Sussex Humanities Lab

SHL Events archive 2017

December 2017
7 December - Panel 'Rethinking Gender, Genre and Popular Culture' to launch Katherine Farrimond, The Contemporary Femme Fatale: Gender, Genre and American Cinema (Routledge, 2017)

Panelists: Katherine Farrimond (University of Sussex); Lindsay Steenberg (Oxford Brookes University); Rosie White (Northumbria University)
An SHL-supported event

8 December - Michael Barany (Dartmouth College) "In International Mathematics, Who Knows You’re a Pseudonym? Bourbaki, fiction, farce, and the postwar transformation of a discipline." (Sussex Humanities Lab Seminar Series)

In 1948, the American Mathematical Society received an application for membership from Nicolas Bourbaki, the pen name of a radical group of French mathematicians then rewriting the foundations of modern mathematics. While that application was quietly dismissed, a second application a year later and the correspondence it provoked together expose significant fault lines beneath the Americans’ efforts to lead an international discipline in the wake of World War II. I will draw on a wide range of archival sources to situate Bourbaki’s applications amidst the distinctive ways mathematicians established subjective identities in interaction with professional institutions in the mid-twentieth century. I ​will ​show how Bourbaki’s advocates parodied the period’s norms of identification, exploiting newly important ambiguities and challenging newly reconfigured power structures in mathematicians’ postwar disciplinary practice.​ Bourbaki's farce helps expose a sweeping transformation in mathematicians' relationships to media, mediation, and personhood, which would come to define mathematical scholarship in the postwar period. I will conclude by comparing this transformation to the more recent development of mathematics in online networks, including new internet-based pseudonymous ventures self-consciously styled after the Bourbaki collaboration.

11 December - Rebecca Wright (SHL) "Mass Observation 'Online'" (Sussex Humanities Lab Seminar Series)

This talk reflected upon what the “digital” means for Mass Observation Studies. Drawing upon the experience of applying digital methodologies to conduct research on energy practices in the Mass Observation Archive, the talk critically examined the potential and limitations of the digital for Mass Observation Studies. It explored how the digital has the capacity to open up new historical imaginaries and historical representations from the archive and provide new approaches to typical Mass Observation objects of study, such as everyday practices and the home. This digital optimism is balanced with a warning about the materiality of these digital technologies which embed new hierarchies and power dynamics in an archive founded on the democratic promise to give a voice to the “mass”.

12 December - Janet van der Linden (Open University) "Haptics and Materiality - Designing towards Creative Inclusive Accessibility" (Organised by the Creative Technology Group)

Haptics and materials based technologies have the potential to engage people through tangible, physical forms of interaction. This can open the door to technologies being more accessible, for example to those with visual impairments where touch is a more preferred sensory experience. They can also be used for more creative purposes, to design culturally enhancing experiences and encourage playfulness.

This talk brough together insights from various pieces of my research in creative inclusive accessibility. I discussed the work with a visually impaired theatre group on the development of a hand-held haptic device for guidance for an in-the-dark immersive theatre experience. The haptic device supported a more bodily experience of immersing into the narrative that was accessible to all. I also discussed eTextile weaving workshops in collaboration with a number of galleries and community groups, to involve visually impaired participants in the hands-on making of technologies that provided rich, personal experiences.

November 2017
2-3 November - Gender and hate in the online sphere

A two-day workshop exploring the themes of gender and hate in the online context, enabling academics and experts to share and discuss related research. Organised by the Centre for Gender Studies, supported by the Sussex Humanities Lab, the Information Law Group at Sussex University, and the Equality and Diversity Forum

13 November - Laura Molloy (Oxford) "Creative Connections: digital preservation and data skills in art practice" (SHL/University of Brighton Research Seminar)

What do digital preservation and the creative arts have to do with each other? Do creative arts practitioners use data – and if so, in what ways? And why should we care about the sustainability of creative careers?

Laura Molloy is an artist and researcher who has been working at the intersection of creative practice and digital preservation/curation research for around eight years, first at the University of Glasgow and now at the Ruskin School of Art and the Oxford Internet Institute, both University of Oxford. Her paper will raise and discuss questions around whether and how we can talk about digital preservation/curation with contemporary creative practitioners such as artists and performers, what data might mean to those audiences, and what each domain can learn from the other by establishing an engaged and respectful dialogue.

27 November - Techne: A gathering for those researching tools, machines and the digital

An informal meet-up in the name of tools, machines and the digital. The evening featured short talks from Thor Magnusson (Music), Andrés Guadamuz (Law) and Caroline Bassett (SHL), as well as space to discuss ideas and meet fellow researchers. Organised by Kat Braybrooke, Emma Harrison, Halldor Ulfarsson and Maria Bjarnadottir.

