Unfinished Business: 21st Century Home Economics: Jane Addams Hull-House Museum
The new exhibit tells the untold story of the first generation of home economists who were equal rights advocates, chemists and public health advocates, labor reformers and innovators who sought to redefine domesticity. Filled with participatory experiences and hands-on activities, the exhibit describes the home economists’ visionary work to create a world with healthy food for all, fair labor practices for domestic work, ethical consumerism, and community childcare solutions.
material_culture  home  exhibitions  home_economics  domestic  labor  feminism  food 
2 days ago
About
FIND is an innovative cultural laboratory supported by NYU Abu Dhabi that forms intersections and dialogues between artists, writers, scholars, designers, technologists and the UAE landscape in both a historical and contemporary context. Through the production of art, stories, scholarship, workshops, and analogue and digital initiatives, we engage Emiratis, UAE residents, and global citizens with reflections of the UAE and its connection to the larger world.

FIND looks for opportunities to document the UAE from the inside out and the outside in by creating intersections and dialogues between people who have been meaningfully engaged with the UAE landscape from both within the UAE and around the globe
FIND elucidates our shared global citizenry by leveraging artists/scholars to form dialogues and intersections between different cultures in the UAE with their creative/scholarly work
networks  archives  material_culture  Arab_world  multimodal_scholarship  exhibitions  digital_exhibition  art 
2 days ago
slab | spatial analysis lab @ USC
SLAB, the spatial analysis lab at USC Price, aims to advance the visualization of the social sciences for public service through research, public engagement, and teaching. Our research experiments with developing alternative cartographies and with how our visual narratives interface with social institutions. Amidst the dramatic growth of technical and information capabilities, SLAB critically and creatively endeavors to expand the knowledge that is produced and how it interacts with public discourse.

And, SLAB does this with others. Situated in a university with unique strengths, SLAB focuses on promoting research collaboration within and outside Price. Aligned with Price’s commitment to social justice and equity, the various activities of SLAB bring a humanistic attention to marginalized peoples and places in cities.
mapping  cartography  spatial_humanities 
2 days ago
USC Price launches spatial analysis labs for teaching, research | USC News
The USC Price School of Public Policy is making a significant investment into expanding the visualization of public policy and urban planning with the launch of a Spatial Analysis Teaching Laboratory (SATLAB) and a Spatial Analysis Lab (SLAB) for research, aiming to experiment with multimedia sights and sounds to bring attention to overlooked urban spaces and people.

The use of visual tools is an innovative way to enhance the school’s commitment to social justice and equity.

Incorporating pictures, video and audio bites, multimedia spatial analysis can create a map of an urban environment that reveals its people and places from different angles, engaging the senses to reach a wider audience than traditional academic research. It can be as if you’re walking through a city, hearing people’s stories and conversations.

“We’ve been working to develop the capacity and resources within the Price School to support research with a spatial component,” said Genevieve Giuliano, senior associate dean for research and technology. “People live in cities and interact across space, so the whole concept of thinking about the things we do in this school from a spatial perspective makes a lot of sense.”....

“We want all of our students to be routinely spatially informed and skilled, so that everybody knows how to map and portray images,” Giuliano said. “We want to be recognized for a multidisciplinary and multidimensional way of studying urban phenomena, as well as public policy.”
spatial_humanities  mapping  cartography 
2 days ago
Axis Maps - Cartography. Visualization. Design.
Axis Maps was formed in 2006 by 3 graduate students finishing their advanced degrees in Geography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Having originally entered grad school to study traditional print cartography and GIS, we quickly became engaged with the rapidly changing field of interactive mapping. Google Maps had launched the previous spring, while more and more internet users were growing accustomed to having interactive maps as a part of their online lives. However, we were surprised to see that the cartographic fundamentals and traditions we had been studying were falling by the wayside. Instead, these new maps focused on the technical aspects of delivering geographic content over the web rather than clear communication through cartographic design.

We formed Axis Maps to bring Cartography to what was becoming a technical field. While other companies focused on algorithms, we developed intuitive user-interfaces. Where they were building software to reach the broadest market possible, we designed custom maps to make sure each map was right for our client. We believed that new map technologies could be used not only for efficiency and delivery, but also for great cartographic and interactive design.
geography  cartography  mapping  design  maps 
2 days ago
Design for People | Library by Design Spring 2015
“The shift to digital and changing user expectations means that even buildings only ten or 20 years old may already be out-of-date…. How do we build for an ever-changing ­environment?”
While the issues of previous years haven’t become any less important—architects and administrators alike are concerned with flexibility, sustainability, and providing for myriad possible future uses—the undisputable message running through this year’s DI was the growing need to design for people rather than materials. As Peter Bolek of HBM Architects noted, originally “the books occupied their territory and then the patrons could go to the leftover space.”
The past decade has significantly changed that ratio—and with that, approaches to design. Collections need to be rethought, service points made more flexible, and a variety of noise levels managed. Keeping people in mind includes staff as well as patrons, taking into account their technology needs and making sure that programming innovations will not impact existing workloads....

Ambrosino agreed that “we’re trying to get away from that idea, now, of the idea of the library as a ‘lofty’ place…. I think the move toward the library becoming an integral part of the community is key to the direction that libraries are going. Whether it’s a public library or an academic library, we’re trying to become that collaborative space, that meeting space for our communities.”...

Colford reflected that collaborative space is a much broader category than Maker or digital: it includes everything from the “innovation center” in the business library to new Bostonians’ conversation circles. He even floated the concept of tying virtual space to the physical, allowing mobile tech users to seek out and work with other visitors based on common goals....

Even as human-centered design took center stage at the DI, physical concerns were still a high priority. Questions posed in the Ask the Architects Open Forum revolved around practical matters: soundproofing, lighting, electrical systems, using exterior spaces to full capacity, and the need for generators.....

All the participants agreed that maintaining a civic presence is crucial for today’s libraries, and good library design involves a building’s exterior as well as interior spaces. Gisolfi encouraged planners to imagine outside possibilities in the tradition of the village green: roof terraces, courtyards, exterior entries, outdoor cafés, or spaces for children.
libraries  architecture  design_process 
2 days ago
Mapzen · an open-source mapping lab.
Mapzen builds open-source mapping tools and collaborates on open geodata initiatives.
mapping  open_street_maps  cartography  open_source 
2 days ago
Hard Drive Sounds
These are some typical sounds we hear in our data recovery lab. If your hard drive makes noises like these and you are still able to access your files - backup immediately. If your drive can no longer be seen in your system please fill out our simple evaluation form to get a fast quote on our data recovery services.
To listen to the sound simply click on the play button. Click on the drive manufacturer next to the sound button to learn more about common problems these drives experience.
diagnostics  hard_drives  media_forensics  storage  media_archaeology  forensics  things  sound 
4 days ago
How this city supports the most bookstores in the world (per capita) » MobyLives
What’s the secret to sustaining so many bookstores?

You have to print a lot of books. The Argentine Book Chamber says the country is “one of the most prolific book printers” in Latin America, with 129 million books printed last year.
Ideally many writers and editors end up in your country (you may or may not have to endure the Spanish Civil War along the way). But more importantly….
You waive sales tax for books.
In fact, take that one step further. You charge an additional 35% on books ordered from international retailers, like Amazon.
You keep the cost of physical books reasonably low, around $23, while fostering a culture that believes that value of a book is much higher than that.
Juan Pablo Marciani, who manages the famous Buenos Aires bookstore El Ateneo Gran Splendid, says books are a part of the fabric of the city. “Books represent us like the tango,” he told Debora Rey of the Associated Press.
media_city  print  books  bookstores 
7 days ago
It's Nice That : Pizzas and the guys who bring them star in Luke Stephenson's new series
Photographer Luke Stephenson sent through his new series Pizza – a series of portraits of pizzas he ordered alongside the men who delivered them – but the initial inspiration actually came from jockeys, or rather paintings of jockeys on a collection of cigarette cards Luke stumbled across on Flickr.
labor  things 
9 days ago
TECHNIQUES OF THE OBSERVER: HITO STEYERL AND LAURA POITRAS IN CONVERSATION by Hito Steyerl and Laura Poitras - artforum.com / in print
HS: It means that you decide, OK, there is this subset of documents and I’m going to partner up with a specific organization and let’s work on that topic. And that becomes a kind of aesthetic decision.

LP: No, that’s just a strategy of publication. It wasn’t about aesthetics.

HS: I disagree. It really is a formal decision, about how to format information, about its form. And that’s important on the level of safety, of course, but also in terms of protecting your autonomy and the autonomy of the work. It is about aesthetic autonomy, too. To go back to our first meeting, it was so interesting because we began a series of conversations about Turkish jet strikes in Turkey facilitated by American drone reconnaissance, and then two years later you published the corresponding NSA documents about those strikes with Der Spiegel, which showed exactly the station that relayed the information to the Turkish air force to send jets to perform the airstrikes. It’s like you and Snowden suddenly provided something I thought would be hidden forever: the perspective, the aerial perspective.

LP: Yes, but you’re the one who built the artwork around that information, which is different.

HS: Well, one thing that is clearly part of your technique is your fly-on-the-wall point of view, which you had used extensively before shooting in Hong Kong—in Yemen and so on. I always marvel about that take where you managed to film your protagonist and his little son praying at dawn. How did you even get in the room?

But there are also your skills of editing, which are being expanded by techniques of encryption—techniques of selection—and ways to keep material safe and to distribute information. Not only making it public, divulging or disclosing, but really finding new formats and circuits for it. I think this is an art that has not yet been defined as such, but it is, well, aesthetic. It’s a form.

This is the major creative challenge not only in your case but in general, if you have a database. This harks back to the WikiLeaks issue, where the database is just a trove of information, and you have to create a sort of narrative in order to navigate the data. What kind of storytelling can adapt to the technological novelty and also to the vastness of the database as an archive?

Lev Manovich, the new-media theorist, wrote about databases. He goes back to Dziga Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera [1929], focusing on the editing work—navigating a database of footage—rather than the camerawork. But—and I’ve often thought about you when thinking through this question—how does the editor work in the twenty-first century? Especially if, as in your case, the editor is also the person with the movie camera and the Soundbeam and the encrypted hard drive; she is a writer who designs a whole infrastructure of communication. And she’s a woman, not a man! Vertov’s team had several film reels. That was it—that was their archive. Now it’s not only about narration but also about navigation, translation, braving serious personal risk, and evading a whole bunch of military spooks. It’s about handling transparency as well as opacity, in a new, vastly extended kind of filmmaking that requires vastly extended skills....

