Unedited conversations between artist in a productive critique discovering thesis and processes behind the work.
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Case Study: Greenlight Capital, 2015
Ramos: it is nice to be on the other side of the crit this time
Millett: i bet
Ramos: tell me about the image
Millett: ok, its part of my ongoing hedge fund investigation - in this example, im looking at Greenlight Capital's stock portfolio from the first financial quarter in 2011
i use that given information and place it in a kinda diagram generator (the voronoi diagram) to produce what you see
Ramos: and what interest you the most from this diagram? what are you trying to get out of it?
Millett: this diagram represents the culmination of a process or methodology im trying to establish that can be replicated and scaled
across different mediums and different types of information
Ramos: a process and methodology for what?
Millett: the process is about translation and its hopeful culmination is about conveyance.. can we remove specific information from varying fields of study and produce objects they may convey that information better? or faster?
or simpler, more efficiently?
its open ended question i don't have the answer too
Ramos: two things come to mind (1) the value of this particular piece of information (2) and the motive of faster, simpler, efficient, versus beautiful, intelligible, inclusive
on the value of this piece - why do I care about Greenlight Capital?
or what they are investing in?
what is the narrative behind this information, if any?
Millett: lets see .. lots going there
see if this helps
part of the ultimate goal is to provide a literal, real world application of the objects as communication devices, so right now this Greenlight Capital piece is just the datum, or index
over time, as more variables are applied - the index or datum changes as well
potentially it could offer insights or an educative purpose
as different things/events are cross-referenced with the index, say a world event, the datum could/would change
Ramos: so in this particular piece, the content doesn't really matter, it is about the process. Is that accurate?
Millett: no, id say the content gives us hints as to the way these hedge fund entities operate
Ramos: how so? as in what information is applicable, in general, to all or "these", hedge funds?
Millett: the way they disseminate risk, they are all structured differently, all have different purposes - long term or short term goals....
the big boys have their fingers in everything - politically, socially and economically
which i think offer opportunities to gain knowledge and insight of how things work
i would not say these diagrams offer stock advice for us to learn from
Ramos: neither would I, but in this case, what else is it offering?
I don't think any of the information you mention, political, social, economical involvement or how things work, or long term/short term goals, is in any way manifested in this piece
would you agree?
Ramos: why don't you work with content that you are interested in other's knowing about?
it seems that you have a passion to uncover certain truths
but you are not working with those
Millett: well i had to be able to build a device first, and be able to articulate it in a sensible and meaningful way
Ramos: fair, you are testing the process, I would suggest to test the process with meaningful content because it might intertwine nicely and the process might change because of it
Millett: absolutely, thats where im headed
so let's talk about the process then
how is this process different from data visualization?
if you are dropping data into a apparatus that makes the object for you
there is no room for your interpretation
why wouldn't you interpret rather than represent?
if art is what you are making that is
Millett: i'm not sure where these objects lie (as far as art etc.), but they are built, three dimensional things that can be touched, felt, seen, etc. at least thats the goal
as far interpretation/art, this is not about producing a formal interesting new thing, i feel the 'art' is in the content selection, how the variables are represented, what diagrams are used, the process and how its communicated
Ramos: three dimensional things can be a table or a computer, you can feel them and see them but that doesn't make them art, all that is arguable of course
and sure, there is some of your hand in the company you chose, the program that made the object was also your choice
but i would say there is a missed opportunity to express your passion and what you want others to take from it
and that's going beyond choosing existing facts
and towards manipulating the expression
and perhaps not in a scientific way
but through an artistic expression of the content that most interest you
i think you are limiting yourself by just producing objects of actual data
i would want to see objects of the values you find, the correlations, the implications, not the data
data visualization is more of a business venture and data interpretation can be an art form
Millett: sure, i think those are all fair points
Ramos: i guess the question is - what do you want out of this process?