Publication: Making and Doing

This volume brings together a range of papers that fruitfully engage with the theme of the 2017 Annual Conference of the International Communication Association, held in San Diego, California: Interventions. Here “intervention” points to a range of communication practices that engage with a political event, social phenomena, industrial or socio-cultural practice, in order to alter and disrupt events and the norms and practices that contribute to their occurrence. Interventions prohibit events from proceeding in a “normal” course. Interventions approach or critique practices and phenomenon resulting from tensions or absences occurring in: events, structures, (institutional governmental, media industry), discourses, and socio-cultural and subcultural events. Intervention presents the opportunity to explore boundaries, assumptions and strategies that appear to be different or irreconcilable, viewing them instead as possibilities for productive engagements. Communication interventions-in both research and practice-insert insights from diverse voices, marginal positions, emerging organizational practices and digital technologies, to broaden and enrich dialogue. Interventions bring complex reframings to events and phenomenon. Interventions seek to alter a course and effect changed practices in a range of spheres: governmental and social institutions, cultural and nongovernmental groups; industry and organizational life, new media and digital spaces, socio-cultural environments, subcultural groups, health environments, affective and behavioral life, and in everyday life.


Editorial 47: Loss

Welcome to #47: this is the LOSS issue.

LOSS, as in:

– The fact or process of losing something or someone

– Uncertain as to how to proceed

– Unable to produce what is needed

– Destruction, ruin

– The state or feeling of grief when deprived of someone or something


In this issue:

Cover photographer Jah Grey is a self-taught photographic artist primarily focused on portraiture, whose work, as the artist explains, seeks to educate and encourage society to unlearn the teachings that act to separate us in order to advocate for a more fluid and diverse world. Grey’s digital portraits remind us of the similarities we share, despite our differences. (Interview forthcoming! See for more).

Safiya Umoja Noble offers us a powerful reflection on intersectional Black feminism, the loss of Black life, and the need for recovery. On Losing Black Lives, Noble lays bare the despair that is felt when the powerful entrenchments of racism and sexism at both structural and personal levels engulf one’s daily encounters. “Grief is a holding pattern” writes Noble, “a place we keep circulating through, with each new headline of violence or loss of life.” The burden of intersectional Black feminism is to seek out a love that might start to define the terms of Black feminist struggle for lives that are rich with joy and gratitude for the experience of life itself.

Sarah T. Roberts and Ryan P. Adserias share an intimate conversation about their long-term friendship in the face of the loss of a generation of their community, and the looming presence of HIV/AIDS. In Dancing with the Survivors: A Conversation Between Two Friends, Roberts and Adserias articulate the grief of HIV/AIDS, what they describe as “the people who aren’t here and haven’t been for you, and for me, in our adult gay lives.” Roberts and Adserias describe a constant state of loss that foregrounds their lives and interests.

In A Heart beyond Cure, Mark Ambrose Harris contemplates dying, familial homophobia, and pronounced feelings of intimacy that are only possible in the first moments after death. Harris ruminates on the effects of caregiving on mental health, and the ways in which we navigate loss, regret, and other stark reminders of our own and others’ mortality.

Dina Georgis explores Morehshin Allahyari’s recent exhibit, Material Speculation: ISIS shown at Trinity Square Video in March 2016 in Toronto. Georgis consider how in this work, technology offers speculative possibilities in the aftermath of environmental and cultural destruction. In reading reparation through a psychoanalytic perspective, Georgis reflects on what it might mean to create life not against destruction or aggression but by noticing it, understanding its place, and by negotiating its impulses.

In Open to Television – Can television open us to ourselves? Lisa Henderson juxtaposes clips from “Louie” (2013) and “Freaks and Geeks” (1999) to invite us into sweetness and recognition, a usually suspect accomplishment of television on any platform. Henderson’s video essay provokes us to consider longingly missed opportunities and solitude, and in a way that derives a kind of pleasure from absence.

In Always Already? Queer Cultural Production and the Subject of Marriage, Vincent Doyle draws inspiration from the question posed by Judith Butler’s essay: “Is Kinship Always Already Heterosexual?” It asks: How is the subject to whom same-sex marriage is addressed produced? By what affective means? Drawing on which cultural resources? By exploring these questions in the video essay, Doyle excavates his own and others’ subjective investments in marriage and its associated representational strategies at a time when, as Butler argues, it is becoming increasingly difficult to think of and represent coupling and kinship outside of the narrow norms that legitimated and legalized marriage makes.

