This week, I looked at Amanda Cox‘s work. She works for the New York Times as a graphics editor, and as I am a big fan of the NYT, I decided to pick her as the individual whose work I would look at. She received a Master’s degree in statistics and ended up at the NYT when she decided to take an internship there while she was still in school.
I am drawn to her work because I think data visualization presents an interesting challenge but is relevant because there is so much information available to us in this day and age. I think the NYT consistently creates fun and interactive infographics, which I find fascinating. They are both informational and engaging, which I think can be a difficult balance to strike at times.
One of the things she worked on that I found particularly interesting was this infographic on Netflix rental patterns depending on location and neighborhood.
(Please click on the image below to access the infographic.)
Kate Hollenbach is a product designer at a company called Oblong. She studied computer science in college and then was working on her MFA when she joined Oblong. She would describe what they do at Oblong as “gestural and spatial interactions in products and installations”.
The work that they do is based in data visualization using very complex hardware called g-speak that can identify hand poses and track hands in a 3D space. This means that it can track what motions your hand is doing as well as where in the space it is – for example grabbing and dragging. There is even ability for multiple people to interact within the same space. These projects are not only for artistic purposes, but also have useful applications for businesses.
The presentation is given really well, with examples coming up on the screen as she explains what the technology is doing. I think this is a really nice way to present because otherwise, even though she verbally explains how things work, the viewer might not understand what she means. The visuals allow for the viewer to better comprehend what she is talking about and also gain insight into the project.
Zach Lieberman is a professor at Parsons School of Design. He studied Fine Arts at Hunter College and received a Masters in Design and Technology from Parsons. He tries to achieve a representation of and tribute to Drawing, Movement, and Magic through his work as a digital media artist. He has created custom drawing tools that do things like uncurl non-straight lines, or allow those with disabilities to draw with their eyes. He also makes drawings interactive and musical. He uses movement in large scale interactive works where people can dial a phone number and appear as a character on a projection that was displayed on a building face. He also helped magicians create illusions, making cards dance and levitate. The project that I admire the most is the drawing software that allowed a paralyzed man to draw with his eyes.
I watched Lauren McCarthy’s lecture on following. Lauren is a Brooklyn and LA based artist and coder and was also one of the creators of P5JS! Lauren received her BS in Computer Science and BS in Art and Design from MIT and then received her MFA from UCLA. Lauren is now a professor at UCLA and was recently working at CMU in code lab.
I loved watching this lecture and was so inspired by the projects Lauren has worked on. What I love about her work is that most of her projects are focused on intimacy and engagement with the people in the world around you. Her main interest seems to be using algorithms and codes to measure or track relationships and then find ways to use that information to determine how you engage with the world and with the people in your immediate surroundings. I also love that she uses this knowledge and interest to empower people to recreate new social structures and ways of thinking about interacting with one another.
The way that Lauren presents is also incredibly personal and she uses her vulnerability and personal anecdotes to connect the reasons why she has had the interest or desire to create the projects she has. I’m ultimately really glad I watched this and am excited to watch more! http://lauren-mccarthy.com/about
Kate Hollenbach is the creator of the interactive gestural software shown most famously in the movie “Minority Report”. She’s also the director of computation and design at Oblong Industries. She’s based out of Los Angeles, California. Her work ranges from quirky and entertaining to highly innovative. I most admire her groundbreaking “Mezzanine”, for example, uses can use a gestural interface to control content on multiple devices, because it is not only conceptually intriguing but also technologically relevant. In works such as “Substrate Grid” a user can point at colored squares to color them and make them spin. In her speech, she shows her fun, casual artistic aesthetic through her informal tone of speech and the visual effects on her video (such as a colored filter, increased speed or a blurred effect). Her clear speech and organization of her life story into easy-t0-comprehend sections are strategies I can adopt in my own work.