29 November (Fulton A Lecture Theatre) - Prof Caroline Bassett "The Tendency of Utopia to Disappoint: Digital technologies and Future Hopes" (University of Sussex professorial lecture)
October 2017

2 October -  PhD work in progress (Sussex Humanities Lab Seminar Series)

Kat Braybrooke, Emma Harrison, Manuel Cruz Martinez, Nathan Richards

11 October (Fulton A Lecture Theatre) - Prof David Berry "Reassembling the University: The Idea of a University in a Digital Age" (University of Sussex professorial lecture)
17 October - Feminism, Science Studies and the Digital: materialism, work and care  

Speakers Maria Puig de la Bellacasa, Kylie Jarrett and Kate O’Riordan, and book launch of Kate O'Riordan, Unreal Objects (Pluto Press, 2017) 

20 October -  'Raiding the Digital Closet - Research data for the arts and humanities and the Sussex Research (SURE) Data Repository '

Organised by Adam Harwood (Library) and Sharon Webb (SHL) this workshop focussed on how researchers can utilise the newly launched University of Sussex research data repository - SuRe.

23 October - Niamh Moore (Edinburgh) "DIY Academic Archiving: Learning from Community Archives"

This paper focuses on the creation of an open online archive of qualitative research data (see http://clayoquotlives.sps.ed.ac.uk/ ) – drawing inspiration from community archiving. In the UK, the UKDA (and formerly as Qualidata) have led in supporting researchers in archiving research data, however it was always clear that ESDS Qualidata could not archive everything. More recently, many university libraries have been developing repositories for researchers to archive data (eg Edinburgh DataShare, a research data repository at the University of Edinburgh). However there are other possibilities. In this paper I draw on my experience of working with community archives to inform the creation of an online archive of research data (using omeka.org). This turn to DIY archiving is not a turn away from, that is against, these other initiatives, but rather a recognition of the need for multiple approaches to archiving research data, and a reminder of alternative archival histories and practices. Academics have much to learn from a wide popular interest in archiving, that is in creating knowledge, and long histories of community archiving and the UK and beyond. In particular I will focus on the ways in which the infrastructure of Omeka rearranges data and the relationships between data, allowing new relationships, juxtapositions and possibilities to emerge.

31 October - Charles van den Heuvel (Huygens ING) "Virtual Reality and Enhanced Publications as Interfaces to Historical Big Data"

The research project Golden Agents: Creative Industries and the Making of the Dutch Golden Age aims to analyse the interactions between various branches of the creative industries and between producers and consumers, in the seventeenth century, applying multi-agent technologies to around 2 million scans of notary acts, such as probate inventories, testaments etc. of the City Archives of Amsterdam. Director of the project, Charles van den Heuvel, discussed the introduction of semantic web technologies into the digital humanities and cultural heritage institutions, and looked forward to new interfaces for both the scholarly and more accessible representation of linked data, including the use of immersive virtual reality.

 

Brighton Digital Festival events:

12 October (Duke's at Komedia, Brighton) Donna Haraway: Storytelling for Earthly Survival  

A screening of Fabrizio Terranova’s portrait of iconic scholar Donna Haraway was followed by a panel discussion led by the Sussex Humanities Lab.

12 October (ONCA Gallery ) DIY radio transmission – Pi Streambox Workshop

A hands on, public workshop in DIY software and hardware for live audio streaming, organised by Alice Eldridge, in partnership with The Living Coast (the Brighton & Lewes Downs UNESCO World Biosphere Region) and Digital Music and Sound Arts, University of Brighton.

12 October Healing Through Archives: Coming Home 

Working with artists, developers and researchers, this event considered how current pioneering technology in visualisation can be used to experience ‘home’, through the combination of archival materials, memories and scans of Somali Rock Art sites in Laas Geel. Organised by Abira Hussein (London Metropolitan Archives), supported by SHL.

13 October (ACCA) The Messy Edge 

A conference explorating of the frontiers of digital culture, a challenge to dominant perspectives and a place to think about how we run the risk of building a future on the deeply flawed foundations of the present. Supported by SHL, speakers included SHL Director Caroline Bassett.

September 2017

5 September (Fabrica Gallery) -  British Science FestivalVisions of the Large Hadron Collider 

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the world’s most powerful particle smasher, recreating conditions similar to those that existed in our universe shortly after the Big Bang. Physicist Antonella De Santo, artist duo Semiconductor and SHL's Beatrice Fazi discussed LHC science, art and philosophy.

6 September (The Keep) -  British Science FestivalWhat can the past tell us about energy consumption today? 

Rebecca Wright asked what lessons can be learnt from the Mass Observation Archive, a huge database that records everyday life in Britain. Exploring whether knowledge of previous energy practices could provide novel solutions for managing energy consumption in the future.

9 September (One Church Brighton) -  British Science FestivalOrchestra hero

Lab members and affiliates Ed Hughes, Chris Kiefer and Alice Eldridge launched Syncphoniaa new iOS app for group music making, at the British Science Festival. Designed to support ensemble music making, Syncphonia provides a new form for networked, interactive notation which helps musical novices stay in time, making music making more accessible and even more fun.

