MAS 963 Portraits, paintings and personal data

In this section we'll be working on ways to represent the individual. One of the themes we'll be developing is the notion of a data-portrait: a visual representation of the self that is based on abstract data rather than facial features. Such a "portrait" could be used as an interface for managing personal data; it could also be conceived as an artistic project (whether as a portrait appropriate for the Information Age or as a statement about privacy invasion). What data would you want to see? How would you represent it?


Your assignment is in two parts:

1. Please read the following and write a short critique:

The privacy paper is mostly a starting place to read more about data privacy - if you read more, do list sources you found particularly useful in your write-up. The portraiture chapter is to provide you with some background theory about the relationship between the person and the portrait. The main point of your critique is not an evaluation of these works per se, but a presentation of ideas they suggest for creating the "data-portrait". You are encouraged to start sketching out these ideas visually

2. The Media Lab business cards have a color bar on the top. Right now, that bar encodes no meaning - which graph one gets is simply a function of the layout of a set of cards at the printer. Keeping the same "Media Lab" look, define a schema for encoding data about each person in the color bar - you can use color (within the set of ML colors - see Media Lab home page for a reasonable rendering of the full set) and spacing as your representation vocabulary; what do you choose as the data?

This assignment is due online by Tuesday at 5pm.