Media Metadata Research Lab (MMRL) is a San Francisco-based art research collective
working at the intersection of data visualization, digital art, and cultural analytics. We
develop quantitative and qualitative methods for measuring and representing diversity in
media. MMRL members are Abigail De Kosnik, Benjamin De Kosnik, Veronica Jackson, Matthew Jamison, and Jaclyn Zhou.

Included below are work-in-progress graphic outputs from an experimental intersectionality tagging and visualization system being developed by MMRL for film, television, streaming, web content, and social media.

More information is available in the MMRL repository.


Generated forms in virtual space. conceptual forms in mental space. Horticulture, botany, organic forms. Works on paper. Video art installations of one to six channels. Internet cartography. New Media. Animated GIF. Documentation of new objects installed in older environments over a specified time duration. Legal instruments. Site-specific art works, sculpture. The tension between singular, rarefied, and handcrafted objects and contemporary medias that explicitly embrace infinite multiplicity. Publishing, documentation systems, and archival practices that strengthen public access to art works. Free consumption in public without arbitrary limits.

The care and maintenance of free and open development communities, languages, technical standards, and reference implementations. Software quality, static analysis, diagnostics, and documentation systems. Computer vision, facial recognition, facial detection, object detection, and pattern recognition. Transformations between raster, scalable vector graphics, and four-dimensional bitstreams. Visual representations for formal language constructs. API design and software legibility. The GNU Project (GCC/libstdc++), Fedora (boost, pdflatex), and various standardization efforts (ISO C++, Linux Standard Base, Austin Group.) Current source files of interest can be found on github.

Remix, appropriation, global distribution, and piracy. Machine-adjudicated censorship. Experimental film and video art. The history of early photography, film, television, and network media. Transitions between media forms, hybrid media, and transmedia. Formal analysis, tagging, and augmentation of media source text. Meta-media.

Nam June Paik Timeline




  • Born in Seoul, South Korea
  • John Cage and Joseph Beuys in Munich, Germany
  • FLUXUS, Yoko Ono, NY
  • Random Access (Records Schaschlik), interactive music exhibition
  • Afterlude to the Exposition of Experimental Television
  • Zen for TV
  • NY
  • Robot K-456 with Shuya Abe
  • Magnet TV
  • Moon is the Oldest TV
  • Zen for Film
  • TV Crown
  • Beatles Electroniques with Jud Yalkut
  • Us Down By the Riverside with Jud Yalkut
  • Opera Sextronique with Charlotte Moorman: she is arrested.
  • TV Clock, Digital Experiment at Bell Labs, Etude 1 @ Bell Labs
  • Cybernetics of Arts
  • Concordance Letter, essay in Flykingen Bulletin
    @ Stockholm
  • Texts on TV / Aphorisms
  • Stony Brook Report (referenced in Video Common Market)
  • Paik-Abe Video Synthesizer
  • Electronic Moon No. 2
  • Videotape Study No. 3
  • The Medium is the Medium
  • Global Groove and Video Common Market
  • Global Groove
  • Everyone Will Have Their Own TV Channel
  • Video Common Market in The TeleVISION Laboratory News
  • Electronic Super Highway @ Rockefeller Foundation
  • TV Garden @ Whitney
  • TV Buddha @ Stedelijk
  • I Ching TV, TV of Change
  • TV Candle
  • TV Fish
  • Married to Shigeko Kubota
  • Documenta 6 Satellite Telecast
  • Projects: Nam June Paik @ Museum of Modern Art
  • Time and Space Concepts in Music and Visual Art with John Cage and Merce Cunningham
  • How to Make Oil Obsolete
  • Lake Placid ’80 @ 1980 Olympic Winter Games
  • Nam June Paik @ Whitney
  • V-yramid
  • Participation TV
  • Satellite Art Distribution, Multi-Locale Participation, Art Broadcast
  • Good Morning, Mr. Orwell @ satellite via NY, Pompidou, Germany, South Korea
  • German TV show, “Bei Bio”
  • Egg Grows @ San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
  • Butterfly
  • Bye Bye Kipling @ satellite via Seoul, Tokyo, NY
  • Wrap Around the World @ satellite via 1988 Seoul Olympics
  • The More the Better / Dadaikseon
  • Venus
  • Tele-Commuting: From Bali to Broadway
  • A Tale of Two Cities with Paul Garrin
  • Golden Lion @ Venice Biennale
  • Untitled, player piano, 15 televisions, 2 cameras, 2 laser disk players, 1 light
  • More Log-In: Less Logging
  • TV Buddha Reincarnated, aka Techno Buddha
  • Sonatine For Goldfish, aka TV Fish
  • Global Encoder
  • Cyberforum
  • Video Server
  • Rt.66 BBS
  • Ars Electronica
  • WareZ Academy
  • Hacker Newbie
  • E-Mail vs Snail Mail
  • WAIS Station
  • Bio-Neural Net
  • Megatron/Matrix @ Smithsonian
  • Electronic Super Highway: Nam June Paik in the ’90s @ Museum of American Art
  • Cybertown
  • Two Channel Music Tape: Spring/Fall with Paul Garrin
  • Stroke
  • Koyto Award
  • TV Garden @ Guggenheim
  • Modulation in Sync @ Guggenheim
  • Analogue Assemblage
  • Global Groove Remix
  • Standing Buddha with Outstretched Hand
  • Golden Buddha
  • Victrola
  • Died, Florida

Art Republishing Conundrum

Two archive images from Maria Porge’s article in American Craft, May 2007. A Whole Life: The Art (and Craft) of Ruth Asawa. The image on the left is a representation of the page as published. The image on the right is a representation of the original page with only the author text remaining.

