CMAC Rendezvous

Obama Tweets, 2012. Visualization by Patrick Herron


The CMAC-associated Labs

The CMAC-associated Labs


The Rendezvous is a regular gathering of Duke community members interested in exploring media arts, sciences, information, and cultures through informal project presentations and exchanges. Unless otherwise specified, we usually meet in the Smith Warehouse, Bay 10, 2nd floor, in the Collision Space on selected Thursdays at 4:30PM (unless otherwise indicated) during the academic year. (Fall 2012-Spring 2015 Archives)

Please contact our Rendezvous organizer, Patrick Herron, if you are interested in sharing your work with us.



Upcoming 2016-17 Rendezvous Events (Spring 2017)


April 13: Michael J K Walsh, NTU Singapore, “‘Prayers Long Silent’: Protecting endangered heritage in post-conflict Cyprus”

Famagusta, Then

Famagusta, Then

The walled city of Famagusta, Cyprus, with its French Gothic churches, exquisite 14th-century frescoes, towering Venetian walls, domed Ottoman hamams, and majestic British Imperial architecture, should be a UNESCO World Heritage Site – but it is not. Instead, as a result of the Turkish military intervention in 1974 and the ensuing political stalemate that exists to this day, the city and its heritage have become dangerously isolated – its architectural and art-historical treasures within its walls virtually forgotten.

Following the successful nomination of Famagusta to the World Monuments Fund (WMF) Watch List in 2008 and 2010, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore (with the WMF and the Famagusta Municipality) led a series of international efforts to protect, stabilize and study Famagusta’s irreplaceable heritage, and in particular its extant murals. This presentation will discuss this initiative, and highlight the interdisciplinarity of the project ranging as it did from emergency mural conservation to VR reconstruction; from pedagogical projects to the intricacies of international law; from GPR mapping to 700 year old Armenian archives. The presentation will include the screening of a short documentary film produced to highlight the relationship between culture and politics, and the interface between art history and technology.

Famagusta, Now

Famagusta, Now

Michael J. K. Walsh F.R.S.A., FRHistS.
, conducted his graduate studies at the Universities of St. Andrews, Cambridge and York, before joining the Department of Archaeology and Art History at Eastern Mediterranean University, Famagusta. In his time there he successfully nominated the historic city of Famagusta for inclusion in the World Monuments Fund Watch List (twice) and also acted as team coordinator for the United Nations project ‘Cultural Heritage Data Collection in the northern part of Cyprus’. He has edited and co-edited four books on Famagusta, including Medieval and Renaissance Famagusta (Ashgate, 2012), Crusader to Venetian Famagusta (Central European University Press, 2014), Famagusta: Contemporary Images from an Historic City (Datz Press, 2015), and City of Empires: Ottoman and British Famagusta (CSP, 2015). A fifth book entitled Prayers Long Silent: Famagusta’s Armenian Church and the Complexity of Cypriot Heritage will be published by Palgrave MacMillan this week. He is currently Associate Professor of Art History at the School of Art, Design and Media at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.




Past 2016-17 Rendezvous Events

Joyce Ogburn

Joyce Ogburn

September 22: Joyce Ogburn, University Librarian, Appalachian State Univ, @ The Edge/Open Edge Series
Our kickoff event for the 2016-17 season will be hosted at The Edge in order to promote the series while connecting with our friends in Duke Libraries. Joyce Ogburn, former University Librarian at Appalachian State, will be giving a presentation on issues deeply related to open scholarship in practice.
Title: “Principles of Scholarly Communication: Informing Policy, Influencing Practice”
Brief abstract: Concurrent with the growing attention to the viability and values of scholarly communication, many new and existing groups have developed principles to inform and guide changes in policy and practice. Often, these principles are documented within formal statements, declarations, resolutions, directives, and policies. I will present a broad review of representative and influential documents and principles on which change has been based, as well as how principles are reflecting the evolution of expectations for access to and use of scholarship. A discussion will follow to address how principles might continue to be expanded, along with the roles of librarians and others in the future of scholarly communication. (ISS Lab; general interest)


The Collision Space, Bay 10, 2nd Floor, Smith Warehouse

The Collision Space, Bay 10, 2nd Floor, Smith Warehouse

September 29: Open Social Event in the Collision Space
Come mingle with the CMAC-affiliated labs in Smith Warehouse and share in drinks and snacks while you do. It will be a great time to catch up and form new friendships.


