This is a guest blog post by Brigid Pasco from Artists Without a Cause (AWAC), an organization striving to connect artists working on political, cultural and socially engaged art with the organizations and activists who are championing the same causes. AWAC have coordinated several artist sessions to take place at the Festival. To see who is coming, check out Artists on SCHED, follow @ArtistsWAC and the hashtag #OKFestAWAC. The original version of this post can be found here.
“How much can be learned from just staring hard enough at one dataset? How do you take stories about the real world, which have been abstracted into data, and bring them back to the real world? What are examples of open or public data that can be seen in everyday ways?” – Begley and Burrington OKFestival Mission Statement
With a collaborative presentation entitled Just Do One Stupid Thing, and Other Secrets of Making Political Art With Data, American artists Josh Begley and Ingrid Burrington hope to inspire OKFestival participants to “ask better questions and tell better stories.” Their strategy: provide participants with a dataset, and facilitate a brainstorming session about its usage, with a clear interest in identifying how different presentational/framing methods affect perception and conception of ideas.
Neither of the two artists are strangers to the question of data legibility. Most recently, Josh Begley developed Dronestre.am and MetaData+, both providing multiple ways of looking at US drone strike data – a twitter feed, a searchable database, associated pictures and news articles, and an iPhone app with maps and real-time updates. He also created a publicly-accessible API so that others can use the data in their own work. Many of his other projects include mapping of socially, politically, or economically important sites, such as prisons and military bases. His work makes visible the trends and patterns underpinning the structures of industry and society.
Ingrid Burrington is a researcher, writer, designer and data analyst who uses visualizations, especially maps, to illuminate social structures and disseminate information. Her project Measuring the Impact of a Fare Hike, 2012, mapped median income, fare card usage, and average ridership in different NYC neighborhoods to determine the economic and social impact of a proposed MTA fare hike.
Her work was part of a larger campaign against fare hikes in the city, and contributed by providing visual and tangible evidence of the rising economic disparities in New York. Burrington has also created informational maps for Occupy Wall Street. She is currently writing a book on unrecognized micro-nations, countries or states which function independently but are not considered legitimate by international ruling bodies.
In teaming up to present for the OKFestival, Burrington and Begley hope to explore the many meanings and narratives that can reside in a single set of data – and what different questions or thought processes can arise from each interpretation.
The hour-long session will take place on July 16 from 15:00-16:00. For more information on the OKFestival schedule, please click here.