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Art


My artwork uses data in the broadest sense, from musical scores to collections of photographs, to fuel visual explorations of meaning. Most pieces are interactive, inviting the viewer to take part in the artwork either online or in gallery installations.

HINT.FM
(Collaboration with Fernanda Viégas)

MW2MW
(Collaboration with Marek Walczak)

VISUALIZATIONS

Wind Map (2012)
With Fernanda Viégas
The wind map is a living portrait of wind currents over the U.S. The ever-changing currents create a mesmerizing animation.
Read more.

Art of Reproduction (2011)
With Fernanda Viégas
The web can seem like the perfect museum, holding all the world's art. Yet an internet search for any famous artwork will yield many images, often very different. The Art of Reproduction is a series of collages that visualize the discrepancies between these alternate realities.
Read more.
Flickr Flow (2009)
With Fernanda Viégas
Flickr Flow is an experiment whose materials are color and time. Taking year-round photos of the Boston Common as raw materials, we created a visualization of the progression of Massachusetts seasons.
Read more.
Fleshmap (2008)
With Fernanda Viégas
Fleshmap is an inquiry into human desire, its collective shape and individual expressions. In a series of artistic studies, Fernanda Viégas and I explore the relationship between the body and its visual and verbal representation.
Read more.
Thinking Machine (2003-2008)
With Marek Walczak
Thinking Machine explores the invisible, elusive nature of thought. Play chess against a transparent intelligence, its evolving thought process visible on the board before you.
Read more.
Color Code (2005)
The artwork is an interactive map of more than 33,000 words. Each word has been assigned a color based on the average color of images found by a search engine. The words are then grouped by meaning, forming patterns that comprise an atlas of our lexicon. View the project here. (Originally on AIGA site.)

Shape of Song (2001-2002)
What does music look like? The Shape of Song is an attempt to answer this seemingly paradoxical question. The work exists as a web site and a series of prints.
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Idea Line (2001)
The first web commission by the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Idea Line is a visualization of the history of software and internet art.
View the Idea Line.
The Secret Lives of Numbers (2002)
Golan Levin et al.
I helped with the visualization in this piece. (Golan Levin was the principal artist.) The artwork displays the "popularity" of the numbers from 1 to 1,000,000, as determined by an internet search engine. The result is an unusual and detailed view of our culture.
Read more on Golan's site or visit the artwork.

COLLAGE AND VISUAL POETRY

Luscious (2010)
With Fernanda Viégas
Luscious pays homage to fashion designers and photographers, those who compose rousing images of light and color that fill the pages of glossy magazines. The piece is our attempt to distill their visions into abstract compositions.
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Noplace (2008)
With Marek Walczak, Jon Feinberg, Rory Solomon
A series of physical and online art installations exploring visions of paradise. The artwork takes feeds from networked society -- images, sound and text -- as raw material to generate shared and personal utopias. An initial installation premiered at the National Art Museum of China in Beijing in 2008; Noplace Online for the Tate, London, premiered in fall 2008.
Read more.
Apartment (2001-2004)
With Marek Walczak and Jonathan Feinberg
Apartment is a series of closely related works exploring the relation between language and space, building 2D and 3D "apartments" in response to the viewer's typing. Versions of Apartment have been exhibited online and in physical installations in museums.
Read more.
City Collage (2004)
With Marek Walczak and Jakub Segen
CityCollage uses the viewer's own image as a palette to create a painterly image, linking the viewer with the landscape. The installation trains one video camera at the private gallery space, another at the city street outside. Each time movement is detected in the private sphere, a new streetscape is created from the raw material of the gallery image.
Read more on MW2MW.com.
Photoharmonica (2004)
A tool for creating live "performance collage." This piece made its debut at Ars Electronica in 2004. A video of Photoharmonica is used on the CD Images 4 Music. You can also view some stills from the piece.
Associogram (2003)
Generate your own animated, evolving visual poetry from word associations. Associogram was shown at Ars Electronica in 2003.
View screenshot
Third Person (2003)
With Marek Walczak and Jakub Segen
Third Person is a video installation which inserts the viewer into a new social context within the real space of the gallery. You are presented with your own live image, in a video feed incorporating recorded clips of Third Persons. The present is overlaid on the past, rendering previous viewers as companions in contemplation of the artwork. Third Person was shown at the London ICA in 2003.
Read more on MW2MW.com.

DATA COLLECTIONS

WIRED splash page (2008)
With Fernanda Viégas
For its 15th anniversary, WIRED magazine asked us for a splash page that celebrated its history. We immediately thought of the bold colors the magazine is famous for, and created a visualization of every palette used in 15 years of cover art.
Paste (2007)
With Marek Walczak
Whatever is in your clipboard, something that’s on your mind or just a distraction, you Paste. Paste collects users' ctrl-V, option-V or middle-button press, making visible a traditionally unseen layer of information. The minutiae of collective consciousness forms a shared narrative. Online commission of Rhizome, currently offline for repairs: the spammers were flooding it. Back soon!
Copernica (2001)
A commission of the NASA art program, Copernica is a visualization of a collection of previous art created under the auspices of NASA. This piece was done in conjunction with Rhizome.org.
View Copernica.
Starrynight (1999)
With Alex Galloway and Mark Tribe
An early visualization of the texts in the Rhizome.org database. Each text was represented as a star, and similar texts were linked into constellations. Currently offline.
Spiral (1999)
A second visualization of the Rhizome database, using a spiral to represent time. Currently offline.
WonderWalker (2000)
With Marek Walczak
An online commission of the Walker Art Center, WonderWalker reimagines the 16th/17th-century Wunderkammer as a communal collection space -- a phantasmagoria of web objects. Anyone can be a collector. You become one by dragging a button to your browser’s toolbar. Then anytime you browse and something catches your eye, just add that to the collection as an icon on a map.
View Wonderwalker.

DYNAMIC ABSTRACTION

CODeDOC (2002)
An online exhibition at the Whitney Museum, curated by Christiane Paul. Artists were asked to write a short program that would "connect three points," and post both the running program and the code. In addition to my main contribution to the show--which emphasized how brief code can create great complexity--I "remixed" works by other artists, as can be seen here and here.
Sand Shrimp (2000)
For the Singlecell project curated by Golan Levin, I created this applet in which form is only made evident through motion. It has the unusual property that any screenshot looks like random noise, although shapes are evident when you interact with it.
View Sand Shrimp.
Bewitched (1997)
In 1997 I began experimenting with software art. The bewitched.com site held these early efforts, including the signature animated inkblot.
Read more.