LearningUpdated: 2 May 2016
At its core, this is a project is about time: how we understand time, how we value time, and how people experience time differently according to different lived circumstances and different imaginaries of the world.
More specifically, ClockWork encourages people to grapple with the monetary value of time for people working in different sectors of the U.S. economy and at different income levels. We have attempted to represent income disparity and frustration here through sound; to express an aesthetics of experience somehow.
We arrived at the method of sonification after months of provocative theoretical conversations on the broad topic of time, grounded in our diverse disciplinary perspectives. We chose to produce a series of sonifications for our final project for purposes of expediency, and because as a team we remained committed to creating something that might lend itself usefully to social justice-related efforts, in formal educational settings and beyond.
The sonifications use higher pitch and louder volume to represent greater effort during a particular space of time, which pulls attention to the ways in which time is experienced and valued differently across income levels. This aesthetic choice points to the idea that even linear time is not linear in the same way for all people. A minute becomes more arduous, or perhaps feels longer, for someone working a minimum wage job than for a high wage earner.
At first glance, our project is stark in its simplicity. We are working within the time systems that we know and use everyday (e.g. hourly/monthly/yearly). We’re doing linear, but we’re doing linear sort of slant. We offer this as a productive starting point. Our intention is that this project is “good to think”—that we can think about it, and with it, together.
In what follows, we’re going to break it down for you: our thinking at various stages, our hesitations and critiques, and some emergent ideas you may want to consider and run with. We’d also like to link you to other cool projects that are working with similar ideas and challenges. We’ve started an annotated bibliography to get you thinking. We’d also like to show you how to do some of this stuff on your own, or to at least get you started off in a helpful direction.
This is the food for thought section of ClockWork.
We make all kinds of assumptions about what time means, how time is experienced, and how time can or should be represented. Different disciplines offer rich perspectives on what time means and how we might imagine it conceptually. What do we do when universalizing arguments about time become difficult because we realize that people don’t understand or experience time in the same way? How do we avoid imposing dominant conceptualizations of time onto every question? How do we come to recognize our own biases? Time is a fertile subject to interrogate and theorize because there are endless possibilities.
In the first several weeks of Praxis, everyone brought in a written piece that grappled with time in interesting and challenging ways. Each of the pieces offered a helpful provocation, and insight into what a diversity of disciplinary perspectives could bring to the subject.
Note: If you would like to add an annotation of your own, get in touch with us!
Ethan encouraged us to engage with Wai Chee Dimock’s concept of “deep time,” in which she “propose[s] a more extended duration for American literary studies, planetary in scope,” because “the force of historical depth is such as to suggest a world that predates the adjective American.” Dimock suggests that conceptualizing time in this way would force scholars of American literature to re-periodize the works they study. In so doing, they would re-interpret American texts and linguistics through large-scale analysis that encourages questions such as: “How does a literary text sound when it is read twenty years, two hundred years, or two thousand years after it was written?” What are/what is the significance of “the traveling frequencies of literary texts”? For Ethan, these provided a helpful point of entry into how scholars of American literature have and could conceptualize time in relation to their discipline.
Gillet wanted to include historical work that questioned the relationship of time to the present and future, and also interrogated Western ideologies of time. In his 1996 chapter, “The past as future: Aborigines, Australia and the (dis)course of history,” Bain Attwood discusses the dangers of Western historical and archaeological epistemologies that posit the past as separate from the present, such that it becomes possible to analyze and learn objective “truths” about the past. Attwood further warns of the potential for certain modes of producing history to function as a colonizing device. He argues that telling only one particular version of history serves in fact to create the past, the present, and the future (see also Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie on “The Danger of a Single Story”). In this sense, practices of history can function as active means of time-making, rather than merely representations and analysis of what has passed.
Lydia brought Charles Keil’s 1987 essay, “Participatory Discrepancies and the Power of Music,” to our conversation. According to Keil, musics that are supposedly ‘out of time’ display evidence of humanity, and therefore, become relatable and meaningful in human ways. His notion of participatory discrepancy refers to subtleties that are often too small to notate by conventional means.
