Category Archives: News

Ripples of Beautiful Data: reflections on museum practice

A photo posted by Matthew Battles (@mbattles) on Jun 6, 2014 at 7:21am PDT At the end of Beautiful Data, the summer workshop on digital art history run by metaLAB with the support of the Getty Foundation, we asked participants to report back in a few months, to let us know how their experiences here […]

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A Week of Berkman

Our home at the university is the Berkman Center for Internet and Society. It’s a remarkable place, and although its motto is clear—”exploring cyberspace, sharing in its study, and pioneering its development”—the community that comes together here is difficult to boil down to tweet length. It includes makers, thinkers, doers, and dreamers—folks who mash-up and […]

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Matter matters

metaLAB is happy to announce that Zeega has been selected to join the first cohort of startups in Matter, a new San Francisco-based accelerator for mission-driven companies committed to changing media and supporting media entrepreneurs building a more informed, connected, and empowered society. Matter will allow the Zeega development team including metaLAB’s own Jesse Shapins, […]

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Library Hacking with the DPLA: Megacollections, Visual Search, and the Ecology of Metadata

Last week, Matthew Battles and I joined a group of literary hackers, digital humanists, media designers, and veteran librarians at the DPLA (Digital Public Library of America) appfest on the sprawling top floor of Chattanooga’s brutalist-era public library. We wrangled with library metadata all day, seeking new modes of engagement with unwieldy media collections integrated […]

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Summer moves

The summer is upon us and metaLAB is looking forward to a number of important initiatives that will be launched during its course. Several new collaborators will be joining the core team both for the long term and the short. We are planning a couple of open_lab events. Perhaps a hackathon like the networked thermal […]

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Debuting the Digital Archive of Japan’s 2011 Disasters

The project jumbles the conventional division of scholarly labor in which something happens, and then people comment on the something that happens, and then other people collect those comments and put them in a library, and then archivists catalog them. This raises the question: “What does ethnography mean in a digital, virtual world like this?“ […]

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Truth-hacking, fact-checking, and Lies with Friends

[F]act-checking websites have not extinguished misinformation and have become themselves political weapons. Even Kathleen Hall Jamieson, founder of, has argued fact-checking may perpetuate lies by restating them…. On Tuesday morning, Jamieson helped frame the conversation: “What is truth? That is an irrelevant question!” she said. “We’re trying to ensure fidelity to the knowable. That […]

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Visualizing global art

MetaLAB cofounder Robert Gerard Pietrusko has collaborated with Stewart Smith and Bernd Lintermann in a piece called trans_actions: The Accelerated Art World 1989–2011, which explores the impact of the worldwide explosion of art biennials through immersive, panoramic visualizations of data on the global art market and the migration of art, artists, and their audiences. The […]

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Cooking up some dishes in the Library Test Kitchen

Bibliotheca II, alias “son of Bibliotheca” (last semester’s seminar/studio jointly run by Jeffrey Schnapp and John Palfrey), has now been launched with the help of Ann Whiteside (chief librarian at the Loeb Design Library), Jeff Goldenson (Law Library Innovation Lab), and Ben Brady (GSD). Otherwise known as The Library Test Kitchen or the “library rapid […]

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Low-signal utopia: Wayne Marshall remixes Boston’s pirate radio

Here’s Wayne Marshall at Cluster magazine on the veiled tapestry of pirate radio in Boston: Irish jigs and avant jazz, MOR rock fragments and bachata loops, Rick Ross grunts, reports of accidents in Ecuador and raids on Santeria barbershops, Boston-accented Wall Street numerology, a Brazilian-accented “Boston,” Junior Rodigan’s sui generis Iranian-Londonian-Jamaican-Bostonian brogue, an inevitable (and […]

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