As always, huge thank-you to Tamara Shepherd (our amazing copy editor), to all the NMP regulars, contributors past and future, and to readers and supporters of the project in so many ways.

Andrea Zeffiro, Mél Hogan and M-C MacPhee

Critical Karaoke at ICA 2015, Puerto Rico

Lisa HendersonCritical Karaoke

ICA Proposal
Lisa Henderson and Josh Kun, Co-organizers and Co-chairs

Short blurb:

“Critical karaoke” is poet and critic Joshua Clover’s phrase for re-signifying cultural material through the eye and voice of the critic. Critics always re-signify, but can we, like Clover, integrate our perspectives with cultural forms, rather than speaking separately about them? Can we use speech, gestures, sound, image, editing, rhythm, and even improvisational moves to communicate analytic and affective meanings? We think so, and invite the audience to join us in this experiment in performative scholarship.


“Critical karaoke” is poet and critic Joshua Clover’s phrase for re-signifying cultural material through the eye and voice of the critic, and presenting that gesture alongside cultural material in a consciously performative way. “The conceit,” said Clover, “was this: you get to talk about a single song, for the length of the song, while the song is playing behind you.” Clover debuted critical karaoke at the Experience Music Project in Seattle.

Critics always re-signify, but can we, like Clover, integrate our perspectives with cultural forms, rather than speaking separately about them? Can we use speech, gestures, sound, image, editing, rhythm, and even improvisational moves to communicate analytic and affective meanings? Buoyed by rehearsal and experimental spirit, can we mix modes of address, hail our audience, and work out the effect of critical form on content? Does our work change when we change how we talk about it?

Last year, four of our seven proposed panelists presented an ICA session titled “Research Creation,” which theorized and illustrated the convergence of cultural scholarship and production. This year, we walk the walk, as scholars who’ve long attended to form in music, film, video, dance, and television and have also largely relied on well-worn conventions of academic address in public. Those conventions claim authority, precision, dispassion, specialization, argument, and the bright line between research and affective ways of knowing. We do not revile or dispense with those claims, but experiment gently in order to locate ourselves differently in the fields of academic and cultural production. With such an experiment, we know to expect uncertainty and exposure, and our willingness to endure those qualities in the name of process is no guarantee of depth. But, we learn by doing. Here, we “do” with a range of popular and populist forms, including web art integrated into a web series that pushes the boundaries of relationships on screen (Christian); off-center situation comedy about the lost opportunities of male friendship (Henderson); science cinema and taking back the dialogue on evolution and climate change (Boulton); dance as the embodiment of a city’s racial histories (Arzumanova); hoarded digital archives as signs of sociality (Hogan); self-produced documentary as critique of cultural policy in Puerto Rico (Diaz Hernandez); and collaborative musical activism (Kun). We want to see how our group of critical karaoke sets might re- shape expression in the spirit of intervention and participatory pedagogy, and we invite the audience to join us in this experiment in performative scholarship.

Additional Rationale:

While our substantive topics are broad, we hope it is clear from our Abstract that our proposed presentations are integrated by (1) “critical karaoke” as formal experiment, and (2) a commitment to critique in the name of social and cultural solidarity and change, a commitment long developed and curated in the Popular Communication Division. We intend this proposal as a follow-up to last year’s success with “Research Creation” (though have added three new presenters) and as an opportunity to keep research creation alive in the ICA. Like last year’s panel, each presentation will be 7-8 minutes worth of tightly prepared material (with short clips narrated in real time). This allows us to include 7 participants in this high-density roundtable.



Through the eyes of an algorithm: Spy on the city

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 11.30.00 PM
I tested out the Autographer camera today – the wearable cam with a fisheye lens that doesn’t let you control the snapshots. I wore it during my bike ride down to IIT.

Later, when I connected the camera to my computer, and looked at the images, I thought they were kind of boring… typical, bad photos.

But after an hour or so, when I zoomed out, something happened.

I started to see shapes — not content.

A different narrative, about movement and pavement and cracks and stripes.

I think I saw what the algorithm sees.

I desaturated all the images to enhance that effect / affect. What it reveals is pretty magnificent, I find.

I have a few projects in mind for this gadget, with Laura Forlano, and I imagine we’ll continue to document the process at the Critical Futures Lab once it’s up and running…

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 11.26.43 PM





Screening: De la part des vaincus – Nantes, France

Screening: De la part des vaincus


52 Pick-Up
is a video production challenge for anyone who is up to the task of making one video a week for 52 weeks straight. This challenge is meant to excite and ignite viewers and participants alike about video, different ways of working, and diverse points of view.

