Videographic PechaKucha

Inspired by Jason Mittell’s latest blog post on “Videographic Deformations,” in which Jason discusses an exercise we did at last summer’s NEH digital humanities workshop on Scholarship in Sound & Image in the context of what Lisa Samuels and Jerome McGann call “deformative criticism,” I’ve finally gotten around to uploading a multiscreen compilation of “videographic PechaKuchas” that I made in Middlebury, based on the videos made by all the participants in the workshop. Be sure to check out Jason’s post for the essential context, and: Enjoy!

(For best image quality, check out the video on vimeo, where you can view it in 1080p HD.)

Weird DH at MLA 2016

weird-dh-2

On January 7, 2016, I’ll be participating in a panel, organized by Mark Sample, on “Weird DH” at the MLA Convention in Austin. Here’s the lineup:

107. Weird DH

Thursday, 7 January3:30–4:45 p.m., Lone Star C, JW Marriott

Program arranged by the forum TC Digital Humanities

Presiding: Mark Sample, Davidson Coll.

1. “Speculative Data: Postempirical Approaches to the ‘Datafication’ of Affect and Activity,” Shane Denson, Duke Univ.

2. “Analyzing Belligerent Erasure: Weird Digital Humanities and/in the Native,” Jeremy Justus, Univ. of Pittsburgh, Johnstown

3. “‘Weird Tales of Super-K’: A Synesthetic Journey into the National Security Archive’s Kissinger Correspondence,” Micki Kaufman, MLA

4. “Danger, Jane Roe! Using Embroidery and Electronics to Make Data Weird,” Kim Knight, Univ. of Texas, Dallas

Subject:

Keywords:

 

And here’s the abstract for my talk:

Speculative Data: Post-Empirical Approaches to the “Datafication” of Affect and Activity

Shane Denson, Duke University

A common critique of the digital humanities questions the relevance of quantitative, data-based methods for the study of literature and culture; in its most extreme form, this type of criticism insinuates a complicity between DH and the neoliberal techno-culture that turns all human activity, if not all of life itself, into “big data” to be mined for profit. Drawing on recent reconceptions of DH as “deformed humanities” – as an aesthetically and politically invested field of “deformance”-based practice – this presentation describes several methods by which a decidedly “weird” DH can avail itself of data collection to interrogate and critique “datafication” itself.

The focus is on work conducted in the context of Duke University’s S-1 Speculative Sensation Lab, where literary scholars, media theorists, artists, and “makers” of all sorts collaborate to produce computational and data-driven “things to think with” that blur the boundaries between art and digital scholarship. One such project, Manifest Data, uses a piece of “benevolent spyware” that collects and parses data about personal Internet usage in such a way as to produce 3D-printable sculptural objects, thus giving form to data and reclaiming its personal value from corporate cooptation. Another ongoing project uses data collected by (scientifically questionable) biofeedback devices to perform realtime collective transformations of audiovisual materials, opening theoretical notions of “post-cinematic affect” to robustly material, media-archaeological, and aesthetic investigations. These and other projects, I contend, point the way towards a truly “weird DH” that is reflexive enough to suspect its own data-driven methods but not paralyzed into inactivity.

Bibliography:

S-1 Speculative Sensation Lab. Manifest Data. Collaborative art/theory project. Description online: <http://s-1lab.org/project/manifest-data/>.

S-1 Speculative Sensation Lab (with contributions from Luke Caldwell, Karin Denson, Shane Denson, Amanda Starling Gould, David Rambo, Libi Striegl, and Max Symuleski). “Manifest Data: A Kit to Create Personal Digital Data-Based Sculptures.” Hyperrhiz: New Media Cultures 13 (2015): <http://hyperrhiz.io/hyperrhiz13/sensors-data-bodies/manifest-data.html>. Web.

Sample, Mark. “Notes Towards a Deformed Humanities.” Samplereality (2 May 2012): <http://www.samplereality.com/2012/05/02/notes-towards-a-deformed-humanities/>. Web.

Samuels, Lisa, and Jerome McGann. “Deformance and Interpretation.” New Literary History 30.1 (1999): 25–56. Print.

Shaviro, Steven. Post-Cinematic Affect. Winchester: Zero Books, 2010. Print.

 

Out Now: Hyperrhiz 13

hyperrhiz13

Hyperrhiz 13 is out now. The special issue on “Kits, Plans, Schematics” includes the Duke S-1 Lab’s contribution “Manifest Data,” along with a variety of other great projects utilizing data, physical computing, bodies, and other living and nonliving things. Check it out!

