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Hansen, Mark; and Ben Rubin

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Digital access to this material is pending artist's approval. Materials may be viewed onsite at the Goldsen Archive, Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Kroch Library, Cornell University.

Excerpt from Mark Hansen's statement: At its core, my work is about uncovering structures, patterns, "information" in data. My training is in mathematics and statistics, and as a consequence, probability theory shapes how I think about data and inference. However, as data become more complex, either because of their scale, structure or dynamics, I tend to draw from other disciplines for usable tools, concepts and metaphors. As with all statisticians, my work is interdisciplinary by definition.

Excerpt from Ben Rubin's statement: As I began my work with Mark Hansen five years ago, we wondered together: what do 100,000 people chatting on the internet sound like? Once Mark and I started listening, at first to statistical representations of web sites, then to the actual language of chat rooms, a kind of music began to emerge. The messages started to form a kind of giant cut-up poem, fragments of discourse juxtaposed to form a strange quilt of communications. It reminded me of the nights I spent as a kid listening to CD and HAM radio, fascinated to hear these anonymous voices crackling up out of the static. Now the static is gone, and the words arrive as voiceless packets of data, and the scale is immense.

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