Learning from Lombardi

Learning from Lombardi


“…In Lombardi’s case, even his early scribbles on a project are more informative, because they show a fundamentally human thought process, of trying to draw the story out of the mass of data he had collected. This is the opposite of many computational approaches that begin with a mass of data, followed by an often failed attempt to simplify it.

As part of the research for his drawings, Lombardi assembled some 14,000 index cards, which are now part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Each 3 by 5 inch card referenced a person or other entity. In the computational pieces that I just showed, it’s as if we’re looking at all 14,000 index cards at once. Having completed the research and data collection process, Mark knew that he must first synthesize that information into something useful. Too often, we try to make the machines synthesize for us, but in fact, synthesis—from the Greek and then Latin meaning “to place together”—is a fundamentally human task. It’s what separates us from Google…”

— Ben Fry


selection by ekstasis

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