The project is conceived at the interface of practice-based design research, media studies and aesthetics, knowledge design, sound design, and computational sciences. In regard to methodology, it strives for a close interlocking of designing, programming and critical analysis. The challenge to represent big amounts of high-dimensional data in a way, that researchers can recognize and explore them productively appears to be an immanent design problem. For the filtering and extraction of significant differences in data sets numerous algorithmic techniques have been developed since the advent of the computer. Although algorithmic efficiency is increasing and screen sizes are growing visualization strategies still (or more then ever) seem to reach the limits of productivity and meaning making. Therefore, we are interested in the sensual extension of visual representation by acoustic means and the question, whether the “visual work” of the researcher and the “calculating work” of the computer can be complemented by “sonic work” to find novel solutions to the problems of representation.
The research is structured in three parallel and interrelated parts. In a speculative design process the space of possibilities and implications regarding a multi-sensory exploration of high-dimensional data is mapped out by narrative scenarios and artifacts. In an explorative design and programming part software modules are developed, that aim for exhibiting innovative approaches to the combination of visual and sonic data representations. For that purpose, high-dimensional data sets are provided by experts of the field of computational sciences from the University of Basel and the University for Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland. In the long term, we intend to scale these programming experiments to a kind of software toolbox. The research is complemented by a scientific study of the theory and history of data aesthetics.
Prof. Dr. Dominique Brodbeck (FHNW)
Dr. Georg A. Funk (University of Basel)
Prof. Dr. Dietmar Maringer (University of Basel)