LP: Ironically, one of the unintended consequences of being put on a US government watch list and interrogated every time I crossed the US border is that it made me smarter about how to circumvent the state, and it toughened me up. I’d already reached the decision that I would not be intimidated. So, in a way, I am grateful to all the border agents who provided essential training for when Snowden’s first e-mail arrived in my inbox.

In terms of the broader questions about the archive itself and how to find meaning, that’s one of the things I’m thinking about for my upcoming show at the Whitney [Museum of American Art in New York]. The archive has tremendous amounts of “news” and evidence of abuses of government power, but it also opens a window onto a parallel world that operates in secret and wields tremendous global power. There is a whole culture, language, and worldview that is not just about facts. That’s one of the things I’m working on now.

HS: How does the NSA even do it themselves? How do they manage their information?

LP: Creating narratives from vast amounts of data is a challenge for the NSA—they are ingesting billions of data points every day—and they’re not very good at it. They use graphs and visualization tools. For instance, they have a program called TREASUREMAP that provides analysts with a near-real-time map of the Internet and every device connected to it. One of the pieces I’m doing for the Whitney will also be called TREASUREMAP, and it’s a sort of subversive countermapping. I think the real core of the NSA’s approach to data collection is retrospective querying—how to see narratives after the fact. That is why they want to “collect it all,” which of course violates all kinds of fundamental principles of the rule of law and probable cause. These violations range from watch lists to far worse abuses, like using metadata to target people for assassination in the drone program.

What is your approach to editing and the archive in your own work?

HS: Well, I’ve always been engaged with editing. And I think that editing, not only in filmmaking but in a lot of different activities, is a crucial activity. Postproduction is not working on content in retrospect but creating the content. Editing is where the meaning is created.
archives  archive_art  data_aesthetics  editing  surveillance  encryption 
9 days ago
By All Accounts | Kaelen Wilson-Goldie on History and Contemporary Art in Beirut | Artforum
FIFTEEN YEARS have passed since the Atlas Group first began appearing in public lectures, film festivals, and exhibitions, presenting the work of a peculiar “foundation” devoted to the recent history of Lebanon, including (but not limited to) its wars. A long-term project by Raad, the Atlas Group was primarily concerned with the collection and study of documents, which are said to have been found, donated, or acquired by the foundation but are in fact mostly produced anew, explicitly as artworks, by Raad, occasionally in collaboration with others, including the architect Tony Chakar and the poet Bilal Khbeiz. The Atlas Group appeared around the same time as the creation of such actual brick-and-mortar institutions as Ashkal Alwan (1993), the Arab Image Foundation (1997), and Beirut DC (1999). (These, in turn, coincided with the formation of other organizations and initiatives that have long been forgotten, among them the Ayloul Festival [1997–2001]; the rejuvenation of Theatre de Beyrouth by Lebanese novelist Elias Khoury, who ran the theater from 1993 to 1998; and Image/Quest, purportedly Lebanon’s first festival of experimental film and video, organized by Moukhtar Kocache and Rasha Salti in 1995.)

Like Ibrahim’s novel, and the film that is cut and recut within its pages, Raad’s project is, famously, a fiction. It makes deliberate and consequential use of fragmentary and incidental documentary sources, including newspaper clippings, press archives, and appropriated photographs; other elements presented, pictured, or referenced in the Atlas Group archive include notebooks, Super 8 films, Polaroids, the intact engines of exploded cars, casts of the craters left behind by car-bomb blasts, and a collection of bullets, detonation devices, and shrapnel that Raad collected from the streets of Beirut during his youth.

All of this material is activated again and again—in works whose dates and titles are constantly shifting (as if refusing to be pinned down by the market or any other institution)—by characters Raad has created, among them the gambling historian Fadl Fakhouri, whose notebooks, donated to the foundation, as the story goes, yield works such as “Notebook Volume 72: Missing Lebanese Wars,1996–2002,” 2002, a series of prints detailing the bets Fakhouri and his colleagues placed not on the winning horses at a Sunday racetrack but on the margin of error in the finish-line photographs of the race printed in local newspapers the next day. (The Beirut Hippodrome, as it happens, is located behind the National Museum and adjacent to a famous pine forest that was planted by the French, bombed by the Israelis, and closed to the public by the municipality of Beirut ever since the civil war.) Another character, Operator #17, is an intelligence agent who is distracted from his surveillance work on a daily basis by the sight of the sun dunking into the Mediterranean. To the Atlas Group archive he contributes I only wish that I could weep, 2002, a video composed of his commonplace but oddly moving sunset footage, which captures, almost incidentally, the bustling life of Beirut’s most popular public space, its seaside Corniche.
archive_art  beirut  terrorism  epistemology  historiography 
9 days ago
SECRET POWER
His Biennale Arte 2015 project, Secret Power, was partly prompted by the impact of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s leaks of PowerPoint slides outlining top-secret US telecommunications surveillance programmes to the world media, which began in 2013. These slides highlighted New Zealand’s role in US intelligence work, as a member of the US-led Five Eyes alliance. Now in the open, the slides have come to represent international surveillance work and its impact on individual privacy.

The New Zealand pavilion is split across two state buildings: the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana (Marciana Library), in Piazzetta San Marco, in the heart of the city, and the terminal at Marco Polo Airport, on the outskirts.

In the Library, Denny has installed a server room, with server racks and a workstation. In addition to holding computer equipment, the server racks and workstation double as vitrines, displaying a case study in NSA visual culture, consisting of sculptural and graphic elements based on the work of a former NSA designer and Creative Director of Defense Intelligence David Darchicourt and the Snowden slide archive, suggesting links in iconography and treatment. The server room resonates with the Library’s decorated Renaissance-period interior, with its maps and allegorical paintings—Denny’s inquiry into the current iconography of geopolitical power being framed within an obsolete one.

The Airport terminal—a busy hub for millions of travellers—incorporates restricted spaces, surveillance spaces, and interrogation spaces, and is equipped with high-tech security systems. Denny has ‘dragged-and-dropped’ two actual-size photographic reproductions of the Library’s decorated interior across the floor and walls of the arrivals lounge, traversing the border between Schengen and non-Schengen space. The installation incorporates plaques that reproduce examples of early maps from the Library’s collection, which could be mistaken for advertisements for what’s currently on show there.

Secret Power is site specific, exploring La Biennale Arte di Venezia, the Library, and the Airport as media. Denny hints at geopolitical imperatives that cross-reference and distinguish these frames. Completed in 1588, the Library represents the Republic of Venice as a wealthy world power during the Renaissance. Established in 1895, La Biennale is premised on a model of national representation that seems obsolete today, in a time of cosmopolitan global art. Completed soon after 9/11, the Airport represents a new era of global security.
libraries  library_art  surveillance  servers  intelligence  institutional_critique  data_aesthetics 
9 days ago
1000 WORDS: SIMON DENNY by Jacob Proctor - artforum.com / in print
Denny’s new, more anthropological direction was most clearly evident in his 2012 exhibition “All You Need is Data—The DLD 2012 Conference REDUX” at the Kunstverein Munich, for which the artist highlighted the eponymous annual media conference held in the city. Begun in 2005, DLD (Digital-Life-Design) styles itself not as a trade show but as a loftier platform for the exchange of ideas regarding innovation and technological development between the tech sector and the fields of business, science, art, and culture. For Denny, technology itself is less important or interesting than the discursive situations it engenders and the images, values, and (sometimes hyperbolic, always optimistic) rhetoric through which that discourse is conveyed. This became even more clear in last year’s exhibitions “Disruptive Berlin” at Galerie Buchholz, where Denny profiled the emerging and much-hyped tech start-up scene in the German capital, creating sculptural “portraits” of ten up-and-coming firms; and “New Management,” at Portikus in Frankfurt, which explored the corporate culture and management philosophy of the South Korean multinational corporation Samsung....

In Secret Power, which opens this month as New Zealand’s national pavilion at the Fifty-Sixth Venice Biennale, Denny focuses on the visual culture of the contemporary intelligence community. Drawing on both National Security Agency PowerPoint slides leaked by Edward Snowden and other publicly available materials discovered through his own online research, Denny examines the visual organization and self-fashioning of these agencies, a world in which diagrams and flowcharts detailing top-secret surveillance programs exist alongside (or share server space with) anthropomorphic cartoon animals more at home on breakfast-cereal boxes than at spy agencies....

NEW ZEALAND doesn’t have a fixed venue for the pavilion—which meant I could choose the location myself. I selected two sites: the arrivals hall of Venice Marco Polo Airport and the Monumental Rooms of Venice’s historical library at San Marco, the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana.

The library—which was designed by Jacopo Sansovino in the early years of the Renaissance and mostly completed by 1560—was meant to be the “first true public library of modern times.” Prominent artists adorned the interior with paintings depicting the value of wisdom, philosophy, and other areas of knowledge, and the rich iconography of classical mythology celebrates the “divine destinies and the civil and military duties of man.” The library is also famous for its artifacts of geographic history: Fra Mauro’s world map and Vincenzo Coronelli’s globes describe the geopolitical knowledge available to the Republic of Venice when it was at its most powerful.

When my project is installed, visitors will encounter a kind of makeshift display room/server room in the library’s Monumental Hall. I have modified, or “modded,” customizable server rack systems into glass-fronted, fully labeled, LED-lit display cases that sit below and between portraits of philosophers painted by Titian, Tintoretto, and Veronese. The modding of the racks takes its visual and structural cues from existing cabinetry in the library—particularly the case displaying the Fra Mauro map—and viewers will be able to walk around the hall taking in both the library’s existing imagery and the imagery I present in various customized viewing stations.

Secret Power will look at examples of how the world is mapped and imagined today, at a time when wide-ranging surveillance of global information exchange is normal. One of my starting points is Edward Snowden’s NSA leak.... The server rack displays will be separated into two sections. The first presents a selection of images from Snowden-leaked slides and expands on their likely sources and visual context. As one discovers, there are different kinds of language—both pictorial and textual—for different levels of publicness. Top-secret logos and icons are often jocular in tone and include provocative iconography. The NSA’s Treasure Map program, for example, which aims to “map the entire Internet—any device, anywhere, all the time,” is represented by a skull resembling that of the T-800 endoskeleton from the Terminator science-fiction-film franchise, ringed by sixteen radiating blades, evocative of the cardinal and ordinal points of a compass....

