All posts by shannon


Final Presentations!

Wendy and Liza will be joining us in class on May 13, as we share our as-final-as-it’s-going-to-get version of our Scalar project. Angelica and Shannon will provide an overview and discuss the overarching “theme.” Then each of you will share your contribution to the collaborative effort. Plan to talk for ten minutes.

You might start by briefly reminding us of your motivation for choosing your topic or application. Then take us on a tour of your work. For those of you doing “content-based work”: click through the pages, explain your narrative or argumentative path, describe what experience you’re aiming to create for your user/visitor/reader. And in the process, highlight some of your most interesting content. For those of you developing tools: talk about how your tool allows us to engage with archival material in new and illuminating ways, discuss possible applications, and show us (if possible) how your tools has been pilot-tested in classmates’ projects.


Alex Kelly’s Oral History Project – Celebration 4/25 @ 6pm

Friday, April 25, 2014, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Jefferson Market Library (Map and directions)

Join us for an exciting celebration of Your Village, Your Story: A Greenwich Village Oral History Project!
Your Village, Your Story is a community-based oral history project at Jefferson Market Library that works to both preserve and document neighborhood history through the stories of people who have experienced it.

From December 2013 – April 2014, trained volunteer interviewers worked to collect over 90 oral histories of people who have a longtime relationship with Greenwich Village. This collection represents the voices of individuals who have lived, worked or spent over 20 years in the neighborhood.

At our final celebration we will:

  • Hear from Interviewers and Storytellers about their experiences
  • Listen to recorded interviews in our STORY BUFFET!
  • Find out what’s next and how you can access these recordings.  See a live demo from NYPL Labs about the NEXT PHASE of the project!
  • Celebrate the overwhelming success of the project with food, drink, and entertainment

**RSVP by April 21st:   Jefferson Market Library at (212) 243-4334


Notes from Jane Pirone’s UX Presentation

The User & the Design Process

User Scenarios [secure file]
DataMyne Discovery Report [secure file]

User Scenarios for In-Class Workshop

Break into pairs. One person will choose and “enact” one of the following scenarios, while the other person observes. Then, once the “researcher” finishes his/her task, the observer can questions about how the researcher chose to structure his/her interaction — and the two work can together to develop a flowchart diagramming how the “researcher” completed the task. Then swap roles, choose another user scenario, and repeat!

#1. Former New School adjunct professor, looking for course descriptions from 1987 to 1990.

#2. Parsons undergraduate student given assignment to “find something about a designer in the archives.”

#3. Child of Parsons alum looking for information about the school during the time his/her parent would have attended the school, 1940s-1950s, specifically information about parent’s department/major. Alum graduated from “Industrial Design” program, which has been renamed several times.

#4. First-year student is writing a research paper on the impact of the Helvetica typeface in its first decade. Assignment requires student to include a primary source from an archives.

#5. Fashion industry professional looking for samples of floral patterns.


Pecha Kucha, April 22

To our guest critics:

Students in Digital Archives have been charged with “reimagin[ing] the “interface” to the archives by prototyping… platforms for highlighting and recontextualizing noteworthy archival material – particularly material regarding the history of media study and media-making at The New School.” They’ve chosen to create a single class-wide exhibition — with each student making an individual contribution based on his or her own interests — using the Scalar platform.  You’ll see here some of our “conceptual” plans for the exhibition; the second image shows students’ individual areas of interest. And some students have posted their individual project proposals here.

As you can see in my instructions to the students, below, they’re starting to translate their conceptual interests into concrete exhibitions of “archival stuff.” They’ll be sharing their evolving ideas with you in the form of a pecha kucha, with each student delivering a fast-paced presentation consisting of 20 slides. We’d value your input, at this formative stage, on how their projects are taking shape. Is there a there there? Are there rhetorical strategies they should employ to help them more effectively convey their messages via exhibition? Are there particular archival materials you’d recommend that they include? Are there ethical issues they need to consider?  Do you see any potentially fruitful synergies between different students’ projects?

