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The Network_Ecologies Symposium brought together an interdisciplinary group of scholars to collectively and collaboratively discuss networks and network(ed) ecologies.
The Network_Ecologies Symposium was a multi-disciplined, multi-format symposium held in the new PhD Scholar Lab at Smith Warehouse, October 18-19, 2013. Friday’s events were invite-only but Saturday’s event were open to the public. The symposium extended the contributions and conversations taking place on our invitee-only online forum Ecology of Networks and featured Jussi Parikka – author of Insect Media, Media Archaeology and more recently work on Media Ecology – as our keynote. In his presentation In Bursts, Not Flows: Microtemporalities and Engineering Network Politics, Parikka evoked Ernst’s notion of microtemporality to argue for “a different sort of temporality…one of meticulous microengineering of network temporalities, their bursting nature, a world of data queues and synchronization.” Duke’s <strong>Mark BN Hansen</strong>, one of the leading scholars in the field of media theory and philosophy, responded to Parikka’s keynote. </p> <p> <br /><strong>Other scholars included:</strong> </p> <p><strong>Drew Burk</strong>, a media philosopher who specializes in French media theory, lead a Saturday <a resource=" living-network-ecologies-fernand-deligny-in-the-age-of-social-networks="">lunch seminar on Fernand Deligny’s work regarding the network as a mode of life.
Duke’s Dr. Clare Woods (Classical Studies) presented her project mapping intellectual networks in early medieval Europe.
Artist, designer, scholar Florian Wiencek introduced our Symposium with an invite-only PhD Lab Friday presentation on “Digital Cultural Learning: Traversing Networks and Activating the Archive.”
Dr. Reagan Moore, from UNC’s RENCI joined us with a presentation titled “Policy-based consensus building” that will cover the following ideas: A network can be viewed as the development of a consensus by a community on approved interactions. The community consensus defines the expectations associated with the community interactions. Based on this viewpoint, a shared data collection can be described by the policies that enforce a community consensus on desired collection properties. The policies are mapped to computer actionable rules to automate enforcement of collection properties. Examples will be given based on multiple science and engineering domains.
Turan Duda, co-owner and lead architect of DudaPaine Architects joined us to present “Seven Wonders, A network of ideas (conceptual) and memories (experiential).”
Leadership entrepreneur Jonathan Kroll will be presenting an interactive/experiential presentation titled “Developmental Networks: Mentorship For A Better Me” during which we’ll explore traditional one-to-one mentoring, developmental networks, as well as an alternative approach to mentorship – group mentoring. The developmental network approach, Kroll believes capitalizes on one-to-one mentoring by purposefully pursuing multiple dyadic mentoring relationships.
Dr. Stephanie Boluk‘s talk “Symbolic Xchanges: Poetry, Money, ARGs” examined the dialectic between money and language as well as the relationship of electronic literature to emerging cultures of financialization through an analysis of Speculation (http:// speculat1on.net), an alternate reality game (ARG) directed by Katherine Hayles, Patrick Jagoda, and Patrick LeMieux.
In his talk “Networking the NES: Beyond the Dark Age of Digital Games” artist/game designer/scholar Patrick LeMieux theorized nonhuman play, networked subjectivities, and metagaming by presenting games he’s made to interrogate these emerging ecologies.
Duke’s S-1 Speculative Sensation Lab, including Mark Hansen, Mark Olson, Patrick LeMieux, Amanda Starling Gould, Luke Caldwell, David Rambo, Max Symuleski, & Yair Rubinstein will enact a network(ed) art-game intervention.
The artist, designer, and speculative (neuro)biologist Pinar Yoldas will be presenting her work in conjunction with the Speculative Sensation Lab art intervention.
Also: Have a look at conversations on Twitter that happened around the Symposium under the Hashtag #netcologies.
Carolingian Intellectuals and Their Network(s)
In the age of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other global social networking tools, networks, and ways in which we can (re)construct and analyze them, have become an important focus of research across the disciplines. This is no less true for those of us studying the premodern world, where networks (whether social, political, familial or intellectual) were both the fabric and the driving force of societies.
This short article and the Network_Ecologies Symposium talk "Scholars, Teachers and Students in Early Medieval Europe: Towards a Total Network" draw on material from my ongoing Carolingian Intellectual Networks project, the broad aim of which is to collect data on and map all the various connections between scholars, teachers and students in the late eighth through ninth centuries. The intellectuals I am studying were located across a large area of Europe comprising what is now France, the Low Countries, Switzerland, western parts of Germany and Austria, and northern Italy. This vast geographical area constituted the Carolingian Empire, a territory united by the military campaigns of Charlemagne in the later eighth century, and holding together, more or less, through the reigns of his successors until the late ninth century. This early medieval period—from about the 770s to the later ninth century—is usually referred to as the Carolingian Renaissance. As the term "Renaissance" might suggest, the period was distinguished by its rich and sophisticated literary culture. Modern scholars have long been interested in Carolingian intellectuals and in the centres that housed them, usually monasteries or cathedrals, or the courts of aristocrats and kings. 
To date, studies have tended to focus on individual scholars or individual schools, and typically on the very small number of individuals or centres for which we have the most data. Crucially, these studies are text-based. Maps and diagrams might be used to illustrate or clarify a point, but rarely work to enhance data and provoke further discovery. This reflection interrogates two recent (and representative) text-based studies of early medieval scholars and intellectual networks. Through visualizing data captured from these studies, I explore the challenges encountered in reconstructing early medieval intellectual networks and demonstrate the limitations of text-based network analyses.
As we shall see, these are of necessity selective, offering in consequence only partial or fractured glimpses of the whole. If we are to reconstruct a total intellectual network in all its complexity, we need to start exploring the possibilities offered by new digital tools, preferably tools that allow for dynamic visualizations of our data. In addition, I hope that this project demonstrates the power of the visualization process itself, a process that enables—even requires—us to ask different and larger questions of our data. What we know about Carolingian intellectuals we know because they wrote—to each other, for each other, occasionally about themselves. Quite possibly the richest source of information about Carolingian intellectuals—their interactions, connections, and networks—are the collections of letters that survive from the period.  The two studies I have chosen to interrogate in this post use letters as their primary source for establishing and discussing connections between Carolingian intellectuals.