Describing oneself as a maker—regardless of what one actually or mostly does—is a way of accruing to oneself the gendered, capitalist benefits of being a person who makes products.Chachra, Debbie. “Why i Am Not a Maker.” The Atlantic, 23 Jan. 2015, https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/01/why-i-am-not-a-maker/384767/.
Growing up, I exclusively heard praise for the idea of a “maker.” Even with my plentiful experience with “making things,” I always felt as if something was off as I never heard any skepticism about the movement whatsoever. Moreover, this article stuck out to me because it was my first “real” exposure to criticism about the “maker” movement which is often overlooked. In particular, I found it interesting that the idea of a “maker” is just a way for people to better position themselves for their own benefit and appear more impactful than their non-making peers.
As I mentioned earlier, I have an ample amount of exposure to the notion of the “maker.” I spent a lot of time programming, 3D printing, etc. throughout my life, but it never felt that impactful to me. Moreover, the article made me realize why I like baking bread so much. Baking bread, at its core, is making something, but I do it because it makes other people happy which feels more meaningful. I feel as if “making” fails to include the component of others and helping people.
In terms of digital humanities, I have a lot of experience using many of the tools, but I am interested more so in how they can be used and applied to other subjects. Although Austin mentioned that we will not be doing it this term, the 3D modeling project of Carleton seemed super interesting, and it would be cool to have an assignment or project where we visualize something from Carleton’s own archive to the greater Carleton community.
I think you brought up an interesting point about making without feeling an impact from the act. This reminds me of the mass production of objects, like tea bowls, where each person makes a particular object repeatedly. In history, these people often did not even see the final product or even own one because it was out of their price range. The relationship they had with the production of these objects was distant and mechanical. I think the “maker” identity not only is between the individuals and society, but also between individuals and their production.
I really like this post and I agree with Lila about the implications of your assertions here … !