AS FOR THE AIRPORT, the terminal that is being used today opened in 2002, just after the events of 9/11 prompted many airport practices to change. Marco Polo was the first Italian airport to have full-color, high-resolution digital-video surveillance, and the first to use facial recognition for security access to restricted areas. The airport has many parts—restricted spaces, surveillance spaces, and interrogation spaces—that together make up a contemporary city gate.

In a kind of physical “drag-and-drop” maneuver, large-scale, high-definition photographic imagery from the library will be printed on adhesive vinyl and transplanted onto corresponding surfaces in the airport. For example, a reproduction of the library’s ceiling will be transposed onto the airport’s floor, allowing arriving visitors to walk on top of the “divine destinies and the civil and military duties of man.”...

One of my installations at the airport extends across the international border, so that the allegories for knowledge and power from the library literally span restricted and unrestricted space. Half is in international space (before you clear customs) and the other half is in Italy (where you pick up your baggage); each half is visible from the other. The calculated staging of opacity and transparency is crucial to the way airport architecture operates everywhere, and for me, this resonates with how online communication works.
technology  data_aesthetics  parody  institutional_critique  data_visualization  library_art  servers  intellectual_furnishings  furniture  surveillance  intelligence  security 
9 days ago
Re-think it: Libraries for a new age Conference | Grand Valley State University
As libraries continue to transform themselves to better meet the changing needs and expectations of their users as well as respond to the changing information landscape, it’s important to share and learn from others' experiences. The Re-think it: Libraries for a New Age Conference will provide an opportunity for academic and public librarians, administrators, technologists, architects, designers, furniture manufacturers and educators from across the country to discuss, share, learn and collectively re-think the increasingly important role libraries play in the communities that they serve.

The conference will explore the following areas:

Transforming physical library spaces and places
Innovative services, programs, or technologies
Assessing and evaluating spaces, services, technologies and programs
Reflecting community values and needs
Developing a forward-thinking organizational culture
libraries  conference 
9 days ago
Home - The Secret Life Of The Pencil
This photographic project seeks to savour the use of pencils – documenting them in stunning detail, and thereby showing the secrets of their use and revealing an insight into their users: professionals who have defined themselves and their craft with the help of the modest stylus.
pencils  material_culture  things 
10 days ago
Photos of ’90s Newsstands Capture NYC Nostalgia -- NYMag
Newsstands are the kind of New York City landmark you never notice. They are around, but like benches and bike stands, you acknowledge them, or their absence, only when seeking one out. Which, at least where newsstands are concerned, probably doesn’t happen very often these days.

A little more than 300 newsstands still operate in the city today. Most are in Manhattan, plus a smattering in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens, says Robert Bookman, counsel to the New York City Newsstand Operators Association. At their peak, in 1950, there were 1,325 newsstands. Then, newsstands served as a safety net for vulnerable populations, with the city setting aside small but valuable slices of sidewalk for the blind and disabled veterans (and later all vets) returning from World War II and the Korean War. But by the 1960s newsstands would begin their decades-long decline. In 1979 about 400 newsstands remained, and their numbers hit a historic low — a little more than 280 — in the late 1990s. What remain today are the survivors.

The numbers prove the newsstand's narrative is knottier, and a bit less romantic, than simply the decline of print — though that plays a huge part. Newsstands sold "1,000 newspapers and now they're selling 200," Bookman says. "That's 800 customers not coming to the newsstand." The people who passed by and picked up the Times or the Post also grabbed a pack of cigarettes, or gum; now they're doing neither. A tough regulatory environment, which, Bookman says is the primary deterrent to newcomers, and heavy cigarette taxes have also squeezed the industry.

When Moyra Davey decided to photograph newsstands in 1994, she also saw them as vanishing pieces of an old New York. She was inspired by French photographer Eugène Atget, who recorded Old World Paris, including a handful of newsstands. Though Davey didn't normally do street photography, she wanted to create her own New York series, in color. “I connected to this idea that they were somehow analogues to dark rooms and both on their way out,” she says. “Both the darkroom and the newsstand were on some level digitized.”
media_city  urban_media  newspapers  newsstands  print  infrastructure 
11 days ago
It's Nice That : Jeremy Deller creates a jukebox of factory sounds
All-round superdude Jeremy Deller has created a jukebox for the Venice Biennale. But instead of Fleetwood Mac’s Go Your Own Way or other pub staples like Russ Abbott’s Atmosphere, it plays only the sounds of the factories. Cleverly named Factory Records, the piece contains 40 seven-inch records, each of which features the ambient sound of a different factory. Visitors to the piece can put on whichever they fancy, and if they really like it, they will be able to buy the sounds as a limited-edition box set designed by Deller with Fraser Muggeridge and released by The Vinyl Factory. The work continues Deller’s ongoing investigations into English working-class concerns, and links to his Venice Biennale performative piece, which uses archive materials to look at factory working conditions from the 19th Century to the present day.
sound_art  labor 
14 days ago
Digital Culture | of Metropolitan New York
Digital Culture of Metropolitan New York (DCMNY) provides online access to digital collections of libraries, archives, museums and historical societies located in and around New York City. Participating institutions are located in the following counties of New York State: Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, and Westchester. The collections include photographs, maps, letters, postcards, manuscripts, scrapbooks, programs from events, catalogues, memorabilia and ephemera, and much more. New collections will be added over the coming months, and contributors will be adding new material to existing collections.

DCMNY is not a curated collection. It is intended to serve as a hosting service for members of the Metropolitan New York Library Council to make their content available online, as well as an on-ramp to the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). Many of the collections in DCMNY will also be available in DPLA, courtesy of the Empire State Digital Network, the DPLA service hub for New York State.
digitization  libraries  DPLA  interface  urban_history  photographs  archives 
14 days ago
Culture in Transit Named A Knight News Challenge Winner - 02-02-2015 : METRO in New York, NY US METRO
Culture in Transit will bring a mobile scanning toolkit to libraries, archives, museums, and the communities they serve. Digitized materials will be shared with the public through local digital archives and also through the Digital Public Library of America.
scanning  libraries  digitization  DPLA 
14 days ago
Aggregate – Banking, Botany, and Bibliothéconomie: On the Science of Keeping the Books
the Musée Botanique demonstrated the necessity of discursive self-regulation. Lasègue was especially attentive to the special role that libraries and herbaria played in providing stability within the order(ing) of things.
classification  naming  taxonomy  biology  libraries 
16 days ago
The Lost, Secret History of Reading | Chronicle Review
What is the cause of our unique alienation from older writings? Simply put, over the last 150 years, we have forgotten how to read them because we have forgotten how they were written. Before 1800, almost all great thinkers engaged in the practice of "esoteric" writing. They communicated their most unorthodox thoughts only between the lines — only in hints, riddles, and irony directed to the most careful readers, covered over by a veneer of conventional pieties. They did so for fear of persecution and other reasons....

Only in the 19th century, with the growth of liberal societies officially dedicated to freedom of speech was this ancient and widespread practice gradually discontinued. (The first openly atheistic tracts in the Christian West, for example, did not appear until around 1780.) After that the esoteric tradition was slowly forgotten, until finally, in the 20th century, the whole idea was declared a "medieval legend." It was taken to have never happened....

The famous Encyclopédie of Diderot, for example, refers to esotericism in no less than 28 different articles, including one titled "Exoteric and Esoteric," which states: "The ancient philosophers had a double doctrine; the one external, public or exoteric; the other internal, secret or esoteric."...
obfuscation  secrecy  reading 
17 days ago
Home - Logistical Worlds
How to study China-led globalisation through infrastructural interventions? This question prompts the investigation of logistical operations that fabricate the emerging trade network known as the New Silk Road. Moving between software studies and geocultural analysis of labour regimes, the project tracks algorithmic arrangements of power across the tricontinental sites of Piraeus, Valparaíso and Kolkata. These are spaces of docking and interface, material flow and restriction, in which logistics antagonizes labour. The extraction of time and social life from populations underscores economies of measure. Whether understood through the techniques of supply chain management or the architecture of real-time computation, logistics materializes the abstractions of capital. Subjectivity and labour expose the power and vulnerability of logistical worlds.
infrastructure  software  labor  logistics  globalization 
21 days ago
Cultural Techniques and Logistical Media: Tuning German and Anglo-American Media Studies | Liam Cole Young | M/C Journal
Kittler’s media ontology sought to correct and displace Foucault’s conception of the archive as historical a priori. To sum up this move in one sentence: Kittler went a layer deeper than Foucault’s archaeologies did or could, showing the archive and discourse to be themselves always structured by media technologies: no discourse without pens, paper, and typewriters, no archives without recording media and address systems, no governmentality without files. According to Kittler, Foucault’s understanding did not go far enough because he—“the last historian or first archaeologist” (5)—was unable to think beyond conventional alphanumeric writing systems. Kittler showed that before it can ever condition subjects, or even be articulated as language, power/knowledge is forged via the processing, storage, and transmission of signals....

‘Cultural techniques’ first emerged in the late 19th century to describe agricultural procedures like irrigation and draining, straightening riverbeds, or constructing water reservoirs... The culture in cultural techniques originally had to do with cultivation, nurturing, or rendering habitable.... Imported from agricultural science into media theory—after a brief stopover in mass media studies (see Winthrop-Young “Kultur” 381-82)—cultural techniques are “conceived as operative chains that precede the media concepts they generate” (Siegert, “End” 58). This approach starts not with totalizing concepts like ‘media,’ ‘network,’ or ‘power,’ but instead

places at the basis of changes in cultural and intellectual history inconspicuous techniques of knowledge like card indexes, media of pedagogy like the slate, discourse operators like quotation marks, uses of the phonograph in phonetics, or techniques of forming the individual like practices of teaching to read and write....

Media and things supply their own rules of execution—we do not choose how to open or close a door, to take one of Siegert’s favourite examples (see “Doors”). A door does not present us with an open horizon of possibility. We must act according to the rules it sets out for us: push or pull, open or close. A door has agency in the sense that it structures what is possible for praxis. Thinking of a door in this way shows the picture of agency we usually work with, as reserved for acting human subjects, to be insufficient....

This tradition is not interested in the content or meaning of media or things, historically the focus of Anglo-American media and cultural studies, only in ways of doing—counting, measuring, collecting, observing, playing, confessing, listing—because these engender systems of knowing and modes of social organization. ‘Media’ as we understand them (e.g. gramophones, telegraphs, and computers) communicate and order by encoding non-sense into sense (and vice versa). This is done via the recording or transmission of signals, or the translating of data into alphanumeric characters....

