16.661 Temporal Modelling Project

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk)
Date: Sat May 03 2003 - 02:11:22 EDT

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 16, No. 661.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                         Submit to: humanist@princeton.edu

             Date: Sat, 03 May 2003 06:53:14 +0100
             From: Bethany Nowviskie <bethany@virginia.edu>
             Subject: Temporal Modelling Project

    >You are in luck. Check out Johanna Drucker and Beth Nowviskie's
    >*Temporal Modelling* project -- still in progress, but more or less
    >precisely what you are imagining:

    Steve's right; the problem of visualizing and modeling temporal
    subjectivity in a dynamic way is exactly what we're working on. Our work
    in progress includes an XML-driven "PlaySpace" which uses Macromedia Flash
    to allow the construction and manipulation of timelines (complete with
    user-specified points, events, and intervals) and a Zope-powered "Data
    Library" where users can save, clone, and share models or edit the XML
    representations they've constructed visually in the PlaySpace in a direct,
    text-based way. Right now, we're implementing calendrical and granularity
    features, so that users will be able to mark and translate lines based on
    extrinsic calendars (Gregorian, Mayan, etc.) and on intrinsic notational
    schemes that might emerge from whatever data they're modeling (when I was
    happy, before the events of Chapter Two, etc.). Our next steps involve the
    implementation of more subjective features: temporal "inflections," (such
    as moods, foreshadowing, causality, and the like), and a "nowslider," which
    will allow users to model and present subjective alterations to a primary

    This last feature is very like Chris Meister's initial query. In a
    "catastrophic" nowslider, new line-iterations spring up when a perceiving
    subject alters his view of the past or future based on new
    information. We're also building a "continuous" nowslider, in which past
    and future morph seamlessly as a perceiving subject slides along a line in
    the "present." You can see my mock-ups of nowslider functionality here:
    http://jefferson.village.virginia.edu/time/storyboard/ -- and other areas
    of the site (accessible from the bottom menu on that page) will allow you
    to read our research reports and tinker with the PlaySpace in progress.

    Johanna Drucker and I will be presenting and doing a poster session on the
    Temporal Modelling Project at this summer's ACH/ALLC conference, and there
    are some pieces on it forthcoming in *Information Design*. In the meantime,
    I'd be happy to answer any questions about the project or -- even better --
    hear suggestions and criticism.

    Bethany Nowviskie

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