If you will be in Bloomington between January 11 and February 8, 2013, try to fit in a visit to the Grunwald Gallery of Art for the Humanexus exhibit — a semi-documentary animation that visualizes the historical stages and possible futures of human communication. The work by Ying Fang Shen, prepared in collaboration with SLIS Professor Katy Börner, is based on an analysis of the quantity and quality of messaging, as well as evolution of the media.
The Humanexus animation is a part of Grunwald Gallery of Art's exhibit SoFA Revisited: Alumni from the Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Arts. According to the announcement, this is the gallery’s first show featuring the work of nine alumni who have graduated within the past 15 years. Faculty members nominated the artists based on the quality of the work and the artist’s outstanding accomplishments after graduation.
Humanexus: Knowledge and Communication
through the Ages
Initial Story, Guidance, and Resources: Katy Börner,
SLIS, Indiana University
Animation and Design: Ying-Fang Shen, Department of
Communication Arts, Virginia Commonwealth University
Sound Track: Norbert Herber, Department of Telecommunications,
This semi-documentary animation visualizes human communication from the Stone Age to today. It aims to make tangible the enormous changes in quantity and quality of our collective knowledge and the impact of different media and distribution systems on knowledge exchange.
Starting with storytelling, we get to re-experience the invention and impact of writing, printing, telegraphy, calling, emailing, and texting on human communication. In parallel, we see the development of transportation systems, the typewriter, Morse code, phonograph, motion picture projector, radio, television, and phone. With each new invention, knowledge is delivered and received more effectively, directly, and rapidly than ever before, making possible the next generation of media and delivery systems. With the advent of computers in the 1940s and the popularization of the Internet in 1990s, information exchange between computers and humans became possible. Today, we are weaving social and technological networks on a global scale, have moved much of our activities online, and most of our digital footsteps are recorded and can be traced and mined by others now or in any future. The intensity and instantaneousness of information flow effectively creates a global brain, or a humanexus of billions of biological brains and many more technological artifacts continuously searching, sensing, reasoning, and acting. In the process, our lifestyle and the landscape of knowledge are shifting continuously and drastically.
Always ask: Is this what we want? What do we want?
Posted January 17, 2013