Watch Aaron Koblin’s “Crowds and Clouds: Data, Sheep, and Collaboration” talk at MIT’s Office of the Arts
Where others see just data points and fodder for bar graphs, Aaron Koblin visualizes dynamic systems where information assumes forms both abstract and familiar. In this talk, Koblin shares recent projects that meld statistical science and art to convey a really big picture, while often inviting the viewer to partake in a more personal experience.
Koblin explores those “interesting traces” left after humans interact with each other and with computers — what he calls “data trails.” One work, Flight Patterns, depicts the flow of air traffic over North America in a 24-hour period. The east and west coasts light up in sequence, and lines shoot out of great cities in swarms at busy times of day, like brain scans showing bursts of activity among neural centers.
Aaron Koblin is an artist specializing in data visualization. His work takes social and infrastructural data and uses it to depict cultural trends and emergent patterns. Koblin’s work has been shown at international festivals including Ars Electronica, SIGGRAPH, OFFF, the Japan Media Arts Festival, and TED. He received the National Science foundation’s first place award for science visualization and his art is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.
Koblin received his M.F.A. from the Department of Design|Media Arts at UCLA and his B.A. in Electronic Art at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Utilizing a background in the computer game industry, he led a course in game design for the web at UCLA and has been working with data driven projects as a designer, artist and researcher.