Data

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    "Visualizing Cell Behavior in 3D: A Tour of Biology Research Praxis" by Tim Fessenden

    “Visualizing Cell Behavior in 3D: a tour of biology research praxis” 

    Tim Fessenden

    Cells serve as unending sources of biological knowledge for the scientific community, but their behaviors remain poorly understood in many contexts. This is especially so for tissues – collectives of cells – which undergo movement and deformations during normal physiological processes as well as in disease states, such as cancer. To investigate both collective and individual cell motility behaviors, my doctoral work requires imaging cell collectives over long timescales. As such, my work relies heavily on my ability to faithfully produce and interpret images of cell collectives in 3D. This talk will first introduce the technical methodology that I use, and then will explore how acquired images are processed and interpreted to support knowledge claims about motile cell behaviors. Through this tour of data acquisition and interpretation, I aim to provide examples of the formation of a working object of scientific knowledge and the world in which it is found. I focus on the emergence of this world and its inhabitants through different spatial scales, as a collaboration among humans, non-humans, and technology.

    Categories: 
    • Debating Visual Knowledge
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    "Instant Interferences" by Jeffrey Curran and Jocelyn Monahan

    “Instant Interferences”

    Jeffrey Curran and Jocelyn Monahan

    Google has recently built a number of new data centers around the United States. These structures are often discussed in terms of shifts from industrial to post-industrial labor, job loss/creation, gentrification, and other human factors. However, the topographies of these towns also change, in order to accommodate such structures. This project will use instant photography to convey the changes this transition has on the landscapes themselves, focusing specifically on the newly constructed data center located in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and the 2014 harvest season. Over these months, I will document new roads, subdivisions, and shopping structures, as well as capture instances of farmland before it disappears. These will then be combined with field recordings and audio from low-frequency antennas taken in the same locations to create a new visual and aural picture of a rural town in transition.

    Categories: 
    • Debating Visual Knowledge
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    "The Thick Black Line: Image and Objectivity in Roman Ondak's 'Measuring the Universe'" by Catherine Falls

    “The Thick Black Line: Image and Objectivity in Roman Ondák's Measuring the Universe

    Catherine MacArthur Falls

    As discussed by historians of science Lorraine Daston and Peter Galison, visual representations—including, for example, anatomical and botanical illustrations—have for centuries been integral to the production of scientific knowledge. Believed since the nineteenth century to be a more direct and 'objective' way to represent scientific phenomena than the potentially flawed realm of language, such visualizations, they suggest, have historically helped construct generalized 'objective truths' about the complex individual subjects they represent.1 In his 2007 participatory installation work, Measuring the Universe, Slovakian artist Roman Ondák critically and playfully engages with this longstanding relationship between art, statistical or scientific visualization, and human subjectivity. In a gesture mimicking both biological data collection and the quaint measurement of a child in the home, Ondák traced the heights of all exhibition visitors on the walls of the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich, repeating this action until a unified visualization—a thick black line at the average height of all visitors— emerged from the accumulated measurements. This 20-minute talk will explore how this and other similar contemporary works foreground or interrogate the often-obscured process by which idiosyncratic and infinitely complex subjectivities, and their intermediary data, are converted into clean, finalized visual representations of objective, authoritative scientific knowledge. It aims to demonstrate how, in a subversion of the historical relationship that artists have had to scientific knowledge production, such works reveal the process by which statistical and scientific visualizations construct not only truths about human subjects, but also human subjects themselves. It will argue that the exposure of this process and its role in subjectivity construction are increasingly necessary at a time characterized by a proliferation of infographics and other forms of often unquestioned data visualization.

     

    Categories: 
    • Debating Visual Knowledge
  • Six Degrees of Francis Bacon
     

    "Six Degrees of Francis Bacon: History, Networks, Knowledge"

    “Six Degrees of Francis Bacon: History, Networks, Knowledge”
    Dr. Christopher Warren, Dr.
 Raja Sooriamurthi, 
Ivy Chung, 
Sama Kanbour,
 Angela Qiu, 
Chanamon Ratanalert

    http://sixdegreesoffrancisbacon.com/

    This poster presentation will introduce a web interface for Six Degrees of Francis Bacon (SDFB), a collaborative, multidisciplinary, visual humanities project with wide utility for several subfields in early modern studies. Historians, literary critics, musicologists, art historians, and others have long studied the way that early modern people associated with each other and participated in various kinds of formal and informal groups. Yet their scholarship, published in countless books and articles, is scattered and unsynthesized. By data-mining existing scholarship that describes relationships between early modern persons, SDFB is creating unified, systematized representations of the way people in early modern Britain were connected.

    In seeking to characterize early modern social networks in previous work, scholars have of course relied primarily on their most cherished medium, prose. Yet it is far from obvious that prose, or rather prose alone, is the most appropriate medium for representing social networks. Most editions of Shakespeare’s works implicitly acknowledge the limitations of prose when they choose to display the genealogy of English kings in the form of a family tree. The visual image of the tree conveys relationships with a clarity and succinctness that even the best prose stylists would be hard pressed to match. Yet it is not only for reasons of clarity and succinctness that a digital medium is superior to prose alone in representing the complexities of the early modern social network. Unlike published prose, our web interface is extensible, collaborative, and interoperable: extensible in that affiliations can always be added, modified, developed, or, removed; collaborative in that it synthesizes the work of many scholars; and interoperable in that new work on the network is put into immediate relation to previously mapped relationships.

    Categories: 
    • Debating Visual Knowledge