Creative Projects

Sometimes I think through research questions in formats that are neither digital nor academic articles.

Below is a collection of my Book Arts projects.

For more photographs click  here .

For more photographs click here.

Climate Story spinner

(on display at Salt Lake City Public Library Special Collections July - September 2018)

For an online version of this project, click here.

Climate change occurs on a slow scale, the effects of fossil fuel consumption are displaced across large distances, and climate is an abstraction that requires us to average weather over decades. But it is also essential that we understand the time-scales and narratives of climate shifts. A playful step in thinking about these problems, this volvelle (a spinning set of concentric circles with windows) invites the viewer to choose from options that create a narrative structure about planetary-scale climate shifts. Instead of focusing on the difficulty of representing climate change in art and literature, the piece points to how science fiction and fantasy have been telling climate stories for decades, while allowing the reader to come up with their own unique climate story. With only seven decision factors, this one piece can generate over four million possible climate stories.

Text mining

(on display at Salt Lake City Public Library Special Collections July - September 2018)

In the digital humanities, scholars often convert books to digital forms and use a computer to read them, a process known as “text mining.” This piece literalizes that metaphor, creating a pit mine in a book about mining. These tiny trucks are doing “topic modeling,” one of the most popular forms of text mining, where the computer combines co-occurring words into “topics.” Three topics are being created here: one on machinery, one on land features, and one on explosions. In addition to sorting “meaningful” words, topic models also discard words and other textual material. They excise articles, conjunctions, prepositions, and other common aspects of book pages, such as blank space, punctuation, and images. Accordingly, the piece features paper “equipment” that pushes unwanted material into two slag piles, making present what is lost in topic modeling. “Text Mining” interrogates one of the central metaphors of the digital humanities, as well as reflects on the material mines that surround Salt Lake City, the location of the artist’s home and consequently her own digital humanities work in text mining.

for more photographs click  here

for more photographs click here