13 September Chrysalis

Poster advertising Chrysalis with Marije Baalman and Chris KieferPerformance and Q&A with Marije Baalman and Chris Kiefer

Marije Baalman is an artist and researcher/developer working in the field of interactive sound art.  She is working with Chris Kiefer on serendipity in interactive machine learning algorithms.  They showed the results of their work in a performance with Marije’s latest piece Chrysalis, and discussed the work afterwards in a Q&A session.

Read more about their work at: http://www.emutelab.org/blog/chrysalis-report

Brighton Digital Festival events:

14 September (The Rose Hill, Brighton) -  Humanising Algorithmic Listening in Culture and Conservation 

AHRC Humanising Algorithmic Listening Network members were joined by Brighton Digital Festival audiences in a semi-theatrical debate around the promises and perils of listening algorithms in wider culture, organised by Alice Eldridge. 

15-30 September (ONCA Gallery, Brighton) - Mephitic Air 

Mephitic Air is a new data visualisation and sonification installation from Wesley Goatley & Tobias Revell which explores the spaces between human and machine interpretations of air pollution.

July 2017
4-5 July - This and THATCamp 2017

Poster advertising This&THATCamp 2017Our This and THATCamp 2017 brought together a diverse group of people from humanities, library, archives, and law backgrounds to work on the theme of ‘Rules, Rights, Resistance’.

See http://thisand.thatcamp.org/ for more information.

June 2017
8-9 June 2017 - Human (in)attention (the final workshop of the AHRC-funded Automation Anxiety network)

Automation Anxiety network logoThis workshop explored anxiety about the atrophy of human skills through the automation of complex cognitive skills such as navigation, control of
aircraft or vehicles. It also examined cases where the delegation of human tasks to machines directly become a source of anxiety, instability or concern. Examples included high-frequency trading and the so-called ‘creepy line’ (Google) where algorithms or machine learning may display an uncanny or disturbing level of personal surveillance or insight. The workshop also looked at the extension of this problem into academic analysis itself, that is, the automation of research methods through digital humanities.

For a full programme: http://blogs.sussex.ac.uk/automationanxiety/workshops/workshop-3-human-inattention/

9 June 2017 - Public lecture: Richard Rogers: Otherwise Engaged: Social Media from Vanity Metrics to Critical Analytics

Given as part of the Automation Anxiety workshop, this public lecture is available on YouTube as part of the Talks@MFM series.


14-15 June 2017 - Digital Preservation for Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities conference (DPASSH 2017)

Poster advertising DPASSH conferenceThe second DPASSH conference was held at the University of Sussex, co-hosted by the Sussex Humanities Lab and the Digital Repository of Ireland. The theme was Preserving Abundance: The Challenge of Saving Everything.

More information: http://dpassh.org/

A review of the conference: http://dri.ie/dpassh-2017-review

Storify of the conference: https://storify.com/dri_ireland/dpassh-2017


16 June 2017 - PLAY / MAKE / RESEARCH

Poster advertising PlayMakeResearch symposiumThe symposium Play/Make/Research, organised by Manuel Cruz, brought together video game researchers from different disciplines within our university (and beyond!) to debate about the intersection of video games and academia, and share our approaches to the medium. Historians Adam Chapman, Sian Beavers, and Chris Kempshall were invited to share their research and experiences with the industry. 

More information: https://playmakeresearch.tumblr.com/

19-20 June 2017 - Forum for Augmented Reality & Immersive Instruments (ARimI) 

The Forum for Immersive Augmented Reality Instruments was a two-day networking event which brought together diverse participants with a view to understanding cultural transformations from Augmented Reality (AR), and to build new interdisciplinary research partnerships.

For more information see: http://www.emutelab.org/blog/arimi

29 June 2017 - A Return to BASIC

A workshop exploring BASIC, sound and graphics on the BBC Micro, was organised by Paul McConnell (MFM) and Alex Peverett (SHL).

30 June 2017 Digital Blackness

Poster advertising Digital Blackness conferenceThe inaugural Digital Blackness UK conference organised by Sussex Humanities Lab in association with Ascent Research, was convened by doctoral research candidate Nathan E Richards and Leeds University PhD student Leona Satchell-Samuel.

The conference continued the conversation started at Rutgers University in 2016, which aimed to explore the various facets of digital research methods, theories and practices in relation to Black communities, culture and knowledge production. 

Subjects discussed on the day ranged from the innovation in digital publishing in relation to African literature, the use of technology within the black heritage field, and the theorisation of blackness within social media environments. 

Highlights included contributions from notable content producers such as the director and creator of BK Chat London Andy Amadi and member of the Gal-Dem collective Varaidzo. 

The conference aims to stimulate a conversation among digital humanities researchers by building a network of scholars and practitioners. 

Find more information at: www.digitalblackness.com  

30 May - 2 June 2017 - Sussex Booksprint

Seven researchers from seven different academic fields took part in the first Sussex Booksprint, organised by Sussex Research Hive Scholars and the University of Sussex library, in partnership with the Sussex Humanities Lab.The mission was to collaborate for four days in order to write and publish a single book as an intervention on the question: 'what is home?' View the result  Beyond the boundaries of home: interdisciplinary approaches for free at: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/68309/

For more information see: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/staff/newsandevents/?page=4&id=40999

31 May - 1 June 2017 - Understanding Distributed Agency Between Listening Algorithms and Humans - Humanising Algorithmic Listening Workshop 2 (Sonic Arts Research Centre, Queen’s University Belfast)

The second workshop of the AHRC-funded Humanising Algorithmic Listening network organised by Alice Eldridge was held at Queen's University Belfast. 

