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Decomposing Data

Thu, August 31, 4:00 to 5:30pm, Sheraton Boston, 3, Fairfax A

Abstract

This paper examines the idea of decomposition as it pertains to analog and digital forms of data. It looks at three sources of audio-visual media data – celluloid, VHS, and mp4, and the various impacts that deterioration and disintegration, have on how we theorize their ontological and epistemic signification as “data.” Drawing on recent work in new materialism, as well as close engagement with both the “sensible” and “insensible” aspects of the very palpable, smellable, touchable, even testable world of rag waste, the paper argues for a “decompository” approach to data biography and history.

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