Conversations in the Digital Humanities at Duke

page-events-dhduke

Today, Oct. 2, 2015, the Franklin Humanities Institute, the Wired! Lab, the PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge, and HASTAC@Duke will be presenting “Conversations in the Digital Humanities,” the inaugural event of the new Digital Humanities Initiative at Duke University. More information about the event, in which I will be participating alongside colleagues from the S-1: Speculative Sensation Lab, can be found on the FHI website.

Also, all of the 10-minute “lightning talks” will be live-streamed. The first block of sessions, from 2:15-3:45pm EST, will be streamed here, and the second block, from 4:00-5:40pm, will be viewable here. (Apparently, the videos will be archived and available after the fact as well.)

Here is the complete schedule:

2:00 – 2:15
Welcome and Introduction to Digital Humanities Initiative

2:15 – 3:45 
Session 1 (10 minutes per talk)

  1. Project Vox (Andrew Janiak, and Liz Milewicz)
  2. NC Jukebox (Trudi Abel, Victoria Szabo)
  3. Visualizing Cultures: The Shiseido Project (Gennifer Weisenfeld)
  4. Going Global in Mughal India (Sumathi Ramaswamy)
  5. Israel’s Occupation in the Digital Age (Rebecca Stein)
  6. Digital Athens: Archaeology meets ArcGIS (Tim Shea, Sheila Dillon)
  7. Early Medieval Networks (J. Clare Woods)

3:45 – 4:00
Coffee Break

4:00 – 5:40 
Session 2 (10 minutes per talk)

  1. Painting the Apostles – A Case Study in “The Lives of Things” (Mark Olson, Mariano Tepper, and Caroline Bruzelius)
  2. Digital Archaeology: From the Field to Virtual Reality (Maurizio Forte)
  3. The Memory Project (Luo Zhou)
  4. Veoveo, children at play (Raquel Salvatella de Prada)
  5. “Things to Think With”: Weird DH, Data, and Experimental Media Theory (S-1 Lab)
  6. s_traits, Generative Authorship and the Emergence Lab (Bill Seaman and John Supko)
  7. Found Objects and Fireflies (Scott Lindroth)
  8. Project Provoke (Mary Caton Lingold and others)

5:40 – 6:00 
Reception

Things to Think With

mindwave2

As a late addition to the program, the Duke S-1 Speculative Sensation Lab will be participating in “Conversations in the Digital Humanities” this coming Friday, October 2, 2015, at the Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke. The event, which will consist of a series of brief “lightning talks” on a range of topics that run the gamut of current DH work, will take place from 2:00-6:00pm in the FHI Garage in Smith Warehouse, Bay 4. More info here: Conversations in the Digital Humanities.

Here is the abstract for the S-1 Lab’s presentation, which I will be participating in along with Lab co-director Mark Olson and our resident programmer Luke Caldwell:

“Things to Think With”: Weird DH, Data, and Experimental Media Theory

S-1 Speculative Sensation Lab

The S-1 Speculative Sensation Lab, co-directed by Mark Hansen and Mark Olson, experiments with biometric and environmental sensing technologies to expand our access to sensory experience beyond the five senses. Much of our work involves making “things to think with,” i.e. experimental “set-ups” designed to generate theoretical and aesthetic insight and to focus our mediated sensory apparatus on the conditions of mediation itself. Harnessing digital technologies for the work of media theory, this experimentation can rightly be classed, alongside such practices as “critical making,” in the broad space of the digital humanities. But due to their emphatically self-reflexive nature, these experiments challenge borders between theory and practice, scholarship and art, and must therefore be qualified, following Mark Sample, as decidedly “weird DH.”

In this presentation, we discuss a current project that utilizes consumer-grade EEG headsets, in conjunction with a custom Python script by lab member Luke Caldwell, to reflect on the contemporary shape of “attention,” as it is constructed and addressed in individual and networked forms across media ranging from early cinema to “post-cinema.”

Sculpting Data (& Painting Networks) — Full Video

Above, a video explaining the collaborative art/theory work that my wife Karin and I have been doing lately — both as a part of the Duke S-1 Speculative Sensation Lab‘s Manifest Data project and in a spin-off project that will be going on display at Duke University next month. The video is being shown right now (at the time of this posting) at North Carolina State University — at the 6th annual AEGS conference “How do you do humanities?,” where Karin is representing the two of us and presenting alongside Amanda Starling Gould, Luke Caldwell, Libi Striegl, and David Rambo.

Wish I could be there, but I’ve got another panel here at SCMS in Montreal today…

Sculpting Data (and Painting Networks)

data-gnome-animation

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!)