See: http://www.algorithmiclistening.org/W2schedule&speakers/

May 2017
3 May 2017 - Thomas Elsaesser (Amsterdam/Columbia University) “Rethinking the Moving Image –An Archaeology of Digital Cinema” (MFM & SHL Joint Research Seminar)

Poster advertising seminar given by Thomas ElsaesserThomas Elsaesser presented some of the ideas from his recent book, Film History as Media Archaeology (Amsterdam University Press, 2016).

Prof. Elsaesser studied at Sussex (PhD Comparative Literature 1971), where he founded the Brighton Film Review, later to become the journal Monogram (where he first published his foundational work on the family melodrama and the New American Cinema, among other things). He is Professor Emeritus at the University of Amsterdam and currently teaches part-time at Columbia University, New York. Among his most recent books as author are: Film History as Media Archaeology (Amsterdam University Press, 2016); The Persistence of Hollywood (New York: Routledge, 2012); German Cinema - Terror and Trauma: Cultural Memory Since 1945 (New York: Routledge, 2013); and Film Theory: An Introduction through the Senses (New York: Routledge, 2nd edition 2015, with Malte Hagener). Forthcoming: European Cinema and Continental Philosophy: Film as Thought Experiment (Bloomsbury, 2017)

5 May 2017 - Learning the Lessons of working with the British Library’s Digital Content and Data for your research
A workshop organised by British Library Labs and the Sussex Humanities Lab as part of the British Library Labs Roadshow (2017)

Poster advertising BL Labs Roadshow

The Roadshow showcased examples of the British Library’s digital content and data, addressing some of the challenges and issues of working with it, and how interesting and exciting projects from researchers, artists, educators and entrepreneurs have been developed via the annual British Library Labs Competition and Awards. The workshop focused on some of the lessons learned over the last four years of working with the Labs, promoted BL Lab awards and helped attendess consider what they might do with the British Library's collections. The team also talked about future plans at the Library to support Digital Scholarship. The day included presentations from the researchers who are working on Digital Humanities projects at the Sussex Humanities Lab. 

 

8 May 2017 - Dr Georgina Voss (London College of Communication / University of Sussex) "Situated Systems" (Sussex Humanities Lab Seminar Series)

Poster advertising seminar given by Georgina VossSituated Systems is an experimental collaborative site-specific work which explored San Francisco's industrial and military history and its role in shaping the region's contemporary technology industries' culture and products. Digital fabrication and additive manufacturing tools were used to transform the cultural, political, and spatial elements into physical outputs, enabling investigation and learning from embodied knowledge and materiality. Situated Systems was the inaugural project of the Experimental Research Lab at Autodesk's Pier 9. 

 

Georgina Voss is a co-founder of research and design studio Strange Telemetry and a Design Fellow at the London College of Communication. Her PhD in Science and Technology Studies was awarded by SPRU, University of Sussex, where she is also a Fellow. She is the author of Stigma and the Shaping of the Pornography Industry (Routledge 2015), and her writing has been published in places including The Guardian, The Atlantic, Science as Culture, BBC Futures, and Sexualities.

12 May 2017 - Digital Sexualities workshop

The Digital Sexualities workshop is an initiative within the Digital Lives and Memories strand of the Sussex Humanities Lab. This event was planned by Rachel Thomson, Kate O’Riordan and Sharif Mowlabocus, and featured speakers including Ben Light (Salford) and Ester McGeeney (Brook). The overall aim of the event is to bring people together with shared research interests in digital sexualities and to explore opportunities for collaboration with a focus on external research funding.

17 May 2017 - Ludic Engagements: The Films of Aki Kaurismäki – A Symposium

Poster advertising Kaurismäki symposium

 

 

 

Organised by Thomas Austin (MFM) the Lab hosted a symposium on the films of Aki Kaurismäki.

 

18 May 2017 - Should we Count Electric Sheep? Philip K. Dick, Science Fiction, and Influence: An open workshop 

Poster advertising Philip K Dick workshop‘Do androids dream of electric sheep?’ PKD posed this question in 20th Century America and in a fictional post-apocalypse Earth - when it preoccupies Deckard the blade runner. Fictional and real places, the place of writing and the place writing takes us to, intersect.This workshop explored how machine learning, big data techniques, sentiment analysis, and other digital humanities methods can be used to investigate Philip K Dick’s science fiction worlds, to inquire into PKD’s influence and reach, and to understand more about the intersection between SF and real world technological formations.

