Sculpting Data (and Painting Networks)


On March 28, 2015, members of the Duke S-1 Speculative Sensation Lab will take over a panel at the 2015 AEGS Conference <how do you do Digital Humanities?>. (See here for the conference website, which includes the full program.) General conference info:

The conference will be held in Tompkins Hall on the NC State University campus in Raleigh, NC, on Friday, March 27th and Saturday, March 28th.  Friday evening we will host a keynote panel of Digital Humanities scholars. These scholars will discuss how they “do” Digital Humanities in their research and pedagogy. On Saturday, participants will present their research in 15 minutes presentations.
Again, the final panel of the conference, Session IV (1:55 – 3:10pm on Saturday, March 28), will be devoted to the S-1 Lab’s recent work, especially the Manifest Data project that I have been posting about here. Titled “Digital Metabolisms: Manifesting Data as a Collaborative Research Process,” the panel consists of the following presentations:

Amanda Starling Gould, Duke University, “Digital Metabolism: Using Digital Tools to Hack Humanities Research”

Luke Caldwell, Duke University, “Leveraging Benevolent Spyware for Humanities Research”

Libi Striegl, Duke University, “3D Printing as Artistic Research Intervention”

Karin & Shane Denson, Duke University, “Sculpting Data”

David Rambo, Duke University, “Manifest Data as Digital Manifest Destiny”

(Observant readers of this blog will notice that I am to give two presentations on March 28: both at NC State and at the SCMS conference in Montreal. In fact, Karin will be representing the two of us in Raleigh, but we’re putting together some presentation materials that we’re quite proud of — and that we think will creatively solve the logistical problems of being in two places at once! More soon!)


Film Series on “Imagining Media Change” — Screening #4: Hugo

After successfully celebrating the “conceptual centerpiece” of this term’s media initiative activities — our symposium on “Imagining Media Change” — we are going to wrap up this semester’s film series with a screening of Martin Scorsese’s Hugo (2011), curated by Ilka Brasch.

On the one hand, Hugo is a celebration not only of George Méliès (the French filmmaker who is considered to be one of cinema’s founding fathers and a pivotal creator of early trick film), but a collage of 19th and early 20th century media-technological history, featuring everything from trains and automata to late 19th century trick film and 1920s comedy. On the other hand, however, Hugo is also a celebration of the possibilities enabled by the digital age’s return to 3D. As Therese Grisham has pointed outHugo draws on “cultural stereotypes of the past” while simultaneously underlining “our definite entry into the episteme of the post-cinematic”.

Besides offering a form of bricolage or pastiche, Hugo can be read in terms of media archaeology, as both a revisiting and appropriation of visual culture’s history. The film assembles 19th and early 20th century anecdotes in order to provide a new 21stcentury or even post-cinematic anecdote.

As always, the screening — on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 (at 6:00 pm in room 615, Conti-Hochhaus) is free and open to all.

Also, if you haven’t already done so, you might want to consider watching Méliès’ Le Voyage Dans La Lune, one of the turn of the century trick films to which much in Hugo relates back. Here’s an excerpt:

Post-Cinematic Affect: Post-Continuity, the Irrational Camera, Thoughts on 3D

[UPDATE: It appears that La Furia Umana is down right now. In the meantime, you can find the roundtable discussion here as well:]

Issue #14 of La Furia Umana just came out, and in it you’ll find a roundtable discussion between Therese Grisham, Julia Leyda, and myself on the topic of “post-cinematic affect” — Steven Shaviro’s term for the contemporary media environment, following cinema’s displacement as the twentieth century’s dominant medium. This is the second roundtable discussion on the topic, the first (involving Julia Leyda, Nicholas Rombes, Steven Shaviro, and Therese Grisham) having also appeared in La Furia Umana (here). While the first roundtable focused on the first two Paranormal Activity films, the discussion this time around touches on District 9Melancholia, and Hugo, among others, and reflects on “post-continuity,” the “irrationality” of contemporary cameras, and the uses and abuses of 3D. In my own responses, I also connect these things to the topic of plurimedial seriality. Originally, Steven Shaviro was also scheduled to participate in the discussion, but he unfortunately had to withdraw due to other commitments (you can get a feel for how busy he’s been lately from his recent blog posts). Nevertheless, I think the discussion worked out quite nicely, and a further collaboration between Shaviro, Grisham, Leyda, and me is in the works. More on that soon…