So far, the six-week Information Visualization elective has been my favourite of all the classes I’ve taken in my first year of the Digital Futures program at OCAD. The class focused on the incredibly important role visualization plays in contemporary society as a technique for problem-solving and persuasion. I found that it related so much to my thesis project – an interactive documentary on Ipperwash – that I asked the class instructor Patricio Davila to be my Primary Advisor.
For the final class project, Patricio asked us to focus on creating a visualization that related closely to our research interests. For me, this meant focusing on Ipperwash, which is a story that I’ve been pursuing as a documentary filmmaker for the past 12 years.
I had originally intended to create a series of visualizations, and for my final project to be much larger in scope. However, I struggled so much with re-learning Adobe Dreamweaver (a program that I used often back when it was Adobe GoLive) that I was only able to make one smaller visualization that focused on the 100 recommendations that were released following the Ipperwash Inquiry. The final product can be found here:
[pt_service icon=”screen_icon_b” layout=”center” title=”Visit the Webpage”]The Ipperwash Recommendations: Implemented-vs-Non-Implemented[/pt_service]
I can’t say that this visualization was completely successful – there seemed to be some confusion over the highlight colours that I’d chosen and whether they had any meaning (they don’t). There were also further questions regarding the recommendations themselves, such as when they were adopted (to be honest, I don’t know – there doesn’t appear to be any government body or First Nations organization keeping track, so I had to take my best guess as to which recommendations have been implemented and which haven’t).
The good news is that I now have a full year to go before my final thesis project is due. I’ll be working closely with Patricio and my Secondary Advisor, Julie Nagam, to create an interactive documentary that makes use of visualizations (such as those used in the new field of Forensic Architecture), as well as the content that I’ve collected over the past 12 years (such as video interviews, historical research and Inquiry exhibits – including some intensely compelling audio tapes that were recorded in the OPP command post during the three days leading up to the September 6, 1995 shooting of Anthony “Dudley” George).
I’m very excited to be starting a course called Thesis 1 in May 2015, and look forward to finishing the project in a way that is far above and beyond what I had originally planned when I started developing it as a young film student back in 2002.
Assignment: Final Project
Class: Information Visualization
Program: Masters in Digital Futures
Institution: OCAD University