Dr. Horace Ballard, Curator of American Art at the Williams College Museum of Art, recently published an essay titled “Queer Criticalities, Instagram, and the ethics of museum display,” which looks at how critical queer theory can be used to analyze digital art history. Ballard “creates a theoretical framework of digital and aesthetic futurity that accords well with a curatorial exercise in visualizing queer affective networks on social media.”
The Williams College Museum is known for combining experience data with its collections information to create insightful visualizations. They have used data visualization to illustrate accessions into their collection by medium, and have used information gathered from collaboration with faculty and students to create a visualization of their collection ranked in terms of their corresponding level of pinkness, both of which are included in the article.
Ballard goes on to discuss how using connecting projects like these with the critical lens of queer theory can provide insight into their collection and those of other museums.
Librarians interested in data visualization may to read this essay, as it provides innovative and interesting examples of how data visualizations can be used in conjunction with a variety of approaches to gain a better understanding of their collections.