Themes investigated included utopia/dystopia, gender conservatism, machine intelligence, the (human) limits of (human) empathy, machine and animal life, technological decay, future politics. The workshop programme included: DH work on SF, undertaken by Text Analytics Group (TAG) and SHL team. Hands on work with data tools using PKD and other corpus material (e.g. feminist SF, weird), 3D visualizations, and short presentations on innovation, chance, the I Ching, and other PKD pre-occupations.  

April 2017

21-23 April 2017 - Haunted Random Forest festival

Poster advertising Haunted Random Forest festivalA new festival at the Sussex Humanities Lab and Lighthouse Arts in Brighton, organised by SHL research students, aimed at exploring the ways we understand and critique machine learning systems through interdisciplinary, hands-on, discussion-based and aesthetic approaches.

By critiquing these systems together as a community, the human elements at work in computational processes will be brought to light, illuminating the ways we understand the digital as a set of entities and processes that can be known, understood and built. A recurrent theme was an interrogation of the role of language as a practice that can limit cultural understandings of digital systems, in alignment with the issue of corporate interests keeping technologies black-boxed and thereby ‘unknowable’.

The multi-day discussions, artworks and tours of this festival explored alternative socio-technical literacies with publics, revealing the human species as a causal force with regards to our impact upon society, culture and technology. By hosting happenings across Brighton the critical focus of the Sussex Humanities Lab was transported outside of the campus and into the city, enabling interdisciplinary collaborations between digital, arts and academic communities.

March 2017

6 March 2017 - Copyright and Open Access: A Sussex Humanities Lab Lunchtime Debate

In light of the changing policy on copyright being pursued by the University, and the changing IP environment for higher education, the Sussex Humanities Lab hosted a debate between its Co-Directors Prof David Berry and Prof Tim Hitchcock.

6 March 2017 - Dr Ben Williamson (University of Stirling) "Governing Behaviour and Cognition through the ‘CompPsy’ Sciences: Computing, Psychology and Educational Data Science" (Sussex Humanities Lab Seminar Series)

Poster advertising seminar given by Ben WilliamsonEducational data science is an emerging field of educational research that combines techniques derived from computer science, especially computational approaches to big data analytics, with psychology, including cognitive science and emerging aspects of neuroscience. This presentation mapped the connections between CompSci and the psy-sciences to argue that educational data science represents a new hybrid ‘CompPsy’ field of research and development. Though the links between cognitive science approaches in psychology and computer science can be traced back to cybernetics, new computational approaches to the mining of learner data that can be analysed as indicators of cognitive skills and the emotions, and that in certain cases are designed to interact with neurological functions, are now being pursued enthusiastically by advocates of educational data science. The presentation examined new CompPsy techniques in behaviour monitoring platforms that reward children for observable behaviours associated with specific psychological theories, emotional analytics platforms that can mine the affective dimensions of learning, and explored how cognitive neuroscience insights into learning processes are now being utilized in emerging cognitive computing and artificial intelligence systems designed for education. Educational data science represents a new form of scientific expertise in making learning processes known and manageable, and exemplifies the contemporary use of contested scientific knowledges and computational techniques in attempts to govern people’s behaviour and cognition.

Ben Williamson is a lecturer in the Faculty of Social Science at the University of Stirling. His research focuses on data-driven technologies in education, new policy actors, and emerging technology-based approaches to education reform (https://codeactsineducation.wordpress.com/).

13 March 2017 - Technical Plan Writing Workshop

SHL members Ben Roberts and Alban Webb hosted a workshop on writing technical plans for ARHC bids.The purpose of this workshop was to provide guidance for staff at Sussex preparing a technical plan to be submitted as part of an AHRC funding bid (more information on technical plans for AHRC bids can be found at http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/funding/research/researchfundingguide/attachments/technicalplan/).
The workshop focussed on three aspects of technical plans:
1) Writing the technical plan (successful applications shared their experience)
2) Technical resources available at Sussex and the management of research data
3) How technical plans are assessed by the funder

16 March 2017 - Visiting Fellow: Geert Lovink, Workshop on Net Criticism and the Future of Digital Publishing

A one-day workshop on net criticism since 2008, MoneyLab topics, and digital publishing issues run by the net theorist and activist, Geert Lovink (Amsterdam), for postgraduate students.

Geert Lovink, founding director of the Institute of Network Cultures, is a Dutch-Australian media theorist and critic. He holds a PhD from the University of Melbourne and in 2003 was at the Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies, University of Queensland. In 2004 Lovink was appointed as Research Professor at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam and Associate Professor at University of Amsterdam. He is the founder of Internet projects such as nettime and fibreculture. His recent book titles are Dark Fiber (2002),Uncanny Networks (2002) and My First Recession (2003). In 2005-06 he was a fellow at the WissenschaftskollegBerlin Institute for Advanced Study where he finished his third volume on critical Internet culture, Zero Comments (2007).

16 March 2017 - Geert Lovink (Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam), Michael Dieter (CIM, University of Warwick): "The Future of Publishing in a (Post) Digital Age"

A panel discussion on The Future of Publishing in a (Post) Digital Age, with Geert Lovink and Michael Dieter.

