Archive for the ‘design’ Category

Upcoming workshop at FSU, “I Know Where Your Cat Lives”: The Process of Mapping Big Data for Inconspicuous Trends

Monday, March 16th, 2015

I’m doing a workshop / lecture as part of the ongoing Digital Scholars digital humanities discussion group here at Florida State University. Workshop is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, March 25, 2:00-3:30 pm
Fine Arts Building (FAB) 320A [530 W. Call St. map]

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“I Know Where Your Cat Lives”: The Process of Mapping Big Data for Inconspicuous Trends

Big Data culture has its supporters and its skeptics, but it can have critical or aesthetic value even for those who are ambivalent. How is it possible, for example, to consider data as more than information — as the performance of particular behaviors, the practice of communal ideals, and the ethic motivating new media displays? Professor Owen Mundy from FSU’s College of Fine Arts invites us to take up these questions in a guided exploration of works of art that will highlight what he calls “inconspicuous trends.” Using the “I Know Where Your Cat Lives” project as a starting point, Professor Mundy will introduce us to the technical and design process for mapping big data in projects such as this one, showing us the various APIs (Application Program Interfaces) that are constructed to support them and considering the various ways we might want to visualize their results.

This session offers a hands-on demonstration and is designed with a low barrier of entry in mind. For those completely unfamiliar with APIs, this session will serve as a useful introduction, as Professor Mundy will walk us through the process of connecting to and retrieving live social media data from the Instagram API and rendering it using the Google Maps API. Participants should not worry if they do not have expertise in big data projects or are still learning the associated vocabulary. We come together to learn together, and all levels of skill will be accommodated, as will all attitudes and leanings. Desktop computers are installed in FAB 320A, but participants are welcome to bring their own laptops and wireless devices.

Participants are encouraged to read the following in advance of the meeting:

and to browse the following resources for press on Mundy’s project:

For further (future) reading:

I Know Where Your Cat Lives launched

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

I just launched a new ongoing project this week. Here’s the text, a video and some screenshots. I’ll post more about how I made it soon.

Welcome to the today’s internet—you can buy anything, every website is tracking your every move, and anywhere you look you find videos and images of cats. Currently, there are 15 million images tagged with the word “cat” on public image hosting sites, and daily thousands more are uploaded from unlimited positions on the globe.

“I Know Where Your Cat Lives” iknowwhereyourcatlives.com is a data experiment that visualizes a sample of 1 million public pics of cats on a world map, locating them by the latitude and longitude coordinates embedded in their metadata. The cats were accessed via publicly available APIs provided by popular photo sharing websites. The photos were then run through various clustering algorithms using a supercomputer at Florida State University in order to represent the enormity of the data source.

This project explores two uses of the internet: the sociable and humorous appreciation of domesticated felines, and the status quo of personal data usage by startups and international megacorps who are riding the wave of decreased privacy for all. This website doesn’t visualize all of the cats on the net, only the ones that allow you to track where their owners have been.

Folks can also contribute to a kickstarter to help with hosting costs.

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Term vs. Term for Digital Public Library of America hackathon

Monday, April 14th, 2014

I made a small app to compare the number of search results for two phrases from the Digital Public Library of America for a hackathon / workshop here at Florida State next week.

http://owenmundy.com/work/term-vs-term

dpla term vs term

Digital Humanities Hackathon II – Digital Public Library of America

Monday, April 21, 2:00-3:30 p.m.
Strozier Library, Scholars Commons Instructional Classroom [MAP]

The Digital Scholars Reading and Discussion Group will simulate its second “hackathon” on April 21, allowing participants to learn more about the back-end structure of the Digital Public Library of America. With its April 2013 launch, the DPLA became the first all-digital library that aggregates metadata from collections across the country, making them available from a single point of access. The DPLA describes itself as a freely available, web-based platform for digitized cultural heritage projects as well as a portal that connects students, teachers, scholars, and the public to library resources occurring on other platforms.

From a critical point of view, the DPLA simultaneously relies on and disrupts the principles of location and containment, making its infrastructure somewhat interesting to observe.