Sterne: Format theory would ask us to modulate the scale of our analysis of media somewhat differently. Mediality happens on multiple scales and time frames. Studying formats highlights registers like software, operating standards, and codes, as well as larger infrastructures, international corporate consortia, and whole technical systems...

John Durham Peters similarly describes what he calls ‘logistical media,’ which “arrange people and property into time and space” (Peters, “Calendar” 40). These are “prior to and form the grid in which messages are sent […] Logistical media establish the zero points of orientation, the convergence of the x and y axis” (40). In ancient societies, technologies like the calendar and clock established grids through which time came to be experienced, measured and calculated (as Mumford understood in 1934)....

Ned Rossiter extends Peters’s concept to account for conditions of labour and life in contemporary network cultures. For him, logistical media “coordinate and control the movement of labour, people, and things situated along and within global supply chains” (Rossiter, “Coded”). They are devices, protocols, and structures that establish parameters within which movement occurs. According to Bratton, design—whether architectural, infrastructural, or computational—produces “logistical media for mobilization and its administration, technologies that consolidate territory into logistical field and enable a Modern governance based on the abstracted calculation over omnidirectional spaces and surfaces, from open oceans to shared spreadsheets”....

Even though they use the term ‘media’ to develop the concept of logistical media, Peters and Rossiter actually identify moments prior to media, in which devices and techniques process logistical distinctions that establish concepts like time, space, being and ‘media’ itself. Peters’s and Rossiter’s logistical media are cultural techniques by another name. In fact, conceiving of logistical media as a series of interrelated cultural techniques may be a more productive move. ...

Innis was after something like a theory of civilizational cultural techniques..... Innis’s early studies were archaeologies of trade and infrastructure that showed how nation states, economies, cycles of accumulation and circulation, and even national identities arise from encounters between humans, terrain, waterways, and fauna, and in response to problems of transportation and navigation, i.e. logistics. This was a radically new approach to understanding economic and civilizational history that emerged from Innis’s commitment to what he called ‘dirt research.’ From 1924 Innis traveled hundreds of miles by Canoe across Canada in order to gather first-hand observations about staples.
cultural_technique  archives  foucault  kittler  logistics  storage  files  infrastructure 
21 days ago
Archaeologist Discovers Ancient Mayan City Built on a Grid
According to Live Science, archaeologists in northern Guatemala have found a settlement dating from between 600 and 300 BCE that was similarly planned out on a grid — the first of its kind in Central America.

The discovery was made by Queens College professor Timothy Pugh, who presented his findings at the Society for American Archaeology‘s annual meeting in San Francisco. The archaeologist has worked at the Nixtun-Chi’ich’ site in Petén since 1995, excavating more recent remains atop the old ruins. In the process, he found himself mapping the ancient city.
urban_history  grid  urban_form 
21 days ago
* ReCAP
The Research Collections and Preservation Consortium (ReCAP) is located on Princeton University's Forrestal Campus. ReCAP consists of a preservation repository and resource sharing services, jointly owned and operated by Columbia University, The New York Public Library and Princeton University. More than eleven million items are currently in ReCAP's care, and ReCAP fills well over 250,000 requests for materials each year, from its partners and from libraries around the world.

ReCAP was designed and constructed to provide high-density shelving for library items, an excellent environment for preserving items, and strict inventory control so that retrieval requests are completed quickly and reliably. ReCAP's environment is optimized for the preservation of library and archival collections. Careful management of temperature and humidity reduce the rate of chemical decay in ReCAP's stacks by a factor of 4-5x, compared to normal library stack environments.

Individual items at ReCAP are sorted by size and placed in open-top trays which are stored on an appropriate-sized shelf, in order to store the maximum number of items in the minimum floor area. This close packing provides an additional level of environmental insulation, reduces oxygen exposure to guard against fire, and provides mechanical support so reduce physical strain on the collections.
libraries  storage  remote_storage  books 
23 days ago
Interrogating the Dashboard
Interrogating the Dashboard: Data, Algorithms and Decision Making is a project led by Dr Nathaniel Tkacz at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies (CIM) at the University of Warwick and funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

The project runs from September 2014 to March 2016 and is set to explore the role played by dashboards in allowing individuals and institutions to interact with and act upon different data forms in organisational and everyday contexts. In recent times dashboards have become increasingly common features of business, public policy and everyday life. The term refers to a way of representing multiple indicators, data and news, in real-time and side by side. Organisations have historically built dashboards so as to display what were defined as ‘key performance indicators’ for example, on which decisions can be based and taken. However, with the rise of Big Data and the proliferation of smart devices in everyday life, this type of display is increasingly available for individuals for everyday activities. Many dashboards offer today a way of bringing together various sources of data into a handy, usable and actionable format.
The main research questions that guide this project are: how are organisations and individuals using dashboards? What kinds of indicators are used and for what purposes? What is the temporality or liveliness of these indicators? How are dashboards incorporated and transforming decision making processes? Are dashboard evidence of a general transformation in the temporality of judgement and decision-making? How do individuals cope with the multiplicity and inconclusiveness of dashboard indicators?
dashboards  interfaces  imteraction  critique  methdology 
23 days ago
Interface Critique Symposium
GUIs, TUIs and NUIs: An „I“ in acronyms to describe human-machine interfaces has become as common as mysterious. The more it is taken for granted, the more it seems to escape our understanding. What does “interface” mean in the context of contemporary technical development? The trend towards unobstrusiveness is conspicuous: “Deep integration”, “actionable notifications” or “Shytech” – the visual aesthetic trends tend to hide mechanisms, functions and processes. How can we critically examine interfaces that increasingly disappear into the background?

The symposium tries to understand the phenomenon “interface” in its dynamic development in order to develop critical perspectives beyond culturally pessimistic reflexes. We are looking for papers dealing with topics such as inclusion and exclusion, subjectivation and desubjectivation, continuities and non-simultaneity. Considering that many interfaces are not only connected with each other, but also merge into one another, that they not only enable communication with technology, but also normalize it, it becomes evident: understanding interfaces is an approach to understanding the world.
methodology  critique  interface_aesthetics  interfaces  dashboards  interaction 
23 days ago
The Cybersyn Revolution | Jacobin
Project Cybersyn did not function as a form of abusive centralized control because it included mechanisms to protect and preserve factory autonomy. These protections were engineered into the system’s design. The government, for example, could intervene in shop floor activities only after the software detected a production anomaly and the factory failed to resolve the anomaly within a set period of time.

Human and technological limitations placed an additional check on government intervention. Operators in the factory, for example, could not monitor thousands of production indexes a day, but they could track ten to twelve of the most important. Limiting the number of indicators also made it easier for the software to detect the most pressing emergencies in need of government action. However, it required Chilean engineers to make decisions about which data the government truly required.

Such limitations made much of the factory’s activity invisible to the Chilean government, preserved freedom, and protected Chilean workers from Orwellian abuse. They created a layer of privacy that could have allowed workers to participate in economic management without the overbearing control of outside state bureaucrats....

He contends that progressive smart cities should first try to understand human interactions in urban environments and how they systematically produce power inequalities. Technologies should then be integrated into city environments in ways that ameliorate these disparities....

If he were alive today, Beer would undoubtedly lament that e-government initiatives to put existing forms online or computerize existing processes miss opportunities to make organizations themselves more effective.

We must resist the kind of apolitical “innovation determinism” that sees the creation of the next app, online service, or networked device as the best way to move society forward. Instead, we should push ourselves to think creatively of ways to change the structure of our organizations, political processes, and societies for the better and about how new technologies might contribute to such efforts.
apps  dashboards  government  solutionism  interfaces  privacy  smart_cities 
23 days ago
PROVOKE :: Digital Sound Studies
The idea of “translation” is at the core of this project. Soundbox co-editor Darren Mueller moderated a conversation between three of the translators to discuss Susurrous Scholarship and their approach to digital sound scholarship.

Darren Mueller:

Calling these pieces translations strikes me as a statement of methodology and as a general statement about knowledge production in the digital humanities. It both embraces and productively uses the contradictions inherent in doing digital scholarship. Your original abstract stated that, “In each small decision about the translation, there is a profound ramification for the address, audience, and access of the new kind of scholarship.” Now that you’ve gone through the process, do any of you have a better sense of what those ramifications might be? And how are those ramifications related to a process of translation?
sound  audio  multimodal_scholarship  translation 
24 days ago
PROVOKE :: Digital Sound Studies
Provoke! creates a home for creative-critical projects by makers, documentary artists, and sound scholars whose work presses at the boundaries of scholarship. Envisioned as “provocations” to existing forms of publication, these projects relate to one another through their deep engagement with sonic materials and innovative formal presentation. Rather than drawing from a particular historical period, culture, methodology, or set of aesthetic objects, Provoke! collects a series of processual explorations connected through an ethos of play, experimentation, and social interaction. Because of their sonically inspired, collaborative nature, many of these projects fall outside the purview of traditional academic publishing, yet each one offers a critical contribution to the ongoing dialogue about the future of sound studies and digital humanities.
sound  multimodal_scholarship  sonic_history 
24 days ago
New Display Celebrates Andrew Carnegie’s Inspiring Gift To New York City: Its Public Libraries | The New York Public Library
Celebrating Carnegie’s Gift to New Yorkers: More Than A Century of NYC’s Neighborhood Libraries will run through May 10 in the McGraw Rotunda on the third floor of The New York Public Library’s iconic Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street in Manhattan. It will include several historic items from the Library’s collections, as well as artifacts from the Brooklyn Public Library and Queens Library, and photos from the past and present of branches across the five boroughs.

The two-case display celebrates the unique agreement between Carnegie and the City of New York, in which Carnegie donated buildings to be used as public libraries, and the City agreed to pay for their maintenance and operations. The dream was that all New Yorkers would have access to free public library service “promoting the education and enjoyment of the people and of making good citizens,” according to a letter in the display from NYPL President John Shaw Billings to Carnegie in 1902.

The first step in this historic agreement (a resolution passed by the New York State Legislature empowering the City of New York to acquire sites for “free branch public libraries for circulation with reading rooms and other necessary accommodations”) was signed on April 26, 1901 – almost exactly 114 years ago.
libraries  archives  exhibition  carnegie 
24 days ago
A Tiny Orchestra in the Living Room
There is a large and growing literature examining the impact of technologies on the house, particularly television, radio, and our proliferating digital devices; yet there has been relatively little exploration of the socio-spatial significance of audio systems on ordinary houses in the second half of the 20th century. How did the introduction of high-fidelity sound components —including speakers — shape domestic life? How did stereo systems change the ways in which U. S. homeowners understood the relationship of the private interior to the urban and public worlds beyond? And how did stereo change the design of residential spaces? In short, what did it mean for Americans to have the capacity to queue up their own tiny orchestra — or band, choir, singer, etc. — inside their living rooms?

