The speaker, L05 (Carlos Garcia), is an artist, performer, designer, and engineer. He is a vocalist and producer in hip hop/electronic duo Celsius Electronics and a co-founder of the Branch Out Collective. He leads creative research and design as a member of the University of Michigan’s Emerging Technologies Group, where he manages the GroundWorks Media Lab. L05 is a 2013 Creative Capital Grantee and a 2016 Kresge Artist Fellow. He is in an art group called Complex Movements, which is “a Detroit-based artist collective supporting the transformation of communities by exploring the connections of complex science and social justice movements through multimedia interactive performance work like science fiction, music, projections, animation, workshops, and organizing”.
I deeply admire their current project Beware of the Dandelions, a mobile art installation that functions as a performance, workshop space, and visual arts exhibition. As a project, Beware of the Dandelions exceeds the scope of the performances. The collective started the project very early in 2013 and finished in early this year. They reason why this project took so long is that it is not just a performance piece; rather, is a mobile platform that organizes social-justice movements. First, the Beware of of the Dandelious live performance is a very fictionalized synthesis of the social-justice movements. Second, it shows “community mode” through the members of the art collective who run workshops in partnership with local artists and activists of their performing cities in order to acknowledge the events that are happening there and to understand the needs of people living there. Third, in installation mode, they “present the stories they have gathered in the process of interacting with locals, documenting and sharing social-justice work that goes largely ignored by mainstream media”. Complex Movements uses such experience to show and present performances of Beware of the Dandelions to their audience, centering story progression around the difference in their work.
This kind of presentation is really appealing to me that it can actually affects or just leave impression in people’s hearts.
This is Complex Movements, an artist collective based in Detroit, Michigan, that connects the complex sciences to social justice movements.
For those that do not know what the complex sciences are, it is explained as a study of complex systems, systems with many parts that interact to produce global behavior that cannot easily be explained in terms of interactions between the individual constituent elements.
Knowing this, Complex Movements uses the complex sciences by integrating their original music into visual arts exhibitions and mobile art installations to create a new way to deliver social justice messages of organizations and individuals who do not feel like they have a voice.
In their recent project, Beware of the Dandelions, Complex Movements uses a 400-square foot polyhedron to visually project sci-fi narratives to their audience. The man behind the visuals and animations is Wes Taylor, who hold graduate degree in 2-D design from the Cranbrook Academy of Art and is currently a Senior Assistant Professor of Art & Design at Lawrence Tech University. What I love about his work is that he created a new way to express the art of storytelling through the uses of computer graphics and music. Looking at the intersection of computer systems and social movements to generate interactive visuals that really speak to its audience is what really inspired me.
Kate Sicchio is a choreographer, media artist, and performer. She is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor in Integrated Digital Media at New York University. Kate’s Ph.D. focused on the use of real-time video systems within live choreography and the conceptual framework of ‘choreotopolgy’ a way to describe this work. She works on exploring the interface between choreography and technology. Her works show a very interesting relationship between dance and technology.
I admire the way she tries to re-think the choreography of dance and transform it into another technical form. “Hacking the Body” is one of her projects, in which she and other artists explored the interaction between dances and wearable technology. In “Hacking the Boday 2.0”, two wearables were designed to put on two dancers body when they performed. The wearables transformed the movements from dancers to signals and turned them into sounds. This research was described as “using the concept of hacking data to re-purpose and re-imagine biofeedback from the body.” This project showed an impressive possibility of how to combine live-performance and real-time technology together. It is a great inspiration for people to think about the messages from the human body in a different way.
She usually performs her works with dancers with wearables or other devices together. She used visual and audio feedback as the outward performance for the technical part. By watching the live performance with the real-time technical feedback, the audience can get a sense of connection between these two aspects.
This is the eyeofestival page and speech video for Kate Sicchio.
Paolo Ciuccarelli is part of a research design group, DensityDesign, in conjunction with a university in Italy. At Eyeo, Ciuccarelli talked about The Poetics of Data Experiences: how to visualize big data that displays the information that is expressive of time, space and emotion. Ciuccarelli uses the term info-poetry to teach that design should play with rhetoric and emotion, ensure the meaning of the message is understandable, make it reproducible and potentially open source it. He shows several examples of his student’s work where they essentially create projects that encapsulate data reflective of contemporary society and present it in a manner that follows the main info-design principles. It’s a step upward from a regular infographic; visually representing data in a way that will elicit emotion. I was drawn to example projects that really utilized media to express data as it was stronger than just using a computer to create a generative body.
There was a project called Crumpled Italia where pieces of paper are displayed in a grid to represent different countries. Each piece of paper was crumbled to a percentage that matched the statistic of domestic abuse in the country. I found that piece extremely profound as it really elicits empathy without being exposed to a “gory” image which is what info-poetry is about. I find the general topic of representing and visualizing data fascinating. Ciuccarelli explains that he was fascinated with understanding complex systems and using data visualization to make sense of them as well as teach to others. As a person, I share that same fascination and would be interested in learning how to fuse generative computer graphics and tangible materials with design.
