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IFKAD 2017 Special Tracks

Big data in the arts and humanities: challenges, trends and opportunities
We are seeing the "datafication" of our world. This gives us unprecedented amounts of data in terms of velocity, variety, volume, veracity and value. The generation of such big datasets poses great technical challenges, but it also presents the possibility of using analytic techniques which allow human society and behavior to be investigated in greater detail than ever before. Big data holds the promise of righting the balance of quality over quantity in our culture of information overabundance and helps us to extract meaning from "data driven world". The effective exploitation of big data has the potential to deliver value in several fields (e.g. business, health, security, daily life, aspects of our cities and countries).
Recently it is becoming increasingly clear that there are significant contributions that the arts and humanities can make to the development of approaches to the use of 'big data', for example in terms of developing new types of visualisation and representation, exploring different contexts in which it might be used or inspiring creative ways to engage with data users. On the other hand, it is also becoming more and more clear that there are great opportunities for research in the arts and humanities offered by developments in the capacity to develop, exploit and re-use very large and complex datasets and to link together huge and various forms of data in increasingly sophisticated ways (e.g. the creation of new types of interface and visualization through digital arts, able to reconnect arts and sciences; the use of new types of data in a more interactive fashion e.g. film, moving image, sound).
Therefore, if on the one hand, big data can inspire new paths of development in the arts and humanities fields, on the other hand the arts and humanities can significantly contribute to the effective exploitation and extraction of meaning from big data in several settings, e.g. business, health, social life.
Undoubtedly meaningfully engaging with data and information on such a large scale, means to develop new, or draw on innovative existing, tools and methods. This requires the capacity to deal with different forms of physical and virtual materials, spanning wide geographical and temporal scales and combining data from different sources. Moreover some methodologies commonly used when dealing with 'big data' pose some methodological challenges for the nature and purpose of arts and humanities. Think, for example, of issues such as ethics, privacy and trust, as well as questions surrounding intellectual property and copyright. Acknowledging the opportunities offered by big data in the arts and humanities, this special issue aims to shed more light on the distinctive and creative contributions that the arts and humanities can make to the development of approaches to the effective use of 'big data' as well as the opportunities and challenges for transformative research in the arts and humanities disciplines offered by development in the capability to handle, exploit and use very huge and complex datasets.
We welcome papers related to the theme from a range of perspectives; potential topics include, but are not restricted to:
  • The state and implications of the development and use of big data in the arts and humanities
  • Big data types in the arts and humanities
  • Big Data analytics practices and technology (in arts and humanities)
  • Extracting value from big data in the arts and humanities
  • Exploiting big data: interdisciplinary arts and humanities collaborations and case studies
  • Pioneering research perspectives in the use of big data in the arts and humanities
  • Big data in the arts and humanities: challenges and trends

big data, arts, humanities

Daniela Carlucci | University of Basilicata, Italy
Giovanni Schiuma | University of Basilicata, Italy