Playing my cards right: Reflections on making a thing

Some thoughts on the making of Data Against Humanities.

Seeing the whole set together, I realized the cards are more of a reflection of me than anything else – my humour, what websites or articles I’ve been reading lately, and generally what I think is funny. I knew that going into it, but it’s somehow still surprising. While I’ve been reading and thinking about things like ‘the death of the author’ lately, somehow my ego is still getting in the way when it comes to my own work. My overarching reaction wasn’t about the academic merit of it all, I was mainly interested in whether or not people were using the cards and finding it funny.

Catalogue of common questions or reactions I’ve gotten so far:

  • Where did you get the cards printed? (probably #1 question so far)
  • Can I take a card(s)? (yes)
  • I’m sorry I took a card. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to. Do you want it back? (no, I was totally fine with you taking it)
  • Can I get a set of cards? (I honestly can’t believe anyone really wants this, but maybe? I would consider doing a new set more tailored to a specific audience)

I feel like this whole thing was a little test or experiment, and I need to do another iteration, figure out the best way to engage the audience (not in a formal presentation), and how to get people more involved in playing and writing their own cards. Maybe make a rule that you have to write a card to take a card? I could also do a whole other study about which cards were more popular, and which cards were left behind at the end (what does it all mean???? probably not much). There are also a bunch of different ways I could frame the exercise that might change the outcome and it would be fun to try out different stylings.

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