Art — May 24, 2011
Aaron Koblin: Artfully visualizing our humanity
Aaron Koblin is an artist specializing in data and digital technologies. His work takes real world and community-generated data and uses it to reflect on cultural trends and the changing relationship between humans and technology.
Koblin takes vast amounts of data — and at times vast numbers of people — and weaves them into stunning visualizations. From elegant lines tracing airline flights to landscapes of cell phone data, from a Johnny Cash video assembled from crowd-sourced drawings to the “Wilderness Downtown” video that customizes for the user, his works brilliantly explore how modern technology can make us more human.
Koblin finds art through the unlikely confluence of massive data sets and personal intimacy. His work ranges from animating the paths of every North American airline flight, to using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk crowdsourcing platform to pay workers to “draw a sheep facing left,” which were then placed in “The Sheep Market.”
Koblin was creative director for Radiohead’s video “House of Cards,” which received a Grammy nomination. He is now the Creative Director of the Data Arts team in Google’s Creative Lab. From there, he collaborated with Arcade Fire to produce a video that blends images of the viewers home, taken from Google Maps’ Street View, into the experience.
To learn more about Aaron’s art, please visit his website:
Digital technology has revolutionized the way we produce and experience art today. This book surveys the developments in digital art from its appearance in the 1980s up to the present day, and looks ahead to what the future may hold. It explores themes addressed and raised by the art, such as viewer interaction, artificial life and intelligence, political and social activism, networks and telepresence, as well as issues such as the collection, presentation, and preservation of digital art.