Situated Data: On Art Methods, Cultural Institutions and Infrastructure

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Abstract

This chapter examines cultural institutions as data infrastructures and as sites of different cultural techniques and media. Working through the case study of the British Library, it investigates this infrastructural question through artistic methods. The research for this text stems from the project Internet of Cultural Things where we worked at the British Library with the artist Richard Wright to unfold questions of media and infrastructure that extend much beyond the current focus on digital institutions and discourses—such as the Internet of Things. Even if speculative, technologically focused and often corporate-led investigations of digital cultural institutions is becoming the mainstream way of understanding the infrastructural possibilities of data analytics concerning library users, holdings, and the various other relationships that define cultural institutions, the project was interested in more experimental questions: how have notions of publicness already been incorporated into libraries in earlier phases of data infrastructure before the digital? In what ways was the library always already a proto-computer specialized in addressing, retrieving, and processing data (that for a long period came in the form of books and printed material)? This approach to the library connects questions developed in contemporary media theory with artistic methods, and produces an interesting installation-based entry point for the investigation of contemporary issues around automation, labour, and what sustains institutions as knowledge systems that are dependent on their material infrastructures.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TitelArticulating Media : Genealogy, Interface, Situation
RedaktørerJames Gabrillo, Nathaniel Zetter
UdgivelsesstedLondon
ForlagOpen Humanities Press
Publikationsdato2023
Sider153-167
Kapitel8
ISBN (Trykt)978-1-78542-112-9
ISBN (Elektronisk)978-1-78542-111-2
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2023

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