Thursday, November 30, 2017

For Monday, Dec 4 + event this Friday (Dec 1)

For Monday, please come prepared to discuss an "invisible" phenomenon that you would like to attempt to visualize. Review the project parameters and example projects for ideas and clarification on what might be acceptable types of phenomena.
This Friday (Dec 1), animator Nina Paley will be showing new work and leading a workshop, starting at 1pm in Art & Design room 315. Those of you interested in animation should not miss this!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Reading due Monday, November 13

Photos of the Resource Center, Chicago by Claire Pentecost

In preparation for work on the next assignment ("Near/Far"), read the text "Quiet Fires of All Degrees" by artist Kristin Schimik. How might you trace or map some experiences of scale or time similar to those that she describes? For example, we could start with her description of automobiles rusting from exposure to salt then transition to the salt covering extensive road networks across Northern Michigan (or the entire northern part of North America) which then takes us back in time to the geologic era in which the salt originated from a (then) much larger sea. Or her vast comparison between a pellet of iron ore and a distant star, connected by chemical processes. What objects from your own experience (in the past or present) might function in a similar way?

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

For Monday, November 6

Readings: Paglen: "Seeing-machines" +  Tom Simonite: "Machines Taught by Photos Learn a Sexist View of Women".
Trevor Paglen's description of "seeing machines" argues that intentional, camera-based photography, as it has commonly been understood, is increasingly a minor contributor to the vast number of images produced in the world. This line of thinking has led to him to the conclusion that most images being today aren't even being made for humans, a point taken up by Simonite for WIRED. Simonite's article takes up questions of machine learning based on culturally constructed archives, both textual and pictorial.
Post a short response to these texts to your Tumblr. Consider one of the following questions:

Monday, October 16, 2017

For Wednesday, October 18

Skatestoppers – because signs alone are not enough.’ Photograph: Daryl Mersom

Read a text by art historian Miwon Kwon on site-specific art and "locational identity." Post a response to Tumblr, takign into consideration the following questions:
How do ideas of identity and site merge to form what we think of as "place"?
Are there examples of a site in which you belonged (in your own estimation) that was altered in some way that caused you to feel excluded or rejected? 
Or, how about a site where its community changes over some period of time? 
Have you ever participated in an intervention in, or defense of, a site?
There are also links to three additional recent articles from news sources that address monuments and the contemporary moment. You should give those a look over:
Gary Shapiro's "The Meaning of Our Confederate ‘Monuments’" (on distinctions between memorials and monuments)
A transcript of the mayor of New Orleans on the removal of Confederate monuments there
David Graham's The Stubborn Persistence of Confederate Monuments

Monday, October 9, 2017

Reminder - due date change

Project 2 is due on Monday, October 16, not October 11.
Final output will be two prints (1 photo montage + 1 data visualization), printed at tabloid/11x17 from the inkjet printers in the lab (one of the Stylus Pro 7900 printers). I recommend printing your photo montage on luster paper, and your data visualization on matte.
Some basic instructions on printing from Photoshop.
Printing from Illustrator.
If you're unfamiliar with A&D's printing services that use Papercut, look here.

If you need some inspiration, check out the work of Martin Wattenberg and his collaborators. Wattenberg is a computer scientist, artist, and currently the co-leader (with Fernanda Viégas) of Google's "Big Picture" data visualization group, part of the Google Brain team. He previously co-led IBM's Visual Communication Lab that created the ground-breaking public visualization platform Many Eyes. As an artist, his work has been shown at the London Institute of Contemporary Arts, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the New York Museum of Modern Art.
Check out these projects in particular:
Web Seer: a real time comparison of Google search results.
The Shape of Song
The Flesh Map: Listen visualization of references to the body in different musical genres.
A visualization of Wired Magazine's covers and distribution for their 2008 anniversary.
Wind Map
He and Fernanda have also written a compelling account of redesigning information visualization as a form of criticism.

Monday, October 2, 2017

For Wednesday, October 4

Make sure you understand the parameters of part 2 of the assignment by reviewing the description and viewing the examples linked from the project page of the course website. What you need for class on Wednesday:
1. Read the article by Mushon Zer-Aviv on "Disinformation Visualization," and post a brief response to your tumblr. One thing to consider: How does Mushon's analysis of infographics relate to Erol Morris's discussion of photographs and truth?
2. You should have some ideas for your data points that you will work with (you'll eventually need 2-4). The final goal is to bring together these data points that, once brought together, tell us something about you that none of them do on their own. These data sets can be collected from already existing archives of your activity (Google's record of your searches, for example), as well as being manually logged by you as time passes (e.g. how many cups of coffee you drink per day).

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

For Tuesday, September 18

A couple of things:
a) Reading
 Read Erol Morris's "What's in a Name?" (This is part 2 of a 3-part series. You only need to read this part). Post a response to Tumblr.* Specifically, I'd like everyone to consider the role that different kinds of images play in constructing an identity. Morris gives us a brief story of four ways that identities have been historically constructed as verifiable: What are they? How are they "attached" to people?
What other ways can you think of in your own daily lives where your identity is verified by such systematic mechanisms? How is it verified and where does the information used come from?

* Some notes on reading responses:
• What counts as a valid reading response?

Primarily, your responses should make it clear that you've actually read the text. Do not simply write about a subject that seems to be related to the text, without referring to the text itself in some way.
• What should you do if you don't understand something discussed in a required reading (for any number of reasons)? What if there are references to art history (or any history), for example, that you are unfamiliar with?
There is no expectation that everyone has previously studied any particular subject. While some things may be common knowledge to some in the class, those same things may be completely new to others. What is expected is that you give it your best attempt - that you try to interpret the readings with the knowledge and experiences you have. Asking questions in your reading responses, and in class, is highly encouraged. Thoughtful questions are always useful.


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