To Digital Archives students:

The Pecha Kucha exercise will serve to:

  1. help your classmates learn about your particular theoretical and topical interests (which will also help us formalize plans for collaboration);
  2. encourage you to think concretely about the “stuff” of your contribution – i.e., how you’ll flesh out your conceptual interests with exhibitable archival objects and arguments [Your plans are undoubtedly still taking shape at this stage of the semester, and they’ll continue to evolve as you “actualize” your project on Scalar – so, rather than thinking of this presentation as a demonstration of “your work,” I encourage you to approach it more as a preview of what’s possible in your final project]; and
  3. allow you to receive some design feedback — about how to frame your exhibition — from the experts who’ll be visiting us in class.

Learn about PechaKuchas here. See also Olivia Mitchell’s “Five Presentation Tips for Pecha Kucha or Ignite Presentation” Speaking About Presenting [blog post], and check out some videos of Ignite presentations.

Here’s what you need to do: Prepare a 20-slide, automatically advancing (timed) presentation (20 seconds per slide) that encapsulates the topics / themes, archival “stuff,” and arguments that are central to your project, and that previews the breadth of media forms and formats that you’re likely to include in your exhibition. Because our projects are not solely visual, you’re welcome to incorporate audio and video clips – as long as they’re limited to 20-second bites.


Anarchive: Anne-Marie Duget, April 30

Anarchive: A lecture/presentation on Fujiko Nakaya’s FOG

By Anne-Marie Duguet, founder and editorial director of anarchive*
Wednesday, April 30 at 7 pm.
Wolf Conference Room, 6 East 16th Street, Room 1103

The School of Media Studies warmly invites you to attend a lecture/presentation by the distinguished media critic, professor, and director of the anarchive project, Anne-Marie Duguet.  She will be talking about anarchive’s latest issue by Japanese artist Fujiko Nakaya, whose work reinvents the meeting between art, science, and technology.  Nakaya is a pioneer of the unusual art form of fog sculptures.   Anarchive’s project with Nakaya was assembled on DVD-rom and DVD-video and includes the first monograph about her more than 50 Fog Works as well as her paintings and video art.

Anarchive: Digital Archives on Contemporary Art has issued four other projects with internationally-renowned artists Antoni Muntadas, Thierry Kuntzel, Jean Otth, and Michael Snow.  Each draws upon the artist’s archives to provide a unique opportunity for an historical, theoretical, and critical study of his work.  Anarchive aims to develop new approaches for describing new media art works by using, for example, 3-D model simulation to explore how installation elements are displayed and function together. Each DVD-Rom includes an important database that, without pretending exhaustiveness, encompasses an artist’s oeuvre. The research behind each project aims to produce a new view of the work and not just to establish a chronology or follow given art categories.

  Experimentation with the interface design and the interactivity of the system plays an important role in the series. The multidisciplinary nature of the project requires expertise in many fields: art history and theory, computer programming, graphic design, writing, video production, etc. For this reason, a team is assembled to assist each artist. The collaboration of sophisticated artists with skilled and inventive technical teams yields original multimedia production and unexpected possibilities.

*anarchive is a series of interactive multi-media projects designed to explore an artist’s overall oeuvre via diverse archival material.

Anne-Marie Duguet is Professor Emeritus of the University of Paris, LAM Laboratory of Arts and Media.  She is a well-known art critic and curator and the author of Vidéo, la mémoire au poing (Hachette, 1981), Jean-Christophe Averty (Dis-voir, 1991) and Déjouer l’image. Créations électroniques et numériques (Jacqueline Chambon, 2002).  She is a founder and the editorial director of Anarchive.


Radical Archives Conference @ NYU, 4/11-12

A two-day conference organized around the notion of archiving as a radical practice, by which we mean: archives of radical politics and practices; archives that are radical in form or function; moments or contexts in which archiving in itself becomes a radical act; and considerations of how archives can be active in the present, as well as documents of the past and scripts for the future.The conference is organized around four threads of radical archival practice: Archive and Affect, or the embodied archive; Archiving Around Absence, or reading for the shadows; Archives and Ethics, or stealing from and for archives; and Archive as Constellation, or archive as method, medium, and interface.
Register by Wednesday, April 9, via the conference website.

