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Information visualization of a philosophical text

 

Overview

The visual depiction of processes is a basic educational and cognitive tool. We can all understand better an action, an experiment, a phenomenon, if we are presented with a visual example. At the same time the use of diagrams is a wide spread practice of study wherever direct correlations are noted (like figures, mathematical and formal relations). However after a certain level of abstraction, this kind of illustration seems insufficient in regards to the density of the information, and is therefore omitted. Could visual data analysis enabled with help of computers depict more analytical relations, like for example those that are presented in texts of philosophical reflection and offer images which do not merely accompany in an illustrative manner the text but manifest the ways which constitute it?

This transdisciplinary research which belongs aims at bringing together three elements: i/ a series of photographic images ii/ a philosophy paper analyzing them and iii/ visual data analysis tool in order to create a space where they intersect, i.e a computer-aided image—an information visualisation—based on the conceptual design extracted from the philosophical text interpreting the photographic images.

Participants

Harri
Laakso

Professor
Tomi
Kauppinen

Docent of Media Technology & Privatdozent of Geoinformatics

Harri Laakso

Professor

Harri Laakso (b. 1965) is Professor of Photography Research (Associate professor, tenured). He works mainly in the Department of Media but also in the Department of Art and Department of Film, Television and Scenography. Previously he worked as Professor of Visual Culture and Art at Aalto University for 12 years.

He holds a BFA in Film, Photography and Visual Arts from Ithaca College, New York (1991), MA in photography from University of Art and Design Helsinki (1996), Graduate Certificate in Art History, Theory and Criticism from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1999). He received his doctoral degree from the University of Art and Design Helsinki (2003).

Laakso’s primary research interests are photographic images and theory, artistic research and word/image relations. He has led many research projects, including “Figures of Touch” (2009-2012). Presently he is senior researcher in the “Floating Peripheries – Mediating the Sense of Place” project (2017-2022). In addition to his own art projects and publications, he has curated many exhibitions, e.g. co-curating the Falling Trees exhibitions in the Finnish and Nordic Pavillions at the Venice Biennale (2013). Laakso is presently also chair of Board for Public Display Grants to Visual Artists, Arts Promotion Center Finland (2019-2021).

Tomi Kauppinen

Docent of Media Technology & Privatdozent of Geoinformatics

Tomi Kauppinen is the head of Aalto Online Learning, and a docent of media technology at Aalto University. He holds a habilitation (2014) in geoinformatics from the University of Muenster (WWU) in Germany, and a title of docent (2014) and a Ph.D. (2010) in media technology from Aalto University. He has been active in the areas of online and blended learning, information usability and visualisation, cognitive systems, and created semantic recommender and exploration tools with artificial intelligence techniques. In 2016 he started to lead the Aalto University wide strategic development initiative, Aalto Online Learning, which covers activities ranging from blended learning to full online courses, from video production to online social interaction, from automatic assessment to interactive visual simulations, and from augmented/virtual reality to games and gamification. Since October 2020 he is leading the virtual campus task force of the European University alliance UNITE! – the University Network for Innovation, Technology and Engineering.

Information visualization of a philosophical text

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    Connections made by me

    Respectively it is targeted to philosophers and researchers, who are interested in conversing with artists, sharing knowledge and also learning from their artistic practice.It is a lab where visual artists mostly work with philosophers and not exclusively on philosophy. In that respect philosophical texts and wider topics may be in our areas of interest more as a means to explore seeing and thinking rather than the end on which we focus to extract information. It is lab which also aims at creating through experimentation and transfigurations of artefacts material which may raise philosophical questions and discussion.