Category Archives: Artists

Twitter Visualisations

My recent work has looked at turning digital data from twitter into drawings, as a result I’ve been doing a lot of research into artists who use data in exciting a visually engaging ways. In this post I’ve collated a few of my favourites:

Inflated Egos (2015) – Chris Cairns

Each candidates’ head inflates or deflates depending on their popularity rating in the polls on on Twitter. I like how this instillation brings the digital data into the physical world. The simplicity of the the concept of the candidates heads getting bigger or small depending on their popularity makes an accessible, effective and engaging piece of data visualisation.

Listening Post ‘I am’ (2003) – Ben Rubin

Searching for the phrases ‘I am’ in public chat rooms and other public forums. Listening post displays these messages decontextualised in real time, either as text or ‘read’ by a synthesised voice. The result is a powerful reflection on the immediacy and anonymity of digital communication.

Good Morning – Jer Thorp

Nice animation showing people tweeting ‘good morning’ around the world. It’s interesting how you can track day breaking around the world by people’s activity on Twitter.

Just Landed _ Jer Thorp

Another from Jer Throp this time plotting people’s movements based on tweeting ‘just landed in’. I find it interesting how Jer’s projects expose some of the hidden information that can be extracted from publicly shared twitter data.

Twistori 

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Not so much a visualisation but a stream, Twistori displays real time tweets featuring the phrases I love, I hate, I think, I believe, I feel and I wish. I fins it as a strange hypnotic quality watching the anonymous stream of statements ranging from the emotional to the banal pop up in your browser.

Equity BotScott Kidall 

Again, not strictly a visualisation project but I thought I’d include it Scott Kidall’s Equity bot tracks emotions on Twitter and correlates them to changes in the stock market. The algorithm ‘buys’ and ‘sells’ these emotions as they rise and fall in value.

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Print Books

Here are three printed books that I have submitted to Print International 2013. The material was drawn from a range of sources, found photographs, old films and a bit of Super 8 footage thrown in for good measure.

Ceasar's awakening

‘Ceasar’s awakening’ is a 2 sided 4 colour screenprint concertina book. One one side it shows the iconic moment from the film The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (1920) in which Caesar, a somnambulist, is awakened to the amazement of the crowd. This is offset by footage of WWI soldiers going ‘over the top’ on the reverse. While both are considered iconic imagery I believe they share more than this; an almost symbiotic relationship intertwined by the various histories of photography and film.

Incoming

‘Incoming’ is a screenprint flickbook, recreating footage of a WWI pilot running from a diving aeroplane.

Bildungsroman

Bildungsroman‘ is a concertina book with monoprint and photocopy transfer. The photograph of the cheeky chapy on the cover came from a glass plate negative I bought in a Berlin market. The drawing inside grows on each page like the frames of an animation. Bildungsroman is a German term for a coming of age novel in which the protagonist undergoes the psychological growth associated with the transition between adolescence and adulthood.

Our obsession with creating the illusion of movement far pre-dates film itself, film merely facilitated it in the way that zoetropes, flickbooks and shadow puppets have done and digital methods like cinemagraphs do now. Presenting imagery derived from film in a book is a way of placing it back into a sequential viewing mode, maintain this illusion, however, with the power to govern the pace of the imagery and even stop the flow now in the viewers hands.

The way in which we can disseminate imagery digitally is uber convenient but it risks divorcing us from some qualities of work, it’s that tactile and intimate quality that books have in shed-loads. After seeing some great examples (by the likes of We Make Books and others) when we (me, Elysia, Corinthia and Chole) were skiving off from our stall at the alternative press fair over the summer I was keen to make my own. It was a workshop with printmaker Wuon Gean Ho that gave me the confidence to try.

Bookmaking workshop with Wuon Gean Ho at Aberystwyth Universty School of Art

Bookmaking workshop with Wuon Gean Ho at Aberystwyth Universty School of Art

Currently exhibiting with us at the School of Art, Aberystwyth her exhibition Beyond the Moon is a enticing and eclectic mix of prints, animations and artist books, not to mention a spectacular sound installation by Andrew Mcpherson that I hope to cover in more depth in a later post. If you can’t get to Aberystwyth before it comes down on Friday you can see some photos and a video of the exhibition on her blog, as well as some pictures of us hanging it, seriously, you need to see the size of some of these prints! Incidentally, one of my first posts on here was in response to Wuon Gean’s work, little did I know in a years time I’d be helping her hang a pretty amazing exhibition!

