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Knowledge Discovery and the Aesthetics of Big Data: Simulating the Herschel Observatory

Mulligan, John and Carvalho, Adolfo (2021) Knowledge Discovery and the Aesthetics of Big Data: Simulating the Herschel Observatory. Leonardo, 54 (3). pp. 282-288. ISSN 0024-094X. doi:10.1162/leon_a_01832. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20210715-155304649

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Abstract

The authors, an astrophysics student and a humanities researcher, developed a simulation of William Herschel's visual experience during his observational runs, bringing to life archival data produced by William and his sister Caroline Herschel, who are credited with having invented modern cosmology. From a media studies perspective, the use of intensive computational resources to produce boring, accurate, realtime simulations of William Herschel's observations helps us to confront our conflation of visual complexity with reality in the era of big data. At the intersection of data science, the history of science and media studies, the project proposes the aesthetics of boredom as a means of dwelling with the sense of big data as “big” relative to modes of knowledge production.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
https://doi.org/10.1162/leon_a_01832DOIArticle
https://doi.org/10.25611/7EE9-RW96DOISupplementary Data
Additional Information:© 2021 ISAST. Received: January 20 2019. Rice University’s Humanities Research Center and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation supported this project financially. Rice’s Center for Research Computing supplied infrastructural and technical support. Thanks to Melissa Bailar, Holly Holmes, Wolfgang Steinicke, Alexander Wolf, Stephen Bradshaw, Justin Hunter, Clinton Heider, Niki Kasumi Clements, Annie Lowe and Sian Prosser.
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Rice UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Andrew W. Mellon FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:3
DOI:10.1162/leon_a_01832
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210715-155304649
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20210715-155304649
Official Citation:John Mulligan, Adolfo Carvalho; Knowledge Discovery and the Aesthetics of Big Data: Simulating the Herschel Observatory. Leonardo 2021; 54 (3): 282–288. doi: https://doi.org/10.1162/leon_a_01832
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:109847
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:15 Jul 2021 16:51
Last Modified:15 Jul 2021 16:51

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