Material Data Provocations Project

shame of a woman material data project


Materialization (or to materialize) is defined as “to invest or become invested with a physical shape or form”. Materialization is a process of transmutation: more alchemy than construction, with the results uncertain and in flux. I draw my inspiration from the Tangible Bits Group’s “painted bits” as graphical user interfaces: graspable objects, ambient media, and augmented surfaces; MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms, an interdisciplinary initiative, and its studies of how to turn data into things, and things into data; and Chris Jordan’s attempts at creating deeper emotional engagement with statistical data by constructing super-sized images depicting, for example, the number of people currently in the US prison system, or the number of paper cups used each day on American flights.

supported by the 2018 MRU Provost’s Teaching & Learning Enhancement grant

what's blocking success data display
Reinhart, Coombs, Nguyen, MacLaren, & Kalsi, 2018.
choose your path data display
Frederick, Boudreau, Gale, & Villaflores, 2018

FIRST. students were asked to turn data-based research into a physical installation that would be placed on the MRU campus. The installation would gather and display public-generated data.

SECOND. students observed how members of the public interacted with the displays, modifying it when needed. Then, they added an AR component to the display, with the goal of enriching the overall user experience.

Where it’s been published/presented

Wiens, B. MacDonald, S., Radzikowska, M., & S. Ruecker. (2020). “Materializing Data: New Research Methods for Feminist Digital Humanities.” Digital Studies / Le champ numérique.

Radzikowska, M. and S. Ruecker. Design + DH: A Handbook for Mutual Understanding. Bristol, UK: Intellect Books (forthcoming 2021).

Radzikowska, M., Ruecker, S. & Roberts-Smith, J. (2019, June 3). Entryways and Material Persistence: Environments for Digital Humanities Teaching. [Presentation in the panel, Materializing the Digital: Feminist Spaces for Young Audiences’ Agency in Digitally Mediated Environments]. The Canadian Society for Digital Humanities (CSDH/SCHN), Vancouver, BC. 

Also presented at MRU’s Celebrate! Conference 2019 by Courtney Clarkson, Milena Radzikowska, and Lucy Randal.

And, here, you can find out more about our super bright students.