Geert Lovink, founding director of the Institute of Network Cultures, is a Dutch-Australian media theorist and critic. He holds a PhD from the University of Melbourne and in 2003 was at the Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies, University of Queensland. In 2004 Lovink was appointed as Research Professor at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam and Associate Professor at University of Amsterdam. He is the founder of internet projects such as nettime and fibreculture. His recent book titles are Dark Fiber (2002), Uncanny Networks (2002) and My First Recession (2003). In 2005-06 he was a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg Berlin Institute for Advanced Study where he finished his third volume on critical internet culture, Zero Comments(2007). 

Michael Dieter is an Assistant Professor at CIM, University of Warwick. He holds a PhD in Culture and Communication from the University of Melbourne on media arts practice and theory. His current research focuses on publishing practices after digitisation, cultural techniques in interface and user-experience design, and genealogies of media at the intersection of aesthetic and political thought.

24 March 2017 - Professor Phillippe van Parijs "Minimum Basic Income: Free Riding or Fair Sharing?" (Social and Political Thought/Sussex Humanities Lab Research seminar series)

Phillippe van Parijs is professor at the Faculty of economic, social and political sciences of the Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), where is holds the Hoover Chair of economic and social ethics.

He has held positions at Harvard University's Department of Philosophy, Nuffield College, Oxford, and visiting positions at the Universities of AmsterdamManchesterSienaQuébec (Montréal), Wisconsin (Madison), Maine (Orono) and Aix-Marseille, the European University Institute (Florence), All Souls College (Oxford), Yale UniversitySciences Po (Paris), the Autonomous University of Barcelona and the École Normale Supérieure (Paris).

He is one of the founders of the Basic Income European Network (BIEN), which became in 2004 the Basic Income Earth Network, and he chairs its International Board. He coordinates the Ethical Forum of the University Foundation. He also coordinates the Pavia Group with Kris Deschouwer and, with Paul De Grauwe, the Re-Bel initiative. He is a member of Belgium's Royal Academy of Sciences, Letters and Fine Arts, of the International Institute of Philosophy, and of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts and Fellow of the British Academy. In 2001, he was awarded the Francqui Prize, Belgium's most generous scientific prize.

27 March 2017 - Professor Margaret Boden (University of Sussex) "How is Computer Art Held Back by the Limitations of Current AI?"
(Sussex Humanities Lab Research Seminar)

The current AI that’s arousing most excitement is “deep learning”. One application of this has been used to generate images superficially similar to collages. However, it’s not a reliable generator of collages, because we don’t understand enough about how it works. In general, current “deep” networks are black boxes.

Margaret A. Boden OBE ScD FBA is Research Professor of Cognitive Science at the University of Sussex, where she helped develop the world's first academic programme in cognitive science. She holds degrees in medical sciences, philosophy, and psychology, and integrates these disciplines with AI in her research.

29 March 2017 - Alan Liu (University of California, Santa Barbara) "Open, Shareable, Replicable Workflows for the Digital Humanities: The Case of the 4Humanities.org 'WhatEvery1Says' Project" (Sussex Humanities Lab Research Seminar)

Poster advertising seminar given by Alan LiuCan digital humanities projects that collect, analyze, and interpret texts and other materials make their provenance and workflow transparent to others? Can such workflows be shared for replication or adaptation? How can the digital humanities learn from the workflow management systems of the "in silico" sciences? And how in this regard should they be different from the sciences? Using as example the in-progress "WhatEvery1Says" (WE1S) project he leads (which is topic modeling articles mentioning the humanities in newspapers), Alan Liu offered a general vision of open, shareable, and replicable workflows for the digital humanities. He also speculated on what is at stake from the viewpoint of humanists more broadly.

Alan Liu is Professor in the English Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has published books titled Wordsworth: The Sense of History; The Laws of Cool: Knowledge Work and the Culture of Information; and Local Transcendence: Essays on Postmodern Historicism and the Database. Recent work includes "Is Digital Humanities a Field?—An Answer from the Point of View of Language," "N + 1: A Plea for Cross-Domain Data in the Digital Humanities," "The Meaning of the Digital Humanities," and "Where is Cultural Criticism in the Digital Humanities?" Liu started the Voice of the Shuttle web site for humanities research in 1994. He is founder and co-leader of the 4Humanities.org advocacy initiative.

31 March 2017- Patricia Fumerton: English Broadside Ballad Archive Workshop/Seminar
With online contributions from Megan Palmer, Carl Stahmer, Erik Bell
 (English Broadside Ballad Archive, Early Modern Center, University of California Santa Barbara)

Poster advertising workshop with Patricia FumertonThis workshop/seminar was centred on the EBBA’s interdisciplinary scholarship in ballad culture, which ranges from custom-developed digital humanities archiving methods, to contemporary ballad re-interpretations by ethnomusicologists and practicing musicians.

Part I: Human Computer Collaboration: Arch-V Image Matching and the Human-curated Woodcut Catalog
Led by Patricia Fumerton, Carl Stahmer, Megan Palmer

Professor Fumerton addressed questions of digital archiving and collaboration, with EBBA associates Dr Megan E.Palmer, specialist in historical woodcut impressions, and Dr Carl Stahmer, Digital Humanities historical archive specialist.

Part II: Notating Tune with Text: Greensleeves and St George and the Dragon
Led by Patricia Fumerton and Erik Bell

Professor Fumerton explored questions of tune and text notations, with EBBA music specialist Erik Bell.

Patricia Fumerton is Professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara, director of UCSB’s English Broadside Ballad Archive, http://ebba.english.ucsb.edu, and author of Unsettled: The Culture of Mobility and the Working Poor in Early Modern England (2006) and of Cultural Aesthetics: Renaissance Literature and the Practice of Social Ornament (1991). She has just completed another monograph, Moving Media, Tactical Publics: The English Broadside Ballad in Early Modern England.

Megan E. Palmer is Assistant Director of the English Broadside Ballad Archive and Lecturer in the English Department at UCSB, where she completed her PhD in 2014. Her recent work on woodcut impressions includes “Song Beyond Species: Broadside Ballads in Image and Word,” Huntington Library Quarterly 79:2 (2016): 221-244; and “Cutting through the Wormhole: Early Modern Time, Craft, & Media," The Making of a Broadside Ballad, ed. Patricia Fumerton, Carl Stahmer, and Andrew Griffin. EMC Imprint, 2016.

Carl Stahmer, PhD, is the Director of Digital Scholarship at the University Library, University of California, Davis, where he oversees a variety of digital initiatives. Further roles include Associate Director for Humanities at the UC Davis Data Science Initiative, Associate Director for Technology at the Advanced Research Consortium, Institute for Digital Humanities Media and Culture. Stahmer is also Associate Director of the UCSB English Broadside Ballad Archive. His current research is focused on the development of an open source, content based search and retrieval (image recognition) platform for digital archives of historical printed materials. He works extensively in the area of Linked Open Data and social data curation, with a particular focus on deployment of Linked Data native library cataloguing systems.

Erik Bell completed his BA in Music (Piano Emphasis) in 2006 at the University of Oregon is currently a PhD candidate in Music Theory at UCSB, researching chord-transformational theory within 19th and early 20th-century music. The other hat he wears is Music Specialist for the English Broadside Ballad Archive, where he leads the newly funded Minstrel project of recording transcriptions and himself recording to date over 500 ballads. He has also worked as a Teaching Assistant for both the Musicianship series and Music Fundamentals at UCSB, lecturing for Music Fundamentals during Summer 2013.

February 2017

10 February 2017 - Esther Leslie: "Clouds" (Social and Political Thought/Sussex Humanities Lab Research Seminar series)

This lecture considered the cloud and animation from a variety of stances. It suggested first that clouds have always been animate forms, shifting, evanescent and in some regards abstract. They have also long been a stuff for imagery, especially painting and it is argued the materiality of the clouds is repeated in its painted form. The drama of clouds in a more modern age was seized by film and animation. The cloud appears in the digital age too – in more ways than one. Clouds have been constituted digitally by commercial studios and also by art animators. For the collective FriendsWithYou, the clouds, from their animation Cloudy and its various offshoots, are central to their ultrahappy pneumatic aesthetic. This body of work, kitsch and dumb as it is, was treated as emblematic of an age in which the cloud looms  as a new substance, if one that is hard to grasp and hard to model convincingly. What is a digital cloud? In what ways is it captured in the platform that is called The Cloud? Computer animation has a specific visual appeal that is shiny and hermetic. This quality is easily fetishable, presents, indeed, an object lesson in what a fetish is. As if in recognition of it some recent animations have mobilised the fetish quality critically. Does the shiny aesthetic of the digital transform into the fluffiness of the cloud or is there something different at work in the digitalising of clouds and the creation of a synthetic heaven into which all production has been relocated? 

Professor Esther Leslie is Professor of Political Aesthetics, Birkbeck College.

13 February 2017 - PhD Research in Progress (Sussex Humanities Lab Research Seminar series)

Poster advertising seminar given by SHL PhD students

Kat Braybrooke - Hacking the Gallery Together?
This presentation outlined early findings from several months spent as Researcher-in-Residence at the Tate Digital Studio while touring other institutionalized sites for digital making around the world, using both ethnographic and action research methods to explore the social, cultural and political ecosystems that define these spaces within spaces. The mixed-method approach to inquiry was also  discussed regarding its aim to build an understanding of the unique circumstances that allow this kind of institutionalization to arise, especially regarding its effects on user conditions of access, power and ownership.

Stephen Fortune - Asking Questions of Data?
This presentation was a research update on the utility (or not) of software studies methodologies to investigate the phenomena of self-tracking.

Wesley Goatley - Critical Data Aesthetics
This presentation detailed the continued development of a critically reflexive approach to data aestheticisation, a thesis which is informed by and informs an exploratory ongoing artistic practice. Included were examples of recently created practical works, new theoretical trajectories, and emerging interdisciplinary influences.

