Future Human: Transparent Life, Wednesday February 8
Future Human is back and ready to administer a monthly dose of pioneering ideas, brain-enhancing discussion and midweek booze throughout 2012 at The Book Club in Shoreditch. Our first salon of the season is Transparent Life on Wednesday February 8. Transparent Life will deliver compelling insight into the rapid evolution of data visualisation tools, and explain how they are changing the way we understand ourselves and the world around us. Click here to buy tickets or read on for more information…
People who were born before 1990 tend to think of computing experiences as ‘virtual’ and physical experiences as ‘real’, but younger generations are growing up in an environment where the boundaries between virtual and physical existence are increasingly blurred.
As Facebook attempts to digitise our life history in social media and CCTV cameras connect to facial recognition databases, the relationship between our private selves and our increasingly public selves is changing. Like it or not, life is becoming more transparent.
At Transparent Life, we will explore this trend, and its implications for all of us. Is anonymity online a dying concept, as Mark Zuckerberg suggests, or is 4Chan founder Christopher Poole right that maintaining a single, public identity ‘degrades our humanity’? What are the benefits of living our lives in public? And how will the visualisation of data in our environment change our relationship with the world that surrounds us, and our activities within it?
From identity search engines that aggregate people to determine their net worth to brain imaging technologies that digitally replicate the ‘mind’s eye’, not to mention the latest interactive augmented reality initiatives, we’ll examine the tools that are imposing a ‘data layer’ on the world, and creating a new digital medium for human experience.
Joining us to discuss the advances and emerging challenges of data visualisation are three technology pioneers who are fundamentally changing the way we interact with data.
– Callum Rex Reid is the CEO of Digicave, one of the world’s leading augmented reality companies. By capturing objects in three dimensions with high definition photography, Digicave overlay real, physical environments with ultra realistic visualisations of these images. The uses for this technology are extremely varied: basic applications include museums preserving art and artefacts as digital 3D objects, while more complex applications include the creation of interactive 3D environments for the entertainment industry.
– Luke Robert Mason is Research Director at Philter Phactory, a company whose ‘Weavrs’ are set to revolutionise the social web. Weavrs are ‘infomorphs’: virtual bodies of information which are said to possess emergent features such as personality. They repurpose our social media data streams to generate personae from the digital detritus of our online lives, such as videos from YouTube, tweets from Twitter, music from Last.fm, and venues from Google Places. Fascinating as alter egos, they’re potentially of great value for market researchers and advertising agencies. Luke is also director of the Virtual Futures conference.
– Keiichi Matsuda is a designer and filmmaker whose work frequently envisions a data-dominated future. His series Augmented (hyper)Reality imagines a world in which manipulable imagery and information surrounds us at all times, while his installation ‘Cell’ retrieves keywords from our online profiles and visually connects them to us in real time, projecting our virtual selves for the world to see. Keiichi will be showcasing his work live at Future Human.
As usual, you’ll be able to pose your own questions to our guests throughout a panel discussion, and share your comments via the big-screen Twitter feed. For anyone intrigued about the artistic, commercial and psychological implications of our data-driven future, this is an essential event. Once again, you can buy advance tickets online here. We hope to see you there!