DESMA 259, Spring 2011

DESMA 259: Data and the Media Arts

Far from virtual, inert quantities, data exert real forces in the physical world -- They are incendiaries wielding the power of once-secret diplomatic cables, mores initiated with the flip of a privacy setting, and physical laws shaping urban structures with the quiet, persistent action of zoning regulations. Data are bribes, calls to action, objects of coordination. Data build. Data destroy. Data renew. Data rarely act in isolation, gaining power through combination, "join"ing forces and moving into new terrain. Their presence is thought to guarantee transparency, their absence is seen as suspicious and restrictions on their movement appear to be temporary, at best.

This course will deal in data. It is not meant to be a study in data visualization, per se, although we will not rule it out. Instead, we will examine different "locations" for creative practices along a kind of data flow that moves from collection, processing and publishing, to recombination with other sources, analysis and interpretation, and finally to policy and "action." Work for this course might not have a visual component at all, but could instead represent a new way to organize, search or publish data. It might be a novel data collection strategy or a joining mechanism that crosses databases. In short, we are looking to examine how the forces that surround data naturally can be directly engaged when working with data as "material."

Instructor    Mark Hansen
8951 Mathematical Sciences Building
Skype: cocteautt

Meeting    T 9-11:50
Broad 5240

Office Hours    TBD
8951 Mathematical Sciences