Looking Outwards 05: Information Visualization

One of my earliest introductions at CMU to new media art (specifically mixing technology and social art) was when I had the pleasure of attending Lauren McCarthy’s seminar. At the time I had heard many things about Lauren as our artist in residency but was still utterly blown away with her work after attending her talk. Lauren has done countless amounts of different phenomenal projects with some of the best serving as great examples of information visualization and data collecting in art. While Facebook Mood Manipulator, CrowdPilot, and Social Turkers were all good examples of art projects which require information visualization and data collection the two projects that best stand out in my mind are pplkpr and us+ .

Both of these projects serve to aid people in social scenarios or situations by analyzing either their pulse (like in pplkpr) or their facial expressions (like in us+) to read their current emotions and visualize the data to help the user. As comical as these projects are, they are a fantastic example of how artist require and implement things such as data visualization into experiences all of the time.

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