Jake Barton is an American designer, and the Principal and Founder of Local Projects. The firm is an experience design and strategy firm for museums, brands and public spaces based. His work focuses on storytelling and engaging audiences through emotion and technology. They usually create some interactive facilities in the buildings like museums to inspire visitors to memorize what they see by creating their own experience. Barton believe, the learning and thinking that happen in body are most strong. Therefore for the future of memory, they way those museums make people think and engage. I found his idea really inspiring because he makes a innovation to the current mode of museum and enriched visitor’s experience by the way people iterate.
Jake Barton, the founder of Local Projects, “an experience design and strategy firm for museums, brands and public spaces in New York” (Wikipedia), gave a thought-provoking presentation called “Like Falling in Love” at Eyeo 2012. After graduating from Northwestern University with a degree in performance studies, Barton started designing sets on Broadway then worked for Ralph Applebaum Associates then finally founded Local Projects.
Barton works on making installations and public spaces relatable to visitors/viewers through technology. Though not highly discussed in his Eyeo speech, Barton was co-leader of the team that figured out how to list the names of the 9/11 victims on the new memorial. Instead of going alphabetically, he and his team found a way to list the victims through personal connections. As mainly a humanities, writing, student, I’m very interested in the ways that technology can bring people together and make things like art and perceptions more accessible to everyone.
When he presents, Barton is confident. He goes chronologically through the production of a project, sometimes even discussing the failed ideas. He gives multiple real life examples and uses visual aids. I’d like to learn to be as relaxed while presenting as Barton appears to be.
James George was the first artist in residence at Microsoft Research in Seattle and had a background as a computer scientist. He describes himself as an artist and makes software that documents the world in unconventional ways. He and two others founded Specular studios and aims to apply design to emerging technology. Exquisite City was a project done in April 2015 that documented places using photography and built a 3D model of an imaginary city by putting these “building blocks” together. This project was inspired by Exquisite Corpses, surrealist drawings of people made by multiple artists. Some of his other works include Clouds, an interactive installation done by openFrameworks and Specular Portraits that changes the lighting on geometric portraits. What is most interesting about George’s is that he is trying to change from “an artist making things that reflect his vision of the world, to an artist making tools that allow other people to see as they see.” as said by Kevin Slavin. One way that George presented successfully was by playing videos to further explain his description of the project. A lot of art, especially good art is unconventional and the only way to make people understand is showing them.
Here is James George speaking at Eyeo Festival 2015:
Nicky Case is an interactive video game designer. He relates a lot of games to real social problems or psychology. He is a Singapore born and moved to Canada with his family. He is now working in the US. Here is the link for Nicky’s games I admire his work for the reality reflected in the games. He said in his speech that the question he keeps thinking about is if the thing(video game design) is meaningful. By integrating his concerns of the world into his work, he tries to motivate the users to be aware of those issues. One example is “Parable of the Polygons”. It addresses the necessity of diversity in our living environment.
When presenting his work, he tried a lot to relate his personal experiences to explain the cultural differences from the listeners (such as Asian parents’ homophobia ) and used a lot of jokes.
In Eyeo Festival 2015, two presenters talk about their work to protest against police violence. Their research can be found here.
Deray Mckesson is a protestor who used to live in Minneapolis and tweeted a lot. He strives to tell stories in a different way as police and officials demonstrated a shocking inability to provide the public with the information needed to fully understand police violence in America. Deray also mentioned race and ethnicity issues along with police violence. I like how Deray’s work is persistent. He and his team continues posting stuff on twitter to make an impact. He is serious about his job and collects evidence and information from many sources on social media and newspaper. His presentation is effective because he uses personal stories and real events and screenshots to display to the image. Which are good presentation techniques that adds to persuasion and connects the audience. Samuel Sinyangwe is a researcher and activist and promotes telling the story differently by using data and research. I like his way of presentation because he uses current events which many people know about. He pulls up data on people who were killed by police. He went to great length to code the database by race and 304 black people were killed in 2014, which is 3 times more probability than white men. This data shows the significance of his research and proves the point that police violence and race is correlated. Both of the presenters talk in confident and empathetic tones which brings the message across well. Mapping Police Violence, Eyeo 2015