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Journey Towards Datameaningfulness


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This is a talk I gave at Paraflows, a digital arts conference in Vienna. It's about why I do what I do, and how the cultural history of Generation X plays into it.

I suggest reading the speaker notes while viewing, or it probably won't make a whole lot of sense. Unfortunately, the speaker notes (after the first slide) are offset by about 8 slides.

Journey Towards Datameaningfulness

  1. 1. A Personal Journey Towards Datameaningfulness Rachel Lovinger 18 September 2008 Photo by Eugene Tan compass, travel, journey, wayfinding
  2. 2. Photo by Rachel Lovinger eric miller, w3c, semantic web, work, razorfish
  3. 3. There were NO WEBSITES when I was in 4th grade.
  4. 4. Photo by Rachel Lovinger london, txt msg, mobile, street, taxi, crossing
  5. 5. Gen X: Heralds Of The Digital Age
  6. 6. Photo from personal collection dad, moms, hipipies, binghamton, lake, table
  7. 7. Photo ©Robert Altman hipipies, antiwar demonstration, america
  8. 8. Big Idea Form Your Own Opinions
  9. 9. Photos by rebelniko ~the original~, Thijs van Exel, Leif K-Brooks, Patrick Q melancholy rose, Wilhelm Joys Andersen, Daniel R. Blume, Jorge Ferrer, Stephen Michael Barnett & Michael Pereckas
  10. 10. Photo by Adrian Black couch potato, sleeping, TV remote, socks
  11. 11. The Early Years Growing Up On The Verge Of The Information Age Photo from personal collection baby, me, rachel, binghamton, blanket
  12. 12. Harness Racing by Craig Stephen, others from personal collection racetrack, harness racing, horses, mom, harpur college, me, kira, woods, picnic
  13. 13. Photo from personal collection dad, baby, vest, shoe, chair, pink pajamas
  14. 14. Photo from personal collection mom, NYC, rockefeller center, summer
  15. 15. Photo from Museu Virtual de Informatica mainfraime, UNIVAC 90/30, computer history
  16. 16. “Modern data processing began with the inventions of American engineer, Herman Hollerith. [His] great breakthrough was his use of electricity to read, count, and sort punched cards.” - The Birth of Data Processing, Library of Congress Photo by Miranda punch card, computer, data
  17. 17. Punch cards were my Internet.
  18. 18. Photo from personal collection me, stairs, rachel, hat, boa, really rosie
  19. 19. Drawing by M.C. Escher perspective, building, impossible
  20. 20. Photo from personal collection me, room, toys, 80s, electronics kit, rachel
  21. 21. Photo from personal collection me, rachel, camera, skirt, sunny day, fence
  22. 22. Photo by Rachel Lovinger mom, empire state building, NYC, 70s
  23. 23. Photo from personal collection 9th birthday, me, rachel, friends, david
  24. 24. Photo from personal collection 9th birthday, me ,rachel, friends, tristan
  25. 25. Photo by Wonder14 tristan taorino, award, porn director, feminist
  26. 26. Photo from personal collection me ,james, rachel, 80s, cars, trees, nerds
  27. 27. Hello, Rachel, I hope you enjoy your ice cream._
  28. 28. Photo by Rachel Lovinger terry, chappaqua, 80s, photo class, library
  29. 29. Photos by Rachel Lovinger proofsheet, 80s, photo class, kids
  30. 30. The Kid with Big Feet By Rachel Lovinger Assignment for On Creating Spring 1988 Text and photos by Rachel Lovinger creative writing, photography, high school
  31. 31. A poem found in an advice column Dear Ann Landers, I know a man Whose wife Must really love you To send you So much suffering The parents Have been mourning Ever since - Rockland, Ill Dear Rock: My mail Shock-proof Normally intelligent people (silence) Welcome response In time of trouble
  32. 32. Heading to College People With Fully Formed Personalities And Interests But They Know Nothing. Photo from personal collection college, rachel, binghamton, dorm, me
  33. 33. There Was Still No World Wide Web
  34. 34. Photo by Adamantios VT220, terminal, computer, UNIX/VMS
  35. 35. Photo by Rachel Lovinger crappy boyfriend, cheater, college
  36. 36. Big Idea New Technology Leads to New Ways of Pursuing Sex
  37. 37. Photo by Jasmine Gartner me, college, rachel, binghamton, film, bike
  38. 38. Still from Video by Rachel Lovinger college, mona lisa, duchamp, eamon, video
  39. 39. Big Idea Post-Modernism
  40. 40. Literature Photo by Evan books, stack, literature, black & white
  41. 41. Comparative Literature Straightjacket by Ligadier Truffaut madness, crazy, asylum, straight jacket
  42. 42. Big Idea Great Stories & Ideas Transcend Medium
