On Art and Journalism

1. “Alabama Media Group’s first artist-in-residence goes beyond text to explore the culture of the South,” Laura Hazard Owen, Nieman Lab.

“By creating a new kind of role in a media company, I hope to open our doors to talented storytellers who feel limited by journalistic convention and want to push deeper into the heart of creating compelling work, period.”

So much to chew on in this simple statement. 

2. Tali Weinberg’s Drought Portraits.

A longtime friend of mine, Tali’s work often addresses challenging social issues and has more than once given me new lenses with which to think about the world. I recently had a chance to see her woven interpretations of data about California’s drought — complete with spreadsheets! — at an open studios event in Berkeley. It’s a relatively young project, and I’m looking to see how the works evolve, given some of the conversations we had. 

2015-06-06 15.55.07

3. Listening to data.

When I was reporting on how makerspace members are tackling sustainability challenges, Bilal Ghalib shared an audio portrait of car bombing data that he’d made and talked about how hearing the data helped him really connect to the issue and get inspired to act. I love that, and I think audializations (cf visualizations?) are a really interesting technique for engaging people with information. Here are three things I’ve seen recently.

Listen to Wikipedia.

Listen to the microbiome.

Listen to Bitcoin.

I think the implications and applications of this are very interesting. How can we use sound to enhance our information environment? 

BONUS: When I was in New York, recently, I went on a walking tour with the City as Living Laboratory. The walks pair an artist with a scientist to explore small neighborhoods and share different ways of seeing. I loved the walk I went on and would highly recommend them to others.

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