Data + Design Project

Summer Sunset: When People Party Like Animals in the Woods

Thursday 09.30.2010 , Posted by

Summer Sunset is a delightfully small, wickedly fun festival held in September. Set in an idyllic wooded glade an hour away from London by train or car, the festivities last for 24 hours and include a feast from a Michelin-starred chef, some brilliant bands, a night of amazing DJs, a Sunday of acoustic music, and the midnight burning of a wicker, horned beast – a celebration designed to tear the curtain down on your summer.

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The Childhood Road Trip: Vintage Motel Postcards

Thursday 09.30.2010 , Posted by

Back in the day, the family road trip to places like the Grand Canyon inevitably led to a stay in a motel. Many of the swimming pools that once saw happy families enjoying their first road trip have been abandoned, but they have been preserved in our memories through old family photos and postcards. Here is a selection of vintage postcards featuring motels, hotels, inns, and lodges from one destination in particular that some families passed through – San Antonio, Texas.

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Neofuturistic Vectors and Vibrant Mosaics

Tuesday 09.28.2010 , Posted by

Using explosive colors and a range of visual design techniques, Charis Tsevis produces digital artwork that ranges from mosaic portraits to neofuturistic vectors.
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BITS WAR: BEST-SELLING VIDEO GAME CONSOLES OF ALL-TIME

Tuesday 09.28.2010 , Posted by

Many of us remember setting up our first Nintendo (or in some cases, Intellivision) and for some of us, it was our first welcome to the world of being a consumer. It wasn’t long before we were begging Mom for the Sega Genesis, then the Sony Playstation, and so on. Below is a preview of the Bits War, and click through to view the massive full-size breakdown of the battle to dominate our wallets.

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Nick Czernkovich’s Photos of Hope from Africa

Monday 09.27.2010 , Posted by

Nick Czernkovich is a TV meteorologist on weekdays and skydiver pilot on weekends, but no matter what day of the week, his kindness and generosity reign. He’s also a sensational photographer, with a gift for allowing the innate beauty of a place to speak through his lens, and for capturing emotion and stories without the use of a single word.

Two winters ago, Nick went to Uganda to assist Missionaries of the Poor in providing basic aid to villages in need. After seeing the magnitude of the poverty firsthand, he made it his mission to spread awareness and help complete the construction of an orphanage that could not be completed before due to a lack of funds. The orphanage was finally opened this Saturday!

Bianca: Do you feel safe when you’re traveling to these villages, especially with expensive camera gear?

Nick: In general, yes I feel safe. African countries often get a reputation because of all the violence and corruption that we hear about, but it’s important to remember that 99.9% of the people are good and honest.  I’ve traveled through a number of areas that were very remote. In fact, in one village I visited in East DRC, I was the only white person to have ever come through, in as long as anybody there had been alive. The villagers were tremendously curious and excited to see what I was doing, but I was never under any threat of danger. The real concern for someone like me would be getting hijacked by rebels or bandits, but fortunately that hasn’t happened to me.

It is far more dangerous for a villager living in a conflict zone than it is for a foreigner like me. I have access to resources like cars, updated information from peacekeeping forces and my government to help me plan, and if necessary, get me out of trouble should I run into it. Locals on the other hand don’t have access to any of this, which makes them much more vulnerable targets.

When it comes to camera gear, it is the odd bandit or rebels you need to worry about, not locals. My advice to anyone planning to do this is get good insurance on your gear and be ready to hand over your camera if it comes to that. I also back up my photos every night and leave them in a safe place, just in case.

Bianca: A lot of people have sad thoughts about Africa, and all they see are devastating images. Do you have a beautiful, positive anecdote about the places you’ve been or people you’ve met?

Nick: I think the most uplifting thing I’ve seen is the sense of community among people. In DRC for example, about 85% of people displaced by war do not live in camps, they live with host families in other villages. It goes to show you the nature of the society. Even walking through camps, I always felt welcomed. Despite having so little, one lady even invited me into her place and offered to feed me.

One concern of mine is the idea that I am being intrusive by taking pictures. You have to be respectful, of course, but I have found that more often than not, people will say “take my picture, tell me story.” And that’s what it’s about, telling their stories. There is sadness and suffering, and if you go looking for it, you will find it. But if you go with an open mind, you will also find many other stories and photos.

Bianca: Can you tell me a bit about these Flickr sets (DRC and Uganda)?

Nick: The Uganda set was taken largely in Kampala. Half of it involved children in an existing orphanage run by the Missionaries of the Poor. The other half is largely of members of the Karamoja tribe who migrated from the north of the country. They are some of the poorest people, and the MOP work to serve them as well. I went along on their visits to the Karamoja to see their work and the impact they had on the people.

The DRC set was taken in East DRC in the war-torn region, last April. It is a mix of refugee camps, villages, a foot patrol with the UN peacekeepers and time in Masisi hospital spent with MSF.

Here I tried to tell the stories of the people and the place. I was fortunate enough to be allowed to photograph a woman giving birth by c-section, which was quite a miracle because she and her baby would have died were it not for MSF.

