Visualizing Contamination

Visualizing Contamination

– [Dorsey] Something about my practice that I’m really passionate about bringing to the field of design and science communication is something called formative evaluation. Where instead of just generating materials and presenting them to community members, you actually collaborate with community members to see: how would you like to see this
information visualized? I’m Dorsey Kaufmann and I’m the artist and creator behind Ripple Effect, which is a project that visualizes water contamination. When participants look at the installation, they get a sense of, if the water is very active that means that my water has more contamination. We work with a lot of rural communities, and not everyone receives information in the same way. – [Dorsey] Then it makes it a little
bit more easier to navigate. – [Miriam] Yes, because for me, when you see something like this, it is very complicated. – [Dorsey] Part of what this is doing is taking a look at how do we revisit the way that we visualize data. – [Miriam] And the explanation here tells me what I’m looking at, what happens, what could happen to me, and it’s very practical–then I can make a choice. It’s not about being afraid of what you find, it’s about learning what about you’re doing and doing it better to keep a healthy lifestyle. – [Dorsey] I think what art does is it allows people to attach a feeling to science, to data. If we take a look at the different
ways that we’re visualizing, maybe that will actually translate into the way that people apply this information and it will affect them in ways that really haven’t been measured before.

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