About the Artist
Pricer has spent his life creating innovations that disrupt stagnation. The decision to use data as an art medium is a continuation of that project. His process begins with the search for intriguing human data, which he then mines for patterns and outliers that excite his aesthetic sensibilities. Using generative software he transforms the chosen data into visuals, setting up subtle parameters, layers, and trajectories that serve his conceptual goals. Once his algorithms are applied the data take charge of the animation, color choices, camera angles, perspectives, and more. As the artist he chooses the conceptual play, but the data are the actors freely interpreting and performing. The art prints cut from his videos capture catalytic instances; they are meant to stimulate curiosity about the action that created them. His website is at https://jepricer.com.
- Denver Digerati Supernova – two artworks selected
- Generative Art Project: DNA Data Portraits
- The Cube Project
- True Beauty exhibit at the Stedelijk Museum, Breda, The Netherlands
- Electric Church projection installation
- South By Southwest (SXSW) list for the EAST Austin Studio Tour
- The Cube Project
- Erratum – Chromatic Pro festival in Montreal
- Digital Graffiti 2017
- Resident artist – DG-write conference in NYC
To develop his data art, Pricer begins by extracting data from personal sources, such as mobile phones, DNA, web logs, activity logs, health monitors, government or company data.
These data are loaded into a database where he performs various statistical analyses in order to get a sense of the data, their sizes, averages, variances, minimum and maximum values, etc. Next, he performs data mining to discover patterns in the data. Some of the data mining is very simple, just a small extension of the statistics. In contrast, some of the data mining involves inventing complex pattern recognition algorithms. The resulting patterns are used as parameters for algorithms in visualization software.
These mined data are read into a graphics processing language. The first pass of the data are read into some simple algorithms just to get an idea of what the data look like graphically. More complex algorithms are developed as the data create colors, shapes, screen locations, and camera angles. He does program graphical shapes and animation, but ultimately, the work is driven by the data of human life. The final step in the programming is to create a movie from the individual video frames.
Pricer adds an audio component to complement and create further forms for the animation. Sometimes he creates sound patterns to augment the visual patterns. Other times he uses music from collaborators.
Some of his work uses the video as final assembly and some of it relies heavily on video effects that can be done in software such as After Effects and Final Cut Pro. He is not dogmatic about this. He does not care what the percentage is. It is all about what he needs to do to first, communicate the sentience of the data, and two, create an aesthetic that fits his vision. He tries to not get tied up in the purist view. He is all about using a computer to enhance his own and his viewer’s aesthetic. As we approach The Singularity, he does not make the machine/human distinctions that other artists do.
Academic and Professional
Pricer’s academic background was in clinical psychology, philosophy, and mergers and acquisitions.
He has worked as a Data Architect, Data Miner, and Data Scientist – his job was to invent pattern recognition data architectures and algorithms for private and government clients. He has analyzed human behavior in all its forms from shopping habits to terrorists communications. The data have come from marketing, finance, weblogs, and many other sources. He looked for patterns in human behavior, from data rich sources such as crimes, purchases, self tracking, DNA, web activity, and many others.
The requirements of his consulting work necessitated art as well as science, so in that sense he has always been a data artist. His main area of expertise was helping to design and build the technical infrastructure necessary for a company to change how its industry worked. This required a vision of the future industry and data architecture as well as inventing new data mining methods, so this is about art and science. Part of art is about revealing ways of looking at the world that has not been done previously. In order to stay ahead of an industry, change how an industry works, or understanding human behavior you have to create a new vision, just as an artist does.
Patents and Awards
- Award for innovative treatment for autistic and schizophrenic adolescents as Director, Intensive Care Unit, psychiatric facility.
- Invented real-time mergers and acquisition process and software.
- Teradata R&D Eureka Award for data architecture invention.
- Six patents for data mining big data methods.
- Google Big Data Hadoop and MapReduce based on 1st patent
- Ten+ patents listing my work as prior art.
- Commissioned fMRI portrait to be part of an experimental film for the Bronx Biennial.