At one point during the operation it looked as though she might die. I remember thinking I might be photographing the last minutes of her life, so I tried to do that in the most respectful way possible. That’s always a difficult call, to decide at what point it is time to stop taking pictures and leave, but thankfully she pulled through and so did her baby.

Bianca: These images are all so beautiful. Do you have a favorite?
Nick: I think this is probably my favorite image.

I think it is a combination of the scene, and the faces on the man and children that tell the story. Answering that question is always tough, and more often than not my favourite image will not be someone else’s. But that’s the beauty of it, each image speaks to each person in a unique way.



Written by Bianca Bartz

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The Jumping Book

Friday 09.24.2010 , Posted by

Mike Hedge is always on the go and it is hard to keep up with what project he is working on. To help people keep up, Mike made a delicious tag of all his current, past and future projects. Mike is extremely talented and makes it a point to help as many people as he can. I’m glad to have met him a few years back and look forward to seeing more of his future art projects. We are highlighting his current undertaking, JumpingBook.com.

See Also Taking Ballet To The Streets

Paul: What was the inspiration behind the jumping project and when do you think your book will be coming out?

Mike: I recently got a world record for my jumping photos, so I figured it was time to create a book. I have always loved large coffee table photo books. So I launched the Jumping Book project. I hope to gather the remaining photos of people I want in the book in the coming months and get the pages together to have a rough test version by spring 2011.
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Original Illustrations from Charlotte’s Web

Thursday 09.23.2010 , Posted by

The bank vault containing the original drawings for Charlotte’s Web has been opened, and these original masterpieces are to be sold at auction on October 15, 2010. Alice Yoo from My Modern Metropolis put together a great writeup with a sampling of the 44 images that are to be sold:

There’s no doubt that Williams left an indelible mark through his work. As his friend and attorney Richard M. Ticktin says, “We continue to get letters addressed to Garth from fourth graders, wondering how it is he was able to draw these animals and people so perfectly that he instilled in these kids a love of nature.”

Barry Sandoval, director of operations at Heritage’s comics division, says, “Anytime you see a poll of the most beloved children’s books, it’s at or near the top,” Sandoval says. “It’s a touching story that appeals to boys and girls in the U.S. and around the world.”

“Without a doubt,” he adds, “Garth Williams is one of the most important and influential 20th-century children’s book illustrators. When young and old readers today think about their favorite fictional characters — pigs, bears, mice, dogs, kittens, crickets and spiders — the images in their minds are essentially the images created by Williams. His work will live forever in American literature.”

Source: My Modern Met

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McDonalds and Burger King Targeting African American Consumers in the 1970s

Wednesday 09.22.2010 , Posted by

McDonalds and Burger King targeted African American Consumers in the 1970’s by showing what they believed to be typical African American consumers enjoying their food. These ads all come from Jet, Ebony, and Essence Magazines from the 1970s.

See Also FRANK R. PAUL: A CORNERSTONE OF SCIENCE FICTION ART

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Beautiful Accidents: The Computer Generated Art of Kim Asendorf

Friday 09.17.2010 , Posted by

Perhaps you remember the early computer-aided drawing program in Logo, where you had a little turtle and told him to move and as he did, he would create your drawing. And of course, ultimately you would end up making him run around on crack making diagonal lines everywhere. Kim Asendorf is the turtle all grown up, and he makes use of automation and computer glitches among dozens of other methods to create some really cool art, where you can’t tell if an aerial photo is a random data string spitting out an image that he is telling you to think is an aerial photo or if it is really an aerial photo from a digital file that he corrupted. Because I was having a hard time putting it into words and still do, let his own words (via email) and images tell the story properly.

Kim Asendorf: Basically I try to find my inspiration in any kind of abstraction. I look for behaviors, systems or characteristics. That’s probably the reason why I like data visualization, too. I love statistics and I love to play with them, re-organize them and then be surprised by the results. But of course i get also inspired by other artists, mainly graphics, Anton Stankowski, Piet Mondrian, Kazimir Malevich, Theo van Doesburg, Ilya Bolotowsky or Josef Albers to count just a few. I am completely into geometric abstraction.

I guess my first experiment with generative graphics was “rect” (http://kaubonschen.com/rect/). It was a drawing tool with some animation features. In the process I discovered that generative strategies came much closer to my ideas than any manual means.

Check out Kim Asendorf on Twitter where he has the appropriate bio consisting of a quote an excerpt of a quote by Prof. Allan Snyder:

Creativity is the act of rebellion by definition. You have to be downright subversive to break the rules and to confront conventional wisdom, don’t you? And if everyone accepts what you are doing when you are doing it, you’re obviously not on the forefront and you are doing something that is within the paradigm. If every accepts what I am doing, I’m in the wrong field.

That is exactly what I think about art, that is Avant-garde, that is what I am.

Make sure to get lost in his site over at kimasendorf.com

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Time Lapse: Inter // States

Wednesday 09.08.2010 , Posted by

inter // states from Samuel Cockedey on Vimeo.

There is a really cool breakdown as well on how Mr. Cockedey puts together his time lapse videos. Know of someone better? Seen some specific time lapse videos or one of your own that you’d like to share? Comment below or drop us a line at info [at] visualnews [dot] com.

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