Term vs. Term for Digital Public Library of America hackathon

I made a small app to compare the number of search results for two phrases from the Digital Public Library of America for a hackathon / workshop here at Florida State next week.


dpla term vs term

Digital Humanities Hackathon II – Digital Public Library of America

Monday, April 21, 2:00-3:30 p.m.
Strozier Library, Scholars Commons Instructional Classroom [MAP]

The Digital Scholars Reading and Discussion Group will simulate its second “hackathon” on April 21, allowing participants to learn more about the back-end structure of the Digital Public Library of America. With its April 2013 launch, the DPLA became the first all-digital library that aggregates metadata from collections across the country, making them available from a single point of access. The DPLA describes itself as a freely available, web-based platform for digitized cultural heritage projects as well as a portal that connects students, teachers, scholars, and the public to library resources occurring on other platforms.

From a critical point of view, the DPLA simultaneously relies on and disrupts the principles of location and containment, making its infrastructure somewhat interesting to observe.

In this session, we will visit the DPLA’s Application Programming Interface (API) codex to observe some of the standards that contributed to its construction. We will consider how APIs function, how and why to use them, and who might access their metadata and for what purposes. For those completely unfamiliar with APIs, this session will serve as a useful introduction, as well as a demonstration of why a digital library might also want to serve as an online portal. For those more familiar with APIs, this session will serve as an opportunity to try on different tasks using the metadata that the DPLA aggregates from collections across the country.

At this particular session, we are pleased to be joined by Owen Mundy from FSU Department of Art and Richard Urban from FSU College of Communication and Information, who have considered different aspects of working with APIs for projects such as the DPLA, including visualization and graphics scripting, and developing collections dashboards.

As before, the session is designed with a low barrier of entry in mind, so participants should not worry if they do not have programming expertise or are still learning the vocabulary associated with open-source projects. We come together to learn together, and all levels of skill are accommodated, as are all attitudes and leanings.

Participants are encouraged to explore the Digital Public Library of America site prior to our meeting and to familiarize themselves with the history of the project. Laptops will be available for checkout, but attendees are encouraged to bring their own.

Exuberant Politics


March 6-April 8, 2014
Opening Receptions:
Legion Arts – March 6, 5-7 PM
1103 3rd St. SE, Cedar Rapids

Public Space One – March 7, 6-8 PM
120 N. Dubuque St., Iowa City

see websites for gallery hours

Exhibiting Artists – Legion Arts

Brandon Bauer (United States), Mark Cooley (United States), Priti Cox (United States), Liz Ensz (United States), David Fodel (United States), Ben Grosser (United States), Miguel Angel Hernandez (Mexico), Mahdyar Jamshidi (Iran), Wago Kreider (United States), Jane Lawson (United Kingdom), Fred Lonidier (United States), Kim Maher (United States), Timea Oravecz (Hungary), Brian Prugh (United States), Ali Reid (United States), Charles Roderick (United States), Alicja Rogalska (United Kingdom), Fabio Santacroce (Italy), SeedBroadcast (United States), Robert Spahr (United States), Joanna Tam (United States), Lieve Van Stappen (Belgium)

Exhibiting Artists – Public Space One

Esther Baker-Tarpaga and Windega Tarpaga (United States), Pedro Bustamente (Germany), Vivian Charlesworth and Alyson Ogasian (United States), Stephen Chen (Germany), Chris Collins (United States), English Disco Lovers (United Kingdom), Liz Ensz (United States), Jeremy Entwistle (United States), Paul Handley (New Zealand), Josh Hoeks (United States), Faith Holland (United States), Sam Holler (United States), Philip Mantione (United States), Owen Mundy (United States), Jessica Pleyel (United States), Blanca Rego (Spain), Vincent Romaniello (United States), Jennie Schankar (United States), Heath Schultz (United States), Levi Sherman (United States), SeedBroadcast (United States), Greg Thompson (United States), Margi Weir (United States)

Plus posters and reading materials by

Richard Bannister, Bluelab, Andy Cairns, House Magic Bureau, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Kazu Livingstone, Anna McIntyre, Feliz Mundo, Tea Popovic, Melissa Potter, Matt Taylor, John Vincent, Food for Free Thought, Gene Elder, Alou Randon, Andy Singer, and Elizabeth Tonnard.

