INFORMATION DESIGN AS ART LO23892

From: Arun-Kumar Tripathi (tripathi@statistik.uni-dortmund.de)
Date: 02/04/00


Dear Org Learners,

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*Every Human beings has a thirst for knowledge*
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[FYI - Information Design as Art, The Hague, Jan-April (including
CHI'2000) Including Cognitive psychologist Douwe Draaisma; ORIGIN
MEDIALAB where time can be invested in innovative research into the field
of artificial intelligence, information technology and multimedia; MARTIN
DODGE on CYBER GEOGRAPHY RESEARCH and For five years, Bob Horn worked with
three students on a large scale project called "Can Computers Think?". The
title is based on a quote from the mathematician Alan Turing who claimed
in 1950 that machines would one day be able to think like humans.

The exhibit will open at the gallery of the Stroom Center in The Hague, in
The Netherlands on January 25, 2000 and is first to present information
design as public art in a major gallery. The exhibit "InfoArcadia" will
run until April 22nd, 2000 and will include 21 designer-artists from 6
countries.

Robert E. Horn has also written a book "Visual Language: Global
Communication for the 21st Century <http://www.macrovu.com> Description of
his book can read at <http://www.stanford.edu/~rhorn/VLBkDescription.html>
Please check it out his "Argumentation Maps On Can Computers Think?" at
<http://www.macrovu.com/CCTGeneralInfo.html> The cognitive psychologist
Douwe Draaisma from Netherlands has written a 'Book' on 'The Metaphor
Machine: A history of mind' you can read its 'Synopsis at
<http://www.histuitg.nl/4895e.html> You can also read about Nietzsche,
Charles Baudelaire, Walter Benjamin and Aristotle at
<http://www.histuitg.nl/buchmesse.html> [There are also German and English
version to read] Draaisma has also written a book 'Hidden Wheels: On time,
machines and consciousness' Its review is available at
<http://www.histuitg.nl/4933e.html>

NOTE: Complete Details are given below..Thanks.I hope you would like to
read and review the following interesting message. --Arun Tripathi]

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Date: Thu, 03 Feb 2000 16:54:51 -0800
From: Terry Winograd <winograd@CS.Stanford.EDU>
To: pcd-fyi-list@lists.Stanford.EDU
Cc: hornbob@earthlink.net
[....]

EXHIBITION FOCUSES INTERNATIONAL ATTENTION ON INFORMATION DESIGN AS ART

With this first-ever exhibit of its kind, the Stroom Center for the Visual
Arts is focusing international attention on Information Design as a newly
emerging discipline and art form. The exhibit will open at the gallery of
the Stroom Center in The Hague, in The Netherlands on January 25, 2000 and
is first to present information design as public art in a major gallery.
The exhibit "InfoArcadia" will run until April 22nd, 2000 and will include
21 designer-artists from 6 countries.

INFOARCADIA EXHIBITION (JANUARY 25, 2000 - APRIL 22, 2000)

MUSEUM
Stroom Center for the Visual Arts
Spui 193-195
2511 BN Den Haag
The Netherlands
phone: 31 70 3658985
<http://www.stroom.nl>

CURATORS
Ronald van Tienhoven
Da Costakade 158
1053XC Amsterdam
the Netherlands
+31 20 6853853
Email tien@xs4all.nl

Maarten de Reus
Scheepstimmermanstraat 124
1019 WZ Amsterdam
the Netherlands
+31 20 7772348
Email mdereus@a2000.nl
******************************

EXHIBITORS AND DESIGNERS

ROBERT E. HORN (USA)
For five years, Bob Horn worked with three students on a large scale
project called "Can Computers Think?". The title is based on a quote from
the mathematician Alan Turing who claimed in 1950 that machines would one
day be able to think like humans. The project resulted in seven large
posters that describe the debate concerning the development of artificial
intelligence by means of flow charts: a claim leads to a rebuttal which
leads to a counterrebuttal. The 7 posters contain over 800 important moves
in the debate made by 380 participants worldwide from more than 10 academic
disciplines, and integrated with over 300 illustrations and 60 photographs.
The posters look like the production systems of a nuclear reactor, but on
closer inspection reveal a world of information. With this large project
Horn wants to prove that the marriage between language and image is an
effective way of disclosing complex information, which he describes in his
recent book, Visual Language. <http://www.macrovu.com/> or
at <http://www.stanford.edu/~rhorn>

