Aaron Koblin is an artist specializing in data and digital technologies. His work takes real world and community-generated data and uses it to reflect on cultural trends and the changing relationship between humans and technology.

Why you should listen

Aaron Koblin finds art through the unlikely confluence of massive data sets and personal intimacy. His work ranges from animating the paths of every North American airline flight, to using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk crowdsourcing platform to pay workers to “draw a sheep facing left,” which were then placed in "The Sheep Market."

Koblin was creative director for Johnny Cash's final music video, "Ain't No Grave," and worked on Radiohead’s video “House of Cards,” both of which received a Grammy nomination. He is now the Creative Director of the Data Arts team in Google's Creative Lab. His team collaborated with Arcade Fire to produce an online music video that allows viewers to incorporate images of their home neighborhood into the experience using Google Street View.

What others say

“He likes his data ‘super fun’ -- that is, messy.” — William Bostwick, Print Magazine

Aaron Koblin’s TED talk

Aaron Koblin on the TED Blog

Art

Unnumbered sparks fly through the sky, created by cellphone signals

March 31, 2014

“It looks like it’s holding up the clouds.” “It’s like a sky jellyfish.” “I love how the light moves across it along with the sound.” These were some of the comments heard at TED2014 about Skies Painted with Unnumbered Sparks, a collaboration between sculptor Janet Echelman and data artist Aaron Koblin. This monumental sculpture stretched […]

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Quotes from Aaron Koblin

An interface can be a powerful narrative device. And as we collect more and more personally and socially relevant data, we have an opportunity, and maybe even an obligation, to maintain [our] humanity and tell some amazing stories.
Aaron Koblin
TED2011 • 1.2M views May 2011
Fascinating, Inspiring