In this session, we will visit the DPLA’s Application Programming Interface (API) codex to observe some of the standards that contributed to its construction. We will consider how APIs function, how and why to use them, and who might access their metadata and for what purposes. For those completely unfamiliar with APIs, this session will serve as a useful introduction, as well as a demonstration of why a digital library might also want to serve as an online portal. For those more familiar with APIs, this session will serve as an opportunity to try on different tasks using the metadata that the DPLA aggregates from collections across the country.

At this particular session, we are pleased to be joined by Owen Mundy from FSU Department of Art and Richard Urban from FSU College of Communication and Information, who have considered different aspects of working with APIs for projects such as the DPLA, including visualization and graphics scripting, and developing collections dashboards.

As before, the session is designed with a low barrier of entry in mind, so participants should not worry if they do not have programming expertise or are still learning the vocabulary associated with open-source projects. We come together to learn together, and all levels of skill are accommodated, as are all attitudes and leanings.

Participants are encouraged to explore the Digital Public Library of America site prior to our meeting and to familiarize themselves with the history of the project. Laptops will be available for checkout, but attendees are encouraged to bring their own.

Packet Switching project: ColladaFragmenter software, Kassel, Germany and University of Florida Public Commission

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Joelle Dietrick and I embarked on a new body of work this summer called “Packet Switching.” Inspired by her Sherwin Series images and wall paintings, and my work deconstructing and re-visualizing source code and other data, we’ve created two new software projects, as well as a series of limited edition prints, large photo installations, wall-sized paintings, and animations.

The full statement explains our process and intent clearly:

Packet Switching is an ongoing body of work by Joelle Dietrick and Owen Mundy that visualizes architecture as fragments affected by economic and communications systems.

The title of the series references how contemporary communications systems break digital files into smaller manageable blocks of data called packets. Each packet is then sent through a network, taking the quickest route possible, and reassembled once they reach their destination. One JPG image, for example, might be broken into several packets, each of which may travel a different path through the net, even through different cities, before being recompiled into a copy of the original file.

To reference this common process used in networked systems, we wrote custom software that deconstructs a 3D model’s source code and produces unique fragments. We further remixed these fragments using an original application created in Processing. The resulting images become limited edition prints, large photo installations, wall-sized paintings, and animations.

Our process underscores how incidental fragmentation and automation can streamline markets, but also make them vulnerable to systems failure. The use of architecture specifically points to recent real estate market volatility and considers how communication technology-enabled pursuits of profit margins alters our most basic needs.

The first software, that “deconstructs a 3D model’s source code and produces unique fragments,” is open source and available on Github. Essentially, the PHP software, parses a 3D COLLADA file and exports a set number of geometries, that can then be further broken down and used in an artwork or design.

The second software, which we will release soon, remixes these fragments using Processing. The video below shows an example of the whole process.

[vimeo 45473740 w=600&h=338]

Wall painting at “Temporary Home” in Kassel, Germany

While artists-in-residence at Temporary Home, in Kassel, Germany, which coincided with Documenta13, Joelle Dietrick and I completed a wall-sized temporary painting based on the architecture from the Bauhaus School at Dessau and 2012 American color forecasts.

Commission at Weimer Hall at the University of Florida

Joelle and I have also received a commission to complete Packet Switching (Weimer Hall) at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications this fall. This will be inkjet on adhesive polyester on a large wall (approx. 177.5 ft. x 20.2 ft.). More details soon.

PaletteVisualizer

Saturday, August 11th, 2012

I’ve been working on a lot of projects this summer using various color palettes. Since my work involves writing programs to use these palettes in different visual outcomes, I keep wishing for an easy way to view and negotiate the lists of colors. So today I wrote a simple app to visualize a list of hexadecimal values and sort them by hue, saturation, and value (HSV). The app can be used here, and the code is open under the MIT License.

Thanks to Alexei Kourbatov for the color format exchange functions.