Essentially, his form of presenting data is the same in which he enjoys using graphics to communicate ideas and numbers but rendering them in such a way that the viewer experiences an emotional response. I noticed a lot of the times, the viewer is responding to abundance of data but the data is also elevated by variables such as color and music. This is a good example for myself to reference when thinking about how presentation and documentation of information should display not only the data itself but the context, mood and tone of the data.
For this Looking Outwards, I couldn’t help but do research on more than one artist – and I felt like in discussing one of the projects I saw and loved, it was essential to discuss the histories of each artist instead of just focusing on one thing.
Georgia Lupi is an information designer, artist, and author from Italy who utilizes data as her medium through which to tell stories and spread information. She originally started out as an architecture student, but transferred into design. She is also the co-founder of Accurat, a New York City based data-driven design firm. Her body of work reflects her job as a data-designer, and much of her work literally pertains to figuring out intuitive ways to visualize data to viewers that are disconnected from the meaning of such information. One such piece is permanently installed in the MoMA at the moment which acts as an interpretive landscape for a fashion exhibition that occurred earlier this year
Stephanie Posavac is also a designer based out of the UK (but U.S. born) who tends to favor data as a medium for her work (specifically language, literature, and science) and earned her MFA in communication design, while her background lies in book design and text visualization. She focuses majorly on the visual representation of language or numbers and both have had their work exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art. Her body of work also greatly reflects the way that she uses data and design (but focuses more on the design aspect in her work). An example of one of her pieces would be this collaborative project she did with David McCandless, where he provided content and text and she decided how to visually present the idea. Her main focus was getting people to want to look at something they normally would care to look at, and I think that drawing attention to things people don’t notice or avoid is very important to her practice as a designer and data analyst.
Now “Dear Data”, a project that is still going on, and which they collaborated to create is a project in which you can clearly see both of their interests lying in. “Dear Data” is a collaboration not only amongst themselves, but among the people who want to be involved as well – anyone who chooses to contribute becomes a part of this project. In short, the dear data project is a serious of postcards detailing how their week was regarding one topic (i.e. love life, pet life, work, etc.) sent between these two artists, on the front is the data which could be seen as just nice illustrations by anyone who does not understand, and then on the back lies the key, or in other words – how to read the drawing on the front. The idea was to create a collection of data that not only had some coherency but that could support hundreds of different kinds of stories form anyone who decides to participate. For them, it became a way of looking at their lives, and trying to put different aspects into a new context both visually, and in terms of meaning. The discussion topics themselves became performances, and art projects. This project is something that I genuinely admire because of the intricacy and care it holds for the artists, and even for those looking in from the outside. All of the information is personal, and it was started in an attempt to really connect with another person – what it’s led to is even more beautiful in that it not only fulfills everything the artists wanted from it, but goes beyond and inspires new ideas/realizations regarding the visualization of data and in a way brings back some magic for each of these artists in their respective fields.
They started off the presentation by talking about themselves/who they are how they met, which is a great segway into their collaborative piece considering it is not only their first collaboration but it is how they are getting to know one-another. They were also extremely confident and used some humor in discussing themselves and their work, which is something that’s important when you present if you want to be sure to grab an audience’s attention and respect. They go on to talk about the way they relate to design and their methods of working before actually discussing the project itself, allowing for a lot of build-up and a good foundation in terms of why this project was even of interest to them. They set the audience up to listen and think about data-design and how the work they discuss addresses it in a clever way through giving insight into the way that they work.
Janet Echelman (born 1966) is an American sculptor and fiber artist. She graduated from Harvard University in 1987. Her sculptures have been displayed as public art, often as site-specific installations. She starts working with a Hamble material. She first studied Chinese calligraphy at Hong Kong University where she encountered a building/architecture made by bamboo which has a strength she admired during an earthquake. In 1997, Echelman won a Fulbright Senior Lectureship and traveled to India with the intention of giving painting exhibitions. For Janet’s work, I really appreciate how she can flexibly manipulate materials and media. I remember in this talk, she first discussed how her material cannot arrive on time and results in her changed choice of using the material. Instead of waiting, she used a local material, the fishing net. She then discovered how the adaptability of it –the ever-changing form of the interaction of the wind.
For most of her work, she will design on applications first to construct precise shape with gentle movement. She figured out to use the variable of a machine to create a pattern of hand-made patterns. To let more industrial workers work on her piece, she created her own language of how to make these patterns for the workers. She analyzes the photos of the sky and graphs the saturation with software that is developed by her studio. This software helped her to create images that describe the imagined shape during the day and night time, with wind and without.
