4.0 HINT.FM

HINT.FM is not so much a design agency, but a male/female duo of Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg, analytic and data visualisation artists who work for Google’s data visualisation group. They have also both previously worked for IBM’s visual communication lab, and have ran their own company ‘Flowing Media’. They’re committed to the act of understanding and simplifying visualisations founded in academic research— to extract insights from raw data.

Martin describes their work as ‘a [visual] technology developed by computer scientists to extract insights from raw numbers. This technique is ideal for investigating a world represented by digital traces, where truth is hidden in masses of information,” The resulting studies take the form of web sites, prints, and videos.

The specific work of theirs that I love, is a piece called ‘Wind Map’, which ended up being exhibited at MoMA in 2012.

The site pulls analytics from the National Digital Forecast Database, and presents the precise wind data in a visual manner over the top of a geological map of North America. The gorgeous aspect of this data is how it’s presented, with each wind value being represented by a single pixel sprite, with a ghosting tail effect to indicate direction and speed of that particular wind data.

Wind1.png

What follows is a lively and moving map of North America, where the trails and undulating flow of patterns displayed almost give the data a real sense of sentience. Numbers and wind speed figures gives way to something that almost breathes as nature would. The concept is rather simple, but the execution is so delicately handled, that you truly do get the sense that only this duo could handle immense code and data visualisation in such a way. After looking at the map, you really can’t think of a better more efficient way of displaying wind data, with the added bonus that it looks fantastic. I think that data visualisations grounded in actual efficiency is the strongest.

The design of the website or UI is lovely as well. It’s rather white and arad, which allows the maps themselves to become one large generative artwork.

wind2

3.1 Images

bitchleak

Bill Leeks released this cartoon nationally in The Australian following the leaked videos from Don Dale Detention centre. It’s a prime example of how not to react to a horrific, racially motivated situation. The simple fact that ‘The Australian’ stood by this image, (and his previous equally discriminatory cartoons) reveals how pretty fucked up their newsroom, chief of staff and ethics really are. Worse still is the actual national popularity of the publication.


IndigenousDad.png

In response to the Bill Leaks cartoon, Aboriginal fathers took to twitter under the hashtag #indigenousdads, to visually show their opposition to the views expressed in The Australian. Twitter is great, because it allows these organic movements of ‘real imagery’ to circulate throughout society (showing Aboriginal men are obviously good fathers), opposed to all the grossly incorrect sampling a lot of media outlets in Australia hide their news behind.


garma

This is a great photo from Garma Festival in the NT. The festival runs parallel to other major festivals like splendour in the grass, revealing a nice cross section of Australian Y generations interest in amazing local culture, against a bullshit pinger fest. This picture is great, because it shows all ‘types’ of people being embraced and immersed inside of a really organic, ambient genuine aboriginal environment.


thomasdick1923

This is from a series of photographs taken by farmer Thomas Dick in the 1920’s, and found in a rusted old tin on his property. It’s a very earnest portrayal of Port Macquarie/Coastal Aboriginal communities still living in a mostly undisturbed environment. The photo is brilliant in revealing the unique synergy even recent Aboriginals had with the environment around here. A bark canoe sits in a natural appropriated dock caused by a lightning strike on a tree. Thomas lets the scene speak for itself, and gives a voice to early aboriginals when they had none, during the tumultuous early stages of modern Australian life.


thomasdick1923iiindigenous-photographs-data

This is an extension of Thomas Dicks previous photo, however with the added context of a modern landscape underlaid behind the original. I really adore this photo, because in essence it’s revealing of an Aboriginal tribe living within a particular area, being forcibly removed, and that area still looking exactly the same as it had 80 years earlier— one again indicative of the close union Aboriginal people had with the land.
Show a before and after photo of any european inhabited area 80 years apart and the difference would be immense.


goodesykillinit

This gif is taken from the HIGHLY [OVERLY] PUBLICISED celebration by iconic sportsman Adam Goodes after kicking a important mark in a 2015 AFL game. Within hours of this happening live, countless novice and reputable news sources alike plastered social media with the video and their uneducated interpretation of the aggresive nature of Goodess cultural ‘Spear dance’. It was only when finally, Aboroginal communities themselves were consulted about the ‘incident’, which is when they pointed out it was a ficticious boomerang he was holding, not an aggressive spear— immediately identifying how fucking stupid and brash a great deal of our media is. Furthermore, the Maori tradition of performing the Haka before representing their nation is considered patriotic, and heavily respected by Australian people, whereas this very similarly tribal cultural celebration was accepted with heavy backlash, despite characterising a fraction of the aggression of the Haka. Ummmmmm??????


