Eyeo Festival – Notes, Day 2
Tuesday June 28, 2011
Read / Write / Speak Memory – Jake Barton
Local Projects work centers on participation and collaborative storytelling. In this investigation of how we share today, individual memories, ideas and stories are gathered into larger sites for collective witness. By creating interactions that are actionable and meaningful, these collaborative storytelling systems have created a space for people to share their experiences with the world, creating a collective memory for hundreds of thousands of people in the present.
Jake Barton asks, What connects us? In his talk, he explored rituals, spaces, traditions, and memorials.
"Memorials are the way we make promises to the future about the past." Kristin Haas
Monuments pick up meaning with new events and movements. Memorials become a civic space, an inciter of debate. Memorials become part of the national identity, just like an annual ritual (like Thanksgiving) unites us through collective memory and performance. (Sidenote: Brand compliance for thanksgiving is almost perfect across the nation!)
It's all about storytelling! StoryCorps is a national oral histories initiative where people enter into a recording booth and interview each other. They are prompted to ask difficult questions, questions that they may have never asked before. Through touching on personal stories, asking personal questions, StoryCorps is capturing moments that move people, a commonality of wisdom. In the StoryCorps environment, listening can be an act of love.
Some takeaways from the process of creating StoryCorps:
Think about how you can elevate the experience for your visitors. Constantly think about the social experience. Make cues nonverbal and as intuitive as possible. Embed rules and directions into the physical space. Use prototypes to collaborate with your clients. Make a prototype and just let it be judged. If they like it, move forward. Build your project off of prototypes and testing.
Another project: Change By Us is about reinventing public participation. It evolved from the "give a minute" post-it campaign (giveaminute.info). There was a problem in the beginning with the project, since it was build on a foundation of crowdsourcing, but that usually ends up with only one idea, and then you miss all the little gems. To create a platform to support all good ideas, not just the top one was the goal. Move it to a solutions-oriented platform instead of a crowdsourcing platform. Change By Us is launching in New York soon. You can propose projects, projects become groups. Join a project or keep your own. Through community organization and support of these projects, a grassroots way to connect resources to needs. Beyond NYC, Change By Us will be launching in Philadelphia, Seattle, and San Jose. The platform will also be open source in the fall.
The 9/11 memorial and museum is another project example. The thing with designing a memorial is, no matter what you do, people are going to hate it. Something fantastic about this museum is that it becomes a listening museum, a space of dialogue and storytelling – The museum is built off of contributions of participants - photos, oral histories, etc. It is a living archive. It's about the collective memory, the patterns, the stories that emerge. One example of what makes the living archive emotionally powerful is that Google street view is used to create a direct physical relationship between the past and the present with overlaid images. There is also an "Explore 9/11" app that gives you a walking tour of the site – it is the job of mobile devices to situate stories in specific places. With this app, there is a powerful hook, and a call to action. You get a reality moment when you hold up your phone and see a picture of the past. In addition to these digital artifacts, memories come out of the physical artifacts – projections on the steel structure, for example. Through these ways of engaging visitors, the visitors become live witnesses. There is an incredible power in the stories that we are telling to and about each other. This is what is at the heart of the memorial.
Drawing, Movement, Magic – Zach Lieberman
In this talk Zach will present his interactive works and collaborations, focusing on the artistic process as a form of research. He will show works such as IQ Font, where a car was driven to draw a custom typeface, and EyeWriter, a tool he collaborated on building to aid a paralyzed graffiti artist in making art again. He will also talk about openFrameworks, a C++ toolkit for creative coding which is being used by developers worldwide to make compelling interactive installations and performances.
Lieberman gave a magical talk – He began with three words that he sees as themes in his work: drawing, movement, magic. He drew us in (no pun intended) with his fascinating work in the drawing arena, captured our imaginations with his interest in combining drawing with movement, and spoke to that "wow" or "open mouth" moment when a creation becomes "magical."
Lieberman is interested in crossing the perceived barriers of movement and creation with things like "drow" – drawing plus throwing; touching what you paint and experiencing sounds created by your paint marks; turning your runs into paintings. This theme of "how does the body move?" runs through his work and finds expression in visual form through a digital version of a traditional medium – painting and drawing. This extends to become modern day face paint – a digitally projected mask on the real human face that extends beyond artistry into the realm of cross-media identity.
Augmenting reality through these means is another theme in Lieberman's work. He has worked closely with a magician to create augmented reality performance, exposing and elaborating on magical tricks. How can augmented reality be used for teaching?
The magical moment is also something that he finds necessary for a successful piece of art – the moment of surprise and wonder as someone interacts with an installation in an unexpected way – the "open mouth phenomena" of jaw-dropping joy.
Lieberman also shared his emphasis on collaborative process, sharing his philosophy of DIWO – do it with others. He seeks opportunities to create situations for learning and sharing, to collaborate and explore. Art is a laboratory – an R&D department thinking about the future. The power of art is to inspire the next generation.
Some projects shown:
Eyewriter – http://thesystemis.com/projects/eyewriter/
IQ Font – http://thesystemis.com/projects/iq-font/
Drawn – http://thesystemis.com/projects/drawn/
Nike + Paint With Your Feet – http://thesystemis.com/projects/nike-paint-with-your-feet/
Night Lights – http://thesystemis.com/projects/night-lights/
Rhonda – http://rhondaforever.com/
Opensourcery – http://thesystemis.com/projects/opensourcery/
Manual Input Station – http://thesystemis.com/projects/manual-input-station/
Panel: Visualizing Complex Issues – Adam Bly, Amanda Cox, Moritz Stefaner, Wes Grubbs
How is data visualization changing how we investigate and understand complex issues — from cities to economies to human behavior. We’ll use recent work from the panelists along with other projects at various scales to explore what we can now know through big data and design. Moderated by Adam Bly with panelists Amanda Cox, Moritz Stefaner and Wes Grubbs.
The question is, what can we now see with access to so much data and tools of data visualization? With tools such as the Google Labs Books Ngram viewer (http://ngrams.googlelabs.com), you can see how often terms appear relatively in books – this has new meaning for social studies and the humanities – the humanities can now work with numbers in a real way! What does this mean for humanities scholarship? An example of this in action is the Mapping the Republic of Letters project (https://republicofletters.stanford.edu). This kind of visualization is amplifying human cognition using visual computing. We are using tools coming from science to communicate visually.
On the process of creating a visualization – Sometimes the idea that the data exists is more exciting than the data itself. Look for chains of association, try new queries, get new questions. Have an interactive dialogue with your data set. Ask yourself, "What are the key stories of the data? What is my understanding of this? and how can I report this? What do you find truthful?" Data viz is like a camera lens – where do you focus that lens? That is a decision that you have to make.
There has been some research on the impression that visualizations leave – the effect and emotional response. How does the evocativeness of the visualization effect the reading of the outcome? How are people interpreting the facts of the data?
Some projects shown:
Google Labs Books Ngram Viewer – http://ngrams.googlelabs.com/
Mapping the Republic of Letters – https://republicofletters.stanford.edu/
Cultural Analytics – http://lab.softwarestudies.com/2008/09/cultural-analytics.html
Data Viz 201 – Tips and Techniques in Visualizing Data – Jer Thorp, Moritz Stefaner, Wes Grubbs
Jer, Wes and Moritz will discuss the process in visualizing data. They’ll share some creative tips, techniques and tools they commonly use to visualize data. This workshop is for anyone interested in a more advanced creative and technical process of visualizing data. Any tools (i.e. Processing) or downloadable source content associated with the class will be posted here beforehand.
Jer – It's all about transitions! Transitions help us track objects to understand them relationally in context. You establish a system of weights – it's all about the scale between 0 and 1.
Kepler Exoplanets – http://vimeo.com/19642643
Just Landed – http://blog.blprnt.com/blog/blprnt/just-landed-processing-twitter-metacarta-hidden-data
BC Government Expenditures – http://blog.blprnt.com/blog/blprnt/bc-budget-visualizations
Cascade – http://nytlabs.com/projects/cascade.html
Moritz – Position is everything – what do you put where? Color is difficult. Context changes perception. An example: X by Y – http://moritz.stefaner.eu/projects/x-by-y/
Wes – Loves curves and colors. How do you pick colors? You can look for natural gradients, inspiration in your garden, or make color palettes from photos using save for web in photoshop to a GIF file with only 8 or 10 colors. Build out your color palettes with swatches. Write the hex values under them, and use this to manage your project. Once you've got that, you can grab the hex values and plug them into Processing. Keep updating your colors until they feel right. It is important to build your interface and code flexibly so that you can easily change and adjust things later. In addition to color, texture gives your graphics a little bit more of a feeling. You can get a texture effect if you use many small lines to represent data – you get a grain to the graphics this way, and a natural gradient. Do experiment with colors and curves in your visualization. Look through the tutorial on Bezier vertexes and Bezier curves in Processing.