Ja-Young Ku

Ja-Young Ku

October 6: Ja-Young Ku, Associate Professor, Contemporary Arts, Konkuk University
Convergence of Time Collage: Networked and Database Driven Interactive Media Art
In <<Arrays_C>>, I created a stream socket based work to enable viewers to interact with their mobile app and thus allow them to draw on their phone’s screen, which then instantly sends the drawings to a remote electronic board in a public space. Anyone who downloaded the app could participate in the piece by simply drawing with their fingertips. Drawings were then stored in a database and converged with other’s drawings later on different days. In this piece, I tried to allow viewers to think about memories and drawings as interactions of different times and space. (Emergence Lab)


October 20: Mike Thomas, SAS
Mike Thomas of SAS (Cary, NC) will present on work at the intersection of IoT, VR, and data analytics. (ISS Lab; general interest)
Seeing IoT with AR and VR
Brief Abstract: IoT is about data, but that doesn’t mean we have to be stuck with paper-based data visualization practices dating back to the late 1700’s. Instead, we can see IoT in its natural state by utilizing AR and VR.


October 27: Humanities Meaning + Mining Student Presentation from Madeline Snipes, Sarah Hendrix, Kelsey Graywill
Undergraduates Sarah Hendrix, Kelsey Graywill and Madeline Snipes will present their final project from their Spring 2016 semester’s course on text mining and meaning (ISS 290/VMS 290). The three students created an impressive comparative analysis centered on fan fiction using data exploration and text mining, generating novel ways of reading literary texts in the process. (ISS Lab)


Jeffrey Ritter

Jeffrey Ritter

November 3: Jeffrey Ritter, Visiting Fellow, Kellogg College, University of Oxford
“Quantum Law: First Principles”
How will we govern humankind after the quantum computers are built? What are the balances between efficiency and ethics? How might new systems of regulation be advanced with visual innovations that improve governance? Joining us is Jeffrey Ritter, a new Durham resident and Visiting Fellow at Oxford University, where he teaches in the Department of Computer Science and is conducting research to try and answer those questions.


November 10: Maurizio Forte on Vulci 3000, the 3D Digital Recording of an Archaeological Excavation to illustrate the results achieved during 2016 summer fieldwork in Italy (Dig@Lab)


December 1: Ryan Shaw, Analyzing and Visualizing Data from Mobile Health Technologiesphoto1

In our current healthcare system, health care is organized primarily around episodic interactions with patients. The challenge with episodic care in many illnesses is that patients to do not receive interventions when and where they need them most – at the time when a problem is about to occur, or is occurring. This presentation will discuss the use of mobile health technologies as tools to shift healthcare from episodic to real-time care. In particular, we will focus on analyzing and visualizing data from mobile technologies and their integration into the healthcare ecosystem. Examples will be presented from completed and ongoing NIH-funded clinical trials.”

Pamela Jennings

Pamela Jennings

December 8: Pamela L. Jennings is a unique individual— engineer, researcher and artist. She has held a number of interesting positions including teaching positions in the arts where she has sought to develop multiple research projects in human-centered computing. As Director of the Earl and Brenda Shapiro Center for Research and Collaboration at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC),

Jennings' Construkts


Jennings worked to build bridges between SAIC’s community and civic, academic, and industry partners. Earlier she taught at Carnegie Mellon. She is unique in her interests in bridging art and science in that she led the National Science Foundation’s CreativeIT program that supported cross-disciplinary projects combining creativity, computer science, and information technology. She has truly helped to build the emerging art, science, and technology fields. She recently left her exciting post as director at the Center for Design Innovation and is currently working on a fascinating set of projects in the private sector.

