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Monthly Archives: March 2011

Today

… I will choose to believe in signs and portents, to acknowledge the existence of the mystical, to see meaning where none existed previously, and to read deeper into the fabric of time and space. Just for today…

Graphical displays and critical distance

From Drucker, J. (2011, Winter). Humanities approaches to graphical display. Digital Humanities Quarterly, 5(1):

Rendering observation (the act of creating a statistical, empirical, or subjective account or image) as if it were the same as the phenomena observed collapses the critical distance between the phenomenal world and its interpretation, undoing the basis of interpretation on which humanistic knowledge production is based. We know this. But we seem ready and eager to suspend critical judgment in a rush to visualization.
[…]
Nothing in intellectual life is self-evident or self-identical, nothing in cultural life is mere fact, and nothing in the phenomenal world gives rise to a record or representation except through constructed expressions. The rhetorical force of graphical display is too important a field for its design to be adopted without critical scrutiny and the full force of theoretical insight.