Before meeting Gian at the iCom we mail each other and discovered that we have something in common already: Italy.
Then we agreed on doing a visual portrait of each other before and after “the date”. So we sent each other a couple of pictures and then the rest was free to our imagination.
I looked on the Internet to find out something about Gian before actually talking to him. It feels a bit like a private investigator trying to find clues about someone.
Following links and trying to understand who this person is without having ever met him/her.
I enjoyed this part and I wished we had more time to get to know each other this way a little bit better. Maybe asking questions via e mail or sending clues about our lives to the each other.
Through the internet, plus the photos and from the little bit of e mail exchange we had I imagined Gian being very immersed into his work, building circuits and playing around with electronics components all the time. Then I found some other stuff on the Internet like “the erotic computation group” and the fact that plays in the mit orchestra and the second photo he sent me and that changed a bit my impression of him. The more artistic side of Gian started to be clearer to me.
Then we met through the iCom and had a long nice chat where we tried to get to know each other somehow, through questions about our lives, our families, our past..etc. The iCom definitely changed my impression of Gian even if I still don’t feel I know him at all.
Last Tuesday me and Gian met over the iCom and we had a nice long chat.
I find the iCom a bit uncomfortable, or maybe was the idea of having to meet someone I never really talked to. But it was quite nice as we discovered that our parents are from the same region in Italy. Then what really struck me was Gian very often travels to Singapore to meet with his girlfriend: 24 hours of plain plus time difference! I found that a beautiful image. We talked a little about Singapore, which seems to be “the consumer city” and doesn’t see such a nice place to live in.
The fact of seeing the person live when talking to each other added a lot more details to the encounter and made it more real than just e mail contact and internet clues. But the mediated image through the iCom portal was somehow still abstract as there is a strange relation between the image and the sound that make the experience something
In between a phonecall and a movie. Anyway I think that different media suite different reasons for wanting to meet someone. For example of you are meeting someone for other reasons that practical then The iCOm contact could be a bit too much for a start. I would prefer to get to know the person through other more indirect media before getting to an iCom contact.
ME and Matt decided that we were going to get to know each other in a more natural way, that involves everyday normal interaction instead of a single date “interview” as matt called it.
I knew matt a little bit, just from working in the same place and having got help on electronic stuff from him a few times!
It takes time to know people and a week is definitely just the start.
Me and matt had different opportunities of getting to know each other. Going to get a sandwich from the local bakery together, going to the Japanese restaurant with other friends, a tutorial on the basics of electronics.
I much prefer the “analogue way of meeting a person” principally because we can be much more expressive and immediate. Things like looking someone in the eyes or glancing at the person, hand and body gestures, all these ways of communicating things are so natural and important and can be hardly replaced through an electronic medium.
What I think “I know “ about the little bit I got to know matt is probably wrong! But I am going to try and guess anyway. I really enjoyed getting to know matt a little bit more and I was glad we both preferred to do it in a more natural way, spending actually a little bit of time together instead of the Q and A tipe of thing.
I don’t know much about his past except that he was at MIT, travelled to china and now is here in Dublin, living with Herve in the MLE apartments near the lab. I think matt is a very sociable person, like to work with other people and spend time with friends. But as well he likes his privacy and his space as often works at night in the lab and fall asleep in the hammocks for a few hours during the day.
Interacting with matt is very nice as he is not loud or aggressive at all but has a calm and deep way of getting into things. He is now going to give me and Arianna grinds in how to submit the breadboard to our will, topic I which he master very successfully.