The Nonhuman Turn Conference Installation (May 3-5, 2012)

Visual Tweets display [right] and mosaic from original image by Joe Collier, aka @mcquake01 [right]

Over the weekend of May3-5,2012, we exhibited some prints and slideshows from the nonhuman projects at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee’s Center for 21st Century Studies conference entitled the “The Nonhuman Turn.” There were 2 main parts to the installation.

Instagram image slideshow [left] and mosiac from original image by Jessica Garrett, aka @jezibell [right]

First, we had two flat-panel displays placed just inside the entrance to the main lecture space for the conference (Curtin Hall 175).  On one screen we projected a slideshow of random submissions to our live Twitter feed for the conference (see a description of that project here). For that we used the  Visual Tweets platform. This provided an aesthetically pleasing engagement with the conversations happening during and around the talks and breakout sessions. It also helped to raise awareness of the conference hashtag (#c21nonhuman) and drive conference conversations toward a shared space, likewise making it easier for those not attending the conference to follow and join the conversation.

Slide of image by Australian Instagrammer @boqopod

On the other screen (see above left) we ran a slideshow of all 1,103 images submitted for our Instagram challenge . To compose the slideshow we individually saved all the submissions via a search for the challenge hashtag, #c21nonhuman, on the Instagram webviewer and analytics platform Statigram. We then batch processed all 1,103 images in Photoshop to add a black border with the conference hashtag and the Instagram handle for the user who submitted the image (see sample slide on right). This allowed us to pragmatically showcase the amazing variety of contributions in a highly accessible manner for conference goers. You can sample the entire slideshow in 10 parts here.

Gephi-created graphs of network connections between speakers. Print by Joe Grennier

As well, around the lecture hall, we hung  a number of print visualizations.First, we had a banner size printout of a series of graphs showing network connections between speakers at the conference. The graphs were composed using Gephi, a free interactive graph gernerator and then printed on a banner-sized poster (approx. 100″ x 32″), accompanied by a description of the project. These graphs allowed us to think conceptually and visually about what particular ideas and topics connect the speakers and presenters to each other relationally, even when on the surface they might take conflicting philosophical and ontological ideas about nonhumanism.

As well TMD also hung 13 large (36″x36″) mosaic prints based on a selection of images from the Instagram challenge selected for their relationship to the conference’s breakout panel sections. Here’s a slide show of the installation.

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