Golan Levin and Collaborators

Flong Blog + News

Infosthetic art survey at Slate; Women in Infovis

20 August 2008 / external, infovis

Amanda Schaffer has written a sly and compact survey of some infosthetic artworks in a new Slate article, “Viz Whiz: How artists are mining data sets to make you see the unseen“. It’s a good introductory article for educators, with discussions of influential projects by creatives like Martin Wattenberg, Jonathan Harris, Ben Fry, and Jason Salavon. I’m honored that she included the Dumpster, which I made with Kamal Nigam and Jonathan Feinberg, among her diverse selections of artworks based on information visualization.

By “diverse”, I’m referring to the range of media represented by the projects cited in Schaffer’s article, which include prints, music videos (like Aaron Koblin’s treatment for Radiohead), and all kinds of interactive software. Perhaps unintentionally, though, the roster of artists in her article is exclusively male. Schaffer interviewed me (among others), early on, seeking my suggestions for the article, and so it’s possible that I’m partly responsible for this oversight. But searching around this evening, I was dismayed to discover a complete lack of resources compiling infosthetic art or other visualizations by women; indeed, the single and only Googlewhack for “women in infovis” turns up this dreadful chestnut (…”InfoVis is from Venus, SciVis from Mars”). In the hope that this blog post can help correct the situation, I am moved to point out the significant (and evidently underrecognized) contributions to infoviz by artist/designer/researchers like Lisa Jevbratt, Fernanda B. Viégas, Sheelagh Carpendale, and Jana Diesner, along with newcomers like Stefanie Posavec and Stefanie Gray. In this vein, I also highly recommend the work of artists producing wonderful and provocative visualizations entirely without computation, such as Rachel Whiteread, Stacy Greene, Portia Munson, and Kathy Prendergast, among many others!

Comments are closed.

« Prev post:
» Next post: