Performing ArchiveMain MenuVisualizing the “Vanishing Race”: the photogravures of Edward S. CurtisFront Page for Visualizing the "Vanishing Race" pathCurtis' Image and Life: The Network of The North American Indian, Inc.An experiment with data visualization approach to understand and contextualize Curtis' images and his lifeMedia, Technology and MediationsCurtis's Technology, Relationships to Media and StyleContextualizing Curtis, The North American Indian, and Racethe collection of essays from the contributorsConsulting with Tribes as Part of Archive DevelopmentIntroduction to Consulting with Tribes by Ulia GosartContributing ArchivesInformation on how to participate in Performing ArchiveBrowsing the MediaA path of paths that allow users to cut through the collection in a variety of ways.Acknowledgements and Project InformationProject NetworkJacqueline Wernimontbce78f60db1628727fc0b905ad2512506798cac8David J. Kim18723eee6e5a79c8d8823c02b7b02cb2319ee0f1Stephan Schonberg23744229577bdc62e9a8c09d3492541be754e1efAmy Borsukc533a79d33d48cbf428e1160c2edc0b38c50db19Beatrice Schustera02047525b31e94c1336b01e99d7f4f758870500Heather Blackmored0a2bf9f2053b3c0505d20108092251fc75010bfUlia Gosart (Popova)67c984897e6357dbeeac6a13141c0defe5ef3403
Bea's YouTube Comment Word Cloud
12018-03-16T21:07:25-07:00Erik Loyerf862727c4b34febd6a0341bffd27f168a35aa637294821This is a new item generated by Beatrice Schuster for the Performing Archive project.plain2018-03-16T21:07:25-07:00Critical Commons20132013-08-05T20:40:46ZImagenew workErik Loyerf862727c4b34febd6a0341bffd27f168a35aa637
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12018-03-16T21:07:26-07:00YouTube Comments Word Cloud; Curtis as Canvas1plain2018-03-16T21:07:26-07:00Beatrice Schuster, Scripps College
Another fascinating component of these comments is how rarely Curtis is mentioned, despite the fact that his photographs are the subject of the videos. Throughout hundreds of comments comprising 16,334 words, “Curtis” is mentioned a total of three times. In constructing this Scalar book on Curtis, my colleagues and I have been trying to figure out ways to de-center Curtis from the discussion. Funnily enough, these commenters managed to do just that. Unfortunately, once Curtis’ historical and biographical information becomes de-centered, “whiteness” becomes the center.
Now, I could pick apart these commenters’ arguments and explain why they’re problematic, but I think it’s more interesting to consider why these types of conversations take place. After all, YouTube comments are not well-planned papers, they’re an emotional response to these iconic images. It makes sense that the users’ instinctive response is to relate these issues to their own concerns and identities. Their responses are shaped by their own identities, education, upbringing, and media surrounding race in American history.
Ultimately, I’m left with more questions than conclusions. Some of them are: What can we do to move the center of discussions about Native Americans from the concept of “whiteness”? How do Curtis’ photographs encourage stereotyping Native Americans, simplifying their history, and viewing them as victims? Why do discussions of property eclipse other discussions of Native American history? How can emotional responses to Native American history be made to lead to more productive conversations? How do these Youtube conversations reproduce Curtis’ view that the Native American race is “vanishing”?