Oddly enough, I didn’t know until clicking on the Flowing Data blog that Mark Hansen’s installation at the New York Times building is up. Mark is a statistician at UCLA who I know from back when he was a grad student at Berkeley. (He didn’t take my class, but he still did ok.) Here’s the New York Times story on it.
The funny thing is, I was talking with some statisticians a few years ago about this project, back around when it was at the Whitney Museum and one guy said, “That doesn’t seem like art to me.” (But nobody said, “My kid could do that.”)
I don’t know if it’s art or not, but it’s pretty cool. I’d like it even more if it had a bit more statistical content, for example dynamic histograms or scatterplots of word frequencies, sentence lengths, etc etc.
Fine Arts, specially contemporary art is, in my point of view result of development of many influences, history, questions etc. As a statistician and son of an artist, I was exposed since my childhood to art. I saw many people saying "I could do that" or "Any children could do that". But, as Pablo Picasso said once time, he spent a life to paint like a child! So, I think that art is evoluting to simple ideas. I believe it is happening the same into Statistics. In a first moment, results and methodologies are quite restrictive and assumption-dependent. But, through the years, more simple methods take their place. But it does not means that technology are not included there. I loved the picture! I hope to visit that gallery someday.