Simona Barbera is an artist and an instructor of multimedia installation at the Academia Legustica di Belle Arti in Genova, Italy. In collaboration with her students, she runs a small media lab intended for experimental work and critical study in the fields of installation art, expanded cinema, sound art and material forms of display. What is […]
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Prototyping the Past: the Maker Lab in the Humanities at the University of Victoria
An interview with Jentery Sayers and Tiffany Chan
What is your lab called and where is it?
We’re the Maker Lab in the Humanities (MLab) at the University of Victoria (UVic). We opened our doors in September 2012, with Jentery as director.
What sorts of projects and activities form the core of your work? Is there a specific temporal or technological focus for your lab?
We prototype the past by prototyping absences in the historical record. That is, we remake technologies that no longer exist or function like they once did. The technologies we prototype are dated anywhere between the 1850s and 1950s, which give us a sense of media history prior to personal computing but after early feedback control and related mechanics. These prototypes usually inform present-day technologies — wearables, cloud computing, and optical character recognition, for example — by giving them a sense of texture and change. How did these technologies become those technologies? Who contributed? Who got credit? Who was ignored? What materials were used, and when? Who or what was deemed innovative or obsolete, and under what assumptions? Did old stuff actually work how people said it did? Continue Reading
Bedroom as Beadwork Lab?: An interview with Cedar-Eve Peters
Interview by Chalsley Taylor
Cedar-Eve Peters is an Anishnaabae visual artist and beader from the Ojibwa nation, currently based in Montreal. Cedar sat down with me to discuss the nature of her workspace and its relationship to her beading practice. We also grappled with a question previously asked on the dhtoph blog: “do we really need a designated space for work that we can just as easily do at home or our favorite coffee house?”
The transcription has been edited for clarity.
So how would you describe your lab space?
Very messy. Like right now it’s very disorganized.
Could you talk about where it’s located?
Oh yeah. My workspace is also my bedroom, so sometimes that’s annoying because I can’t separate workspace from sleep space. I guess it’s kind of organized. Everything’s in containers at least, but it just seems like things are all over the place right now.
What would you say the workspace itself consists of?
Mm…beads? You mean the materials?
Not so much the materials but the things your going to use. Like this chair, and that desk, the way it folds down, the cutting mat and the loom, your boxes of beads; these are all things that you need to get this work done.
Yeah. I guess I don’t think about that. Containers and shelves. Mostly containers I guess. A bunch of lights.
Not so much right now. [laughs]
Surface space must be essential being that you need to be able to see all these tiny beads.
Yeah, if the surface isn’t clean then I feel like I can’t think straight, so that’s annoying. But also, it helps in a way cuz I’m just like, stimulated by everything thats around.
Is that a positive to working in your bedroom?
No. [laughs] I don’t think so. Continue Reading