Supported by the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Perry A. and Helen Judy Bond Fund for Interdisciplinary Interaction, the Studio for Public Digital Arts and Humanities, the School of Art and Art History, the Obermann Center, and the Project on the Rhetoric of Inquiry.

“The Earth Observation Guide” – Post Media Lab notes

I’m back from Lüneberg, Germany and already missing the simplicity of traveling by train as well as the pleasure of fine wurst. However I had an engaging few days at the Post Media Lab’s Taking Care of Things!. The event began with a keynote by Kelly Dobson from RISD, followed by a tour of Stadtarchive the next morning. Then we broke off into groups to address various topics around archives, art, media, and politics.

I worked in the Measure Drones group with colleagues, Kristian Lukic, Moritz Queisner, Boaz Levin, Daniel Herleth, Adam Kaplan, Frédéric Eyl, and Oliver Lerone Schultz (one of the coordinators of Taking Care of Things along with Christina Kral). Together, over the course of two days, we worked together to conceive, research, write, illustrate, and design a booklet called “The Earth Observation Guide.” This is not a history of art about drones, nor does it try to tackle the whole subject. Rather it is more akin to a time capsule that preserves a moment in time before drones are widespread. It acts as a guidebook, recording what is known about their past and present, illustrating shifts and concerns, and addressing how humans might understand their future. Here are some images of the presented work on the third day:






I also somehow managed to get my mug in the newspaper in Lüneberg. I think it says “American professor launching spy drones in Germany” or some such thing.


The group examining 16th century drawings of salt mines from the archive.


Taking Care of Things! Archives, Life-Cycles, Care, Lüneberg, Germany

Excited to be heading to Lüneberg, Germany, tomorrow for this conference organized jointly by Habits of Living (Brown University, CIS Bangalore) and the Post-Media Lab in conjunction with Stadtarchiv Lüneburg.


January 15-18
Taking Care of Things!
Archives – Life-Cycles – Care
organized by Post-Media Lab/CDC and Habits of Living in cooperation with the Stadtarchiv Lüneburg

Venue: Stadtarchiv Lüneburg, Germany

From the perspective of current theoretical approaches the figure of the archive seems to have lost its central status and its fever. Meanwhile, in our medial and cultural set-up new (kinds of) archives seem to crop up everywhere, accelerated by new means of production and distribution. Cultural repertoires are being remixed alongside technological repositories – often giving new life to almost forgotten relics. Ever more things, valuables, processes, projects, constituencies, even movements, need to be taken care of. It is not only cultural and critical theory that is being challenged, but also law, the natural sciences and design, alongside other applied sciences. But what are the complex dynamics and contexts of these new (non-)archives? Do they really make sense? And if so, by and for whom?

To address these questions, ‘Taking Care of Things!’ focuses on the transformation of things – analog and digital – into life-cycles and specific practices of care. This will be done in different thematic groups dealing with topics, like Mesh Media!, Civil Archaeology, Measure Drones, Unearthing the Archive, Translating Ontologies and Extinction in Context.

This workshop will address such fundamental changes in archiving and objects by generating practices and chances to take care of things. That is, we will seek to extend (or sometimes end) the life-cycle of objects not by simply preserving them (this usually guarantees they will be forgotten), but rather through acts that respond, react, and/or reuse.

‘Taking Care of Things!’ will be based at and operating from the Stadtarchiv Lüneburg, the city’s rich and still to-be-further-explored archive, headed by Danny Kolbe.

‘Taking Care of Things!’ will start Wednesday evening (Jan 15) with a public talk by Kelly Dobson (Brown University) and followed by short introductions by Oliver Lerone Schultz, Nishant Shah and Wendy Chun to set the scene for the following days. Clemens Apprich together with Marcell Mars will then turn the evening into a Public Library, offering the first charge of Post-Media Lab publications as free downloads.