The mediated sound of home stereo changed domestic space in two important ways: physically, as residents reconfigured rooms and furnishings to create optimal listening environments; and socially, as occupants fashioned stereophilic spaces that reflected new aspirations for respectability and cultural status. ... Manufacturers, retailers, audiophiles, and ordinary consumers all sought cabinets and arrangements that would allow for maximum sound fidelity and listening pleasure while still affording a decorous, status-conferring appearance that was crucially linked to emerging notions of what it meant to be white, to be middle-class, to be a homeowner.

Meanwhile, along with a range of postwar consumer technologies that connected the seemingly private, secure, and insulated domestic realm to outside events, high-fidelity stereos —like televisions and radios before them — were rendering the home permeable, admitting sonic transmissions into the domestic interior with an immediacy that could be startling, even alarming....

By the second half of the ‘50s and more surely by the ‘60s, listening to music on hi-fi systems was not only central to music culture but also an accepted part of domestic culture — a complementary activity to almost anything else that could be done at home, from housework to recreation to eating to sex. As the cultural critic George Steiner wrote, in 1961, “The new middle class in the affluent society reads little, but listens to music with knowing delight. Where the library shelves once stood, there are proud, esoteric rows of record albums and high-fidelity components.” ...

d seem less valuable. 12 This became an abiding concern for the Frankfurt School theorist Theodor Adorno, who began writing on the topic in the late 1930s. Following from his longstanding interest in the impact of mass media on culture and society, his view was pessimistic; Adorno connected the proliferation of technologies that allowed easy access to recorded music — what he called “atomized listening” — with the encouragement of superficial engagements with culture, which in turn would produce an aesthetically insensitive audience that had retreated from the public sphere. ...

The perceptual dissolution of boundaries between spaces, and particularly between the private home and the outside world, is one of the key impacts of stereo technologies; stereos created what was in effect a gateway between public sphere and domestic space....

Even those who had never paid much attention to the aesthetics, materials, or dimensions of rooms now had to scrutinize such things if their listening pleasure was to be optimized. In most cases, the acquisition of hi-fi components and speakers required the rearrangement of furnishings to accommodate the new equipment, and, ideally, to maximize aural authenticity. At the same time, the stereophile was sharpening his or her ability to listen and to cultivate certain cultural attitudes; the reshaping of the house was linked with a reshaping of personal identity vis-à-vis the use of consumer technology. In these ways one might cultivate what communications historian Jonathan Sterne has called “a good ear” that “becomes a mark of distinction in modern life,” processes that corresponded “with the emergence of middle class as a salient cultural category” and that were likewise linked to the emergence of a “new sonic age.”...

But the new “sonic age” posed new challenges for house builders. Throughout the 20th century, the development of new acoustical designs, technologies, and materials enabled the ever more precise manipulation and control of sound, especially in such major public spaces as symphony halls and movie theaters. 26 But stereophonic acoustics did not much factor into the construction of middle- and working-class suburban houses — dwellings built quickly and with relatively inexpensive materials, for buyers who might not be able to afford hi-fi components. When aural concerns began to surface in the housing industry, the usual focus was on mitigating noise transmission between rooms; open-plan houses especially were criticized (more on this later). 27 It became a sign of distinction in high-end, architect-designed homes for hi-fi systems to be incorporated directly into the house plans: Dedicated wiring could be installed during construction, hidden or camouflaged speakers could be mounted into walls, and customized cabinetry could be crafted to house the components....

Those in possession of the new equipment had to evaluate at least four spatial concerns. First there was the question of space: typical developer houses included less than 1,500 square feet of living space — most of the houses in Levittown, Long Island, were just 1,000 square feet. A family of four could easily fill every inch of every room. Where, then, to put the shiny new equipment? Another key question was acoustical isolation; family members naturally required varying degrees of privacy and quiet. Yet another consideration was maximum acoustical authenticity; what audiophiles call “stereo imaging” necessitated specific speaker arrangements. Finally there was the sensitive matter of social aspiration; homeowners took pains to display stereo components in ways that would reinforce an aura of class respectability....

To maximize the effectiveness of hi-fi, speakers had to be placed according to precise specifications. After all, the big idea of high-fidelity sound was that it added a third dimension — space — to music; binaural recording on twin tracks was directed out to the listener through dual speakers located in different parts of a room. The goal was to achieve the sensation of space from sound: in other words, three-dimensional sound. To this end, stereo guides reproduced detailed diagrams to assist homeowners in the creation of “sonic balance.”...

To help homeowners achieve such effects, component retailers sold systems that would fit either into built-in installations or into fine cabinetry manufactured by designers who worked for Herman Miller, Dunbar, and Baker. 29 Some independent retailers collaborated with local craftsmen who produced speakers and consoles for their clients, or ready-mades for their showroom floors.....

Reducing clutter and maximizing space was especially important — for practical and symbolic reasons — in the small houses of the early postwar years. Built-in furnishings and storage systems helped homeowners attain the middle-class ideals of tidiness and spaciousness prescribed by tastemakers. 34 So it is unsurprising that trade journals advocated the same solutions for accommodating the new entertainment technology. In that same 1961 edition, Stereo suggested that a storage wall with folding doors would “[enable] the owner to restore the formal balance of the living room” — as if the new technology had caused some sort of disturbance. The article advised that doors and lift-up panels could “completely close the system off from view if desired.” 35 Such entertainment walls often included the television as well, and the trade publications further advised that the front panels be made of wood in order to avoid the “cold” or “mechanical” appearance of technology located behind glass; stereophiles could then enjoy “an automatic concert without distraction from shining dials or spinning turntables.”
media_architecture  media_space  radio  sound  home  domestic  listening  acoustics  music  interior_design  furniture 
24 days ago
Central Social Institution of Prague: Files
The offices of the Central Social Institution of Prague, Czechoslovakia with the largest vertical letter file in the world. Consisting of cabinets arranged from floor to ceiling tiers covering over 4000 square feet containing over 3000 drawers of 10 feet long.

It has electric operated elevator desks which rise, fall and move left or right at the push of a button. to stop just before drawer desired. The drawers also open and close electronically. This work, which formerly taxed 400 workers, is now done by 20 with a minimum of effort. 26th April 1937.
bureaucracy  archives  filing  paperwork  media_architecture 
24 days ago
The Code4Lib Journal – Feminism and the Future of Library Discovery
in The Power to Name, Hope Olson documents the ways the Dewey Decimal system has historically reflected patterns of knowledge organization that now seem archaic, such as classifying the subject of pregnancy under the heading of disease, and the subject of lynching under the heading of law enforcement (Olson 2002). While historic distance makes it easier to recognize these examples as obvious instances of societal power imbalance appearing in library practice, it might not be so easy to recognize current examples of supposedly neutral practice in libraries that are actually perpetuating similar power imbalances.

Those of us creating library software and building digital libraries must also address this issue. Just as the classification systems created by libraries carry the aura of “neutrality” and mask the bias reflected within them, the digital systems that libraries provide to our users are also assumed, by virtue of existing within a library, to be a “neutral” reflection of subject knowledge. However, just as with classification systems, this neutrality is an illusion. In this paper, we argue that without an explicit feminist agenda, the same processes of exclusion and marginalization that have always influenced libraries — and therefore scholarship — will continue to play out in our digital library and online discovery environments.

We define library discovery as the set of affordances through which users search, explore, find, and interact with the information resources they need, particularly collections held by a library. For the purposes of this paper, we will focus on digital systems for library discovery, such as search algorithms, library software, and online collections. For our analysis, we borrow from the field of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and Shaowen Bardzell’s paper “Feminist HCI: Taking Stock and Outlining an Agenda for Design” (Bardzell 2010). Bardzell outlines some of the characteristics of feminist software interaction, which she defines as plurality, self-disclosure, participation, ecology, advocacy, and embodiment. We hope that by examining these qualities in the context of library discovery we can encourage the development of library discovery systems that resist patterns of erasure, exclusion, and marginalization.
libraries  classification  search  language  identity 
29 days ago
Beyond the Interface - London | www.furtherfield.org
The interface is the boundary across which information is exchanged, causing a transformation in one or both sides of that boundary. Between individuals, corporations and states; beliefs and disciplines; components of computer systems; or machines and living beings. Interfaces have always been a site of control, hidden in plain view: symbolic, social or technological. Seduced and habituated, we forget to question how we are dominated and reprogrammed by the very facilities that are supposed to free us as part of the digital revolution. Lori Emerson suggests this is an “overwhelming push to disempower users/consumers with closed devices”.3
interfaces  exhibition 
29 days ago
The Network Reshapes the Library: Lorcan Dempsey on Libraries, Services and ... - Lorcan Dempsey - Google Books
"The emerging e-resource discovery-to-delivery chain, tied together with resolution services, is a logistics challenge. Many of the e-resource management issues are like supply-chain management issues. Increasingly, as libraries look at shared solutions for off-site storage, e-resource management, digitization, and archiving, they run into logistics and supply-chain management questions.
libraries  logistics  infrastructure 
29 days ago
Library logistics: How millions of new books make it to the shelves | The Columbus Dispatch
“We say that nobody talks about technical services until something isn’t there... Once bought, the books are shipped to the operations center, and the trip to the library branches begins with a behind-the-scenes process along an assembly line where about 490,000 items are processed yearly.