Rachel brought us a canonical article by Karl Stockhausen called “How Time Passes.” In the article, Stockhausen argues that “music is a series of events in time.” Duration and pitch occur in “different areas in one time scale.”
James introduced us to Kari Kraus, who looks in this article at the long history of the study of textual transmission and places speculative computer-based reconstruction of texts into historical relationship to other forms of speculating on the text, specifically recension editing, divination, and Biblical hermeneutics. In particular, Kraus is interested in “the role of conjecture in textual scholarship,” which she argues “is thus concerned with issues of transmission, transformation, and prediction.”
Bremen brought in anthropologist Henrick Vigh’s 2008 essay, "Crisis and chronicity,” part of a special edition of Ethnos focusing on “situations of chronic crisis and uncertainty” (7), in which Vigh offers the concept of ‘chronicity’ as a means of grappling with human experience in places where crisis is endemic: less like an event (something that happens), and more like a condition (the way things are). Vigh argues that in places where enduring conditions of crisis characterize everyday lived experience, ethnographers might conceptualize crisis itself as “a terrain of action and meaning,” rather than as background context. Chronic conflict is a space of excess, he argues; a space characterized by excessive violence, yes, but also by heightened awareness of surroundings, and radical possibilities for provisional imagining. When crisis is “endemic rather than episodic” (5), Vigh argues, people tend to live with “increased social reflexivity,” a raised consciousness of “our modes of constructing meaning,” including “the way we interpret the social environment, our perspectives and our horizons” (19). As ethnographers, attenuating our work to such environments means focusing on “how agents act in crisis, instead of through it” (17), he suggests. This may enable us to begin re-examining theoretical categories of ‘praxis’, ‘routinisation’ and ‘narrative’ in terms of ‘navigation’, the ‘provisional’ and “multiple possible terrains.” After all, Vigh argues, “it is through the social imaginary that we locate ourselves in the world, position ourselves in relation to others and seek to grasp that sphere of our existence which we have not yet experienced but which we nonetheless act towards in anticipation” (20). Thinking about time in relation to lived experience thus leads us to focus on the future as a site of ethnographic inquiry.
What are the ethical considerations that underpinned our thinking and working processes throughout the year? What does ethics have to do with the digital humanities?
Social Justice. Several of us joined the Praxis team with a desire to engage digital humanities tools as a means of furthering social justice-related goals, or at least exploring the potential of DH for engaged projects in the future. This commitment informed our time and temporality-related conversations before we began to conceptualize a finite project (note: the ethical implications of time emerge in case studies and enumerated themes above). When the moment arrived to hunker down and scope a final project, this commitment remained in the background of all of our questions and pitches.
We thought in terms of concrete subject areas, such as:
• Labor that doesn’t get counted, such as domestic and gendered labor, or prison labor;
• Categories of analysis used in polling;
• Data that might relate meaningfully to affective experience, such as, what is it like to be a worker in this place in this body.
We ended up with lots of ideas for which no adequate data was available, for various reasons:
• Areas of non-quantifiable meaning or value (e.g. stuff that cannot be numerically expressed);
• Specific, clean, consistent data about prison labor (though some stats exist, we couldn’t find figures that were both trustworthy and representative of the kinds of questions we wanted to ask; in order to work with this kind of data, we would have to launch an intensive research effort, to gather the data ourselves);
• Formerly incarcerated people with full voting rights restored (same problem as above).
We chose the method of sonification because we wanted to work with a mode of representation that would offer an alternative to visual modes (e.g. “data visualization”) that have come to dominate the virtual sphere in recent years.
If you haven’t checked out our sonifications yet, we encourage to you to find them here.
We considered the possibility that engaging a different medium might make a user’s experience of time different. We were interested in whether or not certain ways of interpreting our data might lend themselves to a user encounter that felt more or less “true.” Could this be possible?
We asked ourselves lots of questions, like: is interpretive soundscape to illustration as sonification is to bar graph? We played with the idea that while sonification does some of the same work that a regular visualization might do, it also does so much more.
