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TRAVERSING
NETWORKS OF
COMPLEXITY
FROM DATABASE ARTWORKS TO
CONTEMPORARY NETWORKED PUBLICATIONS
Digital Abstraction | Jaco...
IN HOWFAR
IS DIGITAL
ABSTRACT?
DIGITALITY AS ABSTRACTION
Photo as human-perceivable image
Same photo as computer-interpretable code => encoded in jpg for...
DIGITALITY AS ABSTRACTION
image displayed on a computer screen, using the
software Preview on MacOS X 10.9; the window is
...
Screenshot of the V2_ Knowledge Base
LEV MANOVICH
“ABSTRACTION & COMPLEXITY” (2007)
The new image of our increasingly comp...
NETWORK SOCIETY (CASTELLS)
COMMUNICATION NETWORK IS CENTRAL FOR THE SOCIETY
Submarine Cable Map
http://www.submarinecablem...
THE IDEA OF THE NETWORK
IS CENTRAL!
Network:
A system of relations or
connections between
nodes.
It is an open structure
t...
IDEA OF THE NETWORK
EXAMPLE INTERNET / WEB
Internet: Network of Hardware
Source:ccicreations.com
Source:webdoc.sub.gwdg.de...
NETWORK(ED) ECOLOGY
Networks build up an ecology. They overlap, flow into other networks.
There is interaction between dif...
WHAT DOES ALL OF
THIS MEAN FOR
PUBLICATIONS?
PUBLICATION IS PART OF A
NETWORK(ED) ECOLOGY…
Image:CaliforniaAcademyofSciences
Screenshotofhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?...
Image:http://www.darpa.mil/uploadedImages/Content/NewsEvents/
Releases/2014/Memex%20Time%20Magazine.jpg
HYPERMEDIA SYSTEMS...
DATABASE: META-NARRATIVE OR
CULTURAL FORM
•  the database is the underlying principle and structure of most new
media obje...
Image: Fernand Deligny
As a case study, the Networked Ecologies project puts our interrogations
into artistic/critical pra...
NETWORK ECOLOGIES: THE PROJECT
The project began with two main guiding questions:
1.  How can we create a rigorous digital...
NETWORK ECOLOGIES: THE PROJECT
1. Networ(ed) Ecologies Blog
2. In-Person Symposium
The project first needed content
3. Cal...
...and we have a lot of content, in myriad formats
Here is a linear accounting of our content and this is only a fraction ...
...and that content, when its relations are mapped, looks like this:
…and this is just one essay.
NETWORK ECOLOGIES: THE P...
NETWORK ECOLOGIES:
THE PUBLICATION FINAL PRODUCT
The Network Ecologies Digital Scalar Publication
will be unveiled in its ...
SCHOLARLY DIGITAL PUBLICATION
Scholarly digital publication brings together the complex acts of
archiving, curation, edito...
We are also creating (& facilitating & capturing) Complex
Dynamic Networks
1.  between content and design
2.  between auth...
SCHOLARLY (PUBLICATION)
IMPLICATIONS OF LAYERED DIGITAL
ABSTRACTION
We recognize the acts associated with scholarly digita...
SUMMARY
A digital publication contains several layers of abstraction
1.  digitality itself => everything becomes informati...
QUESTIONS?
YOU WANT TO FOLLOW UP?
GET IN CONTACT!
Florian Wiencek
Email: florian.wiencek@googlemail.com
Twitter: @austrian...
Traversing Networks of Complexity
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Traversing Networks of Complexity

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Presentation "Traversing Networks Of Complexity"
Florian Wiencek & Amanda Starling Gould
Digital Abstraction Conference, 08.05.2015, Jacobs University, Bremen, Germany

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Traversing Networks of Complexity

