15 Jan 2015

Twitter: @sejalpopat

About Me
I’m a Fifth Year Scholar at CMU studying Logic & Computation and Art. I’m very interested in how visualization aids understanding. This drives a lot of my curiosity with visual proofs, diagramming and data visualization. I also love to read and paint.

Past Project
In one project I attempted to visually display the interdisciplinary and non-linear approach to presenting history in one of my favorite books, “The Culture of Time and Space” by Stephen Kern. This book traces various changes in the way people perceived and communicated about distance, space, direction, form, duration, the past, present, and future throughout the late 19th century and early 20th century. These changes in perception were influenced by a variety of events such as the discovery of x-rays, the invention of the phonograph, a sudden rise in bicycle use, cubism and so on.

What’s interesting about the book (and what makes it somewhat of a tangled mess) is that Kern links “conceptually distant” events and topics to make his points about shifts in perception, resulting in what he calls a “radical gerrymandering of traditional cultural areas”. To make the links more clear I opted to map them out on a sort of “timegrid” where each column represents a broad topic such as “Literature”, “Technology” or “Visual Arts”, and Kern’s “lines of thought” move across these disciplines and connect seemingly disparate events, discoveries and movements in literature and art.