Throughout the whole presentation, she presented with pretty self-explanatory pictures and animations. Her instructions are calm, slow and really natural. The anecdote jokes she shared about really helps to add layers on her overall presentation. She also demonstrates a really clear timeline with the different stage in her life and artwork, from her basically new to the medium and material to the place where she mastered it and combine with sound, climate change, and etc.
Derek Watkins‘s work piqued my interest because his ethos relates to my design methodology, and his approaches relates to an independent study I’m doing this semester.
Watkins works at New York Times where he tells interprets how to tell stories in ways more than just written word and still image. He includes animations and interactive elements to add layers of information to the otherwise standard scrolling-interaction the reader needs to go through. I appreciate his statement in the Eyeo 2017 video, that it’s not about “video journalism” or “photojournalism”, it’s about understanding the nature of the content and what form best communicates the essence of the content to readers. That sentiment of identifying concept and purpose before creating form relates to my design practice; it’s an approach I notice people from other disciplines have trouble grasping– people (myself included) struggle with ambiguity and strive for a tangible grasp of what the thing they’re making is.
Nevertheless, when we let go of preconceived notions of what a form should be, we evolve news sites from pages of text to interactive data visualizations. I hope to apply similar approaches, both conceptually and formally, to an independent study I’m working on where I want to communicate the different lenses I’ve interpreted The Little Prince through in a web format.
Above: images from Watkin’s work in New York Times articles.
Theodore Watson and Nick Hardeman are the key figures of the creative studio Design IO LLC (based in Cambridge, Massachusetts), specializing in the design and development of innovative, interactive installations. Watson – the Creative Director w/ a BFA Design & Technology from Parsons School of Design – is an artist, designer and experimenter whose work strives to invite people to play. Hardeman – Minister of Interactive Art – is a new media artist, designer and experimenter who enjoys combining traditional means of art medium with emerging technologies.
The studio blends design and technology, creating innovative, interactive installations and galleries for the people to enjoy. I admire their progressive mindset; applying current technological capabilities into traditional means of art. Growing up, interactive installations were not common (if they even existed); yet in today’s museum galleries – especially the children section – there are so many variety of interactive installations. I think this fosters the children’s growth more and that is why I admire how Design IO has contributed so many of these installations. Out of all their work, the Living Library my favorite project. Growing up I always enjoyed the interactive books like Eric Carl; it engages children more. And I think that the Living Library pushes this concept effectively through the use of technology.
Their presentation skill is pretty orthodox; they begin with introduction of the speakers, and they transitioned to the precedent which inspired the project they are talking about. Their presentation organization was very basic yet appreciated for its logical flow and simplicity.
Video showcasing Living Library project by Design IO (favorite work by them)
Link | http://design-io.com/ – Design IO website
http://design-io.com/projects/LivingLibrary/ – Living Library project page
The duo Jessica Rosenkrantz and Jesse Louis-Rosenberg founded Nervous System in 2007, when the two were still in school. Jessica studied biology and architecture at MIT and Harvard Graduate School of Design, and Jesse studied math and computer science at MIT. The duo are based in Somerville, MA. They describe their philosophy as “digital gardening”; rather than cultivate plants, they cultivate algorithms, and they breed systems with their own innate behaviors which they can manipulate and sculpt. They also focus on three areas of research: science & nature, digital fabrication, and co-creation. During their presentation, they employed a large number of visuals and spoke very clearly, so that everyone would be able to understand their work.
There is a lot of emphasis on studying how patterns and forms emerge in nature, and how new technology in digital fabrication can generate these patterns. They mostly study organic forms and patterns, which I really admire. They try to create these organic forms through innovative digital fabrication, giving rise to new textiles for potential products. It’s really fascinating how they use nature and biology to computationally create unique forms.
One project of theirs I especially love is Floraform, which studies and generates differential growth seen in plants. Patterns in nature are always something I have been interested in, and seeing them generated through computation is especially cool.
As a designer, choosing font can sometimes be daily a chore. Each font has certain characteristics, historical associations, and aesthetic associated with it. Currently, searching for fonts in most software is an extremely tedious task scrolling through a long list of alphabetically sorted font names that sometimes bears no association with what it actually looks.
Ideo’s Font Map solved a problem that communication designer have been faced for centuries since the invention of lithography and the printing press: choosing the font. The algorithm of this font map is highly complex. By using artificial intelligence, the machine is trained to notice fonts’ visual characteristic by being fed 750 web fonts. Afterwards, the each font’s visual characteristic is mapped onto a 2D plane whereby similar fonts cluster close to one another and different fonts are further apart. This particular project by Kevin Ho uses a lot of vectors and AI external modules that are beyond my technical expertise to accomplish the task. Although the algorithm that is being used in this project is beyond my level of understanding, I hope to one day understand it.