Using Tech, Social Media To Observe, Archive Social Movement

Humanities Visualization Space

The Humanities Visualization Space in the LAAH building features 15, 17-inch screens.

Some Texas A&M students and faculty will use live streaming and social media to observe and archive the RiseUp! October march against mass incarceration in New York City on Saturday (Oct. 24).

Texas A&M participants will use state-of-the-art technology in the Humanities Visualization Space, located in the Liberal Arts and Arts & Humanities (LAAH) building, including a group of 15 screens that are 17 inches wide, to livestream the event and monitor multiple social media outlets simultaneously.

Humanities Visualization Space

Participants will use the room’s technology to monitor numerous social media sites simultaneously while also viewing the event via livestream.

The setup will create “an immersive experience,” says Laura Mandell, an English professor and director of Initiative for Digital Humanities, Media, and Culture (IDHMC).

“We’re going to set up stations so that participants can create exhibits engaging the day’s events digitally since they cannot be there physically,” she explains. “We hope to encourage participants to answer questions about the importance of social media in the organization of contemporary social movements.”

To create a historical archive of the day’s events, the participants will use ideaMÂCHÉ, software developed by Texas A&M’s Interface Ecology Lab, explains Liz Grumbach, an IDHMC project manager.

“We intend to collect and archive this data in order to give researchers the opportunity to engage digitally and in real time with the interaction between social media and contemporary social movements,” Grumbach notes.

The ideaMÂCHÉ software will allow participants to collect, order, design and discuss any item or picture from social media, which is then saved with all the accompanying metadata — time of creation, place of publication, etc. “This allows them to immerse themselves in the experience but also thoughtfully express their ideas as they do so is one possible model for democratic citizenship; reflection in the face of action is central to democracy,” Mandell asserts.

The organizers add they’re planning a “hackfest” for next semester to give researchers the opportunity to conduct research on the data collected from the Rise Up! October event.

Organizers say there is no need to register or RSVP for the event, just show up on Saturday between 1-4 p.m. at the Humanities Visualization Space in LAAH 433 or the IDHMC Lounge in LAAH 448.

For more information, email organizers at

Media contact: Lesley Henton, Division of Marketing & Communications, Texas A&M University;

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