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Transliteracies: George Legrady at WRT: Writer Response Theory

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Continuing a series of posts on Saturday sessions at the Transliteracies 2005 Conference:

Making the Visible Invisible - Dewey Icon display closeup

George Legrady spent the first half of his talk reviewing of some of his previous work in digital text art design, and the second half talking about Making Visible the Invisible, his project in production for the Seattle Public Library, a catalog display installation designed to “give a sense of what the community is reading by mapping the flow of books in and out of the library.” The system offers multiple data visualizations of loaning and catalog data, such as a Dewey-decimal map.

Making the Visible Invisible - Dewey

I’m have a weakness for live data and a good visualization, and George’s elegant designs made me wish that I could write my own visualization plugins to drop into his system. Setting aside a wall of high-definition screens, what would a poor-man’s version of the Seattle Library installation look like? Perhaps it would begin by turning the library data into music. After sonification the MIDI data could be converted to mp3 and visualized using the rich visualization plugin architectures available for myriad music player on every conceivable platform - WinAmp, iTunes, X Multimedia etc. Of course, this says nothing about live streaming - it is a chunkwise solution that would have to update every few minutes - but the general idea seems sound….

Making the Visible Invisible - Burst

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