We are pleased to put online the next in our ‘The New in Social Research’ series, a recording of Evelyn Ruppert’s lecture titled ‘Doing the Transparent State: Methods and their Subjectifying Effects/Affects’ (Feb 28th).
Building on themes explored in the previous talk by Fuller and Harwood, Ruppert looked at the effects (and affects) of the UK government’s data ‘Transparency Agenda’, insisting on the generative capacities of this device. This includes the release of detailed data, via publically accessible, comparatively easy-to-use online platforms (e.g. government produced data apps), ranging from details of MPs expenses to itemised lists of departmental spending. This data, in turn, can be – and increasingly is – downloaded, manipulated and mediated by organisations and institutions, whether by journalists looking to produce eye catching visualisations , or companies hoping to unearth market value hidden in the relations between and amongst different data sets.… Continue reading
As part of our ongoing series exploring claims to newness in social research, we are pleased to put online a recording of this week’s event (Feb 21st), ‘Database as funfair’.
Matthew Fuller and Graham Harwood, drawing on work done by YoHa as part of the Invisible Airs project, explored what can be learnt from, and done with, relational databases released to researchers as part of a government drive towards data transparency (themes to be explored further by next week by Evelyn Ruppert – more details about upcoming events are on the CSISP homepage).
Having been given access to the expenditure database of Bristol City Council, they soon worked out that the data – in itself – wasn’t particularly interesting (in fact, as they write, part of the power of this data operates specifically because of its inability to command interest, through the “multiple layers of boredom” which it generates in its readers), to a degree because of what was absent, excluded, or rendered unintelligible.… Continue reading