Digital visualization wunderkind Jonathan Harris has just launched his latest art and technology effort. Called the Sputnik Observatory for Contemporary Culture, it's a Web site and blog that grew out of a two-year collaboration with New York-based Sputnik, Inc., an organization that documents contemporary culture through intimate, previously unpublished video interviews with hundreds of leading thinkers in the arts, sciences, and technology.
A range of innovators, including Vint Cerf to experimental geographer Trevor Paglen, game designer Will Wright, science writer Philip Ball, and theoretical physicist Michio Kaku, among others, share "some of the most provocative human ideas to have emerged in the last few decades," Harris says. [Harris, himself, is featured, explaining his 2005 "We Feel Fine" project, a real-time survey of human emotions on the Web.] Adds Harris:
Harris says there are about 200 videos on the site, and will be thousands more added over time. [Sputnik is a Russian word that means "co-traveler." It was the name the Russians gave to the robotic spacecraft missions they created in the 1950s to launch, in 1957, the first human-made object into Earth's orbit.]
(Illustration from Sputnik Observatory site)