Thursday and Friday (Jan 16-17) will be reserved for intensive exchanges and workshops among the invited participants, all of whom deal very differently and critically with post-medial (non-)archives. There will be the opportunity to interface with the Lüneburg public, assembling archival objects of different kinds. On Saturday (Jan 18) all these activities will culminate in a public presentation and fair under the umbrella of ‘Parliament of Things’ held at the Stadtarchiv.

‘Taking Care of Things!’ will create multiple interweavings not only with the rich repository of the Stadtarchiv, but also with the multiple potentials of existing and new collaborations around the Center for Digital Cultures – possibly starting some repositories that will carry on into a future, where the Post-Media Lab will have been supplanted by other, new life-cycles.​

‘Taking Care of Things!’ is a collaborative event between Habits of Living (Brown University, CIS Bangalore) and the Post-Media Lab in conjunction with Stadtarchiv Lüneburg.
This event will mark the conclusion of the first life-cycle of the Post-Media Lab by bringing together former fellows and new participants.

Among the participants are: Adnan Hadzi and James Steven (DeckspaceTV), Femke Snelting and Michael Murtaugh (Constant/Active Archives), Eric Kuitenberg and David Garcia (Tactical Media Files), Boaz Levin and Daniel Herleth and Adam Kaplan (The Rise of Data), Fabian Giraud and Inigo Wilkins (Glass Bead), Jonathan Kemp and Martin Howse („Stack, Frame, Heap –SFH)”, as well as Memory of the World (Marcell Mars), Mathias Fuchs (Gamification Lab), Cornelia Sollfrank (Giving What You Don´t Have), Hauke Winkler (Freifunk Lüneburg), Robert Ochshorn (InterLace), Tapio Makela (M.A.R.I.N.) [had to cancel bec of illness], Fabrizio Augusto Poltronieri (MaisZero), Rodrigo Novaes (Flusser Archiv/UdK), Owen Mundy, Kristian Lukic (NAPON), Vahida Ramujkic (irational), Volker Grasmuck (CDC/Grundversorgung 2.0), Kilian Froitzhuber (netzpolitik.org), Vincent Normand, Jeremy Lecomte, Ida Soulard, Erich Berger, Connie Mendoza, and more.

Coordination & Care
Christina Kral: christina.kral@inkubator.leuphana.de
Oliver Lerone Schultz: oschultz@leuphana.de

Wendy Chun, Nishant Shah, Clemens Apprich, Josie Berry Slater, Anthony Iles; and Nora Hannemann, Sina Hurnik, Nina Kersten, Ann-Kathrin Wagner, Nicolas Schrape

1.5 x 3.5, Orlando Museum of Art

Joelle and I installed a new work at the Orlando Museum of Art this week…


1.5 x 3.5 is a single-channel generative animation by Joelle Dietrick and Owen Mundy, currently displayed in the Orlando Museum of Art’s New Work Gallery. The title 1.5 x 3.5 is the actual measurement for a 2 x 4 inch board. Ubiquitous as an article for the construction of buildings, as well as a formal, minimal, primitive shape, the 2 x 4 here is transformed through its incorporation into a virtual space. The simulation of the generic form becomes an index for any building material, physical or digital, and its manipulation, a metaphor for the fragmentation of digital communication.



As the main character in their animation, the 2 x 4 is virtually constructed then multiplied and subtly manipulated to form an evolving cluster floating above a photograph of a contemporary construction site. From a housing development just northeast of Orlando, nestled between the Florida Turnpike and Old Country Road 50, this backdrop also calls to mind another space described by the minimalist sculptor Tony Smith. Smith describes a drive down an unfinished highway as a sublime experience. The highway’s liminal state-imagined, artificial, and full of potential-liberated Smith’s assumptions about art.

1.5 x 3.5 grows out of their recent series of installations, prints, and public artworks called Packet Switching. This body of work uses custom software to visualize architecture as fragments affected by economic and communications systems.