January 26: Tim Senior, Adventures in Multi-Disciplinarity

Tim writes, “I first came to Duke, quite by chance, in 2008. Looking for a different direction after a PhD in Neuroscience, my new colleagues equipped me with no less than three. As part of this semester-long return visit to Duke, I’ll be presenting the current state of this work, once again in search of new insight and inspiration: The first is a long-standing digital humanities project – a scholarly reconstruction of the St Catherine Dominican monastery in Bremen (Germany), a remarkable, but largely unstudied, site that links an Evangelical Martyr, the Rockefeller foundation, and Brutalism; the second concerns the intersection of the arts & humanities, STEM, and business – I’ll present ongoing work as part of the UK’s Creative Economy Hubs endeavor, a program initiated by the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council nationally to pursue innovation in cultural, creative, and digital economy; the third concerns the emergence of living media as a target for contemporary scientific and artistic practice – a new book project with artists and researchers from South Korea, UK, France and Switzerland. Complex systems and Human Microbiomes abound.”


February 2: Matthew Kenney,  Making Data Physical

"algo2.2," Matthew Kenney

“algo2.2,” Matthew Kenney

Matthew writes, “My work uses algorithmic and data driven sound rendering and visualizations as an opportunity to explore perception, chance, and information. I create systems to explore data and algorithms physically and sonically through 3D printing, data sonification and physical computing. In this presentation, I will present several projects that explore how I have used data and algorithm as a base to drive my art and design, and walk through my process transforming numbers to physical output.”




February 9: Cosimo Monteleone, University of Padua, ‘The representation of space: “La pratica della perspettiva” by Daniele Barbaro’

Daniele Barbaro, from La pratica della perspettiva (1568)

This presentation will provide a quick overview on the problem of representation of space from classical era to Renaissance and focuses on a treatise titled “La pratica della perspettiva”, printed by Daniele Barbaro in 1568.

The book had an important role in the art and architectural theories at the end of the Renaissance as well as in the following centuries.

To compose his book Daniele Barbaro borrowed from the works of his predecessors, but, with pioneering attitude predating the scientific method, he also dealt with perspective in all its aspects.

Three manuscripts, preserved at Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana in Venice, provide information on perspectival matters not mentioned in the printed book and new technologies of communication show and disseminate in a new way Barbaro’s principles and rules on perspective.


February 16: David Rambo, Doctoral Candidate, Duke (S-1 Speculative Sensation Lab)
“Contact Traces: On the Levity of Gore in Video Games”

David’s project considers “blood and gore” in video games as non-mimetic marks of action and expressions of exuberance. Whereas past studies of video game graphics tend to focus on representations of violence, often with an unfounded moral concern, David argues that apparently gratuitous instances of blood and gore align graphical fidelity not with realism, but toward what Gérard Genette terms in his study of painting “abstract figuration” and “nonfigurative abstraction.”

Still from “Smash TV” (1990)

Blood and gore is accordingly self-presentational with respect to its own audiovisual and ludic materiality, and understanding it requires an aesthetic analysis at the level of forms and of that level’s constitutive techniques.

Games discussed: Bloodborne, Dark Souls, Defender, Doom (2016), Galaxian, Geometry Wars, Hotline Miami, Resogun, Robotron: 2084, Smash TV.

Keywords: gore, video games, computation, visual media, form, formalism, Brinkema, Genette, Whitehead.



March 2: Tessa Joseph, UNC-Chapel Hill 

The aim of Tessa Joseph-Nicholas’ recent collaboration, “Coding Diversity, Diversities of Code”, was ostensibly to develop a low-threshold online interface that would allow data-naive humanists to explore the social media conversation around inclusion and diversity in technology. It turned out to be a rank-crossing, transdisciplinary, pedagogy-driven collaborative experiment whose processes and reception seemed to have been designed to force a reckoning with the rhetorics of diversity/inclusion, technology, learning, research, transdisciplinarity, and, most especially, the digital humanities. In this talk, Joseph-Nicholas will discuss what happens when the process of a project turns out to be the project itself.

Tessa Joseph-Nicholas is Senior Lecturer and Director of Digital Arts and Humanities Projects in the Department of Computer Science and a Faculty Fellow of the Digital Innovation Lab and the Institute for the Arts and Humanities at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her teaching and research explore histories of computing and the Internet, Internet cultures and communities, digital fictions and poetics, the digital humanities, and programming instruction for non-programmers. She believes in net neutrality, hybrid pedagogy, transdisciplinarity, demystification, inclusion, and compelling, risky, joyful work.



