metaLAB research brings an array of perspectives and methods to bear on substantial domains of inquiry into the role and effect of technology in the arts and humanities. By combining traditional modes of practice—archival research, critical writing, and curatorial exposition—with such emergent methods as physical computing, data visualization, and participatory mapping and media, metaLAB research infuses scholarship with the playful, enterprising spirit of hacking, making, and artistic inquiry.



the animation of archives

innovative approaches to the study, preservation, processing, and dissemination of archival corpora; linking intramural and extramural repositories across media; participatory/expanded models of curation and archival processing; zoomable map-based GUI designs; placing curated archival materials in dialogue with physical space by means of mobile devices

exhibitions as mode of scholarly practice

installation designs that conjoin media and physical objects; interaction design for exhibitions; digital extensions of physical exhibitions; the animation of built environments

documentary arts +
media innovation

the creation of multilinear/multimedia documentaries built on databases that are performed by reader/viewers and navigated through a series of guided paths; the invention of new documentary production/distribution platforms and parametric authoring tools; the incubation of new interactive and collaborative documentary projects for broadcast and online contexts, with a particular emphasis on sonic exploration and ethnographic approaches; experimentation with new forms of citizen and community engagement through participatory channels

curatorial innovation

a theoretical investigative track into the changing nature of curation in the context of the open web through speculative design and outreach projects; programming that provides students with the opportunity to become engaged in collections-based research, curation and digital design

data artifacts

the development of visual methods that reveal the often-unacknowledged patterns in digital data that speak to the social and material history of its accumulation; an inquiry into the deep history of digital collections; the development of tools to contemplate large-scale collection processes and enable richer discussions about their technical and cultural significance

artifactual knowledge

the development of 3d user interfaces and data visualizations as tools for collaborative humanities research, teaching and scholarship; visualizing interconnections between different categories of media objects by means of zoomable, user-controlled viewing angles; 3d object-centered interface and database development

cultural genomics

the use and development of data mining and data visualization tools for purposes of cultural-historical research; the visualization of literary, musical and other cultural corpora; the use of optical character recognition techniques in the field of musicology

thick mapping

geospatial iterations of arts and humanities scholarship; multilayered cartographies; geospatial visualization of collections; imaginary or non-representational mapping of data repositories and cultural corpora; the distributed curation of physical landscapes

experimental publishing

the designation and documentation of existing high-impact research projects and projecting them outward and beyond through a series of published volumes

networks and natures

development of new digital forms of teaching, publication, curation, and community engagement focused on digital cultures emerging in landscapes variously defined as living, wild, open, or feral; the sampling of human-machine-environment relations in three different modes: talking, blogging, and hacking; development of technology through participatory hacks that engage diverse audiences and encourage them to see their environments in new ways; the cultivation of collaborations and projects that demonstrate opportunities for digital scholarship and learning about communities pressed by new quandaries concerning technology in the wild

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