Week 1: Aug. 27: Introductions + Historicizing Information Overload
TEXTS REFERENCED IN CLASS (You needn’t read these, but you’re welcome to!)
- Clay Shirky, “It’s Not Information Overload, It’s Filter Failure” [video] O’Reilly Web 2.0 Expo NY (2008).
- Ann Blair, “Information Overload, Then and Now” The Chronicle Review (November 28, 2010).
- Daniel Rosenberg, “Early Modern Information Overload” Journal of the History of Ideas 64:1 (January 2003): 1-9.
- Jorge Luis Borges, “The Library of Babel” The Garden of Forking Paths
Week 2: Sept. 3: Exploring The Archives
FIELD TRIP: New York City Municipal Archives, w/ Ken Cobb, Assistant Commissioner of the Department of Records and Information Services
Meet at 4:00 at 31 Chambers (@ Centre). Take 4/5/6 (front of train) to Brooklyn Bridge. Please bring picture ID.
The following will help to provide some context for our tour:
We’ll discuss this material in class next week:
- Mike Featherstone, “Archive” Theory, Culture & Society 23:2-3 (2006): 591-596.
- Jacques Derrida, “Note” + “Exergue” Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression (University of Chicago 1996): 1-23.
- Jennifer Ulrich, “Transmissions from the Timothy Leary Papers: Applying Archival Processing” NYPL Archives Blog (March 26, 2012); Jennifer Ulrich, “Transmissions from the Timothy Leary Papers: MPLP, the New Standard?” NYPL Archives Blog (December 10, 2012); David Olson, Leary Intern, “Transmissions from the Timothy Leary Papers: Artifactual Intelligence” NYPL Archives Blog (May 30, 2013).
- Note: Thomas Lannon, Asst. Curator in the NYPL’s Archives + Manuscripts Division, has encouraged any of you who might be interested in working with the Leary papers and their born-digital counterparts, to get in touch (through me, Shannon). He’d be happy to schedule work sessions with you.
- “Networked Q&A with Marvin Taylor,” NYU Workshop in Archival Practice Blog (April 20, 2012).
- OPTIONAL (but highly recommended): Part 3 of The Hairpin’s “Ask an Archivist” series (September 4, 2012).
Week 3: Sept. 10: What’s in the Archive?
We’ll discuss the following, as well as our readings from last week, in relation to our field trip:
- Michel Foucault, Excerpt from Archaeology of Knowledge, Trans. Smith (Harper & Row 1972): 126-31.
- Wolfgang Ernst, “Dis/continuities: Does the Archive Become Metaphorical in Multi-Media Space?” In Wendy Hui Kyong Chun & Thomas Keenan, Eds., New Media Old Media: A History and Theory Reader (New York: Routledge, 2006): 105-123 [focus on pp. 105-6, 108-10, 112-14, 116-20; skip “A Forerunner of the Internet?,” “The Silence of the Archive,” “Global Memories,” “Retrograd…,” “Between Reading and Scanning”]
- Michael Gaynor, “Inside the Library of Congress’s Packard Campus for Audio-Visual Conservation” Washingtonian (May 9, 2011).
- Shannon Mattern, “Paper, Ash & Air: Material Remembering” Talk @ 9/11 Forum on Memory, Trauma, and the Media, The New School, September 9, 2011.
We’ll continue our discussion of archival themes – including the relationships between memory and storage, ephemerality and erasure – in our “Databases” unit, particularly when we discuss Vannevar Bush.
Week 4 Sept. 17: Who’s In the Archive?
- Ann Laura Stoler, “Colonial Archives and the Acts of Governance” Archival Science 2:1-2 (2002): 87-109.
- Diana Taylor, “The Archive and the Repertoire” In The Archive and the Repertoire: Performing Cultural Memory in the Americas (Durham: Duke University Press, 2003): 16-33.
- Supplemental: Diana Taylor, “Archiving Performance: The Digital as Anti-Archive?” Animating the Archives Conference, Brown University [video] (December 3-5, 2009): search iTunes for “Animating the Archives” –> choose “Keynote” –> fast-forward to 22:00, and watch through 1:03:56
- Terry Cook, “Evidence, Memory, Identity, and Community: Four Shifting Archival Paradigms” Archival Science 13:2/3 (2013): 95-120 [focus on 105-118].
- Bruce Lazorchak, “Ian MacKaye and Citizen Archiving” The Signal: Digital Preservation (Library of Congress blog) (May 8, 2013).
- Memoto, “#lifeloggers” [video]
- Skim through Raqs Media Collective, The Atlas Group & Interference Archive
- Melissa Morrone, “The Interference Archive Documents Radical History” Library Juice (April 10, 2012).