THE BOY.jpg
Iconic photo of Patrick Mills hitting a go-ahead 3 pointer which would eventually lead to the victory of the San Antonio Spurs in the 2014 NBA Championship. Patty Mills in an Aboriginal Australia who is currently in his 7th season in the American national basketball league. Playing in the NBA is an incredible achievement (about three in every 10,000 or .003% players who play competative HS basketball will continue on the NBA), more incredible is the fact most people know much about him, short of every 4 years when channel 7 hypes him up for their olympics broadcasts. Andrew Gaze, a household name in Aus basketball, also played with the spurs, averaging less than HALF patty’s points per game, and 1/4 of his assists and minutes. I’m a big Patrick fan, and I get frustrated when people comment that we have no good ball players in Aus, while a guy who averages 9ppg in the most athletic league in the world gets ignored largely because he is not marketable to Aus. A large part of that I feel, being his cultural background.


6ef59539-6136-471b-bd6d-9cc06a9f28db_1469163387

This is Truganini, an Aboriginal woman from Tasmania who at a young age was already special due to her role in educating others in her tribe (a role normally kept for elder villagers). Post european invasion, after witnessing horrific crimes against humanity, Truganini continued her work in education, this time urging her people to dissect and understand the white invaders, to earn empathy, and fight back for their independance more effectively. As a young ‘classically’ uneducated woman, she showed more diplomacy in the face of horror than anyone in a patriarchal european system.


MoniqueHurleyTweet.png

Working at SBS during NAIDOC week means that a part of my job is trawling through twitter for NAIDOC content to repost. I came across and liked this picture for the simple fact that it shows a typical young Australian genuinely seeking out and enjoying Aboriginal culture in the NT.
Twitter has become a large part of news broadcasts, and despite that you never see regular, communal stuff like this make on the 7 news bulletin, however they will repost a Tweet from Robbo35 in Stradbroke Island who reckons there’s “too many burkas on the beach” there and that they “must get pretty hot in that ‘ay.”


levicraig

This is a photo from American born Levi-Craig Murray’s photographic essay ‘Modern indigenous Australia’. I thought this was a really interesting project— an offshore artist coming to Australia to document the landscape of Aboriginal people away from the embedded discriminations existing in the country. “The media seems to flood, inundate people with very raw photography, and it’s all images of people in northern or central parts of our country,” But he says there are many and varied faces of Indigenous people, right across the continent. “The Indigenous people that are living in the city – I wanted to show that those people still have a deep connection to their country and culture too.”
It’s an interesting simple concept, that you somewhat rarely consider.

1. Bill Leak
Leek, B. 2016, The crucial role of fathers, ABC, viewed 22nd August 2016, <http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-04/scullion-condemns-‘racist’-cartoon-in-the-australian/7692234&gt;

2. #IndigenousDad
John Paul Janke, (2016), – [ONLINE]. Available at: https://twitter.com/jpjanke?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw [Accessed 30 August 2016].

3. Garma
Unknown – Garma Fest, (2016), Garma [ONLINE]. Available at: https://www.facebook.com/garma2016/photos

4. Thomas Dick Photo
Thomas Dick, (1923), Untitled [ONLINE]. Available at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-24/uncovering-australias-indigenous-past-with-new-photographs/6969778 [Accessed 31 August 2016].

5. Thomas Dick Photo II
Thomas Dick, (1923), Untitled [ONLINE]. Available at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-24/uncovering-australias-indigenous-past-with-new-photographs/6969778 [Accessed 31 August 2016].

6. Goodes
FOX Sports. (2015). Buddy sinks blues with seven goals. [Online Video]. 30 May 2015. Available from: http://www.smh.com.au/afl/sydney-swans/sydney-swans-adam-goodes-celebrates-goal-with-indigenous-war-dance-ruffles-feathers-20150529-ghczbr.html. [Accessed: 30 August 2016].