Interested in making your own sonification? Check out our tutorial in the "helpful technical skills" section below!
We made a collective decision to represent time through sonifications before we selected a data set. As Sarah Frazier explains, sonification in its purest form is “the process of turning scientific data into sound, including music.” Choosing to do sonifications meant that we could only work with a particular type of information, or data.
See “How did we select our data?” to learn more!
How Did We Select Our Data?
Choosing sonification as an approach meant we had to choose clean, numerical data, and we had to be sure that our data was coming from consistent sources. In other words, we needed to make sure that we were working with apples and apples, not apples and oranges.
Why don’t we pick something super simple so we can explore all the considerations involved even in the simplest data representation. So, for example, although we found compelling data about prison labor embedded in narrative pieces such as journalistic essays and annual reports, we could not use it to do sonifications because what we found wasn’t adequately consistent or adequately specific to render directly the three categorical parameters we had outlined (measurable time, earned wages, and commodity cost) in sound.
To be more specific, we found one source that offered average prisoner earnings in a particular place. We found another article that listed the kinds of commodities that have been produced by prisoner labor over the past decade (check it out: you may not know who’s making your underpants). But we had no way of meaningfully correlating the insights offered by these separate accounts, or transforming them into the kind of numerical data that would have been necessary to make a sonification work, logistically, not to mention aesthetically.
Throughout the year, we discussed doing a project that would attempt to represent various types of time in relation to Washington D.C.'s Go-Go music. In other words, we had thought about a project that could explore the time of Go-Go in terms of: the rhythm, or the musical time; the time experiencing go-go as a musician or an audience-member in a club; and the time of Go-Go in terms of the specific historical time within particular D.C. neighborhoods. A large part of why we abandoned this line of inquiry for our final project lay in our ethical concerns regarding representing the experiences and expertise of the (oft-marginalized) people who play/create/participate in go-go music and the go-go music community. Recognizing that this endeavor was beyond the scope of something we could accomplish both in terms of the time we had left (no pun intended) and in terms of the ethical commitments that guided our process.
With these constraints in mind, we revisited our earlier discussions about time to consider how we might select a data set that would both resonate with our guiding ethos and also stimulate further such intellectually engaging conversations.
Ethan proposed that we work with governmental data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) about the average prices of milk and gasoline during the months of 2014, in relation to average and median incomes for a range of professions in that same year. Ethan’s idea enabled us to work exclusively with government-sourced data, and to play with the idea that time can come to be valued differently according to lived circumstances.
Once we decided on this dataset, a variety of related questions and considerations emerged.
We noted, for example, that this data did not reflect hidden labor such as prison and domestic labor, nor did it include work considered to be part of the “informal” economy. Yet these are realms in which important work is remunerated at significantly lower hourly wages than the minimum wage, if at all.
Hidden labor is invisible in several senses of the term. First, certain forms of labor are not recognized by large swaths of the American public, since they are not accounted for in standard governmental data. Moreover, such labor may not even be recognized as labor. At a human level, the invisibility of such labor in data collection processes, and the related absence of representation to mainstream audiences (if the data doesn’t exist, then NPR can’t report it), in turn renders not only the labor acts, but especially the people doing the labor, nonexistent.
A choice not to include such labor in our representations (sonifications) of time-commodity-wage relationships in the U.S. risks reproducing this invisibility.
But since we could not undertake data collection about hidden labor ourselves, we also recognized that culling together data on invisible labor from a variety of sources would also be problematic, because we wouldn’t have the time or resources to determine exactly what was being measured or counted, how the data was collected, where inconsistencies might lie, and so forth.
Since sonification requires neat, clean data, we returned to the BLS statistics with awareness of the shortcomings of the dataset.
Given that the BLS offers information on a variety of areas of employment as well as on consumptive activity, we knew that by selecting this data we could be sure we were comparing apples to apples, so to speak.
In the process of making all of these decisions, and weighing the pros and cons of multiple potential paths, we thought to ourselves, hey, actually this has been pretty fruitful, maybe this process could be useful to other people, too.
