Liquid Categories for Augmented Revolutions @svitlanax

“The project The Exceptional and The Everyday: 144 Hours in Kyiv (2014) by Lev Manovich and Software Studies Initiative team collected and analyzed the Instagram data (images, location, tags) shared during the outbreak of extreme violence in the midst of the protests in Kyiv, better known as “Maidan,” in the end of February 2014. [1] As Lisa Gitelman reminds us, “raw data is an oxymoron,” at least because it has “to be imagined as data to exist and function as such, and the imagination of data entails an interpretive base” (Gitelman, 2013: 1-3). The researchers produced a series of image clusters, graphs and diagrams that visualize the topological relation between visual and non-visual data of a dataset. This essay reviews the findings of the project team by reading them alongside the reports and testimonies of the participants of the protest since the events on the ground are never disconnected from the user-generated stream of data—for better or worse. Online activity left material traces, generated and transmitted affects, messages, and noise; it enabled continuity but also produced disruptions of the communication flow and exchanges between protesters. The intensive use of social networks for coordination and information exchange makes a case for calling the revolution in Ukraine augmented. [2] As Nathan Jurgenson defines the notion, an “augmented revolution” is part of “a larger conceptual perspective that views our reality as the byproduct of the enmeshing of the on and offline” (Jurgenson, 2012: 83-91). My goal is not to test the accuracy of representation of events by a dataset (which would be a wrong approach!); but rather, to think of data as an acting entity that contributes to the complex composition of the protest.”


About dmf

alienist @ large, mostly on foot
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