silver, frames and the first personal computer

Today I had the pleasure of meeting with David Silver. I know David’s work mainly from the book he co-edited with Adrienne Massanari: Critical Cyberculture Studies and, of course, from the Resource Center for Cyberculture Stuides (RCCS). He is also the co-organizer of the September Project:

The September Project is a grassroots effort to foster public events in all libraries in all countries in September. September Project events explore issues that matter–like peace, or freedom–and can include book displays, panel discussions, civic deliberations, film screenings, theatrical performances, community book readings, murals, kids’ art projects, and so much more. September Project events are free and organized locally.

How can you participate? Organize an event at your library, and tell us about it! We’ll post all events on this site as they develop around the world.

The September Project began in 2004 and continues to grow. Last year, there were over 500 September Project events in libraries in 30 countries.

We talked about activism and about big projects such us a lab or a resource center – and how these help you identify what it is all about (possibly ‘the territory’). I use some of David’s work on the field in my article on digital humanities, and I learnt more about internet research in our discussion. He also gave me several really interesting references/pointers for a conference we are planning, and a concrete suggestion for encouraging visitors to he lab leave digital imprints.

I spent the afternoon attending a FrameNet Project meeting. It was great getting an update on the project (which I have followed for many years). It was also good to see so many students and researchers involved – I think this is something we could do better in Sweden – involving students, visitors, Ph.D. students etc. in projects. I have noticed this kind of collective energy many times here,  and we have a fair bit of that in the lab but not with this kind of focus. Here is a description of FrameNet:

The Berkeley FrameNet project is creating an on-line lexical resource for English, based on frame semantics and supported by corpus evidence. The aim is to document the range of semantic and syntactic combinatory possibilities (valences) of each word in each of its senses, through computer-assisted annotation of example sentences and automatic tabulation and display of the annotation results. The major product of this work, the FrameNet lexical database, currently contains more than 10,000 lexical units (defined below), more than 6,100 of which are fully annotated, in more than 825 semantic frames, exemplified in more than 135,000 annotated sentences.

At the meeting we discussed collaboration and I hope we will be able to do more together in the future. In particular, I think we may be able to give input in regards to interface, presentation and maybe also participatory media aspects.

Because of time constraints I cannot meet with HUMlab friends and project partners Bruce Damer and Galen Brandt on this trip, but I had a long skype conversation with Bruce yesterday evening. We are planning ahead for the Virtual Worlds Timeline Project among other things. Also, Bruce told me about the 45th anniversary of LINC that occurred this past weekend – supposedly the first personal computer. See here and here for additional coverage.