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2 questions on data, aesthetics, scholarly work

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    2 questions on data and aesthetics–
    Lev and Susan, I would be interested to hear your thoughts on the opposition between traditional linear narratives and alternative modes of information organization as theorized or as performed by your own work—for instance the opposition of database and narrative Lev outlines in Language of New Media or, and Susan’s use of “hypertexts” and fragments in Dreamworld and Catastrophe. These alternative modes are alternately Benjaminian or proper to the digital era (key overlapping strategies being affordances of reproducible media like montage and modularity). I’m interested in thinking the historical fragment and the database together. What do we all make of these overlaps, is this total overreach? I’d also be interested to hear how other students have utilized non-linear, visual argumentation in their scholarly work.

    Given the focus of this class, I’ve become more attentive to how data visualizations are positioned in lectures and publications, and the way in which the visualizations are treated as equivalents of the data itself in the performance space of the lecture. Is there a subtle (or not so subtle) naturalization at work?

    Danica Savonick

    This is not a direct response, but your interest in non-linear visual argumentation in scholarly work reminds me of this article on a dissertation being done in comics:

    The comics dissertation seems to denaturalize the relationship between text and interpretation, reminding us that texts (or data) are already interpretations and that something like a dissertation, which announces itself to be a work of interpretation, is also a text (or data).

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