And that’s what led us to construct this entire project as a learning process, not just a set of products.
Sonification is a mode that enabled us to represent (and indeed, interpret) time in both linear and nonlinear ways. The linear aspects are easy to describe: our sonifications move chronologically, from January through to December 2014, as on a standard timeline. Yet these renderings have nonlinear valence, too: they enable a physical experience of time, specifically, the possibility to listen to time, at least a particular interpretation of temporal relationships.
We are excited about the iterative potential of engaging you in our project. What do you think there is to learn from our questions and choices? We encourage you to run with any ideas that might emerge. And please keep us posted!
For most of us on the team, qualitative research is absolutely essential. We believe in taking the time to do responsible research about lived experience—from the anthropologist who learns through fieldwork in situ; to the historian who conducts oral histories and sifts through the archival (and qualitative) material of various individuals and organizations to formulate an argument; to the literary theorists who do close readings of texts; to the musician whose ethnographies of musicians and musical communities represent a critical corollary to the analysis of the music itself. For all of us, “data” is more than just numbers.
Qualitative and Quantitative
Our decision to work with sonification forced us to contend with what happens when you can’t use qualitative data, or information that isn’t easily translated into numbers. Sonification, of course, as both method and outcome, is a political argument like any other form of representation.
Many of the ideas we brainstormed during the first several months of the fellowship could not be interpreted through sonification, since sonifications, by definition, emerge from qualitative research. With all this in mind, we cycled back to earlier conversations about time in order to see what discussions could possibly correspond to clean, numerical data that would help us to make a sonification. We landed on our conversations regarding the connections between labor, consumption, and time. During these conversations, wondered about questions like: how is time embodied in a physical item available for purchase/consumption? How do our relationships to “things” vary based on the valuations of our time by our employers and/or governmental entities and institutions? How does a person’s experience of working time differ when their time is financially compensated differently? How do race, gender, age, sexuality impact the experience of laboring time?
In some ways, our project represents a larger question: what constitutes information? And a related question: what constitutes legitimate information? And who gets to decide?
Another important question arose, too: can you, and if so, then how do you, render qualitative insights quantitatively? What are the affordances and risks?
One way of thinking about the trade-off we made in working with data sets from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is that it means people’s experiences are rendered in numbers according to a hyper-specific focus: how many dollars they earn per hour. We have no idea what else is going on in these people’s lives, who they are, what their living conditions are, what other resources they have or don’t have that are hidden by the numerical focus on wage earnings per hour.
Medium and Message
We chose a simple data set with a simple argument on purpose, as a starting point for engaging bigger questions. Our sonifications offer a very basic idea is: people who earn less money need to work more hours in order to afford basic commodities.
Our logic in choosing a sound-based method had partly to do with wanting visitors to ClockWork to feel the pressure of struggling to pay for basic commodities like milk.
We didn’t just want them to see that anesthesiologists make more than minimum wage workers and therefore spend less of a percentage of their salary on basic food; we wanted them to feel that pressure.
In other words, we wanted them to experience somehow the qualitative aspects of not earning enough: the stress and the urgency of such a situation, or of such a condition.
Of course, you might say, a representation cannot recreate the experience it is representing. Perhaps it could imitate. But a secondary affective experience (like data rendered in sound) simply cannot be a direct translation of one person’s qualitative experience to another person.
Our ability to be affected by sounds, and the ways in which we might be affected by particular sonifications, has much to do with the particular ways in which we have been trained. How we appreciate music, or interpret certain kinds of sound, has partly to do with our physical bodies (different people hear loudness and frequency differently, for example), but it likely also has to do with our different lived experiences. Some people in the Praxis cohort, for example, were disturbed by first version of the sonification Rachel tried out; they experienced the sounds as harsh. Meanwhile, for others, the sounds were stimulating, and even pleasant: a kind of sound is quite normal among academic sound studies communities.
The point is that we cannot assume that sounds have meaning that is somehow universal, any more than we could assume that each of us experiences sound in exactly the same way.
