Complex Networks of Desire: Mapping community in Visual Arts Magazines Fireweed, Fuse, Border/Lines

Las complejas redes del deseo: Trazando las comunidades en revistas de artes visuales Fireweed, Fuse, Border/Lines

Co-presented with Tomasz Neugebauer (Concordia University Library) at DH2018 “Puentes/Bridges” in Ciudad de Mexíco, 27 June 2018.

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Full-size English/Español version of the poster.

We present ongoing research using data visualization and complex network analysis to historicize the production of three periodicals: Fireweed, Fuse, and Border/Lines. Computational methods allow for the visualization of metadata describing these magazine issues as a complex network – but what do these visualizations reveal about real social relations involved in the production and circulation of these magazines? Fireweed, Fuse, and Border/Lines emerged between 1976 and 1986 in Toronto, Canada, from a hotbed of lesbian and gay liberation, feminist and cultural race politics, thereby circulating in relation to transnational social, political and cultural movements (Butling and Rudy, Gonosko and Marcellus, Monk, Robertson). Whereas digital art historical scholarship often applies computational methods to the analysis of visual images (Zorich, Manovich), this paper instead applies complex network analysis to bibliographic metadata describing artist-led magazine publishing. We propose that there is a correlation between the magazine as a site of imagined community (as a discursive site where artistic scenes and poetic community are formed) (Allen, 12-17); and the complex networks visualized from metadata describing production teams and content of each printed issue (Knight, Long, Lincoln, Liu).

To read the rest of this paper, see this extract from the DH2018 book of abstracts: Tayler_Neugebauer_dh2018_abstracts

The entire collection of abstracts is also available.

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