news from the fields

Things have been a bit quiet  on this blog, partly because of a newborn sibling (network realism). But this does not mean things have been quiet on the ground, in terms of ethnography at the VKS.

Smiljana has been busy scoping the field of digital humanities and is currently thinking about how to pursue observations of users who will be trying out some of the new tools that will be developed in Alfalab. She is considering video or desktop tracking mechanisms to do this. (Suggestions welcome!)

We have also been joined by Niels van Doorn, who is just completing a major project on gender, sexuality and embodiment as performed on internet platforms that feature user-generated content. He is preparing a new project on queer spaces at the intersections between digital and physical space. In this project, he will examine how people exercise their sexual citizenship through the creation of affective networks and spaces that are intertwined with new media technologies.

And Sarah de Rijcke gave a great presentation yesterday at a meeting to set up new fieldwork at the Rijksakademie. We came away from yesterday’s meeting with the feeling that this fieldwork was really going to be mutually beneficial and that the Rijksakademie staff was actually looking forward to having us around! Sarah will be starting there in November, right after she comes back from 4S, where we have a paper on the Network Realism project in a session organised by Catelijne Coopmans on “Data Riches: The Practices and Politics of Exploiting Digital Data Sets”.

My own fieldwork around practices using Flickr for the study of street art (part of the Network Realism project) has taken off in these past weeks. I’ve found some scholars of street art who are using Flickr (and other tools) at different points in their research, and many of them are willing to talk to me. I’ll be heading to Paris for some meetings with scholars at GRIS and to visit the street art exhibit Ne dans la rue, which itself has quite an impressive presence on Flickr.

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