Tuesday, March 24, 2015

#DietDH 04

            For this weeks #DietDH, the topic is visualization – as in Data Visualization. I do not have much experience with developing displays for quantitative data. My current art project and research is by means of qualitative methods or categorical data. I have viewed different styles of visualization through a couple of websites.
            For me, these readings have offered additional insight to the process of developing data visualization. Tooling Up for the Digital Humanities, from Stanford goes over the basic technical aspects and forms. From the visual complexity (VC Blog) a 2009 posting of Information Visualization Manifesto by Manual Lima investigates the ten requirements that developed his manifesto.
            I find Lima’s argument ambiguous about coexisting ideas and methods with informational visualization and information art. Especially, with the previous paragraph confirming his ten requirements aiding in the structure of projects, while if the choice is made to pursue outside of his requirements he labels it as experimental. He continues by specifying terms for these experimental types of visualizations, such as new media art, computer art, algorithimic art, and the “term” he recommends Information Art. It is worth reading through the comments of this blog post about the lively discussion on art and science, experimentation, and the role of aesthetics.
            The third reading is a more recent blog posting that places a more human side to research and offers insight to how other humanity disciplines are (gender and ethnic studies) using visualization. Opaque is Being Polite: On Algorithms,Violence, & Awesomeness in Data Visualization a 2013 posting on Jen Jack Gieseking website details the process of gathering data, learning new software with an outcome, and digital media’s placement with social inequalities. Gieseking points out the human element of coding that influences (along with corporate marketing and government groups) algorithms. Then these preprogrammed algorithms sort through databases for specified information. Some examples from the blog post are facial recognition software and language as data. I will be keeping both of these readings as future reference to explore. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

#DietDH 03

#DietDH reading group has caught up from the last of the winter weather in the Mid-Atlantic area that disrupted the weekly schedule. Today, ‘Tinkering’ is being explored within pedagogy as part of digital scholarship. Jentery Sayers investigates the topics of digital media and collaboration within his essay, Tinker-Centric Pedagogy in Literature and Language Classrooms.
            A reference that I related to in Sayer’s essay is the “image of a lone scholar.” He defines a lone scholar from the humanities as using single-authored publications for the production of knowledge. I could relate this concept to my fine art background and ‘lone’ art practice. Sayers does acknowledge the artist and studio-based learning in his essay (pg. 282). I have experience tinkering, beyond pushing traditional fine arts mediums. They include taking storytelling workshops during my graduate studies, so I could experience the narrative in the perspective of vocal instead of visual.
            My use of tinkering and collaboration has contributed to my interest in using digital media for my current projects and research. I still think the “lone” scholar or artist is still relevant to the production of knowledge and art. Gender and race are still sparsely represented as well as being integrated into defining scholarship and the art world. The first example that came to mind from the art world is Carrie Mae Weems. In the Winter of 2014 she was the first African American woman to have a retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. In this thought process and conversation from last weeks reading group of integrating voices from diverse backgrounds, Sayer does acknowledge the transformation of scholarship from traditional humanities to digital practice.
            His argument is that the transformation of scholarship is a slow process and the traditional methods do not disappear, but need to be mobilized.  Tinkering offers adaptation, then these adaptations need to be tested, along with social and physical feedback of the process. There is a parallel to these literary concepts within the art world and the studio-based learning process. I am interested in the gray areas between the “lone” artist and collaboration. I am ending this blog post with a couple of questions that can be explored with tinkering within pedagogy and collaboration.  How can digital media be used effectively so the public knows of the perspectives from minority groups working with a collaborative project?  What has been historically gained from the 1960’s social/ counterculture revolution and can digital media bridge those gaps to the current tensions of gender and race? 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

#DietDH 02

For #DietDH week 2 the readings and related websites explore the language used toward defining online archives, editions, collections, and projects. In his essay, Kenneth M. Price investigates the terms edition, project, database, archive, and thematic research collection with the Walt Whitman Archive. In his investigation in explaining digital scholarship with the use of these terms, he argues how they are defined can either clarify or obscure the context.
            I have chosen the term project for this blog post, because the examples in Price’s essay are perceived by traditional and digital humanities aesthetics. The traditional humanities context was considered with the description toward receiving funding for the Walt Whitman Archive. The funding program defined the term to be something that wasn’t permanent or to become a finished idea. While the digital and Internet presences of the Walt Whitman “project” fit with the open ended characteristics of digital media – as in the project would evolve from future content. It is commonly known that archives do have an active use within scholarship, but the process of organizing a digital humanities project usually entails a team effort and digitalization of information or objects. This is why defining specific terms according to digital scholarship research could aid in the understanding of the foundations of the project.
            At the end of his essay, Price does acknowledge that not limiting the text to the current definitions can lead to the evolution of new terms for digital humanities. I do question if there will be universal terms for digital scholarship, because of the diverse backgrounds of scholars and the traditional context to disciplines that are still being taught currently. In addition, this would create a bland Internet surfing experience.
            The reading provided a literary example and I wanted to include a couple of examples that have aspects of visual and material culture, museum exhibition space, along with social economics. The two examples also implement their own definitions of Price’s terms. 
            Dina Kelberman's Smoke and Fire Collection of found digital objects (gifs & animations) this collection is ongoing and is an online exhibition at the New Museum in New York City. John Freyer’s project, All my Life for Sale, explored the relationship of his personal objects and the Internet commerce of ebay, which created a collection of online sold objects. 

Continuation of March Column/ Hanging Out Exhibit

        In addition to my March Anthropology News column focusing on the On the Line project, I contributed to a project for the Hanging Out exhibition. I submitted four postcards to Anh Ly’s Permanent Press piece. Anh Ly collected images and memories related to laundry. She implemented the postcard format to reflect nostalgia and an intimacy from these individual experiences with the images and handwritten text. 
Example of a postcard front and back 2015
My postcards did not reflect the practical notions of laundry or clotheslines. My images and texts were from my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree exhibition entitled Out on a Line. The main installation was a clothesline on which I had hung stiffen found clothes and paper clothes that looked like they were in a breeze.  As for my handwritten text portion, I mostly reflected on memories from my observations of viewers maneuvering through the clothesline within the gallery space. I chose this topic, because it referenced the Winter 2015 University of California Riverside graduate seminar exploration of artwork that was developed in a response to clotheslines and use of gallery space.
This experience offers insight toward concepts of a reflexive relationship. This is in regards to the present development from the seminar and my approximately twenty-year old observation of a gallery space with the subject matter and presentation of clotheslines.  

Example of a postcard front and back - 2015

More about the Hanging Out Exhibition at 
The AfterImage Gallery  

Anthropology News/ March Column

For my March Anthropology News column, Unfolding of the On the Line Project, I was able to gain insight of the evolution of the project from participants sharing their experiences and projects with me.
The text can be viewed at this link

Link Disclaimer: This link is only active for 4 months. The monthly section of the column will be archived in AnthroSource a digital database of American Anthropological Association publications.  

Screenshot of March Column - Courtesy of Anthropology News