MARTIN DODGE - CYBER GEOGRAPHY RESEARCH (GB)
There is a new Terra Incognita and it's called the World Wide Web. Humanity
has added a new world to the existing one, and despite the fact we made it
ourselves, we only know it approximately. It's not surprising that a new
generation of geographers his risen whose passion matches that of Ptolemy
or Mercator. These cyber geographers are attempting to chart the web by all
means available today. The Englishman Martin Dodge, connected to University
College in London, has occupied himself with cataloging cyber geography for
years. His website is a treasury of the most pregnant examples, both in
historical and topical context. His webzine Cyber-Geography Bulletin
critically follows recent developments. <http://www.cybergeography.org/>

SENSORIUM (JAPAN)
In 1996 the virtual Internet World Exposition (IWE'96) took place on the
Internet. The structure of the exhibition was based on traditional World
Expositions in which land and theme pavilions take a prominent place. The
Japanese theme pavilion was partly designed by Sensorium, a mixed company
of interface and information designers, graphic designers, musicians,
writers and representatives of other disciplines. After IWE'96 the staff of
Sensorium wanted to continue this collaboration. The anthropologist
Shinichi Takemura plays a central role within this the Tokyo-based
collective. The Internet projects by Sensorium are simple and
evocative. In "Night and Day," the world reveals itself by means of a
circle of 24 web cams, that are each placed within one of the global time
zones. Night slowly glides across the earth, draping darkness over
everything, including the web cams on the night side of the earth. This
simple fact can induce a remarkable and intensified experience, both in
the physical and metaphysical sense. With a project like "Night and Day,"
Sensorium manages anywhere in the world to generate images that transgress
time, place, and culture. <http://www.sensorium.org/>

ARMAND SCHULTHESS (SWI)
In 1942 the former official Armand Schulthess bought a 2 hectare parcel of
forest near Auressio in the Swiss district Tessino. In 1951 he moved to the
small house located on this plot. During the next two decades he developed
an encyclopaedic cosmology on his small estate, or to use the words of the
German curator Harald Szeemann, a "written cosmos". Thousands of paint
bucket lids, cardboard sheets and other objects were decorated with hand
written or typed
propositions that were mainly copied from encyclopedias, works of
literature and professional journals. Over the years

the trees in Schulthess' forest were decorated with these propositions,
that were hung on branches and connected with wires. The two pavilions in
the InfoArcadia exhibition have walls consisting of a semi-transparent
nylon wire mesh on which black-and-white photographs have been printed.
Schulthess' work is InfoArcdia 'Avant La Lettre'.

STEPHEN MCSWEENEY AND THOMAS MOORE (IRELAND)
In 1998, Stephen McSweeney and Thomas Moore adapted R.D. Laing's The Bird
of Paradise to an audiovisual installation. They filmed 80 video fragments
of 40 seconds, each having one central character. McSweeney and Moore
called their interpretation of Laing's text a "hypermedia adaption." By
means of two pressure sensors the visitor is capable of selecting two
scenes of the 80 film fragments offered. Each fragment shows a scene from
the perspective of one of the characters. Because the viewer can decide
which is the central character in the foreground, he can to a degree
control the structure of the scenario.

BERNHARD CELLA (AUSTRIA)
In 1995 the Austrian artist Bernhard Cella presented his project 'Jahrbuch
Kunst ÷sterreich'. During the previous two years Cella collected all
official announcements of art exhibitions in all nine of Austria's
provinces. He arranged these announcements in different ways, such as the
nature of the works, the sex of the artist, group or solo exhibitions, and
the scale of the city's where the event took place. These facts were
incorporated into a series of prints and a book. Then the prints were
exhibited simultaneously in all of Austria's provinces. The mapping of the
actual state of affairs in the Austrian arts thus became a subject in
itself. Cella's tables are part of a long tradition of such
data-representations. On the other hand, silk screen prints hold all the
representational values of a traditional work of art. The work is executed
in an almost heraldic color scheme. Gold, red and silver not only lend a
feudal glamour to the series, they also refer to the golden period of
Gustaf Klimt. The first thing you see is ornamental abstraction, and only
on closer inspection do the color fields reveal their information.

