SEED: Monumental Scraps
CATALYST: Olly Dawkins, Jessica Foley
HOST: The Russell Library
DATE: 18th June 2019
TIME: 2 – 4.30pm (approx.)
How are we to speak of these ‘common things’, how to track them down rather, flush them out, wrest them from the dross in which they remain mired, how to give them a meaning, a tongue, to let them, finally, speak of what is, of what we are.
George Perec, Approaches to What (1973)
There are many other devices… that let people bodily enter a story.
Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust (2002)
This session of Engineering Fictions, as usual, assembles ideas drawn from conversations with many of the Building City Dashboards team, relating to practices of gathering, managing and mapping ‘data’ about people, materials, environments and places. From issues of ‘data quality’ to questions relating to the ‘ground truth’ of satellite imagery and spread-sheets, it seems as though all ‘data’ are scrappy at best.
In preparing for the recent Ground Truth in Digital Dublin workshop, some of the Building City Dashboards team set out to walk the Docklands SDZ in an effort to match a particular data-set (listing heritage sites) with the area itself. These intrepid walkers expected to find points of interest in some kind of ‘monumental’ form, but what they found at the listed coordinates often left a lot to be desired…
Oliver Dawkins will take us through this experience of ‘ground truthing’ in the SDZ, and we’ll open up a conversation around our expectations of how data (often manifest in the form of spread-sheets) relate to place, infrastructures, environments and people. Taking the metaphors of ‘scraps’ and ‘monuments’ as our guiding themes, we will engage side-ways with our real-time imaginaries of sensing technologies, data collection and visualisation processes in the city, particularly in relation to the geography of the Docklands SDZ.
Once again, we’ll be hosted by The Russell Library (South Campus, MU) and treated to some glimpses at their collection relating to the theme of Monumental Scraps.
While these workshops are devised with the Building City Dashboards project team in mind, we welcome others to come along and contribute. If you are interested in getting involved in this session please contact Jessica.Foley@mu.ie. Places are limited!
While The Russell Library cannot accommodate refreshments in the reading room during the workshop (for the protection of the books!), we will take short breaks along the way. We’ll base ourselves at the end of the Reading Room, in circular formation for conversation, and then break out to the Library desks for writing.
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