Telling stories with data
The technological infrastructure and intellectual capital required to process big data often obscures the need for narrative. Yet, as data journalists emphasise, “Data does not just provide neutral and straightforward representations of the world, but is rather entangled with politics and culture, money and power.” Critical narratives help unpick the assumptions we make and the techno-socio-cultural domains with which we interact. Join me on a journey of rich data collaboration and its discontents through algorithmic storytelling and scrollytelling.
Dr Sydney J Shep is a Reader in Book History and The Printer, Wai-te-ata Press. She focuses on the interdisciplinary study of transnational and cross-cultural book history and print culture in the contexts of the history of empire, history of technology, and the history of reading. Technological convergence is an additional platform for research and practice, bringing both historic and contemporary media into creative conversation though explorations into the digital handmade, generative computer art, and typographically-situated augmented reality experiences.
Her current research focuses on big cultural data and collaborative kaupapa Māori approaches and is grounded in the theories, methods, and practices of digital humanities, spatial history, and cultural informatics. In 2014, she was awarded a Marsden Fund grant (her third) to study William Colenso and the Victorian Republic of Letters, with a focus on personal geographies and global networks. Sydney is also a practising letterpress printer, exhibiting book artist, and designer bookbinder who undertakes creative research commissions at Wai-te-ata Press.