New special issue of the bilingual journal Diseña on Visual Methods for Online Images

A new special issue of the bilingual journal Diseña has just been released. The issue, edited by Gabriele Colombo and Sabine Niederer, explores the realm of online images as a site for visual research and design.

While in an image-saturated society, methods for visual analysis gain urgency, this special issue explores visual ways to study online images. The proposition we make is to stay as close to the material as possible. How to approach the visual with the visual? What type of images may one design to make sense of, reshape, and reanimate online image collections? The special issue also touches upon the role that algorithmic tools, including machine vision, can play in such research efforts. Which kinds of collaborations between humans and machines can we envision to better grasp and critically interrogate the dynamics of today’s digital visual culture?

The articles (available both in English and in Spanish) touch on the diversity of formats and uses of online images, focusing on collection and visual interpretation methods. Other themes touched by this issue are image machine co-creation processes and their ethics, participatory actions for image production and analysis, and feminist approaches to digital visual work.

Further information about the issue can be found in our introduction. Following is the complete list of contributions (with links) and authors (some from the Public Data Lab).

Editorial: Against Subject Datafication through Anti-Oppressive Data Practices – Renato Bernasconi

Diseña 19 | Visual Methods for Online Images: Collection, Circulation, and Machine Co-CreationGabriele Colombo, Sabine Niederer

The Potentials of Google Vision API-based Networks to Study Natively Digital ImagesJanna Joceli Omena, Pilipets Elena, Beatrice Gobbo, Chao Jason

Developing Online Images. From Visual Traces to Public VoicesDonato Ricci, Calibro, Duncan Evennou, Benoît Verjat

Google Images, Climate Change, and the Disappearance of Humans – Warren Pearce, Carlo De Gaetano

Data-Driven Curated Video Catalogs: Republishing Video FootageGabriele Colombo, Federica Bardelli

Creating AI Art Responsibly: A Field Guide for Artists – Claire R. Leibowicz, Emily Saltz, Lia Coleman

Feminist Data Practices: Conversations with Catherine D’Ignazio, Lauren Klein, and Maya Livio – Catherine D’Ignazio, Lauren Klein, Maya Livio, Sabine Niederer, Gabriele Colombo

Decolonizing the Imagination in Times of Crisis. Gestures for Speculative Thinking-Feeling: Interview with Martin Savransky – Martin Savransky, Martín Tironi



Investigating infodemic – researchers, students and journalists work together to explore the online circulation of COVID-19 misinformation and conspiracies

Over the past year researchers and students at institutions associated with the Public Data Lab have contributed to a series of collaborative digital investigations into the online circulation of COVID-19 misinformation and conspiracies.

Researchers and students contributed to a series of “engaged research led teaching” projects developed with journalists, media organisations and non-governmental organisations around the world.

These were undertaken in association with the Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project Infodemic: Combatting COVID-19 Conspiracy Theories, which explores how digital methods grounded in social and cultural research may facilitate understanding of WHO has described as an “infodemic” of misleading, fabricated, conspiratorial and other problematic material related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

These projects led to and contributed to a number of stories, investigations and publications including:

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