I gave a talk yesterday to the Cognition and Neural Science PhD students in the Psychology Department at the University of Utah. My title was “Art and the Psychological Scientist” (PDF available here). I talked about data art, information visualization, and Processing, among other things. It was very nice to finally connect with the Psych department there. (I am, after all, a psychology professor.) A few of the students are developing a course on art and psychology and I’m excited to see what comes of that. (And, Martin, that’s why I left class after the quiz; I had to get ready!)
Well, we had to try making an actual, working web site for my Web Design (FA3000) class. The assigned topic was a favorite artist. Because I do statistics and data visualization, and because he actually is an artist, I chose statistician/author/artist Edward Tufte. Here’s a still shot of the home page:
Not much, but not too bad for a first try. (And I’ve definitely seen worse!) For the time being, this site is on the school’s server and you can see it by clicking here. (By the way, as a partial excuse for the elementary nature of the site, it was all hand-coded in TextMate; we don’t get to use Dreamweaver until later in the semester.)
We’re getting started with Photoshop (and the Adobe Creative Suite in general) in FA2000: Computers and the Arts. Very exciting! It’s an overwhelming program; so many choices, so many buttons. Ay yi yi . . . But I’m thrilled to have put the lettuce and beans on their own layers in the salad photo! Very cool to move things around so easily.
To quote the theme from The Love Boat: “So exciting and new!” (Well, new to me, anyhow.)
Also, in FA3000: Design for the Net I, we’re doing some manual HTML coding to create very, VERY simple websites (at least, local pages that open in browsers). Kind of tedious to do it manually, but I think it makes things much clearer. And I’m finally learned about putting the pages in a folder with relative references . . . if only this simple fact had been made clearer to me a few years ago. But I’m looking forward to working on our next assignment, which is to create a web page for a favorite artist. I may cheat and do mine on Edward Tufte, who IS an artist but is known much, much better for his work on data visualization. Here’s the man himself:
For reference, here are his major publications, all of which are gorgeous and should be required reading for all designers and data people:
- The Visual Display of Quantitative Information
- Envisioning Information
- Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative
- Beautiful Evidence
Anyhow, it should be fun.