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Dietmar Offenhuber: Autographic Visualization – Traces, Symptoms, Evidence

Hosted by BostonCHI

What is visual evidence? How do we know we can trust a data set? The methods of data visualization can help us discover patterns and inconsistencies in data sets, but are bound to the limits of symbolic representation – they can only begin when data already exists. Consequently, data is silent about its origins remains disconnected from the phenomena it supposedly represents. In my talk, I will discuss autographic visualization as a countermodel to data visualization. Autographic visualization describes a set of design principles and visual practices to reveal traces and material evidence. Autographic visualization aims to make data collection accountable and engaging, which can play an important role in discourses around climate change, pollution, and evidence construction.

Dietmar Offenhuber is Associate Professor at Northeastern University in the fields of Art + Design and Public Policy. He holds a PhD in Urban Planning from MIT, Master degrees from the MIT Media Lab and TU Vienna. His research focuses on the relationship between design, technology, and governance. Dietmar is the author of the award-winning monograph “Waste is Information” (MIT Press), works as an advisor to the United Nations and published books on the subjects of Urban Data, Accountability Technologies and Urban Informatics.