Theaster Gates, Vera List Prize Winner
September 18, 10am to 2pm; September 19, 10am to 1pm:
Open Forum Discussing Gates’ Dorchester Projects
September 18 – October 5
Exhibition: Aronson Gallery + Sheila Johnson Design Center
September 18, 5-6:30pm: Opening Reception
September 18 @ 7pm: Award Ceremony and Artist Lecture
Week 5: Sept. 24: Archival Aesthetics
PRESENTATIONS: Phuong + Michael
- Sue Breakell, Introduction, “The Archival Impulse: Artists and Archives” (note that this link merely provides context for the audio) Tate Modern [audio] (November 16, 2007): search iTunes for “The Archival Impulse” + Tate –> choose Part 1 –> listen from 2:00 to 11:30
- Susan Stewart, ”Wunderkammer: An After as Before” In Ingrid Schaffner & Matthias Winzen, Eds., Deep Storage: Collecting, Storing, and Archiving in Art (New York: Prestel, 1998).
- Hal Foster, “An Archival Impulse” October 110 (Fall 2004): 3-22.
- Amei Wallach, “A Conversation with Ann Hamilton in Ohio” American Art 22:1 (2008): 53-77.
- Theaster Gates: Dorchester Projects [see video], Dorchester Library and Archive
- Please visit the Gates exhibition before class.
- Helen Stollas, “Inside the House that Theaster Built” The Art Newspaper (September 6, 2012).
- OPTIONAL: Mark Godfrey, “Designs for Life” Frieze 149 (September 2012); Kelly Crow, “The Artist Next Door” Wall Street Journal (October 25, 2012); Theaster Gates, “Clay in my Veins, and Other Thoughts” Lecture at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha, NE (March 30, 2011) [video].
Week 6: Oct. 1: Ordering Media’s “Innumerable Species”
PRESENTATIONS: Jennifer + Justin
- Georges Perec, “Think/Classify” In Species of Spaces and Other Pieces (New York: Penguin, 1997): 188-205.
- Roy Boyne, “Classification” Theory, Culture & Society 23:2-3 (2006): 21-30.
- Alex Wright, “The Industrial Library” In Glut: Mastering Information Through the Ages (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2008): 167-80.
- Barbara Tillett, “What is FRBR?” (Library of Congress Cataloging Distribution Service, 2003).
- Browse through the resources for Dr. Cristina Patuelli’s “Knowledge Organization” class at Pratt, and Birger Hjørland’s “Lifeboat for Knowledge Organization” – just to get a sense of what LIS students need to know!
- David Weinberger, “Everything is Miscellaneous” [video] Google Tech Talks (May 10, 2007) [the first few minutes are a little rocky].
Week 7: Oct. 8: Libraries: From Mesopotamia to Madison Avenue
FIELD TRIP: Morgan Library, 225 Madison Ave @ 36th Street, 4-5pm
MEETING: For our last half-hour of class, we’ll return to The New School and meet with the archivists from the Kellen Archives at 55 W 13th, Room 303.
- “Library” Oxford English Dictionary (2010).
- Matthew Battles, Excerpts from “Burning Alexandria, “ “The House of Wisdom” & “Books for All” In Library: An Unquiet History (New York: W.W. Norton 2004): 22-81, 117-155.
- Quickly skim (just for fun!) Library Bureau, A Handbook of Library and Office Fittings and Supplies (Library Bureau, 1890).
The following will prepare us for our field trip:
- Charles E. Pierce, Jr., “Private to Public: Opening Mr. Morgan’s Library to All” In Paul Spencer Byard, et. al., Eds., The Making of the Morgan: From Charles McKim to Renzo Piano (New York: W.W. Norton, 2008): 21-32.
- Shannon Mattern, “Collected Notes on the Morgan Library for an Article I Meant to Write in 2003 But Never Did” [it’s exactly what it says it is!]
- The Morgan Library & Museum, “McKim Building Restoration.”
- Holland Cotter, “Let There Be Light, and Elegance” New York Times (October 28, 2010).
Week 8: Oct. 15: Idiosyncratic and Unorthodox Libraries
PRESENTATIONS: Ari + Farah
- Georges Perec, “Brief Notes on the Art and Craft of Sorting Books” In Species of Spaces and Other Pieces (New York: Penguin, 1997): 148-55.
The Warburg Library
- The Warburg Institute Library and Classification Scheme
- Alberto Manguel, “The Library as Mind” The Library at Night (Toronto: Knopf Canada, 2006): 193-212.
- Barbara Maria Stafford, “Reconceiving the Warburg Library as a Working Museum of the Mind” Common Knowledge 18:1 (Winter 2012): 180-187.
The Prelinger Library
- “The Library as a Map: An Interview with Rick Prelinger and Megan Shaw Prelinger” Contents 5 (2013).
- OPTIONAL: Gideon Lewis-Kraus, “A World in Three Aisles” Harper’s (May 2007): 47-57.
Radical Library/Archive Field Trip
Week 9: Oct. 22: The Future Library
IN-CLASS SCREENING: Holmes Films, The Librarian, 1947; Alain Resnais + Chris Marker, Toute la Mémoire du Monde, 1956
- Scott Sherman, “The Hidden History of New York City’s Central Library Plan” The Nation (August 28, 2013).
- David Giles, Branches of Opportunity (Center for an Urban Future, 2012).