JOUKE KLEEREBEZEM (NL)
Jouke Kleerebezem coined the term InfoArcadia. In 1998 he participated in
the VisionPlus 4 Information Design Conference in Pittsburgh organized by
the Carnegie Mellon University. For InfoArcadia he wrote Design Equals
Information/Republic of Attention, an essay which speculates on the new
parameters that the new information era imposes on the concept of design.
This essay describes, not without irony, InfoArcadia as a 'utopic
circumstance of pure meaning and complete communication.' A project about
information design could not wish for a more appropriate banner.
<http://www.ciw.net/D=I/index.html> or
<http://www.ciw.net/inf0Arcadia/index.html>

TJEBBE VAN TIJEN (NL)
A wooden box with two handles that can be used to unroll a long cibatrans
document with information placed on a light box. Scroll down, would be the
modern term. This work looks antique at an exhibition on contemporary
information design. Tjebbe van Tijen, artist, archivist and curator of
collections, uses seemingly unusual interfaces to present the information
he has collected. Still, in his view, the computer screen is nothing more
than a contemporary version of the parchment roll, with the same
unpractical limitations. Van Tijen illustrates how using principles from
the past can make you see past and present with different eyes.
<http://www.iisg.nl/~tvt/tijen01.html>

ORIGIN MEDIALAB (NL)
Origin Medialab is a small business in an enviable position: it's
activities take place on the borderline between university and regular
IT-company. This is why, contrary to other commercial enterprises, a lot of
time can be invested in innovative research into the field of artificial
intelligence, information technology and multimedia. One of the most
fascinating products of Origin Medialab is the Aqua Browser, a dynamic
search system that is not only able to unlock information in a visually
attractive manner, but also has the capability of adapting to the wishes of
its user. This allows a more flowing exchange between information and user
than the browser technology that controls today's information technology
marketplace. One of the first companies where the Aqua Browser proved
useful was the Public Library in Eindhoven. The database of the library was
unlocked by means of words or titles that drift up from the virtual space
of the computer screen. If the user clicks on one of these words, it seems
to float towards him, while at the same time in the background other words
drift to the surface. <http://www.medialab.nl/>

PAUL SLOVIC, PSYCHOLOGIST (USA) In 1987, the American psychologist Paul
Slovic researched Risk Perception, or how do we calculate danger and how
realistic are our thoughts on the subject? Slovic's statistical
research--which involved 81 dangers to be evaluated by 34 respondents who
had to give 15 opinions on each of these dangers--resulted in 40,000
assessments. These were converted into a so-called Cognitive Map of Risk
Perception. This diagram consists of a field with four poles on the ends
of an X- and Y-axis. The four poles are "old, known risk with immediate
effect" (eg. dynamite) versus "new, unknown risk with delayed effect" (eg.
DNA-technology), and voluntary, not dreaded risk (eg. caffeine) versus
involuntary, dreaded risk (eg. nuclear war). For the InfoArcadia
exhibition, Slovic's diagram was redesigned by the Dutch graphic artist
Jeroen Barendse and printed on a large floor carpet. Thus the usual
decorations found on oriental carpets are replaced by the statistical
poetry borne out of Slovic's survey.

