Making the Invisible Visible

The Good website is a graphical exploration of the data that surrounds us. This website features, The Road Map to Harmony, an interactive information graphic that explores how our ecosystem is functioning. By clicking on various parts of the word ‘harmony,’ we are able to see how some parts of the world affect others.

Information graphics allow us to present complex data quickly and clearly. Essentially, they enable the publisher to make the invisible visible. The visualisation of data reconfigures publishing, and the organisations of our lives in relation to publishing.

In the first reading, The Dashed Line in Use Arnell uses the basic example of the dashed line. He points out that the dashed line can represent hidden geometry, pathways, movement, and much more.

Consider this weather map below. These dashed lines represent various meteorological features across a particular area at a particular point in time. Now consider the different kinds of dashed lines and how they are modulated to produce different meanings.

A surface weather analysis for the United States on October 21, 2006

In the book Society of the Spectacle, Guy Debord traces the development of a modern society in which authentic social life has been replaced with representations.

“In societies where modern conditions of production prevail, all of life presents itself as an immense accumulation of spectacles. Everything that was directly lived has moved away into a representation” (Debord, G. 1967).

The spectacle are not the images themselves, but rather a social relationship between people that are mediated by images (Debord, G. 1967). Debord claims that in a society full of ‘spectacular images’, we must construct them, just as we do with text. I suppose we must consider what is visible and what is invisible and why. As Gillian said in the lecture the image is never neutral.

As someone who frequents concerts and festivals, I found the Rise of the VJ readings particularly intriguing. They discuss some of the concepts, techniques, and aesthetic qualities with a number of experienced VJs or live cinema artists.

Raquel Meyers VJing

In the interview with Jaygo Bloom, he considers an awareness of the present moment as a key theme in his work. He states that “video, as a medium, reminds you constantly of where you are, as opposed to film, which wants you to engage in suspension of disbelief.” Bloom seeks to create opportunities for others to interact and have a narrative experience, sometimes referring to his works as “participation devices.” This enables the VJ to reconfigure the public in real-time and rework public imagination.

As a parting gift, this is one of my favourite audiovisual performances of 2010. If for some reason you get restless, fast forward to the 4:45 mark and the 5:20 mark.

Dj Shadow live Au Foin de la Rue 2010 

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