Even after all this time, I’m still amazed at the long tail, and how likeminds find each other. I was playing around with Google+, and came upon Jer Thorp, who is the data artist in residence at The New York Times. As I clicked around, I came across an award-winning project he did a number of years ago called Petals, which I remembered for its elegant yet playful mashup of flickr pictures, and color concepts. This got my attention, so I decided to see what he was up to these days besides his day job.
One of Thorp’s latest art projects is a collaboration with Random Number in New York. Data visualization is in full creative swing here as Thorp calls out the history of certain word usage in the New York Times.
Random Number’s descriptions follow:
This screen print visualizes the frequency of the words ‘red,’ ‘green,’ and ‘blue’ in The New York Times over two decades.
The data is arranged in three overlapping rings to represent each color, and can be read in the clockwise direction.
The graph also includes names of organizations that were associated with the represented colors, providing a telling representation of their affiliations and color preferences.
In startlingly clear terms, this two-color screen print visualizes the frequency of occurrence of the words ‘hope’ (blue) and ‘crisis’ (graphite) in The New York Times over a twenty year period.
Thorp’s word selection presents a snapshot of recent news stories, laying out the interconnected and complex narrative of world affairs in the form of a timepiece graph.
Thorp’s work takes the appeal of infographics into the realm of art, as he reminds us of our shared immersion in concepts and words while presenting a gorgeous image to contemplate our connectedness. And in a continuation of synchronicity, I see Thorp will be giving the keynote at O’Reilly’s Strata Conference in NYC at the end of September…I was just at their offices yesterday doing some user testing on a new product they are releasing soon…and on it goes.
We have been enjoying Bashir Sultani’s series : Art with Salt. Today he released a new one of Jimi Hendrix. Enjoy the immediacy of his process, and the magic of the transformation of common salt into an iconic image. Be sure to watch till the end when we are reminded of the medium and its transience.
This piece by Evan Drolet Cook got me thinking about perception, and hubris, and how for the most part, our reputation around the world has the taint of arrogance and naïveté when it comes to world view. Obviously, for some of us, this is not the case, but in general, Cook’s rendition of the North American map is a good reminder of all we may not have experienced. And though Americans are used to seeing this meme of a world view…let’s not forget…there’s a whole big world beyond this continent…just sayin’….
Fascinating and simple. YouTuber justkylevids dropped his iPhone 4 inside his guitar out of curiosity. The effect he achieved was pure wonderment. It looks like we are watching the actual strings vibrate, when in fact, we are witnessing the “Rolling Shutter effect”. The camera uses a CMOS censor which causes a distortion in the image caused by the type of camera used to film it. Delightful.
Tina Roth Eisenberg is Swissmiss. We find her blog interesting enough to link to on mixingreality, and write about some of her design ideas. She founded and runs Creative Mornings, a monthly breakfast lecture series for creative types. The events are free of charge, and include a 20 minute talk, plus coffee. Join in New York, Zurich, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and soon Chicago and London. Besides that, Eisenberg runs a design studio, and is a serial entrepreneur. On Tuesday, she launched her latest brainwave : Tattly.
We love the idea of temporary tattoos. After all, what, one image can encompass a lifetime commitment? But alas, until now, we have been relegated to Disney characters and bad on the eyes tats for tots. Swissmiss’s thoughts exactly.
So Eisenberg:…looked through my rolodex and reached out to fellow designers I admire to see what they thought of the idea. The response was overwhelmingly positive. Within days I received my first tattoo submissions. And now, a good two months later, we have a site, a team and an impressive fulfillment-centerlike-set-up in our studio. Team Tattly is ready to ship and rock the world of temporary tattoos.
And why wouldn’t she be? She’s got a great list of contributors so far.
