Information Visualization ‘L’ plater on the loose

30 07 2012

For the last few years, I have been fascinated with the many and creative uses of data visualization. This was sparked by seeing more and more creative and innovate ways of presenting data, especially at events like THATcamp and GovHack. For example, local Canberra impresarios Mitchell Whitelaw, Tim Sherratt and Paul Hagon  have all done very interesting things with a range of national collections.

Of course, Paul Brown has been experimenting with data since the 1970s and is considered one of the pioneers of generative art. I like to add Paul because he is a legend and he included me in one of my first digital art shows in 1999 – SciArt’99 at the Queensland Sciencentre 🙂

For my purposes, I am keen to learn how I can play with SNA and maps, as I am intrigued by the possibilities of creating tools that respond to location and audiences in different ways. Anyway, I am not sure exactly what I want to create – I guess I will find out. I know a little – tools like Processing and Gephi are popular, but at the moment I have little working knowledge of these tools.

In September 2012, I will be taking an online course in Social Networking Analysis,  with Lada Adamic at Coursera, a social entrepreneurship company that partners with the top universities in the world to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free. I am really excited and hope to learn some neat stuff. The course outline says:

In this course you will learn about the structure and evolution of networks, drawing on knowledge from disciplines as diverse as sociology, mathematics, computer science, economics, and physics. Online interactive demonstrations and hands-on analysis of real-world data sets will focus on a range of tasks: from identifying important nodes in the network, to detecting communities, to tracing information diffusion and opinion formation.

Sounds fabulous eh! I hope that soon I will have something for show and tell – can’t wait!!

Here are some links to some groovy info vis sites:

Discussion on -empyre- Biennials Plus and Minus

21 06 2011

The recent series of essays from long time collaborator and dear friend Linda Carroli on the -empyre- discussion list offers some very interesting perspectives on the social and cultural implications of the ‘Biennial’, or more broadly, arts and cultural festivals. For the full versions of the essays, see Linda’s blog placeblog.

Here is a copy of my response to her postings:

Hi Linda,

Thanks for your insightful views considering the role of the biennial.

Your three key themes of ‘Recovery and Regeneration’, ‘From Emergency to Emergence’, and ‘The Commons’ all have serious implications for artistic and cultural development in a world that needs a sustainable integration of issues related to arts, environment and humanity.  Cultural tourism may have economic benefits on a local level and on an organisational level but at what cost? I have certainly not felt all that comfortable attending festivals interstate and overseas because of my carbon footprint and I think this is a crucial issue to consider as part of designing the biennial/festival model.

The example of  the Prospect Biennial in New Orleans, is inspiring example for cultural regeneration and I think the dialogue between artists and community needs to flow not just through the spectacle of the ‘biennial’ but in a way that can inspire and invigorate culture on a day-to-day level.

Also agree about how the typical hieracrchical strucutre of the curated structure of festivals does not allow for much innovation and ‘risk’, which is why I prefer the ‘unconference’ model used by and THATcamp as it is more inclusive and representative as well as a great way of brainstorming ideas.

I look forward to following this discussion on -empyre- and seeing more of Linda’s writing.

Maroussia Lévesque and Passage Oublié

18 11 2008 is a very interesting blog by Canadian artist and reseacher Maroussia Lévesque. I came across her work when we on the ‘Borders and Crossings’ panel together at ISEA 2008.

Her paper was about the politics of border crossing in the age of mobility. See abstract. Looking at the spectrum of mobility, from the voluntary movement of an elite bypassing border checks to the forced mobility of illegally rendered terror suspects, Lévesque explained the notion of differential mobility. This rift between voluntary and forced mobility is the backdrop for Passage Oublié, a new media installation created by her and other members of the Obx research lab.

Lévesque holds a BA in Computation arts from Concordia University, Montreal, Canada and is the conceptual lead at Obx Laboratory for Experimental Media.