7. Patty The Kid
NBA getty images, (2014), getty [ONLINE]. Available at: http://www.nba.com/spurs/video/channel/highlights [Accessed 30 August 2016].ty-mills-plays-key-role-as-san-antonio-spurs-defeat-the-heat-to-claim-nba-title/story-fni2u9cl-1226955592692?nk=f032352c036646272506e6d9c6adca95-1473222350

8. Truganini
NITV provided, (2016), – [ONLINE]. Available at: http://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/nitv-news/article/2015/03/06/20-inspiring-black-women-who-have-changed-australia [Accessed 30 August 2016].

9. Hurley Tweet
Monique Hurley, (2016), – [ONLINE]. Available at: https://twitter.com/monique_hurley/status/751240544597078017/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw [Accessed 30 August 2016].

10. Levi Craig
Levi-Craig Murray, (2016), – [ONLINE]. Available at: https://www.facebook.com/modernindigenousaustralia/photos

3.0 Stakeholders

Map of stakeholder surrounding Aboriginal Rights.

Laura was a great partner to fill this out with. We have similar outlooks on societal constructs; moreso, a similar understanding of the interaction between media, government and public conventions.

It’s interesting however, we were laying down names and agencies on the butchers paper through a ‘stream of consciousness’ sort of application. And near every name had some affiliation with media, or popular opinion. It was as if most everything we knew or understood of Aboriginal rights has passed through a filter of media, like— It had to represented in news (good or bad) or  be a part of some national discussion before we were aware of it. Very few if any names we put down were local or personal sources, and very little had any to do with Aboriginal heritage or ancestry.

It’s practically all Aboriginal figures in rights issues, the politicians affecting those issues, and the media agencies trafficking the information. There was a lack of Aboriginal figureheads beyond sports stars, and all around greatest man on earth, Ernie Dingo. Does the problem stem from our own lack of awareness, motivation to seek Aboriginal news in our own means, or what (lack of) selected Aboriginal news is actually presented to us, or a mixture of all.

stakeholders

Post 5: Interview

  1. What do you know about asylum seekers and refugees in Australia?

Australian politicians claim that our country is generous to refugees and asylum seekers, but looking at statistics and inside stories featured on the media, I believe this to be a falsehood. Refugees and such are sent to detention centres offshore on Nauru and Manus Island; they supposedly live in horribly decrepit conditions for an indefinite period of time all due to Australia’s controversial policies surrounding this matter.

  1. Did you notice any difference of the treatments on refugees and asylum seekers between Australia and Europe?

Europe appears to be much less tough on policies regarding refugees and asylum seekers compared to Australia. Processing and moving around refugees into the various countries in Europe sees to a lot more progress in the eyes of many.

  1. Have you heard of any reports about how refugees and asylum seekers were treated in detention centres?

Media outlets and organisations such as amnesty have reported on the deplorable conditions of these detention centres (particularly Nauru) where standard human rights have been completely sidelined. Reportedly, the condition of Nauru is repressive, inhumane, cruel and inappropriate – refugees and asylum seekers live in conditions that are not suitable even for cattle.

  1. Do  you think it’s a good idea that Australia is accepting more refugees and asylum seekers? If not, why?

It is definitely not a good idea for Australia to accept more refugees and asylum seekers while these current policies are still in place. Bringing in more people will only overpopulate the already overpopulated capacity of these facilities and detention centres. The sore lack of progress on refugee processing, undermined health treatment and lack of legal services and basic human rights will only worsen the refugee situation in Australia.

  1. What do you think the government should act when facing asylum seekers crisis in Australia?

Do not send any more refugees into the Nauru detention centre – it holds no purpose. Process the refugees and asylum seekers who have been waiting; bring them into Australia. Take example of other countries whom have been more successful in controlling the refugee situation.

10 – FINALE (yet, only the beginning)

Reflection + Discussion

After discussing a variety of my ideas with my peers and Jacquie, I gained insight into how to approach my project. The culmination of my research throughout the semester resulted in giving me a range of options to explore within the topic of mental health.

