Lead Faculty: Yanni Loukissas
Description: This proposal is part of Georgia Tech's Media Arts Initiative, which aims to create new academic programs at the intersection of arts and technology. A group of faculty and staff have been investigating the potential of "media arts" as a research and education area at Georgia Tech. Media Arts encompasses any form of creative research in the visual, literary, or performing arts that explores the expressive potential of existing and emerging technologies. This research can challenge traditional categories of art and influence future relationships between technology and culture.
Lost in the Stacks: the Research Library Rock'n'Roll Radio Show
Episode 557: Under the Media Bridge
The Media Bridge is a large-scale digital screen, imagined as a “pool” which is “fed” by streams descending the facade of the bridge joining the Price Gilbert and Crosland library buildings. The physical and digital design of the Bridge media is intended to create for the Library an outward facing public “discovery” venue, showcasing Georgia Tech’s culture of research, scholarship and creativity. To that end, the Media Bridge environment is used to its best advantage in showcasing short, visually compelling motion graphics that may lead to epiphanous discovery of Georgia Tech resources - including people, places and ideas.
LMC 8803 Special Topics in Digital Media: Data, Design, and Society
What can data do to us?
Can data enhance our senses, inspire wonder, invite curiosity, unsettle us, induce anxiety, or help us become more resilient? This project-based graduate course uses design as a form of inquiry to explore what data can do to us, not just for us.
In recent years, the fields of data science (computing), data visualization (design) and data studies (humanities and social sciences) have explored how data function instrumentally, as evidence. By this definition, data are rhetorical instruments. They exist to support the rational claims made by scientific, scholarly, commercial, and civic organizations. This perspective on data is important. However, it can overlook questions about how data work experientially, as perceptual and aesthetic artifacts. Indeed, data have an emotional impact, with social implications for what counts as data, where can data work, and who can make use of data. How data make us feel is at least as important to their effectiveness as the logical arguments they support.
Students in this course completed a series of design exercises culminating in a final, site-specific data visualization project for the Georgia Tech library's new "media bridge," a large-scale, exterior, high-resolution screen recently constructed on the central campus. In the process, they learned about how data can shape the way we feel about important local issues. They also worked closely with data-savvy librarians and made use of data sources with direct relevance for Georgia Tech's campus community.
The objective of the course is to help students build a foundation for working creatively and critically with data, and the students learned to do the following:
- Use design to effectively present data in public contexts
- Contribute to the development of new genres and forms of digital media
- Create digital media with an awareness of history, audience, and context
- Appreciate and evaluate future trends in the development of digital media
Final Studio Project
The final project focused on using digital media to explore new forms of engagement with data. In Spring 2023, graduate students created the following projects:
This project is a large-scale visualization of time. Much of the natural world is governed by cycles. Our individual lives are no different. Some cycles we notice more than others. Georgia Tech students were interviewed to get their thoughts on the following questions after seeing the display on the Georgia Tech Library Media Bridge: What do you think about when you see the waveform images? How and when do you notice cycles happening in your life and the world around you?
This project focused on the theme of dangerous knowledge in the novel Frankenstein. AI was used to generate images that described the theme and quotes from the novel were also incorporated. Dangerous knowledge was chosen as the theme to explore the comparison of artificial creation and its negative consequences — both in the novel and as a danger to learning and society in our current world. The video was meant to evoke the following emotions: eerie, unsettling, and mysterious. This was achieved with text to speech, eerie music, and extra effects. The sound was the most effective aspect of the video in grabbing people's attention.
Photos on Techniques and Georgia Tech Instagram capture student life and the landscape of the four seasons on campus. The video aims to use a pixelated effect to explore students' memories and evoke their feelings regarding the seasons at Tech. The work shows four selected pixelated images that represent each season to create a deconstructive effect and bring an abstract feeling rather than a realistic representation of the college campus. The length of display pictures is adjacent to the academic calendar, which means that it begins from fall, and the time of displaying fall and spring images is prolonged, because the fall and spring semesters are comparatively longer than the winter and summer. The text over images is extracted from the data sources to explain the four seasons and open a space for imagination and interpretation.
Seasons, Color, and Emotions
Seasons, Color, and Emotions
The goal of this project was to encourage students to ask themselves how they feel during different seasons and consider how seasons could impact their moods. During this project, three pictures for each season were selected from Georgia Tech Instagram to represent the campus during different times of the year. These images were combined into one and three main colors were extracted from each picture. The transition from pictures to pixelation and the extraction of color blocks were used to inspire students' attention to seasonal colors and evoke their feelings. The darkest color represented depression, the middle color represented anxiety, and the lightest color represented happiness. The percentage of moods were visualized using those percentages of colors, and the colors moved around to show changes in people's mood based on the data.
Trip Through the Library
Trip Through the Library
This project focused on students' emotions surrounding the Georgia Tech Library. It leaned into the humanistic side of the data by including footsteps and student interviews. Students were asked about their emotions as they traveled to and from the library, ways they typically travel around campus, and their emotions when traveling inside/outside and alone/in groups. Participants were asked to show their typical emotion when arriving at the library using a smiley face chart, and the results were placed in the video.