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There's a corner of my desk reserved for books, notes, papers, and other things I am supposed to read or have written and need to rewrite. Each project I happen to be working on gets its own stack. But there is only so much space on my desk, and if I have too many stacks going at once, everything starts to jumble into one big pile. So I try not to work on too many things in parallel.

There are typically two stacks at any given time: one for books or random projects and the other for my dissertation. The former changes often and was recently cleared on the completion of the Data Points manuscript, and the latter has been persistent for several years.

But I'm happy to finally say that now there are zero stacks.

I'm finally done. I'm officially Dr. Nathan Yau, Ph.D. (but you can still call me Nathan).

It feels weird to say that but in a good way — like how I imagine lottery winners feel, suddenly being able to say they're millionaires. It's surreal at first, but once it sinks in, the sun shines brighter, food tastes better, and the feeling of possibilities rushes through your veins.

I've been asked if I would do it again knowing what I know now. After all, it took me over seven years to finish. To be honest, there were many times I wanted to quit, but now that I'm done, I can say that I would do it all again. I wouldn't do it just for the degree though. Rather I would do it for what came from going through the process: this blog, two books, countless learning experiences in school and through it, and a perspective on work that I wouldn't have gotten from anything else.

Most importantly, I found what I like to do. It's awesome.

So now it's time for a new stack. I'm excited about what it might be.

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We just finished the documentation for emoto – a data art project visualising the online response to the Olympics London 2012.

In many ways, the crowning piece of the project, and a conceptual counterpoint to the ephemeral web activities, our data sculpture preserved the more than 12 million tweets we collected in physical form. We had 17 plates CNC-milled — one for each day of the games — with a relief heatmap indicating the emotional highs and lows of each day. Overlay projections highlighted individual stories, and visitors could scroll through the most retweeted tweets per hour for each story using a control knob.

The tweets and topics displayed in the installation can also be investigated in interactive heatmaps. Rollover the rows to see a tooltip display of the most retweeted tweet on the given topic at the respective point in time.

Thanks so much to my fantastic collaborators at Studio NAND, and Drew Hemment and the team at and around Future Everything and everyone involved!

Plenty-plenty Sentimenti!

Find a brief documentation at

or read more on the project here:
Article and interview on Creators Project
Data Stories podcast episode #11 with Stephan Thiel on emoto

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proportional_1000_1479_largeview.jpgFourth of July #2, Independence, Missouri, by Mike Sinclair

Photographers, mark your calendars! 2009 Ne Plus Ultra Mike Sinclair's debut solo show in NYC, at Jen Bekman Gallery, is but mere days away. An opening reception for Public Assembly will be held on Friday, May 11th, 2012, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., and the show will be on view Saturday, May 12th, through Saturday, June 24th.

Mike impressed our panelists with his ephemeral portraits focusing on "crowds at sun-soaked fairgrounds, beaches and baseball games," and he adeptly captured a sense of nostalgic Americana that we simply couldn't get out of our heads and hearts. Soon, he was creating limited-edition prints with 20x200 to share with collectors all around the world. We are thrilled for Mike's success, which includes being published in the New York Times, Metropolis, Architectural Record and Interior Design, as well as having his work in private and public collections in the U.S.

+ Photographer Daniel Seung Lee, who was a contender in a past round of our competition, was selected to participate with 20x200. Two of his photographs are now available as limited editions on the site.

+ April is almost over, and with it the Month of Photography Los Angeles (MOPLA). If you're in L.A., there are major ongoing exhibitions you can catch, like Robert Adams: The Place We Live and Fracture: Daido Moriyama at LACMA, as well as In Focus: Los Angeles, 1945-1980, Herb Ritts: L.A. Style and Portraits of Renown: Photography and the Cult of Celebrity at The Getty.

+ Smaller shows were also taking place across town that featured Jen Bekman Projects artists. You can still catch Taj Forer's solo exhibition, Stone by Stone at LeadApron through May 19th.

