Reassessing Intimacy

 Presenting my project was something of a fight, with myself more than anyone else to be quite honest. One of my main issues I was grappling with in haraway’s basement was intimacy. What does it mean to get close in the digital age? Does it mean to be physically close, to have the screen right up against your face, on your wrist, in your body? The leading theory is that the digital keeps us apart from each other, lends a … Read More

Points of Contact:
Exploring the role of architecture in public social behavior at Amherst College

A typical interaction between two people first involves some sort of initiation of contact followed by a reciprocation of that contact, and culminates in a sustained cycle of action and reaction between them (figure 1). When the Amherst Awkward happens, this cycle is disrupted by social barriers. Students will choose not to reciprocate an invitation to interact, or both parties will not even attempt to make contact, and the interaction cycle never kicks off (figure 2). The most alarming aspect of this disruption is … , ,

The Iron Streets of Pompeii: An Interactive Map

 With much pride and joy, I invite you to view one of the products of the research that Eric Poehler, Ben Crowther, and I have been conducting over the past year. My website, ironstreetsofpompeii.5colldh.org, brings the user through the streets of Pompeii to view many of the instances of iron used to repair and maintain the streets (as seen above). Accompanying the interactive map, I have supplied additional information about the project. Also, I would like to thank Mariel Nyröp … Read More

Copper & Control: A Progress Update from 5CollDH Fellow Wouter Schievink

Context Quotes:“We shape our tool, thereafter they shape us” – Father John Culkin“A computer is nothing but the actualization of man’s greatest desire to possess and control” – The Pattern On The Stone“In order to skillfully operate instruments a human being must internalize aspects of those instruments into their kinesthetic and perceptual habits.” – Joseph WeizenbaumWorking with any specific taxonomy of tools encourages me to leap into holes which exceed my height. For instance, I’ll get sucked into 3D printing, … Read More

Public Art .Fund: Testing What’s Real and What’s Not

  How can digital technologies let us test the limits of what’s real and what’s not? 2014 5CollDH microgrant recipient Baillie Vensel (Smith College ’16) explores this question, and its socioeconomic dimensions, in her microgrant project Public Art . Fund. Learn more, in her own words: Public Art .Fund began as a project for the 5 College Studio Art Seminar in Social Practice taught by Amanda Herman that took place during the Fall semester of 2014.Originally the goal was to create a … Read More

More than Beeps and Boops: A Trip to the 2nd Annual North American Conference on Video Game Music

  When we talk about video games, our attention often goes to graphics, gameplay, or story. But there’s another powerful part of the video game experience—music. 2014 5CollDH microgrant recipient Hyeonjin Park (Mount Holyoke College ’15) traveled to the 2nd annual North American Conference on Video Game Music in Fort Worth, Texas, to learn more about sound’s role in how we play games. In her own words: It was a small audience, but a very interactive one as everyone sat and listened … Read More

Museum of Forbidden Technologies

  How do you make a museum out of things that don’t exist? What’s the line between fact and fiction? 2014 5CollDH microgrant recipient Emily Esten (UMass–Amherst Junior) built a “Museum of Forbidden Technologies,” inspired by the popular podcast Welcome to Night Vale to ask just those questions. Learn more, in her own words:     Welcome to Night Vale is a bimonthly podcast structured very much like a radio station, announcing community updates for a small desert town somewhere in the … Read More

IMDB and Queering Media

  For her 2014-15 undergraduate fellowship project with the 5CollDH, Cade Johnson blurs the line between art and scholarship, with a queer feminist online installation cum analytical essay on the strange life of body horror in cinema and the digital age. The following is an update from her work in the trenches:   As the gist of my project is rewriting film studies scholarship, a major, perhaps the major, preparatory task for my project was compiling the list of films to watch and work … Read More

Generative Music and Video Games

  What lies at the intersection of analog and digital sound? What would a “feedback loop” of compositional practices, grounded in digital technologies and experimental musicality, look and sound like? 2014-15 5CollDH undergraduate fellow Andrew Wang asks those questions, and more, in a series of musical pieces he’s developing for his project. In his own words: Generative music refers to a system in which sound elements with limitless possible combinations are set into place, creating a piece of music that is infinitely changing. Steve Reich’s “It’s Gonna Rain” … Read More

Creating a Virtual Reality Game: The Process

  Virtual reality—it’s the hottest thing in the tech world. But how can we use VR in academia? What can VR teach us about how we live in our own bodies? And how can we use VR to teach others about the experience of living in different kinds of bodies? Using Oculus Rift technology, 2014-15 5CollDH undergraduate fellow Coralie Pardo is building a game that teaches players about the ubiquitous nature of race and gender, and how they permeate even seemingly neutral interactions. … Read More

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