Jessi Arrington: Color Burst
Jessica Hische: Type Nerd
Marc Johns: Rabbit
Julia Rothman: You’re Late, Robot, Polaroid Instant Camera
Frank Chimero: Knucks
James Victore: Scribble, I <3 NYC
Jason Santa Maria: Aperture
Chris Glass: Mother
Kelli Anderson: Carpe Futurum
Josh Smith: Cursors, Tattone
Jennifer Ward: Speak Up
For the first two weeks, the site if offering the entire set of 15 designs for a special rate of $35. So get you some tattly, and don’t worry, these designs are temporary.
This project has everything we love about street art. It’s engaging, original, spontaneous, and here’s the difference…the call to action is immediate : taking back the streets for play.
Created by the French collective, Démocratie Créative, Spielplatz is a street art project which turns the streets into a playground.
In their words:
Democracy is a project of Creative Studies and artistic actions in public space. Through a participatory approach and we propose experimental to imagine the city and its possibilities.
Our goals are focused on three areas:
PURPOSE AND LOOK
question the city on his daily environment
involve residents in the appropriation of their territory
exchange interventions around space
This came to us through an artist who persists on telling his story, reminding us, not to give up: no matter what.
May 17, 2011
To Whom it May Inspire,
I, like many of you artists out there, constantly shift between two states. The first (and far more preferable of the two) is white-hot, “in the zone” seat-of-the-pants, firing on all cylinders creative mode. This is when you lay your pen down and the ideas pour out like wine from a royal chalice! This happens about 3% of the time.
The other 97% of the time I am in the frustrated, struggling, office-corner-full-of-crumpled-up-paper mode. The important thing is to slog diligently through this quagmire of discouragement and despair. Put on some audio commentary and listen to the stories of professionals who have been making films for decades going through the same slings and arrows of outrageous production problems.
In a word: PERSIST.
PERSIST on telling your story. PERSIST on reaching your audience. PERSIST on staying true to your vision. Remember what Peter Jackson said, “Pain is temporary. Film is forever.” And he of all people should know.
So next time you hit writer’s block, or your computer crashes and you lose an entire night’s work because you didn’t hit save (always hit save), just remember: you’re never far from that next burst of divine creativity. Work through that 97% of murky abyssmal mediocrity to get to that 3% which everyone will remember you for!
I guarantee you, the art will be well worth the work!
Your friend and mine,
“ADVENTURE IS OUT THERE!”
Thank you, Beckett for inspiring this.
Anthony Lister is an Australian artist living in New York. Working as a street artist on projects that are sometimes “uncommissioned”, Lister has a style that is engaging and immediate. See the video by Pindarodge which documents a recent trip to Berlin, where Lister was invited to create a show with one week to prepare.
Lister utilized an abandoned sanatorium to paint a pool, with a twist.
Take a look at some of Lister’s other work from the not so distant past, to get a sense of his intuitive and somewhat biting style.
Somehow this just seems a good way to send best wishes for a happy 4th of July weekend to all our peeps worldwide. Enjoy!
During the mid-nineteenth century hair work became a popular drawing-room occupation as the Victorians used hair in jewelry. But modernity gave way to a different aesthetic, so that the work from Kerry Howley’s graduate project at Middlesex University makes us pause for the very reasons she decided to do the series:
My concept is a material exploration of attraction and aversion and how we can feel these seemingly opposing emotional responses simultaneously.
The necklaces are made of human hair, a material we are familiar with and take pride in. However once off of the body it becomes an innate source of aversion. I wanted to see if I could make discarded hair attractive again.
Through the familiar form of a necklace, and using patterns and symmetry that we instinctively find aesthetically pleasing, I hoped to create a delicate balance between the viewer/wearers feelings of aversion and attraction.
Howley’s medium was provided by one of her mother’s friends, a Japanese woman with hair down to her waist, who had not cut it in 5 years. Howley used broken saw blades to cut and then weave about 12 inches (30 cm) of hair. Each piece takes over 60 hours to create, and her patterns are inspired by wallpaper patterns.
The facts aside, her intention is clearly met, as her beautiful patterns draw us in to notice her disarming choice of material, and then question our feelings.