- Shannon Mattern, “Marginalia: Little Libraries in the Urban Margins” Places (May 22, 2012).
- Zachary Slobig, “Bringing Maker-Style Garage Tinkering Into the Local Library” Good (July 30, 2012).
- Visit the Digital Public Library of America and, while you’re at it, see the Hathi Trust, too
- Check out the work of the Harvard Library Innovation Lab and Harvard’s Library Test Kitchen
- Scan over the voluminous recent discussion about the future of libraries!
Week 10: Oct. 29: New School Archives + Prep for Spring Semester
MEETING: Today we’ll meet in Kellen Archives (back left corner of the lobby @ 66 5th Ave) with archivists Wendy Scheir and Liza Harrell-Edge and Ed Scarcelle, University Librarian, to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing the New School’s own libraries and archives, and to brainstorm collaborative projects we might take on in our Spring 2014 Digital Archives class.
Week 11: Nov. 5: Tabula of Relationships, Orders of Things
PRESENTATIONS: Or + Angela + Ryan
- Michel Foucault, Preface to The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences (New York: Vintage Books 1994): xv-xxiv.
- Muhammad Haadi, “The Evolution of Database” All About Databases (October 18, 2010).
- Alex Wright, “The Web Time Forgot” New York Times (June 17, 2008).
- Molly Springfield, “Inside the Mundaneum” Triple Canopy 8.
- Vannevar Bush, “As We May Think” The Atlantic (July 1945).
- Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, “The Enduring Ephemeral, or the Future is a Memory” Critical Inquiry 35 (Autumn 2008): 148-171 [stop at p. 161 if you’re pressed for time].
Week 12: Nov. 12: A Database Episteme
UPDATE, 11/5: Because we ran out of time in class on November 5, we’ll continue our discussion of Foucault, Otlet, and Bush in class on November 12. And we’ll supplement that historical discussion with a few contemporary case studies: Lev Manovich’s Cultural Analytics projects and Sherratt’s Australia Unlimited, both listed below. You’ll see below that I’ve pruned our reading list for this week: the Byfield, Zins, and Liu readings are optional, but I do hope we can still talk a bit about the form of data, and how it relates to “information” and “knowledge.”
- Charles & Ray Eames, “The Information Machine” (1958) [film]
- OPTIONAL: Ted Byfield, “Information” In Matthew Fuller, Ed., Software Studies: A Lexicon (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2008): 125-32.
- OPTIONAL: Chaim Zins, “Conceptual Approaches for Defining Data, Information, and Knowledge” Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 58:4 (January 2007): 479-93.
- OPTIONAL: Alan Liu, <preface type = “general”>, <preface type = “technical”> + <argument title = “technologic” subtitle = “the blind spot on the page”> In “Transcendental Data: Toward a Cultural History and Aesthetics of the New Encoded Discourse” Critical Inquiry 31:1 (Autumn 2004): 49-63 [note: you’re reading only half the article].
- Browse through Lev Manovich’s Cultural Analytics projects.
- Tim Sherratt, “A Map and Some Pins: Open Data and Unlimited Horizons” discontents [blog post] (June 11, 2013).
Week 13: Nov. 19: Database Aesthetics
PROJECT PROPOSALS: Everyone shares their final project ideas.
- Christiane Paul, “The Database as System and Cultural Form: Anatomies of Cultural Narratives” In Victoria Vesna, Ed., Database Aesthetics: Art in the Age of Information Overflow (University of Minnesota Press, 2007): 95-109.
- On the curation and conservation of digital art: Paddy Johnson, “Curation and Conservation: An Interview with Rhizome’s Ben Fino-Radin” Art Fag City (June 22, 2012).
- OPTIONAL: Crystal Sanchez and James Smith, Interview with Ben Fino-Radin, Smithsonian Institution Time-Based and Digital Art Working Group: Interview Project (April 26, 2013). [for a more technical discussion (which will likely appeal to you, Ryan!), and insight into how one might prepare for a career in this field (here’s lookin’ at you, Marlee!)]
- On the sustainability of data-driven information ecologies: James Glanz, “Power, Pollution and the Internet“ New York Times (September 22, 2012).
- Check out Metahaven’s branding strategy for Iceland as a “data haven”
- On logistics and data-logic translated to physical space: Jesse LeCavalier, “All Those Numbers: Logistics, Territory and WalMart” Places (May 24, 2010).
- “Inside Amazon’s ‘Chaotic Storage Warehouses” Twisted Sifter (December 1, 2012).
- OPTIONAL: Lev Manovich, “Database as a Genre of New Media” AI & Society 14:2 (May 2000): 176-83.
- OPTIONAL: Caitlin Bruner, “With Art.sy, the World’s Amateurs Become Connoisseurs” Motherboard (2012).
Nov. 26: NO CLASS: Thanksgiving
Week 14: Dec. 3: Recap + FINAL PRESENTATIONS
Presenters: Ari, Or, Sam, Marlee
See presentation guidelines here.
Week 15: Dec. 10: FINAL PRESENTATIONS
Presenters: Everybody else!