links for 2009-03-24

  • "It is that magical moment we live for: an unwieldy, unyielding data set is transformed into an image on the screen, and suddenly the user can perceive an unexpected pattern. As visualization designers we have witnessed and experienced many of those wondrous sparks. But in recent years, we have become acutely aware that the visualizations and the sparks they generate, take on new value in a social setting. Visualization is a catalyst for discussion and collective insight about data.

    We all deal with data that we'd like to understand better. It may be as straightforward as a sales spreadsheet or fantasy football stats chart, or as vague as a cluttered email inbox. But a remarkable amount of it has social meaning beyond ourselves. When we share it and discuss it, we understand it in new ways."

  • "Human beings are social creatures. We are social not just in the trivial sense that we like company, and not just in the obvious sense that we each depend on others. We are social in a more elemental way: simply to exist as a normal human being requires interaction with other people."
  • "placethings is a mobile media platform and iPhone application that allows you to create and interact with place based media from your mobile device.

    placethings lets you create, place, and view photos, audio and text right where you are. There are loads of possibilities: reviews, messages, directions, games, location information, advertising & coupons, histories, memories, "secret" messages.

    Each message becomes a hub for further place based conversation. You can respond to an image with another image, a voice recording, or with text. Any combination is possible.

    Where other similar applications are focused on disposable, temporary messaging, placethings emphasizes creating a persistent layer of media accessible via your iPhone."

  • "Subdivided is a documentary film about life in contemporary suburbia: a personal study of isolation and the struggle to find and maintain community in an era of careless development, the uninspired design of the modern subdivision, urban sprawl, and the invasion of the McMansion.

    American life is more divisive than ever, and poorly designed neighborhoods further encourage isolation and separation. With no sense of place or belonging, is this the new American Dream?"

  • "The written probe here is evidence of a conscious attempt to create motion-glyphs out of seemingly mundane and unrelated forms, signs and symbols of two continental systems. In essence a primer for a new form of visual cognition, The Shining eschews all formal genre conditions of horror crafting a vastly unseeable new genre, one that has yet to be fully integrated into our culture as re-cognition. Your memory is consistently being tested as well as your powers of observation, not unlike a test we would administer to an ape to see relevance and awareness. Our consciousness as thinkers that utilize the visual cortex to connect motor and sense areas requires that we evolve beyond our liminal trappings. The Shining, though primitive, represents a revolution awaiting the brain, dormant in many ways but suprisingly it remains and even grows more attractive as it grows older. Its greatest tools and tests remain hidden from a vast majority of viewers and await discovery."
  • "An emblem book is a collection of images with adjoining text. In an emblem there is a dialog or tension between image and word. Emblems are frequently allegorical in theme.

    Emblem books are a form of text not altogether familiar to us today. An emblem book represents a particular kind of reading. Unlike today, the eye is not intended to move rapidly from page to page. The emblem is meant to arrest the sense, to lead into the text, to the richness of its associations. An emblem is something like a riddle, a "hieroglyph" in the Renaissance vocabulary — what many readers considered to be a form of natural language."

  • "Many of you may know of the Internet phenomenon that is LOLCats. Slightly less of you may know how crazy/awesome early modern woodcut illustrations and frontispieces can be. But what joins these two disparate worlds? Well, it may surprise you to know how popular LOL-ing was in the Renaissance."
  • "Readings for Philosophers and Catholics" at the Jacques Maritain Center
  • "The Range of Reason

    Jacques Maritain"