Technology Dilemma: Convenient and Invasive

In the early 1900’s, who thought about the internet and devices such as personal computers, smartphones and tablets? Even though people back in the days did not have a clear image of the internet and the devices we appreciate today, they imagined and believed that some day somebody would invent such things. Paul Otlet knew… Read More »

The Database: I Can't Remember A Thing

Memory is a key component to this weeks readings and the concept of memory, to me at least, brings to mind the concept  of materiality, where “memory” is held, and how we access it.  Otlet’s idea of The Mendaneum, brings these concepts together, consisting of very material cabinets of 3×5 index cards.  Otlet wanted to … Read More »

Enduring Ephemeral

This week I was inspired by Wendy Hui Kyong’s Enduring Ephemeral, or the Future is a Memory to think about the word Memory, and what response it evokes in us when it’s used both in a persona or a technological context. The concept of Memory, and how/what technology allows us to remember, is an idea… Read More »

Because the database told me so, thoughts on changing classification systems

While this week’s reading demonstrated that “information overload” is hardly a new phenomena, attempts to address this predicament through sophisticated databases and interlinked associations are relatively more modern. From Otlet to Ranganathan, attempts to classify and control knowledge appear to pick up steam in the late nineteenth to the early twentieth century. Looking back on… Read More »

How things are linked

Paul Otlet, who has been considered the father of information science, created the Universal Decimal Classification to solve the problem of classifying human knowledge. As Alex Wright says in Forgotten Forefather: Paul Otlet, Otlet declares that “no document could be properly understood by itself, but that its meaning becomes clarified through its influence on other… Read More »


Bear71  –  Databases How do we collect data or use data? How can the collection of data be represented? When we think of data representation our minds imagine graphs and charts, or other methods of statistical analysis. But can data be expressed emotively? We regard data as factual, objective emotionless – yet data are the products… Read More »

Digital Witnesses

What is data? Is it real? Can we feel it or control it haptically? Databases are the source of what we refer to as the digital medium. They are the foundations, the brick and mortar building blocks of any digital infrastructure. But how are these systems conceived? How do they operate and interact wirelessly in… Read More »

Intellectual Furnishings, Friday, 11/7 @ 11am

Next Friday I’ll be sharing a working paper, “Intellectual Furnishings,” which is based on a new research project examining media furniture — book shelves, CD racks, writing tables, media walls, task chairs, server racks, etc. — as embodiments of affect and epistemology. As I write in the paper, I recognize these furnishings as much more… Read More »