After the last post I have to report about a movie again already: Part of the Off Book series by PBS Arts, the short documentary gives a glimpse into computer generative art. Computer generative art in the words of Luke Dubois (starring in the documentary) is
[art] where you surrender control over some aspect what’s going down to some [computer] process.
Generative Art: Computers, Data, and Humanity portrays three artists and their work.
In Turning Data Into Music and Stories Luke Dubois tells how he turned casualties, missing and refugees of 8 years of war in Iraq into an 8 minute musical piece. Dubois says the reason for him to do that was, that the Iraq war is the first conflict of the U.S. where we have more data than information. I am not sure whether this is true from the information side (i.e. whether people were better informed about other wars), but modern gizmos and equipment certainly do produce heaps of data and thus maybe, in fact, make us know or feel less about what is going on.
I also found myself agreeing to Dubois saying:
This century is the century of data. That’s gonna be the defining thing.
I would add to that: and how we approach that heap of data. We amass such amounts of data that turning it into valuable, actionable information is getting harder and harder. In some fields, where data was hard or expensive to get, the situation has changed and we now seek for ways how to filter and intelligently assess incoming data streams. This is certainly true for many fields in Geography.
In Collaborating With Electronic Sheep Scott Draves talks about how he works on a collaborative interactive visualization (that can also serve as screensaver). Basically, the computers of all people who have installed his software interact online. People can interact with the visualization, too. Popular images in that environment meet and mate to create new visuals.
In Spore and The Meta-Brain game designer Will Wright talks about how online-communities have become “hireable brains” and about his work on Spore, the evolutionary computer game.