Data/Archive/Infrastructure Final Projects

Here’s what we did this semester:

Alyssa wrote a research paper about the challenges of conserving digital art — and particularly the ethics of savings things that are meant to be ephemeral.

Brittany, inspired by the work of Lynn Spigel, studied archives of mid-century women’s magazines to better understand the place of the television in the home — and then, inspired by the cabinet of curiosities, she created a diorama to model the “habitat” of the tv room.

Cristina created a gorgeous short documentary that examines the cemetery as a space of organizing and preserving the dead. She juxtaposes bottom-up images from the cemetery grounds with aerial imagery of old burial sites since absorbed into the urban fabric.

Ding explored the concept of mono no aware, the pathos of things, by using Markov chains and bots to “animate the archive.”

Elena, who’s long studied abusive commentary on female gamers’ YouTube play, decided to collect and call attention to that discourse by “elevating” it to a museological object. She created an interactive exhibition of online harassment, along with an audio guide and exhibition catalog.

Emil is studying the history of the progress bar and how we understand machine time.

Julianna wrote a fabulous research paper on archives of endangered languages — particularly the Filipino script known as baybayin.

Kenneth built an online “archive” documenting the work of Singaporean locative/performance artist collective, who were engaging with the geography and infrastructure of the Internet in the early 2000s — long before most of us were aware that “the Internet is a place.” Flat.Spaces includes an original interview with Charles Lim and an essay in which Kenneth rewrites into art history by considering the geographical specificity of Singapore and its place within global Internet infrastructures.

Kristin considered means of archiving the self — the mind and the body — by studying Martine Rothblatt’s LifeNaut and Cyberev’s enterprises, which allow users to create and preserve “mindfiles.”

LoriBeth wondered how we might get high-school aged students more interested in primary documents and the ways in which archival material helps us construct our histories and epistemologies. So, she prototyped a apocalyptic video game that encourages users to save our cultural heritage.

Maris, who’s an exhibition photographer, wrote an excellent research paper in which she examined the work of Giorgio di Chirico, who created “false originals” of his own work and and thus obfuscated their provenance, and how di Chirico informed the work of Andy Warhol, who was known for serial production.

Natalie — a composer / poet / programmer — experimented with scripts, textual corpora, and bibliographic conventions. She built a fantastic computational (re-composition) “archive” based on a corpus of epic poetry. And here’s a fascinating text introducing her new script animator and a sound work, what it feels like.

And Shonda examined the place of the black body in the archive, focusing in particular on how melanin is represented in both oral culture and medical literature.