Emma Harrison - Collective Action in the Age of Ubiquitous Computing
This presentation demonstrated my ongoing research into the ways in which collective action can continue to be effective within a culture in which complete surveillance is a reality implied by the technologies we engage with. I outlined some preliminary reflections on the beginnings of my case study research, which explores consumerist forms of ‘digital detoxing’ and the effect this has upon embodied interaction within such environments. 

Manuel Alejandro Cruz Martinez - Making a video game about history: Workshops, Prototypes, and Iteration.
In the past months, I have been running workshops for history students while working on small prototypes for a historical video game. I shared some of the challenges faced during this process, and discuss the increasing relevance of iterations within my research.

January 2017

16 January 2017 - James Williams: "Reverse Takeovers: a Sublime and Egalitarian Future for the Humanities" (Sussex Humanities Lab Seminar Series)

Poster advertising seminar given by James WilliamsOn the assumption that the humanities are concerned with creative and critical work on signs, James Williams argued that every subject is vulnerable to a reverse takeover by the humanities, through the medium of the sign. No one is safe, not the mathematician or physicist, not the biologist or neuro-scientist, no empirical or data-driven subject, no pursuit that justifies itself simply on its financial contribution, or role in welfare. Every subject that involves signs as its currency can be taken over, because each sign conceals many processes beyond those regulated by the discipline and because these wider relations are what allows the discipline to exercise power beyond itself: when numbers become animals, or equations become means, or genes become tools, when scans become claims over emotions and morals, or when empirical findings and data become claims over the future, when finance justifies suffering, or welfare becomes a claim over ways of life. The argument builds on his study of process signs by extending the claim that every sign is political into the suggestion that signs are an opportunity for sublime and egalitarian transformations. Variations on the senses of 'sublime' and 'egalitarian' were set out, as well as a range of techniques for reverse takeovers through the sign.

James Williams is Honorary Professor of Philosophy at Deakin University. His most recent book is A Process Philosophy of Signs (Edinburgh University Press, 2016). He has published widely on French philosophy, with books on Deleuze and Lyotard. James is currently working on critical studies of the concepts of extension, enaction and autopoiesis, and on a book on the egalitarian sublime. You can find his work at www.jamesrwilliams.net

20 January 2017 - Automation and Obsolescence (the first workshop of the AHRC-funded Automation Anxiety network)

The workshop focused on the forms of cognitive automation that inspire contemporary concern about a ‘rise of the robots’, anxiety concerning the replacement of human labour by computational processes, algorithms and machine learning. Topics discussed included automation and healthcare, universal basic income, automation anxiety as a recurring historical 'topos'. The workshop included an experimental performance piece 'Job Vacancy: ECHOBORG'. See Storify for Tweets and images from the event.

24 January 2017 - Estimote drop-in session

SHL Research Technician, Ioann-Maria Stacewicz, organised a drop-in session to demonstrate the Lab's Estimote beacons and how they might be used in research projects.

 

5 September (Fabrica Gallery) -  British Science FestivalVisions of the Large Hadron Collider 

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the world’s most powerful particle smasher, recreating conditions similar to those that existed in our universe shortly after the Big Bang. Physicist Antonella De Santo, artist duo Semiconductor and SHL's Beatrice Fazi discussed LHC science, art and philosophy.

6 September (The Keep) -  British Science FestivalWhat can the past tell us about energy consumption today? 

Rebecca Wright asked what lessons can be learnt from the Mass Observation Archive, a huge database that records everyday life in Britain. Exploring whether knowledge of previous energy practices could provide novel solutions for managing energy consumption in the future.

9 September (One Church Brighton) -  British Science FestivalOrchestra hero

Lab members and affiliates Ed Hughes, Chris Kiefer and Alice Eldridge launched Syncphoniaa new iOS app for group music making, at the British Science Festival. Designed to support ensemble music making, Syncphonia provides a new form for networked, interactive notation which helps musical novices stay in time, making music making more accessible and even more fun.

13 September Chrysalis

Poster advertising Chrysalis with Marije Baalman and Chris KieferPerformance and Q&A with Marije Baalman and Chris Kiefer

Marije Baalman is an artist and researcher/developer working in the field of interactive sound art.  She is working with Chris Kiefer on serendipity in interactive machine learning algorithms.  They showed the results of their work in a performance with Marije’s latest piece Chrysalis, and discussed the work afterwards in a Q&A session.

Read more about their work at: http://www.emutelab.org/blog/chrysalis-report

Brighton Digital Festival events:

14 September (The Rose Hill, Brighton) -  Humanising Algorithmic Listening in Culture and Conservation 

AHRC Humanising Algorithmic Listening Network members were joined by Brighton Digital Festival audiences in a semi-theatrical debate around the promises and perils of listening algorithms in wider culture, organised by Alice Eldridge. 

15-30 September (ONCA Gallery, Brighton) - Mephitic Air 

Mephitic Air is a new data visualisation and sonification installation from Wesley Goatley & Tobias Revell which explores the spaces between human and machine interpretations of air pollution.