Comment on Peter’s Post 1: “Drucker’s Difficult Graphesis”

Drucker’s Difficult Graphesis

I am in complete agreement with Peter that Johanna Drucker’s Graphesis: Visual Forms of Knowledge Production fell flat as a book designed to offer techniques in the practical application of visual knowledge production. Her 2011 article, which we read in Clio I last semester,  was extremely engaging and offered examples of how capta (her term for interpreted data) could be represented visually to demonstrate its inherent subjectivity.  I appreciated her historical overview of visualizations as producers of knowledge, but her final chapter, Designing Graphic Interpretation, was only 12 pages long and offered very little in terms of practical application. Her 2011 offered much more in this regard. In fact, I was quite impressed with, and drawn to, her theory of all data as capta and the need to capture the “messiness” of this data in any depiction of that information graphically. Unfortunately, she ventured into too much post-modernist territory and stayed there for the book’s duration.  I’m with Peter: Johanna Drucker passed up a great opportunity to put theory into practice.

Steve Rusiecki

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