Drain Magazine – Power issue and new site

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

I am happy to announce the launch of the new website for Drain: Journal of Contemporary Art and Culture and the corresponding release of issue #11 POWER, which I co-organized with Avantika Bawa.

POWER, issue #11

This issue of Drain attempts to expose the cultural faciality of power, as well as manifestations of power as simulacra which obfuscate traditional inquiries into its construction. If power connects the virtual and the actual, how does cultural creativity channel or destabilize this connectivity? The corporate-academic-entertainment-military-industrial complex and its front-end, the global information machine floods us with images and images of images, to cause sensory overload, and yet, at the same time, acute sensory deprivation. Most of all, power entrenches a visual literacy that allows us to see only its style, leaving us unable to access other ways of seeing and becoming. How can we parody this visual literacy, and the speed, cadence and grammar of this power and its affects?


Necropolis by Roi Kuper

If the simulation of power is necessary and absolute, can creative acts and molecular politics slip through the surveillance and desensitizing of territorializing systems?


GWOTEM by J.M. Badoud

This issue of Drain presents artworks, essays, and other creative works to actualize answers to these questions and re-channel them into different connectivities, ways of becoming and conceptual production.


The Gift of Giving by Oscar Perez

We are pleased to present Ian Buchanan and Roi Kuper as our feature writer and featured artist. This issue also includes essays by Emma Cocker and Chris Revelle, as well as interviews by Alexander Stewart with artist Andy Roache and Bertha Husband with Blazo Kovacevic. In our Creative Writing section, we present works by Camille Meyer, BT Shaw & Elizabeth Lopeman, Vanessa Norton, Emma Cocker and Morgan Campbell. Art projects works by Jamie Badoud, Diana Heise, Cyrico Lopes, Bob Paris and Oscar Perez.


Past issues

UFF-FSU.ORG

Monday, August 29th, 2011

I recently completed a redesign of United Faculty of Florida – Florida State University (UFF-FSU) union website at uff-fsu.org with colleague, Phil Steinberg. This site runs on WordPress CMS with an altered Twenty Eleven theme. Here are some screenshots:

Give Me My Data business cards

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

One of my visualizations on the front. More info

Facebook’s recommended privacy settings should emphasize more not less

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Facebook’s “Privacy Settings” always seem to be a work in progress. One thing they do consistently is default to less privacy overall, thus more sharing of your information on their site. For a website that depends on user-generated content the motivation to encourage sharing is clear enough. Still, why do they use the word “privacy” if they’re not actually embracing the idea?

For example, a recent update introduces a table with degrees of privacy from less to more (left to right). Types of data are listed in rows, while access is shown in the columns, with Everyone to Friends Only, again left to right.

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Curious about what Facebook “Recommended” settings were, I clicked and am sharing the screenshot below. I am not surprised to see that they wish me to open-up all content I generate; status messages, posts, images, etc. and discourage allowing anyone I don’t know to comment on posts (probably as spam prevention).

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I have been thinking about privacy quite a bit this week, developing ideas for what next to do with Give Me My Data, and providing an interview about social media for Naked on Pluto (along with the likes of Marc Garrett and Geert Lovink). Plus I went to see the “geek hero story” The Social Network at the Babylon Cinema last night.

Anyway, after all this thinking about Facebook’s past, I’m curious about its future, and how it will continue to try to hold on to the #1 social networking website position that Friendster and MySpace lost so quickly. The API, games, etc could be expected, but the Facebook Connect tools that are so prevalent now, even on Yelp, a site I figured could make it without schlepping, were a surprise.

Facebook Connect, a jquery “widget” that allows you to login to other websites using your Facebook ID, is clever and eerie at once. It allows Facebook to track you when you are not even on their site, and make sure you stay loyal. If that sounds sinister, well it is. What other purpose could there be for making available a service with the single purpose of mediating every interaction or bit of content you add to the web? It seems at first like OpenID, and it is, except that its run by a multi-billion dollar social media corporation.

Give Me My Data Anleitung in Deutsch…

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

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This lovely website has posted instructions in German for using Give Me My Data. Vielen Dank! English version