Aaron Koblin

Aaron Koblin is a digital artist who takes real-world community generated data and uses it to reflect cultural trends and the ever changing relationship between humans and technology. A pioneer of ground-breaking visualisations, Koblin harnesses the power of the internet to create community projects which he then turns into astonishing pieces or art.

The above is a digital map of the flight patterns of 20000 planes over US airspace. This was Koblin’s first foray into interface art and was completed in 2005.

‘Perhaps my favourite project is The Sheep Market. The Sheep Market is a collection of 10,000 hand-drawn sheep from online workers collected through the Mechanical Turk. The Mechanical Turk is a web service created by Amazon to provide “artificial artificial intelligence,” now known more commonly as “crowdsourcing.” I wanted to visualize this and think about this kind of system, which will inevitably become more common. I created a tool for recording drawings and posted the tool online paying $.02 (USD) for each worker’s sheep. I rendered all 10,000 sheep into a matrix that I used for the interface at, a market place for inspecting and collecting the individual sheep.

Koblin was also the co-creator of the incredible Jonny Cash Project as featured on AmazingStuff.

The above is a visualisation of the text messages sent in Amsterdam during New Year’s Eve 2007.

…and this is a still from a Radiohead video where Koblin turned the band members into 3D datagraphs.

Perhaps Koblin’s most amazing piece of work is his project with the band ‘Arcade Fire’. By inputting an address, and with the help of Google street view and Google Maps, Koblin’s interface tailors a music video unique to each individual user. You can try it for yourself by clicking here.

What is even more amazing is that Koblin’s art is his ‘hobby’. By day he is the Creative Director at Google’s Data Arts Team. Below, he talks about his work.

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Vid via TED

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