All posts tagged with 'visual ethnography'
Sofya Yampolsky is a Russian-born, Boston-raised designer and futurist with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Museum Education from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She founded and directs the New School student group, The New Futurists, which focuses on technology, design, and future studies. She will receive her Master’s in Media Studies from NSGS this spring. Outside of graduate work, she produces music videos for independent artists, consults on design strategy for small businesses, plays guitar in a garage band, and is involved with several future-y start-ups.
Dealing with Disorder: Visual Complexity and the Uncertain Whole
As the concept of complexity evolves, its implications have extended beyond specialized disciplinary fields in physics and mathematics, to information and systems theory and, increasingly, to the social sciences. One of the principal ways to represent and engage with complexity is through visual models, maps, and interactive visual mechanisms, which are readily accessible through scholarly publications as well as public and semi-public forums. This study of images will employ a visual ethnography that asks: who makes these images and why are they important? This paper has three purposes: to briefly sketch the evolution of complexity and introduce its current definitions, to provide an ethnographic analysis of an array of examples of visual complexity from fields as diverse as news media and neuroscience, and to analyze the value of such visualizations for the field of social science. This paper will argue that the creation and increasing popularity of these complex visualizations is symptomatic of the anxiety in social science about the disorder and uncertainty posed by the breakdown of specialized disciplines. Furthermore, that increasing complexity in the visual ecology creates artifacts of individual artists’ and scientists’ struggle with meaning-making in modern information society.
Vanessa Meyer is a graduate of the Communications undergraduate program at Concordia University and is currently completing her final year in The New School Media Studies Masters program. Her work is fundamentally interdisciplinary in that she makes a conscious effort to bridge the field of critical media studies with other domains, such as philosophy, political science, cultural theory, sociology, and art criticism. Along with this academic project, Vanessa maintains the importance of integrating a strong practical element into her work. She is currently working on experimental ways of conceiving of and producing documentary.
A ‘Politics’ of Mapping, Or How to Produce a Whatever Documentary
What are the emerging politics of our new media environment? Is “politics” even the appropriate term to be using? It is not the goal of this paper to offer any simple solutions to these questions, or really any “solutions” at all, instead the present paper develops a (creative) way of understanding the developing political atmosphere from the perspective of an ever changing and fluid media landscape. Through an interdisciplinary approach it will follow in the footsteps of the thinkers that it draws on, such as Jodi Dean, Giorgio Agamben, Thacker and Galloway, Paolo Virno, Geert Lovink, and Deleuze and Guattari. By outlining the movement from the centralized televisual media landscape to the distributed network of the web this paper will combine Deleuzian theories of rhizomes and “mapping” with ideas for “new documentary” in order to create a creative and experimental way of working with both theory and practice- and subsequently gain a fuller insight into our developing “politics.”