How to think outside the cage that has grown up around art writing? Established art writers find it extremely difficult to find and make public past art writing. On-line archives for art magazines are more often than not missing , locked behind a paywall, and of poor quality. Subscriber archives at venerable publishers such as Art Forum consist of select articles since 2000, in the form of grainy screenshots of articles, often compressing both text and image into black and white jpegs of size 540 x 400. This tiny amount of information is equivalent to reading an Art Forum article on a 1980’s television, with 20% of the screen blocked by a potted plant. 

At the same time, galleries like Hauser Worth list archives of press for artists. Is there a way to level the playing field for the authors of the original article?

Reprinting past work within the current publishing and legal climate is especially difficult. Reprinting is especially tricky for art writing, due to an excessive combination of out-of-print art publications, a forking trail of long-dead publishers, haphazard archives, lost or vague contracts, and wishful-to-woeful adjudication of republishing rights. In addition, clearing image rights with any artists (or other rights holder) under discussion is also required, and perhaps the image-maker or recorder as well. The complexity quickly becomes overwhelming, contributing to art history’s glacial pace at online organization and digitization?

An alternative that many art writers employ is to scan the print article and put links to the PDF’s. Depending on the publishing contract, authors may have explicit rights to do this. Some publishers put free versions of their publication or specific articles on their own websites, suitable for re-linking by authors. Several writers do full bibliographies with links to available PDF files.

What is best practice? What is legal? What is common? Could higher-resolution files for Art Forum be hosted at the internet archive?

How does this fit into the author/writer/artist identity elsewhere on the web? Is it linking to an academic or organizational affiliation? Or to Is it this linking to an author page? Is it linking to the art writer’s canonical home page?

Is there another way? Is there a way to explicitly manufacture a transformation such that the new media archive’s existence has legal standing? Can transformative works be used to republish and protect fair uses for any of three purposes: preservation, a full-text search engine, and electronic access for disabled patrons who could not read the print versions?


Data Practice Bibliography

boyd, danah. 2006. “Friends, Friendsters, and MySpace Top 8: Writing Community Into Being on Social Network Sites.” First Monday 11:12, December.

Hu, Yuheng, Lydia Manikonda, and Subbarao Kambhampati. “What We Instagram: A First Analysis of Instagram Photo Content and User Types.” ICWSM. 2014.

Keefe, Patrick Radden. “The Detectives Who Never Forget A Face.” The New Yorker, August 22, 2016.

Lee, Pamela. “Identity Theft.” Jessica Silverman Gallery text

Liu, Alan. “Transcendental Data: Toward a Cultural History and Aesthetics of the New Encoded Discourse.” Critical Inquiry 31 (2004): 209-38.

Liu, Hugo. “Social Network Profiles as Taste Performances.” Journal of Computer-Mediated Communications 13 (2008): 252-275.

Manovich, Lev. “The Anti-Sublime Ideal in Data Art.” Lev Manovich. 2002. 2016-07-20.

Manovich, Lev. “Notes on Instagrammism and contemporary cultural identity.” 2016.

Ostrow, Saul. Decoding O’Doherty, Art in America. December 2007.

Paglen, Trevor. Scripts,

Whitelaw, Mitchell. “Art Against Information: Case Studies in Data Practice.” The Fiberculture Journal 11 (2008 DAC conference proceedings).

DTL 16, Data Transparency Lab

FAT-ML 16, Fairness Accountability Transparency in ML

Proposal for a new Facebook account type: monad

Something so simple that it can be described via a phone keyboard.

Current Facebook account types are: organization, person, fictional character. May I suggest one more? 

Introducing the monad account type. This is an account by a person, using their real name, that has no wall and accepts no friend invitations. This account type can join groups, and sign up for event notifications. 

Eleven Electronic Media Questions for Artists

2015-07-31 12.01.23

Q1. How do you like to communicate? Rank everything from voice phone call, texting, email, in person, etc. Top five only.

Q2. How do you search for art on the internet? What do you find?

Q3. What is your oldest digital file? How do you store it?

Q4. What is your oldest extant artwork? Where is it? How is it stored or displayed?

Q5. Do you have an art documentation system, and if so, what? Have you seen other art documentation systems that you liked? Do you remember how you made work ten years ago?

Q6. Search for yourself. Google, Facebook, etc. What do you see? Do you see anything missing?

Q7. Where is your oldest digital self hidden?

Q8. Do you have any media policies? If yes, detail. A media policy is an action or protocol that you put in place that regulates media. For instance, not having a Facebook account is a media policy. Only watching two hours of television a night is a media policy. Figuring out when to post on Instagram (Instagram Prime Time) is a media policy. Etc, etc.

Q9. List all current media and social media accounts accessed via the internet. Specify two or three favorites. Do you have any aliases, and if so, detail to your desired comfort level. Have you ever had an on-line account suspended or deactivated, if so, detail as above. Do you archive social media history, track meta-data, and if so detail.

Q10. Is your public representation a result of a deliberate strategy or strategies on your part, or is this just internet magic? Discuss. Do you own FIRSTNAME.LASTNAME?

Q11. What simple things do you do that are likely to work in the future? Especially for areas like password managers, image file formats, archival data, on-line, etc?

Something great from the New Yorker: The GNU Manifesto turns 30 by Maria Bustillos. Previously as Dream Freely. See Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s Best practices for conservation of media art from an artists perspective for art best practices. Lynda Schmitz Fuhrig at the Smithsonian Institution Archives, in Preserving Your Treasures.