Co-sponsored by Asia Art Archive, Hemispheric Institute, NYU History Department, NYU Moving Image Archive Program, and NYU Archives and Public History Program. 



Image via Carlos Lascano!

Using Collective Access Lightbox

Here’s Wendy’s presentation on using the Collective Access lightbox, which, as she acknowledges, is “pre-beta” :-)  She also notes: “The User Group functionality is obviously still problematic, but I did get it to work for me today, so it’s worth giving a try if you have a few minutes to play with it.” She also plans to speak with the developers soon, and hopes they’ll be able to fix the bugs in this system.


vid Edinburgh Research Data Blog

Concept Development

The Smithsonian, in theirThe Making of Exhibitions: Purpose, Structure, Roles and Process” report from 2002, identifies five stages of exhibition making:
  • Idea Generation
  • Concept Development: “when the ‘serious’ work on the parameters for content, ideas, design, size, and cost begins” (Smithsonian 25)
    • Some institutions “generate several concepts for the same idea”; some brainstorm; some assess their ideas with visitors (25)
  • Design Development: the phase with “the most struggles and conflicts – decisions need to be made on a day-to-day basis about how many objects, how much text, whose words, and whose ‘voice’” (25-6)
  • Fabrication and Installation
  • Post-Opening Activities

We’re in the idea-generation stage. The Smithsonian report also discusses a variety of practices by which exhibition ideas are generated and approved at different institutions:

  • In-house curators and subject-specialists often define exhibition ideas based on their curatorial or research interests.
  • Sometimes exhibition ideas emerge through an “environmental scan” of past, present, and future exhibitions at other institutions.
  • Ideas are often drawn from the pool of traveling exhibitions from other institutions.
    • Might we also think about generating ideas for exhibitions in partnership with other local institutions?
  • Proposals are reviewed by an exhibition committee – comprised of the institution’s director, other senior staff, and representatives from curatorial disciplines and subject departments and, if they exist, exhibitions, collections, design, public programs and/or education, visitor services / public affairs, and marketing and development (and sometimes publications) teams.
  • Criteria for evaluation of those proposals often include “relationship to mission, merit, fundability, availability of objects (in-house or available on loan), and audience draw and appeal” (Smithsonian 11).
  • Top-level management ultimately approves proposals.

We might begin our own idea-generation process by considering our Exhibition Mission Statement & Plan:

  • What are our goals for this exhibition? What values, identities define TNS – we might want to revisit the institution’s mission statement – and how can we align our project with those values?
  • Museum plans typically lie on a continuum ranging from, on one end, collection-driven, and on the other end, user- or market-driven.
    • What aspects of or elements in the NS archive do we want to feature?
    • Who are our target audiences? And what topics / themes / execution strategies would most likely appeal to those target audiences? (In a few weeks we’ll work on strengthening this appeal through user testing.)

Since many exhibitions arrive from individual curators’ or curatorial/research departments’ interests, let’s consider our individual topical or thematic interests; any particular collections and /or objects we’d ideally like to work with; and preliminary hopes – not plans, since we don’t want get hung up on concrete visions at this early, speculative stage – for how those interests might be executed. We’ll create a mind map. 

Lia Perjovschi, Knowledge Museum, 1999-2007, via Christine König Galerie

Lia Perjovschi, Knowledge Museum, 1999-2007, via Christine König Galerie

Now, how do we take all these individual ideas and merge them into a collaborative project? The Smithsonian report talks about division of responsibility in designing exhibitions:

