Infoaesthetic Works

Infoaesthetic Works

 Infoaesthetics can be a difficult field to pin down, combining as it does the rather mundane, sterile utility of information with the sensual power of aesthetics. It’s almost as if the entire practice is predicated on the capacity of aesthetics to endow any kind of content with dramatic tension and cultural significance, no matter how art-less or banal it may first appear. Statistics or figures recording various measures of activity in the world, for example, accumulations/declines in production (whether natural or industrial), do not seem inherently important. Learning the simple number of rats currently inhabiting New York City may provoke powerful feelings of disgust or even fear, but the popularity of certain flavours of chewing gum over the course of a single month may seem practically wasteful as measured data. 

All the more reason, perhaps, to consider whether the skilful application of visual design techniques along with a creative interpretation of the screen effectively means that no single set of stats can be called irrelevant. The rapidly developing field of “infoaesthetics” highlights various ways in which visual and spatial patterning techniques for both screen and page can produce very sophisticated compositions with complex, multiple meanings and connotations, regardless of content or context. Doubtless, this effect speaks again to the general intellectual and emotional force of visual design. Images of patterns presented well or emphasized with particular clarity betray an intriguingly strong command of our rational faculties. At an extreme level, this effect almost prompts us to question whether the meaning of any activity, object or concept can be distinguished apart from its measurement and symbolic design – that the design itself is, in fact, the source of its significance. At the same time, one can argue that the success of these kinds of works depends, however indirectly, on the material source of inspiration. In this way, graphs and mappings show first and foremost the various meanings, patterns and rational significance informing all material processes and events surrounding us. 

Here are some examples of recent infoaesthetic work done by NJIT communication and media students. Some works are chronotropic, describing shifts or variations in movements over time. Others show spatial patterns, either conceptual (in the case of Gissele Casco) or concrete (in the case of Emi Debos).

The works featured below are presented in PDF formats. Copyright is with the author. Feel free to post comments and suggestions.

Gissele Casco: Classroom Gender Generator

Emi Debos: Guitar Notes

Louis Varilias: Best Selling Video Games

Jamil Wilkins: Permutation


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