Dis-Information-Visualization Workshop Summary / Helsinki Sep 2012

The 1st Open Knowledge Festival was also the host of the 1st Dis-Information-Visualization workshop, a critical attempt to actively explore the dark side of information visualization. In the full day workshop (led by me, Mushon Zer-Aviv, and organized by Pixelache and the Mushrooming Network) 4 groups were encouraged to lie with infographics. Rather than falsifying the data, the dis-info-visualizers have manipulated its meaning by creating truthful, yet misleading representations.

We started with an introductory presentation offering a few critical tools through which to investigate (and generate) visual manipulation. The talk suggested that rather than looking at data information visualization as “Beautiful Evidence” (to quote the title of a book by Edward Tufte) we should read them as often beautiful and sometimes even seductive arguments.

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