  • Exhibitions have a project director, and, in some cases, a project manager. Staff are assigned to the exhibition team and are often given a charter spelling out the expectations for the exhibition and, perhaps, the roles and responsibilities for each member of the team.
  • “Until about [thirty] years ago, museums generally developed their exhibitions using a ‘linear’ or ‘curatorial’ model. One individual (generally a curator) had sole responsibility for development and implementation and, under his or her supervision, the exhibition moved sequentially from one support professional to the next.” Starting in the early 80s, due to changes in organizational structures, museums’ responsiveness to social changes, increased staff specialization, etc., “responsibility for exhibition development is now shared among multiple players…” With the “team approach,” “several professional interact and share creative responsibility throughout the process.” (Smithsonian 12 – 13).
  • The Smithsonian identifies several roles played by members of contemporary exhibition teams:
  1. Client: “usually a director of an upper-level administrator, provides the overall landscape for exhibit efforts” (15)
  2. Content Specialist: “provide the content and assure the accuracy of that content” (15)
  3. Designer: provides the 3-D or interactive “frame for the exhibit’s elements and the drawing/documents that will allow the exhibit to be built and installed as designed” (15)
  4. Content Interpreter: edits and translates content “for the visitor to best understand and appreciate” (16)
    …..Many teams exclude educators, or bring the person serving this role onto the team late in the process.
    …..“There are strong advocates for museums to support a full range of visitor evaluation activities during development. Downey (2002), for example, urges museums to develop audience input at three stages in the process: before design (concept assessment), during design (prototyping) and post-installation (evaluation)” (22).
  5. Project Manager: oversees schedule and budget

In our project, we’re all going to be playing each of these roles – but, ideally, we’d find people to take on “oversight roles,” attending to particular dimensions of the exhibition on the macro-scale. Let’s now consider what that macro-scale structure might be.

The fifth issue of OnCurating focuses on exhibition development, and features several essays, and interviews with curators and exhibition designers, about collaborative process. Iris Dressler and Hand D. Christ, joint directors of the Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart, say that with “process-related collaboration, you don’t know what comes out at the end.” Dressler explains: “I think it is important to show that especially contemporary art cannot be read in one direction, but that it instead offers multiple ways of interpretation.” But even if their execution allows for the acknowledgment of ambiguity, or even contradiction, they do have to begin an exhibition on common ground: “the starting points,” Dressler says, “are specific questions and problems that we share with other people.” The exhibition title often emerges “at a later moment of the process. The point of departure in these projects is never a title nor a certain thesis but an interest in circling around certain open questions and problems” (5).

Now, we’ll break into small groups and consider potential macro-scale groupings for your individual projects: how might we “cluster” various projects into thematic units, and how might we ultimately tie everything (or almost everything) together under one umbrella theme – or questions or problems?

  • Each group should propose at least two different uber-themes, and at least two possible sub-section organizations for each of those uber-themes. 

For the remainder of the class, we’ll discuss these possible schematic organizations. And we’ll discuss the format of your individual proposals, which are due next week

From Barry -- source unknown; I'll update citation as soon as I know more!

TNS’s Media-Centric Architectural History

From Barry -- source unknown; I'll update citation as soon as I know more!

From Barry. Via Mainspring Press.

My colleague and friend Barry Salmon informed me today that 79 5th Avenue, the new home of the School of Media Studies, was once the home of Edison Records’ “New York Recording Department.” Through 1929 the company’s studios were located on the 18th floor — the roof — just two floors above where SMS is now.

And according to Anna Outridge,  a contributor to Julia Foulkes’ and Mark Larrimore’s New School History site, 65 5th Ave, the site of our new University Center, was, in the 1880s, a four-story brownstone housing the Edison Company’s new headquarters. It was apparently the first building to be lit exclusively by electricity.

What’s more, 2 W 13th Street, SMS’s former home, used to house printing facilities. So TNS’s architectural history is very much entwined with technology and media history — and those intersections might make for a great final project!

Edison Recording Department group on roof of 79th Fifth Avenue; Front row, Messrs. Meeker, Emmons, Cronkhite, Burt, Jaudas; Back: Hofbauer, Rabenstein, Werner, Getcliffe, Voorhis, Benzler; New York, NY Ca1909. 10.120/44. Via National Park Service

Edison Recording Department group on roof of 79th Fifth Avenue; Front row, Messrs. Meeker, Emmons, Cronkhite, Burt, Jaudas; Back: Hofbauer, Rabenstein, Werner, Getcliffe, Voorhis, Benzler; New York, NY Ca1909. 10.120/44. Via National Park Service

Also from Barry; I'll update the citation as soon as I know more info.

Also from Barry; I’ll update the citation as soon as I know more info.