Archive for category: Photostory

Collapse of a Horse: Prosthetics and Experimentality in a Critical Public Event

Collapse of a Horse: Prosthetics and Experimentality in a Critical Public Event

A note to my readers: I wrote the following essay exactly a year ago, as a horse lay attacked in India. Many political fortunes have changed since, and perpetrators of the attack on the horse have returned to social life. What I wrote then I share here, cognisant of the cynicism of party-politics, mindful of the power of remembrance and the archive in the world, and hopeful that the story of those that sought to reclaim this damaged animal exhibited practices of transcendence that merits recording–even if such recording is by way of an anthropology from a distance. ~~~ The meaning of life is […]

On Ninjas & Data Analysis: STS at the Tokyo Trick Art Museum

On Ninjas & Data Analysis: STS at the Tokyo Trick Art Museum

Three stalwart companions in silliness; Tokyo Trick Art Museum, May 2015. Many thanks to Tim Highfield & Jasmine Li. Trick Art Museums—and their upstart rival Trick Eye Museums—are spreading rapidly across East Asia. Both museum franchises specialize in a particular kind of trompe l’oeil optical illusion designed for interaction and reproduction. According to the Trick Art website, the first Trick Art Museum opened in 1992 in Tochigi prefecture in Japan. There are currently eighteen dedicated galleries and museums in Japan alone, and Trick Art and Trick Eye franchises now span Tokyo to Singapore, Bali to Mongolia. You’ll find them in kitschy […]

Engineering Taste: IBM’s Chef Watson and Technologies of Heteromation

Engineering Taste: IBM’s Chef Watson and Technologies of Heteromation

In the documentary El Bulli: Cooking in Progress, Chef Ferran Adria can be seen painstakingly testing new flavors and recipes for the now-shuttered El Bulli restaurant. The menu theme is “water, ” and over the course of weeks, even months, single dishes are perfected with a new flavor addition, a sprinkling of green matcha powder here or an injection of mint-flavored sugar there. The recipes are always distinguished by Adria’s unique flair for new gastronomic devices and technologies. In the film we can see that Chef Adria’s process is a craft combing tacit taste and exacting discipline not uncommon among […]

Light Fieldwork: Lytro Cameras, Open Research & the Partial

Light Fieldwork: Lytro Cameras, Open Research & the Partial

Lytro markets the images from its light field cameras as “living pictures.” This makes me think of the magical portraits from Harry Potter, their subjects managing door security and popping from frame to frame. (Not the photographs. Harry Potter photographs are pretty much anigifs.) “Living picture” is certainly evocative marketspeak, but it obscures what a fascinating methodological tool light field images can be—and the fresh questions about openness and participation in research such cameras provoke. The following images were taken in Japan during the summer of 2013 with a first generation Lytro camera. They’re products of my first explorations with […]

under the Darjeeling fog

under the Darjeeling fog

Here’s an initial effort to add some content on food production to the blog. This post is a departure from my usual myco-centrism. I visited the tea plantation in 2012 (I was also researching wild mushroom production in the region). This was written for a small newspaper in Kolkata, but never saw the light of day.  So now you get to enjoy it!     As we descended the hill covered in waist-high shrubs, factory workers wasted no time in questioning our motive. “Tea tourism,” we replied. We were, in fact, not only at the tea estate in the interest of learning […]

Exams, Generally

Exams, Generally

General exams are meant to test a graduate student’s comprehensive knowledge of fields related to her research and qualify her for a PhD candidacy.  Or, so I’m told.  After nine months of reading 285 books and articles, scheduling 60 hours of meetings, writing 261 pages of responses (roughly 117,450 words), I’ve finally made it to exam week. Three fields, three written exams, and one oral exam.  No problem.  Below is a photoblog recounting the process of exam week. 11/17 The Day Before the Exam Discovered some notes on Mumford from my first year!  I’m not really sure how to decipher […]