Artist Talk-George Legrady :Digital Technologies as the Medium for Cultural Narrative


Guest: George Legrady

Date: 2015-06-20  15:00 ~ 2015-06-20  16:30

Address: Chronus Art Center (Bldg 18, No.50 Moganshan Rd., Shanghai)

Language: English (with Chinese translation)

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About the Lecture

The lecture will review a six public museums installations that collect cultural data from the audience, process and analyze the data through semantically driven algorithms, and then visualize the results on-site. The projects to be discussed include 1) "Imaging Macondo" (2015), realized for the International Bogota, Colombia book Fair, celebrating “100 Years of Solitude” by the Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The public contributes photographs from their cellphones describing scenes from Marquez’ novel. These are coded by the public and submitted to a server which organizes the images thematically and features them on a large projected screen. 2) "Swarm Vision"(2011-2014), three surveillance cameras are trained to autonomously view visual scenes of interests in the museum space where they are installed. A virtual representation of the space is projected on a large screen, placing the captured images within the VR space. 3)"Pockets Full of Memories" (2001-2007) commissioned by the Centre Pompidou Museum of Modern Art, Paris which consisted of a direct “crowdsourced” artwork, where the audience contributes information by scanning and describing an object in their possession. The exhibition travelled to multiple venues in seven countries (Cornerhouse Gallery, Manchester, UK; Ars Electronica, Linz, Austria; Museum of Communication, Frankfurt, Germany; V2 Dutch Electronic Arts Festival, Rotterdam, Netherlands; Aura, Media Festival, Budapest, Hungary; Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland, and Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei) 4) "Making Visible the Invisible", is a site-specific commission for the Rem Koolhaas designed Seattle Public Library. It is an ongoing data visualization work begun in September 2005 (to continue until 2019), an “indirect crowdsourced” artwork that reflects back in near real-time, actions of patrons check-outs of books, dvds, cds that are statistically analyzed and dynamically visualized. To date the artwork has collected over 75 million datasets mapping patrons’ usage of the library’s holdings currently over a decade. 5) "We Are Stardust" (2008) is a commission by the NASA Spitzer Science Center. The installation maps the observations of the sun-orbiting Spitzer heat-sensing satellite telescope and 6) "Cell Tango "(2006-2009), where the public contributes cellphone images that search the Flickr photo repository for other images based on tags and presents the two together on a large museum wall screen.

About the Speaker

George Legrady is Chair of the Media Arts & Technology PhD program at the University of California, Santa Barbara, director of the Experimental Visualization Lab, and professor of digital media in the College of Engineering and the College of Humanities and Fine Arts. He is an internationally published scholar and exhibiting media artist, a pioneer in the field of interactive digital media arts. His contribution to the field since the early 1990’s has been in creating digital media interactive installations based on a set of conceptual positions for intersecting cultural content with data processing. His current research engages with data visualization, robotic computational integrated photography, and digital visual ethnography. His computational based installations have been exhibited internationally in multiple venues from fine arts museums and galleries, alternative spaces, academic conferences, and public commissions. He has received awards from Creative Capital Foundation; the Daniel Langlois Foundation for the Arts, Science and Technology; the Canada Council; the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Science Foundation.