Some notes on interface elements and rollovers:
It is hard to do roll-overs with complex shapes in Processing. A trick is to paint your shapes onto the second canvas, use the same colors but with no opacity, no anti-aliasing, no transparency. Get color at mousepoint on that canvas, and use that color to link to the shape on the other canvas.
Processing ControlP5 GUI library for control sliders, etc. http://www.sojamo.de/libraries/controlP5/
Accessibility and colors hasn't really been addressed yet for visualizations. A good practice is to not use red-green color ranges. It could be easy to add a tool to Processing to test for color accessibility... Maybe someone should do that.
Looking Forward to Infinity – Robert Hodgin
“Why would anybody need more than 256 colors.” – Robert Hodgin (age 16)I am embarrassed that I used to be this short-sighted. I have since fully embraced my addiction to wanting more. I want more colors. I want more resolution. I want more frames per second. I crave bigger numbers. During my talk, I will explore the bigness of numbers and I will show how my work from the last decade is hopefully just practice for what the future of computation will bring us.
In his talk titled "Looking Forward to Infinity," Robert Hodgin shared his relationship with the evolution of color depth. This pattern of exponential increase of numbers has become the theme of today's large computational projects. Hodgin is waiting for the hardware to catch up with the sheer quantity of data that he wants to process, animate, and simulate. Hodgin showed many of his fantastic examples found on his site, such as Flocking, City on Fire, Addition Subtraction, Written Images, Bait Ball, Body Dysmorphia, and his Aphex Twin visuals.
Check them out at roberthodgin.com
Why Prometheus loves Robots (How technology creators might be the next Greek Gods) – Heather Knight
Much of Greek mythology explores the control and mischievousness of the Gods trying to reign in or control their human creations. As technology designers and creatives, are humans becoming the next generation of fickle Gods? Prometheus was the half-man, half-god who famously stole fire, in other words, the wisdom of “Techné” and the knowledge of how to create. He paid a harsh price for educating his children, as Zeus punished Prometheus by chaining him to a stone on the top of a mountain where a griffon-vulture tore out his regenerating liver daily. What does it mean for us to make technology that has its own creative powers? As an Electrical Engineer by training and a Roboticist by profession, I will use this talk, drawing examples of my past work, to propose the use of mythological metaphors and storytelling to influence the positive evolution of charismatic technology creation.
Are we modern Greek gods? We have godlike powers to create. We are so intertwined with the technological artifacts of our day. We are using technology to empower people, to augment our abilities. Knight started the Robot Theater Co. – social robots connecting with us on human terms. The thing about robots is that they go where humans cannot. Mars. The bottom of the ocean. Factories. Robots are already such a big part of our lives.
What we don't see a lot of is robots relating on social terms. It is about physicality and engagement, and discovering what is the source of being social. Can we create an artificial social intelligence? We need to be thinking about making positive technologies – how is your technology branded by its application? How can mythologies shape and inspire technology? Our relationship with technology can change the way that we use it. If we create technology with vulnerability, we can relate more to that technology – we can root for the machine.
Using artificial social intelligence, people can teach robots. Can they teach them how to perform? How to be comedians? Performers are charisma specialists, and charisma goes beyond pure functionality. We can teach a robot how to respond to the crowd, and adjust their act.
Some projects shown:
The Cloud – http://www.marilynmonrobot.com/?page_id=12
Cyberflora – http://www.marilynmonrobot.com/?page_id=41
Robot Film Festival – http://www.robotfilmfestival.com/
OK GO Rube Goldberg Machine – http://www.marilynmonrobot.com/?page_id=206
Robot in the Wild: Robot Standup – http://www.marilynmonrobot.com/?page_id=197
Last updated July 14, 2011 by Megan