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Using Data for Art

Using Data for Art

A teaser into the world of Data Art & Generative Art. A visual summary of my colloquium paper that surveys data art projects and categorizes them based on the medium of source data used.

First presented at Fifth Elephant (2014), Bangalore


Rasagy Sharma

July 26, 2014


  1. Hello! :)

  2. Assumptions & Reality (when people heard the title)

  3. “We are not painters” (List of most expensive paintings –

    Wikipedia) The Card Players by Paul Cézanne, The Scream by Edvard Munch, Portrait of Dr. Gachet by Vincent van Gogh, Femme aux Bras Croisés by Picasso
  4. Favorite chai-time topic! “Well, art is art, isn't it? Still,

    on the other hand, water is water!” - Groucho Marx
  5. Art: An expression, based on what an artist wants (to

    express) | Design: made for the users.
  6. Art: Evokes emotions, even if they are different for different

  7. Historic Data Viz for bringing a change: Daniel McCallum -

    Org Chart for Erie Railway (mid-1800s), William Playfair (first pie chart 1801), Minard (an engineer)'s Napolean March map in 1869, Diagram of a slave ship from the Atlantic slave trade.
  8. “What were the artists doing?” 18th Century: Composition by Mozart:

    “Instructions for the composition of as many waltzes as one desires with two dice, without understanding anything about music or composition” - 176 bars of music x two die = 11^16 possibilities! 1854: “The Eureka” by John Clark generated Latin verses, 1959: “Meta-matics” by Jean Tinguely, kinetic installations on mechanics of chance.
  9. Generative Art: Using a machine as a collaborator to create

    the art piece - pass on some control
  10. Typical Facebook Analytics

  11. 4010 Facebook Tree by Onformative abstracted Facebook analytics into a

  12. Let’s use the weather! Generative Identity for Nordkyn by Neue

    Design Studio
  13. Identity in use in photos (with logo reflecting the weather

    when it was shot)
  14. Now I’m going to tease your brain cells with some

    of the beautiful work done using different sources of data
  15. None
  16. Wifi Light Painting by Timo Arnall, Einar Sneve Martinussen, &

    Jørn Georg (Wifi Signal Strength), Art is Motion by Sergio albiac (Car driver’s portrait), Meshu by Sha Hwang & Rachel Binx (Polygons based on geo-location of places you’ve visited)
  17. None
  18. To hear the grass growing by Feld, Underwater by David

    Bowen to map Lake Superior
  19. None
  20. Blazing by Karin Kuhlmann Fractal Flames / FraxFlames COP 15

    by OkDeluxe & ShiftControl, uses Multiple algorithms like flocking, force fields etc.
  21. Substrate by J Tarbell, using Perpendicular growth algorithms Hyphae Lamp

    by Nervous System, based on leaf vein formations
  22. None
  23. Particle Synthesis by lab[au] using Particle Emitters & Granular Synthesis

    PixFlow #2 by lab[au] simulating Vector Field behavior
  24. None
  25. Drawing Machine (1960) by Desmond Paul Henry MIT Media Lab

    Identity by The Green Eyl (Different logo for each prof/student, now redesigned)
  26. None
  27. Writing without words by Stefanie Posavec – Text structures visualization

    (no code!) Perpetual Storytelling Apparatus by Feld which uses novel or any text as Patent drawings
  28. None
  29. The Simple Act of Making a Mark by Alan Rorie:

    Recursive Drawing Machine using Image Capture Years by Bartholomäus Traubeck: Record Player that plays wood's year rings in tree bark
  30. None
  31. Leeds College of Music Identity by Precedent: Identity based on

    each student & faculty's music Microsonic Landscapes by Realitat: Music Album visualization
  32. Silk by Yuri Vishnevsky, Images for 18 Musicians by Casey

    Raes, Schwarm by Andreas Nicolas Fischer
  33. None
  34. Books: Generative Art, Creative Code, Generative Design (German/English), Processing Sites:

    Information Aesthetics, Creative Applications Network, Generator.x
  35. None
  36. None
  37. More updates on my Viznam project series will be on:

  38. (Short videos introducing the three topics. Highly recommended!)