NDF- 2017 has ended

Kia ora koutou, welcome to NDF2017! The livestream is available from 8.45am on Tues 21st November.

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Tuesday, November 21 • 14:30 - 14:55
Unexpected connections: reimagining the nineteenth century through generative art

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This talk probes how serendipity provides opportunities to rethink biography in the digital age as a complex system of meshworks, lifegrids, and palimpsests. Stumbling across hitherto unknown sources, making unexpected connections, and telling new stories with old objects is an experience that has been characterised as ‘the allure of the archive.’ Historians are now turning to digital technologies to help extend and enhance that experience. Generative art, in particular, provides one avenue for new modes of archival exploration and expression. Unexpected Connections is a digital installation based upon Mitchell Whitelaw’s interactive work Succession: digital fossils for an industrial age and reinterpreted by Marsden technical lead Rhys Owen. It explores the combination of serendipity and palimpsests using a randomised search algorithm to draw down a range of digitized print assets related to William Colenso and his contemporaries from DigitalNZ. The interface reassembles them into a suite of transparent overlays that both evokes the geology – if not palaeontology – of the archival research enterprise and affords opportunities to turn chance encounters into unexpected connections. The subsequent output of digital images to 3D printed plates then analogue printing by letterpress furthers complicates the boundaries between print and digital, and interrogates the metaphysics of the technology continuum.


Rhys Owen

Technical Lead
Rhys Owen is Technical Lead on Sydney's latest Marsden-funded digital humanities project. He comes with longstanding experience in data visualisation, systems design, and the use of digitised cultural heritage assets for research and user interaction.

Sydney J Shep

Reader in Book History and The Printer, Wai-te-ata Press, Victoria University of Wellington
Dr Sydney J. Shep is Reader in Book History and The Printer, Wai-te-ata Press, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. She is at the forefront of cross-disciplinary digital research in the humanities, embracing new digital humanities approaches and advanced computational science... Read More →

Tuesday November 21, 2017 14:30 - 14:55 NZDT
Rangimarie 1, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa 55 Cable St, Te Aro, Wellington 6011