William Su – LookingOutwards – 08 – The Creative Practice of an Individual

Speaker: Robert Hodgin

Robert Hodgin is an artist/coder living in Brooklyn. His work ranges from simple 2D data visualizations to immersive 3D terrain simulations. Primary interests include theoretical physics, astronomy, particle engines, and audio visualizations. He works in Java, Processing, C++, Cinder, OpenGL, and GLSL.

He graduated in 1998 with a degree in Sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design.

I was especially interested in Robert’s credentials and where he started out. He graduated from RISD with a degree and sculpture but eventually worked on data and coding heavy projects. The reason why I was so interested is I find myself relating to his pathway in life where I thought I was going to be an engineer coming out of high school but ended up studying design in college. Robert makes effective use of artistic storytelling and easy to understand work processes to describe the how’s and why’s of his body of work. The ones that involve 3d simulations of the earth mesmerize me with their level of detail and use of live data of weather, auroras, time, and terrain.

Jina Lee – Looking Outwards 08

This video is of Mario Klingemann’s speech at the 2015 Eyeo Festival.

Mario Klingemann is a German artist who is known for being one of the first people to utilize computer programming with arts. His works and studies involve researching the connections between creativity, culture and perception through the perspectives of artificial intelligence and mechanical learning. He told his speech the 2015 Eyeo Festival. He discusses about his approaches towards the concept of “order” from the perspectives of a programmer and an artist. I was interested in his work with the image collections of the British Library Labs. In this work, Klingemann classified 1 million images from the British Library Lab. He did this by using machines learning techniques to define different index for each image. He created an artwork with the information he obtained. Through the assignment we just did that involves locating the brightest pixel of the image, I admire this project so much for his skills of being able to sort through such a gigantic array of information. In his presentation, Klingemann uses various images and diagrams to help people better understand and visualize the information that he is trying to communicate. As a student who is interested in communication design, I am studying how to ease the process of transfer of information between different types of people. His method of coordinately visual graphical information through data maps with his presentation really made the data-grasping task of mine as an audience a lot smoother and this is what I am trying to learn from in design too.

Mario Klingemann’s collection.

Lauren Park – Looking Outwards – 08

Jake barton is the founder of a media design company called Local Projects, that is based in New York. Jake Barton  had attended college for performance studies. He focuses on making work that tells a story to wide audiences through an technological and emotional connection. 

What I really admire about Local Projects and when it comes to howJake Barton envisions the world through his works, is how he uses the technololgy around us and coding language to solve not only systematic issues that the world faces, but also allow for emotional satisfaction by allowing humans to interact with his projects. He helps produce designs that are not just visually appealing for commercial purposes, but emphasize emotional appeal. The designs seem to have a another layer that significantly helps give people a voice. I specifically admire the project called “A Museum of Collective Memory” because of how this piece has opened my mind in imaging solutions that algorithms can help build. This project used an algorithm that arranged names through personal relationships with the victims.

An effective strategy they use to present work is by prototyping products first before finalizing an idea. They test multiple times to make necessary improvements for a better product. I learned that before making a final submission, it is important to run and go through trials to factor out any problems when it comes to working with coding and design. One solution, small or big, can make a huge difference in the product. 



Rachel Shin – LO 8 – Mapping Police Violence

In 2015, Deray Mckesson and Samuel Sinyangwe shared their beliefs in the imbalance of social roles between police and population and sought out to create a data visualization that shone light on the police violence that was shoved under the carpet.

Deray Mckesson, a government and legal studies from Bowdoin College, found his passion and embarked upon his path as an activist as he participated in a protest and discovered the ability of Twitter to tell stories in real-time. Prompted by police brutality tweets tweeted at him minutes after occurrence, Mckesson sought out to translate quantitative data into one of many stories to be told. Samuel Sinyangwe is a researcher and activist who studied race, politics, economics, and class at Stanford University who found his passion for activism after the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Florida where Sinyangwe had regularly gone to for sports practice. After discovering how real the scenario of police brutality could be, Sinyangwe sought to develop an organization that used digital media to support Black Lives Matter activism.