About this Program

These 2 video programs are an eclectic sampling of the more than 2200 videos that have been made to date as part of this project. This program features work that reflect varying production practices as well as feminist, queer, and political art practices in Quebec and Canada.

Digital Humanities Data Curation – Boston



Workshops provide a strong introductory grounding in data curation concepts and practices, focusing on the special issues and challenges of data curation in the digital humanities.

Workshop #3 — Boston, MA

All workshop sessions will be held in Snell Library, Room 421.

Day One

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

9:30 am – 9:45 Welcome
9:45 – 10:30 Introduction to Humanities Data Curation: Conceptual Frameworks
10:30 – 11:00 Participant Introductions
11:00 – 11:15 Break
11:15 am – 12:30 pm Mapping the Landscape — What Does Data Curation Encompass?
12:30 – 2:00 Lunch
2:00 – 3:15 Risk management and auditing
3:15 – 4:00 Peer Reviewing Data Management Plans
4:00 – 4:15 Break
4:15 – 5:30 Customizing and Improving Plans for Data
5:30 – 7:00 pm Software Install-a-thon & Social Hour

Day Two

Thursday, May 1, 2014

9:00 – 10:15 Significant Properties
Curating Data from New York Public Library’s “What’s On the Menu” Project
10:15 – 10:30 Break
10:30 am – 12:30 pm Data Curation Case Study
12:30 – 2:00 Lunch
2:00 – 2:30 Case study debrief
2:30 – 3:45 Introduction to Repositories for the Arts & Humanities
3:45 – 4:00 Break
4:00 – 6:00 Hands-on exercise with repository systems & Open Refine
7:15 pm No-host dinner at a local restaurant

Day Three

Friday, May 2, 2014

9:00 am – 9:30 Nature of Digital Objects
9:30 – 10:15 Hands-on exercise: Digital Object Anatomy
10:15 – 10:30 Break
10:30 – 11:45 Metadata & Linked Data
11:45 am – 1:15 pm Lunch
1:15 – 2:00 Collections as Curation Tools
2:00 – 3:15 Data & the Law
3:15 – 3:30 Break
3:30 – 4:30 Strategies for Action: Sharing What’s Working
4:30 – 5:00 pm Wrap-up

Polluted and Predictive, in 133 Words – Mél Hogan and M.E. Luka

About the book: Looking up something online is one of the most common applications of the web. Whether with a laptop or smartphone, we search the web from wherever we are, at any given moment. ‘Googling’ has become so entwined in our daily routines that we rarely question it. However, search engines such as Google or Bing determine what part of the web we get to see, shaping our knowledge and perceptions of the world. But there is a world beyond Google – geographically, culturally, and technologically.

The Society of the Query network was founded in 2009 to delve into the larger societal and cultural consequences that are triggered by search technology. In this Reader, which is published after two conferences held in Amsterdam in 2009 and 2013, twenty authors – new media scholars, historians, computer scientists, and artists – try to answer a number of pressing questions about online search. What are the foundations of web search? What ideologies and assumptions are inscribed in search engine algorithms? What solution can be formulated to deal with Google’s monopoly in the future? Are alternatives to Google even thinkable? What influence does online search have on education practices? How do artists use the abundance of data that search engines provide in their creative work? By bringing researchers together from a variety of relevant disciplines, we aim at opening up new perspectives on the Society of the Query.

Contributors: Aharon Amir, Vito Campanelli, Dave Crusoe, Angela Daly, Vicențiu Dîngă, Martin Feuz, Ulrich Gehmann, Olivier Glassey, Richard Graham, Mél Hogan, Ippolita, Kylie Jarrett, Min Jiang, Anna Jobin, Phil Jones, Simon Knight, Dirk Lewandowski, M.E. Luka, Astrid Mager, Martina Mahnke, Andrea Miconi, Jacob Ørmen, Martin Reiche, Amanda Scardamaglia, Anton Tanter, and Emma Uprichard.

Colophon: Editors: René König and Miriam Rasch. Copy-editing: Morgan Currie. Design: Katja van Stiphout. Cover Design: Studio Inherent. Printer: Tuijtel, Hardinxveld-Giessendam. Publisher: Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam. Supported by: Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (Hogeschool van Amsterdam), Amsterdam Creative Industries Publishing, and Stichting Democratie en Media.

To order a hard copy of the reader, fill in the form below.

René König and Miriam Rasch (eds), Society of the Query Reader: Reflections on Web Search, Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures, 2014. ISBN: 978-90-818575-8-1, paperback, 292 pages.