Co-Founder, Office for Creative Research; Fmr NYT Data Artist in Residence
Originally from Vancouver, Jer Thorp lives in New York City, where he teaches in NYU’s ITP program. To investigate the results of Big Data, Thorp helped launch The Office for Creative Research with his peers. He has been a vocal advocate around data, ethics, and privacy, and is currently spearheading a new project with The OCR called Floodwatch: a collective ad monitoring tool that empowers individuals to see how advertisers are profiling them, and to share data with privacy researchers in an effort to combat discriminatory practice.
From 2010-2012, he was the Data Artist in Residence at The New York Times. Thorp's software-based art has been featured all over the world. His art brings big data sets to life, combining state-of-the-art science with a natural interest in the human condition. His “Cascade” project at The New York Times visualizes the sharing of content through social media, offering tremendous insight into the way we use digital networks to share, influence, and connect with others. He was also a major contributor to the 9/11 memorial project in New York City, where he wrote a program that organized the names of victims not by alphabetical order, but by relationships—putting coworkers next to coworkers, and brothers next to brothers.
Thorp’s award-winning software-based work has been exhibited in Europe, Asia, North America, South America, including in the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan. Jer has over a decade of teaching experience, in Langara College’s Electronic Media Design Program, at the Vancouver Film school, and as an artist-in-residence at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design. He has presented at The Ford Foundation in New York City, at the National Academies, and he is a member of the world Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Design Innovation. He was named one of Canada's Greatest Explorers by Canadian Geographic.
Making Data More Human
In this talk, Jer Thorp shares his beautiful and moving data visualization projects, helping audiences put abstract data into a human context. From graphing an entire year’s news cycle, to mapping the way people share articles across the internet, to the 9/11 Memorial in Manhattan, Thorp's cutting-edge visualizations use technology and data to help us learn about the way we use digital technologies, become more empathetic in the data age, and ultimately, tell the story of our lives. How can understanding the human side of data lead to innovation and effective change? What value is there in the novel and interactive approaches to data visualization? And, what are the business applications of creative data-focused research? Thorp teaches audiences how adding meaning and narrative to huge amounts of data can help people take control of the information that surrounds them, and revolutionize the way we utilize data.
Catching Cyber Criminals: The Big Data Toolkit
With new innovations in cybercrime constantly appearing, how can the “good guys” possibly keep up? In this talk, Jer Thorp shares the most cutting-edge tools we have in our arsenal against cyber threats—including a new interface that examines botnets, the global networks of infected computers that cyber criminals enlist to do their bidding. He shares the work he’s been doing with Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit, and how his team is experimenting with new ways of making use of such incredibly dense data (including tools like sonification, which allow researchers to hear a botnet and understand activity through soundscapes). Thorp’s revolutionary work shows us the powerful ways data can be used to understand and fight cybercrime.
The Mob, Brazil
We had an amazing time with you! It was fun and interesting and easygoing. Thank you! And the event was a huge success! People’s comments are raves. They had never heard this view about Big Data and it made total sense to them. Huge impact!