As teams will be presenting their Visualization Projects in classes this week, this blog entry will discuss the subject ‘presentations’.
A presentation is typically defined as a ‘performance’, a speech, an engaging activity between speaker(s)/presenter(s) and audiences or a lecture/class/teaching. Put simply, it’s the act of bringing knowledge forth to a group of individuals via various techniques. These techniques could utilize PowerPoint presentations, info-graphs, projected notes or written texts.
However, long gone are the days where ‘presentations’ are stopped at the door of a conference hall or a presentation room. Nowadays, I find we’re constantly ‘presenting’ information. In this digitalized age of social media websites and online forums, information is constantly coming forth, flooding the world relentlessly.
We live in an age of persistent gathering of data, analyzing and organizing it into a coherent manner for publics to conveniently grasp onto.
An example could be seen in this video:
I think Fat boy slim does a really good job in explaining the significance of VJ-ing as a form of publication in today’s society. He says “I’m very weary of technology taking over, especially for DJ-ing, the whole point of DJ-ing is communicating with the crowd and having a party along with them. Not being hunched over and pressing tons of buttons and wanking off at how much gear you’ve got.”
This illustrates how visual media and technology has changed our ways of presenting information. We’ve developed highly engaging, exciting ways of capturing audience’s attentions, and presenting information in a fun and appealing way.
In the video, Fat Boy Slim is on a massive podium facing thousands of audience members. His publics are dancing, singing and reacting to his presentation of visual media; this goes to show how visual data encompasses high levels of power towards publics today.
Another example would include Facebook, and other social media sites:
Social media sites are platforms for users to present their personalities, identities and existence. These sites are filled with tabs linking to several other pages – listing our connections with various interest groups, people and events. This information is managed coherently for the benefits of users.
This ‘presentation’ shapes our perspectives and realities, influencing our thoughts and allowing us to understand how we’re connected to other publics.
On a less extreme instance, we see information being presented on a daily basis. Signs, logos, traffic lights, brandings, advertisements are all examples of published information. These ‘presentations’ guide us and form our attitudes towards certain aspects in life. For example, the different colors on traffic lights indicate when to go, stop or slow down. This form of visual data radically influences our driving habits.
As Andrew had said in the lecture, we are immersed in a visually transparent culture. We’re obsessed with controlling data, and as a result, this presented information dramatically forms our perceptions of reality. Like Fat Boy Slim controlling his publics through the use of visuals and music, presentations engage our senses and sways our behavioral patterns.