Introduction to a talk by Mushon Zer-Aviv at Pixelache in coordination with the Mushrooming Network and the Open Knowledge Festival.
Designers, statisticians, journalists, researchers and technologists often apply visualization techniques in an attempt to make sense of large quantities of data. In this rush to create informational imagery both creators and viewers are often taken by the lure of what Edward Tufte defines as "beautiful evidence". But is information visualization indeed just another type of evidence, or is it a form of visual argument?
In this workshop we will attempt to problematize and re-politicize the practice of information visualization by deliberately skewing and manipulating the image. We will show how a visualization pieces can easily undermine the data they are based on and tell any story their authors might choose. In the process we will survey several loopholes in information design methodologies and learn how they can be exploited.
Participants are invited to bring their own data sets, statistics and quantifiable stories as a starting point towards a somewhat more sinister use of the information. Participants are also invited to base their projects on existing work and use it as an opportunity for reflection.
The work produced in the workshop can take the form of a static image, a moving image, an interactive application, an installation or what not. It can be based on existing tools or be a whole new thing in itself. Prior skills in image making and code are a plus, but are not necessarily a per-requisite (if push comes to shove, you can always use PowerPoint). On the flip side, if you are skilled in the craft of infovis (code/form) you can apply to participate for free as a workshop assistant.