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el teide no.2El Teide, view #02, 2011 by Meike Nixdorf

El Teide, view #01, 2011 by Meike Nixdorf

El Teide, view #06, 2011 by Meike Nixdorf

El Teide, view #03, 2011 by Meike Nixdorf

el_teide_view#08_2011_nixdorf-590.jpgEl Teide, view #08, 2011 by Meike Nixdorf

Meike Nixdorf


Meike Nixdorf (born 1976 in Mainz, Germany) is a Berlin-based photographer and artist. She has a background in science, and she was educated in photography and video at the International Center of Photography during her three-year stay in New York (2005-2008). She is an award winning photographer whose work has been exhibited internationally. She was featured in a juried group exhibition at the Darmstadt Photography Festival, Germany, 2010; and she took part in the FotoFest Houston Reviews 2010, where her work was acquired for the Joaquim Paiva Collection, Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In early 2011, her work was on view at the International Center of Photography, New York, in a group exhibition curated by Amy Arbus, Moment of Recognition. Her work was also shown at the Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro, as part of the exhibition Photographs — The Joaquim Paiva Collection, a selection of 69 international artists, including photograpers like Diane Arbus, Ansel Adams, Edward Ruscha, Grete Stern and Martin Chambi.

In the Orbit of El Teide, 2010-2011, is a visual and psychological approach to the notion of the perspective. [Since] my 2009 project, The Point of View, I have been looking at various aspects of the viewing process and, consequently, decision making in photography, in terms of the perspective and, even more so, the framing. [I've also been examining] the consequences these processes have on the way we [perceive] specific places by showing them each in multiple, [but] very similar views. In the Orbit of El Teide now focuses on the question of what can be seen, or how much information can be gathered, from only one single point of view, versus the information, visual or abstract, one could gather by orbiting an object, question or focus point. In this way, two different points of views of the same subject matter could differ in their look or feel tremendously and might not even be recognized as the same subject matter anymore. Like pieces in a puzzle, every image from In the Orbit of El Teide holds different visual aspects of the same subject, in this case the mountain El Teide. But other than a piece in a puzzle, each image appears to strongly stand on its own. And it is only through looking at these images one-by-one that one realizes how much more information, visual aspects, perspectives or stories-to-be-told there are to just one single mountain—or to any subject matter, basically.

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For those who missed it the first time around — here is my talk from the eyeo conference this summer:

You should definitely also check out the other videos in the eyeo collection, and watch out for upcoming releases, there were literally dozens of great, great talks.

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1696_largeview_nL.jpgGosling Lake, by Kurt Tong

After eight weeks of receiving amazing submissions, the Hey, Hot Shot! First Edition 2011 round of the competition closed on June 27th. So strong was the body of work this round that we are very eager to share it with everyone! So, beginning in July, at least one photographer that submitted will be selected each month (for at least the next three months) to fast-track a 20x200 edition. Our curatorial team is already poring over the extraordinary entries, which is no easy feat. Will you see a Contender's photography featured on 20x200? Or will your own photography be chosen first? To see which First Edition 2011 photographers make the cut, sign up for the 20x200 newsletter.

Meanwhile, we will continue to feature Contender posts until the Hot Shots are announced. For the latest on all things Hey, Hot Shot!—including announcements on the next round of the competition—be sure to check the blog frequently, keep up with us on Twitter and Facebook and sign up for our low-volume newsletter to get the latest news in your inbox.

+ Ruben Natal-San Miguel, who runs the eponymous photography consulting firm and is the blogger of ARTmostfierce, will present a fair tour entitled "How to Invest and Collect Fine Art Photography" for photoHamptons, which is taking place Thursday, July 7th to Sunday, July 10th. This is the first year ArtHamptons is featuring significant fine art photography.

+ 2009 Ne Plus Ultra Kurt Tong's series In Case it Rains in Heaven will be shown for the first time in Germany at Uno Art Space in For You, a two-person show. The exhibition premiered on July 1st and will be on view through the 28th of September, when Kurt will be attending the closing party to talk about the series.

+ Photographer and 20x200 artist Jeremy Kohm is featured on Prison Photography, which was recently named one of LIFE's top 20 photo blogs. You can also see Kohm's work in person as part of the group show Dawn Till Dusk, at Jen Bekman Gallery through July 30th.

+ Fall 2006 Hot Shot Shen Wei got glowing reviews in the New Yorker for his work from Chinese Sentiment, which was featured in the group show Moveable Feast at the Museum of the City of New York.

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