June 26, 2012

Designer Data

Creativity has largely been influenced and owned by the traditional channels of the art world. 

The sweet candy of the eyes and the powerful potion of the ears.

All the pretty pictures and beautiful scenarios, shocking movies, seductive soliloquy and chaotic abstraction are classic tenets of the creative world.

However we are entering a new frontier of creativity, an age where data is becoming the clay in which creativity is molded with.

For centuries data has been shackled within the boring annals of the actuarial world. 

Its qualitative arms and quantitative legs bound by the weight of monotonous graphs and plebeian charts. 

Confined to bland colors and simple shapes and presented on canvases of slide shows and endless flowcharts and spreadsheets that would have any artists ready to run for the hills.

Data has long been held hostage in infinite rows and columns and kept at the lowest level of abstraction so that it may be processed into stale stacks of incomprehensable numbers and characters that have kept its creative potential out of the hands of artists for ages. 

Kept guarded by the mathematicians and the scientists who have claimed ownership over this powerful raw material in an attempt to keep it pure and of intellect, shielding it from the emotional perils of the art world.

Today data is as accessible as air, it is everywhere and in forms that make it conducive for creative applications and visualizations.

Data is the creative DNA in which our new and exciting app culture is built upon. 

Billions of bytes of chatter, gigabyte upon gigabyte of goodies all readily available to be played with and manipulated into tiny screens that help us do everything from managing our social lives to finding the best food trucks in our area. 

We now live on data, we feast on data and we consume data more than any other age in history.

The creative world is quickly becoming obsessed with data. 

Art and design is being driven by data, neatly packaged streams of massive amounts of human data, collected by the billions every single second of the day being transformed into neatly designed applications that fuel our creative juices and allow everyone to take part in the creative process.

Big ideas are now formulated not by an aesthetic execution but by the mixing and matching of strands of data, all different kinds of data, social data, urban data, physical data… the list is endless. 

Consumers pour their souls into computers and devices, they tweet and post and checkin, they bump and share and play, they fill oceans of data every single day and there seems to be an endless supply of different data to play with.

Its is an almost perfect ecosystem where consumers exude data and in turn breathe it back in.

Artists love mediums, especially mediums that are free, easy to use and can create world changing expressions. 

Data is this new medium.