Scalar and The Drama Review
“With Scalar,” writes Erin Mee, assistant professor of English at New York University, “I feel as though technology has finally caught up with the way I want to write about performance. Scalar allows you to perform your argument.” Mee’s latest article, Hearing the ‘Music of the Hemispheres,’ authored in Scalar, has just been published this month in The Drama Review (57; 3).
Hearing the music of the Hemispheres is an analysis of a concert composed by sonifying a series of fMRI scans of subjects generated while they watched a stimulus film instructing them to imagine the sound of rain, listen to a recording of rain, and listen to a musical composition based on recordings of rain. This concert, a “Symphony for 100,000,000,000 Neurons,” as Mee calls it, consists of multiple tracks of music, each corresponding to activity in the subject’s frontal, temporal, parietal and occipital lobes and thus allows one to hear a sonification of one’s brain as they engage in an act of spectatorship. The concert is, as Mee sees it, “an aural rendering of spectatorship” and using Scalar Mee is able to herself render and analyze for the reader the myriad multimedia components which constitute and are associated with the concert—for example, fMRI scans and audio from the stimulus film but also lectures and interviews with neuroscientists and videos portraying the sonification of abnormal brain activity.
Mee has plans for Scalar beyond Hearing the Music. As Contributing Editor of TDR, Mee writes, “I am responsible for soliciting, developing, and editing Scalar articles, along with the editorial staff. We are currently in conversation with several authors about future TDR articles in Scalar.” Mee has also found Scalar useful in the classroom. “In my spectatorship seminar last spring,” Mee told us, “students used Scalar to create born-digital compositions that not only analyzed, but embodied, aspects of spectatorship. One student used Scalar to simulate the modes of spectatorship embedded in video games so that readers could experience his argument as it unfolded. Another created a site-specific paper: I downloaded her paper onto my iphone and listened to/watched it while walking around Washington Square Park.”
See TDR, (57, 3)
ANVC’s sister publication, Vectors Journal, releases two new projects.
With the launch of these two projects by Emily Thompson and McKenzie Wark, Vectors proudly takes the next step in its evolution as a publisher and distributor of leading edge digital scholarship.
Please visit the latest issue of Vectors Journal, Current Projects, to engage these pieces and to learn more about the evolving structure of the journal itself.
Scalar Down Time
The Scalar server is part of a cluster of servers that will be taken offline Thursday, October 31st at 9:00pm PDT, and brought back online the next morning by 8:30am. We apologize for any inconvenience.