Category Archives: Speaking

Data Visualization for Art Historical Research

Constellations, Clusters, Networks
2015 AHGSA (Art History Graduate Student Association) Annual Conference
March 6 – 7, 2015, Concordia University, Montreal


Metadata as a Complex Network: A Case Study of Data Visualization for Art Historical Research. Our slides can be accessed through Spectrum, Concordia’s open-access research repository.  This paper, co-presented with with Tomasz Neugebauer and Corina MacDonald, reported our progress on a research project. There is a lot of complex network theory and algorithyms involved, but relevance to art historical research methods may lie in the portrait it draws of AA Bronson (and General Idea’s) centrality to publishing on contemporary art in Canada.


Metadata as a Complex Network: A Case Study of Data Visualization for Art Historical Research.

This paper responds to the crossover in conference topics between network science and art historical research methods. We ask how the visualization of complex networks can be used to generate art historical questions? Our data set is derived from the bibliographic database created by Artexte, an organization with the mandate to comprehensively collect Canadian exhibition catalogues and related international materials. The nodes of this network include the documents in the Artexte collections, connected to each other through edges representing subject cataloguing (keywords), and contributors, such as: artists, writers, editors, translators, critics, publishers, art organizations, etc. The resulting network of 40,000 e-artexte catalogue records contains over 135,000 nodes and more than 320,000 edges. The emerging research questions for this exploratory study include: (1) does the bibliographic metadata network exhibit the properties of complex networks (properties associated with small-world and scale-free networks) found in previous studies? (2) can the visualization of bibliographic metadata as a network contribute to art historical research? (3) is the measure of betweenness-centrality in the complex network derived from the e-artexte dataset useful to art historical research? We used measures of centrality to determine how important a particular node is to the entire structure. Although we initially thought these measures might reflect canonization processes, they seem to point to something else. Rather than mapping who has the most power in the art world because they are exhibited, published or written about most frequently, it seems to map which publications, writers, artists, curators are most important in holding the whole net together. What meaning does this outcome have for art historical methods?


Le prix littéraire / Literary prizes

Le prix littéraire : Le système des prix est un phénomène propre au 20ème siècle, une époque dont la compétition et le gain monétaire ont été parmi les principaux leitmotivs. Dans le monde occidental actuel, ce système est présent chez toutes les classes sociales et dans plusieurs domaines, du sport équestre au milieu de l’art, en passant par la danse de salon et l’agriculture. Cette obsession donne lieu à une prolifération absurde de médailles et d’ordres de mérite — les décorations que reçoivent les généraux qui n’ont jamais porté d’armes, par exemple. Ne peut-on affirmer que ce besoin d’évaluer, de juger, de classer et de récompenser l’effort et la réussite soit symptomatique d’un humanisme de plus en plus décadent? — un humanisme où le succès matériel et la reconnaissance priment sur tout autre aspect de la vie?

A definition of literary prizes from J.A. Cuddon’s Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory. 4th ed. (Penguin Reference, 1998) translated by the imminent Simon Brown. Read live as my introduction to the Art’s Stars in Hollywood event.

Compulsive Browse

“You look at this, you look at that.”

The Compulsive Browse Colloquium | Curator: Dr. Rebecca Duclos
Concordia University, Montréal, February 18-20, 2011

As a contribution to the colloquium conversation, a reading of a research trip to Vancouver, in search of a collection of underground magazines at Simon Fraser University, was performed. Printmaker Étienne Tremblay-Tardiff, played the part of Vancouver.

Traffic : Conceptualism in Canada

International Conference at the University of Toronto
Presented by the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery | 26-28 November 2010

Abstract: Constellation and Correspondences : Networking Between Artists, 1970-1980

Independent publishing by artists paralleled experimentation in electronic media, such as video, from 1970 to 1980. Artistic practices became increasingly ephemeral and performative, as they were no longer tied to a physical place a key concern was distribution through alternative networks. Printed matter served as a means for information transmission between artists and could be considered a significant contributor to the early development of parallel galleries in Canada. In his mythic narrative, AA Bronson refers to publishing as the “connective tissue” in the emerging trans-Canada art scene. Documents (correspondence, newsletters, magazines, artists’ books and other ephemera) were the platform for the communication of art, ideas and affinities across the geography of the country and beyond national borders. What drew together this constellation of disparate elements that correspond through space and time? Continue reading