Aesthetics, so labor

By | November 18, 2014

As Christian Paul points out, “the tension between the mostly linear and hierarchical structure of databases and instructions, on the one hand, and, on the other, the seemingly infinite possibilities for reproducing and reconfiguring the information contained within these structures,” very much characterizes digital art. Aesthetics can necessitate certain structural shifts and these are more present in and around us if we look carefully.
Only a few in my family can read cursive. I remember during a thanksgiving several years ago, we were tested if we could read my 13 year old cousin’s cursive handwriting. It looked nice and we could recognize “D’s” and “Y’s” but many of use failed this test. We didn’t have access to this realm, not forever but until we either committed our time and/or money to acquire it. Most, if not all, of us first generations just shrugged it off as one of those things we are not going to get because it’s past our horizon to get.
On the digital front, there has been many a nights I would be working on projects or trying to listen some music on Youtube when a 20 seccond Tableu commercial pops up. Tableau Software is an American computer software company headquartered in Seattle, Washington. that produces a family of interactive data visualization products focused on business intelligence. It’s basically Excel visualization on steroid.

Please click on the picture if you want to see the add.

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So far I have been on 3 contracts working on various marketing & digital operations projects and it was recently at my last contract that I recognized everyone was going tableau crazy. There are now tableau certifications whose responsibility is to collaborate with the marketing team to express the data. These folks are creative and meticulous and spend a lot of careful time in the zone.
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How do you read this? This is persian calligraphy and there only a handful of people who are deemed as specialists in producing meticulously creative works such as this. They also spend a lot of time doing this, something that if I wanted to accomplish I would need to invest into a lot of practice.
My point is this when aesthetic and access coincide is an interesting junction, other things happen as well. One of them being schematics of labor but there are other rhizomes of alterations that also get shaped as a consequence > coincidence.
Lastly it was also interesting how many times these themes once again emerged when talking about data:

  • Classification
  • Significance
  • Association
  • Longevity
  • Hierarchies


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