Ideographies of Knowledge/Session 4

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Ideographies of Knowledge

A symposium unfolding from the intention to reflect upon the legacy of Paul Otlet and his work from the perspective of today's knowledge archives.

Saturday, 3 October 2015
Mundaneum, Rue de Nimy 76, Mons, Belgium

"Once one read; today one refers to, checks through, skims." – Paul Otlet, 1903

Session 4. Worlds Made Flat – Protocols of Reading and Viewing

14:15 – 15:00 H

Interface design models user experience. How collections are grasped, navigated and used is guided by codes and protocols of display. Reading, comparing and searching documents through the screen involves more than a work with the shown text and image. How to see the invisible?

Moderated by Geraldine Juárez.
Video by Stefan Piat.

Michael Murtaugh – Slide Rule (in leather carrying case)

Once an invaluable device for every engineer (you may note how the case is designed to be affixed to its operator's belt), the slide rule is maybe best described as an analog calculator. Unlike a modern digital calculator, the slide rule requires the (human) calculator to mentally maintain the correct order of magnitude (or scale of a calculation) meaning that calculated quantities are overtly contingent on the knowledge of the operator rather than presented as seemingly absolute and precise external fact.

Robert M Ochshorn – InterLace

Open-ended web-based documentation software for the organization of large qty's of video.
Variants: Montage Interdit, VideoVortex9, ZKM Screen Dreams.

Femke Snelting – Scraping culture (21.845 image tiles)

Out of frustration by their incorrect licensing and being unavailable for re-⁠use (Public Domain, no download), one night we decided to scrape all images from the Mundaneum section on the Google Cultural Institute website. We ended up with a perplexing mass of 21.845 image tiles, each 512 by 512 pixels in size. Trying to make sense of this fractured "collection", we grew fascinated by the way these images were algorithmically treated. How does one look at images on the fly?

Matěj Strnad – MD5 checksum as the real DOI

or: for an artifact, let's look at any recent paper/piece of writing we've recently done (concept/question/inquiry into praxis)
Correct me if I'm wrong (and I'd be happy if I were), but how is it that we still reference <21st century books we don't have in our hands instead of admitting our libraries are pdf-based? And only if and when our primary research (read: internet search) doesn't yield any (searchable, quotable, copy-pastable) results we come back to the physical libraries both public and private. Who will start, or is this already happening? (It might seem to be with the DOI and such, but what we really need is MD5 checksums for citations, keyword: information fixity).

Michael Murtaugh – Liebers's Standard Telegraphic Code Book (1896)

An artifact of the telegraphy age; Lieber's Code was sold as a system for commerce of the day to communicate messages economically, the book acts as a translation from a wide array of topic-organized formulaic communications reduced to single word "codes" -- the resulting messages are thus transmitted both more economically (less words to pay for) and discretely due to illegibility of the resulting arbitrary code words. Both properties resonate with aspects of the digital communication in general and with text-mining techniques (such as "bag of words" representations) where economies of computation and indexability are a factor.

Robert M Ochshorn – Knowledge Receipts

realtime thermal persistent ephemera from reading & writing
(variants: Hyperopia, Journalism in the Desert of the Real)

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