Data-driven art and immersive media on Sept. 6

The Libraries’ Coffee and Viz series kicks off the fall with two fascinating NC State artists

What does our humanity sound like? How does climate data look when set in motion? Two NC State artists answer these questions through their work at the Libraries’ first Coffee & Viz event of the fall semester on Friday, Sept. 6 from 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. in the Hunt Library Creativity Studio. The event is free and open to the public.

Emil Polyak, Immersive Scholar Creative Resident at the NC State University Libraries and Assistant Professor of Art and Design, and Candida Hall, MA Art and Design will speak about their work in the Creativity Studio and then showcase it in the Teaching and Visualization Lab and the iPearl Immersion Theater. 

Polyak’s work uses climate data to produce real-time animations that range from surprising, to calm, violent, organic, and mechanical. 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. Polyak’s work was completed as an Immersive Scholar Creative Resident at the Libraries. 

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.

Both artists have used TouchDesigner, a visual programming environment that allows developers to incorporate various 2D and 3D media formats, interactivity, and data sources to generate multimedia applications.

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.