Working on Decomposing Bodies over the last month and a half has been an exercise in process. Shortly after the start of the semester, the Data (after)Lives show went up, featuring data from DB, some of the physical Bertillon cards and exploring many of the same ideas that we confront in DB every day.
As a collaboration between Information Sciences and the History of Art and Architecture, “Sustaining MedArt” is a project conceived to be interdisciplinary—a term which many in my home department of English are happy to invoke when convenient, but one that few want to deal with practically when it means crossing venturing outside the humanities.
It seems that autumn is finally here, more or less. It is a splendid season, but also perhaps the most hectic in academia-land. New students arrive, conference abstracts and grant proposals are due, and time seems to accelerate and contract alarmingly (or so it feels, as I get older).
It has been a busy two weeks on the MedArt project. I am thrilled to announce that I have conquered BitCurator, and it is up and running in the VMW. However, that is a fairly recent development so I have not had the opportunity to use it too much. I did manage to get it working last week on my personal laptop. My initial sense of victory was quickly dashed when I began imaging the MedArt files and saw the time remaining was slowly counting down from 68 hours.
In the Museum Exhibition Seminar class this past week, we consolidated what we had been learning about from readings, discussions, and lecturers (including Daniel Quiles and Jessica Gogan) and began to narrow in on what we might like to see in our own exhibit. We noted some specific objects we might like to use, as well as various general concepts, and even a few titles/subtitles.
The class got a special treat on an otherwise dreary Monday this week. We met up with museum director Lynn Zelevansky and associate curator Katherine Brodbeck to hear them talk about the intensive process behind creating the upcoming CMoA (and then traveling) exhibit Hélio Oiticica: To Organize Delirium, opening this Saturday, October 1, and running through the end of the year.
This Friday's toolshop, facilitated by Kate Joranson, Alison Langmead, and myself, focuses on tools and techniques for project management. We have designed our discussion to encompass both available software and strategies for project planning and working with a team. For ease of accessing some of the resources we will discuss this morning, we have compiled a list of links in this post.
After a successful book-browsing session set up for us by librarian Kate Joranson, the class got to work exploring catalogues of related past exhibitions and conceptual books in more detail, picking out relavant themes, common connections, and interesting language. The class also began thinking about how these past exhibitions can relate to the one we will create. Hint: COLOR.
This week marks the end of my second offical week working in the Visual Media Workshop on the Sustaining MedArt project. It's been an interesting transition from the physical forensics I performed as an archaeology major in undergrad to learning about digital forensics as an MLIS student. I've found a similar excitement to finding indiscrepencies in file trees, extracting themes from transcribed interviews, and small successes in using unfamiliar software comparable to finding potsherds on a dig site.