  1. 1. TRAVERSING NETWORKS OF COMPLEXITY FROM DATABASE ARTWORKS TO CONTEMPORARY NETWORKED PUBLICATIONS Digital Abstraction | Jacobs University Bremen | 08.05.2015 Florian Wiencek Amanda Starling Gould Jacobs University Bremen Duke University
  2. 2. IN HOWFAR IS DIGITAL ABSTRACT?
  3. 3. DIGITALITY AS ABSTRACTION Photo as human-perceivable image Same photo as computer-interpretable code => encoded in jpg format the photo consist of computable binary code on the machine level MULTIPLE LEVELS OF ABSTRACTION
  4. 4. DIGITALITY AS ABSTRACTION image displayed on a computer screen, using the software Preview on MacOS X 10.9; the window is resizable Histoimages by Fanny Chevalier. Source: http://www.aviz.fr/histomages The software and interface determines how the user can interact with media data. MULTIPLE LEVELS OF ABSTRACTION
  5. 5. Screenshot of the V2_ Knowledge Base LEV MANOVICH “ABSTRACTION & COMPLEXITY” (2007) The new image of our increasingly complex world is “the dynamic networks of relations, oscillating between order and disorder – always vulnerable, ready to change with a single click of the user” (Manovich, 2007, p. 352)
  6. 6. NETWORK SOCIETY (CASTELLS) COMMUNICATION NETWORK IS CENTRAL FOR THE SOCIETY Submarine Cable Map http://www.submarinecablemap.com Submarine Cable
  7. 7. THE IDEA OF THE NETWORK IS CENTRAL! Network: A system of relations or connections between nodes. It is an open structure that can develop further through adding or deleting nodes.
  8. 8. IDEA OF THE NETWORK EXAMPLE INTERNET / WEB Internet: Network of Hardware Source:ccicreations.com Source:webdoc.sub.gwdg.de Web 1.0: Network of Documents Web 2.0: Network of Data CourtesyofNeilCummings. Source:flickr.com Web 3.0: Network of Semantics / Locations / Things Source:netzspannung.org
  9. 9. NETWORK(ED) ECOLOGY Networks build up an ecology. They overlap, flow into other networks. There is interaction between different nodes the networks or between networks. No element in a network and no network is an island. A network ecology is also an ecology formed and shaped through networks (physical or other) and networked thinking. Image:CaliforniaAcademyofSciences Screenshotofhttps://www.youtube.com/watch? feature=player_embedded&v=-bE-Pydad7U
  10. 10. WHAT DOES ALL OF THIS MEAN FOR PUBLICATIONS?
  11. 11. PUBLICATION IS PART OF A NETWORK(ED) ECOLOGY… Image:CaliforniaAcademyofSciences Screenshotofhttps://www.youtube.com/watch? feature=player_embedded&v=-bE-Pydad7U … and is itself a INFORMATION / DATA NETWORK N_E
  12. 12. Image:http://www.darpa.mil/uploadedImages/Content/NewsEvents/ Releases/2014/Memex%20Time%20Magazine.jpg HYPERMEDIA SYSTEMS – NETWORKED PUBLICATIONS Memex – Vannevar Bush –1945 XANADU – Ted Nelson – 1960 (ongoing) Image:http://xanadu.com/XanaduSpace/btf_files/fwDemoOrigins-panorama2.png World Wide Web – Tim Ber World Wide Web – Tim Berners-Lee – 1989/90 http://www.w3.org/History/1994/WWW/Journals/CACM/screensnap2_24c.gif
  13. 13. DATABASE: META-NARRATIVE OR CULTURAL FORM •  the database is the underlying principle and structure of most new media objects (Paul 2007, 99) •  databased projects at meta-narrative – a narrative about a dataset •  arranging information available in a database allows to trace its subtexts, tease out potential stories told within a given data-set •  datasets can serve as means to learn something about a dataset itself, a topic or points of views it represents through the emerging meta-narratives about a culture and available subtexts within the database •  BUT: Lev Manovich: database as cultural form does not have logic of a narrative but of a collection •  “database represents the world as list of items that it refuses to order” (Manovich 1999/2010, 68) •  a narrative creates a cause-effect trajectory of seemingly unordered items or events.
  14. 14. Image: Fernand Deligny As a case study, the Networked Ecologies project puts our interrogations into artistic/critical practice as we are thinking "through, with and alongside" (Hayles, 2012, p.1) the theoretical and scholarly implications of layered digital abstraction, complex dynamic networks, and scholarly rigor as they are applied to innovative digital publication. NETWORK ECOLOGIES
  15. 15. NETWORK ECOLOGIES: THE PROJECT The project began with two main guiding questions: 1.  How can we create a rigorous digital scholarly publication? 2.  How can the curation and design of a digital publication be a tool for discovery and critical (re)thinking? Image: Fernand Deligny
  16. 16. NETWORK ECOLOGIES: THE PROJECT 1. Networ(ed) Ecologies Blog 2. In-Person Symposium The project first needed content 3. Call for Submissions 4. Network Ecologies Art Exhibit
  17. 17. ...and we have a lot of content, in myriad formats Here is a linear accounting of our content and this is only a fraction of it. NETWORK ECOLOGIES: THE PROJECT Essay Comment Symposium Video Timestamped Tweets Image Documentation Slides / Charts of presentation Keywords
  18. 18. ...and that content, when its relations are mapped, looks like this: …and this is just one essay. NETWORK ECOLOGIES: THE PROJECT
  19. 19. NETWORK ECOLOGIES: THE PUBLICATION FINAL PRODUCT The Network Ecologies Digital Scalar Publication will be unveiled in its beta stage Fall 2015. http://scalar.usc.edu
  20. 20. SCHOLARLY DIGITAL PUBLICATION Scholarly digital publication brings together the complex acts of archiving, curation, editorializing, and design. In the Network Ecologies Project we are doing all four: 1.  Archiving both digital and non-digital content 2.  Curating (qua networking) multiple transmedia forms from multiple authors from multiple disciplines...into a coherent whole 3.  Editorial: As digital editor, I am not only choosing the content and how it will work together but am working closely with my design partner (Florian) to think content WITH design. 4.  Digital Design work: As design editors, we are designing (qua authoring) the pages, the connections, and the navigational paths that a reader will take through that content. We are authoring the reading experience.
  21. 21. We are also creating (& facilitating & capturing) Complex Dynamic Networks 1.  between content and design 2.  between authors and collaborators 3.  between scholarly & professional disciplines 4.  between media forms 5.  between scholarly publication and innovative design 6.  between (Scalar) paths and pages SCHOLARLY DIGITAL PUBLICATION
  22. 22. SCHOLARLY (PUBLICATION) IMPLICATIONS OF LAYERED DIGITAL ABSTRACTION We recognize the acts associated with scholarly digital publishing - archiving, curation, digital design, and editorializing - to be both abstractions & concretizations. Individual elements are first abstracted from their contexts to be concretized and combined into a complex network with a shared structure.
  23. 23. SUMMARY A digital publication contains several layers of abstraction 1.  digitality itself => everything becomes information / computable data 2.  a publication becomes an information network and a database but also networkED (part of a larger network) 3.  a digital publication is abstracting and concretizing – or in other terms de- and re-contextualizing – information nodes of its content (like a database) 4.  the publication follows rather the logic of a collection than one coherent narrative
  24. 24. QUESTIONS? YOU WANT TO FOLLOW UP? GET IN CONTACT! Florian Wiencek Email: florian.wiencek@googlemail.com Twitter: @austrianflow www: www.florianwiencek.com Amanda Starling Gould Email: amanda.gould@duke.edu Twitter: @stargould www: http://amandastarlinggould.wordpress.com

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