I connected with Fathom Information Design
during the Eyeo festival
and they invited me to give a presentation during their Friday social hour in mid-July about my work and its connection to infovis and computational artmaking. I drew up a slideshow about my recent forays into Processing and how they relate to the “Organic Algorithm” series I’ve been developing.
Handwritten “algorithm” for generating a hand-drawn map
Procedurally-created hand-drawn map process
Map of a local pub
Visual notes from Eyeo during a presentation by Ben Fry, co-creator of Processing and head of Fathom
The best part of the presentation was that while I was presenting on my visual notes, I was getting visualized myself! Attending employee Rachel Harris drew an amazing map of what I’d talked about; see more of her work on her Instagram here
I recently attended Eyeo Festival
for the second time, in early June. This time, instead of my separate sketch and written journals, I took notes all in my multimedia sketchbook. This meant that for almost every talk I attended, I ended up with at least one page full of important quotes and memorable visuals. Some highlights:
Alexis Lloyd on the history of robots and androids in our culture and our relationship to them. The video of her talk is up here
on her amazing IoT-type art projects she called “post-scary media arts”. She’s an inspiration. View the talk here
presented so much fascinating info about style transfer and machine learning that I literally wrote off the page. He’s the only presenter I had to use more than one page for. Somehow I still managed to get some visual representations of his slides in too! They help me remember the presentation since I’m mostly visual. And since the video isn’t up on the eyeo channel
I’m not sure if you can tell yet, but Eyeo was -extremely- inspirational. I’m in love with all the projects here, and I’m so glad I have my notes to remind me what I want to strive for. I’ve already had a hand in some style transfer experiments using my maps—keep an eye out for a post on that soon!
Last month I taught an imaginary mapmaking workshop as part of Hubbub
, a children’s book festival produced by Boston Book Festival
There was a real range of ages, small children and older children as well as the adults with them, and I tried to come up with something that might have some interest for everyone—and be executable within an hour.
I first asked participants to draw some thumbnails. I like teaching thumbnailing (which I remember learning for both high school art and college-level animation classes!) because it helps people get their ideas on paper without resorting to being precious or finicky about it.
Then we chose from those thumbnails to work on a larger drawing. This is the way that I do pretty much everything—I sketch out visual ideas or conceptual algorithms for a piece starting at the smallest scale and continue to develop it as I scale up. The initial concept is usually pretty fully-formed already, so the critical part is to get it down as soon as possible.
I’m always really impressed with what people draw. Even if they themselves aren’t proud, it’s always fascinating to me to see where people take my instruction and what they bring to it. Everyone has such different ways to map!
I presented my work at the Eyeo Festival’s show & tell sessions today, focusing on the way that expanding my practice to animation and Processing has fed back into my traditional media artwork.
Download my EYEO 2015 show and tell slides as a PDF
Some animations from my talk: