STITCHING THE CURVE: PANDEMIC CRAFT AND FEMINIST DATA VISUALIZATION
Keywords:craftivism, data visualization, feminism, COVID-19, materiality
AbstractFeminist scholars are increasingly drawing attention to the ways “big data” and data representations reinscribe gender and racial inequality, an issue made even more pressing by the role data has taken in our daily lives since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. "Stitching the Curve," a knitted pandemic data visualization project by librarians at the University of Alberta, offers an intersection between digital activism and craftivism, enabling a material, feminist response to an erasure and minimization of collective loss. We examine the media coverage around the project, which includes the online blogs of the project’s participants. Using critical technocultural discourse analysis (CTDA) as a guiding methodology, we consider simultaneously the feminist, activist framing and the influence of material and digital platforms on the cultural influence of the work (Brock 2018). Blogging and knitting are frequently associated with craft and writing as an expression of the domestic and personal, relegated to a feminine and, consequently, minimized space of care and labor. Through a critical technocultural discourse analysis of Stitching the Curve, we understand how the project makes a powerful statement in representing not only the oft-dismissed human cost of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also uses mediums of representation that challenge patriarchal “big data” collection and representational practices. Stitching the Curve makes data visualization a rhetoric of care.
How to Cite
Moreshead, A., Rouse, L., & Salter, A. (2021). STITCHING THE CURVE: PANDEMIC CRAFT AND FEMINIST DATA VISUALIZATION. AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research, 2021. https://doi.org/10.5210/spir.v2021i0.12214