Labels are affixed to sleeves and spines. Call numbers are linked to barcodes. It might take a day to traverse the operation, but when complete, the book is ready for years of service. Everything except daily newspapers and office mail passes through the operations center.
libraries  logistics  transportation  infrastructure 
29 days ago
Box with the Sound of Its Own Making - Robert Morris - WikiArt.org
As its title indicates, Morris's "Box with the Sound of Its Own Making" consists of an unadorned wooden cube, accompanied by a recording of the sounds produced during its construction. Lasting for three-and-a-half hours, the audio component of the piece denies the air of romantic mystery surrounding the creation of the art object, presenting it as a time-consuming and perhaps even tedious endeavor. In so doing, the piece also combines the resulting artwork with the process of artmaking, transferring the focus from one to the other
art  objects  making  sound_art  labor 
4 weeks ago
Diasporic/Decolonized Archives – Player View – Pad.ma
Dr. Shannon Faulkhead’s research concentrates on the location of Koorie peoples and their knowledge within the broader Australian society and its collective knowledge as reflected through narratives and records. To date Shannon’s multi- disciplinary research has centred on community and archival collections of records. As the Finkel Fellow, attached to Monash Country Lines Archive, Monash University, will allow for greater exploration and development in the area of Indigenous archiving.
indigenous  archiving  postcolonial  preservation  cultural_heritage  archives 
4 weeks ago
Publications | Beautiful Data
These publications serve as entry points to engagement with both the material and the modes of inquiry that shaped the Beautiful Data workshop. With the intention of “open-sourcing” the elements and processes that came out of the workshop, these publications complement the material available on this website, offering routes for exploration of this material that are meant to be applicable in diverse contexts. We hope that you will activate whatever elements seem useful to you, fostering the continuing evolution of Beautiful Data.

The field guide documents the concepts and flows of information that came out of the Beautiful Data workshop, linking critical discussion with invitations to experimentation and making. Using a range of modes, including case studies, maps, activities, and prototypes (and linking to online documentation of these elements), the guide aims to serve as a resource, providing various entry points into the dialogue surrounding Beautiful Data and promoting further experimentation around this material.

The prototyping game provides a set of raw materials for remixing and rethinking the ways in which we design experiences with objects. This playful framework, drawn from institutional missions and contexts, offers springboards for discussion, ideation, and project development.

The provocation cards, drawn from the work of participants in Beautiful Data’s weekend workshop component, provide prompts for adventures in museums, lightly provoking users to engage with these spaces in new and generative ways.
curating  museums  exhibition  objects  exhibition_design  design_methods 
4 weeks ago
Monash Country Lines Archive - Monash University
The Monash Country Line Archive demands intellectual engagement in regards to issues associated with how best to construct a living archive that is a decolonised space in which communities are happy to see their material stored. It also provides an exciting place for scholars to work and share knowledge.
archives  indigenous  cultural_heritage  narratives 
4 weeks ago
Monash Country Lines Archive | Faculty of Arts, Monash University
The Monash Country Lines Archive (MCLA) is a collaborative Monash University project between the Monash Indigenous Centre (MIC), Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Information Technology with a team of Monash researchers, digital animators and post-graduate students from the Monash Indigenous Centre, Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Information Technology. The Monash Country Line Archive demands intellectual engagement in regards to issues associated with how best to construct a living archive that is a decolonised space in which communities are happy to see their material stored. It also provides an exciting place for scholars to work and share knowledge.
archives  indigenous  cultural_heritage  animation  narrative 
4 weeks ago
Mukurtu CMS | The free, mobile and open source platform built with indigenous communities to manage and share digital cultural heritage
Mukurtu (MOOK-oo-too) is a grassroots project aiming to empower communities to manage, share, preserve, and exchange their digital heritage in culturally relevant and ethically-minded ways. We are committed to maintaining an open, community-driven approach to Mukurtu’s continued development. Our first priority is to help build a platform that fosters relationships of respect and trust.

The Mukurtu software project began as a response to the specific archival needs of the Warumungu Aboriginal community in the Central Australian town of Tennant Creek. Warumungu community members collaborated with Kim Christen Withey and Craig Dietrich to produce a digital archive that would allow them to circulate, view, and narrate materials following their own protocols. Mukurtu is a Warumungu word meaning ‘dilly bag’–a safe keeping place for ritual materials. Warumungu elder, Michael Jampin Jones chose Mukurtu as the name for the Warumungu community archive to remind users that the archive, too, was a safe keeping place where Warumungu people could share stories, knowledge, and cultural materials properly.
open_source  archives  collection  indigenous  preservation  cultural_heritage 
4 weeks ago
Beach Read: DBALP Designs Indoor/Outdoor Library in Bangsaen — KNSTRCT - Carefully Curated Design News
In celebration of Siam Cement Group's 100 year anniversary, the cement makers have sponsored the creation of three new structures on the shore of Thailand's famed Bangsean beach. One of these new builds is the Bangsean Public Library designed by local architecture firm DBALP.

The indoor/outdoor structure is constructed of two materials; sheets of corrugated polycarbonate and wood. It's the simplicity of the construction, layout and materiality of the rectangular structure that makes this library so dynamic. The entirety of the rectangle's width is comprised of two, full-length-full-height wood doors that fully close the structure when shut. When open, the library is welcoming and lively, begging for beach-goers to stop in for a read.
libraries  architecture  outdoor 
4 weeks ago
Urban Omnibus » From the Ground Up: A Review of Mapping Brooklyn
In their exhibition statements, BRIC’s Elizabeth Ferrer and BHS’s Deborah Schwartz outline the benefits of inviting contemporary artists to engage a historical collection: while BHS presents an “incredible range of work in the long-established field of cartography,” the artists conceptualize the older work and uncover “a means of interpreting a world close at hand.” This statement suggests a duality within mapping, with “the multitude of ways that maps can represent, on the one hand, such practical matters of wayfinding, property ownership, population shifts, and war strategy, and on the other, the terrain of the metaphorical, psychological, and personal.”

Although art historians, artists, and cartographers now call attention to the erosion of these distinctions, Mapping Brooklyn is too hesitant in creating evidence for it. Patricia Smith’s surreal emotional landscapes of mourning and memory hang without historical precedence or comparison, as if the past has nothing to share on such intimate subjects....

Ferrer writes that mapping is “an enduring theme in great art because of its utter flexibility as a visual signifier.” However, to borrow from landscape architect James Corner’s essay “The Agency of Mapping: Speculation, Critique and Invention,” this line of thought stops short of acknowledging that geography itself is not “access to reality.” Landscapes are dynamic processes; images of territory might not be adequate depictions of the forces and realities on the ground. Drawing from Baudrillard, Deleuze, Derrida, and others, Corner argues that mapping is a “doubly projective” maneuver that first abstracts landscapes into the mind and then translates them back to the page. Perception of place inspires behavior, which in turn sculpts the real ground on which we stand. It is the coloring and forming of “the grounded individual” and her sense of the world that are the map’s meat and the artist’s arena. The connection between how we see and how we act is why mapping endures in and as art.
mapping  affect  archives  exhibition 
4 weeks ago
Envisioning a Colorado Haven for Readers, Nestled Amid Mountains of Books - NYTimes.com
The project is striking in its ambition: a sprawling research institution situated on a ranch at 10,000 feet above sea level, outfitted with 32,000 volumes, many of them about the Rocky Mountain region, plus artists’ studios, dormitories and a dining hall — a place for academics, birders, hikers and others to study and savor the West.

It is the sort of endeavor undertaken by a deep-pocketed politician or chief executive, perhaps a Bloomberg or a Buffett. But the project, called the Rocky Mountain Land Library, has instead two booksellers as its founders....

For more than 20 years, Jeff Lee, 60, and Ann Martin, 53, have worked at a Denver bookshop, the Tattered Cover, squirreling away their paychecks in the pursuit of a single dream: a rural, live-in library where visitors will be able to connect with two increasingly endangered elements — the printed word and untamed nature....

There are tales by Norman Maclean; wildlife sketches by William D. Berry; and books on beekeeping, dragonflies, cowboys and the Navajo. The couple said that groupings of books would be placed around the ranch, organized by theme: mining, railroads, fur trade, Native American tribes, natural history, astronomy.
libraries  idiosyncratic_libraries  prelinger 
5 weeks ago
MoMA | MoMA’s Digital Art Vault
Today I’ll describe how MoMA has faced head-on the significant challenges in digital preservation by designing a state-of-the-art digital vault for these collections. In order to distill some rather technical and complex ideas that inform this effort, I’ll break this digital art vault down into three parts: the packager, the warehouse, and the indexer....

... there is essentially nothing about a QuickTime .MOV file that says, “Hello, I am a video file! You should use this sort of software to view me.” We rely on specially designed software—be it an operating system or something more specialized—to tell us these things. The problem is that these tools may not always be around, or may not always understand all formats the way they do today. This means that even if we manage to keep a perfect copy of a video file for 100 years, no one may be able to understand that it’s a video file, let alone what to do with it. To avoid this scenario, the “packager”—free, open-source software called Archivematica—analyzes all digital collections materials as they arrive, and records the results in an obsolescence-proof text format that is packaged and stored with the materials themselves. We call this an “archival information package.”...

How can we prove in 100 years that a given digital object in the collection has not become corrupt, and has not been maliciously modified, since the moment it entered the collection? It would be of course impossible to periodically manually inspect millions of digital files. To address this issue, the packager passes each and every digital object through a cryptographic algorithm called a “checksum.” The checksum value for one digital file is essentially a sequence of a few hundred letters and numbers. This provides us with the ability to come back to an archival package in the future, run the digital files through the same cryptographic process, and check to make sure that we wind up with the same values that were originally recorded. So in summary, these archival packages contain not just MoMA’s digital collections, but the information that we will need in the future in order to understand what the materials are and to confirm their authenticity. These archival packages are then sent off to what we call the “warehouse”—a digital storage system maintained by the infrastructure division of MoMA’s IT department.

This is the digital equivalent of MoMA QNS, our physical art-storage facility in Long Island City. The “warehouse” is a very large cluster of hard drives configured as a Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID) that lives in our data center at 53 Street, along with a duplicate of the entire cluster that lives offsite at MoMA QNS. This has served us well for about five years, but this type of disk-based storage becomes an untenable expense with very large amounts of data....

We are currently in the final stages of designing a completely new “warehouse” with a company called Arkivum. This system will include a small cluster of hard drives, but for primary long-term storage it adds a very cool new element to the mix: data tapes. When archival packages are first stored, they land on the cluster of disks, but are shortly thereafter copied to data tape, a process that is automated by software (and robots!). ...

This system will allow us to store the projected 1.2 million gigabytes of digital collections material redundantly in three locations: the Museum, our art storage facility in Long Island City, and our film preservation center in Hamlin, Pennsylvania.
archives  digital_archives  storage  preservation 
5 weeks ago
7 Classrooms: library as pedagogical incubator - The Ubiquitous Librarian - The Chronicle of Higher Education
Not only do we use these rooms to expand our teaching capacity, but they also enable us to observe and learn from others. Watching Jill Sible operate in SCALE-UP is inspiring. They help us become better teachers. Hosting courses and related activities invites spontaneous encounters and conversations that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.

