Empyre Discussion Response

I do hope I am posting this appropriately. I have used WordPress a little, but it is still a system I am new to and unfamiliar with. If this is incorrect, let me know and I will do what I can to fix it. – Kevin Burnard

Posts examined: 1 2 3

Feminist data visualization discussion featured here appears to focus on the most effective methods of presenting the data to not only clarify facts but make them into points of discussion and to disseminate them. In the pieces I looked at, focus is given to innovative ways to express the information, ways the information expression can be used to examine the perspectives of a number of marginalized groups, and how that can tie into political events.

Easily the most eye-catching suggestion for me was in how to make these issues relevant to people. Using technologies like robotics to illustrate data on literal pies is a delightful and attention-grabbing notion. It relies on dissemination strategies already in place in our culture, of the workplace communal environment, to spread through humor and hunger. Providing a more physical and pressing illustration of the realities of treatment of women is an effective call to action furthered by instructions for sharing pies with family and friends through the mail. To Reust, this a sadly rare case of exploring the fullest potential of feminist data presentation. The pie method a visualization that demands contemplation and advises how to build discussion about it, and thus what this discourse regards as most effective, a multisensory encapsulation of technology, data, and marginalization in a showy production. Reust argues this is a rare box ticking most visualization approaches do not meet.

Intersectionality interestingly appears to be key to this process of investigating the reality of social structures to properly engage with data. As remarks one contributor, “my concern is that a feminist position is not enough to separate itself from humanist perspectives. It needs to be combined with other positions of exclusion related to class, race, culture in order to not repeat, in Deleuzian terms, more of the same. Or maybe, it needs to strive to be other than human.” This contributor, Beatriz, examines another dominant theme in this discussion, situating the eye and spectator within cultural forces to gaze outside and get a truer picture of marginalization. Utilizing data presentation techniques to take the eye outside of human limitations and transcend cultural blind spots is in essense the core question of this discussion, to which all these points are based in expanding on or resolving. The pie was one suggestion, and an effective one I think. But for Beatriz, intersectionality is the main part to focus on. Expanding from examining one form of exclusion to all and to strive to escape human culture is Beatriz’s resolution to this matter.

Prichard’s application of understanding these forces to tensions of oppression in regard to the “Brexit” vote and surrounding tensions in the United Kingdom is an effective strategy to illustrate the need for such analytical understanding. This one also was of personal relevance to me due to having extensive British heritage and family ties as well as many social bonds with outspokenly progressive people from the United Kingdom on the internet. Brexit also strikes me as a vital example of a general conservative backlash that can also aid in understanding things like the current American political situation. Prichard traces a similar political web in discussing events like the American police killings of people of color. And a Prichard argues, this reinforces the difficulty of searching for an unbiased understanding when the world is biased enough to produce such conditions. Agency and representation are identified as key factors to fight to assert, and tremendously difficult ones to do at that. There are various proposed solutions, including that of the pie, but overall this piece is more concerned with identifying the issue. Only suggestions exist to mend it, and it falls on us to implement them and fight to improve the situation.


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