No-one Ever Cried At A Website (Speed Show) Friday, November 22

No-one Ever Cried At A Website (Speed Show)

November 22, 5:00–6:30 pm EST, Computer training room, Facility for Arts Research, 3216 Sessions Road, Tallahassee FL

With FSU students: Monique Boileau, Alexis Cooper, Jonathan Davito, Danielle English, Justin Greenstein, Antoinette Janus, Scotty Johnson, Melissa Lidsky, Michelle Medrano, Denise Morrow, Lena Weissbrot, Meghan “Red” Yancey. Curated by: Owen Mundy

Students from the Fall 2013 Network Art and Typography classes in the Department of Art at Florida State are staging an exhibition titled No-one Ever Cried At A Website (Speed Show) on November 22 5:00–6:30 pm EST at the computer training room in the Facility for Arts Research, Tallahassee FL.

The exhibition title is modified from an article called, “No-one Ever Cried At A Website,” written by artist/coder Matt Pearson. The document examines how emotion is often forgotten when analyzing technologically-sophisticated works of art such as those which exist on the internet. It reminds readers that painting was once a technology, and asks how beauty, empathy, and interaction can all be triggers for emotional response regardless of the medium for delivery. The prompt for the works in this show, created mostly collaboratively, over the course of 10 days, and specifically for this exhibition, is to address how emotion can be used to engage online audiences to look, listen, and be moved by internet-based art.

Speed Show exhibition, popularized by artist, Aram Barthol, are arranged as following: “Hit an Internet-cafe (or computer classroom), rent all computers they have and run a show on them for one night. All art works of the participating artists need to be on-line and are shown in a typical browser with standard plug-ins.”

Poster: Print resolution and E-mail resolution

After Douglas Davis – The World’s First Collaborative Sentence

Screen Shot 2013-09-05 at 3.21.58 PM

README for After Douglas Davis


The World’s First Collaborative Sentence was created by Douglas Davis in 1994 and donated to the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1995. Much like today’s blog environments and methods for crowdsourcing knowledge, it allowed users to contribute practically any text or markup to a never-ending sentence with no limits on speech or length.

At some point the sentence stopped functioning, and in early 2012 the Whitney Museum undertook a “preservation effort” to repair and relaunch the project. Measures were taken during the “restoration” to stay true to the original intent of the artist, leaving dead links and the original code in place.

During the preservation the curators placed small sections of garbled ASCII text from the project on Github with the hope that others would “fork” the data and repair the original. However, the Whitney Museum did not succeed in realizing that the collaborative culture of the net Davis predicted has actually arrived. This is evident not only through sites like Wikipedia, Facebook, and Tumblr, but the open source movement, which brings us Linux, Apache, and PHP, the very technologies used to view this page, as well as others like Firefox, Arduino, Processing, and many more.

In the spirit of open source software and artists like Duchamp, Levine, runme.org and Mandiberg, on September 5, 2013, I “forked” Douglas Davis’ Collaborative Sentence by downloading all pages and constructing from scratch the functional code which drives the project. I have now placed this work on Github with the following changes:

1. All pages are updated to HTML5 and UTF-8 character encoding
2. The functional code was rewritten from scratch including a script to remove malicious code
3. The addition of this statement

I was originally disappointed the Whitney Museum didn’t place the full source code in the public domain. What better way to make it possible for artists and programmers to extend the life of Davis’ project by learning from, reusing, and improving the original code than to open source this work? Though, possibly like Davis, my motivation is largely in part an interest in constructing a space for dialog, framing distinct questions and new possibilities, and waiting to see what happens from this gesture.