I was initially interested in the issue of funding for eating disorders in Australia. This intrigue was sparked after having read the academic articles in blogpost two. The central issue around which these articles was centred was the issue of not meeting a certain weight/BMI criteria thus falling short of being diagnosed with anorexia. However, the rigidity of these factual articles did not speak to me as much as the articles I had been researching conveying personal experiences and those which invoked these experiences through visual imagery.

What interested me most was the public perception of an eating disorder. Often through my research I would discover that the sufferers from the illness often felt judged and as if the public did not understand that a) they were even suffering from an eating disorder or b) did not understand the severity/nor cause of the disorder. I thought it was important to base my design on a personal approach, as sterile and more factual approaches are harder to connect with and usually a bit dry.

After speaking to Jacquie about two of my proposals she said I needed to visualise them more. Essentially the underpinning was there as I have a clear idea of what I want to achieve with the issue I was planning to tackle. However I hadn’t really solved the problem. With my service design I was just planning on making an educational video. I realised that this was lack lustre as it didn’t connect on a personal level which I wanted my concept to achieve.

I then spoke to Georg in the next tutorial explaining both my ideas. She said that the generative idea design was more solved than the service design.

Project title: I have ___ BECAUSE

(work in progress)

Practice type:

Generative Design

The issue:

Eating disorders are often  widely misinterpreted and commonly not recognised as mental illnesses. The public focuses on only the most commonly known one such as anorexia (and perceives them to be suffering,) whereas eating disorders such as EDNOS or Binge Eating often are unrecognised due to the fact there is no physical manifestation or at least not quite as obvious as with anorexia. The degree of severity that the public accords to and treats people with suffering with eating disorders is often skewed by arbitrary criteria and biased assumptions and too often this attitude and judgment is not based on proper information.

In conjunction with this, negative perceptions are also associated with eating disorders such as they are just a stroke of vanity or a ‘fad’ which suggests that they are not in fact a genuine mental illness thus diminishing the disorder and the sufferers by minimising the condition.

The possible change:

Essentially I want to spread awareness about the root cause of eating disorders, and that these root causes differ in each individual. I also want to show that there are a range of eating disorders all with serious health consequences. Despite the less visible physical manifestation of a Binge Eating disorder it can be just as dangerous as anorexia.

My aim is to overturn assumptions or popular misconceptions that cause an eating disorder irrespective of the form or manifestation of that disorder.

The Design action to support change:

My generative design takes form in that of an interactive website. Essentially I want users to submit their thoughts if they are struggling with an eating disorder. The website will have parts of the screen where you click and it leads you to a trail of assumptions about an eating disorder leading in the words such as “I have an eating disorder because…I’m Vain” as an example. After clicking through a minefield of assumptions such as the example above, a statement will appear in a contrasting/colour/font that states the actual reason for a person struggling with an eating disorder.

POST 10: Reflection and proposition

Reflection

After the last brainstorming session of refining our design proposition, though I found several useful feedback, I realised my idea was not engaging and a bit confusing. My design intention was focused too much on functionality of the software but not so meaningful in terms of design perspective. In addition, there are already existing software that does a similar job. Even though the design intention was different, the process and the expected result are similar. So I decided to scrape my old idea and move on a new one.

Talking with other peers about their work inspired me of their design approach to the problem. At the same time, I am able to spot the point where they might have missed.

New Brief

People who first started to use internet and social media are likely to post something immature online as they are unaware that the content online stays almost permanently. Sometimes people wouldn’t remember what they did in the past and turns out to be embarrassment. Online user especially the ones who likes to post content online should take cautious of the content in respect of the future in order to keep everything private stays private.

 

Project Title: The internet wall of regret

Practice Type: Data-Driven

Using twitter search to collate a collection of twitter messages about their regret of posting something online in the past. Messages collected with be displayed on a website that updates in a regular basis. Those messages are analyse into statistic such as how often a regret is post throughout days and weeks.The idea behind this website is to raise people’s attention about their digital footprint and present it in a more coherent way to the young people.

To bring people to interactive to the website, a twitter bot is programmed to reply to those regret messages suggesting that there is another person have the same experience (with a retweet) along with a hyperlink to the “The Internet Wall of Regret” website and a hashtag.

