[-empyre-] Week One on "Feminist Data Visualization" -- empyre discussion July 2016

Catherine D'Ignazio dignazio at media.mit.edu
Sat Jul 2 02:00:12 AEST 2016

Hello all -

Thanks for the invitation to participate in empyre and in particular in
this conversation!

I thought maybe I would explain some of my motivations for writing the
"What would Feminist Data Visualization Look Like?" piece. In the 2000's I
did a lot of art & cultural production that related to counter cartography
and psychogeography (curated one year of Psy Geo Conflux festival, invited
people to rename the City of Cambridge, conducted algorithmic walks, etc -
you can see at kanarinka.com) Throughout that period of what I might call
"unmaking maps" through performance I became familiar of the earlier work,
more from late 1980's and early 90's of academic critical cartographers
like Denis Wood, John Krygier, Brian Harley, John Pickles, Bill Bungee as
well as the "feminist objectivity" articulated by Donna Haraway.

Fast forward ten years and I find myself a professor of data visualization
at an arts & communication focused school. I'm teaching non-technical
students how to work with data for telling stories in the public interest,
including everything from data collection to data analysis & cleaning to
visualization. Which has led me to think about how the worlds of making
maps/representations/visualizations and be combined and collided with the
worlds of critiquing and unmaking those same artifacts, particularly in the
era of "Big Data" when there is a real fetish about knowing the world
through data-driven means.

In thinking about data visualization, I think we have a lot to draw on from
the histories of critical cartography and indigenous mapping and feminist
critique. But I feel like where we can build further is not stopping at
critique (which is what academics so often do - point out oppression and
leave it there, deconstruct everything and then goodbye) but actually move
towards operationalizing critiques of power, feminist ethics into design
principles for how to make things more just, more fair, more
representative, etc. and then actually make stuff that embodies those

Maybe I'll stop there ! Looking forward to this conversation,


Assistant Professor of Civic Media and Data Visualization, Emerson College
Fellow, Emerson Engagement Lab
Research Affiliate, MIT Center for Civic Media
www.kanarinka.com | @kanarinka | 617-501-2441

On Fri, Jul 1, 2016 at 4:20 AM christina at christinamcphee.net <
christina at christinamcphee.net> wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> For the first week, I’m happy to introduce four guests.  In anticipation
> of each their introductory posts - please feel welcome to respond to them
> as soon as the posts appear in your email feed.
> Please welcome Catherine D’Ignazio, Lauren Klein, Erin Leland, and Lee
> Mackinnon  (not in any order of appearance)—for week one,  JULY 1-8
> -cm
> ------------Catherine d’Ignazio kanarinka at ikatun.org
> Catherine D’Ignazio, a.k.a. kanarinka, is an Assistant Professor of Civic
> Media and Data Visualization Storytelling in the Journalism Department at
> Emerson College. She is a researcher, artist and software developer. Her
> work focuses on data literacy, media innovation and civic art. It takes the
> form of public art, design, code, classes, workshops and writing.  Her art
> and design projects have won awards from the Tanne Foundation,
> Turbulence.org, the LEF Foundation, and Dream It, Code It, Win It. In
> 2009, she was a finalist for the Foster Prize at the ICA Boston. Her work
> has been exhibited at the Eyebeam Center for Art & Technology, Museo
> d’Antiochia of Medellin, and the Venice Biennial. Professor D’Ignazio is
> currently a Fellow at the Emerson Engagement Lab and a Research Affiliate
> at the MIT Center for Civic Media. She is one of the many Directors of the
> Institute for Infinitely Small Things.
> https://civic.mit.edu/feminist-data-visualization
> ----------Lauren Klein  lauren.klein at lmc.gatech.edu
> Lauren Klein is an assistant professor in the School of Literature, Media,
> and Communication, where she also directs the Digital Humanities Lab. She
> received her A.B. from Harvard University and her Ph.D. from the Graduate
> Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). Her research interests
> include early American literature and culture, food studies, media studies,
> and the digital humanities.With Matthew K. Gold, she edits Debates in the
> Digital Humanities, a hybrid print/digital publication stream from the
> University of Minnesota Press. Her writing has also appeared in American
> Literature, Early American Literature, American Quarterly, and Digital
> Scholarship in the Humanities (formerly Literary and Linguistic Computing),
> among other venues. She serves as co-PI on the NEH Office of Digital
> Humanities-funded TOME project, a tool to support the interactive
> exploration of text-based archives.
> http://lklein.com/2014/12/visualization-as-argument/
> --------------Erin Leland  erin.leland1 at gmail.com
> Erin Leland is an artist based in New York, working with photography,
> writing, and built installation. She received her Master of Fine Arts
> degree from The University of Illinois at Chicago in 2010 and has since
> held residencies at The Watermill Center, The Banff Centre, and The Villa
> Waldberta. Her photographs have been included in group exhibitions at The
> Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, Roots & Culture in Chicago,
> and Ewing Gallery at The University of Tennessee, among others; solo
> exhibitions include Everything Is Everything at Michael Strogoff Gallery in
> Marfa, Texas and Traces to Form Concrete Thoughts at Weltraum 26 in Munich,
> Germany. Her fictional writings have been published through Mercer Union
> and White Walls in the artist compendium Blast Counterblast and through
> contributed arts writings to the blog Bad at Sports: Contemporary Art Talk.
> Erin is Gallery Associate at Bridget Donahue Gallery in New York.
> http://www.erinleland.com/site/Erin_Leland.html
> ---------------Lee Mackinnon lmackinnon at aub.ac.uk
> Lee Mackinnon is a writer, artist and lecturer working in the fields of
> comparative media studies, art and technology. Her research explores new
> forms of politics and subjectivity brought about by novel technological
> configurations. She is currently completing a PhD at Goldsmiths College
> London that considers love’s algorithmic, computational capacities. Work
> from this project has appeared in the book Algorithmic Life: Calculative
> Devices in the Age of Big Data (Routledge 2015) and in eflux, Love
> Machine’s and the Tinder Bot Bildungsroman (74: 2016)
> http://www.e-flux.com/journal/love-machines-and-the-tinder-bot-bildungsroman/
> She has also published articles that explore the politics of data
> visualization (Toward an Algorithmic Realism in Leonardo 2014 MIT press)
> and that highlight the ethics of photographic representation in the context
> of the art gallery (Gaming in Waziristan in Third Text, Routledge 2012).
>  Lee has previously exhibited visual work at the Bloomberg Space in
> London; Nordjyllands Kunstmuseum, Denmark; and Temporary Autonomous Art,
> recently giving talks at the W139 Gallery, Amsterdam; Parasol Foundation,
> London; Future Legends in Sweden and at the 2016 London Conference in
> Critical Thought, Birkbeck College, University of London.
> Christina McPhee
> http://christinamcphee.net
> insta: naxqqsmash
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu
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