We in the Praxis cohort are all American PhD students who share certain aesthetic and ontological premises, while also diverging on a wide range of intellectual and perceptual concerns: for example, about the ways pressure is represented, about what is too loud, about what constitutes a meaningful representation of the data at hand.
Then would it be fair to suggest that sonifications are mostly quite linear, and in effect reproduce the same structures of understanding that are embedded in standard visual representations like graphs and charts? In other words, if the data itself is the same, the relationships we are representing are the same, and the questions of scale are the same as what would be required to render a visual graph, then how are sonifications different in terms of what they offer? Are sonifications simply a different technological means toward reproducing the interpretive frames we take for granted?
Or, what if we entertain the possibility that rendering data aurally does offer a closer, a more affecting, experience with the data? This might be true for people seeking non-visual engagement with certain kinds of information, or for those who do not see, or those who for various reasons are captured by sound more than by looking. Sound does offer a different affective experience. So does the potential of sonification to generate a different affective valence through pitch and other sound qualities make a meaningful difference to what we are conveying?
What would it mean if we could actually induce an affective experience in someone, as opposed to making an argument through words or other symbols? What would this allow? What might the dangers be?
What Does the Digital Offer?
Rather than creating a digital interface that would simply interpret a humanities question, or a humanities project that would interpret some aspect of the digital, our desire was to work toward engaging both modes somehow simultaneously and seamlessly.
We were motivated by questions like: might digital tools help us to understand humanities questions differently? Explore new conceptual possibilities? Arrive at new arguments? What does the digital bring to bear on our questions about time, specifically?
Humanists and Digitalists and Digital Humanists
What assumptions do we make when we label humanities and the digital as separate categories? What’s the deal with the idea of digital humanities?
One example of this debate or discussion includes Dave Parry's, "The Digital Humanities or Digital Humanism."
For further questions to help you think through selecting, manipulating, and presenting data, and for a more detailed glimpse into the kinds of queries that helped us shape our data selection process, see our documentation page.
On a related note, we’ve been paying attention to feminist critiques of sonification (see further resources below) that may be of interest. Also, check out Kaveh Waddell’s important and thought-provoking essay in The Atlantic about how big data disproportionately harms poor communities.
Developing ClockWork brought us into many exciting discussions, and ideas continue to emerge about how to meaningfully integrate humanities and digital praxis.
What do you think? What are possible avenues going forward for improving upon this project? How could we make it better? What else would you like to see, or hear, or experience? Let us know!
Helpful Technical Skills
We relied upon a variety of technical skills in the making of this project.
Rachel and James used super collider to make the sonifications about time, wages, and commodity prices.
They have also put together a tutorial that you can work through to learn how to make your own sonification!
Watch their video tutorial on it:
Also, look at the reference card pdf, the coding, and the excel sheet providing the dataset at the base.
We also used web browsers, text editors including atom.
As a team, we used GitHub to manage project priorities and suggest edits and changes.
Learn more about W3C, how we documented our project, and how you might document yours, on our Documentation page.
Check out more learning opportunities in the Further Resources section below!
Feminist Digital Humanities: Theoretical, Social, and Material Engagements around Making and Breaking Computational Media”
This is the syllabus for Jacqueline Wernimont’s course on Feminism and the Digital Humanities offered most years at the Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI) at the University of Victoria. There are tons of excellent articles here, many of which are immediately linkable, and also a useful bibliography of pieces that people can find in print. Note the sidebar with current research, grant projects, and recent posts, too!
Postcolonial DH Course (instructors: Roopika Risam and Micha Cárdenas)
This course was taught by Roopika Risam and Micha Cárdenas at HILT (Humanities Intensive Learning and Training) 2015.
Learning opportunities, institutions, and people to know about
Black Girls Code
Hackbright Academy (software engineering school for women)
Digital Humanities Summer Institute
Humanities Intensive Learning and Teaching (HILT)
INKE (Implementing New Knowledge Environments)
Center for Digital Scholarship at Brown University
FemTechNet, based at the New School
Text Encoding Initiative at Brown University Center for Digital Scholarship
Feminist Digital Humanities Twitter hashtag: #femdh
List of women in DH Anastasia Salter, “That’s Not How Scholarship Works” and “What would feminist data visualization look like?”
