headshot of Jacqueline Wernimont
Jacqueline Wernimont

MSU Digital Humanities Fall 2021 Distinguished Lecture

Jacqueline D. Wernimont “Visceral Data: Renderings that Matter”

4:00PM-5:30PM, October 12, 2021, Virtual

I closed the book Numbered Lives: Life and Death in Quantum Media with a call “to rematerialize data, to make it into something that one can touch, feel, own, give, share, and spend time with. We can leverage quantum mediation to make media with texture, sound, color, heft, weight, and length—media that grapple with the n-dimensionality of human experience.” This call was in response to 2 phenomena: the long history of ‘aesthetic rationalism,’ a mode of relating to the world in ways that bring unruly living bodies and matter under the representational control of quantum media, and the success that linear conceptions of time have had in ordering our relations to the past. After a brief overview of these histories, I’ll be presenting two ‘data visceralizatons:’ one of energy consumption in the U.S. and the other on eugenic sterilization in one U.S. state. We will use these two examples in order to think about how we might rematerialize data and how doing so might change our relationship to the phenomena represented therein. 

Jacqueline D. Wernimont is the Distinguished Chair of Digital Humanities and Social Engagement and Associate Professor in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Dartmouth College. She is also Co-Director of HASTAC.