In the video, Mckesson and Sinyangwe presented their ideas and beliefs through three main points: data, lived reality, and numbers & policy in a comfortable manner rather than with a business/professional tone to eliminate the presenter-audience barrier. They also answered audience members’ questions to better persuade them the benefits of their data visualization.

Mckesson and Sinyangwe developed a dataset-based map that pictured a timeline that can be scrubbed through that colorized and highlighted locations of police violence. I believe that this was created through loops, arrays, and functions that allowed the program to run through the dataset of cited police violence accounts and locations. The loop and functions then allowed Mckesson and Sinyangwe to develop an interactive map that allowed audience members to see for themselves how often police violence occurs. I admired this particular project because it allows an Internet-user like me to visually see how real this modern-day issue really is. Growing up in a sheltered bubble, I never considered the weight of police brutality, so this data visualization map breaks that wall of ignorance.

Xu Xu – Looking Outwards – 08

Artist Rachel Binx is a data visualizer, developer, and designer who works in Netflix in Los Angeles, and she had previous work experiences in Mapzen, NASA, as well as Stamen Design. As an only child from Mexico, her childhood dream was to become a world traveler, which is her source of inspiration for her works. Throughout the years she has co-founded Meshu, Gifpop, and monochōme: all small companies that explore creating one-off physical objects from the data that customers find meaningful. Meshu, a jewelry company that is based on geographic data of customers, was co-founded with Sha Hwang, another Stamen alumni. Gifpop is a kickstarted project that creates service prints from uploaded gif files. She also founded monochōme, a clothing company that allows customers to use maps to create a custom print on various clothing.

Her intent for these projects and startups was to connect people’s experiences (countries they visited, or even streets they walk every day) as data points and visualize them, creating a sense of summarizing one’s life and adding personal touches to each design.

She is also interested in data journaling, where she would program her laptop to take photos whenever she is in a new environment. She collects data from automated data or memory, and store those that are important and personal to people, then turn them into something visual and physical.

Binx talks about her projects by introducing her stories and personal experiences, which makes the project intent and outcome easier to follow. It is also more relatable for the audiences, and the idea of “customizing” and collecting personal data seems intriguing to most people since it adds a special touch to the project. I admire her creativity and her ability of turning data points into something artistic and acceptable by the general public, but I also admire her will to hold on to her childhood dream and focusing on things she truly loves. (Although the products are quite pricy: I’ve checked her websites)


Yoshi Torralva-Looking Outwards-08

Jennifer Pahlka’s talk about the importance of designing better experiences in government.
Posters created to involve people in the city of Philadelphia to participate in polling using a texting feature.

Jennifer Pahlka is the executive director of Code for America. Code for America is an organization that works to tackle government-related issues surrounding experiences through design and technological lense. Jennifer Pahlka has a lifelong goal of impacting government operations to become human-centered. From 2013-2014, she served as the U.S. department Cheif of Technology officer, where she was able to change on a national level. In her Eyeo talk, she talks about her work in Coding for America. Through this organization, they select applicants from cities to work on developing a point of intervention that impacts government functions through design and technology. What I admire about Jennifer’s work is how her observations move her to start new initiatives. For instance, she mentions that she listened to someone’s comment about making our interactions with the government easy and clear. Through this talk, she was motivated to develop systems that met that statement. Jennifer also puts an essential consideration of the cost and efficiency of the production of specific interventions. She emphasizes that her fellows should consider the process of development. In focus to her presentation of her work, she explores her thought process in a transparent manner and how it answers her overall design brief. One project that I admire is involving members of the city of Philadelphia to poll in opinions to be used for town halls. Ultimately, it achieves the goal of making it more accessible for someone’s voice to be heard.


