a culture of craft

a culture of craft rises up in a post-digital revolt that privileges physical presence over virtual presence, touch over sight and sound, poor media over rich media.

p. 108. Digital Humanities. Burdick et al. (The MIT Press, 2013)

Reading Digital Humanities, and finishing a chapter for a forthcoming Swedish collection The University as Medium (Universitetet som Medium, Wickberg and Månsson, eds.), I have thought a lot about how I define my own work. Recent changes here at BTH have also prompted such self-definition exercises. It is quite useful, and seems serendipitous that different texts that I am reading/writing now underscore the validity of the choice I made quite some time ago, to combine craft and practice with theory and history. If that is to be called a “new humanist” as Burdick, Drucker, and the other co-writers of Digital Humanities suggest, I am not sure. What is clear, however, is that there are few places within the university that can truly provide a place for the kinds of work that we are talking about; that have the right structures and support to sustain them. With colleagues here in south Sweden and Denmark, I am thinking about how such contemporary “digital humanities” can look like, and how it intersects with design, interaction design, the arts, and computer science.

During an upcoming festival here in Karlskrona, Mixing Realities Digital Performance Festival, we will certainly see interesting projects that exemplify the university as a medium for creative and critical practice. As part of the festival, I am organizing what we are fondly calling the AR/MR day. Ongoing projects using augmented and mixed reality technologies will be presented, shown, discussed and played with. This, too, will be provide us with a reason to think about what kind of “culture of craft” is rising, and how the university (through education and research) can support it.

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