Brain Pickings

Posts Tagged ‘data visualization’

07 DECEMBER, 2011

What is Generative Art? A 7-Minute PBS Micro-Documentary

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The rhetoric of data, or how to reconcile human and algorithm in the age of collective intelligence.

After their fantastic 7-minute documentary on typography, the fine folks at PBS Off Book are back with another micro-documentary, this time spotlighting generative art and featuring creators like generative composer Luke Dubois, game designer Will Wright, and software artist Scott Draves, who discuss everything from new narratives in visual storytelling to negotiating the relationship between humans and algorithms to the rhetoric of data.

This century is the century of data, that’s the defining thing. Last century was the century of electricity.” ~ Luke Dubois

For more on this ever-fascinating and increasingly relevant subject, don’t miss this omnibus of 7 essential books on data visualization and generative art.

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25 NOVEMBER, 2011

A Mosaic Time-Lapse Visualization of the Sky for an Entire Year

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Syncing the celeste, or how to touch the fabric of time.

Since ancient times, the sky has been an object of fixation for humanity. Just recently, we’ve explored some delightful DIY guides to cloudwatching and stargazing, but artist Ken Murphy has taken it to another level. For the past 365 days, he’s pointed his lens to the sky, using a custom camera rig affixed atop the Exploratorium museum on the edge of San Francisco Bay, and captured an image every 10 seconds. The result is A History of the Sky — a mesmerizing mosaic of time-lapse movies, each containing a 24-hour period, synced and arranged chronologically in a (slightly more mathematically convenient than the 365-day calendar) grid of 360 total rectangles.

(Full-screen is your friend here.)

Time-lapse movies are compelling because they give us a glimpse of events that are continually occurring around us, but at a rate normally far too slow to for us to observe directly. A History of the Sky enables the viewer to appreciate the rhythms of weather, the lengthening and shortening of days, and other atmospheric events on an immediate aesthetic level: the clouds, fog, wind, and rain form a rich visual texture, and sunrises and sunsets cascade across the screen.” ~ Ken Murphy

The project is a living piece — the camera continues to collect images and integrate them with the mosaic daily, resulting in a different visualization every day reflective of the most recent 360 days.

For more astounding art based on the weather, don’t forget TED Fellow Nathalie Miebach’s striking musical weather data sculptures.

via The Creators Project

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03 NOVEMBER, 2011

Stefanie Posavec on Her Obsessive Analog Data Visualization

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Inside the brain of one of today’s most creative information patternists.

There are no words to describe how much I heart the work of information designer Stefanie Posavec, whose Writing Without Words project remains one of the most poetic pieces of visual meta-storytelling you’ll ever see and who last year generously visualized the best of Brain Pickings. In the age of computational data visualization, part of what makes Posavec’s work so remarkable is that so much of it is code-free, done entirely by hand, with pencil and paper, extracting fascinating data patterns from ordinary subjects.

This wonderful feature by Protein offers a rare glimpse of Posavec’s creative process and a priceless tour of the wonderland that is her mind:

I spend lots of time reading and rereading text and counting words or counting numbers or just going through a subject matter repeatedly until I have all the data in a notebook, and then I use that data to create my graphics. By reading and rereading these texts, I’m able to understand more about a specific text or a specific subject matter than I would otherwise, than I would if I wrote a computer program to analyze that text for me.” ~ Stefanie Posavec

via feltron

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