Fernanda Viegas and Martin Wattenberg, “Visualization and the Joy of Revelation”

thumbnailArtists and researchers Fernanda Viegas and Martin Wattenberg explore the joy of revelation: the special electricity of seeing a city from the air, of hearing a secret, of watching a lover undress. Their medium is data visualization, a technology developed by computer scientists to extract insights from raw numbers. They’ll show what happens when this technology is aimed at data sets that range from tropical storms (http://hint.fm/wind ) to social networks, from arguments on Wikipedia to expressions of carnal desire (http://fleshmap.com).

Viégas and Wattenberg lead Google’s “Big Picture” visualization research group in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Before joining Google, the two founded the studio Flowing Media, Inc. and, at IBM, created the ground-breaking public visualization platform Many Eyes. Viégas is known for her pioneering depictions of chat histories and email. Wattenberg’s visualizations of the stock market and baby names are considered Internet classics. Their work has appeared in the New York Times, is in the collection of the NY Museum of Modern Art, and has been lampooned on Saturday Night Live.

Co-presented with the CITRIS Data and Democracy Initiative.