Friday, 10 October 2008

Serial Consign: the White House as "information parsing machine"

During the course of my research on data visualisation I've come across the interesting Serial Consign blog. At this stage I'm yet to assess their willingness to break a few eggs to make an omelette i.e. be more critical than, say, blgblog, when pinpointing which underlying logics could be driving some of these design innovations. This would be the surest means of avoiding a more predictable surrender to avant garde formalism.
In any case, although this piece does not specifically reference Luhmann's systems theory, its subject strikes me as a remarkable realisation in effect of his modelling of the political process (and something I would like to unpack further time permitting). Along with the incredible graphics, one of which I've reproduced here, there is this killer quote:
"This image develops the proposition that the White House could act as an "information parsing machine" and consolidate a steady stream of web-powered polling and demographics and filter these flows of realtime data into content for projection onto the various interior surfaces of the White House. The labRAD scheme serves up this "informatized interior" alongside a flexible plan for managing labour and space based off public opinion. While my inner pragmatist is not entirely convinced by some aspects of this proposal, I respect the fact it approaches redesigning the White House as an exercise in systems management rather than simply delivering a spectacular edifice. Beyond this, there are a diverse range of representational strategies at play within this work that manage to appeal to information visualization purists one moment and read like a graphic novel the next.
You can check out the full proposal via the following
PDF which is archived on the labRAD site."

1 comment:

Greg J. Smith said...

Hey, great to see you find my writing on datavis worth mentioning. For the record, I am willing to break eggs, but I also like to find work that speaks to me on some level or that I can redeploy to put something else in perspective.

I studied Luhmann under a pretty great teacher (Robert Gibbs), I however was a pretty medicore philosopher and ended up in the design world. All of the recent network stuff I've looked at has been very contemporary - Manuel de Landa, Mark Wigley, Mark Taylor etc.

I'll poke around your archives now that I'm here. :)