I was really inspired by Hae Wan Park’s post from week 6 about Marius Watz and Jer Thorp’s collaboration for the Random Number Multiples Series curated by Christina Vassallo. This project was a computational collection in which Watz and Thorp created a program that would track how many times a specific word was used throughout the New York Times and visually display that information in cyclic shapes with lots of bold, layered colors. What is special about this project is that the final design was a screen printed poster.
I agree with Hae Wan that this project is interesting mainly because it’s a combination of computational information design and the traditional process of screen printing. I’d go further to explain that this relationship is needed because the conceptual inspiration came from physical newspapers and to reprint this information into a new physical form elevates the project to thinking not only about societal themes but also how we take in information today.
I disagree with Hae Wan when they say that this is just artistic expression. This process is unique because there’s this relationship to taking something digital and making it tangible and physical but I think Hae Wan should have talked more about the conceptual thinking behind the project because it does have some political undertones to it. For example, Je Thorp’s piece Hope/Crisis tracks how much the NY Times printed the words Hope and Crisis which is overwhelming just to see in amount but also makes you realize that we use the word hope more than crisis and has a sentimental reflection that despite living with current and recent devastations, humans still remain hopeful of a better future-something that’s conceptually interesting and equal to the unique process of creating this project.