Filled with wonder and ease…

Symposium:


Session Title:

  • Diagrams, Formulae and Models: Aesthetic and Scientific Strategies of Visualisation

Presentation Title:

  • Filled with wonder and ease…

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Abstract:

  • Panel: Diagrams, Formulae and Models: Aesthetic and Scientific Strategies of Visualisation

    “It’s from the future. A place so close to us now, filled with wonder and ease…”  _Mad Men: Season 1, Episode 2, Ladies Room (26 July 2007), AMC.

    This presentation explores the liminal and reciprocal space that lies between the inside and outside of our heads. This permeable membrane has for centuries been a territory occupied by diagrams, plans and models, a space of abstract potential – somewhere between desire and becoming, reminiscent of a future, filled with wonder and ease. In recent years this liminal territory has been infiltrated by technologies that challenge an osmotic  balance between the inside and outside. Symptoms of this tension include: imaging technologies that visualise neural processes of the viewer; immersive environments that reveal things outside of our normal frame of reference; the delegation of a responsibility to perceive the world to remote sensors. Real-time modelling of ‘big data’, predictive and anticipatory analytics engines are removing the ‘resistance or friction’ from the diagram. Consequently, knowing the world through the diagram has suddenly become more traumatic. Predictive models of climate change, mappings of declining bee populations and faster than thought algo trading leave us stunned and bewildered and seemingly incapable of action. The space of the diagram is a place even closer to us now, but filled with neurosis and uncertainty.

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