreciated the homecoming because it “allowed me to thank my CNM lecturers who have helped me during my studies. Special thanks to Retna and the administrative team for making the event a huge success.’
For Melissa, the homecoming was also a time for reflection of the past and growth: “When I first stepped into CNM, I did not have a clear plan on what I wanted to do in the future and I did not know what to expect from the course. Over the years, however, CNM has helped me gain a better understanding of the communications and media industry, learn more about myself and what I want (or what I don’t want) to do in the future. More importantly, it helped me sharpen my skills in both communications and design”.
In keeping with tradition, the celebration also provided an occasion to recognize the contributions of outstanding students, alumni and faculty. This year, the CNM Honor Roll includes:
CNM Best BA Student – Mr Darryl Seah
Darryl is a media enthusiast and mathematics educator. He utilizes communication and education theory to help children solve mathematical problems in vibrant and creative ways. He wrote the popular guidebook, Daily Dose of Maths (P1 to P6) with the aim of sustaining children’s interest and confidence in the subject, and sharpening their skills for mastering it.
CNM Best Honors Student – Ms Nguyen Thi Hong Phu.
Phu has a strong background in events management, client account management and corporate communications. Her dynamic personality, passion and leadership make her not only an active volunteer with SG Cares (Singapore Cares) and its partnering NGOs, but also an ideal FASS Champion fund-raiser for student bursaries in Class Giving 2013. She was also a Cluster Leader for promoting social bonding among students of different nationalities at the Prince George’s Park Residences.
Best Well-Rounded Student – Ms Angelina Tan.
Like the other award winners, Angelina is a top performer both in and outside of school. As the brand strategist for the World Federation of United Nations Associations, she has contributed substantially to rebranding the Federation and providing strategy for pitches targeting sponsors, donors and partners. Angelina is also the founder of ‘Fit Angels’ a social media network connecting 147,000 members around the world to whom she tirelessly provides advice on fitness, nutrition and directions in life. Throughout the year, Angelina has put to great use her public speaking talent as master of ceremony in many CNM events.
Best Alumnus – Mr Donald Lim, Vice-President, Concepts, Savant Degrees
As co-founder of Savant Degrees, a web management company, Don is responsible for driving strategy, business development and for creating for clients, compelling experiences that balance product innovation, user intent, branding and business needs. He also heads the agency’s human resources, playing a key role in shaping it into being one of Singapore’s best places to work in. Since its founding in 2009, Savant Degrees has grown to become one of Singapore’s leading digital innovation companies, with a team of more than 25 of the region’s most talented product managers, UX/UI designers and software engineers. Savant Degrees has worked with well-known global and regional brands in business and government in markets across Asia. Brands it has partnered include Banyan Tree, Converse, Media Development Authority of Singapore, Nike, Standard Chartered, Sony and Vodafone. Outside work, Don develops the digital product design field.
The CNM Best Teacher Award 2013 went to A/P Lee Seow Ting, A/P Wyse, Lonce and Ms Mary Lee
The CNM Best Teaching Assistants for 2013 are Ms Gayatheri Manikam and Mr Christopher Ong
The CNM Outstanding Researchers are A/P Cho Hichang and Dr Julian Lin
Ms Malathi V received the 2013 CNM Outstanding Service Award