4/25: Just back from the Bay Area, where I was honored to be a part of Valuing Labor in the Arts, a practicum organized by the Arts Research Center at UC Berkeley together with the brilliant Helena Keeffe. I’ll be writing about the event for an upcoming issue of Art Practical, and there will probably be video of my talk at some point, but until then you can read a few essays and workshop prompts in an earlier issue, and I’ll leave you with a little moment that was one of my favorites: Living genius Yasmin and Calicopie provided lunch and hors d’oeuvres. In the evening, little signs marked each of the small bites; one read, “EMPLOYMENT: Union-picked organic strawberries / Walmart banana cream”. Another, “EXPLOITATION: spicy corporate slaughterhouse chicken processed with minimum wage labor”. We stood around, drank from disposable glasses of wine, chatted, agreed that the food was amazing. Later, we all sat ourselves around banquet tables for an evening of talks, and Yasmin spoke very shortly about the night’s catering. She talked about parallels between the invisibility of labor in art and in food production, about the ways that aesthetics can disguise the conditions of production. She talked about the berries, and then about the chicken: “The chicken tonight is actually from Kentucky Fried Chicken, which pays its workers $7.63 an hour on average. Even managers only make $10.89, but they gross 4.22 billion dollars a year.” In a video from the event, she needs to pause after she says “Kentucky Fried Chicken”; there are audible gasps from the audience, muttering. Yasmin closed with a smile, saying, “it’s just an opportunity for you to.. kind of.. explore and enjoy these things.” The audience laughed, and later I overheard one woman reassure another: “Oh, she couldn’t possibly have gotten KFC in here. They’re very strict about outside catering.” It seemed to make both of them feel better.

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8/20: Like books, speak Swedish? I’ll be at Bokmässan talking about my new book with Evelina Stenbeck on Friday September 28th – see you there!

6/8: To close out our year at the Pufendorf Institute for Advanced Studies we (the Advanced Study Group on The Roles of Photography in Academic Research and Communication) held a two-day workshop on cartography, collaboration, and data: the year behind us and the years ahead. Thanks especially to all our guests and to Bull.Miletic for our public program, The Aerial View in Motion.

5/31: Good news! We’ve been awarded 450,000 crowns in funding from the Crafoord Foundation to support our work in the Rädda Bildarvet (aka Rädda Bildminnet) project. It’s a collaboration between the sociology department at Lund University and Landskrona Foto, and we’re focused on photographs as data + practice across disciplines, the development of new search + discovery tools for digitized images, and the value + valuation of photographic cultural heritage. Thanks much to Crafoordska!

5/29: A new network at Lund University for research on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning just launched, and I’ve been really impressed at the level to which the social sciences and humanities are represented in the network and how central their voices are, along with the math and computer science folks you’d expect. There’s a proto-website where you can find out more, and if you’re interested you should definitely put a “save the date” in your calendar for the next fika-to-fika all-day meetings on September 26 and November 22.

4/27: Clayton and I wrote up a summary of our American Behavioral Scientist article (preprint available here) for the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP) DataBrief; you can read our overview here. I also gave a talk to the SNAAP+ Leadership Forum yesterday, which is a pretty great group of art school folks from all over the country; I think it was recorded, and I’ll link to it once I can. Thanks much to SNAAP for letting us peek into their data, and especially to Associate Research Director Alex Frenette for helping us with the numbers and for his kind welcome last night.

3/22: There’s a thoughtful review of my new book in the Culture Section’s winter newsletter. Thanks to Whitney Johnson for taking the time to read and write about my work!

3/19: Was happy to present preliminary work on the Rädda Bildminnet project and plans for the future together with Landskrona Foto at a seminar on photographic preservation and access as part of the National Archives’ 400th birthday tour. Very roughly, our work includes a couple of interconnected projects, including the development of new digital search and discovery tools for digitized images and an investigation of photography as data and practice across disciplines in academic research. Get in touch if you’re interested in finding out more about what we’re doing or working with us!

3/15: Back from three days outside Oslo with the Norwegian Artistic Research Programme and their research fellows. Norway is moving towards its own “artistic research” model quite distinct from others, and it was an interesting meeting, with some really excellent work. Check out Bull.Miletic for an example of the kinds of things happening over there, or maybe go spend some time with Bjørn Erik Haugen’s work; pictured here, a lovely scratch-off postcard from Juliane Zelwies inviting participation in her research.

2/19: Heading to Baltimore for Easterns and very much looking forward to it. Come by and say hi at one of the two panels I’ll be a part of on Thursday the 22nd: at noon I’ll be on a pretty amazing panel talking about new work, and then at 3:30 we’ll do an author-meets-critics type thing about my book that came out just now – I’m pretty excited to hear what these folks think! Hope to see you there-

1/22: I did an interview about my new book with Dave O’Brien on the New Books Network. You can get it as a podcast, or you can stream / download it here. Hope you like it!