The added value is using these spaces for other purposes: workshops, seminars, symposiums, exhibits, showcases, media labs, meeting rooms, study rooms, group work rooms, tutoring rooms, and other activities.

So there is a functional layer. We can teach more. We can teach differently. Other people can also teach more and differently as well. We can partner more with them on instruction and other projects. When the rooms are not “classrooms” they can serve a multitude of other needs.

There is also a symbolic layer. The Library is committed to the teaching mission of the university. These seven spaces are not just more classrooms— each one is different. They encourage experimentation and new types of assignments and class interactions. Students and instructors feel differently when they meet here compared to most other rooms on campus. These classrooms are helping us become a pedagogical incubator.
library  pedagogy  furniture 
5 weeks ago
Fornasetti | History - The Artist at War
The masterpiece that stands the proof of time as one of the most unique and mind-bending products of Fornasetti imagination is the Stanza Metafisica. Made of 32 shutters, each 3 meters high and 50 centimeters wide, the Stanza is a modular wooden screen decorated with imaginary architectures and unreal landscapes. A thought-provoking monument to Practical Madness, an awe-inspiring effort, four years in the making, aimed at creating a place to meditate and forget the struggles of modern life.
media_architecture  memory  studioli 
5 weeks ago
BLDGBLOG: Music for the Asset Bubble
Via some indirect links following an email tip from Sam Grawe, I stumbled on this collection of ambient music "mostly emanating from the corporate infrastructure of the 1980s asset bubble. FM synthesis, prefab 'lifestyle' soundscapes and the illusion of nature in a hyper-urban environment."

It's music as the icing on the space—a sonic introduction to new forms of interiority, smoothing your transition into supermodernity—or soundtracks for architecture in an age of capital accumulation. New Age meets non-place. Imagine a room that makes no sense until you play the right music in it.
sound_space  branding 
5 weeks ago
Time, Timing and the Timely by Cameron Tonkinwise - Core77
Community-Partnered Courses are sometimes—not always, but more often than should be—excuses for courses that seem to involve less time, rather than more. The learning is thought to lie in the experience of learning to work with the wicked problems of community partners, so less prep is even occasionally considered better for this kind of sink-or-swim pedagogy. The DO-ference proved the reverse—that community partnered projects take much more time to get to the place they deserve.
This makes community partnered projects very difficult for universities. Firstly, there is always the procrustean problem of wedging a community's problems into the arcane timetabling of a semester length class—"your problem needs to be only of a size that will fit a 10, 12 or 15 week class meeting twice a week." Secondly, and perhaps more significantly, there is the issue of how a university accounts for the prep time required of a community project. In effect, universities pay faculty to teach, and in some cases to do research and service; in which cost center then to put the time spent with community partners, time that will make for an effective learning experience (or conference) but which is not actually time spent in the classroom? This time is not well characterized as research (is new knowledge being created?) or service (normally meaning 'to the university')? Without solving this accounting problem, how can universities be incentivized to deploy their intellectual capital, including those int
curriculum  civic_engagement  teaching  conferences 
5 weeks ago
Printed Matter: Fantasies of the Library and Land & Animal and & Nonanimal – intercalations: paginated exhibition series 1 and 2
The intercalations: paginated exhibition series is an experimental foray exploring the structure of the book as a potential curatorial space. As the reader-as-exhibition viewer moves through the book-as-exhibition, she discovers that the erratic intercalations of the Anthropocene invite new forms of literacy, visuality, inquiry, and speculation that are, in the words of Clarice Lispector, less promiscuous than they are kaleidoscopic.
To celebrate the launch of intercalations 1 and 2, please join us for a conversation between MoMA Librarian David Senior, former NYPL photography curator Julia Van Haaften, and series co-editors Anna-Sophie Springer and Etienne Turpin about book-exhibitions, libraries, and publishing in the Anthropocene.
libraries  classification  textual_form  book_art  library_art  foucault  exhibition  museums 
5 weeks ago
What’s that Smell in the Kitchen? Art’s Olfactory Turn - News - Art in America
The subversive nature of Yi's trip to Gagosian lines up with her feminist intentions for working with odors. "My interest in smell is very political, critiquing the regime of vision our society imposes on us, re-thinking how art should work on us, questioning the value judgments placed onto the senses," Yi wrote in an email. She cited art historian and MIT professor Caroline Jones's book Eyesight Alone (2005), which "takes Clement Greenberg as subject and victim of this repressed attitude toward all other senses that weren't in the service of the ocular." Yi's restoration of scent to art responds to a phallogocentric privileging of the eye as the organ responsible for knowledge and domination. It is also a way, Yi says, to counteract the collective loss of the olfactory sense, beyond the recognizable odors found in commodities like expensive fragrances and cleaning products.

Scent is gaining momentum in young artists' practices, pointing to a desire to re-engage with the body at a moment of technological change. At this historical juncture odor can act as a substance to combat alienation, to bridge distances. Raspet, one of Yi's collaborators on "You Can Call Me F," created a scratch-and-sniff distillation of the scent in Jessica Silverman Gallery in San Francisco for an exhibition in 2014. Raspet's installation effectively updates the gestures of first-generational institutional critique that exposed the myth of the gallery as a neutral space....

The two-part exhibition "Sensorium" at MIT's List Center in 2006 and 2007, which featured artists exploring senses beyond vision, also proves an important touchstone in contextualizing this recent wave of olfactory production. The work of Sissel Tolaas, a Norwegian artist and scientist, is especially resonant. For the MIT show, Tolaas created a scratch-and-sniff wall installation, infusing paint with an artificial smell of human sweat based on samples given by frightened men.
sensation  smell 
6 weeks ago
BLDGBLOG: Infrastructure as Processional Space
This precise control of human circulation was also built into the landscape—or perhaps coded into the landscape—through the use of optical character recognition software (OCR) and radio-frequency ID chips. Tag-reading stations were located at various points throughout the yard, sending drivers either merrily on their exactly scripted way to a particular loading/unloading dock or sometimes actually barring that driver from entry. Indeed, bad behavior was punished, it was explained, by blocking a driver from the facility altogether for a certain amount of time, locking them out in a kind of reverse-quarantine.

Again, the implications here for other types of landscapes were both fascinating and somewhat ominous; but, more interestingly, as the trucks all dutifully lined-up to pass through the so-called "OCR building" on the far edge of the property, I was struck by how much it felt like watching a ceremonial gate at the outer edge of some partially sentient Forbidden City built specifically for machines.

In other words, we often read about the ceremonial use of urban space in an art historical or urban planning context, whether that means Renaissance depictions of religious processions or it means the ritualized passage of courtiers through imperial capitals in the far east. However, the processional cities of tomorrow are being built right now, and they're not for humans—they're both run and populated by algorithmic traffic control systems and self-operating machine constellations, in a thoroughly secular kind of ritual space driven by automated protocols more than by democratic legislation....

...this overly simple word masks the often startlingly unfamiliar forms of spatial and temporal organization on display. This actually seems so much to be the case that infrastructural tourism (such as today's trip to Bayonne) is now emerging as a way for people to demystify and understand this peripheral realm of inhuman sequences and machines.
transportation  containers  ports  infrastructure  logistics  algorithms 
6 weeks ago
NYC Library Awards
Join us in celebrating the best public libraries in New York City by nominating your branch to win $20,000!

If you live in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, or Staten Island, you are probably within walking distance from at least one of New York City's 207 public libraries. How does your neighborhood library make your community a better place?
libraries  branch_libraries 
6 weeks ago
Inside Manhattan's Adorable New Pencil Shop: Gothamist
For many years I've been searching for a Pencil Of The Month Club, but eventually lost hope and came to terms with being a rare lead appreciator living in an ink and screen world. So when I heard of a pencil shop opening on the Lower East Side, the first thing I wanted to do was ask the owner, Caroline Weaver, if she'd be introducing such a club.
Weaver told me, "This is definitely in the works and will start in May or June. I'll send a really special pencil (old or new) each month along with its story. Stories are really important with pencils—aside from its physical characteristics which often vary rather subtly, it's what sets them apart from each other." This is my kind of pencil shop.
pencil  writing 
6 weeks ago
Rhizome | EXCAVATING THE ARCHIVE--NEW TECHNOLOGIES OF MEMORY
If, one day, *everything* will be accessible online or in some digital
format, then what will this really entail - practically and
philosophically?

"Excavating The Archive: New Technologies of Memory" will bring together
internationally-renowned computer scientists, designers, new media
theorists and artists from the U.S., Europe and Australia, to explore
this utopian proposition.

Speakers will define the cutting edge in digital archiving, presenting
new projects and advanced software prototypes for collection,
navigation, visual representation and data mining of vast bodies of
information, in diverse cultural and commercial contexts.
archives  databases  archive_art  interfaces  storage  conference 
6 weeks ago
wac | gallery 9 | walczak + wattenberg | global online wunderkammer | wonderwalker
In my 15 minutes today, I would like to briefly sketch some experiences with technologies of memory and pose some open-ended questions about how the idea of the wunderkammer might be an interesting way to think about "putting things in their places."

Many artists are working today with issues around technology and the archive, from Muntadas's File Room to Sawad Brooks' and Beth Styrker's DissemiNET to Fred Wilson's Road to Victory to George LeGrady's Slippery Traces to Natalie Bookchin's Databank of the Everyday to Cohen-Frank-Ippolito's Unreliable Archivist to Eugene Thacker's ftp_formless_anatomy to Zhang Ga's Censorium to Rick Rinehart's Boolean Typhoon to Eduardo Kac's Time Capsule to Noah Waldrop-Fruin's Impermanence Agent to Thomax Kaulmann and the Open Radio Archive Network Group to C5's 1:1, just to mention a few.
databases  archive_art  data_aesthetics 
6 weeks ago
The Radical Art of Archiving Performance, as Practiced by Martha Wilson
The practices of using first-person accounts or oral histories, ephemera and grassroots archives, as well as alternative publishers, have long been core strategies for feminists seeking to document and preserve histories that have been ignored or mischaracterized by institutions. Watching Schneemann deftly toy with the transmission of her own history, I couldn’t help but reflect on the shows I had just seen of work by Martha Wilson and the organization she founded, Franklin Furnace. Both exhibitions foreground a first-person archive that is, even as it winks and nods, taking a serious approach to preservation and asserting influence.
preservation  archives  performance 
6 weeks ago
The Hyper-Stacks and the Post-Enlightenment | booktwo.org
In this work I wanted to explore the parallels between museums, intelligence agencies, and software programmes themselves: reduced to processes, each is an embodiment of a certain set of politics which is not always visible to the outsider, or to those subject to them – or even, as agglomerations of histories and departments, those who nominally operate them. Each is also a model of the world and a way of seeing it, but crucially it is an operational form of seeing, actively remaking the world to conform to the model it attempts to reproduce. By critically analysing and understanding these processes, it may be possible to influence the world that they are building around us. In the case of the intelligence agency, this influence may take the form of blocking or redirecting its gaze; in the case of the public institution it may consist of reconfiguring its historical narratives to better represent the experiences of the excluded; in terms of software it is a process of recognising and asserting agency within an increasingly technologically augmented and mediated culture and society. Each of these forms of action, these strategies, is one of systems literacy: understanding complexity and embodiment in one domain, and being able to generalise that understanding to other domains: legal frameworks, social codes, nation states, domestic politics, corporate hegemonies.

