Week 8: Space Exploration/Jasmine Huynh

This week in class we focused on the topic of space exploration. The statement that stood out most in my mind from Thursday’s lecture was when Professor Vesna told the class that a short visit to space was nearly $38,000. The concept of space exploration is new and very interesting, and it pushed me to think further about the topic. I decided to explore the idea of “cultural space” for my blog post this week.

After some searching, I found a very interesting blog called “Space & Culture.”

http://www.spaceandculture.org/

This is a Canadian-based blog with five authors from various educational backgrounds, but all authors have an interest in sociology and technology.  The blog entries discuss current events, namely those relating to how society treats and views certain spaces and technologies. The topics range from the most recent protest issues to photos of detention facilities. While it seems like almost any topic is acceptable on this blog, the authors do a really good job of linking how their particular posts to a central idea of “how is society impacted by the changes in this space.” They draw examples and support from the media, pop culture and the past.

Two entries on the blog caught my attention. The “Lost in Translation” entry, http://www.spaceandculture.org/2009/01/24/city-lost-in-translation/, on January 24, 2009 was interesting because it showed how one specific space can be viewed in many ways. In this particular entry, the author takes the city of Tokyo and uses video clips to show how one city can be portrayed as several different things. The author shows how Tokyo can be viewed as both a “setting space” for movies and an “active space.” As a setting space, Tokyo is a brilliant backdrop for the filiming of movies. As an “active space,” Tokyo is bustling, crowded and very difficult to maneuver.

The other entry on the blog which sparked my attention was the one entitled “Where Cars Go to Wait.” http://www.spaceandculture.org/2009/01/24/where-cars-go-to-wait/ It was also written on January 24, 2009. I liked this particular entry because it was quite witty, with a title that has a dual meaning, particularly for Angelenos. Its hard to believe that so many cars can be crammed into one area, or space. The title is witty because most of the time, individuals must wait inside their cars in traffic. But, in this entry, they showcase how cars themselves must wait inside the huge lots in order to be sold. The type of space that is discussed in this entry is unique from the space mentioned in lecture, and the space mentioned in the “Lost in Translation” blog entry. The “space” discussed here can also take on two meanings: 1. It refers to the plot of land that the cars are parked on and 2. Space can mean room, as in, there is no more space for any more cars.

Clearly, the word “space” has multiple meanings. It can mean outer space, a specific country, or a specific plot of land.

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