Week Five – Reflection week, Set-up Class Spatial Project
5B General discussion on themes in the course / Brainstorming for Our Collective Spatial Humanities Project (3 October)
In-class discussion: It’s time to take a small breather and step back to appreciate what we have done so far. What have you learned about the changing face of the humanities so far? What are common themes you have heard emerging? How have you seen the humanities evolving along side the technologies that structure our contemporary lives? Do you sense any tensions? Which of the tools mentioned by Gardiner/Musto chapters have you learned about? Which ones would you like to explore further? You will carry out two mini individual projects for your final portfolio. Would you like any of these tools to be a part of those? We will look at Gardiner/Musto Appendix, 183-217 “Digital Tools” and distinguish the “digital tool” from the “digital project.”
Brainstorming for our project:
I would like you to go back and to take a look at the Linguistic Landscapes of Beirut, the Mapping Beirut Print Culture, the NYU digital project that inspired them, Art and Politics in the City, the NYU Shanghai map of Street Food as well as three beta sound maps we have been working on in Beirut (links to be shared in class).
Today we are anticipating the part of the class that has to do with the spatial humanities and mapping. All three projects mentioned above use smart phones as locative media to collect data and associate them with location. In order to be ready to build our class project, we need to begin collecting some data at this point of the term.
In-class discussion: What do the six projects you looked at collect as data in their local surroundings? Are patterns visible in the data collected? Or in the data collected by certain participants? How is collective “capture” (Drucker’s capta) different from the collective transcription we did in Week Four? Can you think of similar challenges across the projects? When mapped how do the data tell a story? What should we do as our collective curation of space? What should be its spatial scope? How do the patterns our mobility affect what kinds of data we can collect? Can you imagine ethical issues with such data capture?
In-class exercise: Today we will discuss a spatially-defined topic of study and hash out a data model for our collective project.
What kinds of data will we map in Abu Dhabi? Where? Two possibilities are to extend the Linguistic Landscapes of Beirut to Abu Dhabi or to join another professor’s course in some ecomapping.
Blog post #3 What are three recurring themes in your exploration and discovery of digital humanities? Can you point to some projects that embody or explore those themes? (to be posted the day before the next class begins by 6pm.)
6A Optional lab day (5 October) : On the 4th and 5th of October there will be a conference on campus: “Dialogues with the Past: Documenting Heritage in the UAE” sponsored by the Abu Dhabi Institute. On 5 October there is an excursion into the field to collect data from a prehistoric site here on Saadiyat Island. We will gather on the campus in the morning, take a bus to the site and work with mapping, 3d photography, drone photography or audio capture from about 9:30 to 11am. After lunch we will work at the CDS on analyzing data together in the interest of cultural heritage from about 145-5pm. There will be no classroom activity at the regular hour today. You are encouraged to be a part of either part of the day, even just to drop in to see how things are going.