By | Monday June 27th, 2011

Typically when I think about social media I am thinking about how organisations are leveraging the data that they have to advance their understanding of their customers. But today I would like to take you on a journey around how people are bring together lots of data points and turning it into art forms.

For a long time I have understood that data is beautiful, but the engineer within didn’t have the tools to let this out. Fortunately graphic designers are no longer afraid of data and the tools are getting better for visualising in a more spectacular way.

Hans Rosling was the first to capture my interest with his views on poverty. He moved my thoughts of raw data into a story and something that was visually interesting. Arron Koblin is another artist that has two projects that I liked. The first was a visualisation of telephone traffic; it was fascinating to watch the patterns of calls over a day.

I am not finished, but now we are about to move away from any corporate relevance other than the fact that many data points brought together can be beautiful.
I came across Frank Ze, who could best be described as “edgy”. He has put together so much material that I like, but the one that I liked the most was a project called Chillout where he recorded a music track then got people to sing it back to him; this was then put together into a sound track – The masses making art.

Arron Koblin and Johnny Cash collaborated with his fans (who rendered all the images for the video) on The Johnny Cash Project, the final outcome is spectacular. This is another example of many people contributing to the final outcome.

The last collaboration that I wanted to share was Choir 2.0, Eric Whitacre brought together over 2000 voices from around the world to sing a piece, which is both visually and acoustically amazing.

The organisations that we work for have data, typically lots and lots of it. Spreadsheets are a great way of communicating information, the challenge is can we turn that information into art?

Daniel Tehan

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One thought on “Collaboration

  1. avatarjohn aydelotte

    I agree with you about Choir 2.0. I also thought the first one which I saw on the TED site was just as wonderful and jaw dropping.


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