Emily Fuhrman - Artist Interview Series - Electric Objects

Emily Fuhrman

Brooklyn, NY
A0001 from Emily Fuhrman's new Art Club collection, Merula

“Each piece in Merula visualizes a different dataset related to blackbirds, from the distribution of feathers on the average male’s wing, to the audio data extracted from a recording of their call.”

— Alex, Electric Objects
Can we see a picture of your workspace and/or desktop?
Top Five Most Influential Visuals
Where are you typing this from?

40.6928° N, 73.9903° W

What do you watch/listen to while working?

ASMR videos with fuzzy microphone noise. “Elements of Light” by Pantha Du Prince & The Bell Laboratory.

What have you been working on lately?

A ton of things! Aside from EO1, I recently wrapped up an endeavor to spatialize indexicality in Walter Benjamin’s The Arcades Project. It explores a method of literary visualization that is both rigorous and vague. I’m also reading a book on the history of constructed spaces.

What work of yours are you most proud of?

My ever-growing floorplan collection (emilyfuhrman.co/x/youarehere).

What tools do you use in your work?

For web-based, data-driven work, D3.js (http://d3js.org/) is my medium of choice. For prototyping, code-sketching, and non-web work, I use Processing (https://processing.org/). My favorite text editor is Sublime (http://www.sublimetext.com/). I occasionally use Python, a scanner, OS X Automator (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automator_(software)), R (https://www.rproject.org/), or GLSL (https://www.opengl.org/documentation/glsl/). Photoshop is good for post-processing, while Illustrator is useful for creating custom SVG paths to mutate.

Can you tell us about your process?

I always develop a system of constraints parallel to a visual method. The interrelatedness of the two tends to be directly proportional to the external requirements a project has. Eventually I mash the system and the method together.

Any last advice for the folks just starting out?

Iterate a billion times and remember to take walks.

Favorite file formats?




What are the best places to see your work?
What sites do you visit for inspiration?
Whose work do you follow?
What are your favorite galleries, museums, exhibits, etc.?

Dia:Beacon (diaart.org/sites/main/beacon) is my favorite place.

Thanks for the interview,