March 9: Luke LeGrand, CMAC Master’s Candidate, Duke, “Misspent (%d)Ohs or (%d) The Simpsons”

The Simpsons has been a seminal part of global culture for decades. On any subject from physics to religion, the first family of American media has been asked to intervene. Accordingly, The Simpsons has been analyzed to pieces. We seek to read The Simpsons differently, creating a schizo-analytic theoretical frame through which to interpret the output of distant reading and topic modelling techniques. With more than 600 episodes over 28 seasons, The Simpsons is a rich corpus for analysis at any register. Our central questions are: What does the show communicate? How does the show communicate? And, why has the show enjoyed such long lived global appeal? In order to fully answer these questions, we will not only employ data analysis, machine learning, and data visualization, but will then leverage this information to create interfaces for new ways of experiencing The Simpsons.



Jim Davies, Carleton University

Jim Davies, Carleton University

March 23: Jim Davies, Carleton University (CN), “A Vision for the Science of Imagination”

Imagination is a crucial process for hypothetical thinking, planning, dreaming, counterfactual thinking, and creativity. In this talk Davies will present how imagination can be studied scientifically, and the various endeavors he is currently pursuing in the Science of Imagination Laboratory in the Institute of Cognitive Science at Carleton University.



March 30, 4 PM: SPECIAL JOINT EVENT with the Digital Humanities Summit

Ja-Young Ku, "D910" (2017)

Ja-Young Ku, “D910” (2017)

Thursday, March 30, the Rendezvous will be getting an early start at 4 PM for two events. First, we will hold a reception for the opening of Ja-Young Ku’s new installation, “D910,” in Bay 11 of Smith Warehouse. Then at 4:30 in the usual space for the Rendezvous in Bay 10, we will host a round table event for the Digital Humanities Summit led by Ed Triplett and Brian Norberg.

Ja-Young Ku

Ja-Young Ku

4:00 PM, Bay 11, 2nd floor: A reception for the opening of “D910” by Ja-Young Ku, Konkuk University. “D910” is an interactive media work that draws hundreds of lines, all connected, floating around in a virtual space augmented with the image of the actual exhibition space itself. The viewer’s image is projected into the virtual space, then separated into two in time to subsequently interact with the lines.

4:30 PM, Bay 10 Collision Space: Dissecting Humanities GIS Projects: Cross-sections, Guts and a Good Story
Ed Triplett and Brian Norberg, Duke University

GIS is often referred to as an easy entrance point into digital humanities because so many scholars in a range of humanities disciplines can “see” their subject spatially in their mind’s eye before they ever begin learning digital mapping tools. Like any other form of scholarship, it is important to set the scope of a spatial humanities project early in the process, but this is easier said than done. The purpose of this lecture and round-table discussion is to construct a cross-section of the spatial humanities process by dissecting a handful of projects according to their purpose, tools chosen, required knowledge, and audience. Brian Norberg and Ed Triplett will place a number of projects on the operating table, pull out some guts and make inferences about how they were built, and with what levels of difficulty. By the end of the first hour, the dissected projects will be pinned up in a range from the simplest, easiest to build spatial projects, to the most complex, custom-built web-maps. The second hour will be an open discussion about how we can grow spatial humanities at Duke horizontally in the classroom, as well as vertically with cutting edge GIS projects. What do we have at our disposal at Duke to accomplish different kinds of spatial projects? How do we jump the gap between desktop GIS and web-GIS? What are the unique features that we need as humanists that software designers don’t prioritize?

Brian Norberg is Digital Humanities Technology Analyst in Duke University’s Trinity College of Arts and Sciences Technology Services, where he collaborates with students and faculty to incorporate technology into Humanities courses and research. Much of this work involves consulting with researchers to advise on technical solutions and implementing technologies to enable innovative research in areas like social media, historical GIS, and digital archives. He holds a Masters degrees in English Literature and Library and Information Science.

Ed Triplett is a CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow at the Duke Library working on data curation for visual studies, and a future Lecturing Fellow in the AAHVS Department. Ed works closely with the Wired! Lab and other groups on campus to help build and manage digital mapping and 3D modeling projects. He holds an MFA in 3D Modeling and Animation, MAs in History and Architectural History and a PhD in Art and Architectural History. Ed’s research has focused on the architectural history of medieval Iberia’s contested religious frontier.




Duke Media Arts + Sciences Rendezvous Archives, Fall 2012-Spring 2015