Looking Outwards 09: A Focus on Women and Non-binary Practitioners in Computational Art

Project Title: Revealing the hidden emotional data contained in videos of U.S. Presidential speeches

Artists: Kim Rees

The feather is quite straight indicating neutrality and the barbs are short indicating relatively more calmness when speaking.

The creators first used the Microsoft Emotion API and then pulled out the second-ranked emotion for each event where ‘neutral’ was first-ranked. I admire the universality of this project, as they chose to focus on emotions that are understood cross-culturally (happiness, fear, etc); I admire this project because it enables even more people to connect with the data in a meaningful way and also takes what some don’t often immediately relate with distinct feelings (besides perhaps hope and pride) and connects the two. I admire how they compared inaugural addresses, not just focusing on one president. I admire this because it’s fascinating to see how some speak with such intensity, which is represented by the length of each barb, and it got me thinking about the speeches I’ve listened to and if I find such information representations to align with my perspective. Rees studied computer science. Rees co-founded Periscopic, which is a data-visualization company and worked there for over a decade. Broadly speaking, Rees focuses on human-centered data and she helped companies and organizations promote information transparency and public awareness by telling their data stories and matching algorithms to values.

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