Sunday, May 1, 2011

[Yasmin_discussions] Fwd: names of censored contemporary living visual artists


i know your uninvited intervention at Venice concerns
living artists- but i thought i would re post at item
i posted on the next step publishing discussion
concerning detecting censorship by analysis of
large data sets of digitised texts


'Culturnomics", or the analysis of digital data to
analyse cultural developmentsthe most recent example of this work is
of Jean Baptise
Michel and team who analysed 5 million digitised booksScience Journal
14 jan 2011 vol 331

Michel also looks at how one can by analysing the dissapearance
of terms find evidence for censorship - for instance the artist
marc chagall was on the forbidden list for the Nazis, and his
name disappeared from german literature, at the same time
as his name grew in reputation in the english speaking literaturethey point
out that one can analyse current on line data to
detect evidence of hidden censorship

roger malina

here is a quote from his article

Detecting Censorship and Suppression

Suppression - of a person, or an idea - leaves quantifiable
fingerprints (25). For instance, Nazi censorship of the Jewish
artist Marc Chagall is evident by comparing the frequency of
"Marc Chagall" in English and in German books (Fig.4A). In
both languages, there is a rapid ascent starting in the late
1910s (when Chagall was in his early 30s). In English, the
ascent continues. But in German, the artist's popularity
decreases, reaching a nadir from 1936-1944, when his full
name appears only once. (In contrast, from 1946-1954, "Marc
Chagall" appears nearly 100 times in the German corpus.)
Such examples are found in many countries, including Russia
(e.g. Trotsky), China (Tiananmen Square) and the US (the
Hollywood Ten, blacklisted in 1947) (Fig.4B-D).

We probed the impact of censorship on a person's cultural
influence in Nazi Germany. Led by such figures as the
librarian Wolfgang Hermann, the Nazis created lists of
authors and artists whose "undesirable", "degenerate" work
was banned from libraries and museums and publicly burned
(26-28). We plotted median usage in German for five such
lists: artists (100 names), as well as writers of Literature
(147), Politics (117), History (53), and Philosophy (35) (Fig
4E). We also included a collection of Nazi party members
[547 names, ref (7)]. The five suppressed groups exhibited a
decline. This decline was modest for writers of history (9%)
and literature (27%), but pronounced in politics (60%),
philosophy (76%), and art (56%). The only group whose
signal increased during the Third Reich was the Nazi party
members [a 500% increase; ref (7)].
Given such strong signals, we tested whether one could
identify victims of Nazi repression de novo. We computed a
"suppression index" s for each person by dividing their
frequency from 1933 - 1945 by the mean frequency in 1925-
1933 and in 1955-1965 (Fig.4F, Inset). In English, the
distribution of suppression indices is tightly centered around
unity. Fewer than 1% of individuals lie at the extremes (s<1/5
or s>5).

In German, the distribution in much wider, and skewed
leftward: suppression in Nazi Germany was not the
exception, but the rule (Fig. 4F). At the far left, 9.8% of
individuals showed strong suppression (s<1/5). This
population is highly enriched for documented victims of
repression, such as Pablo Picasso (s=0.12), the Bauhaus
architect Walter Gropius (s=0.16), and Hermann Maas
(s<.01), an influential Protestant Minister who helped many
Jews flee (7). (Maas was later recognized by Israel's Yad
Vashem as a "Righteous Among the Nations.") At the other
extreme, 1.5% of the population exhibited a dramatic rise
(s>5). This subpopulation is highly enriched for Nazis and
Nazi-supporters, who benefited immensely from government
propaganda (7).

These results provide a strategy for rapidly identifying
likely victims of censorship from a large pool of possibilities,
and highlights how culturomic methods might complement
existing historical approaches.


Από: Tamiko Thiel <>
Θέμα: [Yasmin_discussions] names of censored contemporary living visual artists
Ημερομηνία: Παρασκευή, 29 Απρίλιος 2011, 16:51

Dear Yasminers,

I am doing an augmented reality artwork on censored artists, to be
shown at the Manifest.AR uninvited augmented reality intervention at
the Venice Biennial.

As the Venice Biennial is about contemporary visual arts I am focusing
on contemporary, living visual artists.

Of course the most recent, widely publicized example is Ai Weiwei, and
the list can be incredibly long - I will have to make a small
selection of around 10. I am curious to query the Yasmin list for your
viewpoint, and will be querying Faces as well (apologies for

What would be your "top ten"?

take care, Tamiko

-- --------------------------------------------------------
Tamiko Thiel

Media Artist

Manifest.AR Augmented Reality Artist Group

Upgrade! Munich
A node of Upgrade! International media artist network

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