Editor's Introduction: Physical Bodies and Digital Spaces
Keith Leisner, Meredith Coffey, and Hannah Harrison
Transcript for Editors' Introduction
Hello, I’m Keith Leisner, one of the three co-managing editors of issue 6.1 of The Journal for Undergraduate (Multi)media Projects that you will meet today. This issue, titled “Physical Bodies and Digital Spaces,” features three projects that all deal with the body in one way or another. Our first project, “Maximus Waste,” is a website that examines the body’s relationship and its ethical obligations to its eating habits. Our second project, “Plastination,” is a mixed-media infographic that reveals the absurdity of the body as artwork when that artwork has been too far removed from its originating context. Our last project, “Through My Own Eyes,” places the body in World War II sites located in present-day Poland.
I’m Hannah Harrison, Co-Managing Editor for TheJUMP. Our first project, the website “Maximus Waste,” was created by Jack Dorst, Joe Erwin, Sarah Lemke, Lia Miller, and Isabella Ruta. It features on its home page a humorous documentary-style film that lays out the project's central points about the extent of food waste and strategies for addressing the problem. The rest of the website goes on to provide further information about food waste, extended footage from the film, an opportunity to "confess" one's own food waste habits, a space to pledge to be a more "mindful eater," and more resources for those interested.
Hi, I’m Meredith Coffey, Managing Editor for The Journal for Undergraduate Multimedia Projects. While “Maximus Waste” is instructive on how we can become more mindful eaters, our next project, Hannah Moreno’s “Plastination,” playfully suggests that instead of “wasting” our bodies after we die, we can consent to have them plasticized. In this process, a dead body is removed of all toxic chemicals and rendered into a rubber-like state. Ironic in tone, the project “Plastination” ultimately shows how through inappropriate rhetoric about and graphic images of plastinated bodies, plastination exhibits have become more about their shock value than their scientific value.
Our final project, “Through My Own Eyes,” a video created by Michael Horn, seems like an appropriate place to end because it confronts the question of whether or not Jewish travelers should go to Poland in the present day. The video takes viewers on a virtual tour of one student’s experience traveling to Europe to witness concentration camps. Horn briefly recounts the history of the Holocaust and offers contemporary examples of residual anti-Semitism in Poland. He argues that despite the challenges of making this trip, especially the remaining threat of anti-Semitism, the experience is worth the risks.