Induction and Retroduction

A couple years ago, I posted an essay here called “What is Eduction,” spelling out part of a framework I’ve found helpful for analyzing processes of media transduction.  I’d now like to follow up with a similar essay centered on two more pieces of the same framework: induction and retroduction.  Much as with eduction, these…

The Music of Snow Crystals

Snow crystals can be stunningly beautiful, thanks to their unique and complex symmetrical forms.  It’s no wonder that the “snowflake” has become a favorite visual icon of winter.  And given that snow crystal structures are so alluring to the eye, I found myself wondering whether they could also be made alluring to the ear.  Could…

Animating Mathew Brady: Civil War Era Photographs in Motion

I wish I’d checked out the Mathew Brady collection at the National Archives a lot sooner.  For the past few years, I’ve been experimenting with techniques for animating historical photographs, and I’ve had difficulty finding suitable material to experiment on—especially groups of three or more pictures taken at the same time from different perspectives.  It…

“Ping Pong” Photos: An Introduction

No, I don’t mean pictures of people playing table tennis.  During the first quarter of the twentieth century, the “ping pong” was one of the cheapest and most popular types of photograph in America.  But chances are you’ve never heard of it.  The very term “ping pong,” in its photographic sense, has now fallen into…

Thanksgiving with the Tindles and their Phonograph

On Thanksgiving Day in 1917, exactly one hundred years ago, the Tindle family of New York City gathered to celebrate the holiday.  There’s nothing unusual about that in itself, of course, but they chose to mark the occasion by making a record on their cylinder phonograph, allowing us to listen in on their gathering a…