Included software
HTML Purifier http://htmlpurifier.org/

Live version
Enter After Douglas Davis

About the author
Owen Mundy http://owenmundy.com/

CYBER IN SECURITIES, Pepco Edison Place Gallery, Washington, DC


clockwise l to r: Ricarada McDonald and Donna Szoke, and all watched over by machines of loving grace; Birgit Bachler, Walter Langelaar, Owen Mundy, and Tim Schwartz, Commodify.us; Lexie Mountain, Ball Hard; Whitefeather, Parent Folder

Dates: August 30 – September 27, 2013
Location: Pepco Edison Place Gallery, 702 8th Street, NW, Washington, DC

Curated by: Lisa Moren, Professor, Department of Visual Art, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Participating Artists: Birgit Bachler, Walter Langelaar, Owen Mundy, and Tim Schwartz; Channel TWo (CH2): Adam Trowbridge and Jessica Westbrook, with Jesus Duran; Heather Dewey-Hagborg; Hasan Elahi; The Force of Freedom with Dave Young; Taylor Hokanson; Ricarda McDonald and Donna Szoke; Lexie Mountain; Preemptive Media; David Rokeby; Julia Kim Smith; and WhiteFeather

Opening Reception: Friday, August 30, 2013, 6-8pm
Exhibition Hours: Tuesday – Friday, 12pm-4pm

Experimental Media Video Screening Series
Juried by Jason Eppink, Associate Curator of Digital Media, Museum of the Moving Image, New York

Experimental Media Video Series Night One: Thursday, September 12, 2013, 6:30pm
Location: The Phillips Collection, 1600 21st Street, NW, Washington, DC

Experimental Media Video Series Night Two: Monday, September 24, 2013, 6:30pm
Location: The Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art + Design, 500 17th Street, NW, Washington, DC

Experimental Media Symposium: Saturday, September 21, 2013
Location: Pepco Edison Place Gallery, 702 8th Street, NW, Washington, DC

Experimental Media 2013 will explore security, privacy, and surveillance in the digital age, through a gallery exhibition, video screenings series, and panel discussion.

Give Me My Data visualizations / tutorials

I received two separate emails recently sharing images and sample code for visualization projects produced with the help of Give Me My Data. I’m happy to share them both here:

Screen Shot 2013-07-15 at 11.09.27 PM

Alex Hornbake posted a visualization mapping Facebook friend locations and connections in D3. You can view it here and there’s a Gist with all the code here. His image shows where his connections are located, or have move to or from. As abstract and beautiful as the image is, one can still make out a rough outline of the United States and even guess at specific cities like Atlanta, New York, Miami, and Los Angeles.

Rik Van Bruggen, of Neo Technology, used the “mutual friends graph” to create an interactive neo4j graph database. Following is more information from the tutorial he produced.

Ever since Facebook promoted its “graph search” methodology, lots of people in our industry have been waking up to the fact that graphs are über-cool. Thanks to the powerful query possibilities, people like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and let us not forget, Google have been providing us with some of the most amazing technologies. Specifically, the power of the “social network” is tempting many people to get their feet wet, and to start using graph technology. And they should: graphs are fantastic at storing, querying and exploiting social structures, stored in a graph database.

The first step to take was to get access to my own facebook data. Obviously there is the facebook graph api, but I hope that by now you would realise that is just not my cup of tea. Sounded to exhausting :) … So: I found myself a little tool that would allow me to download the data from facebook, in a workable format. Give me my data provides a number of different export options, but I chose the “Mutual Friends Network Graph – as it would give me most info with regards to my actual social network.


Terms & Conditions of Use (documentation)

Terms & Conditions of Use, curated by Sarah Higgins and part of the larger Less Like an Object More Like The Weather Graduate Thesis Exhibition at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College/Hessel Museum, closes this Sunday. Here are some images and a video from two of the three commissioned works for the exhibition.



Commodify.us PeopleTicker, computer, thermal printer, paper, 2013


Commodify.us PeopleTicker, computer, thermal printer, paper, 2013


A Network Has No Center (“standard” mode), projector, custom software, ink jet on mylar, 2013


A Network Has No Center (“standard” mode), projector, custom software, ink jet on mylar, 2013


A Network Has No Center (“cracked-out” mode), projector, custom software, ink jet on mylar, 2013


A Network Has No Center (“cracked-out” mode), projector, custom software, ink jet on mylar, 2013


A Network Has No Center (“cracked-out” mode), projector, custom software, ink jet on mylar, 2013