Hanging Beyond the Moon

Hanging Beyond the Moon

 

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Aberystywth Paper Press Print – Collaborative Portfolio

Earlier in the year I was really chuffed to be asked to contribute to a collaborative portfolio project organized by our head of printmaking Paul Croft. Over a year in the making, this mammoth undertaking has seen Paul coordinate 30 printmakers, ranging from staff, students and professional visiting artists all with a connection to Aberystwyth University School of Art. Each contributor submits an edition of 35 prints; 30 of the resulting portfolios go back to the artists and the remaining  5 to to various collections around the country.

The portfolio really demonstrates the variety and versatility of modern printmaking; techniques range from traditional intaglio, relief and lithography to digital and photographic process. Some of the most exciting printmakers working in Britain have contributed work including Wuon-Gean Ho, Marcelle Hanselaar, Anne Desmet and Edwina Ellis the entire portfolio will be exhibited in March as part of Impress 2013 a biennial printmaking festival held in Stroud and while I’m thrilled to be involved having my work exhibited alongside theirs is a nervous prospect!

Here is a small selection of some of the prints from the portfolio, more information and images of all the prints in the portfolio can be found on Paul’s website.

All images copywrite of the Artists, thanks to Paul for his time and effort in bring such a huge project together.

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Cinemagraphs

If you asked me yesterday about animated Gifs, this would have been what came to mind:

psycho gif animation

funny frog gif animation

Now I love a drumming monkey as much as the next guy but, as hard as I try, I can’t seem to justify these as serious research. However these are the predecessors to the collaborative cinemagraphs of photographer Jamie Beck and motion graphics artist Kevin Burg. Cinemagraphs present themselves as photo’s with moving elements. The results can be subtle and captivating.
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Somewhere between a photograph and a video I think what makes these cinemagraphs so effective is that it maintains photography’s innate ability to capture a moment, freezing it in time. The introduction of movement to these images seems to enhance this rather than dispel it. I believe this is in part down the the looping of the animation, whether the effect is hilarious or relaxing there  is something satisfying about seeing it over and over.

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Animated gifs have been around since the late 80’s, and are a way of combining multiple frames played in sequence into a single image file. Previously seen as a bit of an internet novelty, their ability to capture your attention and question what you are seeing could have a large impact on an area as saturated with imagery as online advertising.

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I can see this as a potential way of re-animating some of my Super 8 films, by reintroducing a small amount of repeating movement into the frames this will enhance their ‘stuck in time’ quality. here are a few of the stills I am thinking of using from a documentary film of WWI depicting soldiers in the trenches and a bombing raid on an airfield.

Still from WWI film showing Soliders in the trenches

WWI film still showing soliders going over the top into shell fire

A WWI film still showing a soldier running across an airfield

More film stills can be found on my website.
For more info see this video by PBS arts’ Off Book.

Cinemagraphs from Inspiration feed, check them out for more examples and useful links.

Also worth a look of your into  films: IWDRM (but not if you want to do anything useful with the next hour of your day!).

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Raj Bunnag – Animated Linocut

When I first started considering how to animate my work, my thoughts on analogue animation stopped at flick-books and zoetropes but this impressive lino-cut by Raj Bunnag proves that photoshop isn’t always the answer.

The print is animated by a large-scale crank driven thingy (technical term) that resembles a printing press turned on its side, I like how its mode of display echoes its mode of production. The print itself is a mash-up of mythical iconography and contemporary pop-culture; AK weilding skeletons fight dragons on a ocean of nike trainers.

Here’s a ‘trailer’ of the work followed by a more in-depth video of it in action.

You can read more and find some pics of the work in process on Printeresting

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La Faim – Animation

One of my favourites, La Faim (Hunger) is a 1974 Canadian animation directed by Peter Foldes. There’s so much going on in it, I could (and do!) watch it over and over, one of the first examples of Key Frame computer aided animation, it took a year and a half to complete.

The style and soundtrack are unmistakeably 70’s but I don’t think the quality or the relevance of the message have diminished over time. Contains some stunning drawing, which borders on the grotesque in parts and an ending that manages to scare the pants off me every time I watch it!

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Wuon Gean Ho – animated prints

Looking into animating my prints and photos, as usual someone got there first. Recommended by Paul Croft I can’t stop watching these stunning  animations.

She also has an exhibition opening today in the Material Gallery in Ludlow , I’ve never been but it looks like a great contemporary gallery, full of prints!

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