- Call for Participation
- Keynote Biographies
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- Call for Bursaries
Given the themes of the conference, including digitisation, data representation, and dynamic networks, it was clear that the logo, the shorthand of the visual identity of the conference, should go beyond clichéd representation and/or purely aesthetic design and be built using some of the very concepts being discussed: a genuine sense of using the conference to automatically generate its own image.
As a way of paying homage to the conference venue, the text used in creating the visualization is taken from the opening paragraphs of the Táin Bó Cúalnge, The Táin is a central text of a group of tales known as the Ulster Cycle. This epic tells the story of a war against Ulster by the Connacht Queen Medb and her husband Ailill who plot to steal the magnificent bull Donn Cuailange (‘Brown Bull of Cooley’). They are opposed by the hero of the Ulster Cycle, Cúchulainn. This version of the Táin was taken from a transcription created by the Corpus of Electronic Texts Project (CELT).
The visualisation was created using a simple text analysis routine written with Processing, an open source programming environment. The resulting image can be seen in the header above. Each blue circle in the logo represents one unique word within the text. The radius of the circle is directly proportional to the number of occurrences of the word within the text (stop words were excluded from the processing routine). The largest circle, for instance, represents the word MERCENARY, which occurs 11 times. The next most common word is MEIC, which appears 9 times.
The distance of the circle's centre from the logo epicentre is directly proportional to the length of the word. So since MEIC only has 4 letters, it is relatively close to the centre, whereas MERCENARY, with 9 letters, appears further out. Compound words were counted as one word, so the two longest, HIGH-KINGSHIP and SINGLE-HANDED, both of which only occur once, are the two small dots furthest away from the epicentre.
The radial direction of the circle with respect to the logo epicentre, i.e. the location of the circle within its fixed orbit, is random. Once the circle size and distance are calculated, a random angle between 0 and 360 degrees is assigned and the circle is plotted. This 'variable with constraints' relationship between components mirrors the variable relationships found within - and indeed beneficial to - research groups and networks.
Each circle has the same base colour, but is semi-transparent, so that when one is plotted on top of another it appears darker, representing overlapping networks and systems in all their guises - from human to digital.
Designer: Green Land Design (hello [at] greenlanddesign [dot] org)
“ONCE upon a time it befell Ailill and Medb that, when their royal bed had been prepared for them in Ráth Crúachain in Connacht, they spoke together as they lay on their pillow. ‘In truth, woman’ said Ailill, ‘she is a well-off woman who is the wife of a nobleman’. ‘She is indeed’ said the woman. ‘Why do you think so?’ ‘I think so’ said Ailill, ‘because you are better off today than when I married you’. ‘I was well-off before marrying you’, said Medb. ‘It was wealth that we had not heard of and did not know of’, said Ailill, ‘but you were a woman of property and foes from lands next to you were carrying off spoils and booty from you’. ‘Not so was I’, said Medb, ‘but my father was in the high-kingship of Ireland, namely Eochu Feidlech mac Find meic Findomain meic Findeoin meic Findguill meic Rotha meic Rigeoin meic Blathachta meic Beothechta meic Enna Agnig meic Óengusa Turbig. He had six daughters: Derbriu, Ethne and Ele, Clothru, Mugain and Medb. I was the noblest and worthiest of them. I was the most generous of them in bounty and the bestowal of gifts. I was best of them in battle and fight and combat. I had fifteen hundred royal mercenaries of the sons of strangers exiled from their own land and as many of the sons of native freemen within the province. And there were ten men for each mercenary of these, and nine men for every mercenary and eight men for every mercenary, and seven for every mercenary, and six for every mercenary, and five for every mercenary, and four for every mercenary and three for every mercenary and two for every mercenary and one mercenary for every mercenary. I had these as my standing household’ said Medb, ‘and for that reason my father gave me one of the provinces of Ireland, namely, the province of Crúachu. Whence I am called Medb Chrúachna. Messengers came from Find mac Rosa Rúaid, the King of Leinster, to sue for me, and from Cairbre Nia Fer mac Rosa, the King of Tara, and they came from Conchobor mac Fachtna, the King of Ulster, and they came from Eochu Bec. But I consented not, for I demanded a strange bride- gift such as no woman before me had asked of a man of the men of Ireland, to wit, a husband without meanness, without jealousy, without fear. If my husband should be mean, it would not be fitting for us to be together, for I am generous in largesse and the bestowal of gifts and it would be a reproach for my husband that I should be better than he in generosity, but it would be no reproach if we were equally generous provided that both of us were generous. If my husband were timorous, neither would it be fitting for us to be together, for single-handed I am victorious in battles and contests and combats, and it would be a reproach to my husband that his wife should be more courageous than he, but it is no reproach if they are equally courageous provided that both are courageous. If the man with whom I should be were jealous, neither would it be fitting, for I was never without one lover quickly succeeding another without a man in the shadow of another.”