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Massachusetts Institute of Technology  /  MIT Museum
Building N51   265 Massachusetts Avenue   Cambridge, MA 02139
Open Daily 10am – 5pm  /  Closed Major Holidays

If the MIT Museum is closed due to snow, there will be a message here.

Connections

This new exhibition at the MIT Museum explores the social potential of new communication technologies. Art installations and research projects by the Sociable Media Group challenge visitors to think about the rapidly changing world of social interaction and the ramifications for the future. Avatar chairs, data portraits and an immersive information cityscape are just some of the exciting aspects of this new exhibition.

Metropath(ologies)
Data Portraits
Experimental Graphical Chat Spaces
Chit Chat Club

The Museum will also hold Connections-related talks and programs throughout the spring.

Metropath(ologies)

Insights by Michael Bleyenberg

 

Metropath(ologies) is a new installation about living in a world overflowing with information and non-stop communication. The sounds and visual imagery incorporate live and recorded data ranging from personal updates and private information, to global news reports. Visitors may choose to become part of the exhibit, their images captured by surveillance cameras, their names entered into databases, their voices recorded and played back by in the echoing soundtrack.

From the Media Lab: Judith Donath, Alex Dragulescu, Yannick Assogba, and Aaron Zinman, 2008

 

Data Portraits

Portraits depict something essential about a person, usually by delineating the subject’s physical appearance. With the Data Portraits series, the Sociable Media Group explores a different approach, portraying people by expressively rendering their online interactions and data about them.

Themail: Relationships portrayed in email
Themail portrays its subject’s relationship with another person and how it changes over time, based on their email correspondence. A word’s size, for instance, in the portrait shows how frequent and characteristic it is in a person’s e-mail. Themail skirts the boundary between public and private: by using only single words, it depicts the essence of a conversation without revealing the specific meaning. From the Media Lab: Fernanda Viégas and Scott Golder, 2006

Lexigraphs I: Portraits of micro-bloggers
Lexigraphs I is a group portrait of Twitter users. Here they can be seen as a crowd of individual writers, each delineated by the words that characterize their postings and the rhythm of their writing. From the Media Lab: Alex Dragulescu, 2008

Mycrocosm: Self-portraits in statistical graphs.
The collection, use and control of personal data is an important and controversial issue. Mycrocosm users record everyday “personal statistics” using simple graphs and charts to display their data creating self-portraits which highlight the expressiveness of personal patterns over time. From the Media Lab: Yannick Assogba, 2008

Experimental Graphical Chat Spaces

 

Chat Circles
Experience how online spaces have the potential to go beyond replicating everyday experience. With reduced realism comes the freedom to explore new forms of communication. From the Media Lab: Fernanda Viegas and Matt Lee

 

Information Spaces
Presents research in moving away from literal representations of tools, spaces, and people to take better advantage of mediated graphical environments. From the Media Lab: Drew Harry

 

Chit Chat Club

The Chit Chat Club was a prototype for a connected “café” where remote visitors, appearing via human-scale avatar chairs, could join company with local patrons. Each chair was designed to explore a different aspect of remote communication.

Cheiro Chair
The Cheiro Chair features expressive typography, allowing a remote user to communicate via typed text rather than speaking, while still presenting a vivid and animated presence. From the Media Lab: Francis Lam, 2006

Slim
Slim was designed to fit into a conversational setting with minimal effort by the remote user. The mouth and eyes moved automatically in conjunction with the user’s speech, and the user could change its expressions with a simple “emotion wheel” interface. From the Media Lab: Karrie Karahalios and Kelly Dobson

 

MIT MUSEUM   Building N51   265 Massachusetts Avenue   Cambridge, MA 02139
P: 617.253.5927   F: 617.253.8994   museuminfo@mit.edu
Copyright © 2008 Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Massachusetts Institute of Technology   Arts at MIT

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About the Sociable Media Group
The Sociable Media Group investigates issues concerning society and identity in the technologically mediated world.

We address such questions as: How do we perceive other people on-line? What does a virtual crowd look like? How do social conventions develop in the networked world?

Our emphasis is on design: we build experimental interfaces and installations that explore new forms of social interaction in the mediated world.

Listen to a CBC interview with Judith Donath

Judith Donath

Judith Donath

Judith Donath is the director of the Sociable Media research group. Her work focuses on the social side of computing, synthesizing knowledge from fields such as graphic design, urban studies and cognitive science to build innovative interfaces for the online communities, virtual identities and computer-mediated collaborations that have emerged with the convergence of computing and communication.

Research Team

Alex Dragulescu
alex dragulescu

Yannick Assogba
yannick assogba

Aaron Zinman
aaron zinman

Drew Harry
drew harry