Coffee & Viz - Data-Driven Art and Immersive Media with TouchDesigner


Friday, September 6, 2019
9:30am to 10:30am

Add to Calendar 2019-09-06 09:30:00 2019-09-06 09:30:00 Creativity Studio at the James B. Hunt, Jr. Library


Event Description

Go behind the scenes and experience the creation of climate data driven generative art and an immersive documentary exposing the commonalities of human existence with Emil Polyak, Immersive Scholar Creative Resident at the NC State University Libraries and Assistant Professor of Art + Design, and Candida Hall, MA Art + Design. In this talk and exhibit Polyak and Hall will discuss and showcase multimedia content developed for immersive visualization spaces in the James B. Hunt Jr. Library using TouchDesigner. TouchDesigner is a node based visual programming environment that allows developers to incorporate various 2D and 3D media formats, interactivity, and data sources to generate multimedia applications.

Polyak will discuss and debut his latest work completed as an Immersive Scholar Creative Resident in which climate data is indirectly used as the agent to contribute in the generation of real time animations that behave in surprising, calm, violent, organic, and mechanical ways at the same time to provoke emotions. In addition, the viewer is able to control the flow of the data through an interactive touchscreen. This control, however, isn't intuitive or predictable; it represents the cognitive bias and fabricated belief systems in our society that question science without providing evidence. The impact made by the interactive input simulates the out-of-control state by adjusting the chaos through visual properties.

Hall will discuss and show her installation Othering. Political scientist Matthew Gentzkow stated that “We believe that those on the other side are trying to destroy America, and that we should spare nothing to try to stop them” to sum up the rise of polarization and ‘othering’ over the last decade in America. Othering is an immersive documentary installation that combines images and sounds of place with audio interviews of women from rural and urban communities, to expose the commonalities of human existence.

This event will feature a presentation from each speaker in the Creativity Studio followed by an open showing of the installations in the Teaching and Visualization Lab and the iPearl Immersion Theater.

*Complimentary coffee, tea and light refreshments from local business Anisette will be available beginning at 9:15 a.m. in an adjacent space. To help increase the sustainability of this program, please bring your own coffee mug.

Contact Information

Walt Gurley

Admission Information

Free and open to the public.


If you require a disability-related accommodation to participate in this event, please contact Marian Fragola at or 919-513-3481 to arrange services. Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time to meet your access needs​.

Example images from Emil Polyak's climate data driven generative art and Candida Hall's Othering

Featured Speaker

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    Emil Polyak
    Assistant Professor of Art + Design
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    Candida Hall
    MA Art + Design