Jeri Wieringa and Celeste Sharpe did a Rails Girls DH at CHNM a few years ago. They also did something similar called DH Bridge, with Python instead of RoR (and somewhat better) Bikeshed
CHI 2016 Pervasive Play Workshop
Gina Trapani and Open Source Community
An open-source portal for specifications
Other rad projects and links
The Guardian Magazine’s Kantar Information is Beautiful Awards
Most common use of time by age and sex
Sounding Out! Sound Studies Blog
Mapping Police Violence
The man who rebuilt 1920s Harlem in virtual reality
Census Americans (Twitter bot)
Humanities Approaches to Graphical Display
We are working to build a bibliography of essays and articles related to time theory, representational methods, and ethics in the digital humanities.
Note: We have chosen to list all citations alphabetically in Chicago Style, according to the Chicago Manual of Style.
Want to contribute? Get in touch!
Attwood, Bain, ed. In the Age of Mabo: History, Aborigines and Australia. St. Leonards, Australia: Allen & Unwin, 1996.
In his chapter, “The Past as Future: Aborigines, Australia and the (dis)course of History,” Attwood discusses the dangers of both (Western) historical and archaeological epistemologies which posit that the past is completely separate from the present, and thus able to be analyzed to learn objective “truths” about the past. Attwood further warns of the potential for the act and product of history to function as a colonizing device, in which telling a particular version of history in fact creates a past, a present, and a future. Thus, history can function as a means of time-making rather than or in addition to the representation and analysis of time past. He does many other important and interesting things with this article, but this is what Gillet was drawn to in terms of thinking about the relationship between epistemologies of time and of history.
Auslander, Leora. "Coming Home? Jews in Postwar Paris." Journal of Contemporary History 40, no. 2 (2005): 237-259.
Auslander argues that historians should expand their understanding of sources to include material culture. She writes, “Experiences come to be lodged in things; loss of the object-companion of an experience, therefore, threatens the loss of the memory itself.” (239) For Gillet, this article is helpful in furthering our exploration of the connection between time and things. (See Ethan’s blog posts and visualizations for a look at some of these inquiries.) For instance: How can particular times be experienced/reexperienced through physical things and spaces? How do domestic workers’ (both professional and unprofessional) laboring time “animate” the objects with which people interact in their homes? How are temporal experiences written throughout the physical spaces of one’s home, school, workplace, etc?
Braudel, Fernand. The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II, Vol. I. New York: Harper and Row Publishers, 1972.
Here, Braudel lays out his philosophy of time, which he posits occur along three planes, all moving at different speeds and with differing levels of influence on history/people's lives. The first (and to Braudel, the most significant) is geographic time--which is cyclical, almost imperceptible, and shapes all events major and minor. The second is political/economic or social time, from which we can learn the history of groups and groupings. And the finally there is the time in which individuals' daily cycles and interpersonal interactions occur. This, for Braudel, is the most superficial sense of history and the fastest passage of time.
Chabot, Yoan, Aurélie Bertaux, Christophe Nicolle, and M-Tahar Kechadi. "A complete formalized knowledge representation model for advanced digital forensics timeline analysis." Digital Investigation 11 (2014): S95-S105.
Link to a PDF of the essay through Penn State.
Dimock, Wai Chee. “Deep Time: American Literature and World History,” American Literary History. December 2001, Vol. 13, Issue 4, p.755-775.
Dimock, Wai Chee. “A Theory of Resonance,” PMLA. October 1997, Vol. 112, No. 5, pp. 1060-1071.
