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May 1, 2013

Blatantly, visualisation is where an idea or pieces of information are abstractly represented in relation to colour, shape, size, texture etc. It is the basic principles and foundation of any artist and the fundamentals of graphic design.

This website above is inundated with interesting visual representations of data and concepts (eg. time), through basic shapes, colour and size.

In the lecture, Andrew spoke of forms of content and expression – where the hidden data is expressed through visualisation thus making a new content. We select the way we want to express a certain form of content thus creating a new content which will be viewed by a new public.

As media practitioners, our role is to create a new public in our own image or in the image of the company we are working for. I’m not sure if I totally agree with this – I think as an advertising company or a graphic designer, you already know exactly who your audience is … so it isn’t entirely about creating a new public, but rather innovative ways to attract the old audience and maybe other people of the public you didn’t expect to attract – thus, an unintentional public forms.

The difficult problem with visual representation and publishing visualisations is that people’s perception may alter the meaning of what you are trying to portray. The purest form of visual representation is art; an artist may have certain intentions and paint a specific manner to influence how the public will view the artwork – but in the end, the artist can merely lead the public’s thoughts rather than shape them. Every person in the audience will view that artwork differently and if given a concept, everyone would choose to represent the concept differently.

The ideology of intertwining different platforms and cross signal processing is where we are at now. It is quite unnerving to think that publishing is transforming so rapidly and is reliant on the newest technologies that present themselves to the public. Real-time visualisation is an engaging way to publish certain things – such as the example of the video artwork given in the lecture. It highlights the capabilities media has, the implications of this on print media and ultimately the jeopardises the notion “real” journalism and publishing for a purpose rather than for entertainment.. I believe our society is heavily dependent on fast-paced, constant updates, where we can simply skim over the information available and select what we want. With real-time visualisation, it poses new issues and desires for and of the public.

Visual scenarios can enhance and hinder the public’s experience cohesively. On one hand, it can broaden the mind of the viewer and subject them to new ideas or new ways of thinking. But, contrarily, it affects the attention of the intended audience which links in with the topic from two weeks ago. If we are constantly shown images and short-text based signs, it will eventually become more difficult to read longer texts. This is definitely evident in today’s media – we like to think that we have control as to what grabs our attention, but brightly coloured pictures and short, engaging articles are more likely to engross the audience more effectively and more quickly in retrospect to a dense investigative article.

It is the sad truth that we are lured to certain things psychologically for the attractiveness that captures our attention. Whilst visualisation can ultimately heighten publishing, it is evident that we will most likely become lazy to read.


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