“Song of Myself” Object Ecology Visualization

This digital humanities study of Walt Whitman’s masterpiece, “Song of Myself,” presents three views of the poem: as an interactive, categorical set of nested objects presented in an interactive sunburst visualization, as a set of object distributions over the length of the poem (visualized as a series of time-based graphs), and as marked-up text.  Visit the site here.


Speculative Scale Explorer

The Speculative Scale Explorer is an online platform for the aggregation of scale-encoded image sets that document ecosystems either real or imagined.  Users will be able to upload a set of interrelated images that represent either a real set of entities, a representation of a work of literature, art, or media, or a world of their own invention.  The online platform will then allow such ecosystems to be viewed contiguously (as a telescoping set of scales), as a network of interrelated scales, or as a scalar slice across many different image sets.  The platform thus allows many cultural objects to be encoded, viewed, and analyzed from the standpoint of scale.  Perhaps most radically, it also utilizes scale as the connective tissue to analyze relationships, entities and regions across multiple knowledge domains, from art to science, from the past to the future, from the actual to the virtual.  For a further description and mockup of the project, visit its future site here.


Vulnerable Earth Media

This ongoing project has so far involved the curation of an annotated database and media archive of films produced in the United States, throughout the history of cinema, thematizing the vulnerability of the earth as a system. Future phases will involve large-scale image analytics (Earth imagery), data visualization of genre, aesthetic, and thematic trends over the history of American media, and a visual and textual genealogy of the history of planetary representation from the early modern period onward.


Scanner Praxis

Scanner Praxis has been an ongoing collaborative maker project designed to investigate book scanning techniques, protocols, and practices.  The project has resulted in the building of an extremely fast prototype book scanner, using an open source frame design and a self-fabricated DSLR triggering and downloading/processing system.

Here is a short introduction to the project, made initially as part of the UCSB English Department’s Graduate Outreach initiative:

For more details, please visit the project page.


Collaborative Media Commons

The CMC seeks to integrate traditional academic theory-based work with collaborative art creation, blurring the lines between narrative and theory, ideas and media objects, and ultimately the academy and the public.  Zach founded the CMC in 2010.  Since that time, collaborative film projects have been integrated into several pilot classes within the Department of English at UC Santa Barbara.  In addition, the CMC has hosted the multi-year, multi-disciplinary Swerve project.

For more information, please visit the CMC site here.