Depicting Patterns

“House of Cards” for the band Radiohead. © Aaron Koblin.


Visualizations by Aaron Koblin, artist and technology lead of Google’s Creative Lab


Digital media artist Aaron Koblin uses crowdsourcing to collect information and create some of his most recent projects, including “Tho Johnny Cash Project”, “Bicycle Built For Two Thousand” and “Ten Thousand Cents.” In 2008, he was the director of technology for “House of Cards,” the groundbreaking ‘music video without’ video for the band Radiohead. Throughout his visualizations, he is able to turn massive amounts of information into art.



Lasers and sensors are used to scan the band Radiohead into a three-dimensional particle-driven data experience. The code and data are launched on Google Code as an open source ‘music video without video’ project.


Full credits for this project can be found at



The paths of air traffic over North America visualized in color and form from data provided by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.

A collaboration with Wired Magazine and FlightView Software, these flight path renderings show the altitudes, makes, and models of more than 205,000 different aircraft being monitored by the FAA on August 12, 2008.


More information and animations can be found at



Visualizations for the New York Talk Exchange, a project by the Senseable City Lab at MIT for the MoMA. New York Talk Exchange illustrates the global exchange of information in real time by visualizing volumes of AT&T long distance telephone and IP (Internet Protocol) data flowing between New York and cities around the world. Historical visualizations include a distorting world map and borough view illustrating which cities talk with which parts of NYC.


Created with Kristian Kloeckl, Andrea Vaccari, and Franscesco Calabrese.



Ten Thousand Cents is a digital artwork that creates a representation of a $100 bill. Using a custom drawing tool, thousands of individuals working in isolation from one another painted a tiny part of the bill without knowledge of the overall task. Workers were paid one cent each via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk distributed labor tool. The total labor cost to create the bill, the artwork being created, and the reproductions available for purchase are all $100. The work is presented as an interactive/video piece with all 10,000 parts being drawn simultaneously.

The project explores the circumstances we live in, a new and uncharted combination of digital labor markets, “crowdsourcing,” “virtual economies,” and digital reproduction.


A collaboration with Takashi Kawashima.



Aaron Koblin is an artist specializing in data visualization. His work takes social and infrastructural data and uses it to depict cultural trends and emergent patterns. Currently, Aaron is Technology Lead of Google’s Creative Lab. | @aaronkoblin

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