MATT MULLICAN (USA)
A square plane, divided into four horizontal bands of red, black, blue and
green, and a yellow square in the middle. When you click one of the planes,
symbols appear. Seemingly simple, they hide a complex system of references
that Matt Mullican has developed with monomaniac precision since the
seventies. His works are no depiction of reality, but form their own model
for a cosmology, with an amalgam of universal and personal symbols and
images ranging from cheap American comics and photographs from human bones
to complex virtual spaces designed by the artist himself. The spatial
structure of a website or CD-Rom seems tailor-made for him. Mullican's
CD-Rom was first presented during the last Documenta exhibition in Kassel
in 1998. <http://www.centreimage.ch/mullican/>

AD REINHARDT (USA)
In 1946, Ad Reinhardt published his first tree drawing in a series of
satirical comics entitled, "How to look...", followed fifteen years later
by a second drawing in which he again takes a close look at the modern art
scene in America. In this series, Reinhardt takes on his self-imposed role
as "Official Thorn in the Art World's Flesh" against the critics of
abstract art, at first purely didactically but growing ever more vicious.
Meanwhile the painter Reinhardt developed into the most extreme
representative of the l'art pour l'art-principle. Between 1953 and his
death he made two hundred black paintings; from 1960 onwards all in the
same format.

PAUL MIJKSENAAR (NL) AND PIET WESTENDORP (NL)
Directions for use, signposting and a mental map seem to be each other's
exponents. The first is a tool when handling something new, the second
helps us to determine our course, and the third is a reflection of the
subjectivity of our perception. These three phenomena are the beacons in
the sphere of activity of Paul Mijksenaar and Piet Westendorp. Both are
affiliated with the department of design at the Technical University of
Delft. Paul Mijksenaar is also director of 'buro Mijksenaar', a design
studio in Amsterdam. Together they are the authors of the recently
published 'Open here: the art of instructional design.' This book combined
with the German designer DaniŽl Gross Mijksenaar's and Westandorp's
collections of so-called mental maps and manuals were selected and put on
two CD-Roms that are shown by means of two LCD projectors.
<http://www.io.tudelft.nl/research/help_systems/Overview.html>

DOUWE DRAAISMA (NL)
In the essay that the cognitive psychologist Douwe Draaisma wrote for
InfoArcadia he bridges the gap between the first anatomical manual in
history that was true to nature, and the latest developments in the field
of visualising the human anatomy. The first is the 'humanis corporis
fabrica' by Andreas Vesalius from 1543, the latter is the MRI brain scan.
Jan Stephan van Calcar, the artist employed by Vesalius, required nothing
more than pen and paper. MRI-technology requires the generating of powerful
magnetic fields and the arithmetic of fast computers. Both claim to be true
to nature. Modern scans and antiquarian anatomical plates have conquered a
place in our collective visual memory and give us an idea of things we
cannot see. <http://www.histuitg.nl/4895e.html>

YURI ENGELHARDT (NL)
InfoArcadia is a visual place. In one way or another, each contribution to
this exhibition deals with the problem of presenting information in a
visual way. There is obviously a large number of different ways in which
concepts can be translated into visual artifacts. Some of these visual
techniques have developed due to advances in computer technology, others
can already been found on archaeological objects from ancient cultures.
Recently Yuri Engelhardt has developed a visual grammar in which a great
variety of different theories of visual representation can be linked and
compared. His contribution to this exhibition is in its own right a visual
representation of this work in progress. Aided by the graphic artist Niels
van der Sluis, Engelhardt developed a new graphic interface which
visualizes the grammar he developed in an effective, yet beautiful way.

SCHIE 2.0 - JAN KONINGS (NL), TON MATTON (NL), LUCAS VERWEIJ (NL)
Mercator's Blind Spot is a project typical for the approach of Schie 2.0.
It aims to deconstruct the Mercator projection--the accepted
two-dimensional representation of the world--which is used in atlases and
maps. Schie 2.0 simply shifted the North Pole to the center of the earth,
which has a devastating effect on the depiction of the rest of the world.
The dogma of the Mercator projection is shown as it is: a distorted
interpretation of the world that by its common acceptance has the
appearance of the truth. Presented on two monitors, "Mercators Blind Spot"
shows the visual and theoretical background of their contribution to
InfoArcadia.

JORINDE SEIJDEL (NL)
In the course of the exhibition an essay by the dutch publicist and writer
Jorinde Seijdel will be added. She will play the role of "token visitor',
but by all means a visitor with a superbly sharp mind.
<http://www.mediamatic.nl/whoiswho/seijdel/index.html>
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-- 

Arun-Kumar Tripathi <tripathi@statistik.uni-dortmund.de>

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