Critical Ways of Seeing – 21-22/5/2014

Critical Ways of Seeing 21-22/5/2014 Visualizing Knowledge and the Digital –Tool, Politics, or Art?


Two Day Symposium and Master Class with Dr Philippe Rekacewicz (Head Geographer & Cartographer, Le Monde Diplomatique), Giulio Frigieri (Infographics, The Guardian), Alfredo Cramerotti (MOSTYN, Wales’ Contemporary Art Centre), Mushon Zer-Aviv (Media Activist, Tel Aviv/New York), Galia Offri (Artist/Tel Aviv), Stefano Cagol (Contemporary Artist, Italy), Prof. Sean Cubitt (Goldsmiths) Davina Jackson (d-city network), Alex Gekker (Charting the Digital) and Lorenzo Pezzani (Forensic Oceanography).

Hosts: Global Media & Transnational Communications Program and Radical Media Forum of the Media & Communications Department, Goldsmiths.

Convener: Prof. Marianne Franklin, with Elinor Carmi and Paola Crespi.

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In critical media and communications research there has been a marked increase in interest in web-based ways of gathering, generating, and visualizing knowledge. These include digital tools that navigate and map the web itself, infographics, and interactive maps for research, policy-making, activism and advocacy. These techniques make use of official databases but increasingly work with “Big Data” as well as real-time forms of data-gathering through “crowdsourcing” to raise awareness about humanitarian crises, natural disasters, as well as mobilise people around a range of political and social issues. These developments have accompanied the digitalisation of cartography itself (such as Google Maps and Street View) as well as the rise of consumer goods that are digital devices that include the tracking, tagging, and collating of individual and accumulated user data (such as via mobile phones). These trends mean that individuals and communities are being tracked, data-mined and then mapped in their everyday life, meaning that their movements and relationships become part of the data stream and integral to how others visualize knowledge.

All these techniques and the new ways of conveying what is going on in the world that they open up present exciting possibilities for doing research , ‘seeing’ and presenting our ideas. They have also provided important avenues for citizens to challenge businesses and governments about what they are doing with our data, and to what ends. Whilst a picture may be worth a thousand words, infographics, like maps and other images, also imply and convey more than one story. They can enlighten, educate but also falsify and misinform. Humanitarian, environmental, and commercial uses of digital tracking, mapping, and crowdsourcing are not always compatible with each other, and they also raise challenging questions about freedom of expression, privacy, intellectual property rights, and research ethics based on informed consent. Moreover, the politics of ownership and control of our data and the data of others is becoming more urgent as large corporations and governments can accumulate this data and then grant or restrict access to it in non-accountable ways.

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This two-day workshop brings world-renowned exponents of conventional and radical cartography, media digital activism, and contemporary art once again to the Media & Communications Department in two ways: 1) to hold workshop sessions for researchers (students and faculty) looking for new ways to present and visualize their findings as they make use of digital tools in their work; 2) to offer focused sessions b guest speakers on selected topics The symposium will open with a public session on the fundamentals of cartography and how these are affected by the shift to the digital. It will end with a public debate that brings our experts together

PROGRAMME (subject to minor changes)

DAY 1: Wednesday, 21 May

9.30: Coffee (Loafers Café, RHB) & Registration (RHB CINEMA)
10.00: Welcome (RHB CINEMA)

10.15-11.30: Philippe Rekacewicz
The Art of Cartography & the Digital: A Radical’s Guide for Beginners (RHB CINEMA)

11.30: Coffee break

12-1pm: Mushon Zer-Aviv
Disinformation Visualization: How to Lie With Dataviz (RHB CINEMA)

1-1.45 pm: LUNCH BREAK

1.45-2.45: Masterclass Session 1
Lorenzo Pezzani: Forensic Oceanography (RHB 352)

2.45: Tea Break

3.15-4.15pm: Master class Session 2
Alex Gekker, Interfaces of Play and Power in Digital Maps (RHB 352)

4.30pm: Stefano Cagol, BE-DIVERSITY EVENT: LIVE (NAB 302, Terrace)

DAY 2: Thursday, 22 May

9.30 Coffee (Loafers Café, RHB)

10-11.15am: Mushon Zer-Aviv & Galia Offri
Wikipedia Illustrated (RHB 352)

11.15 Coffee Break

11.45-1pm: Giulio Frigieri
Fetish Infographics (RHB 352)

1-2pm: Lunch Break

2-3.15pm: Alfredo Cramerotti
Alternative Mapping (RHB 352)

3.15pm: Tea Break

3.45-4.15pm: Davina Jackson (Podcast-Video from Sydney, Australia)
Spaceship Earth: Observing Our Planet from Satellites (RHB 352)

4.15-4.45pm: Stefano Cagol, BE-Diversity Event, VIDEO (RHB 352)

5-5.45pm: Philippe Rekacewicz: Summing Up: Cartographic Visions (RHB 137a)

6-7.30 pm Public Forum (All Welcome)
Visualizing Knowledge & the Digital: Tool, Politics, or Art? (NAB LG01)

Panelists: Philippe Rekacewicz, Giulio Frigieri, Sean Cubitt, Alfredo Cramerotti, Mushon Zer-Aviv, Galia Offri, and Stefano Cagol

Moderator: Marianne Franklin

After-Event: New Cross House (Cnr, Laurie Grove & New Cross Road)

The Symposium is open to all registered participants. • Those who wish to be considered as projects for the Masterclass sessions need to apply by 30th April 2014. More details below. When & Where: May  21-22, New Academic Building and Media Research Centre (to be confirmed), Goldsmiths. Who: All interested and who wish to register for the two days. See below for more information on how to apply for consideration as a focus project for the Masterclass session. All sessions are open to registered participants. 1) SYMPOSIUM REGISTRATION Register HERE! : Open to all. Deadline for registrations: May 15th 2014. 2) MASTERCLASS FOCUS PROJECT (selected projects): Please provide a title and brief description of your project (250 words MAX), along with examples from your data collection and problems/dilemmas you have encountered while gathering/analysing the material (250 words MAX); inquiries to Marianne Franklin ( The deadline for this element is: 30th April 2014.




2 thoughts on “Critical Ways of Seeing – 21-22/5/2014

  1. Pingback: Critical Ways of Seeing – 21-22/5/2014 | Radical Media Forum ← Casual Space

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