Ben Snell wrote a post about the piece Out of Sight, Out of Mind. This site, created by Pitch Interactive, shocks the viewer with alarming graphic representations of the aftermath of drone strikes in Pakistan. While I agree with Ben that the visuals sufficiently convey the sheer numbers and impressively impose a feeling of fright in the viewer, I don’t think the piece is effective as activism. The graphics attempt to bring to light how we, the US, have unjustly killed masses of people.
Though successful in displaying the terrifying power the US has had in killing masses, the piece fails to show that we’ve killed people. In their computational algorithm, they trivialized deaths into a binary form: innocents are red, actual targets are white. Not only is this failure frustrating because they only convey half of the important message, but also because they are perpetuating the stereotype that computers and algorithms can only be cold-hearted and binary.
Though it does so, the piece’s objective is not to dehumanize hundreds of people. It took on the responsibility of telling the story of not only every drone, but every victim. But that dot on the screen, that blank silhouette can’t tell a victim’s story.
In the end, Out of Sight, Out of Mind successfully contributes to the dialogue on drone strikes’ immorality, though not in the way they intended. Through their failure, they exemplify how large-scale killings damage our perspective of people who are not our own.
I really like this project because although the 3D printing part is familiar to me, it is still outside of what I’ve done with a 3D printer because it uses a generated randomness from an algorithm. The project was developed cooperatively by MIT and Harvard and it explores expansion in the realms of design and architecture, as well as the new use of glass as a material that can be 3D printed.
A project that immeasurably fascinates me is Cycles, which I first learned about by reading Vanessa Kim’s 5th Looking Outwards post. Designed by COCOLAB (a Mexican design firm) in 2014, Cycles is a beautiful manipulation of light and sound that comes the closest of anything I have ever seen to visually representing what music sounds like. Through its use of choreographed lasers, flashing light, and syncopated sound, Cycles creates stunning visual compositions that draws upon the space around it and enraptures the audience.
Vanessa says little about the impacts of this project beyond explaining its technical aspects, and while I believe the technical components of this project to be very important, I think the real significance of this piece comes in its ability to revolutionize a viewer’s ability to mentally interface with a musical experience. Even deaf people would have the ability to take something emotional or experimental away from seeing this project, and it could radically alter how people go about giving concerts or interacting with an audience. More immediately, Cycles could radically alter how we as people experience music.
I found Aman’s recent Looking outwards really interesting. It’s called NeuroViz and it’s an incredibly simple tool for visualizing the activation and inhibition of nodes within neural networks such that those within our brain. It does this in a very forthcoming manner that’s extremely easy to understand. It reminds me of the projects done by Nicky Case that attempt to explain complex topics in ways that make the process of learning fun. My only regret is that I had hoped it would allow more complexity, but there’s only so far one can get with this “tool.”
I went scouring through my fellow classmate’s first Looking Outwards, because I was intrigued to find out what originally inspired my peers to take a course such as this. I found Albert Yang’s post about the indie video game Don’t Starve, and to tell you the truth, I found it oddly charming. I agree with Albert’s assessment, this game has a lovely and unique art style that is chilling but endearing. I also find it inspiring that something indie can receive such race reviews in the world of huge designer corporations. One of the things I also find amazing about this is that they are a family oriented business that creates a healthy and enjoyable working space for employees. It took a lot of hard work to get where the company is, but they now are able to promote a healthy and balanced work environment. At least, healthier than that of a lot of animators and game developers I’ve seen. (And now there is a multiplayer version with all sorts of adorable yet disturbing characters!)So to conclude, the charm starts at the art, goes through the storyline, and the music, and the heartwarming creators, all in all, being the cutest creepy game I’ve ever seen.
In our Looking Outwards assignment from September 24th, Antonia James wrote her piece about “wearable data.”
The concept of seeing the air pollution visibly on our bodies really stood out to me, and I think that this is a very creative way to address the problem of people not really knowing how much air pollution really impacts our lives. Wearers of the necklace are able to physically how the air quality has changed over a specific time. I agree with Antonia in that the aesthetic of this piece is very admirable, and I am intrigued by how the way data and art have been combined.
Like the student who found this, I also thought this was a really beautiful representation of the periodic table. It is aesthetically pleasing and something really new. I think some information about why certain colors were used and reason behind each prismatic shape would allow the reader to understand the art even better.
Original Post: http://cmuems.com/2015c/cindyhsu/09/28/lookingoutwards-05-2/
Original Work: http://www.stefanieposavec.co.uk/data/#/new-page-1/
Title: A Reimagined Periodic Table (still a work in progress)
Artist: Stephanie Posavec
I read Lily Fulop’s post on Chris Harrison’s “Wikiviz.” Wikiviz is a visualization of how all the articles on Wikipedia connect to each other. I’ve also played the same game as Lily has played, in which one tries to get to a specific Wikipedia article with only a certain number of clicks. Honestly, I find it amazing to be able to visualize exactly what topics are connected and how–as well as how many degrees of separation certain topics have. As a composer, I find looking at the one which centers on music interesting–you can see that somehow topics such as “Vehicles by Brand” and “National Coats of Arms” are connected to music. This whole project is fascinating, and I’d like to thank Lily for having written about it so I could also discover it!
I chose a post by Jo McAllister from Week 3 about a structure created by ICD/ITKE. A transparent shell is threaded with black fibers unspooled by a robotic arm, which moves according to algorithms derived from analyses of water spider webs. These spiders suspend themselves underwater in air bubbles to make their webs.
It seemed that Jo wasn’t terribly impressed with this project because it was based on human analysis and modeling of an actual web, rather than being created from scratch by a computer program, but I think it’s pretty amazing nonetheless.
I like the idea of scaling up naturally-occurring micro structures using computational analysis. I wonder if these sorts of architectural projects might encourage greater appreciation not only for organic forms but also for more organic and eco-friendly construction methods.
Lexi posted a while ago about a touch screen installation in The Museum of Modern Art in NYC called I Want You to Want Me. When I was reading about the project I was blown away by how beautiful and different the data visualization was. Lexi wrote that the visualizations are reminiscent of the style of Pixar’s UP. One of my favorite aspects of this project was how the images were made to look more vintage. The beginning sequence of the sad love story in UP that Lexi mentions starts somewhere around the 50s so that sequence is also rendered to be look vintage. What I like the most, however, is how much detail the artists, Jonathan Harris and Sep Kamvar, put in the balloons. For example, pink balloons represent girls and blue balloons represent boys. Brighter balls represent younger people while darker balloons represent older. How the balloons move through the screens represent relationships in real life. Some balloons travel through the sky at different speeds. They take different routes from each other but sometimes they travel alongside others for a little while. I Want You to Want Me shows that data visualization can take a topic an abstract topic, like dating and relationships, and make it visually arresting.
Lexi’s post can be seen here and you can read more about I Want You to Want Mehere.