The Visual Social Sciences

We are dedicated to the collection of cultural and social artifacts and to the analysis of digital memes.

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From John Grady:  Flowing Data is Nathan Yau’s website and very often discusses and provides a stage for some very useful ways of visualizing quantitative data.

Here are his choices for the best visualizations of 2013. it is interesting to note that he cites their growing sophistication and flexibility in display and analysis. Most importantly is the growing attention to the issues of displaying data as accurately as possible.

One of the frontiers for visual research and certainly, for sociology.

Excellent collection of documentary videos that explore the “behind the scenes” area of art-making.

The Era of Visual Mediation


Frank Marshall: Botswana’s Metalheads

Music preferences are never meant to be limited to a certain group of people or just one individual. Whatever the genre, music is intended to be enjoyed by all. This is made clear by South African photographer Frank Marshall through his series Renegades, where he documents fans of the heavy metal subculture in Botswana. With 60 portraits, he captures these true aficionados who, decked out in leather in the 80 degree heat, dispel stereotypes of this identity among Africans. Many of the fans have several roles outside of their passion for the music, ranging from soldiers to museum curators to prison wardens. Facing the belief that heavy metal audiences are traditionally Caucasian and Eurocentric, Marshall draws up questions surrounding cultural identity and ideology.

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Dedicated to the Cultural Preservation of the African Aesthetic

(via badethnography)

Disabled mannequins will be eliciting astonished looks from passers-by on Zurich’s Bahnhofstrasse today. Between the perfect mannequins, there will be figures with scoliosis or brittle bone disease modelling the latest fashions. One will have shortened limbs; the other a malformed spine. The campaign has been devised for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities by Pro Infirmis, an organisation for the disabled. Entitled “Because who is perfect? Get closer.”, it is designed to provoke reflection on the acceptance of people with disabilities. Director Alain Gsponer has captured the campaign as a short film.
The figures are life-sized, three-dimensional representations of Miss Handicap 2010, Jasmin Rechsteiner, radio presenter and film critic Alex Oberholzer, track and field athlete Urs Kolly, blogger Nadja Schmid and actor Erwin Aljukic. 
"We often go chasing after ideals instead of accepting life in all its diversity. Pro Infirmis strives especially for the acceptance of disability and the inclusion of people with disabilities," says Mark Zumbühl, a member of the Pro Infirmis Executive Board, in describing the campaign. -Pro Infirmis

A compelling, multimedia review of Leviathan (2012), a film from folks at the Harvard Sensory Ethnography Laboratory.

Religion as Ritual (a la Auguste Comte, a founder of sociology)

Religion as Social Control (a la Karl Marx)

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