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CAMD Research & Creative Ventures Series: Creativity, New Technology and Data Representation Part 2

The explosion of new technology and the expanding methods of presenting and interpreting data are central to a new body of CAMD research and creative activity.

Faculty in art and design are building on scholarship in communication studies, data visualization, and participatory theatre to create experiential modes of understanding information. Faculty in design and public policy are using data physicalization to create physical representations of air flow and evaluate the environmental threat of contagion. Faculty in architecture are exploring how the use of demographic maps and urban data diagrams has shifted academic discourses on race. Faculty in journalism are examining the workings of social media information filtering systems and how they affect the formation of misbeliefs. Faculty in music, art and design, and theatre are developing and testing machine-based tools that enable group creativity.

A registration is required and can be submitted by clicking here or on the button at the top of the page. Please note that times are listed in Eastern Time and that we will be using the same Zoom link for all events in this week, so you only need to register once. Once you register please save the events in your calendar along with the Zoom link for easy access to the rest of the events that week.


The Presentations

Information Filtering in Social Media and Formation of Misbeliefs 
Myojung Chung, John Wihbey, Mike Peacey, Sara Colombo & Paolo Ciuccarelli

Never has information been available so easily, updated so quickly, and shared through so many channels. At the same time, the prevalence of misinformation or disinformation is also increasing, while public trust in the news is decreasing. The Cambridge Analytica scandal raised the possibility that commercial companies can now manipulate and influence the outcome of elections. Against this backdrop, our project addresses how the new media ecosystem influences the way individuals consume and process media messages and how this, in turn, shapes their beliefs and attitudes. We will examine how information filtering systems in social media operates, and how it affects the formation of misbeliefs or misperception. This approach would allow us to better understand the mechanisms by which social media platforms are utilized by various players for political or other interests. Also, the project findings will enable us to feed into the current debate about how existing analogue regulation can be updated to meet new digital needs as well as the discussion on digital literacies 


Embodying Information – The Physicalization of Data Through Performance
Rahul Bhargava & Laura Perovich

The Embodying Information Project explores two body-centric approaches to bringing people together   around information: Data Theatre and Data Dancing. These approaches move beyond traditional flat data representations to leverage experiential modes of understanding information. They are intentionally designed to create common space for diverse groups of people to converse around data. Our focus is to take a co-design approach to iteratively design workshops where community members and/or performers are invited to find stories and express them via movement, dance, or acting. Our workshops are informed by expert interviews and literature review in diverse fields such as science, communication, data visualization, participatory theatre, and more.  


A Touch of Air – Material Perspectives on Contagion
Dietmar Offenhuber with Laura Perovich

We propose a set of experiments exploring the concept of material data and its use for evaluating environmental threats of contagion. The experiments examine how people interact with their environment to inform design decisions that minimize risks of infection through contact and inhalation. We develop visualization strategies to make surface contacts and airflows visible, using design research methods that both generate actionable data and enable the sensory experience of the underlying causal mechanisms. The first experiment uses UV fluorescent gel to record and visualize how people touch objects in their environment when presented with a particular task. Beyond evaluating potential exposures, the experiment reveals how we “think” with our hands (e.g., when reading a building map), a current research concern in data physicalization. The second experiment focuses on visualizing indoor airflows, a problem that still lacks a universally applicable approach. In this open-ended design research, we explore methods for visualizing airflows and human exhalation, from Schlieren and shadowgraphs to tracer materials such as smoke and compare them with data from CO2 sensors and AI-driven digital imaging methods. 


Schedule of Events

10 -10:15 a.m. | Information Filtering in Social Media and Formation of Misbeliefs

10:15 -10:30 a.m. | Embodying Information – The Physicalization of Data Through Performance

10:30 -10:45 a.m. | A Touch of Air – Material Perspectives on Contagion

10:45 -11 a.m. | Discussion with presenters

2 – 3 p.m. | Faculty Idea Exchange Moderated by Laura Perovich and Dietmar Offenhuber
*This session is faculty only. Faculty will receive the Zoom Link via email a few days prior to the meeting, no registration needed.

About the Series

The CAMD Research and Creative Ventures Series is a four-part event to showcase and celebrate the research, scholarship, and creative practice funded and supported by the College through our competitive internal grant programs, and to facilitate follow-on discussion and collaboration. The series is structured around four overarching themes, each one explored in several sessions designed to maximize participation and opportunities for robust discussion.