The concept of metis first plopped itself onto my radar during a graduate course that explored intersections between gender, society, and technology. In scholarship and discussion a common theme carried through the course duration, “How can we strategically find ways to empower underrepresented groups and minorities and give voices to the oppressed?” This piece is my stepping stone toward that idea. Reading Iris Marion Young’s Menstrual Meditations, Susan Douglas’s Empowered Sexism, and Ann Brady’s Interrupting Gender as Usual; I became intrigued by messages of media in our society and culture. Specifically the concept of metis--defined as cunning intelligence--and situated in the realm of rhetoric appeals to me because it’s a tool that can be invoked by anyone, anywhere at any time.
Detienne and Vernant stated, "[Metis] always appears below the surface, immersed as it were in practical operations which, even when they use it, show no concern to make its nature explicit or to justify its procedures." The visual aesthetic of this digital artifact is composed of grays intentionally to denote the blurring and subtlety surrounding metis. By using the muted color scheme and contrasting with bright, bold links, the piece also advocates clear and bright articulation to the explorative artifacts that help build on the knowledge and understanding of the content. This decisions, made consciously, support concepts explored in new media as an accessible, transparent (Bolter and Grusin) space.
In the same way that the design choices reflect the sometimes indiscernible motives of metis, the structure and layout selected for this piece denote an arguably procedural presentation for interaction. Ian Bogost has broached the idea of process persuasion in his work Persuasive Games and specifically defines the concept of procedural rhetoric as, “the practice of using process persuasively” (28). This leads me to believe that metis could be an integral part of procedural design and support the concept of persuasion not only in video games but in other digital projects. Although this piece does not explore fully the concept of metis on procedural rhetoric, it is a hope that more ideas can be generated from this approach and form a comprehensive repository of definitions, examples, and case studies where the two concepts intersect.
As a personal exploration into metis this project was born out of a project to utilize digital space. While my interest of metis as a topic has grown, I have also used this opportunity to explore concepts in digital scholarship including those mentioned above and within the pages of this artifact. It is my intention to continue contributing to this piece as my knowledge and experience with metis, digital rhetoric, and technical communication continues to grow.
It is my hope that this piece will serve as a growing resource for individuals, educators, scholars, and general visitors regarding metis its definition and its usage..