The Five Eyes installation is, in part, another in a long line of works which makes visible the invisible in broad terms: both literally in the rarely seen archive files which support the objects on display – their own data shadows, or metadata – and more figuratively in the exploration of provenance and politics within the museum. As always and increasingly when undertaking this work, I feel the limits of its approach most keenly, and want to use this opportunity to explore some related examples....

I was reminded of the MareNostrum when we installed Five Eyes this week, because the stacks of archive files in their glass cabinets appeared even more like server stacks in the splendour of the V&A’s gallery than they had already in my head. It’s the lowest form of visualisation, really, paper archives for magnetic ones, but no less pleasing for it... That is the rub, though. These equivalences, while illuminating, rarely move us forward. The necessity of forcing state changes on the intangible, of making the invisible visible and coming up with new metaphors for the essentially and materially ungraspable system of flesh, wire and emanations we inhabit is going to remain. The systems literacy which makes such visualisations and articulations possible is the pedagogical imperative of the 21st century and I fully intend to keep banging on about it....

Here’s a thing: the visible and the invisible are products of the same belief system, and that is that all things are ultimately knowable. Wikileaks and the NSA believe the same thing: that if we can just bring all the secrets of the world to light, everything will be made good and right with the world. The museum and the software programme have the same essential ontology, that ordering things and structuring them in the right way will produce a representation so perfect we can build a whole culture atop it. But much is not knowable, and while the internet is perhaps here to reveal to us the vastness of what we do not and cannot know, the social and political philosophy with which it is mostly closely associated asserts not merely that everything is knowable, but that all things are knowable at once, and structures the world around this assumption, whether through surveillance, big data, the veneration of the market or the supremacy of the nation state. The curse of omniscience, once attributed to God, is now more tragically invested in the machine.

There is a deep and limitless unknowability at the heart of the world. This is the post-Enlightenment realisation engendered by our new technologically-mediated viewpoint (“post-” understood not as “the successor to” but “the crisis of”). Its immanence in the network cannot be rationally denied for much longer: as artists it is what we have been scratching at forever. The challenge is to implement and operationalise this understanding, to historicise and politicise it, to not be content merely with visualising and materialising what we cannot see, but to radically rethink our understanding of what we, as actors and agents, artists and citizens, states and systems, can ever see at all.
archives  exhibition  intelligence  surveillance  infrastructure  epistemology  visualization 
7 weeks ago
AIA Names 6 US Libraries as 2015′s Best | ArchDaily
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has revealed six libraries they believe to be the year’s best. In collaboration with the American Library Association (ALA), the AIA/ALA Library Building Awards are intended to promote and honor exceptional designs in library architecture. Taking into account the evolving role of the library, the AIA believes these six award recipients elevate the institution to one of congregation and community-specific programs.
libraries  architecture  awards 
7 weeks ago
Look & Listen: A New Sound Responsive Exhibition In London
Look & Listen, a new sound responsive exhibition at the recently opened Sto Werkstatt gallery in London, explores “the often unnoticed, yet vital role acoustics play in our experience of place.” Designed by The Klassnik Corporation, the exhibition offers a variety of “sonic experiences” which encourage the visitor to focus on the audible aspects of architecture. It creates a unique set of environments built using Sto’s range of acoustic systems, “utilising the perfect balance of design flexibility and technical leadership the acoustic materials offer.” The installation also demonstrates the materials‘ capabilities in reducing reverberation and promoting clearer sound.
architecture  sound_space  acoustics  noise  exhibition_design 
7 weeks ago
How the Photocopier Changed the Way We Worked—and Played | History | Smithsonian
For centuries, if you weren’t going to the trouble of publishing an entire book, copying a single document was a slow, arduous process, done mostly by hand. Inventors had long sought a device to automate the process, with limited success. Thomas Jefferson used a pantograph: As he wrote, a wooden device connected to his pen manipulated another pen in precisely the same movements, creating a mechanical copy. Steam-engine pioneer James Watt created an even cruder device that would take a freshly written page and mash another sheet against it, transferring some of the ink in reverse. By the early 20th century, the state of the art was the mimeograph machine, which used ink to produce a small set of copies that got weaker with each duplication. It was imperfect.

Then in 1959, Xerox released the “914”—the first easy-to-use photocopier. The culmination of more than 20 years of experimentation, it was a much cleaner, “dry” process. The copier created an electrostatic image of a document on a rotating metal drum, and used it to transfer toner—ink in a powdered format—to a piece of paper, which would then be sealed in place by heat...

In essence, the photocopier was not merely a vehicle for copying. It became a mechanism for sub-rosa publishing—a way of seizing the means of production, circulating ideas that would previously have been difficult to get past censors and editors. “Xerography is bringing a reign of terror into the world of publishing, because it means that every reader can become both author and publisher,” Marshall McLuhan wrote in 1966.

This had powerful political effects. Secrets were harder to keep, documents easier to leak.... “They’d go in to do the paste-up for all these magazines, and then they would make thousands of posters and fliers that were so integral to what ACT-UP was doing,” notes Kate Eichhorn, an assistant professor at the New School who is writing a book about copiers. “These huge corporations were underwriting this radical activism.” This same force catalyzed the world of alternative culture: Fans of TV shows, sci-fi or movies began to produce zines, small publications devoted to their enthusiasms. The Riot Grrrl movement of young feminist musicians in the ’90s, appalled by mainstream media’s treatment of women, essentially created their own mediasphere partly via photocopiers. “Beyond its function as an ‘office tool,’ the copier has, for many people, become a means of self-expression,” said the authors of Copyart, a 1978 guide to DIY creativity....

one can imagine hitting the Xerox 914 moment—when everyday people suddenly discover the pleasures of replicating objects. We might start scanning everyday objects that we often misplace—the battery-access covers on remote controls, crucial hinges or pieces of electronics—so that when things go missing, we can run off another copy
copying  xerox  media_archaeology  copyright  zines  3D_printing 
7 weeks ago
About | archivefutures
We are building an international network to generate imaginative and transformative research exchange around the new questions that are shaping archives and archiving into the future, a future intimately connected to – and likely to be increasingly defined by – digital media. We are specifically concerned with exploring the status of the material in the era of digitization, thus productively joining emerging debates across the humanities regarding the character of materiality and matter to debates in the digital humanities concerning emergent modes of research.
The archivefutures research network is specifically configured to enhance exchange of knowledge across national domains and – most importantly – to promote partnerships across the professional boundaries that frequently separate scholars and archivists.
The questions we want to ask about the theoretical, methodological, epistemological and ontological shifts we are witnessing are not incidental: they are field-defining ones in that they promise to extend our understanding of what happens when our archived cultural heritage is brought together with the promise of the digital. In this respect, our questions are not a supplement to current scholarship and/or archival practice but are key to the production and transfer of new knowledges being generated in this moment of ‘rethinking the archive’....

Among the questions that necessarily arise are:
How are we to understand the material in the realm of digitized and born-digital collections of personal papers and other literary and cultural artefacts?
How does this differ from pre-digital collections?
What happens to paper documents – and our engagements with them – once digital surrogates are available? How does the availability of the latter transform the conditions of scholarly engagement?
For example, how do relations of matter and meaning shift as a given text shifts from one medium to another? Do different modes of material embodiment produce different objects of study? And do these objects demand different (and possibly new) methods?
Can we think of paper objects as doing things the digitized or born-digital can’t and vice versa?
How does the new materiality of the digital environment trouble familiar distinctions between fragile and enduring records and the once taken for granted relations between access and preservation?
What can the digital offer to the complex material states associated with difficult manuscripts and damaged or altered physical documents?
And can such documents in turn help us to uncover and examine our assumptions about digital archives and the affordances of new processes of digitization?
If material literacy has remained largely under-developed in terms of engagements with analogue sources, can the complexities of materiality and matter in the digital environment now help to refine and strengthen these approaches?
What is the future ontological status of fonds for which there are no funds and no plans for digitization? How does this speak to a new political economy of archives and archiving?
How will the affordances of “socially amplified” digital archival spaces that explicitly provide for social reading, social writing and annotation challenge more static understandings of the archive and of the document? Will such affordances begin to blur existing (hierarchical) distinctions between categories of users? Will users through their contributions become part of what formally constitutes an archive or a document?
How does the digital archival environment challenge what we have known about the space and time of the archive? How can we talk about new and emerging spatio-temporal coordinates of archival accumulation?
archives  paper  feminism  materiality  documents 
7 weeks ago
It's Nice That : Celebrating the posters designers have made for their Typo Circle talks
Each speaker is invited to design the poster for their own event and this has led to a terrific archive created by top designers to promote, well, themselves. We had a root through them and selected some of our favourites but you too can rifle through the archive over here.
graphic_design  typography  presentation_images 
7 weeks ago
What Library Are You Dreaming? Provost Katherine Rowe Talks About the Future of Neilson - Smith College Grécourt Gate
“The next step is to spend a year in a programming phase with members of the community partnering with the architects. After that would come the design phase. For the programming phase, the architects will bring a deep understanding of libraries. They will help us grapple with what parts of the collection should stay here and what parts might be kept elsewhere. We are committed to growing our library collection at the same level of excellence, which means we can’t build one building big enough to house what it will become. We’re also in a period where we have an unprecedented number of choices for ways to store knowledge—more than we’ve had in centuries. The library is more than just a box for books. Humanists sometimes make the analogy of the library as a lab because of the way it brings resources together. We need to be thinking about that while we are working to meet the needs of multiple library users.”
libraries  planning  design_process  smith 
7 weeks ago
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