We are often drawn to information visualization because of the power it wields as a medium for understanding the world around us. Through design, we build narratives that isolate the phenomenal world in ways that enable us to dissect, understand, and interpret it in carefully crafted slices of space and time, collapsing the complexity of our experience of it into more digestible chunks. But as both practitioners and consumers of visualization, we sometimes forget that if we look carefully enough, visualization can tell us more about ourselves and our engagement with the world than it can about the world alone. In this talk, by way of examples of recent personal works in visualization, I reclaim an understanding of information visualization as a medium for constructing narratives about not only the phenomenal world but also — and perhaps even more importantly — ourselves. Through visualization, we can cultivate reflections of our own lived experience of what it means to be human while lifting up those of others, in the process moving us closer to an understanding of the human condition that bridges relations between self and other.
About the speaker: Steven Braun is the Data Analytics and Visualization Specialist in the Digital Scholarship Group (http://dsg.neu.edu/).
Examples of recent work can be seen at http://www.stevengbraun.com.