  43. 43. Mathematics Photo by Peter Renshaw math, blackboard, equations, chalk
  44. 44. Set Theory
  45. 45. Still from Straw Dogs, 1971 dustin hoffman, sam peckinpah, violence
  46. 46. Big Idea Underlying Logic
  47. 47. History Photo by Jack Downey, courtesy of The Commons france, wwii, tanks, crowd, military, arc de triomphe
  48. 48. Psychohistory
  49. 49. Big Idea Subtext
  50. 50. Philosophy
  51. 51. Esoteric Philosophy Moon by Kevin, Photo of pagans by Jessica Rabbit aleistar crowley, tarot, wicca symbols, moon, pagans
  52. 52. Big Idea Constructive Constructive Order Chaos Order VS Chaos Destructive Destructive Order Chaos
  53. 53. Photo by Rachel Lovinger discordians, poster, unicorns, chaos, room
  54. 54. Big Idea The Transformative Power of Words & Images
  55. 55. Prague
  56. 56. Paris
  57. 57. Photo © Charles Peterson nirvana, kurt cobain, grunge, drums, music
  58. 58. Big Idea Obsession With Surfaces
  59. 59. Photo by Marco Tedaldi cello, bow, pink, movement, hand
  60. 60. Nam June Paik claimed to have invented the phrase “Electronic Superhighway” in 1974 TV Cello by Nam June Paik cello, video, experimental, charlotte moorman, 1971
  61. 61. Big Idea Obsession With Surfaces Process
  62. 62. Photo by firutin static, white noise, tv, black & white
  63. 63. Photo by Emin Sinanyan white noise, woman, art, beauty
  64. 64. If we can’t totally make sense of the world, we can make it ours and find beauty in it.
  65. 65. Real Life This Is Not A Test. Or Is It? Photo by Rohanna Mertens new mexico, rachel, moon, me, window
  66. 66. Photo by Alex Heilner new mexico, rachel, sunrise, white sands
  67. 67. The Internet Existed, But Most People Had No Idea What It Was
  68. 68. Photo from personal collection rachel, new mexico, living room, boots, sign
  69. 69. Big Idea Community of the Alienated
  70. 70. Big Idea DIY
  71. 71. The Digital Age Ready Or Not, Here It Comes! Photo by Oliver Ingrouille circuit board, art, digital, pink, grey, black
  72. 72. Finally: The Internet
  73. 73. Form Your Own Opinion… Democratization of Knowledge Digg Graphr –
  74. 74. Obsession With Process… Transparency NNDB Mapper –
  75. 75. Community of Alienated… Distributed Social Networks Many Eyes Visualization – eyes/view/SvwWqGsOtha6yIE1YcPzG2-
  76. 76. Post-Modernism… Decentralized Authorship Wikipedia –
  77. 77. Order vs. Chaos… Constructive Order Well-designed navigation Destructive Order Confusing, locked down, weak sites Constructive Chaos Discovery, relevance, zeitgeist Destructive Chaos Confusion, phishing, disinformation
  78. 78. DIY… User Generated Content Vimeo –
  79. 79. Transcend Medium… Means of Distribution Dr. Horrible –
  80. 80. Transformative Words & Images… Viral Media LOLcats –
  81. 81. Underlying Logic… Content & Data Structure–
  82. 82. Subtext… Text Analysis Nielsen BuzzMetrics–
  83. 83. Sex… Still Sex flickr –
  84. 84. Thanks Internet! People are doing all kinds of strange and interesting things, and putting them online. Some things I needed and found online: • Catalog Card Generator • Newsweek article from 1992 • Lots of Creative Common Photos
  85. 85. Creative Commons Photos Luopan Compass for Feng Shui A stack of newspapers by Eugene Tan by Daniel R. Blume BY-NC-ND AT-SA Flashback to the old days Morse made easy by rebelniko ~the original~ by Jorge Ferrer AT-SA AT-NC-SA Viewmaster Ghetto Blaster by Thijs van Exel by Stephen Michael Barnett AT-NC AT Old computers Old Television by Leif K-Brooks by Michael Pereckas AT-SA AT video games Day 59 by Patrick Q by Adrian Black AT-NC BY-NC Photo Harness Racing by melancholy rose by Craig Stephen AT-NC-SA BY-NC-ND Neon II Computer Punch Card by Wilhelm Joys Andersen by Miranda AT-SA BY-NC-ND Creative Commons –
  86. 86. Creative Commons Photos Tristan Taormino Photo by Wonder14 by Jessica Rabbit BY AT-NC VT220 Terminal Cello furioso by Adamantios by Marco Tedaldi BY-SA BY-NC-SA books in a stack (a stack of books) White Noise by Evan by firutin BY BY Straightjacket White Noise by Ligadier Truffaut by Emin Sinanyan AT BY-NC-ND 2007May131113 computer love by Peter Renshaw by Oliver Ingrouille BY-NC-ND BY-NC-ND Crowds of French Patriots iMac tag by Jack Downey, Courtesy of The by Derek K. Miller Commons AT-NC Underneath a Country Harvest Brand Moon by Kevin AT-NC Creative Commons –
  87. 87. Contact Info • Email: • Blog: • Twitter: mirka23 This presentation is available for use under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial- Share Alike 3.0 United States License