As visiting luminary for the UMaine Digital Curation graduate program’s fall 2015 teleconference, Craig Dietrich challenged its students to consider how culturally sensitive archives and linked data can break the monoculture of one-size-fits-all paradigms for access and publication.
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Scalar is an online platform built by the Alliance for Networking Visual Culture (ANVC) centered at USC that facilitates the creation of media-rich scholarly publications. The software has only recently entered public beta, however versions have been operational since 2010 that have led to a number of works, many sponsored by scholarly organizations and academic presses. Last month’s public launch has garnered new attention to the platform, and this week PCMag marked Scalar as an Editors’ Choice along with a 4.5/5 star “excellent rating.”
According to Streetsblog Los Angeles‘ Sahra Sulaiman, Still Water Fellows Vanessa Vobis, Craig Dietrich, and collaborators are “saving the world, one garden at a time.” Their project LA Green Grounds continues to dig up both lawns and publicity on its mission to turn Los Angelenos into gardeners.
The Still Water Senior Researcher and USC digital studies professor argues that run-of-the-mill citation methods don’t cut it in today’s connected world, where technologies like RDF can provide a far richer context and encourage reuse of online scholarship.
Figure 1. Vanessa Vobis, Crystal World (2008), Legion Arts-CSPS, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA
|Figure 2. Vanessa Vobis, Mars Attacks Fragonard (2009), (106) Gallery, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA||
Figure 3. Julian Epps, The Cave (2008), FreesePop, Bangor, Maine, USA
Still Water Fellow Vanessa Vobis has a history of combining installation art and ecology. In 2007 she filled sandwich bags with tap water and after a couple weeks they burst with algae growth under natural light. This discovery led to her MFA thesis show, Nitpickers, at Legion Arts-CSPS in 2008 (Figure 1) and gallery shows including Mars Attacks Fragonard at Grand Rapids’ (106) Gallery (Figure 2). Later in 2008 she taught the inaugural installation class at UMaine’s Intermedia graduate program, prompting a student show at Bangor’s historic Freeses Building featuring a community theme and materials including pancakes, wheatgrass, and projections inspired by bioluminescence (Figure 3).
After moving to Los Angeles in 2009, Vanessa is continuing to connect people and natural resources, helping found the volunteer corps LA Green Grounds, working as a gallery interpreter and Master Gardener at LA County’s Natural History Museum, and creating an edible and native garden in her South LA backyard. Vanessa’s activities were toured last week by Still Water co-founders Joline Blais and Jon Ippolito, in Los Angeles for an ecology-themed set of activities at nearby University of Southern California.
The week culminates on Friday 2 March at the School of Cinematic Arts with Redesigning Reality, a hands-on session in hacking the “scripts” that govern us to make everyday life more sustaining and sustainable.
Workshop participants redesign their favorite foods and Web sites, looking to nature as a model for the victual and virtual.
Photo archivists and Twitter sociologists, guerilla gardeners and best-selling Kindle authors descend on Orono, Maine for the 2011 Digital Humanities Week.
In recent weeks the ThoughtMesh publishing platform has expanded to include videos of conference proceedings, reports on the 2011 Egyptian revolution, and book-length publications.
Critical Code Studies has launched a Mesh to publish proceedings of their 2010 conference, in conjunction with a HASTAC Scholars Forum on the same topic of software studies. The launch coincides with a major ThoughtMesh upgrade from Still Water Senior Researcher Craig Dietrich that enables videos and articles to coexist side-by-side. The videos include talks by keynote speaker Wendy Chun and a host of prominent scholars.
ThoughtMesh is a free publishing platform created by Still Water with sponsorship from USC’s Vectors journal. Once “meshed” with this software, any document is automatically linked via automatically generated tags to related documents across the Web.
While the CCS Mesh gathers together seventeen presentations from the conference, many authors use ThoughtMesh to publish one document at a time. Just last week Egyptian-American Laila Shereen Sakr published a call to action based on her hash tag analysis engine that mines Twitter to follow anti-government protests in Egypt.