Call for Participation – Digital Methods Summer School 2014, On Geolocation: Remote Event Analysis (Mapping Conflicts, Disasters, Elections and other Events with Online and Social Media Data), 23 June – 4 July 2014
"The Digital Methods Initiative is a contribution to doing research into the 'natively digital'. Consider, for example, the hyperlink, the thread and the tag. Each may 'remediate' older media forms (reference, telephone chain, book index), and genealogical histories remain useful (Bolter/Grusin, 1999; Elsaesser, 2005; Kittler, 1995). At the same time new media environments – and the software–makers – have implemented these concepts, algorithmically, in ways that may resist familiar thinking as well as methods (Manovich, 2005; Fuller, 2007). In other words, the effort is not simply to import well–known methods – be they from humanities, social science or computing. Rather, the focus is on how methods may change, however slightly or wholesale, owing to the technical specificities of new media.
The initiative is twofold. First, we wish to interrogate what scholars have called 'virtual methods,' ascertaining the extent to which the new methods can stake claim to taking into account the differences that new media make (Hine, 2005). Second, we desire to create a platform to display the tools and methods to perform research that, also, can take advantage of 'web epistemology'. The web may have distinctive ways of recommending information (Rogers, 2004; Sunstein, 2006). Which digital methods innovate with and also critically display the recommender culture that is at the heart of new media information environments?
Amsterdam–based new media scholars have been developing methods, techniques and tools since 1999, starting with the Net Locator and, later, the Issue Crawler, which focuses on hyperlink analysis (Govcom.org, 1999, 2001). Since then a set of allied tools and independent modules have been made to extend the research into the blogosphere, online newssphere, discussion lists and forums, folksonomies as well as search engine behavior. These tools include scripts to scrape web, blog, news, image and social bookmarking search engines, as well as simple analytical machines that output data sets as well as graphical visualizations.
The analyses may lead to device critiques – exercises in deconstructing the political and epistemological consequences of algorithms. They may lead to critical inquiries into debates about the value and reputation of information."
"In this way the puppeteers would be part of the development of the prototypes for the virtual puppets as well as the characters for the play, before the actual rehearsals would begin two month later. ...
The value of the actual meetings and workshops can not be emphasised enough. This gave the participants hands on experience with the constraints in the actual equipment and a chance to meet the team that would be responsible for operating it. It is not until the artist has a very physical and intuitive impression of the material and the involved people the creative process takes off for real–before this everything is abstract ideas. ...
In the planning of the research project and the actual production the division of labour within and between each field of activity were specified as outlined in section 3.
As the process went on the borders became more blurred exploring the new field between creative production in theatre and animation and methods from computer science and systems development. One of the big challenges was the development of a common language between the artist and the programmer/technicians and to define and invent new methods that were necessary to carry out the production.
I tried to explore the numerous reasons for this in the evaluation phase of the project. This was done by conducting qualitative interviews with the participants and by reviewing the large body of video documentation from the process. The footage was edited to a 50 minute documentary about the project on which the following assumptions are based (Callesen 2001)."
(Jørgen Callesen, 2003, p.15,18,30)
Callesen (2001) Virtual Puppets in Performance, Proceedings, Marionette: Metaphysics, Mechanics, Modernity, International Symposium, University of Copenhagen, 28. March – 1. April, 2001
Callesen, J. (2003) "The Family Factory – Developing new Methods for Live 3D Animation" in Madsen, K.H. Production methods: behind the scenes of virtual inhabited 3D worlds. Springer–Verlag, London.