15.476 encoding

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty (w.mccarty@btinternet.com)
Date: Tue Jan 29 2002 - 05:28:28 EST

  • Next message: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty : "15.481 tools"

                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 15, No. 476.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

             Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2002 10:03:16 +0000
             From: lachance@chass.utoronto.ca (Francois Lachance)
             Subject: Encoding sounds, images, words


    In looking back over some notebook entries, I came across a paragraph I
    had copied out from Susan Hockey's contribution to _The Literary Text in
    the Digital Age_. For some reason, I failed to note the date of
    publication. There must be (at least in the occidental division of the
    disciplines) something timeless in what I interpret to be a call to bridge
    the divide between iconoclastic upholders of the primacy of the word and
    those more devoted to the sound or the image.

    Allow me to quote Susan Hockey's prose for you to form your own

    So far this essay has concentrated on handling textual data, but the
    electronic edition is going to contain digital images, sound, video, and
    so forth. The technology for dealing with these and our understanding of
    how they might best be used in an electronic environment are far behind
    our knowledge of handling text. Digital images, sound, and video are of
    course much more recent, but we can learn a lot from the history of
    working with texts.

    The preceding section of her essay gives an indication what we may learn
    from that history. She has described the TEI tag sets and their
    applications. I wonder if there exists a preliminary listing of projects
    or pilot studies at a proof of concept stage which are critical editions
    of multimedia works or critical editions that incorporate multimedia
    elements. I ask because I wonder if such a listing is organized along a
    typology that can be gleaned from Susan's four possible applications of
    different tag sets:

    * transcription including nonlinguistic phenomena such as hands, damage,
    etc. [one can think of the drama tag set applied to the description of the
    staging of animation and the diegetic dimension of a film]

    * linking, segmentation, alignment (hypertext and cross-reference) [one
    can think of the storyboard and the shooting script as
    "reverse-engineered" in some cases from the finished multimedia product]

    * analytic and interpretative information [I know that a project at
    Universite Laval headed by Martine Cardin has devoted a considerable
    amount of resources to the question of searching and accessing an
    anthropological archive of audio files through a keyed taxonomy of

    * header [Susan is quite eloquent on the encoding of metadata (more of
    which in a subsequent post)]

    As I present this here, the direction is from the encoding of a given
    multimedia work into a markup language. We may also work in the other
    direction. Just how is a research team able to figure in their production
    of an electronic edition the representations of a verbal artefact which
    may take on multimedia form through such applications as voice synthesis.
    Or how can a statistical view of a verbal artefacts elements be graphed
    and feedback into questions of what is being counted and over what
    segmentation of the artefact. In other words, how is the stage being set
    so that the interaction between text encoding traditionally centred on
    verbal artefacts and multimedia authoring (traditionally outside the ken
    of markup) will include some understanding of markup as the recording of
    sets of performances, some greater understanding of the status of semiotic
    objects be they verbal, graphic, or auditory? It sometimes hurts one's
    head to think of objects as abstractable to a field of events, wrapped in
    a temporality that is not only that of their genesis but also of their
    use. But to think this way becomes easier if there are words, images and
    sequences of sounds that embody such fields of events in objects.

    In the times before the advent of digital technologies, how is it that
    literary criticism, art history and musicology bespoke each other, heard
    each other, imagined each other?

    Francois Lachance, Scholar-at-large
    per Interactivity ad Virtuality via Textuality

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Tue Jan 29 2002 - 06:16:07 EST