Organic Aesthetics, Inst-Int 2014 by Kate Hollenbach

Website: http://www.katehollenbach.com/

Kate Hollenbach leads the design computation team at Oblong Industries that is based in LA. She works with a lot of gestural interfaces and HCI applications and products. A recent work is phonelovesyoutoo, which is an application that captures video from the phone’s front and back camera, and the screen, watching the user’s activities. She creates an interesting perspective of what mobile devices would see when they observe human bodies, as well as looking into the physical and virtual planes of human presence. In this lecture, she explains her projects with very good supporting materials. When she presents her works, it is very good that she shows the demos from a perspective that the user would actually be in, so it helps visualize what the experience may be like. Also, she gives a good context of where the project is, and what kind of future stages the project is moving into.

Infinite Scroll, 2016

A work of Kate Hollenbach that I admire is Infinite Scroll. It is an installation with videos generated from real video capture of user’s scrolling through social network feeds. It is very interesting that mundane rituals can turn into interesting colorful content. It feels familiar because of the scrolling action, but it comes across as something novel because of the way that the scrolling action is expressed.

SooA Kim: Looking Outwards – 08

Portée/ — Interactive unfold of a music score in space from Lab212 on Vimeo. 

Béatrice Lartigue is a French new media artist and designer. She is an art director and teacher in Paris. She creates interaction installation works with a group of designers, artists, and anyone who is interested and has technological background, including Lab212 – a Paris based pluridisciplinary art collective. She has skills in architecture, where physical space setting matters and impacts her installation works by bringing poetic and humanistic approach. I admire one of her projects, “Portée, Monumental Unfold of a Music Score, 2014”. This interactive installation piece gives a collective multi-sensorial experience to the audience. Luminous threads or electroluminescent threads are installed with a grand piano inside a church. The visitors are invited to wonder around and experience the qualities of music when they touch and trigger the luminous threads. The music notes/melodies are associated to each thread and every time it vibrates by the interaction of the visitors, it will trigger the electro-mecanic grand piano to play the melody from it. There is a lot to learn from her process of the work; she makes her ideas clear to other collaborators by providing initial concept sketches to blueprint storyboard on how this project will be executed.

Link:  portee-installation.com

Eyeo 2015 – Béatrice Lartigue from Eyeo Festival on Vimeo.

Cathy Dong-Looking Outwards-08

Kyle McDonald Presentation

Person: Kyle McDonald

Kyle McDonald is a Los Angeles-based media artist, who works with codes. Even though his presentation is informal and rather casual, I found his work appealing and amazing. With skills such as computation, 3D sensing, interactive media installation, and so on, he utilizes codes into art and creates something that the traditional media could not. He collaborates with other professionals and learn from their experience. In the presentation, he shared the work-in-progress and the insight information on the projects. It reveals how he learn and build skills to assist his career and art. In the project called “Missing,” he explores the concepts of Coexist and the relationship between human and machine.

“Leaking Lights” by Kyle McDonald

Sarah Kang- Looking Outwards-08

Darius Kazemi is a computer programmer and artist specializing in “weird internet art”. After graduating from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, he was temporarily a video game designer before co-founding a technology collective called Feel Train with Courtney Stanton. In this collective, Kazemi collaborates with other artists to create programmatic bots, such as the “StayWokeBot” and a twitter bot project called “Relive 44” which started reposting every tweet that former President Barack Obama has posted on the platform, in May of 2017.

In his festival lecture, Darius refers to his most known project, which is his Amazon shopper bot. Every month, he gives his bot a $50 amazon gift card and waits for his random packages to arrive at his doorstep. His program uses customized API values with the collaboration of Amazon and the US Postal Shipping system to create a personal shopper that buys him random books and CD’s. Essentially, his program has an output in the form of his random monthly packages. He goes on to explain how he explores the parameters of his API guidelines using Google StreetView and the resulting images.

What I admire about Darius Kazemi’s work is that he explores rudimentary and everyday elements that go unnoticed, and turns it into an opportunity for a new perspective or interest. His Amazon shopper bot would provide the opportunity to the receiver to read or listen to something they never even knew existed or something they would never purchase themselves.

Eyeo 2014 – Darius Kazemi from Eyeo Festival on Vimeo.