Performing the Data Drive

Published on December 12th, 2018


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During several evenings we will perform and imagine the speculative archive. In the first scene we will explore the emergence of new modes of authorship and authority in an attempt to design a stage that acknowledges the need for people to construct their own independent narratives. In the first scene we will explore the emergence of new modes of authorship and authority in an attempt to design a stage that acknowledges the need for people to construct their own independent narratives.

Thursday 13 December, 2018
19:30-21:30

Organised by Annet Dekker, with Suzanne Mulder
Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam

 

Values that drive data management and the creation of collections, interfaces and infrastructures are characterized in terms such as re-use, openness, interoperability, relationality, interdisciplinarity, and, in some cases, even post-disciplinarity. By following the proverb, “the more data, the more sharing, the more knowledge”, decisions about what texts, objects, and artefacts deserve preservation oftentimes only consider the needs and practicalities of the now.

Such a focus on the present, however, neglects that archiving is first and foremost about the collection and dissemination of knowledge for future generations whose needs are impossible to predict. 

Yet, most archives today merely function as rear-view mirrors; build on conventional infrastructures active and dynamic data can lose its performative nature. If the goal of an archival institution is to plan, produce and shape the future, what would happen if archival design embraces uncertainty and encourages speculation to create a stage where these very virtues could be performed and co-created with all those involved?

During several evenings we will perform and imagine the speculative archive. In the first scene we will explore the emergence of new modes of authorship and authority in an attempt to design a stage that acknowledges the need for people to construct their own independent narratives. In the first scene we will explore the emergence of new modes of authorship and authority in an attempt to design a stage that acknowledges the need for people to construct their own independent narratives.

With Bethany Nowviskie (skype) setting the score, followed by Dragan Espenschied and Klaus Rechert who present blurry objects, Renee Turner and Cristina Cochoir will discuss the porous border between enumeration and narration, and last but not least Michael Murtaugh and Nicolas Maleve will question an algorithm.

 

Programme

Bethany Nowviskie, Speculative Collections

Bethany directs the Digital Library Federation (DLF) at the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), and is a research associate professor of Digital Humanities in the Department of English at the University of Virginia. Among other projects at CLIR/DLF, she is currently collaborating with international partners on the Digital Library of the Middle East, and with leadership of the HBCU Library Alliance on opportunities for digital library staff from historically black colleges and universities

Dragan Espenschied and Klaus Rechert, Blurry Objects — New Archiving Approaches for Today’s Culture

As Rhizome’s Net Art Anthology is reaching its conclusion, preservation director Dragan reflects on preservation activities and productive abstractions that were used to present 100 defining works of internet art over the course of two years.
Net art has been posing a broad range of challenges to existing conceptions of objecthood and preservation, by exposing personalized views, blurry boundaries, and manifestations in between performance and artifact, many of which can today be found in everyday digital objects.
Klaus, project director of Emulation as a Service (EaaS), discusses new technical approaches to tackle these issues and connect preservation techniques previously thought to be separate activities.

Renée Turner and Cristina Cochior, Between Enumeration and Narration

Moving through The Warp and Weft of Memory, an online archive of artist Gisèle van der Gracht’s closet,  Renée and Cristina will be discussing the porous border between enumeration and narration. Understanding the database as a form of writing, they will read through elements of the site and recount the making of the archive. Key to their approach is the language of weaving and the use of the Semantic MediaWiki to create a narrative tapestry.  The Warp and Weft of Memory was initiated by Renée Turner and involved contributions by André Castro, Cristina Cochior, Manufactura Independente, Cesare Davolio, Kate Pullinger and Frans-Willem Korsten.

Michael Murtaugh and Nicolas Maleve, Nobody knows what a face is anymore

Is it a mask? Is it a password? Is it a search pattern? Is it a hole? Is it a symmetry? – Nobody knows what a face is anymore.
Out of desperation, Michael and Nicolas ask a series of algorithms what is a visage and how to use it to slide in and out of archives. The result is an archival jam session performed with face recognition and feature detection algorithms probing the visual congeries of the frantic image collectors Erkki Kureniemi, Guttorm Guttormsgaard and Asger Jorn.

 

Image credit: ‘pointy shoes’, The Warp and Weft of Memory

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