Power Structures - share knowledge and perspective
Posted 10 February 2010 - 01:29 PM
"Power Structures is an online system for illustrating the networks of power brokers that influence our daily lives. Participants are invited to contribute data about people, places, things, events, groups, and the relationships that tie them together. The maps produced act as narrative structures outlining the flow of influence. "
- click enter ... then you can load up demo-data on the right menu under "view maps"
Posted 10 February 2010 - 02:27 PM
Until recently the ability to collect, manage, analyze, and visualize large quantities of data was reserved for corporate or government institutions with the capital for new technologies and the man power to implement them. These organizations have a lot to gain from the collection of data, and a lot to lose if they don't.
Individuals are rarely capable of mastering the expansive knowledge bases and skill sets required to construct such systems. However, they have just as much of a vested interest in collecting, managing, analyzing, and visualizing data relating to these larger organizations, whose vast amount of influence and control has a great impact on their lives.
Power Structures intends to augment individuals by giving them the capability to collectively research and organize networks of influence. Much information about the organizations and individuals with high seats of power is freely available, but obfuscated, either intentionally or unintentionally through its distribution. Power Structures allows the user to take on the role of a journalist, and seek out citations relating to their subject matter. By amassing a wealth of published material, they can use it to connect relationships between characters in their narrative structure.
When people come together to attempt to shed light on powerful individuals and institutions, they can share their knowledge and perspective, and influence their community in future decision making. This augmented ability for the individual would tip the scale of power towards an increase in social justice.
Aaron Siegel is a second year MFA student in the department of Design|Media Art at the University of California, Los Angeles. His concentration is in computational information design and focuses on the creation of utilities leading towards an increase in social justice. This project is presented in partial fulfillment of his thesis requirement.
The given site represents his undergraduate work:
A more updated About:
About Aaron Siegel
Aaron Siegel (b.1983) is a transdisciplinarian with a concentration in computational information design. He received his BFA in Digital Media Art from the Cadre Laboratory for New Media at San Jose State University in 2006, and his MFA in Design|Media Art from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2008.
His motivation comes from interesting data sets, interfaces, and social justice applications. His work utilizes data visualization to address complex systems of power structures and networks of influence. He aims to achieve an overlapping relationship with aesthetic representations of data and scientific empiricism. His work strives to display relationships and correlations within information systems that would remain unseen from any other perspective.
The goal of many of his creative endeavors is to enable people with a greater understanding of a system larger than themselves; a technical capability usually reserved for large corporate and government institutions. By enabling the average citizen with data management, analysis, and visualization technology, an inverse panopticon can be created where the collective participation of a community can monitor and hold a larger institution accountable for its actions.
I'm now accepting offers for freelance work, part-time positions, consulting, or requests for turnkey installation projects. If you're looking for information or interaction design, data visualization, interactive art installations, or immersive environments, feel free to send me an e-mail describing your project and budget and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
By the sheer fact that the words "inverse panopticon" were used, I would feel morally justified to tear the Author's Master Degree into pieces and offer him a shovel as a compensation (and a few advices about careers in manually digging under the California sun for a few years, which appears as a just rightful employment in this case)
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