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Preview: Lined & Unlined

Lined & Unlined

A filing cabinet on the internet by Rob Giampietro

Last Build Date: Thu, 13 Jul 2017 00:00:00 +0000


California: Designing Freedom

Thu, 13 Jul 2017 00:00:00 +0000

A new exhibition explores the utopian promise of West Coast design

Sentiment Analysis

Tue, 02 May 2017 00:00:00 +0000

Sentiment analysis of emoji reactions to election night results (Source: Prismoji) This year’s Wintersession Workshop picks up where last year’s left off in two ways. First, it’s rooted in the same time and place in history — down to the very room itself. Last year, we examined what historian Fred Turner has dubbed “the democratic surround”: the development of a multi-screen media environment stretching past an individual’s field of view and linear perception of time to enclose a greater collective and prototype a more interactive mode of viewing that, its originators argued, better represented the complexity of the modern age. Though we see traces of this multi-surface storytelling approach throughout art history, this new iteration of the “total environment” crystallized in a slideshow film by Charles and Ray Eames called “Glimpses of the USA,” created for the American National Exhibition in Moscow (the site of the famous “Kitchen Debate”) in 1959. Within a short time, the multi-screen approach would become institutionalized in the design of political spaces like the White House Situation Room (built 1961), in public spectacles like the World’s Fair in New York (1964), and in popular films like Dr Strangelove (1964). IBM’s RAMAC 305 computer in a business setting in an undated photo (Source: ExtremeTech) “Glimpses of the USA” was housed in a giant geodesic dome created by Buckminster Fuller, who’d been directed by one of the American National Exhibition’s organizers, George Nelson, to make it large enough to include a second installation positioned adjacent to the Eames’s enormous seven-channel display. That second exhibition, one of the most popular at the show, was the IBM RAMAC 305 computer, which was programmed to answer 4,000 questions about American life shown to Russian visitors on backlit panels — simple questions like “What is the price of American cigarettes?” or “What is jazz music?,” alongside more difficult political questions like “How many Negroes have been lynched in the U.S. since 1950?” After strolling by booths of GM cars and Kitchen Aid mixers, the Russians were invited to consume not goods but information itself. Apart from the display of American technological progress and entertainment value of queuing with friends to learn trivia from far away and collect a souvenir printout with your question selection and answer, the RAMAC 305 mediated between the two tense nations at a critical time, providing a sense of objectivity to the Russian visitors, who would — or so hoped the US Information Agency, who authored the questions — ask the machine what they really wanted to know about the USA. Researcher Evangelos Kotsioris articulates this delicate circuit of American soft power on display in his paper, “Electronic ‘Ambassador’: The Diplomatic Missions of IBM’s RAMAC 305,” [The] RAMAC 305 was still as much an output as an input system, collecting statistical data such as the total number of questions asked or the most popular questions requested in random order as they occurred. What was implied is that the processing of this large pool of data collected from Fair visitors could help classify and quantify the most common preoccupations of Soviets about American life and present them in a concise summary printout with mathematical, “unbiased” precision. In other words, while it performed for its Russian visitors, the RAMAC 305 also performed an early example of sentiment analysis for the USIA. So we come to the second way in which this year’s workshop picks up from the last. Then, we looked to perform an act of exposition — to explain, across multiple screens and surfaces, exactly how something worked. Now, our interest turns to how something makes us feel, and how we can come to understand, communicate, and categorize its emotional content. “An important part of our [...]

Over the Bridge

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0000

Volume Two (with Amber Bravo)

Thu, 10 Nov 2016 00:00:00 +0000

Design at Google (with Bethany Fong)

Wed, 09 Nov 2016 00:00:00 +0000

Scratching the Surface (with Jarrett Fuller)

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 00:00:00 +0000

And Also: Artists & Designers Writing

Fri, 16 Sep 2016 00:00:00 +0000

Cultural Responsibilities

Tue, 13 Sep 2016 00:00:00 +0000

Introduction to Computation: Rob Giampietro

Thu, 01 Sep 2016 00:00:00 +0000