Some random thought on Dubois artwork

Personally I have been exposed to “art” for a long time, and certainly I can not really judge his work from aesthetic aspect, but what he is trying to express in pretty clear: the power of data, facilitating with nowadays  unprecedented computing power. We certainly produce a lot more data than before, and it help us to understand the world we live in from another way. However, due the difference among each people, there can be different interpretation of one piece of data. People who create them can dress any kind of conclusion from certain data, or simply putting them in there and let viewer decide the meaning of it.

So, not all them are supposed to be meaningful and objective. Certainly yes, we do can get useful information from tons of data by studying its patterns, but not all patterns are useful. For example, one of his work is connecting all his email contacts together by dot and lines. To me, the network drawn has no more meaning than “I know a lot of people”. It does not make any sense statically and mathematically but simply a visualization of some random data set.

However, I found his work of collecting each presidents word use is pretty interesting.  Similar as the word cloud we have seen in the class, he first  developed his own algorithm to get his own data, and then align them in a straightforward  way, a simplified version of word cloud. We can easily grasp what was happened during certain time and how the United States developed till nowadays.

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