Wai Chee Dimock’s concept of “deep time… propose[s] a more extended duration for American literary studies, planetary in scope…. the force of historical depth is such as to suggest a world that predates the adjective American.” Dimock suggests that by doing so, scholars of American literature would have to re-periodize the works they study and re-interpret American texts and linguistics through large-scale analysis that allows us to question: “How does a literary text sound when it is read twenty years, two hundred years, or two thousand years after it was written?” and what are/what is the significance of “the traveling frequencies of literary texts”? Her works go much further than these musings, but for Ethan, these provided a helpful entre into how scholars of American literature have and could conceptualize time in relation to their discipline.
Drucker, Johanna. "Humanities approaches to graphical display." DHQ: Digital Humanities Quarterly 5, no. 1 (2011): 1-21.
This article starts thinking through how humanists can start to use visualization tools in a way that aligns with humanistic methodology (and not just sciences from which it is usually borrows!). Also starts theorizing that all data is really capta when, in her words in the abstract, "rethought through a humanistic lens." This is really cool stuff, and was helpful to us as we were thinking through visualization, sonification, and other possibilities for our Praxis project. Here’s a link to the digital version of the article.
Frazier, Sarah. “Sonification: Data like you’ve never heard before.” Earthzine. 23 July 2013.
Frazier explains sonifications in layman’s terms. She doesn’t get into the nitty gritty of coding, but rather describes general methods of sonifying and provides examples of uses of sonification. The examples she gives demonstrate the use sonifications for making large quantities of scientific data more easily digestible. Link to the article online here.
Keil, Charles. "Participatory discrepancies and the power of music." Cultural Anthropology 2, no. 3 (1987): 275-283.
In this essay, Keil writes about music that is personally involving and socially valuable is said to be "out of time" and "out of tune."
Kim, Dorothy and Jesse Stommel, “Introduction: Disrupting the Digital Humanities” (2015).
Link to Kim and Stommel’s essay here. Learn more about Disrupting the Digital Humanities in the About the Project section at the top of the page.
Kraus, Kari. "Conjectural Criticism: Computing Past and Future Texts." DHQ: Digital Humanities Quarterly 3:4 (2009) 1-28.
Looking at the long history of the study of textual transmission, this article places speculative computer-based reconstruction of texts into historical relationship to other forms of speculating on the text, specifically recension editing, divination, and Biblical hermeneutics.
Nelson, Peter. "Cohabiting in Time: Towards an ecology of rhythm." Organised Sound 16, no. 02 (2011): 109-114. Peter Nelson This article is about ecologies of sounds in time and human experience. Link to the abstract here.
Nowviskie, Bethany. "Digital humanities in the Anthropocene." Digital Scholarship in the Humanities (2015): fqv015.
This blog post of hers is amazing. It talks a lot about sustainability, and time when it comes to the production of DH projects and such. Access the digital version of "Digital Humanities in the Anthropocene" here.
Ortega, Élika. “Multilingualism in DH” (2015).
Link to Ortega’s article online.
Presner, Todd. "The Ethics of the Algorithm: Close and Distant Listening to the Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive," forthcoming in: History Unlimited: Probing the Ethics of Holocaust Culture. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2015), paired with Stephen Smith, “On the Ethics of Technology and Testimony: A response to Todd Presner.”
A pre-publication argument about the ethics of databases and algorithms based on the experience of developing an audio-visual database of genocide survivor testimony.
Risam, Roopika. “On Disruption, Race, and the Digital Humanities” (2015).
Link to Risam’s article online.
Underwood, Ted. "Theorizing research practices we forgot to theorize twenty years ago." Representations 127, no. 1 (2014): 64-72.
Underwood writes about how algorithmic mining of big data sets is in many ways blackboxed, but he's critical of people not talking about how their searching, what for, and so on - all the stuff we're trying to make transparent. His words: (65) "The scholarly consequences of search practices are difficult to assess, since scholars tend to suppress descriptions of their own discovery process in published work." All about how, quoting from that main page, "defining a discipline becomes more an exercise of exclusion than inclusion.
Whorf, Benjamin Lee. "The relation of habitual thought and behavior to language." ETC: A Review of General Semantics (1944): 197-215.
In this classic essay, Whorf discusses linguistic relativity, subjectivity in words and thoughts. Link to the essay on Stanford University’s website.