Twitter search currently used for data:

  1. “why did i post”
  2. regret i post
  3. “i regret posting”

The Issue

Some of the tweets like “why did i post” comes with an image from the past which does not really a regret but more like promoting or reminding people of their own reckless actions. A lot of the tweets usually doesn’t come with a context but just stating that they are regret of what they did which may results in repetitive response shown on the website.

Further data scraping from Twitter and analysing them will help identifying useful information or interesting fact to add on the website.

The possible Change

Additional function on the website which maps out the amount of regret messages in every intervals (days, weeks, months) and visualise the data in a more aesthetic manner.

 

2.1 Skydome

Ok,wow, where the hell was this in our textbooks.

I remember being taught about dreamtime. About the collaboration Aboriginal people had with the earth, and spirits in the sky. However I never new the entire system had deep roots in social-cultural astrology— furthermore, grounded in a DEEP understanding of astrology well before any other european, asian or african nation. In fact they’re considered the first beings to name celestial objects in the sky.

“when Europeans made first contact they labelled the Aborigines as primitive. Later in the 19th and early 20th centuries, ethnologists, anthropologists and scholars found that the Aborigines in fact had a complex socio-cultural religious system which was used to conduct their daily lives and the life cycle of birth, growth and death.”

What strikes me about this, is that in essence, the ‘religion’ of aboriginal people was born from astrology. Key religious figures from the culture were born in or eventually made their way to the stars, where they resided in constellations, looking over the people below. Opposed to other forms of religion which based themselves on figurative messiahs, or messiahs of human flesh and appearance, the Aboriginal people based their social system on specific and solid aspects of nature. There exists a true synergy between man and the environment, moreso than any religion or even societal culture I can think of (in my limited knowledge) today.

Even more outstanding, is the fact that their education system was based on this deep understanding of astrology. Of such importance is a knowledge of the stars to the Aborigines in their night journeys and of their positions denoting particular seasons of the year, that astronomy, and reflecting on the sky and movements of the stars above is considered one of the principal branches of education.

Facts-about-Aboriginal-Dance.jpegAboriginals get all the cool homework

 

By watching the movement of the stars the Aborigines of central Australia discerned for themselves that certain stars neither rise nor set, i.e. they are circumpolar

The system was based on absolute laws of astrology.  Celestial patterns would note a certain fish were in season in the north, or that Dingo’s would be breeding in central Australia. And based on these laws, they would seek food or supplies for their language groups. Again, this is absolute synergy with nature.

dingo.jpg

Stars: Natures first porn search engine 

Furthermore, astrology provided grounds for culture laws and morals (morals of which have ALWAYS been attributed to conservative religions such as christianity and the bible)

“The Aboriginal people use the celestial objects in the sky as a moral book to inform their people of how to conduct themselves. The rules they enact on land are transposed into the sky for all to read. For example, the star Aldebaran referred to above also serves to illustrate a story about what happens to people who are adulterers. According to the Aborigines of the Clarence River region in New South Wales, Karambal (Aldebaran) stole the wife of another man and hid her in a tree. The husband set fire to the tree and the flames carried Karambal into the sky where he is easily seen and pointed out as the red star which is still burning (Mathews 1905). It serves as a constant reminder to anyone who is contemplating committing adultery. “

Another interesting note, is that this education of nature and the stars above were passed on and taught in an oral nature. Stories and laws were taught by word of mouth, and taught in the sand on in basic carvings. Things were never ‘written down’ in the historical english sense of the term. There you have an education that is constantly evolving and growing based on human interpretation. – opposed to something such as the 2nd amendment, which because it is written formally, has little chance of receiving a further amendment, despite the societal demand and need.

This oral fixation on information has of course led to problems in todays society under traditional english law— “ Their law had been passed down from one generation to another in their oral tradition. However, within the Australian legal system of common law, oral testimony may be classified as hearsay and it is therefore inadmissible as evidence.” Therefore a great deal of the ‘religious’ aspect of aboriginal dreamtime (which should be protected) is lost in courts.

Large areas of land with very acute cultural significance is lost, because the elders cannot ‘truly justify’ their historical relevance.

Bhathal, Dr Ragbir Bhathal. “Astronomy In Aboriginal Culture”. A&G 2006: 27-30. Print.