Barness and Papaelias 2015
Barness, Jessica and AmyPapaelias, eds. Critical Making: Design and the Digital Humanities. Special issue of Visible Language 49.3 (December 2015).
Begins with overview of scholarship on critical making so far: Digital_Humanities, Garnet Hertz's The Critical Making Zine, Library of the Printed Web
Emerging field of "knowledge design": "moves beyond the utilization of digital tools in order to consider 'the more profound questions of ways media produce knowledge' that allow practitioners 'to think in and through digital media'" (quotes from Drucker 2014)
Burdick, Anne. "Meta!Meta!Meta! A Speculative Design Brief for the Digital Humanities." Visible Language 49.3 (December 2015): 12-33.
Meta of critical interpretation, meta of speculative reflexive design, meta of subject-computer interfact
"this paper proposes a way to bring the speculative inventiveness of design together with the critical interpretation of the humanities to imagine what might be accomplished with digital tools that don’t yet exist." (14)
Futurecasting tech industry -- can it be repurposed for humanistic goals? As in Dunne and Raby's Speculative Design and "critical design" -- nuanced by Bardzell and Bardzell
Burdick modifies Bardzell and Bardzell's notion of what is "critical" in design to produce a "speculative reflexive design approach"
"By focusing on a scholar’s interactions with their digital tools (situation and stuff designed in tandem), we can rely upon design’s expertise in creating tangible or experiential artifacts and scenarios that can suggest new understandings." (19)
"USER" -- key figure in designing systems; "user-centeredness"; the user-friendly interface that disappears as if by magic (see Emerson 2014)
"Critical theory has given us the idea of an observing subject and with it the construction of subject positions across media — elaborated in art, photography, film, and literary theory. These notions provide a way to conceptualize how a digital environment or tool also imagines its user-subject. If, as Pelle Ehn asserts, “‘users only come into being once there is something to be used,” then a humanities-based computational world brings the interpreting subject — rather than the user — into existence (Ehn, 2008)." (20) -- turn from user-figure to interpreting subject
Constraints for a humanistic design approach would limit "our future visions to the fertile nexus of the user-interface recast as a 'subject-computer-interfact'" (20)
Start with theory and "work outward to the design of fictitious subjects, imagined actions, and tangible future worlds"
Drucker, calls for interface that is "knowledge generator" -- not displaying what is but a call for the "user" to "compute" its meaning -- construct relationships between parts -- to produce their own distinct meaning
"The design space should be the subject-computer-interface (SCI) which is not an artifact but a site of exchange co-constructed by an interpreting subject and computational technologies and systems; all three — subject, computer, interface — should be designed in tandem." (31)
Boyd Davis, Stephen and Florian Krautli, "The Idea and Image of Historical Time: Interactions between Design and Digital Humanities."
"Most cultural datasets have therefore, whether thoughtlessly or out of necessity, been created with simple models of linear time, and without many of the qualifiers — relative dates, levels of precision, identification of authorship, etc — that would be necessary to sustain other approaches." (103)
Steve Anderson, "Critical Interfaces and Digital Making"
Rhetoric around making -- used to promote revolution, spirituality, and market innovation; but "the particularities of what is made, by whom and to what purpose, appears to be of secondary concern" (124)
McPherson, "Scaling Vectors" -- article about its history
Jentery Sayers, "Prototyping the Past"
"does more than re-contextualize media history in the present. It integrates that history into the social, cultura, and ethical trajectories of design." (158)
"New Old Things" book
Drawing on Barad by way of Haraway, entanglement of meaning and matter; "They also remind scholars that 1) the sources of matter and meaning are forever unstable and under dispute, 2) historical materials are not “total” works or complete objects but rather compositions of parts that change — degrade, rot, morph, warp, break, swell, or grow — over time, 3) numerous contributors and negotiations are always involved in a given design cycle, 4) technologies structure knowledge and perception, and 5) materials resist or diffract as many interpretations as they facilitate." (160)
"Prototyping the past refuses to essentialize technologies"
"Kits focus on technologies that are, for all intents and purposes, inaccessible today. These technologies are not found in galleries, museums, archives, or collections; they no longer function as they once did; or they were never actually built or mass-manu-factured. Such inaccessibility necessarily entails a degree of uncertainty and ambivalence where research is concerned. Rather than approaching this uncertainty at a remove, the Kits prototype absences in the historical record and prompt audiences to examine the contingencies of that record." (161)
"prototyping the past is more than re-contextualizing media history in the p ent. It constructs situations for integrating that history into the trajectories of design practice." (162)
"I would like to reflect upon arguments I made in this article by listing ways to think about media history and prototyping together: 1) prototyping the past demands methods and perspectives from across disciplines; 2) prototyping is not always futurist, and it is not restricted to forecasting; in fact, it is arguably fundamental to the practice of materialist media history; 3) 3-D media such as tactile models are not more persuasive than 2-D media such as illustrations; both may include exaggeration and omission, and they should be interpreted in tandem, not in opposition; 4) many aspects of media history remain inaccessible even with direct access to physical materials at memory institutions; having these materials at hand neither resolves issues of absence nor guarantees certainty about the past; 5) contrary to instrumentalist approaches invested in exact reproductions of history, prototyping the past may resist nostalgia, glorification, re-enactment, or fantasies of “being there”; as with any research method, it is not immediate and cannot access “real history”; 6) prototyping the past may be premised on not replicating history —on what, from a cultural, social, or ethical position, we should not repeat; 7) where it is intertwined with hermeneutics, prototyping may test suspicions we have about history by grounding them in fine-grained details of matter and meaning; and 8) prototyping the past is closer to Derridean deconstruction than Hegelian idealism." (173)