"How does the notion of scale affect humanities and social science research? Now that scholars have access to huge repositories of digitized data - far more than they could read in a lifetime - what does that mean for research?" (Manovich, 2009)
Z Lab develops research projects in the domain of data visualization, new media and digital arts. Our research interests include visual representation, creative design and cultural hacking such as artistic data visualization, mapping, and interactive experience. We use an open method to visualization, working from visual storytelling to visual analytics. Design is, thus, treated more like a proper language than a tool. We use this language in practice to define a new visual epistemology.
Even in theoretical research, the final data are always diagrams. However, diagrams are unable to offer either scholars or laypeople definitive answers; instead they help in drafting better questions about the observed phenomena. Their strength often relies more on their capability for formatting data than on their visual aspects. A diagram can be viewed as a finding engine, rather than a search engine: it can serve as an entry point, opening new spaces for action and new options for intervention. Z Lab is open-minded, we are willing to work with researchers, universities and businesses.
The purpose of our recent study is to understand the current ideology of China by visualizing a great quantity of images from official art archives. Check out methodology and the preliminary results of our recent two projects, "Award Puzzle" and "A Palette of CCTV's Chinese New Year Gala".